Saturday, August 26, 2017

1600 Race (making a quilt out of a jelly roll... quick!!)

Oconomowoc Quilt guild had an interesting meeting last week.  We had a race to make 1600 quilts.  I never even heard of them until the month before.  We had 7 machines at least 3 people at a machine.  A jelly roll of strips were sewn together end to end.  We had to fold it in half and sew a 1/4 " seam the length of the strips.  Then you fold it again ( cutting the folded end) and sew the 2 and 2 strips together.  Then you have 4 strips.  You fold it again and cut the loop and sew again.  And you do this until you have a quilt.  It took about 45 minutes.  This is a great way to make quilts for comfort.  Donation quilts.  So if you are looking for something fun to do at one of your guild meetings have a 1600 Race!!  Everyone's a winner!!  I found some instructions I added below. 

I found these Instructions on the Web.  
Jelly Roll 1600” Instructions
Instructions courtesy of Heirloom Creations
Note: instructions follow for making the quilt top as a race. If you are doing it on your own, at your own pace, just proceed through each step normally.

Advance Prep:
Your pit crew needs to have the following items on hand: one jelly roll or 40 strips that are 2 1/2” x 40′′, scissors, thread, one full bobbin of Aurifil thread and one iron.
Shuffle jelly roll strips to mix up the colors. Most pre-selected jelly rolls roll like colors together. For this quilt, the outcome will look better with a randomized order. Prints with an up or down look will not matter which way they are sewn.

Warm Up Lap:
Sew all 2 1/2” strips on a diagonal into one long strip. (Like 
sewing binding together).
Before the Green Flag Drops...
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP... From one end, cut off 18′′ of the sewn together strip and throw it away. This will randomize the location of the diagonal seams throughout the quilt.

********* Green Flag = GO! *********This is where the race will start!
Find the beginning and ending of the 1,600′′ long strip. Placing each of the ends right sides together, start sewing. This will be the longest seam. When the end is reached, cut the jelly roll strip apart and finish the seam.

Pit Stop #1
The strip will now be 800” long. No need to press; it can be all be done at the end.
Lap #2
Locate the beginning and end of the 800” strip and start sewing them together. When the end is reached, cut the jelly roll strip apart and finish the seam.
Repeat the same process a total of five times! Each “lap” will take half the time to sew as the lap before!
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Press all seams the same direction and trim sides even. Borders are totally optional. I personally like the size that this quilt finishes without adding anything extra. Just quilt and bind as desired.
Where can I find pictures and more detailed instructions on making the jelly roll quilt?
Please visit: (race & quilt instructions & race video) (video showing how to make the quilt) Tips for smaller and larger quilts using the same jelly roll strip process are posted in several discussion
blogs at:
Search on “jelly roll quilt 1600 baby”, for instance, then read through the discussion sessions for suggestions.
How big is the finished quilt top?
Your quilt top will be 48” x 64” assuming you start with 40 2 1⁄2” strips. Adding borders is an optional finishing touch that will also make the quilt top bigger.
Do I need to donate my quilt-top or finished quilt to Ronald McDonald House?
If you’ve used your own fabric /jelly roll strips - of course not! That is entirely your choice. However, if you are considering donating, it does make a great donation to a worthwhile charity. Jelly roll quilts are fun to begin with, and this pattern will be especially cheering to a sick child.
If you’ve used fabric/jelly roll strips provided by BPQ/Charity, then yes, we encourage you to turn in your finished quilt-top or quilt at a BPQ meeting to donate back to The Ronald McDonald House. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

AQS Quilt Show in Paducah

Did I say FUN?  Yes I did!!   

I just wanted to touch on our trip, my first trip to Paducah to the AQS show.  I was lucky to have gone with 2 very special women.  Chris and Eileen.  Chris has been going to Paducah for so many years I lost track.  Every year she helps hang the quilts and take them down.  What a wonderful experience that was for me.  Up close and personal with the wall quilts.  I did't take many photos because I bought the show book
On our way in to Paducah Chris pointed out the Flying Geese ( the bridge)  It was especially neat because the Quilt Museum's challenge this year for New Quilts from Old Favorites was Flying Geese block.  I was excited to go to the museum to see Chris's quilt.  Hers was picked to be in the show and travel for 4 years along with the other quilts.  They were all pretty amazing.  a link to the Museum's website.  A link to the book you can buy with the quilts from the Flying Geese Exhibit.  I personally love these books and buy them every year.

Let me talk about food for a minute.  Chris knew
all the good restaurants and coffee shops.  We had Bubble Tea and some really good meals.  I especially loved the Mexican Restaurant that we lived above for the week.

The show was so much fun and so were the classes I took.  Chris had a display of her quilts and she included mine in the window of the Mexican restaurant down below our bed and breakfast. The owner Paul who also owns the bed and breakfast made it so nice for us to display our quilts.
Chris's quilts and book in the window

My quilt in the window with Chris's

I know there were a lot more great times there I'm just trying to make this short. 
I hope to go again maybe in a few years.  I got a few things from the vendors that 
needed and was looking for.  All in all I did pretty well shopping.  I came home 
with money.
Flying Geese Bridge

Show Catalog

Friday, May 12, 2017

To Featherweight or not To Featherweight ?

My beautiful Featherweight Machine. 
About 5 years ago I had an itch to buy a Featherweight sewing machine.  So I scanned Craigslist and finally found one in Oconomowoc.  I went out to the womens house and she was so nice.  Showed me all about the machine and off I went.  It sat around the house for awhile then I thought I better get it cleaned.  So I took it to Franks and Brad cleaned him for me.  ( I call mine a him.)  I'm still thinking of a name for HIM.  All the other gals I know name thier Featherweights.  After a few weeks I thought I would sew with it.. It is so different from the newer machines.  You have to put the thread in the needle from the side.  So there.. I sewed with it a bit and then it sat in my basement in the box for a few years. Because at that time I thought I needed the sewing machine with all the bells and whistles.

So a few weeks ago I took a class on Featherweights at My Material Matters from my friend Joan Cain.  I would recommend this class to everyone.  I learned so much.  We oiled our machines and learned when and where to oil it.  Joan had great hand outs that showed us everything about our machine.  After we did the oiling ( one drop in each spot) we sewed with our babies.  Mine was alittle clunky.  But,  they suggested a new needle and just to keep sewing with it.  So now my Featherweight is sitting on my kitchen table and I'm sewing a bit and oiling everyday.  Now he purrs like a kitten.
I'm planning on using my Featherweight a lot more now.  Joan even does her quilting with her Featherweight.. of course for her they are like potato chips.. she does not have only ONE!!  Yes, they can be addicting!  And someday I am going to buy myself a white one.  Oh and if you see colored ones.  You can get Red, Blue, Purple, Orange... those are painted.  They are sooo pretty.. So here is my Baby.... along with the Spool Pin doily.  I think I am hooked!!

He is getting new clothes

Spool Pin Doily

You all know how much I love purple.  This could be my next machine.. Some day!! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Little Bit of Quilting....

I have been so sick for the past 2 weeks but,  finally yesterday I was feeling good and since it was National Quilting Day I thought for sure I would get some quiliing done.
I left in the morning and visited my favorite quilt shop Patched Works in Elm Grove to try and find the perfect batik for my panel quilt that I am working on for the challenge with Oconomowoc Quilt Guild.  I could't find the perfect batik in the 2 1/2 containers of batiks that my sister gave me.  I did however find one I liked.  This was it.

So I took it to Patched Works to look for the perfect batik and I was very lucky to 
have found it.  It was bright.  Most of the other multi colored batiks were too dark.  
This one was perfect as you are about to see.

And as long as I was there thought I would pick up a backing.  I was going to go minky but, ended up with a beautiful turquoise flannel.  I thought with this color it could be a quilt for a girl or a boy. 

I finally did get a chance to work on my panel quilt today.  I was having a emotional day and knew I needed to go into the studio and make some art.. 
So here is what I have so far.  I really like it.  I have had this panel for many years and I hope that this quilt can bring a smile to the guilds face and whoever recieves it.  Of course I am not finished yet.  I'm going to be adding some more borders and who knows what else I might come up with. 

If you are in the Oconomowoc area and would like to join a great group.  Oconomowoc Quilters is really fun.  We have a retreat every year at the Pilgrim Center in Green Lake.  And we meet the 3rd Thursday of the month at Lord of Life church on Hwy P. and Lake St.  All are Welcome.  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

T Shirt Quilts

So the past 1 1/2 weeks I have been sick on the couch.  And I'm still not 100%.  So I missed my usual Friday post.  I just wanted to show you a very slick way to make T Shirt Quilts.  This is a technique I took a class last summer from Wendy Rieves at Franks Sewing Center in Waukesha, WI.
It is quilt as you go.  You use fusible on both sides batting.  I don't think I would have ever made a tshirt quilt the traditional way with stabilizer and all that jazz.. This way I might even make another one.  I had a lot of fun quilting them and I added some things to a couple of the squares.
These aren't the best photos.
Obviously the front each square quilted separately

The back.  I had fun with this. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017


I don't know about you but, I love challenges.  Most of my first quilts that I made were from Challenges.  There are so many challenges on the internet you can get into. Or in your guilds, or art quilt groups.
I started in Milwaukee Art Quilters. Getting involved in the challenges were offered.  Now I am involved in a challenge with our new Art quilt group Threadbenders.  The challenge is called Anything goes.  We are having so much fun with this challenge because it is a round robin of sorts.  You read about it and see our progress here.

I'm going to post some of my challenge quilts.

This was a Hoffman Challenge from 2008. We had to use
the fabric below in the quilt.  I used the peacock tails
for tall leaves coming up from the garden.  This quilt was
picked to travel for a year. 

Image result for hoffman challenge 2008
The fabric for the 2008 Hoffman Challenge 
This quilt was made from a grab bag challenge.  You were to look around your house and find some object
to put in a brown paper bag.  Mine had a couple of these Lotus Seed Pods in it.  So I decided to go and buy a few
more so that I could use them as a stamp.  I used textile paint and some silk fabric to stamp some images.  I used some of
that fabric along with some of my overdyed and overdyed from Quilt Tapestry Studio.  I love Wendy's overdid
fabrics and SOCKS!!  

This was a paint chip challenge.  We had to find 2 colored paint chips. One that started out with our first name "L" and one with our last name "K"  So I found Lagoon and Kalamata Olive.  Using those 2 fabrics I took one of my photos from the Milwaukee County Zoo and made Zak.  I made Zak first and then auditioned him on background fabrics.  None of them worked for me until I realized I had made Zebra fabric curtains for my daughters room.. I ran upstairs and brought one down and decided that was it!!  This was a challenge with West Suburban Quilt Guild. 

This is my dog... she is a Blue Heeler 

Milwaukee Art Quilters had a challenge called "the blues".  I am not a fan of the color Blue.   So after the challenge was announced I went home thinking I'm not going to do that challenge.  I told my husband about it and he said, " why wouldn't you do it?  Our dog is a Blue Heeler.  A light bulb immediately lit up in my head and so here is Rosie, My Blue Heeler. 

My quilt of Rosie was in Houston for the "It's Raining Cats and Dogs" exhibit.  I was so honored!!  Then a few months later the Quilt Mania magazine from New Zealand came out.  And there in the middle of it was Rosie.  I mean I was shocked.  I was on the same pages with internationally famous quilters.  It was very exciting. 
So really you never know where a quilt can take you.  You might make it for one challenge and then it is picked for a show.  Just make it fun!! 

This was a small challenge. Chris Kirsch handed out vintage double wedding ring pieces and we were to make something out of them.  At that time I was into making Hexies.  So I took the pieces and cut them into squares and made hexies out of them for the center of the flowers.  This was a really fun challenge.  Everything is fused onto the background fabric. 

I made this quilt for a rusted fabric challenge.  Most of the brown that you see is rusted muslin.  The grey and white is tea stained.  I call this Look to the Cross.  I didn't make it into the challenge but, it was in quite a few local shows.  Trying a new technique.  There is tulle over the middle of the cross and the litttle dots are actually beads that I had sewn on. 
Well, that is about all I have time for today.. If you have an idea for a challenge please comment below.  I'm always looking for a good challenge.
My next challenge that I will be working on is taking a photo and making an abstract quilt from it.  This is our next Threadbenders challenge.  March is when we pick the photo.  This, I l might add, was one of my ideas.  I did one years ago at a shop called Fabric Fusion in  Brown Deer, WI.  The store is no longer there but, I have found the original Quilting Arts magazine where the idea came from and I still have my quilt.  It was just a small challenge so the quilt is only about 8x10".
There were so many more challenges I couldn't post them all.

You can see more on my friend Chris Kirsch's blog.  On the right side bar you click on challenges.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Not your average Post

This is mostly a advertisment for a workshop I am hosting.  I will write my regular post tomorrow.. I just wanted to let you all know that I am having Barbara Yates Beasley here in Wisconsin for a workshop on June 11, 2017.  Here's all the info.  Let me know if you are interested.  Barbara lives in Boulder Co. and seldom gets to the Midwest.  So I am a very lucky gal.. You could be lucky too if you sign up for her class.  You can also see her newsletter here..

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Taking a break...

Hey all... I am going to take a break from blogging this week.. I know the topic I want to talk about but,  I am having trouble finding the time.. so stay tuned for next hopefully friday but, maybe sat where I want to talk about Challenges.  And in the meantime if you have any cool challenge ideas or challenge quilts you would like me to share either FBmessage me or leave a message below and I will contact you.  Have a great week!!  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lost Creativity ??

I would like to talk a bit about my personal journey trying to find creativity again.  When you go through something tramatic it's hard to find your creativity.  From what I have learned that is ok.  You can step back and take the break you need to get your life on track again.  I had to cancel classes I was teaching and could barely make it to some of my lectures but, I did.  Some things you just have to do when you are feeling down.  You grab yourself by the butt and say "I can do this". So many people I know loose their creativity for one reason or another.  Some don't even know why.  Here are my suggestions.
Scan the internet or books for ideas.  Just so that your brain can suck up some inspiration.
Take a class.
Go out of your box and try something different.  Something maybe easier that doesn't take as much time.  Sometimes we need some instant gratification.  If you are a quilter make a small postcard out of fabric. This just keeps you in the loop.
I started running before my traumatic experience and boy if I didn't have my running I don't know what would have happened to me.. I ran my crazies right out of me most of the time.  Not to say I didn't think about what I was going through 24/7 but it made me feel a bit free of it even for the 45 mins it took to run that 5K.
Life is never easy and every once in awhile we need to step back and take a break.. And tell yourself you will be back to whatever soon.  I sat on the couch for months watching the Boob Tube but, it was what I had to do at that time.  I stayed in the house.  I still do...  probably more than I should.  But, I have come to realize that I have to take One Day at a Time.  I know that is Cliche to say but for me that is how I live everyday.

I wanted to write about this briefly today because I am spending the day in my studio having a total blast and thanking God for getting me through my tough period in my life.  (not to say there won't be more, because I just went through another one) But, I have my creativity back and am enjoying it so much.. Listening to music, making prayer flags today.  I will post them when I am done.

I'll leave you with a few photos to help you get out of your creative slump.

A Challenge using vintage wedding ring block pieces.  I turned mine
into hexies and made the center of the flowers. 

Look to the Cross. 
 A quilt using rusted and tea stained fabric. 

Rosie, My Blue Heeler. The Blues challenge. 

One of my favorite quilts from a brown paper bag object challenge.
We had to put any object in a brown paper bag and whoever got it
had to use it in the quilt.  I recieved the pods.  I bought some more
and used them to stamp with fabric paint on some of the fabrics.
This quilt hangs in my den.  It is very fragile so it pretty much stays put.
It's called Estranged Love  

Having fun dancing between seams!! Happy I have my creativity back!! 
Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Let's Talk Leather

Let me introduce you to my friend Cathy Vaniford Wiggins.  Cathy is an award
winning quilter, teacher, lecturer and an all around super nice gal.  A few years back
Cathy decided to experiment with leather and quilting.  You can read more about her
journey and see more of her amazing leather pieces on her website...

I have been following Cathy's journey since I started quilting.  When I first started quilting
 she was  making story quilts.  I fell in love with them.  I have never tried to make one
because there is so much going on.  Here are a few of her Story Quilts. 

Cathy Wiggins - What's Brewing 
Cathy Wiggins - Christmas Eve ABC"S

Cathy Wiggins - Oscar A Dragon's Tale

This Dragon quilt was the inspiration for Cathy to try and quilt with leather.  
I won't go into her whole story.  If you are a member of The Quilt Show she is 
a guest on one of the shows.  She shows some of her story quilts and her leather 
quilts.  You can see her technique too.  I love the quilt show.     If you aren't a 
member don't walk but, run to your computer and join.  The amount of information 
and videos will not only inspire you but, you can learn new techniques 
to try on your own.

You can also read about Oscar on the Superior Thread Website.  Another 

one of my favorite places to shop.
So now you ask me why I am posting about Leather Quilts..  Watching Cathy on 

The Quilt Show and seeing her posts on Facebook really inspired me.  And it 
seems as though I am not alone.  Last weekend I went online to see if I could 
find a good deal on some leather so I too could play with leather quilts.
Yesterday my package arrived.  I am thrilled.  Now I just have to find the time to 

play with it.

Here  is another amazing quilt of Cathy's. 

Again you can see Cathy's information on her website. 
and FYI she is teaching in Houston this fall!!!