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Festival of Quilts

I recently returned from Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. We had such a delightful time. This is England’s largest trade show and I can certainly see why. The show was a buzz full of energy and excitement.  One of Moda’s International Distributors, Winbourne Fabrics had a booth to meet and greet quilters and sewists from several countries.

Some of the sales team along with the President of Moda, Mark Dunn were present as they demonstrated Moda Precuts.

They even had a few sewing competitions showing some free patterns from the Moda Bake Shop.

Janet Clare

Janet Clare stopped by to share her designing process and the place went crazy.


We got to meet store owners that were passionate about their craft and also had a wonderful selection of moda everywhere. It was so much fun!

The show was full of charity quilts. I believe they called them aid quilts. There were quilts made by all kinds of groups either raising awareness for a cause, raffling quilts to raise money for an organization or to commemorate a milestone.


This quilt immediately drew me in. Isn’t that what a quilt at a show is supposed to do? Was it the classic blue and white? Was it the variance of texture? Was it the simple repetitive shape of the hexagon? I would say YES to all of the above. It was not until I made my way through the crowd that I was able to actually appreciate the true charm of this quilt.

The quilt was made to document the history of a hospital. An aid society had taken pieces of cloth from the hospital and combined it with notes from patients, memorabilia, embroidery and so much more. Each piece was a small piece of the history and told so many different stories.

A few other of my favorite pics from the show.

A car full of brightly colored sewing machines! Who wouldn’t have wanted to drive off with that baby?

Festival of quilts 2015

A music inspired mini quilt challenge. Black, white and red!

Luke Haynes pics

Luke Haynes was there!

Festival of Quilts Birmingham England 2015 trip

No trip to England would be complete without a stop over at Cath Kidston for a little souvenir shopping.

Festival of Quilts Birmingham England 2015 trip
Festival of Quilts Birmingham England 2015 trip

And a visit to see the Queen!

You have got to love a country that has Nibbles & Sharers.

I have the greatest job ever.



I’m a Big Girl now

Well I have always been a big girl.

You know the gal that is always on the back row, middle slot for group pictures.

The gal that the basket girl coaches start drooling over my “talent” in 3rd grade.

The gal that was consoled by her father by the repeated saying, “There is always going to be someone shorter than you, there is always going to be someone taller than you, etc.”

My tearful reply was always why does it always have to be the boys that are shorter.

My dad’s patient wisdom had a way of finally balancing my life out. He was right.
There is always someone richer, poorer, smarter, dumber (not as smart), prettier, uglier (not as pretty), you get the drift.
modalissa header
Now that my 3 minutes of therapy is over, what I really mean is I am big girl now
because my platform for my blog has been upgraded.
I have officially moved over to WordPress.
I have so much to learn and so many more options.
I could actually be dangerous.
(Dad, hopefully the smarter part will come in handy here.)

I have some cleaning and rearranging to do but that is all a part of learning.

I want to thank Angela Yosten for squeezing this in between all her other responsibilities.
So bookmark me, sign up for email notifications, FB me or IG me.


Irish Chain Blog Hop

Hello and Welcome, 
I am thrilled and nervous at the same time to kick off Melissa Corry’s Irish Chain Blog hop. Melissa has all kinds of fun things planned for this hop. Each day you will be visiting 2 different stops and I guarantee there will be so much color throughout. 

Did you play with Pick Up Sticks as a kid? I found them quite challenging and spent hours balancing those little buggers. Melissa’s pick up sticks quilt is a realistic interpretation of thin colorful sticks balancing end to end throughout the quilt. Melissa used Carolyn Frielander’s collection which also gave this quilt an architectural feel.

I wanted to mix mine up and started with the classic colors of Red and White but was not to happy with my choices. I kept coming back to Melissa’s version. We have all agonized over color and fabrics, right? I wanted mine to look exactly like the one I saw, Exactly. Please tell me you have done that.

I did 15 jumping jacks to get my heart pumping and blood to the brain.
Then I decided I would do a positive – negative version of her quilt. I still wanted an architectural, yet almost industrial look so I went with an assortment of greys and used whites as my sticks.
My quilt top looks like steel buildings with reflective windows climbing the skyline. 

If you squint at the picture above it almost looks robotic.

Squint again and there is a chunky plus sign shape that will be quilted as an overall design. I think this will give the quilt a sleek secondary look.

The fabrics are a combination of greys, whites and cremes from Amy Ellis and Zen Chic. They are so perfect for a quilt for a man in your life.

 Hop on over to Fat Quarter Shop to see the quilt that Joceyln is making. 

Check back every day as these talented quilters each share their Irish Chain.

June 8th –   Happy Quilting – Blog
Hop Intro
June 9th –   Moda Lissa – Lissa Alexander
                  Fat Quarter Shop – Jocelyn Ueng
June 10th –  Piece
N Quilt
– Natalia Bonner
Color Order
– Jeni Baker
June 11th –  Amy’s
Creative Side
– Amy Ellis
Kind of Wonderful
– Jenny Pedigo
June 12th –  Quilt
– Megan Jimenez
of a Quilter
– Amy Smart
June 15th –  Freshly
– Lee Heinrich
– Christa Watson
June 16th –  Moda
Cutting Table
– Carrie Nelson
Miss Shabby
– Corey Yoder
June 17th –  Fresh
– Faith Jones
and Co.
 – Vanessa Christenson
June 18th –  A
Quilting Life
– Sherri McConnell
– Jenny Wilding Cardon
June 19th –  Happy Quilting – Wrap
Up & Grand Prizes

Melissa has some goodies lined up for her Grand Prize Giveaway  

There will be a Grand Prize Giveaway on the final day of
the blog hop along with the Charity Quilt Reveal.  There are 2 super
fun grand-prize Giveaways with lots of fabric, books, and even a mini quilt.    To enter the giveaway, they just
need to leave a comment on the MELISSA’s Intro Post. ( CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO MELLISSA’S  POST TO ENTER.)

French General Irish Chain

Pom Pom De Paris by French General

We have had a bit of sunshine for the first time in weeks. The deluge of
rain seems to have stopped so I thought it a perfect time to pull out
another quilt and document the specifics. I thought this Irish Chain
would be good to talk about since next week I will be taking part in
Melissa Corry’s Irish Chain blog hop.
 This old quilt is just the opposite of what I will be showing next week, but
more on that Monday. 

When I say old, spring 2011 was when this fabric was available in stores. Seems like eons ago. 
I love the look of  Blended Quilts that Marsha McCloskey and Sharon Yenter are known for. This fabric collection seemed like a perfect fit. 

So many of the prints were large scale and disappeared or blended into each other when cut smaller for the irish chain pieces. I guess that is the point of blended quilts, right?

 I love the muted butter yellow prints in this collection. The quilt has been washed a few times adding to it’s well loved look.

did not let one scrap go to waste by adding the large prints, butter
yellows and woven textures along with any orphan blocks or pieces from
the quilt top to create a 2 sided quilt. 


A feathered wreath design was quilted in natural thread filling all of the natural area.
This is also the time for my public service announcement to document your quilts. I did not do that so I can remember who the quilter was. Maggi, was it you?
 I was lucky enough for this quilt to be featured in Quiltmania magazine 2012.
Thank you for reading along as I document my library of quilts and talk a step back into time!
Join me back here Monday for a fun blog hop featuring 


Log Cabin- circa 1982

One of my previous posts mentioned that I was going to document a few of my quilts and share their stories. so in no particular order……

This is probably one of my best loved quilts, really I should say best USED quilts. It is also one of the first quilts that I had machine quilted in a wonderful all over snoopy loop design. At the time commercial machine quilting was fairly new. Machine quilting and the talented machine quilters have single handedly reinvented the art of quilting. Machine quilting has also helped facilitate making more quilts. Thank you for that!!

 The general poop about this quilt is as follows:
The strips are 1″ finished. The layout of these blocks is done in a big barn raising style. The border is a mission valley woven. Traditionally the center of log cabins were red or yellow representing love or warmth in the home. A friend of mine hung this quilt in her den for years. She needed something to cover the wall while decorating for a party and we both thought this quilt was just the thing. Since her home was like my second home the quilt stayed there for years until I pointed out to her that the corner of the quilt still needed the binding sewn down.

Since then this quilt has been on many a family picnic, fort building adventure and now resides as a play mat for my little grandson.
Another tidbit about this quilt is that I used all kinds of fabrics. In the 80’s I was a young mom and a fairly new quilter. There were not very many quilt stores around at this time. I would go to any fabric store and buy fabric by the inch. Can you believe that?
That would be insane now.

 I would go and buy a few inches of as many different fabrics as I could possible find. Since the selection was limited this also meant that not everything matched or maybe I was not yet very confident in my color choices or both.
I sent the quilt top to a machine quilter in another state. This was in the early eighties and keep in mind, the quilting resurgence started in 1975. There were not many quilt stores, and there certainly were not many home machine quilters. I found a company that quilted fabric for those big puffy bedspreads.
I convinced them to quilt my patchwork and NO, I did not want 3″ tall batting.
I am sure they thought, oh this poor young thing, she has no hope or sense of color.
Little did they know that I had a plan all along. I wet the entire quilt and threw it in my washing machine along with a little bit of tan rit dye. I thought what the heck, and loved the look of the quilt when I was done. Some how magically the tan dye made all those calicos “go-together.”

You could possibly say this was the beginning of my love of jelly rolls. And I do still love to experiment with bleaching and dyeing fabrics!!


Block of the Month

Back in the day,
{I am aging myself}
I had the third Thursday of the month sewing group and the first Monday PTA meeting and the every other Saturday produce co-op. Before I knew it every day of the month was filled.

(These two photos courtesy of Joanna Figeroua)

Just like I was a sucker for the “every other” type of meeting, I have little control for Block of the Months.
What is different? They are wonderful little packages delivered right to my door as a little gift. No other obligation!

Right now I only have a couple of block of the months in the works. I missed out on Fig Tree and Co.’s BOM from last year so I was not going to let that happen again. This one is a mystery so I have no idea what it is going to be. Anticipation…..

I am also doing the Austin Bluebird by Minick and Simpson. This one is a real challenge for me since I do not do the “A” word. Applique that is, but I love anything red white and blue.

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings is the queen of designing BOM’s shared a bit of fantastic advise that I wanted to pass along. Lisa recommends that no matter what, cut your block out each month. When you have a few minutes to sew your pieces will all be cut and ready. I thought this was great advise and keeps your blocks from piling up.

I love the freedom of quilting and there are so many ways to do each step along the way. There is no right or wrong way, just what works best for you.

I have a question for you.
Do you press your seams open or to one side? and why?

Cleaning Lady

I will admit that I haven’t been able to get it all done
and have suffered from
SuperMom Syndrome.I have had to resort to having cleaning lady from time to time.
The night before she came I would run around the house barking orders for the kid’s to
get their room picked up. 

oh the groaning and complaining
They would whine, why do we have to pick up if the cleaning lady is coming!!
This is completely understandable. But she was there to clean not pick up their mess.
How could she even get to the bathrooms over the
jungle of toys, clothes and other paraphernalia?
Fast forward, years later and I find myself once again
scurrying throughout the house.
This time it is to get ready for a quilting retreat.
I have been planning, cutting, organizing
and stacking projects for a
long weekend of
non-stop sewing.
I have my basket of red and green strips
and 4 patches for the APQquiltalong.
I have another stack that includes my blocks all cut out and sandwiched between fabric squares and design boards.
I cut out 40 blocks but do not have 40 design boards
or the space to pack them.
I finagled the few design boards I had along with
some squares of fabric and even a few squares of
batting so all my blocks are ready to sit and sew.
These two boxes contain two more UFO projects for retreat sewing. Does it count as a UFO if it is just cut out and I haven’t started sewing yet?
 So leave it to one of my kids to say,
why are you doing all that cutting,
aren’t you going to a quilt retreat?
Just like the prep work it took to get the house cleaned,
there is prep work to get ready to be able to
sew non stop for several glorious days.
The only thing I may have forgotten to do is to
see if I could get a cleaning lady
to come while I am gone to clean up all the
mess I have left behind.
Hope you all get some time to sit and sew. It is good for the soul!

No Fair

The second annual #APQquiltalong has started. What I mean by started is the April issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is now available. There really is no start date or deadline. A quiltalong is just a way to share your process along the way.

The no fair part of this blog post is just that. It is no fair that I didn’t get to quiltalong with everyone else. Okay, Okay I guess it really so no far that my quilt is already made, quilted (Thank you Maggi Honeyman) and even bound.

I can’t pass up this APQquiltalong so I am starting on version 2. I had some squares left over from my project, so wanted to put them to good use. Plus I love a deadline and the shear possibility that I could have a Christmas project done in the first half of the year would be over the top incredible. I thought I would try something a little different by combiing red and green together in the same 4 patch instead of lights and darks.

I worked with strips approx 10″ so I could use scraps from jelly rolls or pieces of layer cakes for variety. Putting the strips right sides together before subcutting already pairs up the 4 patches.

I don’t think i like green and red nine patches only, so then I added some light backgrounds also.

My plan is to use my size of four patches but use Edyta’s layout design. I am on the lookout for the perfect fabrics to use in her layout. In the meantime I will quiltalong on my four payches with all of you.
For more eye candy or to just follow along on all the versions, search #apqquiltalong.

Gotta go sew a few more four patches before work.

Have a wonderful day.



This is how I use to document the quilts that I had made. Sad but true. I came across these two worn spiral pages that I have saved for over 20 years.

I may have pictures of some of these quilts somewhere in a shoe box in the attic but reading this list has brought back so many wonderful memories.

Many of the quilts were gifts that I have made over the years. A few were made as special orders. This also makes me think of a wonderful family that I grew up with. The mother was one of my best customers and looking back she didn’t really need anything she bought, she was just helping me as a young mother make some money while doing what I loved. I grew up with her 6 kids and still see several of them.

As I have grown up I have continued to witness her generosity and encouragement of others. Her children have grown up and had children that went to school with my kids. 3 generations of one family making a difference in so many lives in my area. I recently ran into the matriarch of this family at a funeral and got to thank her for what she has meant to my family.

I don’t know why I went off into that story but these two worn papers
made me reminisce.
Okay, back on subject. I am going to be doing a little bit of documenting some of my quilts in no particular order. No I am not going to add more pages to a beat up old spiral. I am going to get a few pics and share about the quilts. So consider some of these future posts my own little quilt journal, you know for history sake. What happens on the internet stays there forever, so no more spiral pages for me.

If you are new to quilt making, please take the time to document and label your quilts. They are a piece of you and part of a chapter in your life. As I say to my kids, Do as I say and not as I do.