Friday, December 30, 2016

Adios 2016

You may or may not remember this quilt.  It was an Irish Chain variation that I made awhile ago.  It will be one of the featured quilts in our upcoming Blue and White Book with Martingale.

To make a long story short...... when I first made this there wasn't a pattern for strip piecing it.  And believe me - if you want to make it - you want to strip piece it.  A plan was hatched to re-do the quilt - take lots of notes - and come up with a strip piecing pattern for it.  That was my plan for the week between Christmas and New Year's and I made it!

Instead of the 2 color version you see above - I wanted to test the pattern in a 3 color version using the Snowfall fabric collection and some extra red fabrics.

Strips were cut, an audio book (or 2) was put on, and I strip pieced......
I pressed all my seams open because I plan on hand quilting this quilt - just like the blue and white one - and pressing the seams open really helps with that.  That said - pressing all the millions of seams open on this was time consuming.  
The blocks started to pile up.

Soon I had the 99 blocks made.

As I said earlier today on IG when I posted this picture of the "sewing of the last seam", the last seam is like wrestling a goat.  

Here is the 3 color version. Unlike the traditional Irish Chain quilts that have sharp lines, I wanted this variation to look washed out and blurry.  It seems to work.  Note that lots and lots of mis-matching seams also tend to make it look blurry :)  That was my plan all along. Heh.  It will take a few weeks to get the pattern up and running.  I'll post here and on IG when it is ready and in our Etsy shop.  

I call this a wrap for 2016.  See you on the other side.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

We hope you all are having a peaceful day, surrounded by friends and family.   I'm still a little under the weather, but feeling well enough to work on a quilt.  Sadly, I think I'm still contagious so a little confinement is in order.  All is good, though and a holiday spirit is even more contagious.

I have lots of strips sets to keep me company.
This project will progress this week and I hope to have a top early in 2017.

This project also helped my convalesce.  I purchased a Needle Plus pattern to make the Granddaughter's Needle Box.  This was fun to make and I'm delighted with the end product. 

Have the Merriest of Christmas and take time to relax and take a few stitches.  It is very easy to over-do this time of year.

This is a reminder that we still have a little sale going on.  Use the coupon code THANKYOU in our Etsy store before 2017 and you will get 20% off any order over $75.00.  

Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 15, 2016

We hope all your holiday plans are going smoothly.  Both Polly and I are home bound (me by sub zero temperatures) and working on projects.  I hope to have pictures of my "in progress" quilt soon.  Today I am starching and cutting strips.

Here is what has been happening lately.....
There was a weekend trip to Toronto and we toured the Hockey Hall of Fame.  This is the entrance.

I took a picture of some of my Christmas quilts after our first snow.  From left to right it's Pieceful Journey, Lake Effect, and Patrick's Patchwork II.  Lake Effect and Patrick's Patchwork II patterns are in our Etsy shop.  Pieceful Journey was in a McCall's magazine many years ago and that issue is unfortunately sold out - BUT we have a smaller version in our Etsy shop titled Christmas Past.

Waiting for supplies to arrive for my next quilt..... I worked on this one.  This is the center finished and the borders will come later.  This is one of those projects I work on in fits and spurts.  It's called The Rowdy Flat Library Quilt designed by Susan Smith.  I bet you think it's a bit different than my usual quilts. It is.  I wanted a quilt that could use a bright orange toile - and this seemed to be the one.

If you need supplies for an upcoming quilt - maybe we can be of help.  All Miss Scarlet pre-cuts in our Etsy shop are on sale 30% - Just use the coupon code MISSSCARLET when you check out. The pre-cuts can be found in the Fabric Bundle section.

I'm using a bit of Miss Scarlet right now in my new wintery quilt (I'll post pics very, very soon)



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lake Effect

My Lake Effect quilt is quilted and bound.  It was expertly quilted by Kari Ruedisale - thanks Kari!

I wanted to get a picture outside, but the weather wouldn't cooperate.

We have the pattern in out Etsy shop HERE.

We are also taking reservations on the complete kit HERE.  The kits will ship in April when our Snowfall fabric ships to shops.

Patrick's Patchwork II is also available HERE.

It's feeling quite wintery here lately. I am currently sipping on my first cup of hot chocolate of the season.  Bill and I just spent a lovely weekend in Toronto.
This almost looks like a real photographer took this photo, doesn't it? Nope, it was me.  This is the entrance to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  

We also spent a grand afternoon at the Christmas Market.  

And last, but not least - here is a peak at something else happening in April of 2017 - our new book with Martingale Publishing.



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Inventory Update

 Now that we are back from Houston and settling in..... some of our purchases are here.  We have these great  See Your Stuff bags.  4 nested clear bags to store all your projects and sewing notions.  It makes hand work at home or on the road very easy and keeps things neat.  They are in our Etsy shop HERE.

The Star A Day pattern is also back in stock.  You can find them HERE

I expect to have this pattern........

And this pattern... in our store in a few days.  There will also be the papers and templates to make Lake Effect.  You can see my Lake Effect above.  It looks a little lumpy because some of the papers still needed to be taken out.  I hope to show it to you all quilted very, very soon.



Monday, November 7, 2016

Snowfall Winners!

Thank you everyone for saying such nice things about Snowfall

The 3 winners are.....

Becky S



Email me at

I did get some English paper piecing done this weekend.  Maybe by next weekend I'll have Lake Effect all done.



Wednesday, November 2, 2016


This is Snowfall - our new collection with Moda Fabrics.  We hope you like it.

We are just back from Houston were this was debuted.   Here are some more pics from Houston.

This is what Lake Effect will look like shortly.  I have the top and bottom border to still put on.  

The Lake Effect quilt here is a digital printed quilt!  Moda saved my behind printing this one for us.  Lake Effect is on the left.  Patrick's Patchwork is on the right.  There are pajama pants, pillows, and a backpack and a Christmas mitten made out of Cottonworks. 

Here is a better view of Patrick's Patchwork.
Patrick's Patchwork and Lake Effect patterns will be in our Etsy store very soon.

This is Lake Effect in progress last week before the side borders were added.

Some people were curious about the back of the English paper piecing.  I should have all the EPP finished in the next week or so.  Big reveal then.   When it gets time to start thinking about the kits for this (the fabric gets here in April) - know that we also have a EPP package to go with the kit.  All the papers, the 2 acrylic templates are included.

This is Toulouse - a pattern by Miss Rosie - all done up in Snowfall.  We love it. So did many of the attendees at International Quilt Market.  This will be a boxed kit from Moda in April.  You will be able to get these all over - including our very own Etsy store.

Here I am (looking thrilled as you can see) filming a little demo on EPP.  I really was happy and excited about it - despite the photographic evidence to the contrary.

Tell us what you think of Snowfall, or EPP, or Houston, or being photographed....... make a comment here before midnight November 6th and you could win those salesman sample - flippy fabric things in the video above.  There is more fabric there than is in a Layer Cake™ - but not more than a Fat Quarter Bundle - that's a lot of fabric to play with.  There are also surprises from Moda Fabrics!  That Christmas mitten is included - as is Moda Candy from many of the market collections.  Yes - 3 big packages will be mailed out.  Good Luck!



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Houston Bound

My bags are packed and I have a flight out at an obscene hour tomorrow.  I'll be in the convention center before some of my colleagues wake.

I'll be posting photos on Instagram during the show - as will just about everyone else I know.  Between all of us, you might get an idea of the madness, fun, and inspiration.

I'm drawing back the curtain so you can see the glamorous innards of my studio.  Computer, printer, ugly cords, and chicken scratch drawings.  This is what pattern writing looks like.  This has been my life the last month.  That and sore fingers.  I'll be showing you my epic (my words) English Paper Pieced quilt for quilt market.  English Paper piecing is fun (hand piecing!!), relaxing, lovely, and because I'm doing a bit different kind of stitch that I'm used too (whip stitch) - my fingers felt the strain.   
Sadly, the quilt isn't QUITE finished.  There is a digital print of the quilt ready to show you - and my top which needs 2 more sections pieced onto it.  That's not a huge disappointment since now I can "demonstrate" English paper piecing while in Houston. I'll post those pictures on Instagram.  This is the raw material I had to work with.....
This is Snowfall.  We are showing it to shop owners this weekend in Houston at International Quilt Market.  Those of you with an astute eye will notice some similarities between this collection and our Winter collection from a few years ago.  Yes, same color palette and some identical prints - but a dozen new ones and the coordinating wovens!  The wovens are not fuzzy or flannel, but a thin weight - much like the silky wovens that Moda has done in the past.  You will love them.  

There are more quilts and stuff to show.  

What else has happened since I last wrote? I've been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack.  What can I say - it's brilliant. Love it.  Maybe someday I will win the lottery and I can see it live on Broadway.
So, tomorrow on the plane I'll be humming "The Room Where It Happens" while I fly to the convention where it happens.



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cotton Works Winner!

The winner of the Cotton Works Fat Quarter Bundle is.....

I'll be sending you this asap!

Thank you all for saying such nice things about Cotton Works - and my shoes.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Arrivals

This new Moda/Martingale collaboration is now available! I was lucky enough to be included.

This is my Stars and Stars quilt. I used foundation paper piecing.  It's not my usual go-to construction, but in small doses (just like this quilt) it really packs a punch. Perfect, sharp pointed stars.  

Look what else will be showing up in your local quilt shops in the next few days.... Cotton Works!  This is our 100% cotton fabric that looks and feels like wool.  It's perfect to use in traditional wool stitchery - by itself - or in combo with your wool scraps.

This is one of our patterns using it - the Flower Day Table Topper.

Our friend Carrie made this super pillow with Cotton Works.  (This may or may not have been claimed by a member of the Simpson family who uses it in his favorite leather chair)  (thanks to Moda for letting me steal these photos from the Cutting Table blog)

In other news....... I have to get rid of 2 boxes of shoes.  Beautiful, barely worn shoes.  Stylish sandals and still pristine dress shoes. Poor me.  It seems I now need orthotics.  The new orthotics are working grand, but they take up quite a bit of space in my shoes.  I now need to buy new shoes a half - to a full size bigger than usual.  So in other news.... Lucky me! Shoe shopping!! (can we all say a special thank you to the annual Nordstrom shoe sale)

In better news.... How about a Cotton Works giveaway to celebrate these new arrivals!

Comment on this post about Cotton Works, mini quilts, shoe shopping, or anything at all and you could win this.

Comment before midnight Friday October 7th to be eligible.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016


How can there be only 2 more days of September?

I'm writing this on a cool, windy, rainy night. I'm wearing sweat pants, sweatshirt, and socks. Socks, people! It's been a few months since I've worn those.  Someone in the neighborhood is burning logs in their fireplace and the whole neighborhood smells wonderful. The neighborhood is also quite noisy.  There are many, many black walnut trees in this block and today seems to be the day they are all dropping. If you aren't used to the noise every fall you might think artillery is hitting the roof.

Fall is definitely here.  I made this a couple of days ago and the recipe is going into the permanent file.

This is what is commonly called the New York Times Plum Torte.  You can find the very easy recipe HERE.

The weather is particularly nice since I'm busy sewing a quilt for Quilt Market next month.  I can't show you much, but I'll give you a couple of hints.
Some red berries might be involved.  And our color palette is being tweaked just a bit.

I'm feeling quite jolly about it.

Since I'm in the holiday mood - how about a little sale?  As a thank you to our Block of The Month customers, we but some quilt backings in our Etsy shop.  We gave a special coupon code to the Portage Lake BOM members - BACK40 - and they could purchase their backs at 40% off.  The sale is good for the whole month of September.  We have just a few quilt backs left - and we have 2 days left in September.

Let me give you another hint - as long as the total of your "shopping cart" is $56.00 or more (the cost of the quilt backs) - everything you put in your shopping cart would be 40% off if you use the coupon code BACK40.

For all of you Block of The Month people - you can get another back, or anything in the shop that is at least $56.00 in value to take advantage of the sale again, there is only a few more hours left in September.  Thank you all - we sold a ton of quilt backs.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Football, Books, and Shoes

Hello again.  I'll tell you about the last couple of weeks by going through my photos on my phone. Polly, myself, Jennifer and Steve Keltner  had a nice treat 2 weeks ago. We watched a University of Michigan football game together.  We had spiffy seats. I'll probably never get to watch a game in that kind of comfort again.  A good time was had by all.  What you see here is the halftime show paying homage to Veterans.

I put several works in progress up on my design wall to see how they are getting along.  I haven't shown this one before on the blog.  It's a BOM from Australia called the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.  It's kind of eccentric and very, very fun.  I went off in a totally different color palette (trying to channel my inner Australian).  There are 3 more big blocks to go - plus an appliqué border. It's excess on top of excess. 

This is the progress so far on my Star A Day quilt.  Only 2 more blocks to go.  It's all made with Minick and Simpson scraps and despite using hundreds of different fabrics - it is quite cohesive.  Just a reminder that all Minick and Simpson fabrics will work together.   For those of you looking for the pattern - we are currently sold out - but I will be stocking up on more next month at Quilt Market.  The next time I post an in-progress photo of this quilt - we will have the patterns back in stock.

 I have added to my personal library with these 4 beauties. The top 2 are artist studios and home decor and then the new Kaffe Fassett book and the new Gwen Marston book from Martingale.  There is so much inspiration in all of them.
 Speaking of books....... we can now announce that we will have a new one out in April of 2017.  It will be published by Martingale and will be a coffee table type book - tons of pictures! We know you want it and need it, right?  More info when publication gets closer.  So that sort of solves the mystery of why my fabric shelves are so neat.  Picture taking!

Jennifer Keltner and Brent Kane took tons of gorgeous photos.  Don't let these pics taken on my iPhone prejudice you on the beauty.  

This is my Mrs. Billings Coverlet looking spiffy on a great bed.

This is one of Polly's new rugs looking spectacular over a cupboard.  These are just a small drop in the bucket of pictures.  We can't wait to see it all put together.

 In other news..... I'm breaking in my new pair of Quilt Market shoes.



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