Friday, June 28, 2013

My own FQ pack.

As I wandered the vendors yesterday I honestly got a little bored.

It seemed as if every vendor who had fabric had it "prepackaged" in groups of 6-8 FQs. Sometimes all the fabrics were from one line other times not...but all were already bundled.

Now I appreciate the marketing aspect of this....but I wanted to play.

Then I spotted a booth with lots of fat quarters loose. Yippee I thought and dove into putting together my own FQ bundle.

First I quickly scanned the fabrics to find my inspiration or jumping off fabric.

That would be this cranberry fabric.

These four fabrics quickly jumped on board.

And theb I went in search of the "Crazy Aunt" fabric. The life of the party. The fabric that makes the other fabrics just a bit more zippy.

These two joined the crew.

When I turned around to check out I found two ladies and the shop owner smiling at me. Seems they were watching me bop around from bin to bin and wanted to see my "collection" for themselves.

One lady asked me to help her put together some blues/purples and we opted to add a black stripe to her mix (I wish I would of snapped a pic) and the other lady found all the fabrics I picked for herself.

Wow...I was honored.

I love to play with fabric combos.

But then again dont we all?

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

NQA- Columbus!

I am in Columbus Ohio teaching at the NQA show.

Today I sat in the booth of The Back Door Quilr Shop out of Indianapolis and signed books for them.

It was a blast.

Took two hours off in the afternoon and shopped for one hour. This is part of what I adopted.

There is some more but I dont want to scare Paul too much!

If your in Columbus stop by my classroom during lunch!

Hex On!
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Laura Wasilowski–Guest Blogger!

Meet Laura Wasilowski! She brings a smile to my face every time I see her or one of her joyful quilts.  She and they literally light up a room.  And now she can light up your computer screen with her Craftsy class. 

Hand-Stitched Collage Quilts

classlogoLaura shares whimsical designs for three small, single-block quilts that you can create along with her. You'll add fusible web to your fabrics and learn how to protect your tools and work surfaces. Cutting out free-form appliqué shapes and composing your artwork are a breeze - your creativity and improvisation are encouraged! Then it's time to add details and texture with a wealth of hand-embroidery stitches, from lazy daisies to French knots. Laura will show how to make more than a dozen stitches, and help you finish your quilt with batting, a colorful border and options for hanging. Bonus: Laura's e-book "Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts" (a $14.99 value) is included free!

And Laura even has kits to go with her Craftsy class if you wish.  You can find them here. birdonthewing

How did you become an art quilter?
I learned to sew as a girl in 4-H. When I went away to college, I was placed in a costume department through my work-study program. That was where I learned to dye fabrics. When I moved to the Chicago area, I was introduced to quiltmaking by a neighbor, Janet Dye. The first exhibit I ever saw was of Amish quilts—the colors and patterns were overwhelming and amazing.

birdstitchingThrough a network of quilt friends, I met my friend, Melody Johnson. Together, we started Artfabrik, where we specialized in making hand-dyed fabrics and threads for quilters. Soon I realized I could take all that yardage I was dyeing for other people and create this thing called fused art quilts. Now my work is a blend of 2 art forms, surface design, and quiltmaking.

birdtreeclippingWhy do you choose to fuse?
I became a fuser, because I wanted to create quilts that told stories about my family, friends, and the landscapes that I see. Fusing makes the process of creating complex, pictorial collage quilts fast, easy, and fun. It is the most direct route from that idea in your head to the implementation of the idea into fabric. Fusing is an improvisational art form that shows the makers hand.




Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stained Glass Pieced Hexies

Candy P. of the Pieces and Patches Quilt Guild in Steger, Il. sent this pic to me.

Oh my! I love it.

And a hexie frame too.

My heart be still.

I am posting this from Midway Airport as I am on my way to a dual guild engagement in Asheville North Carolina.

I have a lecture tonight...there will be a nap this afternoon.

Hex On!

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pieced Hexie Star–AUDREY


AudreyPHStarColoredAww…the name Audrey.  I love this name.  That grade school teacher that changes your life (I hope everyone has one of these..if not a few) for me was named Mrs. Bukovsky….Mrs. AUDREY Bukovsky.  Mrs. B. was my 5th grade teacher.  She was that cool teacher who filled our class room with all kinds of “out of the box” learning tools.  We had class pets galore (turtles, frogs, a gerbil, etc) and projects were always inventive.  She was the cool teacher to have. 

I was so lucky.

All year she watched me crocheting during recesses, and she obviously caught on that I was a “crafty kid”.  So it was a surprise and delight when on the last day of class she asked if she could commission me to make a granny square afghan for her.  (this was the 70s remember).

Could I!  I shook my head yes before I even knew what “commission” meant.

Then she pulled out a big bag from LeeWards filled with beige, brown, yellow and rust colored yarn.  And a pattern…for a california king size granny square afghan.

I crocheted all summer.   I’m not gonna lie the all beige squares were tedious.

And my mom helped with sewing it together.

I presented her the afghan on day one of the new school year.

I was so proud.

Mrs. B is now my neighbor ironically.   I get to thank her almost everyday when I see her on my daily walks with Molly (she is now retired) for her giving me direction in my life’s work.

So here is Pieced Hexie Star – AUDREY.

This example is done in a scrappy blues with the yellows and oranges staying the same.  I like to mix “Scrappy & Stable” as I call it.  Hope you like it too.

As always you can find the pattern to the right on the blog.



p.s A big THANK YOU to Cathy K. one of my wonderful “stunt sewers”.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Frieda Anderson–Guest Blogger



Frieda Anderson is a friend of mine who’s Craftsy class just went LIVE!  She is one of the sweetest people I know and when our paths cross I love catching up with her in person.

So I asked her a few questions to introduce her to you and I highly recommend you check out her class!


My class is called Machine Quilting the Home Sweet Home Quilt. It is about overcoming the fear of free motion machine quilting. Learning 20 basic machine quilting designs and placing them on a project called the Home Sweet Home Quilt.

1. What year did you make your first quilt? Traditional or art

I made my first quilt when I was in high school. It was a 4” patch quilt made from dress scraps. I made it with my maternal grandmother. I can still remember cutting out the cardboard template and drawing around it with a pencil. I might even have hand stitched it together. I know we tied it when it was finished.

2. What is the first show, and year, that you ever entered your art quilts? Venue?

I entered Paducah I don’t remember the year but in was in the 1990’s. My first award was in 1992 for a miniature quilt. It was in a local show and it won a first place ribbon. I was beyond thrilled.

3. What is your artistic style?

I would say that my style is free form. I like nature, trees, leaves and flowers and much of my art revolves around those themes. I love saturated color and tend to use really deep hues in my work. I fell in love with hand dyeing fabric 20 some odd years ago and have been working with my own hand dyed fabrics ever since. HOWEVER that doesn't keep me from “collecting” other fabrics.

4. Have you ever changed your style from when you started making quilts? OH yes, I vacillate between fused art quilts and my own original pieced quilts. I like doing both. I’m a Gemini so of course there are two sides to the coin.

MQBFA_06The reason that I made a pieced project for my machine quilting class is because I wanted a project that everyone could tackle. Not every quilter likes to make art quilts and I wanted to make sure that people who took the free motion machine quilting class would put all the designs that are offered in the class on a finished project so they would learn to handle working on a small quilt. Each area on the quilt has a design assigned to it. That took all the guess work out of the process, something people really fear.

I teach machine quilting all over the country and hear so many people tell me who scared they are of the process of machine quilting. I wanted to help them over come that fear and have a very manageable project to work on. The quilt in the Home Sweet Home class is 40” x 60” finished a good starting place to do free motion machine quilting.



You can sign up for a chance to win a free version of this class here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

German Chocolate GingerCrack Cookies

Spent some time in the kitchen yesterday fiddlin’ with my GingerCrack Cookie Recipe.

For those new to the blog, GingerCrack is the name of a semi homemade cookie recipe I made up a few years back.  Paul and Emily (and guests at Christmas break) could not get enough of the little cookies and dubbed them GingerCrack.

Here is the original recipe:

GingerCrack Cookies

1 package of Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix

½ teaspoon of Ginger

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

1 packet of Vanilla Sugar

½ teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon of Nutmeg

Sprinkle cookies with Cinnamon Sugar before baking follow the baking temp and time on the cookie mix package.  Tweak to your liking.


I have been pushing around a half box of German Chocolate Cake Mix for a few weeks now in the kitchen.  We have taken to just backing 2-4 cupcakes here and there when the oven is on for something else so half boxes of cake mix are not uncommon.

I wanted that cake mix gone.

So I grabbed a bag of my beloved Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix and started to play.

German Chocolate GingerCrack Cookies

1 package of Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cookie Mix

1 cup of Betty Crocker German Chocolate Cake Mix

3 tablespoons of water

1 egg

1 tablespoon Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 packet of Vanilla Sugar


I made small spoon size balls of cookie mix for bite size cookies. 375 degrees for 10 mins.

As you can see I left out the Ginger, Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon (but added Cinnamon Sugar to the mix) as I wanted more of a Chocolate Cookie with a ginger twinkle.   I might put the Pumpkin Pie spice back in on the next batch to give it a bit more punch.

This is half the cookies the package made…the other half are waiting for guests….coffee’s on.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Things I never miss.

Yesterday I happened to enjoy two things I NEVER EVER miss.  So I thought I would share.








Absolutely never miss it. And by that I mean if I do miss an episode on Sunday night (rare) I watch it as quickly as possible on OnDemand before the next airs.  I never let myself fall away from Mad Men.  Even when some of the storylines frustrate me.  I hang in there.

I am thrilled that a long forgotten storyline was touched on in last night’s episode.   I was hoping it would be resurrected before the series end.  I would like closure. 

I am not one for seeing a movie twice let alone a TV episode.  I drives me crazy to “rewatch anything”.  But Mad Men will someday be an entire snowy weekend event where I plan to watch all episodes back to back to back.

mm3The love of Mad Men is also shared by Emily.  In fact she is the reason I initially got hooked.  That first summer home from college she quickly caught me up on the series.  And then last summer she hooked me into Downton Abbey but that is another story. 

Thru the eyes of my daughter I see that this series opens up the discussion that many things in the world today are the same as it was 20 years ago when I was her age and even 40 years ago in the world of Man Men. 

Every generation likes to think the “times” are unique unto them.  But if we are honest.  It’s much the same just the wardrobe and music are different.  

Now onto my second never miss.

A new release book by Mary Kay Andrews.




The latest was released a mere 6 days ago and downloaded by 8am on release day to my Nook.  I held out for three days hoping to keep the book on my “to be read” shelf by June 18th when I hit the road again.   I failed.

496 pages later.

I finished it last night.  Smile

A fun little chick read. 



Revolutionary-Summer-201x300Next up.




Revolutionary Summer by Joseph J. Ellis.

I like to mix it up like that.


What are some things you never miss?






Now two other things I am missing….Paul Jr. & Emily.

this may take awhile to get thru.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

25 to Go!

GardenWhimsyBookCoverToday I did a count and realized I am down to my last 25 copies of Garden Whimsy Applique.

This is my book that covers my method of machine applique and has 12 patterns in it.

They are marked down to $10 each (*plus shipping…your choice Priority Mail or Media Mail) on my website.

And of course I will autograph every last copy.


*foreign orders contact me for shipping costs.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Brews for Drew



I held off writing this blog until the kids were settled and life had slowed down just a tad for us.  Now both Paul and I are turning out free time to raising awareness to the fundraiser for his brother Drew that will happen on September 8th.

You can read all about Drew and his medical situation on this PDF that I posted on facebook about a week ago.

Already blocks are arriving and we cannot thank everyone enough for making a block and sending it.  It is going to be an awesome Scrappy Chicago Bears Trips Quilt!

I plan to put together the quilt the first week of July so if you could have your block to me by July 1st that would be great.

Bonnie Hunter has graciously allowed me to link to her tutorial here for easy peasy instructions to make a Scrappy Trip Around the World Block.

Thank you all for your support,