A ghastlie reunion

**If you’re visiting from the Bloggers Quilt Festival, be sure to scroll down, my quilt entry is two-sided, and you don’t want to miss the back!

When we (Row House Creations) designed our Mums for Melissa pattern, I knew I had finally found the perfect design to use my (ahem. cough) collection of Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabrics! I think the first collection was released in 2009; sort of a unique, “Addams family” style novelty print. This pattern is designed to use a 2-yard cut of a print fabric that you can’t bear to cut up too small:

mums_frontcopyThe characters in the Ghastlies fabrics are so detailed and have such great expressions, backgrounds and “props” that they need to be used in larger pieces. I did make placemats with them a few years ago, and I made the quilt top I shared on our Row House Creations site in 2013. Trina quilted it for me in 2014, but I realized I never blogged about the finished quilt. Because, you know, 2014 was my worst year. Ever.

But it did get quilted, and it’s pretty awesome (if I do say so myself), because it’s two-sided, and the back is fabulous, too. This is a full shot of the front:


The “mums” in the center panel include some Ghastlies coordinates, but also just grey, black, pink, and lavender prints from my stash that coordinate well; the center is a dark green tangled lace Ghastlies print. It’s easy to see my fabrics in this photo from before it was quilted:

GhastliesMFMDetail3And the inner border is from a line by Sanae for Mode called Haunted Mansion (I love this print) and looks like a damask wallpaper print complete with spider medallions:


The quilting is done on an Innova long-arm, using their computerized designs, but in a custom manner (a different design for the center flowers, the inner borders and the large side panels of the quilt):


MFMGhastlies4I had a TON of fun making this quilt, I’m a bit crazy for Halloween, I love these fabrics, and I was using a pattern my business parter and I had designed. My fun didn’t stop with the quilt top. The back I had just as much fun making, creating a family “photo gallery” and a wainscoting wall look using some Tula Pink Nightshade fabric that coordinates with this collection very well, and the original Ghastlies, the Ghastlie Family Reunion and Ghastlie Gallery collections:


I started by fussy-cutting scenes from the large prints of each collection and “framing” them in coordinating fabric:MFMGhastliesBack4

I arranged them in rows on my design wall, added the white “wall” around them, then added the “wainscoting” panel below and above the photo gallery:


MFMGhastliesBack2The photo gallery inspiration came from this print from a Ghastlie GalleryMFMGhastliesBack5One of my very favorite quilts–this one stays with me! BTW, the back is a one-of-a-kind design and is NOT a pattern and NOT included in our Mums for Melissa pattern.

This is my entry in the Spring 2015 Blogger’s Quilt Festival — entered into “original design” category — would love to have you vote for me for viewer’s choice!

Happy Quilting, and come back again,



Spring 2012 Bloggers’ Quilt Festival

A little late throwing my hat in the ring (what’s new?!) but here is my entry into the Spring 2012 Bloggers’ Quilt Festival:

One Big Cabin

In mid April, I announced here that my friend Trina and I had published our first pattern.  It was a long time coming.  As quilt shop employees, we travelled to Spring 2010 Quilt Market together, and we got along so famously, as we always had, we spent the four hour drive home brainstorming ideas for a new business venture together.

It took us a year to actually form Row House Creations, LLP, and another nearly 8 months to actually get that first pattern printed, but it was worth the wait.  We designed this quilt together, brainstorming the layout over iced coffees at Caribou Coffee, I went home and drew the critters, and eventually transformed my sketches into this applique pattern drawing:

I’ve always loved drawing, and this pattern venture is one of the first times I’ve utilized that love and that talent for professional purposes.  I’m so proud when I show people my artwork on this new pattern cover:

One Big Cabin is made using a very simple raw-edge applique technique that anyone can do!

We are both so fortunate to have found such a like-minded business partner.  And, she’s an awesome friend, too!  Trina went to the Machine Quilters Showcase in Kansas City last week, I was travelling with another friend.  She went to Angela Walter’s book signing, and was second-to-the-last person to receive a copy of Angela’s book, for free, signed by Angela.  She texted me this pic of her with Angela Walters (notice the book under her left arm):

When I saw Trina that evening, she gave me the book!  It’s inscribed “To Doris”!!!  Love that girl!

 Visit the rest of the Festival Quilts at Amy’s–Enjoy!
For a chance to win a copy of our pattern, visit the Row House Creations blog before Friday.

Blogtoberfest Day XXVII–What A Tangled Web We Weave


This is a TWO-for-ONE quilt.  Let me explain…

I started this quilt the first week of September– 2010 — by cutting random sized strips from every Halloween print I owned (I really like Halloween fabric, it’s a weakness) as well as a few solids and tone-on-tones that “play” well with Halloween fabrics.  I spent a  weekend retreat last September sewing together strips and cutting triangles to make spiderwebs. The other quilters at retreat kept asking how many spiderwebs I had left to make, I responded “I’m not sure, I haven’t counted”.  At the end of retreat, I had enough triangles (NOT complete spiderwebs) to make 32 spiderwebs, which was enough for a TWIN size a AND a THROW sized quilt!  So, eventually I will have two quilts.  See, Two-for-One, or “what happens when you just start cutting without planning ahead”. 

This is (a bad photo of) the Twin Sized Quilt, 20 spiderwebs, and a mitered border of an Alexander Henry fabric (Hallowe’en Night) I have been saving for years just for this project. The background for the spiderwebs is RJR’s Halloween Night in cream. I fussy cut stripes from another Halloween print to create the “HALLOWEEN” inner border. **Temporary Insanity**
As you can see, there is a little bit of everything else in here…

Candy Corn, Spiders, Witches, Bats, Rats, Cats, Skeletons, Jack-o-Lanterns, Leaves, Spellbooks, Owls, Broomsticks, you name it…

The backing fabric for this quilt is unhappy hour by Alexander Henry:

Photo courtesy of alidzia

I finished this top at a retreat THIS September–oh, how I enjoy a weekend quilt retreat… This one involved some birthday fun..with Hello Kitty party hats…

lots of laughter, new friendships made, some creative sewing (what you have to do when you leave part of your machine at home!):

and the biggest design wall floor, I’ve ever had to play with!

And, just because my Mom can’t get enough of seeing this photo of  Miss Zoe Seaweed in the costume I made for her:

That’s one is for you, Grandma!!!


To view the other Quilts in this Fall’s Bloggers Quilt Festival–see Amy’s site.

This Week’s Halloween Party Giveaway Winner is:

Fun!  I won Veronicamade‘s giveaway during Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day earlier this year.  One of her sweet elephant pincushions…  Congrats, Veronica!

Big things are coming in NOVEMBER, an announcement, a Quilt-A-Long, more giveaways for my followers (from some of your favorite sponsors)….  Stay Tuned!

Thanks, Amy!

Today, I am a featured blogger over at Amy’s Creative Side. In honor of that, I’m putting together a little giveaway (gifties to be revealed on Tuesday, along with the winner, so leave me a comment on ANY post before Midnight CST Monday, February 14th…)
Amy has been hosting the Blogger’s Quilt Festival for a few years now. I’ve entered three or four of my quilts in her festival, which has grown RIDICULOUSLY to over 600 entries each Spring and Fall. Sadly, I usually don’t find the time to go view them all. But I have found some wonderful blogs through her links, and other people have found me and my blog.  It’s a great community here online, great support, great feedback and great motivation! Who doesn’t need more of that!?!

I’m going to post on Tuesday about a quilt I mentioned to Amy when she asked me about when I started quilting:

“…and I learned to hand quilt as a pre-teen, quilting a hideous cheater cloth quilt and an antique bedspread that my Grandma had given me; then I STARTED quilting, as a hobby and an obsession, about eight years ago”

I realized when I answered that question, I have never posted about that quilting experience.  Then I realized why, I have NO photos of it.  So browse the blog, leave me some comments and come back on Tuesday, to see my Grandma’s Bedspread Quilt and see if you won anything!

On a side note, I have to tell you, today I am on cloud nine because my dear friend Dawn, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan, and who we made this quilt for just prior to her deployment, is home for a few days of R & R, and I get to see her and give her a big hug tonight!  yippeee!!

G is For Giraffe

Thanks for visiting my entry in Amy’s 2nd Virtual Quilt Festival! If you’re visiting for the first time, I certainly hope you’ll come back again! This quilt is worth stopping by for…I promise!

My little sister is six years younger than me. She’s my only sister, the baby of the family, and, I like to say, the spoiled one of the bunch. :-> She’s always been an animal lover, she was forever in doggy mode or kitty mode as a little kid (on all fours acting like an animal and wouldn’t answer you in words if you tried to talk to her), and for years she used to answer the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, with “A Giraffe!” She even went on an African Safari in her college years.
This is the ready-made “purchased” quilt, and valance…

Not surprisingly, when she had her first baby two years ago, she decided to decorate his nursery with jungle animals. She found a great set of *gasp* ready-made quilted bedding, so a nursery quilt wasn’t needed. But, the bedding was so cute, I decided it needed a matching quilted growth chart to decorate the wall… (click photos to enlarge)

The ruler is printed onto the fabric using my home printer, on 6″ squares which were then pieced together very carefully to make the measurements accurate. The numbers for the “feet” are appliqued, raw-edge applique. I drew the giraffe, his friends, and the plants freehand using the ready-made bedding designs as inspiration (although there is no giraffe on the original bedding!) and they are all satin-stitch applique. I made leaves for each of her boys that they use to “mark” their growth on the chart.

I entered this in the Des Moines Area Quilter’s Guild Show at the end of this month, so if you come to the Des Moines American Quilter’s Society show in a few weeks, you can see this in person!

If you’d like to see my entry in Amy’s First Festival of Quilts, click here… Want so see more festival entries? Go to Amy’s site… Want to see some more great DIY projects? Check out Kimba’s site

Enjoy the rest of the Festival!

Tiptoe through the Tulips

I complained early this year, often, about how long it was taking for Spring to come to Iowa…the numerous snowfalls and below normal temps were a definite thorn in my side. But last weekend I finally felt that Spring really, truly, was here to stay! (At least until I start grumbling about the heat and humidity of Summer…) Every May, Pella, a town about 30 miles East of Des Moines, and rich in Dutch heritage, hosts the Tulip Time Festival. It’s a three day event celebrating their heritage, and showcasing the local businesses and people. I’ve only been a few times, but enjoy the experience immensly each time!

There is a parade with very impressive floats (love that Candyland float, above!)…

Traditional Dutch tradespeople…complete with klompen (the shoes!)…

Street cleaners…

Fabulous costumes…

The local Guild Quilt Show was also taking place…

And the flowers. Oh, the flowers…

Most were at their peak…the day was lovely, sunny and mild…

Hundreds of thousands of bulbs are imported from Holland…one variety more lovely than the next…

These “swan feather” bulbs were a new variety to me…

The coral color was probably my favorite…

and these two little “buds” are my sister’s babies…they make the tulips look even better, if that is possible!

I hope you enjoyed this walk through the tulips…sewing updates to come soon! Happy Spring!