Road Trip 2015





Our vacation started at the Muskegon Irish Music festival and they hosted a highland games. We had a great time. They have really good bands with several from Ireland….. so I did take some time away from the games to listen. I loved Slide and the High Kings.¬† Better live than on the cd, a rarity these days. I got to stand in front of murals and feel like I was in Ireland for a day.


My husband Jay, Dale and Damon.


Stone throw




Someone gets a personal best record and it is called a pr. So the women bought a piara ….Jay wore it for his 14 foot throw on weight over bar. Lol







The next day we drove to see our son for lunch and on the way we found a restored train and coal tower. So good to see our family.


I can tell that I will treated like a queen for the day here……



We stayed in Michigan City at a great casino…. the view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline was awesome. And what a sunset. And yes I did lose 20 bucks in the video poker game after I was up 20. That’s why I don’t play often.

Our 2 week vacation is going to be the topic for the next several posts. ūüôā





This baby quilt is freemotion quilt was completed before I left for vacation. It is called “pretty, pretty” and made by Holly. This quilt has flowers in the outer borders and the stitch changes as you move inward on the quilt.

As I was quilting the words in this quilt, I had thoughts about cursive writing. It wasn’t taught in my kids school and i dont think its really stressed to learn to read or use it. Typing is. I wondered if the baby would ever be able to read this. It sparked a huge debate in an online group about education. That isn’t and wasn’t my point. Times are changing and I am ok with that. It just made me feel well, old and a bit outdated or old fahioned.

It’s a lovely quilt and I hope that the baby loves it as much as I do!

Hello Sam




I quilted this baby quilt named Hello Sam for Holly.  It is my overall freemotion style. Its all very improv. In fact, all improv. I did use two thread colors, red on half and yellow on the light half. I wrote Hello Sam three times , its a bit of a search  to see it.  Two new things for me- lettering and changing thread colors. Its a new favorite. I think Hollys piecing is really inspiring.

I have such freedom on these quilts, what fun to be a part of!

Lots of work and lots of play

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Besides working at my day job,¬† I made a few things at home. I colored¬†and my paisley page is finished. I made 7 of 100 blocks in Tula Pink’s pattern book called Modern City Sampler . I am free motion quilting on a customer quilt.

I am working on things in short increments of about 10-20 minutes at a time. I feel like I am getting  further along creating this way vs doing a project in a hour or more block of time. Looking forward to my upcoming vacation, so I want to be caught up.

However, the universe has given so many around me a rotten infection. We are trying very hard to not get it before we leave but I have been coughed on directly by many people. I am beginning to think I am doomed to get this plague… just in time to go out of state! Here’s to hoping it doesn’t work out that way. We tempted our fate had date night last night with high school football, burritos and today¬†with tons of college football and prime rib. Go Blue! (for both teams)


Labor Day Specials

2015-09-07 11.23.32¬†I started long arming a baby quilt today for Holly. It is a lovely quilt. I am¬†trying to get better at using a ruler but so far not finding ruler work easy to do. I am loving doing¬†free motion quilting but this quilt is an “anything goes” type of project¬† and that is pretty fun. There is lots of open space that I am trying to decide what would be best. So I do a row at a¬†time¬†then think about it. ¬†Here are the results from the first row. Any tips for a left- handed longarmer on using a ruler?

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2015-09-04 16.01.10 I was gifted these lovelies from my friend Carol. What a wonderful gift, thanks!!

2015-09-04 06.49.51I worked on a pretty difficult block for Quiltmaker magazine to test the pattern. Watch for it in the next magazine. As you can tell I didn’t have all the best of luck¬†and it took me all week to get it finished. It destined to go to a charity quilt with other pattern testers blocks.

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I am starting to get my fall décor out. Here is my new pumpkin. I will slowly get more out over the month. I have several quilts and fall items. The leaves are changing so I am ready to see oranges, reds and yellows.


Tutorial for a Memory game-economical version vs Pinterest version

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I saw a memory game on Pinterest. I read through the tutorial on the Purl Bee blog see above picture. But the tutorial uses very expensive fabrics and the top frame was one piece on the fabric “card” for this memory or concentration game. click on picture to make it bigger to see details. I could not get a link to the blog to work today from Pinterest. Being a quilter and having arthritis, I wondered if you could make them using quilting techniques that would be easier for me and less tedious overall. I also used white flannel vs. 100 % wool felt. I used fabric scraps on hand, too! In fact, I had all the materials on hand so this project cost me nothing but the few minutes to sew each card.

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You will need pinking shears,  rotary cutter and mat, fusible interfacing, fabric scraps and flannel.

I cut out 2 squares of the focus¬†fabric for the game that is 2.5 inches. I cut one inch flannel strips to make a frame around the fabric card. They are cut too long and then squared up after sewing them. First add 2 shorter pieces to the top and bottom. Press. I use a 1/4″ seam allowance here.

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Then add one inch strips to the longer side, again using a 1 /4″ seam allowance. My flannel is from a scrap piece too so I am not measuring them to an exact length to sew. I would rather them be too long and trimmed once sewed.

2015-09-05 12.34.13Pic of trimming the strips.

I have cut 3.5 inch flannel squares for the back. I also cut a stack of 3.5 inch squares from the interfacing. Following the interfacing directions, iron a square of interfacing to the back of the¬†top with the fabric scrap square and then one to the flannel back. Be careful to put the bumpy or glue side to the back of the fabric. Don’t worry if you iron the glue…. just go get a used dryer sheet and iron it, took it off nicely when I goofed.

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Place the top over the back, WRONG SIDES Together and top stitch 3/8″ seam allowance on all sides . That happens to be the width of my presser foot and that measurement is on my sewing machine and it says 3/8″.

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Here is what mine looked like after top stitching each side. Then I took pinking shears and trimmed the edges.

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Here are the first four little square “cards”¬†, I am going to make about a dozen pairs for the match game.

Do you remember playing this with a deck of cards? Mix up the cards and then place them face down,  in rows. Take turns turning over 2 cards to find a pair. If you do make a match you get another turn,  if not,  the next player takes their turn. The fabric cards are intended for toddlers and it is a tool for learning colors, rules and memory training.

My tutorial is using much less expensive fabrics than the original post I saw. They used Liberty of London fabric at nearly 30$ a yard and 100% wool. I used cheap flannel left over from my design wall and scraps from my fabric stash. My version is still very cute, the cards are stiff and assembled in a faster, less tedious way.

Have fun making this little game!

RenFest at Holly, Michigan

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Last Saturday, I was at the Michigan RenFest in Holly, Michigan. I decided to work on a costume this year and I made a skirt. The rest of the costume are items that were given or loaned to me with my embellishments. I wanted to look more like a hobbit type of peasant. I think it was ok for a first attempt at a costume. We get to the festival early because my husband does the Highland games there. So here is the quiet of the festival just before the gates open.

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Some nice people took pics for me. Oh, I did get fairy dusted and make a wish. I sat on the Throne of swords and felt like a Queen in the game of thrones, I mean swords. Lol. It’s a fun day to make-believe and leave it all behind.

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I listened to my favorite band, Tartanic and they had Mandolete as a guest drummer. I love the bagpipes. I took a picture of the Cd girl because, wow. I was truly jealous. Dang!

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The highland games. Yes a pirate ship in the background not a porta potty. Love the costumes and the fun.


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Here are more sights and the after party in the pub. I didn’t see some things because of the rain. But while the guys were, bs…. I mean talking I did a little shopping. Love my stuff. All hand made. The pumpkin, too.


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I want to share a little story about the hand printed cards. They are made by a man in a shop called Ormworks. Find it at RenFest it is in a little side street. He is very funny and make all types of these hand printed cards and wall art. Several years ago when I was very , very broke I wanted to buy a special art piece for someone¬†to be¬†a gift. I could not¬†afford it so I settled and bought a few cards. He sensed I was upset that I couldn’t get the expensive gift. So he GAVE me a dated special edition piece dated theprevious year so I could have some art of size. I cried at the time. And every year I go back and buy cards and coloring pages that he prints. He printed his Grown up coloring pages before it became a “thing.” I really love his work and his generosity. He carves all the print on blocks. Amazing artist.

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Then we came home to bad weather this week causing more trim to have to be worked on… when it dries out. And I have a little infection in my finger nail bed that is now in the finger. On my dominant hand, and finger. I am finding how much I type, sew, crochet, and overall use that finger. I hit it all the time, made for an irritating week. It is feeling better. Yes, I am soaking it, using peroxide, antibiotic spray and Epsom salts. Any other ideas¬†are welcome. And yes I will seek medical attention if it¬†isn’t better by next week. I just wanted to end on me giving the week the bird…. because it wasn’t really fun or magical like¬†RenFest.

Watch for upcoming posts on the projects I am working on and a tutorial. Pinterest has some great ideas there.