Category: Uncategorized

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.










Dementia Darnings

Festival of Quilts, Part II

The most moving exhibit had to be the Dementia Darnings by Jenni Dutton

This project developed over time as Jenni was the care giver for her mother. Encouraging her mother to remember the past, they explored family photo albums together. Using some of the photos, the large portraits, constructed using threads sewn through netting that was stretched over canvas, became a way for Jenni to explore the concept of aging and her mother’s gradual loss of memory.

Festival of quilts 2015


Festival of quilts 2015

This is a closeup of the process.  INCREDIBLE!



I continue to be amazed at the expressions of love through the art of needle and thread.  To read more about the Dementia Darnings, visit Jenni or follow Jenni’s blog.

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!!