Sunday, May 17, 2015

New and exciting things

I've been absent for a couple of months.  End of the year state testing, 8th grade prom, Mayday, and 8th grade graduation have consumed all of my time for the last month or so.  Finally, the end of the school year has arrived and I can relax and focus on quilting.

A couple of really exciting things are happening with my quilting business.  

#1- I'm getting a new quilting machine.  My little APQS Lenni is getting traded in for a big APQS Millenium.  I will be able to do larger quilts and wider quilting designs. I am hoping it will be easy to learn so I can get caught up quickly.

#2- I am making a bunch of shop samples for a new shop called Quilters Hollow.  You might remember that I have been doing business with her and her online store.  Now she is getting an actual storefront in California. I've seen a few pictures. It is going to be really nice.

#3- I am going to Texas in June to attend a fabric dying workshop with the phenomenal Debra Linker.  If you haven't seen her fabulous fabrics, check her out on facebook.

I will try to update more frequently now that summer is arriving. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A partnership of sorts and a sneak peek of a new quilt

Some exciting news.  Sweet T's Custom Quilting and Quilter's Hollow  have entered into a partnership.  Every quilt kit that is purchased through Quilter's Hollow will be eligible for 20% off the cost of quilting at Sweet T's Custom Quilting.   Also, any quilter who has a quilt done by Sweet T's Custom Quilting will get a gift certificate for 20% of the cost of any quilt kit purchased through Quilter's Hollow.  It's a win-win situation.  You get an awesome new quilt kit and professional longarm quilting, and you save money on top of all that.  I can't wait to see the tops start arriving in the mail.  Barb has some awesome quilt kits and they are very reasonable priced.  Here is one that she listed for sale this morning.

Sunny Sunday quilt kit

More exciting news. The first of my quilt kits were listed for sale on my Facebook page and sold very quickly.  I will be spending the next week putting together new kits for sale.  I got some My Little Pony fabric that will make adorable kids' quilts.

Last bit of exciting news- From now until April 15th I am offering a SPRING special on quilting.  Send in two quilt tops.  Pay regular price to have one quilted, and pay only half the price for the second one.   Hurry because I'm sure to book up quickly with this deal. 

Finally, here is a sneak peek of something I am working on. It belongs to a lady in Virginia whom I did a few quilts for a couple years ago.  She made it for a graduation gift.  I have never seen wonky pinwheels before, but it is really cute.  I quilted whimsical designs on it.  I hope to be finished by Tuesday.

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Follow Me" is off to MQX in New Hampshire

Well, today I attached the hanging sleeve, filled out the required forms, and boxed up the quilt to send it the MQX show in New Hampshire.  This is a huge show and my quilt will be hanging right next to breath taking quilts made by some very famous quilters.  That is so exciting!  I don't know if it will win anything, but I did see that there is a category for photographer's favorite and an award for viewer's choice.  So, if you are at the show, vote for my quilt.  In case you can't get there, here are a couple of pictures of it.  Some of you will recognize it. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quilt accepted to MQX!

I'm so excited!  (Yes, I did just sing that as I typed it).   My quilt "Follow Me" was accepted into the MQX quilt show in New Hampshire in April.  It will hang next to quilts made by some of the most famous quilters in the world. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Something exciting coming up soon!

I have some exciting news.   I will soon be offering some quilt kits on this website.  I also have something special in the works, but I can't share yet.  Here's a hint.  It's like having your very own piecing instructor come to your house and give you personalized instructions on how to construct a quilt top while teaching you essential skills for quiltmaking.  Be watching for an official announcement soon.

In the meantime I have a few things to share with you.   Have you ever heard of Quilters Hollow?  They are a terrific fabric store that I have been dealing with lately.  Here is the link to their Facebook page: Quilters Hollow .  They are also getting a brand new website on March 11th.  I will be sure to post a link to that as soon as it opens.

Here is what I've been working on this weekend.  I had to make 18- 12.5" squares out of Kaffe Fassett fabrics for a block swap.  They are definitely bright and colorful.  I think I've decided that I like the Kaffe Fassett fabric, but I want to partner it with something more subtle- like Kona cotton or Moda Blenders.    Here's the picture. You might want to grab some sunglasses before you look at it.

I've also been working on a cute little chevron quilt made of scraps.  I didn't piece the top, but I'm having a blast quilting it.  Here's a picture.

The quilting designs are borrowed from Kathy at Tamarack Shack.  She does phenomenal work. 

I hope everybody is warm and dry.  May your ice and snow melt soon and love warm your heart.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow days- sew days

It snowed here on Sunday night- well, sleeted and then snowed- so we have been out of school this week.  I have used the time to finish some quilting, design a new pattern, and work on plans to build my business.  My Facebook account has over 1000 likes now.  I have picked up two new customers and had several inquiries. I just ordered 10 bolts of fabrics from Marshall Dry Goods and tons of yardage from Hancocks of Paducah.  I plan to put together some kits and offer those for sale, in addition to my quilting services and memory quilts.  I have asked and had some input about what people want in kits.  So far I've been told there is a need for first time quilts, baby quilts, bed quilts in blues, greens, and butter yellows, and quilts with a masculine feel. I hope to get all of those available in the next few months.  Be watching here and on Facebook for details as those come available.

Here are some pictures of the things I have quilted the last two days.

This table topper is from a pattern by Amanda Murphy Designs.  She even emailed me the embroidery files when I asked for them.  I tried to quilt it just like she did on the sample ones.  My favorite part is the curved crosshatch.  This was made for a Easter Table runner swap I signed up for. I wonder what I will get.

I took this picture before I added the teal blue binding.  My first attempt at scalloped binding. It was tough.
This little quilt was made by a brand new quilter, and my newest customer.   She did a very nice job on this.  I used Warm and Natural batting and pink thread on top and bottom. The pattern is from the Twirling Flowers pantograph by Lorien.  I had to modify it a little bit so I could go around her appliques. 
A new customer- her first quilt. Didn't she do a nice job?

Here is the back of her little quilt.

This is the view down our driveway today.  There's more snow expected tonight.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A group effort and a reminder to get your mammogram

As I mentioned some time ago, I have joined several online quilt groups since there are no quilt guilds nearby.    One of the members of one of the quilt groups recently posted that her boss has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  It's a horrible thing, and I think many of us know at least one person who has been affected by it.

Plans were quickly made to create a comfort quilt for this sweet lady, and everybody got busy stitching.  Within two weeks the blocks were made, mailed to an assembly person who added sashing and borders, and the top was sent back to me for a quick quilting job. 

This is the final result. I used the Cosmos board from Circle Lord and quilted on my APQS Lenni .   For batting I used one layer of washable wool and one layer of Warm and Natural.  The top thread is a pale pink and the bottom thread is lavender.

This is the block I made. It is called Rays of Hope.  Here is a link to the paper pieced pattern.

I really hope this little quilt gives the lady some comfort as she recovers from surgery and begins her radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  
Lastly,  here are a couple of funny things to think about as you call to schedule that test.
                                      know the drill.. But just in case... Play nice at all times BUT ...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fat Quarter Bundle Winner-UPDATE

I still have not heard from Michelle Johnston.  If I do not hear from her by February 15th, I will put all the names back into the random winner program and have the computer pick a new winner.

I recently posted a contest on my Facebook page asking for comments about the projects everybody is working on.  That contest ended on February 1st and one lucky lady will receive this bundle of Batik fat quarters.  The lucky winner is:  Michelle Johnston.  If you know Michelle, congratulate her for her win.  For a chance to win more of my giveaways, be sure to enter comments here and on Facebook.

My thoughts about swaps

I love block swaps, fabric swaps, round robins, etc.  I think it is a great way to have fellowship with other quilters and get the makings of an awesome new quilt, at the same time.  I have recently signed up for three block swaps and one table runner swap. 

Here are some of the things I like, and some of the things that I think need to be addressed.


-blocks from all over the world
-patterns that I would not normally make because they are too hard or too tedious
-a wide variety of patterns and colors in the fabrics
- personal notes and little gifties that are stuck in the packages with the blocks
- making new friends through technology
-checking the mail and finding a squishie package in there (it's like receiving a birthday present)

My concerns:
- using quality, quilt shop material and getting back blocks made of thin, cheap fabric
-getting blocks that smell like cigarette smoke (UGH!)
-getting blocks that are not the right size, even though the rules clearly state 12.5", or 10.5"
-getting two blocks, made by different people, that use the same fabric AND pattern
-sending my blocks on time and not getting blocks in return
- when am I ever going to have time to set all these blocks into quilts

Have you ever participated in any block swaps or fabric swaps?  If so, I'd love to hear your likes and/or concerns. Post a comment below.

Until next time,

Sunday, January 25, 2015


There were so many wonderful responses to the question about New Year's Resolutions.  I knew it would be hard to choose a winner- so I didn't.  I gave the job to my granddaughters.  They had to read all the comments and pick one person to win the FREE quilting job.  I'm not sure is they both agreed right away or not, but they called me to say they had chosen Stacy Szczepaniak  as the winner. 

Thanks to everybody who entered.  If you're looking for another contest to enter, jump over to my Facebook Page and enter to win a bundle of batiks.  I will choose a winner on February 1st.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Kaffe Fassett dilemma

I recently joined a Facebook block swap group to make blocks out of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.   I thought it sounded like a great idea, and I really like his fabrics.  When I signed up for it I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

There are two group options available.  The first group is making "cookie cutter pattern" houses. You know, the traditional house block and everybody's will look the same, except for color. Think Northwestern cul-de-sac sub division.  Every house looks just alike.   BORING!

So, crazy me signed up for the other option- a make any kind of house you want block swap.  Cool, I thought.  I can find some really wonky house pattern and make some awesome, artistic blocks that will knock their socks off.

Here is a picture of my first attempts:

Now, as you can see, the patterns are really cute.  The problem, however, is how to handle all those crazy prints.  By themselves, the prints are phenomenal- bright colors and abstract patterns.  I love the look of a stack of Kaffe Fassett fat quarters.  The problem is when you try to create something out of them.  I made several blocks.  These two are among the best.  In all honesty, I feel like the outhouse block is better than the little house/big tree block.

I think my problem comes from the fact that all my fabrics are the same value.  NOT the same color, but the same value.  They all read the same way in black and white, with the exception of the yellow one.  When viewed in grayscale, all the fabrics look medium to dark gray.

I think the only way to solve this problem is to buy more fabric, in a very light colorway.  I guess I will just have to make a trip to Paducah on Saturday.

Let's see, what do I need?  Light colored Kaffe Fassett yardage, Moda blenders in brights for a star block exchange I signed up for,  several more packages of Hobbs Polydown and Tuscany Silk (since I am out of those).  I saw that they have some fabric packs and kits on sale this week.    It sounds like I had better get busy making a list and cleaning out the trunk of the car.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Keeping the craft alive

One thing I think is very important is that we teach our younger generations how to sew, quilt, cook, and clean house.  Too many of our children feel that they are entitled to have everything without putting forth any effort for it. 

I am lucky to say that my granddaughters do not act like this, for the most part.  They realize that it takes hard work to get the things you want. They also know you don't always get the things you want, but you will always have the things you need.  As they are getting older it is becoming more challenging to remind them of this.

One thing both of the girls love to do is craft... anything.  They are both very imaginative and love to make things out of whatever they can find.  The oldest GD wants to be a fashion designer. She has already created a few of her own designs.  For Christmas this year she got several design books, some fabric and ribbon from Joann fabrics, and a miniature dressmaker's model (Barbie doll sized).

The younger GD is just learning to sew.  She wants to be a quilter, not a fashion sewer.  While they were here visiting for Christmas, I showed her how to piece squares into a little quilt. She did a very good job keeping her seams even and mostly straight.  Then we layered it with cotton batting and backing fabric and she quilted it on the domestic machine. She made a little mini quilt, just perfect for her Barbie dolls. Yesterday, before they headed back to Texas, she wanted to make another one.  There wasn't enough time, but she did start on one she can finish when they come back to visit during the summer.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!! What are your resolutions for 2015? (A Contest)

Well, 2014 is behind us.   That's really hard to believe.  It seems like it flew by.  I can honestly say I didn't do anything spectacular or memorable in 2014.   Is that a bad thing?   Maybe, maybe not.   I do have some resolutions for 2015, though.

#1.  I would like to finish at least one quilt project a month for me or my family.

#2. I would like to gain at least one new quilt customer per month in 2015.  I'm still working on the best way to do that.  I am getting more likes on my Facebook page, and a few more subscribers to this blog; so maybe I'm on the right track.

#3.  I would like to enter at least one quilt competition this year.   I said that last year, and even pieced a stunning top, but never finished it or did anything further.

My wishes for 2015, which are not the same as resolutions because they probably are impossible, include:

#1  Gaining enough quilting business to quit my teaching job and just work part time at Joann Fabrics.

#2  Losing 40 pounds without starving or exercising.

#3 Convincing my husband that we need to go on a real vacation this spring or early summer- camping or to the beach or out west somewhere

What are your resolutions?  What are your wishes?  Post your responses below.  One lucky person will win a free edge to edge quilting job (or half price on custom quilting).  That's what Vickie did to get her Santas quilted last month. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Even though it was not finished before Christmas, I finally got Vickie's Classic Santa quilt finished.  She was not in a rush for it, but I would have liked to get it back to her before the holidays.  The top thread and bobbin thread are Linen colored, which is a little bit off white.  Vickie sent Warm and White batting. I added a layer of polyester to give the quilting a little bit more pop. 

Each Santa has a different background fill behind him. There is a little bit of quilting on each of the Santas, just to help anchor them in place. I used clear monofilament for that.

 The star blocks have different outline and line dancing designs, with a few flowers, leaves, and loops mixed in.

The back is a red tone on tone fabric.  The white bobbin thread really shows the different quilting designs (along with any mistakes I made).