A gem, revisited

Remember this quilt?FinalGemmaQuiltFullWell, it’s available as a Row House Creations pattern in the latest issue of Fons & Porter’s Scrap Quilts… (Summer 2015)17093_10205811642123170_7308003853359679834_nThere are some wonderful quilts in this issue, 13 projects total… including one by my friend and fellow DSMMQG member, Leila! Go grab your issue this week…

Happy Quilting,



Freelance Adventures

Occasionally, I have the opportunity to work on projects outside of my University job and my quilt pattern design business, that utilize my editorial skills or some other skill in my toolbox. In Fall 2013, I edited quilt patterns for a magazine publication, and the patterns for Mary Fons upcoming book. In the publishing world, one works on projects so far in advance, that it’s a fun reminder to see them again when they become reality! Her book will finally be released in May…

Make + Love Quilts By Mary Fons

(Click on the book cover to go to Amazon and have a look see inside!)

Working with Mary was a treat; we corresponded mostly via email, once or twice by phone I think. She’s full of joy and enthusiasm and it’s nearly impossible for some of that to not rub off on you. Here’s the video she shared about promoting her new book in NYC:

Mary Fons Book Promotional Video No. 1 from Mary Fons on Vimeo.

So proud of her finishing this book and I’m looking forward to holding it in my hands. Congratulations, Mary!

I also made a quilt recently for another freelance project, my sweetie said it might be his favorite of all the quilts I’ve made (not sure what appealed to him, but he does like vintage and this is made from 30s prints and Moda shirtings) I never did get a great photo of it, but this gives you an idea of the project…


Maybe one day I’ll be able to make a living with the pattern design and freelance work. I’d be thrilled to work from home. However, giving up those full-time benefits would not be easy. Until then, I’ll continue to be grateful for my job and the great people I get to work with.

Happy sewing,


Classic Quilt Inspiration

We all like a good deal, right?! I know I’m a sucker for a sale and free shipping is hard to beat these days. My friend Andie, whom I “met” through a virtual Bee, co-wrote a book last year. A GREAT book. I know, because I was lucky enough to win a copy during the Bloggy Release Party:

Modern Designs for Classic Quilts
That cover quilt is on my list of quilts to make.  And there is a New York Beauty inspired 2-color quilt that I seriously covet.  She even included a piecing tip/tool tip she learned from yours truly.

For the rest of June, you can purchase an autographed copy of this book
from her shop and receive free shipping in the U.S. !

Don’t wait, July will be here before you know it!  Go order one, now!

Fifteen minutes

This week brought a fun surprise on page 19 of the latest issue of Quilty magazine (Jan/Feb issue):

Quilty magazine 1

The second “n” was left out of my last name, but that’s me! (It’s spelled right in the URL at the bottom of the page so that’s what matters, right?!)

I had a few emails asking about the quilt I’m holding in the photo; I did show it once here on the blog, but the photos were not great (taken quickly before the quilt was gifted).  Since I borrowed it back for the photo shoot, I took the opportunity to snap a few better pics…

Chrysanthemum Quilt


Chrysanthemum Quilt 2

Chrysanthemum Quilt Detail 2

It’s a traditional block, Chrysanthemum, in scraps of greens, border is an Erin McMorris print, and Espresso Brown solid on outer borders.  Yes, it is on the list for making into a pattern for Row House Creations.

This weekend, the Des Moines MQG had a sewing day, 12 uninterrupted hours to sew… heavenly!  I worked on quilting a table runner that has been pieced since JULY– it’s still not completely quilted, but I made good progress.  And I made a new ironing board cover, with a simple elastic casing to hold it on:

Ironing Board Cover Elastic Cut & Sew Fabric

And I just happened to find this matching pincushion on a quick run to JoAnns (could not resist!):

Ironing Board and Chair Pincushion Cut & Sew fabric

I’m such a fan of that Cut & Sew fabric line, it’s adorable and the colors are yummy.

One of my sewing goals for 2013 is stash reduction, and this project helped use a little of it up!  So far this year, I have only bought one charm pack (Posy by Aneela Hoey) and I have used 5 yards for a quilt back that went to the longarm quilter last week, and 1.66 yards for this project (to get the length of the ironing board, with some obvious waste that went to the scrap basket).

Stash Stats year-to-date:

Acquired — .75 yards

Used — 6.66 yards

-5.91 yards

Simple Home–Book Review

Sweetwater’s Simple Home is one of the two books I picked up last weekend at Quilts and Other Notions in Creston, Iowa.  Released in September 2011, it features 35 simple and practical sewing and quilting projects by Sweetwater Design; a mother daughter team, fabric and pattern designers for Moda, and all around creative powerhouse.

The layout and images are lovely, but my favorite feature of this book is that projects are grouped by different living areas of the home.  Also included in the book are simple techniques and tips for decorating with appliqué, stenciling, stamping, and embroidery.  I’m excited to try many of the ideas in this book, besides just gawking at it because it’s so pretty to look at. 

As a matter of fact, I already made one of the projects, a clothespin bag for my sister-in-law:

I pulled some fabric from the stash, a scrap of matching ric-rac, a wooden hanger from our coat closet and got to work…

The pattern calls for two fabrics, I added a third contrasting fabric for the inside of the bag.  I used a piece from the Farmer’s Market collection by Sandi Henderson (the apple fabric), Sweet Pea by Jackie Shapiro (the green floral) and Farmyard by Sentimental Studios (the gardening print).  Three different designers, three different manufacturers, and they coordinate perfectly.  That is “stash sewing” at it’s best, readers!

The photo above shows the components of the bag “inside-out”, how they are sewn together  to complete the bag.  The instructions in the book are clear and well written, I would prefer a few more diagrams/illustrations myself, but that’s because I’m lazy about reading instructions and would prefer to “read” pictures instead.  I think the entire project took about an hour and a half, start to finish.  Here is the finished product, front and back:

Makes me wish I had a clothesline myself.

The one that’s going to stretch your book budget

Last night was the second meeting of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild–we had a few less attendees, but the weather was awesome, so I suspect some were outside enjoying family time on a pleasant Summer evening!  We are still finding our groove… and have some ideas for pumping up the next meeting already!  The sixteen of us that came shared our favorite quilting books with the group, and let me tell you, my Amazon wishlist grew a bit last night!  WARNING:  Reading this post may do the same to you!

Tricia brought along a book about creating your perfect Quilting space, because let’s face it, which one of us doesn’t have that dream studio floating around inside our heads?  I’ve seen Tricia’s sewing space, it’s big, but it’s in an unfinished basement that serves as her boys’ playroom and her work-at-home-hubby’s office as well–dream big Tricia!  I have a copy of that one in my library, too–great resource even if you only have a small corner of a room to fix up into a proper sewing area.

Crystal and Jill M. both mentioned Malka’s book as one of their newest faves, but didn’t bring a copy to share…  I have a copy gifted to me for Christmas by my friend Toni, and I can assure you it is well worth the price!  It’s so full of fun, bright colors and fresh project ideas.

Kris shared Linda Otto Lipsett’s Remember Me, a book of quilt history talking about signature or friendship quilts, like the one Victoria is collecting blocks for.  There are no patterns, just diary entries and stories of groups of girlfriends from days gone by doing the same things we are doing today via flickr and the blogosphere…  Kris also shared that she’s enjoyed everything written by this author.

Karen is a relatively new quilter and she shared this book, The Ultimate Quilters Visual Guide, given to her by the person who first introduced her to quilting.  It’s her fave because of the personal connection, but it is also a valued go-to answer book when she comes across a term she doesn’t recognize, or a method that’s new to her.  BTW, Karen writes a fun blog, you should check it out!

Our resident linen and asian fabric devotee, Veronica, brought along FIVE faves, all by Japanese designers, and we all had fun gawking over those.  Many of the intructions are in Japanese, but the photos and illustrations are amazing, and one really doesn’t need to read the instrctions, anyway, right?!?  This one is so being added to my library next week!

A book I had not heard of before, but was shared by Maria, Stash Happy Patchwork is full of super cute small projects…yeah, I’m buying this one too!  I mean, look at that adorable cactus pincushion?!?

Penny and Lisa S. both shared Elizabeth Hartman’s book, which I’ve been told by more than one person is a great basic reference book…might have to add that one to my library as well.  (Hmmm, the book budget is going to get a workout this month.)

More than a few of us mentioned that we love the Material Obsession and Material Obsession Two books… I have MO-1 and used it to make this quilt, (which is at my quilter’s house right now).  Our Guild happens to meet at a local library and I know the library has them both in their stacks.  I’ve checked MO2 out from there before.  Both fabulous books for inspiration and unique patterns.

Until I saw this book in person last night, I thought, why would I need a book on log cabins, it’s a basic pattern and so easy to interpret yourself into a new design?  Well, let me tell you, this is a fabulous book!  Modern Log Cabin Quilting is full of unique project ideas, combinations of fabrics such as cordouroy and linen, small projects as well as full quilts–worth checking out quilters!  Penny, Jill Mc and Meghan all brought copies of this to share with the group and raved about it!

The book I shared was Applique Outside the Lines, by the Piece O’ Cake Designs ladies.  They were one of the first established pattern companies to recognize the modern quilting movement by joining in, this book is a great reference for developing modern/fresh/bold color combinations; raw edge applique; and asymmetrical organic designs that are influenced by traditional applique designs and methods.  It’s great eye candy and good information all in one…

Etta brought a block reference book (one of the biggies–as did Linda) and she also brought this book on fabric manipulation.  I have looked at this book online before from the standpoint of wanting to get better at my garment sewing, but I hadn’t looked at it from the perspective of quilting before…  Anyone with any interest in art quilts would find this book to be a great addition to your library.

One thing we all agreed on, while we may not actually read all of these books, we love to collect them and great photography (read: eye candy) is essential to draw us in and satisfy our hunger for them.  I wrote a post over two years ago, about utilizing quilting books from the library.  I still stand behind each of those books as great reference for any quilter! 

Do you have a favorite quilting book we didn’t mention at last night’s meeting?  Please comment, I’d love to hear about it!