Category Archives: Uncategorized

They Liked Me – yeahhh!!

The Threaded Forest – a no stress free motion quilting opportunity!


Last weekend was the 87th Lost Acres Quilt Happening My Mom and I have been attending about 17 years, and my Aunt and Grandmother have since joined in on the excursion!  There are three Happenings per year and the summer Happening has a wonderful buffet of fresh, homemade foods to sample that shouldn’t be missed!!  There are also items for sale: quilts, quilt tops, blocks, fabric and more – I purchased a hand quilted pillow this time (Thanks Mary!)

The day consists of:

  • A little socializing and shopping
  • A lecture
  • Food with more socializing and the ongoing opportunity to shop

The lectures are usually historical or quilt specific (applique, sampler, etc) in nature but for a change, Ginny decided to cover some of the ways quilting has changed with time. One woman covered her methods for completing a multitude of baby quilts for donation, two other women covered their different approach to a town green (with surrounding town buildings) style quilt.

Quick Quilts with Hand Dyes – 4 Patch Stars – if you only have to cut big pieces, are you less afraid to cut hand dyes?

This is the first time Ginny has asked me to speak, and I was honored. I talked about how I moved into hand dying fabrics and the different lines I’ve come to carry: print, tone on tone, trees, landscape, starburst and snowflakes series of fabrics.  I also showed some of my new – Quick Quilts with Hand Dyes pattern samples.  That was the highlight, from their we covered in depth, the different opportunities the hand dyes offered for feed dogs up and feed dogs down machine quilting, specifically LOW STRESS introductions to MACHINE QUILTING, for example:

  • Baby Quilt in 8 hours, including binding with the feed dogs up on the Snowflake fabric

    Baby Quilt in Eight – feed dogs up machine quilting, 8 hrs includes the binding YEAH!!
  • Renegade Hawaiian Quilting with feed dogs up (quick table runner) Quilt As You Go & feed dogs down
  • The beauty of hand dyed Velvet as a doodle practice piece for free motion quilting
  • Beginner free motion & thread painting on the Threaded Forest (tree fabric)

Of course I included a trunk show. All was quiet while I spoke so I think it’s safe to assume it was entertaining or informative or both.  Actually, based on the compliments (thank you everyone) later, I think I’ll add this topic to my lecture listing – who knew there was so much interest in stress free ways to explore machine quilting.

My Menagerie of Pincushions

Gavin the Dragin

I love finding things new homes, from scraps, to orphan blocks, to pincushions. For those of you who’ve seen my booth, you know I love making fun little (some not so little) pincushions.  They are 100% wool (lanolin lubricates the pins) beads combined with oddities I find here and there that are crying for a new purpose that will find them a new home.

Happy Hare

Last show I brought the Atlantic City Camel, this guy was cute as a button with a hundred old pins – three people were very interested and he found a good home. An elephant I had been holding on to for a while finally

Elegant Egg

had the right color wool bead (sometimes what’s in my head doesn’t work out with the finished piece) – his trunk was up so he’ll bring lots of luck to his new home.  And, this beautiful egg for which I made a wool bead with sparkles also found a new home.

Just for fun, here are some of the others in the menagerie.

Please don’t think this is a sales

Elegant egg opened
Blue Bird of Happiness

pitch, I learned the hard way long ago not to buy anything I didn’t want to ultimately own – I can show you a couple quilts I’d rather not own (expensive lesson). This is just a fun little tour of some of my menagerie.

By the way – Gavin the Dragin found a home this morning.

car cushion

Air Conditioned Entertainment – YEAHHHH

velvet – fuschia (hand dyed)

It’s supposed to be unbearably hot and humid this weekend, part of a heat wave, and even if you love summer, it’s not the kind of weather you want to be outside in. So what, may you ask, am I doing this weekend?

Greater Hartford Quilt Guild is having its Quilt Show at Rentschler Field, a few hundred quilts in great AIR CONDITIONING and lots of other quilting pretties to look at. What more could one want on a hot summer day?  Oh, did I tell you there were Vendor Demo’s also – bonus!!! (mine’s on fiber art machine quilting)

velvet – ice (hand dyed)

Since my Mom and I are vending (we’ll be on the 4th floor – good thing there are elevators) I got a preview to one of the activities.  There’s a Scavenger Hunt going on and when you check off all the items on the hunt list, the list is then your entry to a drawing – not such a bad idea.  And who doesn’t like a free prize!!!

I’m bringing newly dyed velvet, cotton and clothes and my Mom is felting soaps – she was working with lavender soap last night and it smelled W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L-L-L !! If you come to the show I’ll hope you’ll stop in and say Hi!!  –  Hope you can make it!

ELIQS and VQF – don’t you hate acronyms?

You might be wondering what I’ve been up to – a combination of real world job overtime, as a result the ridiculous hours, a touch of bronchitis (I think, too stubborn to go to the Doctor) and two quilt shows. The Ugly news – due to a corporate buy out, there’s been a

Eastern Long Island Quilt Show 2017

management change at my real world job = lots of extra hours.  The Bad News – yup, been sick for about 3 weeks and still coughing too much.

And quickly on to the Good News – my Mom and I vended at the Eastern Long Island Quilt Show (ELIQS) for the second year.  Lots of friendly quilters to chat with, did a couple demo’s so I have a scarf almost complete, went to dinner with Oh So Sally and friends which was great!!

Eastern Long Island Quilt Show – fabrics

Two weeks later, and still sick it was off to Vermont Quilt Festival (VQF) with my Mom and my Aunt to see the show and have a mini-quilt retreat. We stopped at an antique shop on the way up and , since I seem to be addicted to the history of textiles (from chintz manufacturing, to whole cloths and crazy quilts, and beyond) I was excited to find a book on 500 years of Samplers.

500 years of Samplers

Did you know the Samplers were more intricate in the 1600’s & 1700’s because sewing skills were considered more important than writing or math in the classroom for women? Society actually thought women would die young from the stress on their brains of learning what we take for granted now.  So, successful shopping at the antique shop and at the show where I purchased an antique tape measure I’ll write about another time.

As for the quilt retreat – I’m working on a “contained” crazy quilt for my lecture and got 15 blocks done – YEEAAAHHH!!! We finalized the sashing, which – thank you Aunt Wendy – became three pieces of sashing instead of one (but  it does look better).  I bought the revised sashing fabric at the quilt show, however I am on the hunt for another yard of the additional fabric for binding.

For those of you who ordered clothes, sorry I’m behind I’ll be finishing the dyeing up this weekend and will send pictures shortly. More project pictures to come, back to my three – four seams each morning –  it takes me a while but this way it gets done.

A World of Quilts XXXVIII — 2017 Danbury

Danbury 2017 booth

What a great quilt show last weekend!! The people at the show were so friendly and fun to talk to, it’s always nice to visit with kindred spirits – it’s inspiring!

I had lots of snowflake and starburst fabric to choose from but my most popular item was the hand dyed silk linen velvet. I brought the hand dyed clothes for a second time and they were well received, took a few orders and some people went home with new clothes.  Ordering more clothes this week so I can restock and fill those orders.

Danbury 2017 – sewing accessories & my Duckie tape measure

Jennifer O’Brien was showing everyone how to free motion quilt on her feather weight which always gets a second look. She also had her Twinkle Star and Square in a Square rulers with all her beautiful samples. We had a great time in the booth, it was really busy!!

The quilts were beautiful, I especially enjoyed the large amount of fiber art. The variety of vendors was well balanced, I didn’t find the fabric I was looking for but I did find the kimono and sari fabric vendor so I definitely didn’t go home empty handed.  If you didn’t make it this year – I’d definitely recommend adding this to your must visit show list next year!

I Believe in Education

Want to get better at something? – search out knowledge or when it presents itself in say a show or shop, just sign up for the classes. MQX is just that opportunity.  Is it a great show with wonderful vendors – yes, but it’s also a great opportunity to attend classes with very talented instructors.

Bethanne Nemish binding book

When I started going to MQX quite a while ago all the classes were about long arm quilting (not so now includes piecing & fiber art). I would  take six or more classes in the course of a couple days and by the end of the show it felt like the new knowledge was oozing out my ears.  One instructor (I think it was Jamie Wallen) told us – if you don’t set aside time when you return home to practice what you have learned then you’re losing out, letting the knowledge you obtained slip away like a memory.  After he said that, I started keeping the next week or so of my machine quilting time open so I could practice and retain what I had learned.  I’ve learned a lot over the years, and he was right practicing after increased retention of what I had learned.

beaded binding & scalloped binding samples

So, better late than never, what did I learn at MQX this year? I didn’t realize it at the time but I signed up for two classes with the same instructor, Bethanne Nemish (she’s great).  One class was on her free hand edge to edge machine quilting technique which is beautiful and almost as important – doable design.  The other class was on some of her specialty knife edge bindings.

tongue binding & corded binding samples

We made four styles in four hours – that was a marathon class. The bindings are beautiful, incredibly detailed and time consuming but something I’d be crazy enough to use in one of my quilts.  For perspective,


Time consuming = regular binding time for a quilt X 20 but I love a good challenge.

Above are pictures of the sample bindings I made in class. So, go out and learn everything you can in classes, books or videos and like that instructor said – don’t forget to “do” what you learned or it will slip away.  Happy stitches!!

Thank You – Apple Valley Quilters & QUILT HAPPENING 4/22/17

Apple Valley Quilters were great hosts and what motivated members – their charity quilts and walker bag assortment were amazing. We covered the Never Truly Traditional lecture with a focus on Creative Muscle reviewing different ways to expand your creativity.  It was great fun and they asked some great questions.  Thank you for having me.

This weekend I dyed clothes, sky fabric and some tone on tone grey / black. Still ironing the 30 yards from the last batch so the 6 yards and a few shirts did not truly give my shoulders a work out during the multiple rinse process (LOL).

Dyeing tree fabric this coming weekend but only after spending Saturday with Ginny at Lost Acres for her 70+ Quilt Happening. This is a great event with a free lecture, items for sale like orphan blocks, tops, quilts, fabric, and she always provides snacks, not to mention all the goodies available in the Farm Kitchen.  My Mom, Grandmother and I always enjoy Ginny’s Quilt Happenings,  lots of people sharing a camaraderie of quilt interest and friendship.  Hope you can stop by, I can’t wait to go!!!

Ginny’s website for directions, event starts at 9am this Saturday, 4/22/17 (website has an old date, it’s this Saturday 🙂 ).

Antique Quilt Clothing???

– the center block is an 1830’s orphan

As one of the Galleries on my website shows, I love working with orphan blocks and unfinished old quilt tops to help them find a new home (Antique Orphan Fun). If it’s really scary looking (beyond-only a mother could love) or has lots of holes I like to take tops apart and put them back together, or I just put a bunch of antique orphan blocks together.  I was so inspired when I stumbled upon this video, this is Mary Ornish upcycling old quilts that are BEYOND REPAIR into clothing I just had to share it!

As the disclaimer states, please don’t cut up perfectly good quilts to do this, there are plenty of orphan blocks and broken bits and pieces to play with. There are generally lots of orphan blocks around in need of a good home, in fact, one of my favorite things to do at a show is go on a hunt for, “The Ugly Orphan”.  I then challenge myself to use it in a quilted item.  My 1830’s quilt began from one ugly orphan that was incredibly crooked and has orange and grey plaid in the block.

Please consider finding orphan blocks a good home, a sampler style quilt is just one way to find them homes as donation quilts for those in need.

That said, Mary Ornish is incredibly talented, what beautiful and inspirational clothing – what’s old is new again – YEAH!!

ONLY – 14 Seats Left!!???!! Keepsake Quilting

Been so busy, didn’t tell you about my Mom’s bus trip to Keepsake.  Seats are selling quickly and it’s just around the corner – here are the details:


As soon as you enter, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular array of thousands of bolts of cotton fabric, our famous fabric Medleys™, kits, books, patterns and notions


Patternworks  for knitters – specialty yarns, patterns & tools

Old Country Store – kitchen gadgets, collectibles, candles & candy (and more)

When:    Saturday,     April 8, 2017                       leaving at 8:00 a.m.

All-inclusive package:

  • Bus to Keepsake Quilting & Patternworks (in the same plaza) and the Old Country Store (Moultonboro, NH)
  • Dinner at Harts Turkey Farm
  • And Driver’s tip
  • Lunch can be purchased at grocery deli next to Keepsake or brown bag your own
  • We’ll be having contests with prizes

Bus will pick up at Enfield, CT (behind Macy’s) commuter parking lot, (exit 48 off route 91) and Ludlow, MA at Big Y/Ocean State Job Lot parking lot

Price:           $70.00                         Deposit ASAP, first come, first serve

Contact:  Marcia Testa            860-749-9026 

Thank You Berlin Sisters in Quilting!!

What a friendly group at Berlin Sisters in Quilting. They were very receptive to my Creative Muscle lecture which covers why I believe creativity is a muscle everyone has and that it grows exponentially as you exercise it.  The trunk show included a path to help explore your creative side no matter what level of quilter.

Blossoms – fused organza, tulle & voile with yarn & thread lengths, machine quilted, melted away to form giant lace

Here’s a piece from my “Hot Stuff” portion of the lecture! I had a terrific time sharing my bag of tricks, you all asked such great questions – thanks so much for all your hospitality.

I know I’ve disappeared lately, my real world job has been a little overwhelming since returning from California, hoping it will slow down soon. I do have the Tutorial for Baby Quilt in Eight – instructions for a  feed dogs up technique to quilt and bind a baby quilt in eight hours, I’m just experiencing technical difficulties in uploading the information.  I should have this resolved shortly so keep an eye out for my first Tutorial.

I’m also working on a series of Quick Quilts with Hand Dyes – quilts that feature larges areas of those hand dyed fabrics that everyone is so afraid to cut up. Fussy cut your favorite parts so you can share their beauty!  Some of the patterns will be available as Tutorials.  Off to work on that upload, thanks for stopping by!!!