Sunday, February 15, 2015

Wow It's Been A Long Time

I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted.  A year ago I was hired to work at Village Dental Group fulltime.  ( I love my job) But, that took a chunk out of my life of quilting and fun.  So now I am trying to finish up a quilt that I have been working on for 1 1/2 years.  I found the pattern in a magazine.  It's a pattern by Mark Lipinski whom I totally love.  The pieceing took forever because it was curved piecing.  I had to make 56 blocks I believe.  I used a bright white with chevrons on it and Marcia Derse fabrics.  I am loving how this quilt looks and can't wait to finish it.  Trying to decide if I want to quilt it or have it quilted.
Part of it on the design wall

I used sharpie to draw on my ruler for accuracy in cutting. 

My other love has been running.  If you follow me on facebook you can pretty much see 
what I have been doing.  Thanks to some friends Jen Buettner and Lisa Garms I started running last June and have never felt physically better in my life.  Including losing 15 lbs.  

This is the reason I started running.  I was so excited to run in the Breast Cancer Run down
at the lakefront in Sept.  Unfortuenately because of a hip injury I couldn't run but I walked the 5 K.
We really had a blast!!  I'm so looking forward to this year 2015.  I pray no injuries!

Last week I ran a virtual race for American Heart Association.  I ran it at the Petit Ice Center where there is a running track around the ice rink.  

This photo was from the Run From The Cops race in Waukesha.  That was my 2nd 5K .

Just because it is winter doesn't mean you can run.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. And what I know..

I'm sorry to see the Bigfork Bay Cotton Co website go.. Along with their wonderful patterns. I'm sorry if you have a pattern and can't get the corrections ( if there were some). I'm sorry you can't see the color swatches.. And above all I'm so sad to see them go. Hopefully at a later date the company might be back. In the meantime I have a lot of patterns on my Etsy shop.  And I just ordered some of the last patterns I could find of Toni Whitney's BFBCC patterns. So let me know if you need any. Check my etsy shop.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bigfork Bay Cotton Co and Crazy Quilters Show

Don't forget I will be vending next weekend at the Crazy Quilters show in Mukwonago. I will have the last of the BFBCC patterns (kits) since I can't get many of them anymore. I am also teaching a class on BFBCC patterns at Ben Franklin May 30th. So you can buy and pattern or kit and come to the class and I'll help you put it together.. Call Ben Franklin Crafts to sign up . 
(262) 567-0271
I have a few of these new Toni Whitney patterns and kits.  I'll be working on the turtles while I'm there.. They are my favorite. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Not Quilt Related.. Laura's World Famous B. S.

Everytime I post on Facebook I'm cooking brussel sprouts everyone wants the recipe.  So I'm going to post it here and then I don't have to keep writing it up on Facebook.. I can just give them the link..
I usually buy a big bag of Brussel Sprouts at Sams.. Because after I make them I eat them hot or cold and they disappear quite quickly.
Cut ends off BS and if they are large cut them in half. 

Add canola oil or sesame oil  to the bottom of a large pan.  Not too much
just enough to cover about half the bottom of the pan.
Saute the BS for about 5 minutes in the oil. 

Add about ( and notice I always say about because I am the type of cook that
never measures anything) So add about 1/2 cup water.  Put the lid on and
let simmer 5 minutes ( or there about.. Ha!!) 

Remove cover and add the balsamic dressing. Today I used apple and cherry.
If I was a guessing gal I guess I add about 1/4 cup.  Or a bit more.
It depends on how much you want to flavor them. 

I saute/simmer them until all the liquid is gone and then let them cook
until they are almost burnt.  They get black from the balsamic but,
I also like to burn the little outside pieces that come off the BS.
Sorry this is not the clearest photo. 

If you have a Breast Cancer plate eat them off of that.. They taste better
and it's for a good cause.. There you have it.. Laura's World Famous BS!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Can't Stay Away...

I am missing vending so much I called and got the last spot for the Crazy Quilters show in Mukwonago.. Parkview Middle School
Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. is up for sale again.  You will not be able to get anymore of the patterns with the fabric.  I have some of the last ones.  Please visit me at the show.  I'm looking forward to it..

Crazy Quilters 27th Annual Show
Saturday, April 26 - Sunday, April 27, 2014 
New Information Available!
Our 2014 show is approaching fast!  Don't delay, enter today! 
        DOWNLOAD our Flyer!
        Entry Details:  Click here  to print the entry form and instructions. 
        Attendance Details:         
         - Saturday, April 26, 9am - 5pm 
 - Sunday, April 27, 10am - 4pm
 - Parkview Middle School, 930 N Rochester St, Mukwonago WI (See MAP)
 - Lunch is available both days. 
 - Admission is $5.00 per day, $8.00 for both days.  Children under 10 are free.
Show Features:
 - A Quilt Raffle featuring a beautiful red and white queen-sized quilt: “It’s for the Birds” (picture available soon)
 - A Sewing Machine raffle featuring a Bernina sewing machine donated by Bigsby’s
 - A Vendor Mall with over 20 merchants bringing the latest in fabric, notions, books and quilting supplies
 - Quilt appraisals by a certified quilt appraiser.
To schedule an appointment, please send email to, attention Bonnie,
     and include your contact information.
 - A Bed Turning featuring 15 “never before seen” quilts from the Mukwonago Red Brick Museum. 
 - A “Red and White” Boutique. All proceeds go to the Mukwonago Red Brick Museum.
 - Bargain Bins filled with new and gently used "treasures"!
More information also available on our Facebook Page!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

On Cloud Nine

I have recently found out that my quilt "My Blue Heeler, Rosie" that was in the It's Raining Cats and Dogs exhibit in Houston last fall has been chosen to be in the magazine Quiltmania.  It is a French quilting magazine.  They did an article on the International Quilt Festival and showed about 35 quilts.
My quilt was one of them.. I am so humbled to grace the same page with Caryl Bryer Fallert -Gentry, Jane Sassaman, a artist from France and one from Japan.  This is a true thrill for me.. Thank you Quiltmania!!

Quiltmania Magazine Jan/Feb issue 2014 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Beginning

It has been awhile since I have posted.  I have a few "new" things going on in my life.  First and foremost I have a new job.  I'm working for a dental clinic in Menomonee Falls.  I worked a bit last week but, I officially start on Feb. 10th.  I'm really excited to get back into the dental field.
I'm still going to be teaching some classes and giving some lectures.
I have some classes at Ben Franklin in Oconomowoc coming up this spring.  You can see them here.

So I think after these the rest of the year I might be taking a bit of a sabbatical.  I plan on a trip to Houston at the end of Oct. for the International Quilt Show.  
I'm hoping to hear from Quilt Expo and IQA Chicago.  

I will be giving a lecture at the Winter Quilt Show in West Bend.  Sat. Feb. 22  For more info on that show go here. 
And for those of you looking for Bigfork Bay Patterns Anne has been nice enough to carry some in her booth on that day.  I will be giving another class on Bigfork Bay at Ben Franklin in May.  

I'm also teaching Thread Painting/Sketching at Material Matters on March 1, 2014.  

I will be keeping my job as a server at Pizza Vino for awhile or ??? I do like working there but, I don't want to burn myself out.  

Also if you or anyone you know of are interested in African fabrics.  I am selling my collection.  It is over 7 lbs. of fabric.  I'm asking $120 plus shipping.  These are high quality fabrics.  Many with gold gelding on them.  I have used what I needed and they are just taking up space in my studio.  Please contact me if you are interested.  See photos below. 

Hope to see you at one of these classes or shows.  Happy 2014!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

It's Raining Cats And Dogs

For those of you who missed going to Houston this year... We are very lucky to have The Quilt Show to share the photos of the exhibit.  I was honored to have a quilt in this exhibit.  Along with some of the most talented artists that I have admired for years.  Here is the link for the slide show.  
It's Raining Cats and Dogs Exhibit

Friday, November 15, 2013

It's November

I have a few things to say today...
First off I am so thankful for all of you who continue to support me in my teaching endeavor.  It is truly a love of mine.
I am thankful for friends and family and thankful to God for giving me all that I have.

Today I just wanted to share a great tip I saw on Fons and Porter the other day.  When I sew a seam and I have other seams I have to go over I always wanted the seam to point towards the machine.  Well, I found out that if you have a seam point away from you it is less likely that it will slip and cause the seams to be out of line.
See on the photo the seam I am about to sew over is pointing away from me.  And that makes for more accuracy.  Makes sense!! I thought this was a very good tip.

I want to wish you all a very Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Sewing over a seam that is pointing towards the needle makes for less slipping and more accurate seams. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Last Vending Show

I just wanted to let everyone know that this weekend I will be vending at the North Shore Quilt Guild show.  You can read about it here.  I will have the Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. quilt patterns and kits with me along with some Toni Whitney patterns and kits and a few from Wildfire Designs.  I will continue to sell these patterns on my Etsy shop.  Or you can call me or email me if you need a pattern.  You can also buy direct from the companies.  I have enjoyed vending so much that who knows if I might go back to it in a year or so.  But, as of now I think the midwest knows about Bigfork Bay Cotton Company and their patterns.  I will continue to lecture and give workshops to guilds.  That is what I love doing the most.  So if you ever want me to come to your guild  just drop me a line or give me a call.  And thanks for all your support these past two years.

October 26 -27th
Nicolet High School
6701 Jean Nicolet Drive
Glendale, WI 53209
100 + Quilts
Quilt Appraisals by Carol Butzke

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Curvy And Other Quilts

I'm working on a quilt that I am afraid might take me years.  I saw this pattern Curvy by Mark Lipinski in the Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine.  May June 2013 issue.. I was intrigued by it.  And decided right then and there I wanted to make it.  I have been collecting Marcia Derse  fabrics for years now.  I finally have a purpose for them.  Right now I have made strip pieces and have cut out 7 curved pieces from the strips.  I have 280 curved pieces to now sew together.  ( see the photos below) Thank goodness retreat is coming up this month.  That is only one of my projects. 
I am also working on putting the finishing touches on my dog and cat postcards for Houston. 
I am starting a new quilt with the latests Tula Pink fabrics called Acacia.  I fell in love with the Racoons..  
I am also taking along a strip quilt I want to make.  It is in the book Strip Therapy 9 and it is on the cover.  For you locals that book is available at Patched Works in Elm Grove.  My favorite quilt shop!! It uses bali pops and then a background fabric.  Patched Works also carry beautiful Bali Pops.  
And then my final project I am taking along is making a Star Table Runner by Common Bias Quilting . (See my star below)   I met Susan up at a show in Minoqua ( in August) and she challenge me to make a star by the time I see her in Madison ( in Sept.).. I made it and I loved the technique using her easy templates.  The stars float on the surface of the quilt.  
So why am I writing all of this.  I think I am turning into a traditional quilter!!  Just kidding.  I love doing both but, right now I have been in the piecing mode.  And of course these projects are easier to take on retreat than an art quilt.  As far as my art quilts go I am starting one for a challenge with West Suburban Quilt Guilds Show  March 14 and 15th 2014.  I know just what I am going to make.  Remember that photo with the squirrel in the popcorn container?  Let me refresh your memory ( see below) 
I couldn't end this post without reminding you that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month.. Please be sure to take the time ( both women and men) to do a self exam or get your mammogram.  I'm happy to have celebrated 16 years cancer free this summer.  All because I did a self exam.  And that was a long time ago before they were really promoting self exams.  Remember I was only 39 at the time.  So start early!!  

Star made with templates from Common Bias Quilting. 

280 curved pieces ready to sew into strips of 5.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

SAQA Auction

Only 2 more days until the SAQA Auction will be over.. I am happy to say that my dog quilt "Billy" made $150 for SAQA.. That is always so exciting.  You can see the auction quilts here..  Quilts go down to $150 tomorrow at 2pm and then $75 Sat. at 2pm.  All of the quilts are pretty amazing... I bought 2 last year and just love them.
I am excited to say there is an article in the Fall SAQA Journal about collecting quilts.  The author of the article asked me about my collecting experience and you can read about it and see some of the quilts I have collected.  The organization is so good for me.. There is so much information on the website, in the journals, and the yahoo group is always buzzing about something... Consider joining SAQA.  You will be happy if you do.  If you have any questions please send me an email.  I might have the answer.. If I don't know it I can get it for you.  All of the artists are willing to share their knowledge.  Here is my quilt Billy that was sold last week..

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Hi all... I'm so excited to show you the most recent quilt pattern from Toni Whitney.  Sea Turtles.  Most of you know how much I love turtles and tortoises so I am thrilled with this new pattern and can't wait to make it.  
I have a very busy schedule coming up.  I'm vending at the Quilts in Bloom show  in Hoffman Estates on Sept. 20 and 21

I'll be giving a lecture in McHenry on Oct. 3rd with a possible workshop on the 5th.  

I go on retreat to Green Lake (Pilgrim Center) with my guild Oct. 17 - 20

I will be vending at the Northshore quilt guild show Autumn Splendor on Oct. 26 and 27

So if you like the pattern and want to purchase one either visit me at one of the shows or shoot me an email.  You will love it.. 

I have a retreat coming up in Dec.  5- 8th... at my friend Chris Daly new quilt retreat.  Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, Wisconsin .. if you would like to join us visit the website and sign up and pay.. We are going to have a really great time...

I had a great time at Quilt Expo in Madison!!  I think my lecture on Thread Sketching and Bead Embellishment went over very well.. I had so many nice comments.  Here I am showing Machingers Gloves to the students.  It was very hot on Saturday so I was kind of dressed casual...

Here is a photo I took of my quilt Zak that was in the show. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A New Quilt Retreat in Wisconsin

My good friend Chris Daly who is owner of Dye Candy has just purchased a great place in northern Wisconsin for Quilt Retreats.  I just have to share the info because I am so excited and plan to get there hopefully very soon..
I would love for you to take a stroll through her blog post about the retreat.  You will be amazed.  I wish Chris all the best!!
You can read about and see photos of Woodland Retreat at the Dye Candy link below.  Or just click on
Woodland Retreat

So you love beautiful hand dyed fabrics check out her shop Dye Candy
Chris will be vending at Quilt Expo Sept. 5, 6, and 7.  I will be helping in her booth when I can.. so I hope to see you there..

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quilt Expo in Madison - in 2 weeks

I'm very excited to once again be giving a couple lectures at Expo this year.  I'm also very excited and can't wait to see the quilts.  This is a great show and I hope you can get there.  

Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center
Madison, Wis.

Getaway to Quilt Expo  
Now in its ninth year, Quilt Expo continues to be an ideal opportunity for quilters to get away, connect with quilting friends, be inspired, learn fresh techniques and discover what’s new in the quilting world. Plan to escape to rejuvenate your quilting spirit by making Quilt Expo your fall destination.
With an abundance of comfortable accommodations, eclectic dining and extraordinary shopping, the greater Madison area offers attendees the perfect three-day getaway.
To learn about driving directions, hotels, services and attractions in the greater Madison area, visit the Quilt Expo website or refer to page 17 of the Advance Registration Guide.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How I started Sewing/Quilting Blog Hop

My mother was not a quilter.  My grandmother was not a quilter.  I think I only had one aunt that quilted and I really wasn't interested.
In 2000 I started rubber stamping cutesy cards.  I went to a Stampin Up party and I was hooked.  About a year and a half later I got into Mixed Media.  That lasted about a year or so.  June of 2003 I had my first sewing machine.  I was making fabric postcards and little fabric atcs and trading them.  I got hooked on Quilting Arts magazine and had to own all of the back issues.  ( and all of the supplies, and still do)!  I talked my sister in getting a sewing machine too.  And we both took our first quilting classes at Patched Works in Elm Grove Oct. 2003.  You can see my first quilt below.
My first quilt... Fun Patches pattern

My teacher was Lisa Garms.  She really encouraged us to dive right in.. And I did.  I tried some fancy variegated free motion... And some fancy stitches in the ditch.

So it was ok... not sure I was really in love with it.. It didn't look like anything I saw in Quilting Arts Magazine.  
Sooo the local Tech college had some classes.. One was called Parallelisms taught by Chris Kirsch 
I signed up for the class April 2004.  I really love the technique and fusing.  She was a great teacher.  We fused fabric and then cut them into little strips.  Fused them to fabric,  added some fancy fabrics and I even couched some rattail cord to it.  Wow.. what a mess but, a pretty mess.. I was so proud.  I never named it.. so I'll call it John Doe #1

My first art quilt
I started to steer more to the art quilts.  I started making them really not knowing what I was doing.  I took many classes and a Seminar with Ricky Tims.  I think he changed my life.  Even though I wasn't fond of traditional quilts he made them easy... Slash and then sew them back together.. it's called CAVEMAN QUILTING.  Crazy Mixed up Chicken was born.  Using the Luella Doss fabrics which I thought were really wild.
Maggie Gordon a quilting friend told me to put this quilt into the show in Cedarburg.  She actually grabbed it from me and took it there herself.  And it won 2nd place.  It was my first ribbon.  I was so happy.
Crazy Mixed Up Chicken

So this is the beginning of my quilting career.  I could go on and on and tell you all about the rest of the nine years after that but I won't.. What I will tell you is what is going on with my quilting now.  And if you want to hear the rest of the nine years my sister and I have a lecture called The Tale of Two Sisters, One Wild and One Crazy. 

I'm still making art quilts.  And making traditional quilts.  ( I have a secret love for them but, I am horrible at quarter inch seams.)  I'm getting better.. they say practice makes perfect.  
Lately I am trying to write some patterns of some Cats and Dogs.  Making them into a workshop.  I have 2 patterns currently Daisy and Dexter.  
My quilt Zak will be hanging at Quilt Expo Sept. 5-7th.  He is one of my most recent quilts.  And 


"Beauty" can be seen in Grand Rapids as part of the Ultimate Guild Challenge with the Milwaukee Art Quilters.

My Quilt called My Blue Heeler, Rosie will be traveling to Houston and will be in an exhibit called It's Raining Cats and Dogs...I am thrilled.  
I will continue to quilt as long as I can because I am hooked!!  Everything about quilting has enriched my life. I have great quilty friends.  I have made some beautiful quilts.  I have bought some beautiful quilts.  Including some very cool vintage quilts.  Traveling to quilt shows and meeting other quilters has been so exciting and fun.  
And one more thing.  Raising money with quilts.  Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is doing a great job auctioning off quilts for Alzheimer's.  I have a quilt traveling for five years in their exhibit Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.
And Studio Art Quilt Association has an amazing auction of quilts made by the members. The auction starts Monday Sept. 9th.  You can go here for more information.

So I am posting this because of a wonderful friend I have meet through quilting had a great idea to do a blog hop.  Cheryl Sleboda is one of the neatest quilter friends I have met.  She loves to share and comes up with these great ideas.. So I would like to share with you the entire list of blogs that you can go to and see what possessed others to go down this crazy path of quilting.  Please visit their blogs and read their stories.. You won't be disappointed.  

Aug 1. Cyndi Zacheis Souder -
Aug 2. Becky Glasby -
Aug 5. Jackie White -
Aug 6. Tracy Mooney -
Aug 9. Catherine Redford -

So I suppose you would get away without seeing one of my more recent traditional quilts. Well, here you go.. Traditional with a Modern look. How do you like that pink paint on the wall.. It's a wonder my daughter got any sleep at all in that room... :-)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Upcoming Show in Minoqua

Hi all...I hope you are enjoying your summer. We have had one beautiful day after another. A little hot at times but, hey isn't that what summer is all about?
I'm going to be vending at the Ladies of the Lake show in Minoqua next weekend. I'm also very excited about it because my sister in law lives up there and I will be able to spend some time with her and my mother in law.. who is going with me. Some of you may not know but, Bigfork Bay Cotton Co. is up for sale. The future is unpredictable right now. I will continue to sell patterns and teach the technique. So many patterns use the same technique. I'm planning on opening an Etsy shop this fall. I am not sure about vending next year as of right now. I have also picked up some of Toni Whitney's patterns that she sells on her website. I'm very excited to be carrying those. So if you get up to the show stop by and say Hi.
I am carrying Liberty patterns and patterns with fabric.
This poppy pattern and kit.
Mistral which I only had the pattern.. now have the kit. Also Pride and Joy and Flo Flo which I only had the pattern.
Also a few other patterns from her.

I also want to tell you about the corrections on the Bigfork Bay Cotton Co page. If you have a pattern I would suggest before you start working on it go to the BFBCC website and on the very bottom click on the Corrections. Just in case your pattern may have one. See you soon..