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!!!