Tutorial -Improv Collaborative block with Leah Day!!!

I am making a improv block in this tutorial. I have made a few predetermined decisions before I started this block or mini quilt. I wanted it to be a wonky log cabin style with inserts of thin orange fabrics that are about 1 1/4″. It also will be a square 15 inch block that will be sent off as a collaboration with Leah Day!!! She is very inspirational and has tons of information on her blog about quilting and piecing. Her blog is here. She will be a guest on my podcast later this week, so more information about her and her business will be on show notes when it airs. She will post a podcast where she interviews me and will reveal how she free motion quilted this mini quilt in a few weeks.

A few tips, make your pieces way oversized and trim down to desired size. When you freehand cut curves make them gentle and not too drastic-see first pic in the post. I have to slow down when piecing  for a smooth curved seam.

I started with a blue rectangle and then free hand cut a curve. Then I sewed the orange strip. Note: I sewed straight orange pieces to the curved cuts in this quilt to accent the wonky feel of the block. More detailed tutorial on curves will be another post in the future.


The pieces are trimmed to be wonky and sometimes I made the seams wonky to add to the effect of it not being square. Add next round of color and trim it as you go, in a log cabin style. I prefer to add the next round with the strips added to be on the side of the previous rows seams. 2017-02-17-07-11-40

Now I make some decisions as I go and take a couple of risks, like the next one!2017-02-17-07-13-242017-02-17-07-13-572017-02-17-07-17-472017-02-20-09-56-06

Remember I said to make pieces oversized and trim down? Ok, I decided not to use the dark fabric but it shows that this could still be used if trimmed down. 2017-02-20-10-47-16

In this picture I am making more decisions on placement of my color of the oversize strips in the last round. I just keep moving it around till I like it! 2017-02-20-11-23-41

Some final thoughts: I learned how to make improv blocks by jumping into the deep end of the pool…. I just grabbed some fabric and tried it. I thought whats the worst thing that could happen, I may throw out a few pieces of fabric? I was ok with that as an option. However, my first attempt worked out and I kept practicing.  If the curves are new to you then start with strips of fabric and keep building up your quilt till you like it. Then, try free hand curves later when you have more confidence.

Final step:  Square it up  and you will have a block or mini quilt !

I can’t wait to see what Leah does with this!!!




Books and writing


I am making a Book Shelf quilt like the one I made a year or so ago, here is more about it. I love that I found an Ombre jelly roll at the quilt shop. I didn’t know it was until I opened it up. Here is what I have so far on m y design wall:



I quilting this pillow sham and the back shows the quilting better. I like it 2017-02-23-18-50-56

I started quilting this little quilt and the background stitch is not working out. I think I am going to rip it out. I rarely do that but it just isn’t working for me. Sigh, 10 minutes of quilting is gonna be a couple of hours of ripping, I am sure.

Here is my writing from the Writing prompt in France’s news letter:

In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.”- prompt


But that was years ago, prior to the internet. It was time of sending letters, writing love notes and receiving slips of paper with boxes to check if you liked the sender—yes or no. We would leave messages for each other because we were playing a game like our favorite book, that our teacher read to the class daily, “Harriet , the spy.” And spies had to leave coded messages for each other.


We left scraps of paper in an old tin can in the gutter. It was also written in code. We had special glasses with red and blue lenses to decode the message written in three colors of ink. We spent hours perfecting our notes. And even more time slipping in and out of the neighborhood undetected.

It was a time before On Demand entertainment. We watched the cars in the neighborhood come and go. We learned the time each dog was let out and when the automatic sprinklers went off. We wrote it all down in our journals and thought we were really being quite sneaky.


I just sent out my first newsletter and hope that it helps everyone stay in touch!





Show Notes Podcast 13



Click on link above to listen to the podcast





I used a ruler and free motion quilted in some of the negative space. Being left handed made this a challenge with the start and stop button on the long arm (on the right) but I was able to do it this time when I tried it using the film on the back of the ruler…Invisigrip


Log cabin color study!

2017-02-20-08-31-28Turkey Lacer Stiletto ….tutorial here

What do you do with your fat quarter bundles?

I am starting a newsletter soon, won’t you please sign up for it? I  will give you personal stories of my quilting journey, events, where I am going and all kinds of information will be delivered to you mailbox! Don’t worry it won’t be more than twice a month. You email is secure, too. Thanks, I am very excited about adding newsletters, reminds me of days when I actually wrote letters to my friends.





words, newsletters and stories

I have been receiving newsletters in my email that I sign up for. I love these newsletters. It is a more personal way to get the thoughts and activity on the owner of the website, blog or business. In fact, I am thinking about starting a news letter to send to you twice a month. Won’t you consider signing up for mine? I will talk about everything from where I am going, events, plans for the future and whatever else finds it’s way to the newsletter. Its still in the idea stage and not ready for implementation. I need subscribers to get started, rest assured your email is kept private and safe!

One newsletter you may want to subscribe to is Quiltfiction. Frances is a writer of all kinds of books and recently she wrote a book for adults that has quilts and quilting in it. I loved the story, Birds in the Air, and she made several quilts as a part of her creative process. The next book is in the works and has quilts with stars, my favorite. In her newsletter, she gave a writing prompt to her readers. I chose to try it. I love PROMPTS and writing prompts help me be a better blogger and eventually newsletter writer. The first line is the prompt and the rest was a exercise for my writing.

The caved-in roof, the crumbling paint, the red door—it begged me to enter. Continue.”

 As I pushed the door open, I thought to myself… What was I thinking!?!? I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had to know. Why was there a light on in the attic every night?

The old house sat on the property next to mine. It was a complete mystery as to who owned it, why it was abandoned and why it was allowed to still be standing by the county officials. In the 16 years I had lived in my home, there was never sign of anyone on the neighboring property. But what really got to me was every night as the sun set for the past month, a light seemed to be glowing in the attic. However, every morning when I went to work the light was out.

It was really something that the police didn’t have time to investigate thoroughly. In fact, they said there was no light on when they went by after I reported it. I am not sure they even drove by, or if they did, it was in the daylight hours. And it was during the daylight that I decided to see for myself what may be in that house.

The red door groaned terribly as it was pushed opened. My footsteps make loud thudding sounds that echoed in the house. It was dark, not because there was a lack of sunlight to stream in. It was dark because it had very dark wood trim surrounding the tall skinny windows that were covered in tattered and faded curtains. It was dark because all the doors were old dark wood. It was dark because the old trees that surrounded the house provided a dense shade. The room was empty and the old wallpaper was peeling off the walls. It smelled very old and musty.

There was a stair case in the foyer that went up to the next floor. It creaked as I walked up them but they were surprisingly solid under my feet.  I had my cell phone with me and I put the flashlight app on. It gave enough light to ascend the stairs. I found myself in a very large open room once I reached the top. In the center was an old oil lamp on a table placed by rusty iron bed. The bed had several old quilts on it and a pillow. It looked like it was slept in recently. In fact, there were bags from fast food restaurants strewn about by the head of the bed.

It was clear that this house had someone here recently. Old photo albums lay open on the table. Who would be sleeping in this drafty old house with a sagging roof and painted red door was a question that I needed an answer to. So far all I had was more questions and not one single answer.

It was fun to write a story. Creativity comes in all forms and writing is one I like to practice occasionally. I have written a few little shorts that helped me in making quilt patterns before and plan to continue to that when I get “quilters block.”

Have you been joining in on the Daily Prompt Challenge? Jump in today we are coloring a paper we randomly folded yesterday and you can see what I did here , in the My Creative Corner3 Facebook group, later today.



swirls and pearls


This log cabin quilt is stitched with a free motion design I call swirs and pearls. It is pieced by a 91 year old lady. Scrappy heaven! It is so flat, it is pieced by a master. I love the layout she chose to do, too. It is 90 by 90.


2017-02-05-09-44-00-4 I made these hearts for a new quilt charity that is working to give kids who are fighting cancer quilts. I am sending mine off this week. If you would like to participate go here to read more about it and how you can get involved.

2017-02-09-06-59-49 Bonus, here are left over triangles from the hearts. I pieced together some little blocks for another quilt to donate!


Daily prompt challenge is a 15 word story. That is gonna take me a few to think about! Go to My Creative Corner3 Facebook page to see what others are writing about!





Went to a the International Car Show in Grand Rapids yesterday. It was so much fun. I loved the new Flex and Mustang. I also enjoyed seeing the old cars and the new high performance cars. I ate at 2 places that were new to me. I had Noodles and Company for lunch. Yum. I also waited for a while at a local pub called Hop Cats to be seated. We loved the food, they are famous for their fries and 150 beer choices. It was lots of fun and really a good time. Well worth the wait! It was an impromptu road trip and a great time to see our son who is in college.


Hop cats view from my seat




We are 5 days into the Daily Creative prompt challenge. I hope you are having as much as I am. The first 5 photos of my prompts are in the collage. Click on any picture to enlarge it for detail. Jump in at any time. It is a great way to jump start your creativity. I was hoping most days would not be more than a 10- 15 minutes invested in doing something that may spark a creative idea for a project you may be planning or working on . The group page My Creative Corner3 is where we are talking and sharing more. I am also posting to Instragram for those who want to participate there.


My bad ear is making lots of noise and feels swollen. I am doing every trick in the book to get it to drain and even taking meds that are reserved for big flare ups. I hope it calms down before the Super Bowl. I got things to do!


a tale of three quilts



Here is the orphaned block quilt with chunky frames

Here is my more contemporary version of the Civil War Diary Quilt and want to read more about Dear Jane? link is below



The chop stick quilt, how did it sit so long in a drawer? I am glad it is assembled now2017-01-28-12-55-12

The fairy garden improv quilt2017-01-29-02-34-26

Join the fun for the daily creative prompt challenge on My Creative Corner3 facebook group or on Instagram

Thanks for listening and please comment below to continue the conversation!