Monday, November 28, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Quilt

Sewcalgal is hosting the 2011 Christmas Quilt Show and this is my entry.  I love this quilt and it holds such good memories.  Eight women met one day a month to work on one of the strips in their quilt.  We had such fun working on it and sharing our lives each time.  I was the leader and the strippers worked very hard on each section and then each embellished their masterpiece in their own style.  My quilt is now hanging in our living room during this joyous season.  Merry Christmas everyone!

The pattern is called "Rows of Christmas Joy" by Carolyn Beam.  Be sure to look at all the other quilts in the show at Insights from SewCalGal HERE

Friday, July 29, 2011

Busy in the Birds

We've had some busy days here in the Birds.  There has been interior painting, a trip to the oral surgeon for DH, me nursing DH (can you say mashed potatoes and gravy?), and getting ready for my classes that I will be teaching at Delphine's.  Today I worked the busy shift at the shop with my friend Kathy (busy shift = 10am - 3pm with the all-day gal).  Whew - we were busy!

When I came home I had a little 30 min. nap and then to the computer to see what's been happening in the world today.  To my happy surprise, on Delphine's blog no less, I see a darling quilt made by a lovely 14 year old named Alicyn.  Alicyn made the quilt that I designed back in 2006 for a shop hop.  Here is my version:

And here is Alicyn's version (shown here with Delphine):

Isn't it wonderful??!  I wish I had been in the store when she brought her quilt to show Delphine.  Alicyn added her own animals and wonderful fruit and veggie fabric.  I can't wait to see where her talent will take her.  Alicyn, you did a masterful job and I am so happy for you!  (click to enlarge)

I'm behind in my letter making but this weekend I have great plans for getting the house back to normal and then catching up on LMNOP.  I've decided to not be so exact in my letters and throwing my ruler away.  LIBERATION!!

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Sewing, Judy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Back from the Repair Shop

I've been working on my letters.  Fixed the A and the B and added J and K.  All caught up!! 

Looks like my fabrics are very similar - need to look into that problem.  This is such fun!!  Join us - peek in at Lynne's (The Patchery Menagerie) - it's not too late!

Stay cool everyone!
Judy in Michigan

Monday, July 18, 2011

So Many UFOs, So Little Time

I've been working on various UFOs - all at the same time.  A little here, a little there, and back to UFO #1,... (you know what I mean).
My #1 finish was the baby quilt for my niece's baby (due in August).  I mailed it today in time for the shower on Saturday.  I'm happy with the way it turned out.  I also learned (or remembered) a neat trick for quilting in the ditch.  Most machines come with a blindstitch foot (on my Bernina it is #5) which has a little metal plate perpendicular to the fabric.  It runs right in the groove of the seam and the stitches go right in the ditch - slick!!  Look for a similar foot on your machine.  I meandered in the busy fabric.  In the yellow border, I machine quilted a little poem welcoming the new baby - it's hard to see in the picture. 

Sorry it's so blurry

Fun backing - a Dr. Seuss fabric

Writing in the yellow border (click to see better)


I've also been working on my alphabet ala Lynne's Letter Quilt Along (The Patcherie Menagerie).  I'm almost caught up except for the 'B'.  It was looking pretty wierd so I need to redo it.  The 'A' is also a bit too small so I'll probably redo that one too.  I just noticed that I didn't add the connector to the right of the 'G'.  This is a fun exercise and one that will be useful as I hope to be teaching a similar class in the fall at Delphine's Quilt Shop.

      My Letter Quilt Along - 'B' is in for repairs

I found some great border fabric for my Hide 'n' Seek quilt - haven't been working on the blocks but I have my fabric all lined up and ready to go.  I had to search for the fabric as it is about 2 years old - Soiree by Lila Tueller.  Found it online - what would we do without the internet?  If you ever need a particular fabric that's not available at your local shop, try  It sure is a helpful site.

Border fabric
Gaylord just finished its Alpenfest on Saturday.  The town goes all out with a parade, Swiss/German costumes, games, carnival, free food, etc.  The merchants all dress in dirndls and lederhosen.  Here's Delphine's daughter and Delphine all ready for the festivities.  The Dirndl Quilt was made last year - the block I made is in row 2, third one from the left (red dress with navy bodice).

Hopefully I will finish and/or accomplish more on my quilts in progress.  Until next week, happy stitching!

Judy in Michigan

Friday, July 8, 2011

A New Project

I started a new project as part of a new class that I am taking.  It's a beginning applique' class taught by Shelley Stallard at my favorite shop, Delphine's Quilt Shop here in Gaylord.  The first class was this past Wednesday afternoon and I learned so much!  Most of my previous applique' work was self-taught and I was often unhappy with either the method or the result.  I am determined to learn needle-turn applique' and I think that I am on the road to succeeding!!  Just for fun (and because I love Smilebox), here are some photos from my first class:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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I hope this Smilebox works for you.  Enjoy the weekend everyone and, if you haven't tried Applique', do try!  It will open up a whole new world for you.

Judy in Michigan

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Happy Independence Day everyone!!

My design "wall" is actually on my floor or on my machine bed this week.  I've been working on my Hide 'n' Seek quilt that I showed you here a while back.  I have most of the "twosies" done for my quilt with "only" 60 more to go.  Here they are all cut out and stacked - ready for the machine!
(they look like 3 little critters wrapped in white blankets :-) !! )

My second project is a baby quilt which I am currently quilting.  My niece and her hubby are awaiting a baby boy due the end of August.
The pattern is "Nursery Tales" by Pine Tree Country Quilts which appeared in The Quilter magazine in November 2007.  I bought the fabric at Quilter's General Store and I've had it in a box labeled "Baby Boy Quilt" just waiting for the day when someone would be expecting a boy!  Finally!!
It's a beautiful day here in northern Michigan - time to get outside and celebrate!!  Be sure to check out the other great projects on Judy's blog today!!

Happy Quilting Everyone,

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Word Play Quilts

When I was first introduced to quilting blogs, a friend gave me her three favorites:  Bonnie K. Hunter of Quiltville, Judy Laquidara of Patchwork Times, and Tonya Ricucci (the Unruly Quilter).  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  These three opened my quilting horizons to places I had never seen nor imagined!  I've since added hundreds of blogs that I check on periodically but I sure do have my favorites that I check every day or even more often during the day.  For example, Judy (Patchwork Times) usually posts many times a day which is fun when you just need a little boost during the day.  Another favorite, Victoria of Bumblebeans, usually doesn't post until around noon but Judy posts very early in the day and she lives a time zone west of me!    Another favorite is Kim who lives in California but her post automatically comes up early in the morning (EST)!!  I really should update my profile and get all those blog sites listed for you.

Which leads me to the purpose of this post...Tonya's book is called Word Play Quilts which is such a wonderful and fun approach to quilting freedom.  She is a devotee of Gwen Marston (a fellow Michigander I might add) and free piecing.  Through Tonya's blog, I was introducted to the very talented Lynne from New Hampshire who is starting a quilt-a-long with instructions on how to make your own free-pieced letters.  Check it out!!  Her first class is Tuesday, July 6.

Here is my first attempt at free-pieced words:

Of course, I didn't start out with such a project like this in mind.  I started with a few letters at a time and then started putting the letters together to make the words and since I almost had a project,  I continued to add the letters I needed to complete it.  I actually worked at this shop and it became a gift to Sharon, the owner of the shop.  The quilt store was in downtown Gaylord, MI and when Sharon retired, my good friend Delphine opened her own shop around the corner:

Three more to show granddaughter's graduation quilt.  I tend to make my letters too large and so this ended up on the back of her large quilt:
(sorry about the bad picture but I think you can click on it to see it better)

Two other favorites requested by Tonya were:

(for a scary Halloween quilt) and

LAFF is my favorite and my most famous (to me!) ... look at the cover of Tonya's book above - right there in the middle of the right side.  See it??  I was so excited and happy when the book was published!

So you can start with just simple letters and have some fun in a short amount of time.  Scraps are used plus a large piece of background fabric.  Please try this, I'm sure you will enjoy the process.  Join Lynne for some great tutorials and purchase Tonya's book for even more information, tutorials, and inspiration.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July

The 4th of July weekend is finally here.  Enjoy the picnics and the fireworks and the boat rides and the fun runs!  It's really summer now - yippee!!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Block for Kaaren

My quilting bud, MB in MI, directed me to this blog - and here - where Allie requested a block for a fellow blogger named Kaaren of The Painted Quilt.  Kaaren is having health issues and the hope is that these blocks when assembled into a quilt will bring her some cheer and well wishes.  It's so easy to do - here's what I did (the directions are all on Allie's first blog mentioned above).

One 6.5" beige square and four 3.5" red squares.  I washed the fabric first and checked the red for bleeding.  This is a very important step as you all know!

The four squares are marked on the diagonal on the back and then sewn to the corners of the beige square.  You can only do 2 at a time, opposite corners, press and trim.  Then do the other 2 corners.  Just like making a snowball block but with larger corner squares.  Voila - a square in a square!

You obviously noticed that I wrote my name and my city in the center of the block.  I will add a little quotation or cheery message also.  The "trick" to writing on fabric is to attach a piece of freezer paper to the back side of the block.  Before I ironed it on, I drew 2 dark lines to help me keep my writing straight.

I also found that using a Sharpie (ultra fine point) is easier for me than a Micron pen.

The triangles that you trimmed can now be re-purposed into half-square triangle units.  Mine came out 2.5" unfinished.  They were oversized but I trimmed them down to perfect 2.5" squares.

The entire process (minus the fabric washing and picture taking) took about 30 minutes.  I hope that you can find the time to add a little smile to our friend Kaaren.  The deadline is July 15 and the mailing address can be obtained by emailing Allie (refer to Allie's blog - the first one listed above).

Hope that where ever you are, you are enjoying the day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sun is Out!!!

Hooray!!  The sun came back to northern Michigan!!  It was on vacation for almost an entire week and left us with gray clouds and rain, rain, and more rain.  Thursday, the temp reached 57 degrees - amazingly awful.  Yesterday the sun came out and we got to 75 degrees.  Today, it's almost 80 and sunny again!  Yippee.  Unfortunately, all this sunshine prevented me from finishing this post which I actually started yesterday morning but I'm sure you understand...

I am also sure that you are all anxiously awaiting the drawing for the prize - well, it wasn't that difficult to count all the comments - there were actually 4 comments - WooHoo!!!  Thank you all for your nice comments.  I let the random number generator whirl away for quite awhile while it thought about a number from 1 to 4...wait for it...wait for it...The number chosen was 3 and the winner of my contest was Mandy from M and M plus 3.

Congratulations Mandy, email me your address and I will send this along to you forthwith (on Monday).  I hope you have fun creating a little fall prettie with these cute fat quarters.  I deliberated a long time about which quilt to make and I decided on # 3 - the quilt from Kathy Brown's book, Strip-Smart Quilts.  The title of the quilt is "Hide n' Seek".  (there is no connection to quilt #3 and comment #3 - purely coincidence)

I've started on it already - cut the solid color strips and the individual pieces.  I had to wait to get the book so I cut the triangles according to my idea of what they were - turned out I cut them wrong.  (I cut them with an equilateral triangle (60 degrees with 3 equal sides) instead of an isosceles right triangle (90 degrees with 2 sides the same).  I love to throw in some math!!!  However, not a problem, my units will just be smaller but the effect will be almost the same.  It is very colorful and the individual fabrics shine - I am very pleased.  How do you like it??  Lots more to do but chain piecing is a good thing while I keep plugging away at organizing our home.  Here's my design wall with the twosies stuck up there:

Each row is separated by an off-white Kona cotton.  Thanks to my quiltie buds for the pretty fabrics.
I had better get this posted quickly so you will know who won.  I appreciate all your comments and as I said earlier, I like all the quilt choices so you may see one of them again with other fabrics.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I hope to post again very soon!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

So Much to Report...

It's been awhile since I've written and now I have lots to tell.  I went to the Petoskey quilt show, Quilting by the Bay, on Friday (yesterday).  What a wonderful show and a wonderful day!!  More about that later.

Instead, I want to show you something that I'm almost finished with.  Since my sewing room is in such a state of disarray, I decided to finish a project that required a lot of handwork, aka Applique!  I started this in January 2010 with a workshop by Anita Shackleford - dimensional applique - not just regular applique, no, I had to choose something harder.  Here it is:

I'm not sure how it will be used - either a wall hanging, a pillow, or perhaps framed.  Any suggestions?  Since I have to wait for your suggestions, I decided to start a new project...

On my birthday I received the bestest gift from my bestest quiltie friends - each one gave me a Jelly Roll of fabric from their stash!!  Thanks gals!!  I recognized most of the fabrics from the pretty quilts that they have made or were still working on.  What to do with these lovelies?
(these are most of the strips - I couldn't get them all on the table top for the picture).  I've looked and looked and have come up with these ideas for my new summer quilt:

Ok, these are my choices - I like them all!!  The first quilt is from Moda Bake Shop.  I can't remember where I found the second quilt (I will check on that later).  The third quilt is from the new book, Strip-Smart Quilts by Kathy Brown which I hope to win after commenting on about 15 blogs!  The 4th and 5th are from Scrap Basket Sensations, and the last quilt is one that Barb (Paint Creek Quilt) found.

Which do you like best?  This is a contest with a prize.  So all my followers, leave a comment to see if you picked the one that I like the best (you could change my mind I guess).  You have until next Friday, June 24th, midnight, EDT, to enter.  LOL.

Ok, time to get dinner going.  Burgers on the grill - I've been busy today typing all this so I need a fast and easy meal.  Hugs you all!

Judy in Michigan (in the Birds)

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Quilty Birthday

My birthday is Sunday, June 5.  I was actually born around 6pm EST and if you consider that Europe is 5-6 hours ahead of us, the Allied soldiers were preparing for the assault on the beaches of Normandy when I made my appearance.  I do seem to be the instigator of things...

Here's a picture you don't see everyday...
My younger DD was taking this duck for a ride - IN HER CAR!  I hope the duck stayed on the "paper".  Don't know the story yet on this one but DD is known for her love of animals.  Maybe they were just going out for lunch.

I'm receiving little gifts in the mail - I will get pictures of them.  One thing I know you will recognize without the pictures are the 3 books ordered by my husband...Scrap-Basket Sensations by Kim Brackett, City Quilts by Cherri House, and Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson.  OOOOh - can't wait to see those beauties.

Enjoy the weekend everyone! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day - part 2

Don't know what happened, but here I am with the rest of my pictures...Here is the "sewing" that I am doing.  I am fortunate to have some wonderful peeps who gifted me with a Petit Four of Fig Tree fabrics.  I am making a sewing machine cover with them.
The top half will be the front, the bottom half will be the back.  Now to make the sides and top - I'll use the same brown polka dot fabric for those 3 parts.

Here is my stitching - something new for me was using Press 'n Seal to trace the pattern and then to stitch right through the film.  Once the stitching is done, you carefully pull away or cut away the film.  This will either be a wall hanging or a pillow.

Hope you all are enjoying the day - the official start to summer - but also a day to remember the men and women who have protected us from harm.  God Bless America!

Happy Memorial Day

We now have a beautiful sunny day and I'm taking it easy today.  We're going out to dinner with neighbors so my "rest" will extend through dinner.  My kind of day!!

I took this opportunity to take a picture of our flowering crab (?) tree in the garden.  I hope you can see the treed lot in the background.  We don't get much sun so we need to plant accordingly.  The tree is our big spot of color in the spring.

On the inside, I thought you'd get a kick out of seeing my studio - it's a BEFORE picture.  Who know's when the AFTER picture will be taken.  Believe it or not, I am doing some sewing and stitching.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Somehow I was able to post yesterday's post.  Thanks to my tutors, MB and Barb!  So, I'll try again.  It turned out to be a pretty day after a terrific rainstorm early this morning.  Warm for up here - upper 70's and a tad humid.

I tackled my sewing room today and I have one corner organized (LOL).  Lots more to go before a picture is taken.  I'm torn between unpacking other rooms or working in my studio.  I decided to reward myself and work on something I liked to do.

I wasn't very happy with the picture I posted yesterday - it didn't post the entire picture - the left and bottom sides are missing.  Something else to learn about.  I'll try another one today - again, an older quilt, but one that I really like.  I made this one in 2007 - "Barn Raising Log Cabin".  I taught a class at Quilter's General Store here in Gaylord (the owner has since retired and the store is closed but Delphine's Quilt Shop has opened and carried on and expanded from Sharon's beginning).  My class was described as how to make a Log Cabin Quilt that had "perfect" blocks - all the same size.  I taught 2 methods, one way with trimming after each round and one way by paper piecing.  My first attempt at a log cabin back in '87 resulted in a difference of 1 to 1.5" between each block.  It has since been cut apart and made into a tote!!  So, here is my Log Cabin (method 1):

Enjoy your day!  Hope to get this posted - fingers crossed...

Judy (in the Birds)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My First Blog

Hello Everyone!  This is my first attempt to blog so please be patient with me.  I love to read other blogs and I an so inspired by the creativity of my fellow quilters.  I need to keep a notebook of all the ideas I have but I also need to live to be 200 to accomplish them all.

I recently moved from Rochester, Michigan to our "old" home in Gaylord, Michigan.  Needless to say, we arrived with more boxes than we left with.  I think my fabric multiplied while we lived in the suburbs but all of it is very precious to me.  While packing, I would see fat quarters that I hadn't seen in years and each piece reminded me of a friend or an experience that led me to purchase that bit of cotton.  So, until the rest of the house is unpacked and settled, my quilting supplies will continue to rest in their comfy boxes.  Ah, but I miss those hours of stitching and can't wait to get my seam ripper all fired up.

We live about 200 miles north of Detroit, 50 miles or so south of the Mackinaw Bridge, 60 miles east of Traverse City, halfway between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and about 40 minutes southeast of Petoskey.  We live in "God's Country" and in the midst of the Golf Mecca.  There are so many golf courses near here but almost as many quilt shops.  Well, not quite, but we have some wonderful shops up here.

I need to take some pictures so enhance my post but not today.  Instead, I'll post a quilt that I made in 2009 that I am particularly proud of. 

I took a workshop with Katie Pasquini Masopust.  I can't believe that I really made this and each time I look at it, I find myself looking at the layers and shadows.  I call it "Ghost Layers" which is the name of Katie's book (Ghost Layers and Color Washes).