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Scrappy Celebration QAL

Time flies! I can’t believe it has been 10 years since I did a quilt-along with American Patchwork and Quilting for their 20th anniversary.
Fast forward to their 30th anniversary and I am honored and proud
to be featured….on the cover…
APQ April 2023 Cover

I am a newbie to using the quilt design software, Electric Quilt. To play with this I started adding a variety of nine patches, four patches and any similar block. I fell in love with the mathematic look of the quilt and knew I just had to make it.

All images in this blog post are used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting magazine . Meredith Operations Corporation. All rights reserved.

Let’s skip to the good part. American Patchwork and Quilting is featuring my quilt as one of their 2023 QAL and they have a Facebook group you can join to play along. I am going to make another version of this quilt during this QAL using red, white and blues with my collection of Minick Simpson fabrics.

If you want to join in, the details are included below.

Pattern Details

Finished quilt: 63-1/2×72-1/2″

 For this quilt, you’ll need:

  • 1-1/8 yard total assorted pink prints
  • 2-3/4 yards total assorted white prints
  • 1/2 yard total assorted red and dark pink prints
  • 3/4 yard total assorted green prints
  • 1 yard total assorted orange prints
  • 1 yard total assorted blue prints
  • 7/8 yard total assorted yellow prints
  • 5/8 yard orange-and-white print (binding)
  • 4 yards backing fabric
  • 72×81″ batting

All of the following info is available here also.

Get the Quilt-Along Pattern

Quilt-Along Schedule

The quilt-along runs from February 20-April 16. While there is a recommended sewing schedule (see below), you can also sew at your own pace!

Scrappy Celebration

If you’re posting on Instagram, use the hashtag #APQQuiltalong to share your progress.

I hope you join us as I share more about Electric Quilt and all things 9 patch.

and lastly THANK YOU so much to the talented team at American Patchwork and Quilting. The April issue ( on newsstands now) is full of wonderful projects and a look back over the 10 years. I have drooled over the pages and talented in this issue.


Shirting quilt top

I am crazy over stripes, denim, blues, and blacks so when I came across this quilt top, I knew it had to come home with me. The price was right and I had no idea what I would do with it but it was going to have a good home.

The quilt top was pretty threadbare, I auditioned it for a curtain thinking I would be so Ralph Lauren circa 1980. I loved it but was outvoted on the charm factor I thought I had created.

A couple of weeks ago, Anna Dineen of A Wandering Path taught a class to make the Ultimate Travel Bag from By Annies Pattern Company.

I could not make up my mind what fabric to use, so there sat this lonely quilt top in all its beauty, wanting to be showcased and taken out on the town. The quilt top almost jumped off the shelf screaming pick me, pick me.

I used a knit fuse interfacing to protect the threadbare areas, sent it off to be quilted and it arrived back in time for our first bag class.

Bag making was new to me, mainly because it requires supplies I do not usually have on hand such as interfacing, zippers, mesh linings etc.

Most of the time I may dive into a project late at night and with quilting, I have all the fabric and supplies I could possibly need. I learned that I could actually do this and I loved it. and I also learned I needed to stock up on supplies for when the next late night bag making bug bite me.

I am not in the habit of cutting up a quilt top, but this one was in bad shape. Now I can carry it proudly as it has gained a new life as my patchworked travel bag!

Pattern # PBA251
Back view of my bag

Here is a video clip from Annie. If you are not a bag maker, dive in. It is lots of fun and Annie had all the supplies I need to make it happen. Enjoy!

Red and white quilt book winner

Friday was a 12 hour whirlwind of a day at Quilt Festival. Several of the Moda team hopped on the first flight out of Dallas for the 50 minute flight to Houston. While we had all been in Houston for Market the week before, it was time to go and see all the festival shops.
Our first stop was to rush to Lisa Bongean at Primitive Gatherings. I had to get some of her new rulers that are designed to cut stems.

Have you seen Lisa’s rugs made using mini charm packs? Perfect Christmas presents!

Pattern available at your favorite store or from Primitive Gatherings.

I snapped a quick pic of Erin Smith and Tammy Vonderschmitt. They had smiles on their faces with no sign of exhaustion even though this was the 9th day or 11 days straight living in hotel rooms and working in convention center settings. (Amy Matheny not pictured)

These gals were manning the Moda booth. They demoed cake mix papers and showcased all the many things that can be done with Vanessa Christenson’s ombre line of fabrics.

Vanessa Christenson and her sweet daughter, Katie were in attendance. Look at the cute skirt Vanessa is wearing that is made from her pink ombre fabric. Vanessa has an entire Pinterest board devoted to inspiration and patterns for her Ombre fabrics. Click here to follow the pinterest board.

Another stop was to visit Karen at Home A la Mode. She is the queen of demo’s and I always have to stop by to see what she is working on.

27 aisles of quilt goodness and almost 4 miles of steps, then rush to  the airport in time to find our plane delayed. A little bit more time spent with good friends and then home. Can’t wait until next year to do it all over again.

Winner of the Red and White quilt book giveaway is:

October 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm
Mary Durham says:
My favorite quilt show has been the Outdoors show in Sisters, Oregon. There were so many beautiful quilts, but it was also such a fun atmosphere. Someday I hope to go to the shows in Paducah and Houston.

Please send me an email or DM with your shipping information.


 APQ Podcast

If you know of Pat Sloan, stand up and clap your hands.

Now that we all have gotten a bit of cardio in, I wanted to let you know I am honored to be a guest on American Patchwork and Quilting’s podcast, hosted by Pat Sloan.

Tune in Monday, April 16th 3-4 central time. I am segment 4 in the show. I could say she saved the best for last but I don’t know who the other 3 people are so she probably just picked me for last becasue she knows I get nervous!

So tune in.

It should be a lot of fun.

You can listen on the computer, subscribe by itunes (search American Patchwork & Quilting), or download to a player.

Another little goody is that if you go to Pat’s Radio Show page on Monday, she has always has a find of something she likes, recommends or features! I can’t wait to see what it is on Monday.


A Piece of Cake Blog Hop

Today is my day on the A PIECE OF CAKE blog hop. I have known Peta for quite a while and I am so proud and excited that she has shared her creativity with us.

Thank you, Peta for asking me to participate.         

There are 14 different projects in this book and many of them are on my must make list, but

when it came time to

 decide which quilt to make I knew I needed to make the LOVE quilt. I have perfect person for this quilt,  my {little} grandson, Jacob.

His mama loves the graphic fabrics from the  Savannah by Ginger line, so I dove right in.

This quilt was fun and easy to make.

A quick quilt just perfect for gift giving.

There are two sizes of the LOVE quilt. I went with the 45″ x 60″ version.  The quilt is big and chunky and has plenty of room so that I can add some big stitching with Aurifil threads.

Let me introduce you to one of my grandsons, Jacob Ryan Alexander, Cub for short.

He is a whooping 6 months old and is just as cuddly as he looks.

 Jacob kindly modeled to show off his new quilt.  Don’t you just want to pinch those little legs?
He completely understands that it still needs to be quilted.

A few of the squares from the animal panel fit perfectly inside the big heart. Speaking of big hearts, isn’t this kid the cutest thing ever?

A little bit of stitching, a pieced binding and some quilting will finish off this project.

Thank you for stopping by and to celebrate I will be giving away a copy of this book. Leave a comment telling me what is your favorite Moda precut  and I will pick a winner at random, Thursday evening. I will post the winner here Friday morning.

Be sure and stop by all the people participating in the blog hop, listed below

14 Aug Sedef – Down Grapevine Lane

15 Aug Jemima – Tied with a Ribbon

16 Aug Samantha – Aqua Paisley Studio

17 Aug Andy – A Bright Corner

18 Aug Kirsty – Bonjour Quilts

19 Aug Lisa – A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

20 Aug Alison – Cotton Factory

21 Aug Carrie – Moda Fabrics

22 Aug Nadra – Ellis and Higgs

23 Aug Angie – Gnome Angel

24 Aug Tara – Tara Sews

25 Aug Jules – The Creative Retreat

26 Aug Kristyne – Pretty by Hand

27 Aug Kimberly – Fat Quarter Shop

28 Aug Lissa – Moda Lissa

29 Aug Amy – Diary of a Quilter

30 Aug Kerry – Kid Giddy & Cat – Hello from Cat on Instagram

31 Aug Jane – Modern Makers Retreat

1 Sept Kate – Never Enough Hours

2 Sept Jodie – Vintage Ric Rac

3 Sept Sharon – Patches Indooroopilly (in store & online!)

4 Sept Amanda – Material Girl Quilts

5 Sept Amber – A Little Bit Biased

6 Sept Xanthe – Wife Made

7 Sept Rachel – Family Ever After

8 Sept Jenny – Martingale

9 Sept Amy – Nana Company

10 Sept Peta – She Quilts A Lot

 Karen McMahon, You are the winner of A Piece of Cake book. I have sent you an email and will get the book to you ASAP.

My drawing is CLOSED but keep following along the remaining people on the hop.



lotus touts

If you have an email address,  you have probably received all kinds of email forwards that promise good luck and to pass along the email for continued blessings. This is one of those emails I have recieved and I am glad to say that after receiving in 2013, I am still alive and kicking. I have not won the lottery yet, but this list  is almost as good as winning any jackpot so I thought I would share it here.

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, ‘I love you,’ mean it.

FIVE. When you say, ‘I’m sorry,’ look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

NINE… Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

TEN.. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, ‘Why do you want to know?’

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

FIFTEEN. Say ‘bless you’ when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

Good words for all of us!!


I recently had the pleasure of attending the
Knit and Stitch show in London, England.

Yes, glamorous job, but someone has to do it.

One of the Moda designers, Janet Clare had a booth filled with patterns, kits, stitcheries and all kinds of goodies.
Janet was wearing her iconic Artisian Apron.

I love it… wear your creativity!
Read more about Janet here.

Right down the aisle from Janet was Harriett Riddell, a performance textile artist. Yes, a performance textile artist.

I was drawn in by her eclectic table covering made from vintage linens, hankies and art. I knew there had to be a good story here.

While I did not officially meet her, I did stand and watch her work for quite a while. Harriett uses thread and a sewing machine much
like an artist uses paper and pencil to create characters.

Here is a bit of info about Harriett from her bio page.

Harriet Riddell was born in 1990 and grew up in Oxfordshire, England. Harriet is a mixed media performance artist, specializing in observational drawings using a sewing machine. Her artwork responds to and interprets the transient world on to a permanent canvas. Harriet encourages interaction by working in unusual locations and experimenting with the subjects the she chooses to stitch.

(photos used with permission of Harriett Riddell.)

At one of the fairs she “performed” while her subject pedaled a bicycle to generate power for her sewing machine.

I know I would be in better shape if I had to ride a bike to create power for my machine, but I would make a lot fewer quilts.

Thank you to Janet and Harriett for sharing your creativity with us.



Ugly Sweater Blocks

The Halloween candy is almost gone or if you are like me the candy is buried in the freezer. The turkey and all the fixin’s will be on the table very very soon. Then it will be time to pull out all those Ugly Christmas Sweaters, the tackier the better, right?uglyI couldn’t resist when Kerry contacted me and see if I wanted to be a part of her ugly Christmas blocks, sweater blocks that is.

kidgiddyuglychristmassweaterpaperpiecingblockFor information on details about the sweater pattern, visit Kid Giddy. There is an a whole group of us making sweater blocks and posting them on Instagram. To follow along search #uglysweaterblock or follow Kerry’s IG. 

I will be sharing my block on my Instagram soon, @modalissa.

Did I say there were  prizes and giveaways?


Of course…



Adding !! to sentences

DISCLAMIER: I am told I am a pretty private person, so I thought I would go ahead and fill you in on the past 5 or 6 months of my life. The post is long, but I wanted to fill in the gap so I can get back to sharing good things.

Several years ago, I read a blog about how people should not be adding “exclamation marks” to the end of all their sentences. This was not proper grammar and we should be able to tell our story with the correct words and not have to emphasize our feelings with “exclamation marks”.

Last week I read an article about many text messages include emojis and the over use of !!. The average text message includes 3 emojis and a few !!. That is my kind of communication. Recently, I noticed that more and more of my messages  and emails to my family and friends have had multiple !!. Thought I should explain.

1. the sign (!) used in writing after an exclamation.
2. this mark sometimes used in writing two or more times in succession to indicate intensity of emotion, loudness, etc.: Long live the Queen!!
3. this mark sometimes used without accompanying words in writing direct discourse to indicate a speaker’s dumbfounded astonishment:
“His wife just gave birth to quintuplets.”(!)

so my story begins……

Since my early forties, I have suffered from migraines, not really suffered, just possibly 2 migraines a year. I know when they were coming on and how to treat them immediately so the effects were not debilitating. Fast forward to late 2015, I had started to have more mild headaches that felt more like sinus pressure. Went to doc and was told to take sinus meds. Things still did not seem right. I went to my eye doctor to see if maybe my contact prescription had changed. It had not.

On March 3rd I spent the night at my son’s house to help with my new granddaughter!!!!
The morning of March 4th, I had a seizure!! Crazy – weird !! I was rushed to the emergency room of a local hospital, spent a week in the hospital as I continued to suffer from mild seizures. This was the same day that I had taken off work and had a doctors appt to get to the bottom of the headaches, the hospital admittance just sped things up a bit.

I stayed in the hospital a few days, overcame the seizures and went home.
Then, March 15th back to ER with headaches and on March 16- Right Crainotomy (brain surgery), then March 23rd  headed home. (thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff of Medical City- Dallas)

My best friend is a nurse and she came into town during all this and stayed with me at the hospital, explained things to my family, while assuring them everything was going to be okay.  I hope each of you have a friend like this.  Except for the fact that she took pictures of me with staples all through my head and sent it out to her family. I will have to get her back for that.

a huge bulletin board full of notes from co workers, sales team and designers and industry friends.

Once I returned home, I slept in my own bed and was thrilled to be un-hooked from all the machines. My daughter had lined up 24 hour care for me, splitting many of the shifts between my husband and herself. daughter-in-laws, brother, sister-in-law, cousins, mom and friends all took their shifts. All the while my team at work took on more and more responsibility since I was “resting” during the busiest time of the year. They are priceless!!! Thank you to all!!

Texas Law restricts you from driving after having seizures. My daughter knows I am pretty hard headed and she took my car with her just to make sure I didn’t sneak out of the house. One of my first outings, my daughter took me to Target.  I felt as if she wrapped me up in 3 layers of bubble wrap  and put a leash on me.  It really wasn’t that bad, but those of you that know my daughter, Jillian, would certainly believe that I am not exaggerating!!!!!


My mom was showing up for her assigned shifts to take care of me, all the while never  letting us know that she did not feel well. Hard hardheadedness runs in our family. Shortly after Easter weekend, my mom fell and was hospitalized. After many complications, my mom passed away exactly one month after I had returned home from the hospital.  My mom was an incredible spunky, funny and loving woman. She was a breast cancer survivor and had lived through the death of my father and sister. Mom was known for making notes on a small book she kept in her purse.  When cleaning her things I found a torn piece of notebook paper in one of her purses that she had scribbled my doctor’s names on along with…. I like Lissa’s doctors. She is in good hands and will be alright. She also probably thought a few of the doctors were cute and was not afraid to tell them so. Yes, that was my mom!!!!

gamster If my mom would have ever met you she would remember your name and everything about you and quite possibly written a little note about you that she would has stashed away in her purse. Our family is not the same without her!!

IMG_9198Throughout the past months, I have found that my circle of friends is much deeper and wider than I could ever have imagined.  I am so grateful!!

There  are so many reasons for every day to be a good day and to add !!!!!’s to all messages.

Thank you for that.