Sunday, September 14, 2014

From Atlanta to Fredericksburg with the Sewing Expo

Quilting LIVE (the Sewing and Quilt Expo) was a huge success this past weekend in Atlanta. There were workshops, vendors and fantastic stage presentations with celebrity quilters like Mark Lapinski and Maryann Fons and Liz Porter. The quilts on exhibit were fantastic, so many quilts with such wonderful, imaginative designs and colors.

I was fortunate to be invited to do a stage presentation even though I am not the celebrity that Mark, Maryann and Liz are known to be. I was pleased to have a large audience and even hearty applause at the conclusion. I showed my Cut the Cake Hexies quilt that I brought along for my Saturday morning workshop. Here I am with Laura Meadows (left) and Tara Bartlett (right) at the end of my talk.

The next stop for the Sewing and Quilt Expo...Fredericksburg, VA, October 2-4 I am teaching Curvy Log Cabin and Cut the Cake Hexies there, so sign up soon to get a seat in the workshop. I was in Fredericksburg last year and it is a great facility with many close by hotels. Gather up a couple of friends and take a mini-vacation to sew, sew, and shop. Quilting is in the air and there is much fun to be had by all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September - Childhood Cancer Awareness month

It;s September and once again it is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Until my granddaugher was diagnosed with leukemia at age 13 I had no idea that the drugs to treat children with cancer are different than the drugs to treat children. Children must have different drugs and not enough research is done to find and develop those drugs. We support the Rally Foundation, a non-profit that specifically raises money for this research.  They also host special events for the children to help give a little sunshine to the struggles these brave children face every day.

I just gave 4 quilts to the Rally Foundation for their twice annual fundraising auctions. I am grateful for everything they have done for my granddaughter and all the other children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Madeline was diagnosed almost 6 years ago and because of other people's generosity her cancer is treated with a new drug, Gleevac, that keeps her white count in normal levels. Madeline is now a sophomore at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and active with other GT cancer survivors. Here is a picture of the fundraiser they are helping to sponsor on campus. Madeline is wearing the blue shirt.

Recently there was a book published with words of wisdom from children living with cancer. Here is Madeline's contribution...a letter she wrote about how she has learned to live with cancer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sister's Reunion

I have 3 sisters. We live in each time zone, I am in Eastern, Lynne is in Illinois (central), Janet Houts my co-quilter is in Idaho (mountain) and Gail is in California (pacific). Every few years we have a "sister's reunion". Last week we were in Illinois visiting Lynne.

One of our events was a visit to Her Majesty's English Tea Room in Dunlap IL. We had a british Tea for lunch and then spent some time looking at everything in the gift shop. There were full size cardboard cutouts of the royal family. I thought about getting a photo with William and Katherine, but finally decided on a selfie with the queen. She looks real in the photo. Amazing! I felt kind of silly taking the selfie because I have short arms and it was hard to get the camera far enough away to actually take the shot.

After the tea room we went next door to an amazing knit shop and we all bought yarn to knit something since Gail is a master knitter and knit designer. From there we went to a store front down the street and discovered some of our sister authors, Joanie Holton and Melanie Greseth, for Landauer Publishing were having a once a year "clean out the studio sale". Their business is Tailormade by Design and their website is: They also design for Benartex and like us, enjoy designing quilts with Michele D'Amore's fantastic fabric collections. One more thing we have in common with this other set of sisters, their mother taught them to quilt at a very young age (preschool) just as our mother taught us. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Roly Poly Jelly Roll Quilt

In early July I posted a baby quilt made using 10" precut squares. Making it was so much fun, why not make it again. Only this time what about a jelly roll of bright modern fabrics instead of squares.

This was a great vacation sewing project while the family relaxed at Kanuga in the Carolina mountains. A jelly roll plus a couple of yards of background fabric was easy to pack and the project was cut out and ready to go at a small sewing station in a corner of the screen porch.

Roly Poly Squares

The bright happy colors look like a spilled bag of gumdrops. The jelly roll strips that weren't used in the 48 blocks were joined end to end to make the outside borders. This quilk was a quick sew project that brings a smile to everyone who looks at it. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Traveling Quilts

How is that my quilts get to travel more than I do? Last month my Curvy Log Cabin quilts went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They visited Sara Snuggerud at Heirloom Creations Sara did a fantastic job of creating a Youtube video showing how to use the ruler and the many different blocks and quilts you can make with my latest trim tool by Creative Grids

Take the time to visit Youtube and see how Sara uses the ruler. Her approach is a little different than mine. I add a full round of 4 logs and then trim, but Sara likes to add 2 strips of half a round, trim then add the remaining 2 strips of the round for the final trim. Both methods and choose your own.

Here is my newest Curvy Log Cabin quilt. I made the quilt in a week, another reason I love my trim tools because there is no precutting, no math and no measuring thus eliminating hours of prep work before starting to sew when you use the tools.

I used Tonga Treats Cabana 2-1/2" precut strips by Timeless Treasures. The setting for the quilt is the traditional straight furrows setting. The curved blocks in this setting look like waves gently breaking on the shore with the light rows water and sand and the dark rows are the seaweed.
The name of this new pattern is Sun, Surf and Seaweed.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


When I designed my first ruler, the Log Cabin Trim Tool, I had no idea how many more rulers were to follow and how wonderfully they would be used to create new quilts. Here are some of the wonderful quilts that have been created....
At the Sit and Sew event sponsored by Creations Sew Clever in Ohio. The quilt uses the latest ruler in the collection...the 8" Curvy Log Cabin (CGRJAW5). Love that blue and white, very classic and classy.

Nellie's Needles used the Hexagon Trim Tool (CGRJAW4) to make this very imaginative quilt, the pattern is: Hexi Flip. If you like it you can order the pattern. There is a small hexagon shaped pillow in front of the quilt that can also be made using the same trim tool.

The Pineapple Trim Tool (CGRJAW3) remains one of the most popular of the five tools I have designed so far. This is quilt was made by Rita Fischel and is available as a Cut Loose Pattern. I will be offering this pattern for sale in my vendor booth at Quilting LIVE! in Atlanta on Sept 13-16 and at the Sewing Expo in Fredericksburg VA on October 2-4. I hope I see you at one of these events

Squiggles...don't you love the name (and look at the first photo again, they are the same design layout. This one is a Cut Loose Pattern as well. Another pattern I will offer at my vendor booths in Atlanta and Fredericksburg. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Charlotte's Quilt - Roly Poly Squares

This coming weekend I am headed for Kanuga, the Episcopal Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC for our annual family reunion. In July of every year we take a guest cottage so the whole family can get together. Our newest family member, Charlotte, will be 3 months old and we can't wait to meet her. This morning I finished her quilt and I want to share the quilt and a very simple method to make it with you.
The sixteen patch quilt blocks are made using 10" layer cake squares. You will need 15 layer cake squares, 2/3 yards white fabric, 2/3 yard border fabric, 1-1/2 yard backing fabric and 1/3 yard binding fabric. Here are the steps to make this quilt.
Cut (12) of the 10" layer cake squares into 2-1/2" x 10" strips. (Set the remaining 3 layer cake squares aside for the setting squares.) Arrange the strips you have cut for the blocks in sets of 4 strips per block.
Sew each set of 4 strips together. Press the seams OPEN.
Sew the strips into a roll. Press this final seam open. Using your 2-1/2" wide ruler, cut the roll at 2-1/2" intervals to make (4) 2-1/2" rolls. Unsew one seam to make a strip as shown.
Unsew the remaining 3 rolls one seam in each roll, advancing the seam to unsew to make a progression of squares in the same fabric pattern as shown.
Sew the strips together in order as arranged, maintaining the progression of squares by fabric pattern.
This is a completed Roly Poly Squares block. Make 12 blocks.

  • To complete the quilt cut the white fabric into (31) 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" sashing strips. Cut an additional (20) 2-1/2" squares from the 3 set aside layer cake squares set aside for for the sashing squares. Sew 5 sashing strips rows using (4) print setting squares and (3) white sashing strips. Make 5 rows.
  • Sew the blocks together in rows alternating 4 white sashing strips and 3 roly poly blocks in each row. Make 4 rows.
  • Alternate the (5) sashing rows with the (4) block rows and join them together to complete the quilt center.
  • Cut (4) 5" border strips from the border fabric. Sew a border to opposite sides of the quilt top and trim to size as needed. Sew a border strip to top/bottom of the quilt and trim to size to complete the quilt top.
  • Layer the quilt top, batting and backing. Quilt the layers together. Bind to finish the outside edges.