Birthday Blessings

Back in February I read an article in the Kansas City Star about an organization that was providing birthday parties to children in Kansas City, Kansas whose families were struggling to make ends meet.  Interestingly one of the two founders used to be a school psychologist in KCK while I was teaching there.  We never had a school in common but I knew of her and I’m sure we crossed paths at workshops and inservices.



Volunteers provide balloons, a home-made birthday cake, and a gift for children from 1 to 12 years of age.  You can read more about how they got started here.  I understand that they are branching out into North KC and Kansas City, Missouri.

I quickly signed up and after picking out and delivering my first gift I began to think about making quilts for the kids and how that might work.  Before going any further I e-mailed Jill to see if this was something they would even want and she said “Sure!” Then I talked to some of my sewing friends and KCMQG members and the next month I received nine small quilts to donate!  I wish I had taken pictures of them all but I only  have the ones I have stitched up so far.

BB April 2013 001      BB April 2013 004

This first one is from Hyacinth Designs called Garden Fence using Tula Pink’s Birds and Bees fabric.  I have enough left for another whole quilt.

BB April 2013 007

The next one used some batik jelly roll strips.  The design is from Quilting Quickly magazine Spring 2013.  It’s by Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company fame.  My friends Claudia, Julia, Joyce, and Leslie helped me put the top together.

BB April 2013 009       BB April 2013 012

Louie decided he had to get in on the action.








BB May 2013 001        BB May 2013 002







BB May 2013 003

The last one I finished this week.  I used a charm pack that I think was from Free Spirit picked up at QuiltCon.  My friends also helped me with this disappearing nine patch top.




Right now the quilts are just going to one and two year olds.  Once BB becomes  a sanctioned charity of the KCMQG maybe we’ll be able to provide quilts for all the children.  Contact me if you’re interested in donating a quilt!


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April Finishes

I’m a little behind schedule here posting about the two quilts I finished last month. Since then I’ve been working on some smaller projects that had hard deadlines so I neglected to get this up sooner.

First is my Denyse Schmidt improv quilt.  As I mentioned last October, I attended her lecture for the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild and the follow-up workshop.  I ended up with seven blocks of various sizes and had no idea what to do with them…..until I saw what Shea had done with hers at one of our meetings.

DS improv 5I used chocolate brown Kona instead of Shea’s charcoal gray and I think mine is bigger and more off-center.

DS improv 4

The back is Moda Grunge, I’m not sure what color.  The photo makes it look very orange but it’s much more red.

DS improv 2     DS improv 1

I quilted the blocks with a boxy maze-like pattern and my go-to waves on the borders.

DS improv 6
Instead of binding the quilt I used the facing method I learned about from Valori Wells in one of her workshops at QuiltCon.  I think it looks good on this type of quilt.

hand hexie big stitch 002The second finish was a long time coming.  I started the English Paper Piecing probably two years ago.  Many hours of guilt-free TV watching ensued.  I wanted to use up some of my 30s reproduction scraps but I’m sure I ended up buying more than I saved.

I looked all over the internet for a good way to finish this off, without much luck.  Everything I found had you either appliqueing the flowers onto a really big background or cutting edges off.  Neither of those seemed like the best options to me.  So I cut the  foundation paper and pieced those for the edges before applying the border.

hand hexie big stitch 003

I then decided to big stitch quilt the entire thing.  I used a wool batting which made the stitching much smoother.    I think I’ll have to keep this quilt after all that work.

hand hexie big stitch 004

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KCMQG Retreat and Workshop

Three weeks ago my local modern quilt guild hosted its second annual weekend retreat “Quilting By the Kaw” in Lawrence, Kansas.  Spring Hill Suites overlooks the Kansas (or Kaw) River, and although it’s not a spectacular view, it is restful and calming.


Sewing for two days straight was heavenly!  My only breaks were a field trip to Sarah’s Fabrics and watching  Wichita State lose to Louisville in basketball on Saturday.

One of my projects was this Bento Box-like quilt top using two long-saved Together layer cakes by Moda.   retreat 2013 001

retreat 2013 003What started out like this…..

…..ended up like this:

retreat 2013 005







pp workshop 005I scored these as a door prize.  It’s nice to see some flowers somewhere!

PP workshop 002

Last weekend I took a paper piecing workshop through the Guild with Julie. I’ve done some PP before, mostly blocks here and there.   But Julie has some mad  skills and I was able to learn a lot in the measly two hours we had.

PP workshop 001

This cute little tree was our warm-up exercise.






From this….PP workshop 003

… this in just 20 simple steps!  pp workshop 006


Julie designed this pattern that she calls Geese Crossing.  Now I just have three more to do.  Not sure if this will be a pillow, wall hanging or something else.



PP workshop 004

We had quite a variety of trees and geese at the end.  What a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

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It Takes a Village

As I wrote back in January, it was my month for Design Camp, an improvisational Flickr bee.  My idea was based on this fabric my daughter bought for me from Ikea.

January 13 Design Camp fabric 003

I sent out Kona solids to my bee mates in baby blue, plum, spearmint, oyster, pepper, and denim.  The first block I received was from Sew in Love With the Boy.  I’m sew in love with the block!sew in love with the boy Jan. '13Next came this darling house from A Little Taste of Sunshine complete with a picket fence!  Then this modern one with a tree from Lynds0517.  Aren’t they cute!

from ALittleTasteOfSunshine Jan. '13

from lynds0517 Jan. '13

from designcampdx Jan. '13        from Dorrylu Jan. '13

Then this darling ranch style arrived from Design Camp.  Dorrylu’s house with tree came a couple of days later.

Home Sweet Home Jan. '13 001

The last one I received so far is from Birdydanana.  So cute!  And methinks a lot of work.  I know a few bee mates are running behind so I still have a couple of blocks to come in.  Can’t wait to start putting these beauties together.


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QuiltCon in Review, Part II

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 019

The 80s party on the Friday night of QuiltCon was a lot of fun! I think those who had the best time were not even born yet.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 033

The girls from Marmalade Fabrics, Tammy and Lisa, were dressed for the occassion.  This after a very full day cutting and selling their awesome wares.

There were so many amazing quilts in the show.  Judging must have been tough. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of the Best In Show quilt but you can see it here.  (Thank you, Hollie!) I also neglected to take good notes so I apologize for not giving credit for a couple but here are a few of my favorites.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 018

Dear Stella as Charm Squares Baby Quilt by Melody Baker

Dear Stella as Charm Squares Baby Quilt by Melody Baker

Blue Ice by Jacquie Gering

Blue Ice by Jacquie Gering

Pantone Circles by Elizabeth Brandt

Pantone Circles by Elizabeth Brandt

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 014


RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

RGB Modern by Sherri Lynn Wood

Don't Box Me In by Tammy Vasser

Don’t Box Me In by Tammy Vasser

Texas by Dana Michaelsen

Texas by Dana Michaelsen

Stringtastic by Nicole Neblett

Stringtastic by Nicole Neblett



Kelsey's Crosses by Mary Workman

Kelsey’s Crosses by Mary Workman

Cancer Sucks by Austin Modern Quilt Guild for Cindy Crowell

Cancer Sucks by Austin Modern Quilt Guild for Cindy Crowell

Network by Cheryl Arkison

Network by Cheryl Arkison

Windy City by the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild

Windy City by the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild

Just One More Slice by Patty Simmons

Just One More Slice by Patty Simmons














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QuiltCon in Review, Part 1

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 038

It’s been a whole week since I arrived back from Austin.  I spent this weekend with daughter #2 for Mom’s Weekend so I still feel like I’m in a haze.  But QuiltCon was everything I hoped it would be and more.

The first workshop I took was “Get Your Curve On” with Sherri Lynn Woods.  It was very challenging and should easily have filled two days instead of six hours.  I’m always surprised to see so much variety in design even when given the same instructions.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 022

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 026        QuiltCon Feb. 2013 027

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 030

I’m not sure where this one of mine will end up but it was fun, and did I mention CHALLENGING?

My second workshop was with Valori Wells.  “Signature Quilts” was more relaxing.  Just wish I had more to show for the time spent.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 034

These are the fabrics I chose for my project.QuiltCon Feb. 2013 036

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 037

The fabrics cut into 4″ strips.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 041

I love the wonkiness of these panels, and the colors work well together.  These blocks look big but they are only about 14 inches wide.  I’ll be finishing this quilt soon, I hope.

QuiltCon Feb. 2013 023

We were able to use these cute Janome machines in the Curves class.  I’ve been sewing on my Bernina so long I thought I would have a hard time adjusting to a different and newer machine.  When I found out the local shop was offering an amazing deal on the classroom machines I thought long and hard.  I certainly don’t NEED one, even a small one that would be great to tote around to retreats and sew-in days.  But I couldn’t pass it up.  Included were an extension table, five or six feet, several bobbins AND no sales tax and free shipping.  She came while I was out of town this weekend so I can’t wait to play around with her again.

I’ll post about some of my favorite QuiltCon show quilts in the next day or two.


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Kathy’s Quilt

I found this Mary Engelbreit fabric online a couple of years ago.  I thought I was ordering a charm pack but it ended up being a turnover, which I’d not seen before. Then later I  found a charm pack when I ordered the border fabric.  But I was stumped what to do with it.  (Louie, how did you get in there?)

Kathy's quilt 001

Before Christmas this year I vowed to find a way to use it.  The line is called “The Caroler” and nearly impossible to find now so I needed to use just what I had.  Perusing some books I came across the friendship star block and it seemed to be the perfect solution.

Kathy's quilt 002

As I started cutting and sewing the blocks I kept thinking of my friend Kathy.  We started as neighbors more than fifteen years ago and have stayed in touch through her three moves, divorce, and death of her mother.  She’s been there for me through some rough patches, as well.  I’m happy she’s back in town and we can talk on the phone even if we don’t get together often.  Anyway, Kathy is an art lover and I knew she’d appreciate these bright colors.  So even though I thought originally I would keep this quilt, I soon knew I had to give it to her.

Kathy's quilt 005

Unfortunately I didn’t finish it in time for Christmas but I did give it to her two weeks ago.  I know she was surprised and I think she really likes it.

Kathy's quilt 003

At first I wanted to try something new with the quilting by breaking the blocks down and mixing some different patterns in.  But that would have taken me much longer than I’d wanted so I fell back on my tried and true wavy lines.

Kathy's quilt 004

I’m so happy this quilt has a good home and will be well taken care of.

Countdown to QuiltCon: 3 days


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