Month: January 2017


The first item on my list to do after the holidays was to finish the quilt my 4 year old granddaughter and I started to work on last summer.  Both she and and her brother created their own artwork on fabric squares with textile markers for their quilts.  He is a bit older so his artwork was a little more involved.  Check out the August section in the archives of this blog for instructions and marker resources for the artwork blocks.

Ella was very definite about the colors she was going to use on her blocks which dictated the fabrics used on the quilt.  I had a nice stash of  Cotton+Steel scraps leftover from the projects I made for my upcoming book, Thimbleberries with a New Attitude.  (The release date is March 1, 2017 and I will keep you posted if that changes.)  The fabrics are whimsical and with juvenile images and perfect colors for a little girl’s quilt that blended well with her artwork.  She was determined to just have hearts, flowers and rainbows on her blocks, which is exactly what she did.  Both she and Taylor wanted a “cozy” backing so I used a lightweight fleece on the back which you can see in the photo below. IMG_0675 IMG_0672

I am not sure she will remember drawing these blocks for the quilt, but I certainly will.  It was a fun activity this summer at the cabin on a rainy day afternoon now and then.  When all else failed, we could always work on our quilt blocks.  Now, I must work on labels for the quilts.  These are two that really need to be documented.

When I finish a quilt top, I prepare the binding immediately.  All too often, the fabric I wanted to use for a binding would have been used for something else before the top was quilted.  This way, I can get started on the binding immediately after the quilting is done.IMG_0671


This time of the year is an ideal time to get some serious things done in the sewing room. You know, all the unfinished projects laying around that just need a few more hours to wrap up. Then, there are all of those kits you bought with perfectly good intentions that are still waiting for your attention.  On my list is also those very un-fun mending projects that take time but are not so enjoyable so they really get ignored until I am just too sick of sorting and stacking them one more time.  When done, I feel great…just like when the ironing is all caught up. This time of year I have a good amount of cloth napkins to iron and get back in the dining room cupboard drawers.

Here is a baby quilt I put together with charm squares and 2″ (cut size) strips of scrap fabrics as well as scraps to piece the backing.  This always feels the best…using up random fabrics that come together in a great scrap quilt.IMG_0659

IMG_0660For this quilt,  I used the same 2″(cut size) strips sewn end to end for the middle border.  The strips were left over from piecing the center of the quilt, so they are random sizes. I then added the pieced strip borders after bordering the center with a cream 2″ (cut size) border that “set off” the pieced center.  When this is done in a quilt design, I refer to it as a “floating” border.  It creates visual space without adding another design or color element.  All in all, I am pretty pleased with the quilt. I think it is fun, cheery and very functional.

Start digging, I am sure there are the makings for a cute little quilt at your finger tips.


Happy New Year everyone.  The years seem to fly by.  January is always the month that is quite peaceful for me.  Our weather is challenging to say the least, so this is the month that we have very few visitors from other parts of the country.  Who am I kidding…nobody travels to MN in January.  It is a popular time to leave for the remainder of the winter.  We, however, are not “snowbirds”…sticking it out here in the cold.  However, I have always looked at January as “my month”…the perfect time for what I want to do in the house.  Since I don’t have any chores in the yard to do and no cabin activity going on, and no business commitments or travel,   it means a lot of reorganization goes on and new sewing and art projects get started.  It would also be nice to finish up those that got started and set aside for some reason or another.

One of the projects I am going to wrap up this next week is the quilt I am making with the blocks my 4 year old granddaughter, Ella, drew this summer at the cabin.  I finished Taylor’s last September.  It took Ella awhile longer to draw her blocks so they got set aside just before Thanksgiving when all things get put away until after the holidays.   All of a sudden it is January and she is inquiring about her quilt.

This means I am off to my local quilt shop, Quilt Haven on Main, to pick up a piece of cozy backing for her quilt.  I am so very lucky to have a fabulous quilt shop in my community.  And, I suggest that if you have one near you or close by to make sure you shop locally to make sure all the small quilt shops stay in business.  For years, quilters have found countless bits of inspiration, encouragement, classes, seminars and friendship at independent quilt shops and I am no different.  Even if you just need your spirits lifted, a walk through a quilt shop will do it.

Recently I took a few snapshots at Quilt Haven on Main  while shopping there over the holidays.  The shop is always full of great displays, the newest fabrics, books and patterns and the staff is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.img_0580


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Who wouldn’t be inspired with all these lovely samples.  Now, if you are not one of the lucky ones that has a local quilt shop, you can become a valued customer at Quilt Haven on Main by receiving their email newsletter or better yet, take a road trip to Hutchinson, MN and enjoy a nice long visit at the store.  They would be happy to become your “local quilt shop”.  Quilt Haven on Main is located at 7 North Main Street in downtown Hutchinson.  Contact information… or 888-843-8215 or 320-587-8341.