Saturday, July 23, 2016


The first half of July was an extremely busy time in my studio, and household. First, our good friends Glen & Sherry went on an epic adventure, riding their Harley's to the West Coast, 4,400+ miles! Soooo.... we got to babysit their dog, Chase, a Golden Retriever. Chase is best buds with our Boxer, Buddy and fit right in with our pack. Nap time was a favorite activity.

Then, Dusty & Stephanie Farrell of Country Stitchin' came to visit! We set up my studio, borrowing an extra Gammill from my friend, Judy. Three Gammills in my studio! With Dusty teaching classes for the next 4 days, we were set. Oh, and yes, Cookie, their Chihuahua joined the pack. So we were now up to 5 dogs and a cat!

Dusty's classes began early Wednesday morning. He demo-ed some amazing ruler designs and background fillers. Everyone had plenty of hands-on time and personal attention. You can see from their expressions, the students had fun while absorbing all the information Dusty shared!

We even talked quilting during lunch while Dusty drew out some designs!

Four great days of classes! The creativity was flowing.....

How to decorate a Baptist Fan........

Some rulers we played with....

 How to use Skully........


Don't think we let Stephanie off the hook. She visited my local quilt guild, Perky Piecers where she demo-ed her Ruler Foot for domestic machines and all the rulers she has designed to use with it!

Dusty also did some quilting on leather, two biker-style vests and one student's chaps. My next blog post will be all about our adventures in quilting leather. I've ordered 2 vests for me to quilt on, so maybe I'll have those done by then.

We had a wonderful week with good friends, talented quilters and the Dog Pack! 
Dusty will be returning to Missouri Saturday September 10 for a lecture and Trunk Show. Let me know if you would like to attend. Email me at for details.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ha, The Breath of Life

Quilters, welcome back to my blog! It's been awhile and I've had so much going on that I will need multiple blog posts to share all the information.

Today I want to talk about my quilt "Ha, The Breath of Life". Not only did it take 2nd place at MQS in the Theme category, but it has deep personal meaning to me. The easiest way to explain it is by giving you the show description.

Ha, The Breath of Life

The ancient Polynesians believed that Ha, or The Breath of Life, was the passing of wisdom and spirit  from one generation to the next. It is signified by the sharing of breath, the source of all life.

My passion for quilting has come down thru the generations, from my Great-Great Grandmother thru to me. I am now passing this family tradition down to my own granddaughter.  Because my family and friends have always been my biggest supporters, I have collected photos of them giving Ha, The Breath of Life, to their next generations.

In keeping with this passing down of breath or wisdom thru generations, I have used Hand-Woven Burmese silks. The artists of Burma have passed their time honored skill of hand weaving silk from generation to generation. 

I choose to create a quilt with swirls of color and my favorite quilting motifs because I believe our pasts, presents and futures are intertwined making us each connected, yet unique.

How's that for a description?

I had taken this picture of my husband and Great-Grandson a few years ago. I knew that one day I would build a quilt around it. When MQS announced the 2016 Theme - Threads of Time - I knew instantly what I was going to do.

First I dug into my stash of Burmese silk I started collecting also a couple years ago. I was so prepared for this quilt, just didn't know it! The bottom roll is Burmese silks, the top fabric I added for more color variety.

Then I started collecting pictures of family and friends giving Ha to their grandchildren. I printed these on fabric and hand appliqued them on to the Silk. A 4x8 sheet of foam board in my living room and many hours of piecing later, I had a quilt top. Then the fun began!

In BeBe, not quite straight or flat, but I'm now chanting "You can quilt that out" in my head. I used only Glide thread by Fil-Tec with mostly Magna-Glide bobbins. I wound bobbins with matching Glide thread if there was no matching Pre-wound. I used Fil-Tec's Monopoly thread to stitch-in-the-ditch every seam with NO THREAD BREAKAGE! Glide in my Gammill Classic+ always gives me great tension, and believe me, I check often on my show quilts!

Each Silk has 1 or 2 pictures and all are quilted differently. Hearts in the center for Bob, the love of my life, and our first Great-Grandchild. Creating all the different motifs gave me the opportunity to express my creativity (or so I'm thinking!).

See all those little circles? Over 800! all quilted continuously using The Pebbler Ruler by Dusty Farrell from Country Stitchin'

Next came all the background filler pieces. Each color is quilted differently. Bobbin and safety pen are placed for size perspective.

Couching black yarn over all my seams adds a definite finishing touch!

And Now,................ 242 hours of quilting later.......

Ha, The Breath of Life

The back is solid black fabric. I use the same color bobbin thread as the top thread.

More pics of the back, just because I like it!

Hanging at MQS Cedar Rapids. Viewers tied the curtains back to see the back, and it hung this way thru out the whole show! 

This quilt was an amazing journey for me, from collecting pictures and fabrics, thru design, piecing and quilting. I hope you enjoyed viewing my journey as much as have I sharing it.

Happy Quilting