Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the winner is.....

Remember when award shows announced "and the winner is...."? Now they say, "the Oscar goes to...."
So to be old fashioned, the winner is.....#65, Pat from A Little of This and a Little of Pat. You can find her blog by clicking here. Pat has pictures of two quilts she made for Christmas gifts and the recipients happy faces. Way to go Pat. I'll contact you today to make shipping arrangements.

And a big thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and left a comment. It's been really fun. And a welcome to all the new followers, too.

Back to holiday cleaning!
Till next time......happy quilting and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and A Happy New Year, too.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop Party 2011

It's time for a Blog Hop Party! Over 250 bloggers from all over the world are participating. Each blogger is promising a give-away to someone who comments on their post. I'm giving away a collection of quilt books from the Michigan State University Museum. They include:
Quilts from the Albert and Merry
Silber Collection
Michigan Quilts: 150 Years of a
Textile Tradition

Great Lakes, Great Quilts

Mary Schafer and Her Quilts
Michigan Quilts postcards

It officially starts tomorrow, December 10 and runs through December 17 (but if you comment today, I'll still include you). On December 18, one of the comments will be randomly selected to receive the books and postcards (sorry, no international shipping). Make sure and click on the logo to find the other blogs and their give-aways.
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

And now for a quilt...
I made this quilt for my new grand-nephew Charlie. It includes the Cat in the Hat,
the Grinch, giraffes, elephants, birds, and lots of other animals.
It's a snowball and nine patch. It was fun to make and only took me a week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lone Star Finished!

In June I posted a photo of a quilt top and now I've got it finished.

I also posted the version I drew in EQ7.

You can see the original post here if you want to see the Lone Star this was based on.
I like looking at them together.
So another UFO done!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I'll be spending the day at the in-laws, then spending the weekend re-arranging closets and starting a new quilt.

Till next time......Happy Stitching.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall 2011 Blogger's Quilt Festival

For this Blogger's Quilt Festival I'm sharing a summer spread I purchased from a quilt dealer at my local quilt show. It was $50. The giant basket is full of hexagon flowers. A very fun quilt and in fairly good condition too!

Go the festival page, enter your post and win some prizes too. Thanks Amy.

Kit Lang commented that the quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival needed to be made by the poster. Hmmmm, I guess I didn't see that in the instructions. So just to be on the safe side, here's a quilt I made. As for the story, it was made from scraps of a reproduction of a lone star in the collection of the Michigan State University Museum. You can see the original here and the reproduction here. This is also a sneak peak of a quilt I'm almost finished quilting. It too is a lone star made from scraps from the reproduction. I used EQ7 to test border colors and blogged about it on June 21, 2010. When it's done and photographed I'll post it with it's EQ7 version.

Till next time.....Happy Quilting

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Stitched" Chosen for East Lansing Film Festival

 Stitched the film. Behind Every Stitch There is a Story!

stitched - Stitched Videos

For all my quilting friends in the greater Lansing area, let's go out and support this film at the East Lansing Film Festival. The film will be shown on Saturday, November 12 at 3:30pm in Wells Hall (on MSU Campus) and at 6:30pm on Tuesday, November 15 at Celebration! Cinema. The Film Festival has not updated it's website yet, but last year the price was $8.50 for Celebration! Cinema showings.Check their website, for updates.

The MSU Museum is sponsoring the film and has a limited number of tickets for sale. I'll have them at the Capitol City Quilt Guild meeting October 20.

Till next time......Happy Stitching

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Check Out Our New Show Location – Grand Rapids, Michigan

The American Quilters Society is coming to Michigan. Here's a link to all the info. I'm going are you?

Check Out Our New Show Location – Grand Rapids, Michigan

My quilt "No But It's My Dog" was juried into the AQS show in Nashville in 2003.

And here's the dog in question, Mickey.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Sewing Toys

Last week I went to visit my sister in Oscoda. We did our own little fabric shop hop. I got lots of fat quarters and a few new toys too.

First is a new light for my sewing machine. I sew in my basement (or as I like to call it, the garden level) and it's hard to brighten all the shadows. I found this light at Delphine's quilt shop in Gaylord.
The light is battery operated and is on the end of a twisty coil (I'm sure the twisty coil has a real name, but I can't think of it). You can see the blue spot it creates on my throat plate.

From the back you can see how the coil wraps around the machine and what the light looks like. You can point it anywhere you want. The best thing is it cost $16. Most other lights like this cost $50 and are plug in.
 The next toy I found was at the Holly Hock Quilt Shop in Harrisville. It's a mini ironing board that clamps onto a shelf or table. I've clamped it on to my sewing cabinet.

My sister told me a 92 year old man in the area makes them. Boy, does he do a great job. It's easy to install and very sturdy and stable. I bought a hobby iron many years ago and never used it. Now it works great next to my machine. The iron gets very hot and does not have steam. It's great for small pieces and blocks. My current steam iron tends to chew up fabric in its steam holes. The best part, when I installed the ironing board and thought of my hobby iron, I actually remembered where I had put the iron years ago!

Here's a close-up of the ironing board.
I just love all the tools of sewing. I have tons of rules, scissors (all sizes), thread nippers, rotary cutters, and sewing baskets. The more the better.

Till next time......Happy Quilting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happening Right Now - Amish Quilts

The Flint Institute of Arts has Amish quilts on display through November 13, 2011. The quilts are from the private collection of Marsha and Tom French. The exhibit includes quilts from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Click here for more information. See this link for a Detroit News review.

This is one I've got to make sure and see.

Till next time.....Happy Quilting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Announcing some new blogs

I want to announce three new blogs. Two I contribute to and one is from the always wonderful Barbara Brackman.

Barbara has decided to blog once a month about the War of 1812, since next year will be the 200 year anniversary of the event and many quilters are asking her advice while making commemorative quilts of the era. Barbara has named her new blog Quilt 1812: War and Piecing. Since one of my favorite books is War and Peace (about Napoleon's war with Russia from 1805-1815)I love the name of this blog. You can find it in my blog roll. She promised her first post today.

The other two blogs are part of a research project on quilts and health. For those of you who don't subscribe to the Quilt History List, her is the post researcher (and my boss) Marsha MacDowell wrote about it:
A multi-disciplinary cluster of individuals representing the Great Lakes Quilt Center (Michigan State University Museum), the MSU College of Human Medicine, and other university partners have begun to examine the intersection of quilts and quiltmaking and health. Although we have done literature searches, we have uncovered precious few academic or general articles related to quilts and health. We would greatly appreciate input from list members about any published -- or unpublished - research related to this topic. We are aware of the recent article by Jacqueline Atkinson in The Quilter (issue 127, summer 2011) and a few that relate to the NAMES Project quilt.  Given the thousands and thousands of quilts that have been made, historically and currently, that are tied to individual well-being, health, patient advocacy, fundraising, education, and memorializing or honoring loved ones, we thought there would be a stronger body of scientific literature from humanistic, social science, educational, and medical perspectives BUT we are not finding much. We welcome any assistance in identifying related research.

I'd like to invite everyone to subscribe to the blogs. The above description is a bit academic, but I know there are 10,000s of quilters across the world who make quilts to donate to children's hospitals, raffle or commemorate a loved one. We'd love to hear your stories and welcome your participation. 

The blogs are Quilts and Health and Native Healing Quilts. You can also find the blogs in my blog roll.

And now for a picture of a quilt, just to keep the post pretty!
This is an antique from my personal collection. I purchased
it on eBay. What attracted me was the huge baskets that even
though they were very large, there was no room for the fruit!
The fruit was embroidered outside the handles.
Till next time......Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Quilts Matter

WooHoo! A nine part documentary on quiltmaking on PBS this fall. Check out their website 

Thanks to my friend Phyllis for the link.

Till next time....Happy Quilting 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Merry Silber

Merry called this quilt Rose in the Window. It was made c1860
and was donated to the MSU Museum in 1995.
Merry Silber passed away on July 24, 2011. She was a great friend to the MSU Museum and the Great Lakes Quilt Center. Through the encouragement of her daughter, respected quilt dealer Julie Silber,  and the support of her husband Al, Merry began collecting quilts in the 1970s. Starting in the mid 1980s she began donating quilts to the MSU Museum. In all, she donated more than 35 quilts, tops, and pieces. You can see the collection at You can learn about her involvement with the MSU Museum at: Her interest in quilts included judging shows, producing shows and appraising quilts. She encouraged quilt owners to document their quilts with the Michigan Quilt Project and was responsible for other quilts being donated to the MSU Museum. A few years ago, Merry was interviewed and filmed for the The Alliance for American Quilts, Quilt Treasures project. You can see her interview here: 

I will miss Merry, but am happy I got to know her.

Till next time....Happy Quilting

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some nifty quilty services, free online!

 Have you run out of a fabric and just need a bit to finish the project? Try Find My Fabric. Upload a picture and this website will search a database of thousands of prints and help you find an online source for it, or a good substitute. I haven't tried it myself yet, but it sounds really cool.

To prevent fabric shortages, try this Free Online Fabric Calculator from It's rather simple, but if you want a rough idea of how much to buy before you hit the quilt shop, this will be helpful.

If you're a coupon fan you might try Quilter's Daily Special. It offers online coupons for participating quilt shops. Everyday a new offer. To get a sample of what they're up to go to the Quilter's Daily Special Blog.
Till next time....Happy Quilting

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cut GlassDish

I just saw a post on facebook where Mark French was asking the name of a pattern. I knew the name, since I made one for my next door neighbor's baby. He just turned 1 last month. Mark's post reminded me that I had never posted Isaak's quilt. So here it is, my version of the Cut Glass Dish.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July.

Last night I went to my SIL's for a yummy Hawaiian barbecue and to view the fireworks over Sylvan Lake. It was fabulous! We walked from SIL's house down to the lake and shared the experience with her whole neighborhood. The beach was packed, boaters, kayakers, pontooners were on the lake and kids were in the water. It was a pure Michigan moment. And the fireworks were spectacular. The breeze off the
lake kept the mosquitos at bay. I didn't get a single bite, and I'm a notorious mosquito magnet.

To celebrate the holiday here's a quilt I made with my friend Norine for my Charm Quilts book. The shape is the braid and I love the way it tessellates. Norine has been having serious health problems lately, so I'm posting this with a little prayer for her.
 Since I've already seen fireworks this weekend I'll be spending my evening with a James Cagney double feature. Yankee Doodle Dandy and The Roaring Twenties.

It starts tonight on Turner Classic Movies at 8pm EST.

Till next time....Happy Quilting

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another UFO, the tale of many Lone Stars.

In 2001 I worked on the book Great Lakes, Great Quilts for the MSU Museum and C&T Publishing. It was my job, with my colleague Mary Worrall to reproduce 12 quilts from the collection and write the patterns, too. One of the quilts I reproduced was this Native American Lone Star from the Museum's collection.

Below is the reproduction quilt that I made (with fabulous machine quilting from Kari Ruedisale).
I strip pieced the diamonds and had extra left on each strip. I used them to make this little quilt. It measures 28" x 32".
 I still had more diamonds left so I put them together. Just last week I got the star out, added the setting triangles and rectangles to come up with this.

The center diamond is 36" x 36". I pinned it to my design wall to admire it and noticed I put one diamond in backwards. Now I don't believe in putting in a mistake on purpose to appease the quilt gods. I error all on my own. So I took it apart and fixed it. Another of my goals is to master my EQ7 program. I went to my computer, created the center lone star and played around with the borders. I came up with this.

This week I'm on vacation from work. I was going up North, but the weather is bad so DH decided to delay our trip one day. That gives me today to sew. I'm working on the corner blocks in the border. I'll post when the top is done.

So 10 years later, I'll get this project done. Did I mention, I'm only using fabric from my stash? Bonus.

Till next time....Happy Quilting

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old Favorites

In 1995  I wrote my first book, Block By Block. My favorite quilt from the book is Ships That Pass in the Night. The boat block is traditional and the star is my variation of the Ohio Star. Add to that four patch cornerstones and you get diagonal squares running around the boats.
That quilt was made over 15 years ago, so I was delighted when Debbie Dean from North Carolina sent me this picture of a quilt she made for her grandchild just last week.

It's so fun to see this in other colors. I love the red, beautiful job Debbie, thanks for sharing.

Till next time.....Happy Quilting

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Last night, Tom, Katy and I took Colleen out to dinner to celebrate her graduation with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. It's been a long haul for Colleen and we're very proud. She chose Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor for our little party. We had a wonderful time and I highly recommend it. Also yesterday, my block exchange buddy Terry had an open house for her daughter Erin's high school graduation. For this year's block exchange Terry has requested 12" quilt blocks based on her daughter's favorite musicals. Terry and Erin planned to display the blocks at her open house. I didn't finish the block until today, so it didn't make it to the display. I chose Beauty and the Beast and made the block below.
I used the logo from the Broadway version and did reverse applique for the beast and the rose and hand embroidery for the letters. I'm pleased the way it turned out. I've seen some of the other blocks for the quilt and it's going to be a stunner. 

Till next time......Happy Quilting

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Quilt for Cruz

My daughter's best friend from high school had her second baby. I decided to use a UFO to make her new baby boy Cruz a quilt. The pattern is The Lattice and you can get a free pattern for it by clicking here. I had fun with the machine quilting. In each of the white squares you will find, a letter from the alphabet, the letters in Cruz' name, the numbers 1-10, or an outline of an animal, fruit, or other fun thing.

Photos by Pearl Yee Wong
Till next time.....Happy Quilting.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Busy Month

This has been a busy month for me. Along with working full time, I gave a lecture on the history of quiltmaking for the CAMEO Quilters Guild in Madison Heights, MI.  I arrived a couple of hours earlier so I could see the show and shop the vendors mall. The quilts displayed were wonderful and I'll share a few of my favorites.
Here's a rarity, a beautifully hand appliqued and hand quilted quilt.
Unfortunately my pictures of the quilt labels weren't all clear, so I don't know who made this quilt, but I remember one of the CAMEO members telling me she designed it, too!
This elephant was made by Ruth McCormick..

I really liked this Michigan sampler, but again didn't catch the makers name.

So, thanks to the CAMEO Quilters for a great show and for the great audience for my talk. I promise next time to do better with the credits on my photos.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Michigan Quilters Win Big in Paducah.

Michigan quilters take the top two awards, Best of Show and Best Wall Quilt in the American Quilters Society Show. Well done!

Janome Best of Show

Paisley Peacock
Pat Holly, Ann Arbor, MI

Moda Best Wall Award

Port of Cassis
Lenore Crawford, Midland, MI

Till next time...Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And the Winner Is....

The book giveaway is over.
From my blog the winner is...

Susan said...
S is for Stitching, which all quilters love to do!

From the Quilting Gallery the winner is
Kylie from Swan Hill, Australia!
W is for wedding rings. I have to make a wedding quilt but I’m not sure a wedding ring pattern is for me

The books are in the mail.

Thanks to everyone who participated. It was fun to read all your posts. I hope you'll come by and visit my blog again.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Guest blogging and Super Modeling

Welcome to my blog to all the new visitors and old friends. I’m featuring a project I was lucky to be involved with. The illustrations below are from the new children’s book F is for Friendship: A Quilt Alphabet by Helen L. Wilbur, illustrated by Gijsbert (Nick) van Frankenhuyzen. Last summer when Nick was researching with local quilters, some of them suggested he call me. A huge THANK YOU to them.

The blue and white quilt is one I made for my book, Block By Block.

The quilt the kitty is perched on was for an article on pieced borders for the (now defunct) magazine Traditional Quilter. To see the book cover, another illustration (my favorite one) and read more about the project, go to this page where I’m the Guest Blogger!

Guest Blogger on Quilting Gallery

To celebrate the release of the book (you can find it on Amazon or your local bookstore) and being a Guest Blogger, I’m giving away two books. To enter the give-away, leave a comment below. Starting with A is for appliqué, B is for bobbin, C is for... leave a comment that follows the next available letter after the comment above yours. When you make it to the end, start over again. One book will be chosen randomly from the comments on this page, and the other will be chosen from comments left on the Guest Blogger page. If you’re new to my blog, check out my free patterns, leave a comment here, then go to the Guest Blogger page for another chance to win.

Till next time….Happy Quilting.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Victorian Trade Cards

The heyday of the advertising trade card was 1880-1900. By 1900, postal rates made mailing magazines cheap and most business people moved their ads to magazines.

When sewing machines were first on the market, they were used mostly in factories and sweat shops. Sewing machine manufacturers recognized women homemakers were a vast untapped market. Singer offered their machines on a payment plan, making them affordable. The other hurdle was to convince their customers that women could run the machine. The trade cards helped to persuade consumers (or their husbands) to purchase by putting the machines in familiar settings.
Ladies could sew together,
or with their family. This reminds me of those happy times with my girls happily playing at my feet while I sewed. LOL!
In fact sewing was so easy, even babies riding bikes could do it.
People were sewing everywhere, in the Sunny South
the Far West
in Italy
and Russian peasant households.
Even in Heaven!
And if you chose the right wedding gift
You could avoid a lot of heartache later on. The first caption reads, "I will have a 'New Home' Machine." and the second, "A 'New Home' or a divorce, Take your choice sir!"

Till next time.....Happy Quilting!