I meant to do this, but did that instead

and the results were very good.
But first your daily ear worm:

Showstopper Purple during the day

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This (Friday) day started with great intention: turn on the a/c in the sewing room and quilt. In order to achieve this great goal I needed to step down into the office for a bit to send a few emails. The business cards and Franklin Planner live on the desk. I do have picture proof somewhere on facebook, or instagram. Five hours, 10 emails, 4 phone calls, and some messaging with the editorial team, and no quilting at all. Getting into that groove was almost as good as quilting. There are times when that kind of work is really necessary, and fulfilling.

By the time all of this was completed it was time to make dinner. You may, or may not know, that preparing meals is not my forte. I manage. Just after I put the shrimp on the grill, the gas ran out. Timing is everything in cooking, and the timing here, was perfect. Tank changed, food made.

Saturday the big plan is: mark a quilt top, the one that is currently taped to the wall of  the sewing room. I needed a big, flat surface, hey look! there’s the wall, oh looky there! the tape is handy. Voila! Radiance in black taped to the wall.

A beginning.

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I’m going to use the SewLine marking pencil to see how it works with my hot little hands. And I mean that, literally. One of the reasons that I quilt the way I do is because all the dang markings disappear beneath the heat of my hands. It’s really annoying that this happens but I’ve learned to adapt, by not marking quilt tops. So, off I go to experiment.

Happy Quilting,



Quilting with Intention

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Donna Morales-Oemig your fabric still speaks to my heart. Donna snow dyed a few pieces of Robert Kaufman’s Radiance in the 2014/2015 winter when eastern Massachusetts got over 100 inches of snow. The perfect project came along, an idea with it and I started stitching.

I haven’t really quilted in a long time.  Oh I’ve plunked my ample behind in the chair, turned on the machine and quilted for a bit, walked out of my sewing room with a deep sense of no accomplishment or sense of so many things. I’ve been through something like this before, where I’ve wanted to go in there, but no. In this case it’s been much a matter of time. Work, and work on the magazine needing my primary attention.

It quilted out! Yes!

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Pokey Bolton posted that there’s still time to enter the Tribute Exhibit for Yvonne Porcella and something freed up. I walked into my studio, picked up Donna’s fabric for the front, a piece of Robert Kaufman denim, wool batting (remind me to get more 505 spray!) and set off stitching.

Let Your Light Shine

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I don’t know if I will get this done in time for the August 6th due date but I started something with intention yesterday. Oh! what a glorious moment. And I’m going to admit something here…yesterday I was experiencing a deep vulnerability. Oh wow that smacked me upside the heart deeply. This wasn’t so much about putting the quilting out there, as much as it was the actual sitting at my beloved BERNINA 1080 and stitching with abandon that I do. Maybe there’s more here. I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that something shifted. I quilted.

Happy Quilting!


Decided to go ahead and do it!

tiara silk 1I don’t remember if I ever showed the full piece. A little taupe Radiance, a little silk batting, a little Superior Tiara Silk. Oh my. Have you seen this gorgeous variegated 50 weight silk thread? When they have the Tiara in the booth there will be a good chance that this little piece is in the booth. I am SMITTEN

Superior Threads Tiara Silk threa setI’m going to quilt to my hearts content because last night I purchased one of each. I ordered more thread however this one was so fun. 24 spools of Tiara silk will be here soon and the Big Quilt Idea.

Well the Big Quilt Idea I can’t show you but let me just say it’s going to be pretty.

Happy Quilting!


tiara nautilus



Swoon and Whole Cloth Challenge Update

Maria O City Quilter ClassJust 11 days ago I taught Let Your Foot Loose, be Fancy & Free at the City Quilter. It was a good day. The bonus was having Maria O. as a student. Maria is a fab quilter and teacher in her own right (she teaches at the City Quilter).  Maria posted this photo on fb of her finished, binding and all, sample from class. Oh my goodness!!!!  Swoon!
Maria certainly let her foot loose, changing thread weight and color on a whim! Letting the thread do the work for her to create an interesting piece. At the beginning of class she showed a quilt (she was delivering to someone) – the quilting is outstanding, tone on tone blending into the background.
This piece of hers oh yes, makes this teacher all kinds of giddy!

variegated silk so pretty

Susan asked, “Did you over stitch or did you add a line to make it look like the fabric turns?”

Great question Susan!

To answer completely I’ll show a photo of the whole piece first.

Well the answer is actually both. The first part of the answer is in how I drew the original lines of the whole cloth. I took the lid from my button tin and drew the original circle then added swooping lines  under it to create a “mountain” with the moon hanging low. I then drew in the lines for the star points, making them intentionally wonky. Why you might ask? Because every star has her own shape. CAM01738 (2)
Part of the visual has to do with the high contrast of the color: a bright cream to orange variegated 50 weight (Tiara Silk) silk thread next to a solid deep purple. By following the line of the original swoop and stitching densely that helps.
Since I outline stitched the area with the lighter thread and very close to the darker thread it looks like I stitched over in that area.

One thing you can see here that won’t be visible once the quilt is finished is the drawn line and how I almost got there. I was done stitching with that thread and wanted to move on somewhere else. Drawn lines are guidelines, not rules.


And a Whole Cloth Challenge Update. Lisa Calle and I had a bit of a chat the other day and I’d hoped to draft a quickie post over the weekend. We’re extending the challenge to the first week in December. We both have had a few things in our lives that have prevented us from having the time to finish our quilts. If you’ve finished your quilt both of us would love to post photos on our blogs so please send us photos. (note Lisa posted photos on this blog post.) If you’ve been thinking you’d like to make a whole cloth quilt there’s time!
it’s fat quarter size
design is your choice
fabric and thread and batting are your choice

Lisa and I are using Robert Kaufman Radiance.

Happy Quilting!


Whole Cloth Challenge Update

dupioni whole cloth playtime my brain on quiltingLisa posted a couple of Whole Cloth updates on her blog. I appreciate her honesty and admire her tenacity in learning how to free motion on her BERNINA 750. I’d feel quite the same on the long arm, in part because no matter what kind of machine we quilt on there is a learning curve And we need to be patient with it. It takes time. I can imagine being in one of Lisa’s classes and getting encouragement from her to keep going, because it’s the same thing I’d say to my students and myself.

Actually I told myself this the other day when, upon finding myself banging my head on the, thankfully, tempered glass of my desk while completely frustrated that I couldn’t do something because I didn’t know how to do it and was completely freaked out because it needed to get done and done now. I took a deep breath realizing that I had friends and know people who know how to do the things I needed and there are, amazingly, internet search engines and websites for products that I can go look at their FAQ and figure out what needed to happen for me to finish my work. All of these things happened. I reached out to Sarah and Jeanie and visited a few websites and learned some new things. My world is richer for taking the time to learn new things.

dupioni whole cloth tiny bubblesIt’s been a while since I’ve seriously quilted. Janie was feeling rather neglected. I more than made up for it yesterday. Oh was it just so delightful. I started with this gorgeous piece of royal blue dupioni silk with red undertones. Oh My Good-ness do I love the feel of dupioni as I stitch. I love the nubby texture, it’s just so real! I’m using Hobbs Tuscany silk/cotton or silk/wool blend (it’s not up on their site otherwise I’d link over) and Superior Kimono Silk Thread.

dupioni whole cloth i like itI’m digging this piece. It’s a bit of whimsy and fun and joy and tiny stitching. Tiny, tiny stitching.
This piece, as of this moment, has no purpose other than practice. I’m using this as a gateway quilt to a few other projects that are on hard time lines. One being the whole cloth challenge quilt and the other Quantum Leap.

After warming up for a bit I moved onto to the Whole Cloth Challenge portion of my day. I’ve been mulling over ideas in my head for weeks. What I started working on it Not what I intended to work on in part because I need to draw it out a bit more before committing to a design. Who am I kidding? I’m just not ready to use the Rust Radiance yet.

whole cloth challenge circle completeSo I pulled out this gorgeous piece of Radiance – the color is grape. I took the lid from my button tin, placed it on the fat quarter and drew a circle with my chalk pencil. Using a ruler and the 45 degree line I drew in straight lines then free handed the “star” points. It’s intentionally wonky.
John Cardin 5A few more freehand lines below and my quilt top is marked. I have a plan in mind but I’m open to whatever happens. I’m using this hand dyed fabric from John Cardin on the back of the quilt.
Step one: stitch in all of the freehand lines.
Step two: stitch the star.
Step three: keep stitching

That’s the plan. Keep stichin’. I like how it’s coming along so far. Later this week I’ll show more of what’s happening below this.
So far I’m using only Kimono Silk, though at some point other thread will be added. In the bobbin I’m using Kimono silk as well. It’s a color I have a bit of and want to use up.

Have a great quilterly day!





Top Ten for Monday

radiance options fixHey there! It’s Monday. I’m going to my sewing room shortly (after my sweetie makes a delicious french bread, french toast breakfast).

I thought I’d do another top ten and today it’ll be fabric!

Fossil Ferns – I will always love Fossil Ferns by Patricia Campbell with Benartex this was the second mottled/textured line I fell in love with.

Marbles by Patrick Lose – another mottled line that has been with a couple of companies.

Kona Solids – I love the let me count the ways!!!

American Made Brand Solids – LOVE LOVE LOVE

Any of Paula Nadelsterns kaleidoscope fabric lines including Palindromes these are great from a teaching you to learn to free motion quilt

curved feather on black silkJinny Beyer fabric lines! again from a teaching quilting stand point these are fabulous and the variety of quilt blocks that comes from these prints is amazing

Stonehenge by Northcott – How I love thee let me count the ways. Every time I see the great variety of color and that stony texture I am happy! Cue music!

Toscana by Northcott another softly textured solid. Did I mention it’s softly textured? Oh my

Suede by P & B, oh me oh my.

I guess I have this thing for softly textured solid type fabrics.  I can’t leave out

Radiance by Robert Kaufman. Immediate Drool Response. I love the shiny and supple texture of this cotton silk blend. Then there’s the matte side with a depth of color that makes my heart go pitter pat!

Happy Monday y’all!


Don’t forget I’m teaching at the City Quilter Saturday September 13th – Let  Your Foot Loose be Fancy & Free.  It’s one of my favorite classes to teach. Oh heck they’re all my favorite classes to teach. Students are fun and amazing.

Whole cloth challenge and choosing fabric

radiance options fixSeriously I just wanted to post this picture again it just makes me happy. I realized too there is a color missing here. I have 3 yards of sky (baby) blue too. I don’t know how I missed that.
The other day when I posted this I was choosing between the copper and the purple, leaning toward the copper. Decision made, I’m going with the copper and the purple and  I’m going to use that sky blue on the back. Squeeeeeeeeeeee, I’m so excited. I have two plane rides in the next week so I’ll have some serious design time. Woot! Woot!
Thinking about choosing fabric and a couple of recent experiences reminded me of this post.
Psst, lean in closely I need to tell you something
are you leaning in because I’m going to whisper

I’m choosing the fabric I love, the colors I love because these make me happy.
while this project has 3 end goals:
1) it has a home already so it has to be very done well (its going to BERNINA #berninausa)
2) it will become a pattern and
3) I’ll figure that part along the way (learning is a good thing)

uhw wrought iron fence and gateI’m doing these (I’m making 2 – so I can figure out the things I need to for the pattern) because they make me happy! I’ll be showing one along the way to show you my process and how I think.
So thinking back to the post on helping quilters choose fabric – it’s your quilt, your rules choose what makes you happy! The other day I was working on a hand out for Go Mini or Go Home – giving quilters some clue what to choose for their quilt tops and wrote, “choose your favorite fabrics, your quilt needs to look like you!” Quilters we’re all unique individuals and different things give us great joy. I love stained glass and wrought iron. This picture is inspiring me. Oh the ideas are flowing for this whole cloth.

Have a happy and quilterly Friday!


PS – check out Lisa Calles blog. She made me laugh.