A quilt top and investigation

If you listened to my last podcast you will know I said I wasn’t going to piece quilts without intention until I caught up on my long arm quilting of my own quilts. Well, I must have impulsively said that. I had all morning yesterday before I needed to return to work after a good checkup at the dentist.  So, I didn’t have a batting nor the ability to buy one till Friday…. so I sewed a Valentines table topper. It was a panel I bought in Scotland in 2014, It had to be finished! You will also notice the back of a quilt I took off the frame for a customer and now the frame is open waiting to be loaded. The next deadlined quilt is mine. AGH, I need a batting. What to do after to table topper? I started testing a pattern for a friend who is making softies. It is a little dragon stuffed animal. So cute.  A nice change of pace for sewing. More to come on that pattern and my process will be another blog post.

Click on photos for a larger more detailed look !

I went on a investigative trip to the community garden. I have a quilt that will be featured on Moda Bake Shop mid August. I need to take a picture for the cover photo. I want it to be special. The pictures all the other chef’s take for cover photos are amazing and I am feeling a little nervous about the need to have a really good one! The quilt will go on the frame soon AFTER I GET A BATTING. Ugh I hate having wasted good long arming time because I don’t have a batting or backing or thread. Makes me a little bit nutty. But you make do and I have plenty other supplies and lists of things to do.

What makes a good quilt pattern cover photo? I would love to hear what you think? I think the garden has some potential for a good picture.

Quilt on,


just relaxing podcast

Podcast link is here



Here is my Emerald’s quilt that I made for my birthday. You can read the blog post here

Fairy Garden post is here

My non quilting creative things I made over the  past couple of weeks. Click on each pic for a larger more detailed image.


Hope you are enjoying your relaxing days of summer!



Toured a Sub in Michigan!


There are not enough weekends in the summer are there? No Highland games this weekend so we decided we wanted to make a day trip somewhere. We picked up our son and went to Muskegon, Michigan where they have a WWII submarine called the Silversides and a Coast Guard Cutter called the Maclaren. What a gem this stop is. The Lake Michigan shoreline is lovely and the museum is well done. The ships are not easy to climb on if you have mobility issues, they are self guided tours and they are just as they were during the war.

I want to say that all of us touring the sub could not believe how anyone could live on this vessel. It is cramped, stale air and had to be loud. It was incredible to see the movie and read the stories of WWII veterans. It was very interesting to read about the subs missions and all that it did. On behalf of me and my family, we salute you the crew of the Silversides and all veterans. We remembered our Grandfathers who all served in WWII, and our Grandmothers who worked in the factories in Flint, Mich to help with the war effort.

It really was a great generation of men and women.


Fairy Garden and Quilt

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Here is my fairy garden quilt. I am slowly making a fairy garden outside and if you click on my pictures you can see the details of my garden and the quilt. I love make believe and the older I get the more I am in love with its magic. I also like miniatures so here is the perfect combo for gardening as well as inspiration for my quilt.

I love the idea of mushroom houses and  all things Lord of the Rings for my garden and that will slowly take shape over time. However, I wanted my quilt to have the improv mushrooms with one big mushroom house that I found free online here. The trees in the border are made with a quick curve ruler and their Christmas tree pattern that was free online last year. These are my test pieces and I never went any further with it. I  just started to free hand cut shapes for the mushrooms and then added the stalk last. I wanted to have some “shadow” so I had some background in different colors. I really have been saving my unicorn fabric for some magical quilt and I decided this was it. I may do a tutorial for how I made mushrooms in the future.

So you can see I quilted all kinds of free motion quilting in nearly every space on this quilt. There are no fairies quilted but on the lower green border I did quilt a 4 winged creature to give the idea of a fairy flying around.

here is a little video so you can see what it looks like!

Here is the long video from the Machine quilting blog hop and you can hear all about this fairy garden quilt in this video too.

I took this picture by accident and realized how much this thread accented the quilting on this piece!

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Quilt on!


Quilt Show ideas


This is a guild only show for a neighboring county otherwise I would have tried to get in ! I go when they have their biannual show and this year I was able to take my Mom with me as we were both on a vacation, a rare treat. I love looking at the perennial favorites with a twist. Dear Jane made from batiks, selvage edge used in different ways and the guilds stash buster, the string quilt pictures with kite shapes ( 5th row, 3rd quilt). Click on pictures to enlarge and see detail. Each photo was taken because I saw something that had a great idea or a quilting stitch that I liked.

I love the creativity in this little show. There were 150 quilts and lots of great ideas. My favorite new quilt pattern is the Fancy Forest quilt with all the animals ( 3rd row far right) and my favorite block in the quilt is the hedgehog. I thought that the layouts using blocks to make overall secondary patterns were cool. I enjoyed the saturated bold colors and more contemporary or modern pieces in the show.

Quilting was interesting. Many computer long armed quilts were there, not my favorite. However, I did see a trend of hand guided free motion quilting and less density.  Yes, my favorite!

Cool Ideas: The alternating square and on point square setting of the Farmer’s Wife quilt is genius ( 6th row down, far left). The resurgence of medallion center quilts was noticed and I love that ! Samplers were still a big favorite and a favorite of mine. I really like the look of sampler blocks being used to make a mosaic look for a quilt overall like the Star medallion quilt (last row , left.) And in the shop was the cute selvage edge place mats!

Which quilt was my favorite overall? So hard to choose but I liked the Leaves quilt in the 4th row. I want to try to make the little wool flower appliques quilt on a small scale 5th row , second quilt.

Now to sort out my quilting priorities ! Stay tuned about an exciting quilt project that I will be piecing!

Quilt on ,


Games, planes, boats and quilts

2017-06-14 16.51.21I had a busy week this week. I had a bit of time off from work so I was able to spend time with family and friends. I was able to see the Wednesday night Air Show featuring the Snowbirds from Canada, parachute demo, biplane and F16. It was great fun to watch. My husband was in the Air Force and worked on F16s so it was pretty nostalgic. At the end of the post my Dad’s pictures are shared and he has some wonderful pics of the WWII era planes  and the more modern jets that flew over our heads!

Then I went to the Soo Locks and saw an unprecedented amount of freighters. I also went  on the Soo Lock boat tour. I have to say it was great and very educational. I learned there are 13 freighters that are over 1000 feet long sailing the Great Lakes. We saw 3 that day and 7 overall. We went into the locks that raise or lower the vessels 21 feet between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. We then saw the steel factory in Canada and went through the Canadian locks. Gorgeous views.

Then I went to a quilt show. I loved the ideas generated. I will share a two pictures and plan to write a full blog post later on in the week.

Then we had pregame dinner for the home town Highland games.

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Saturday was the game and the weather cooperated! Here is a little video of my husband’s day.

My dad took tons of fabulous pictures and here is the album:

2017 Photos by Carl Dennis feel free to share, like and download! He tried to get a photo of everyone and apologizes in advance in you were missed!

Posted by Vicki Holloway on Sunday, June 18, 2017

Now it is back to the work a day routine. Adventures will have to wait for a week or two.





Swim suits and pools

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I read an article shared on social media for the second time last month. Here is the link and I found it to be a really important assertion. The article is about, my paraphrase, just put the damn swimsuit on. It was about being a mom and not jumping in the pool or getting off the beach while your kids are experiencing the moment because one thing holds you back: Getting into a swimsuit and going in the water with it on. Being exposed with a mom bod and not making the memories to the fullest with your kids by just sitting on the sidelines watching them play is a huge part of the article.

What I also take away from this article is two things that are really metaphorical not literal. One: doing things that  make us uncomfortably vulnerable with other human beings holds us back. I am at an age where I am going beyond wearing a swim suit right now in the literal sense. But the metaphor is too big not to ponder. What is stopping me from going and doing the one thing with other people because I don’t want to share my venerability. Swim suit wearing is about as close to bearing it all out in the open as you can get publicly. It leaves you open to hearing the critics, the snarky meanies over top of your own voice saying “who said this was a good idea.” It is making the decision that you are not going just sit there and watch any more. You want to be part of it all. Nearly naked , just the way you are right now.

The next part is actually doing something. The action, the jumping in the pool and just doing it. I have to say that all the prep of shopping for the appropriate swim suit is just as an important part of the adventure as the ending splash in the pool. It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to find that swim suit that fits you perfectly. It cannot be an impulsive thing when you are looking for something that is not easily found off the rack. It may cost you more. In the end, it is totally worth all the prep. You have put in the research, the time and work to make yourself the most confident you, that you can be. Then the next part will be easier when putting the suit on and making your journey to the edge of the pool with all eyes seeing you, as you are. But with a great suit on. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, as you walk to edge of the water.

Now you have to decide. Will you just jump in fully immersing your self in the water or will this be a slower more gentle transition to the water? Having a plan helps but sometimes the water tells you what to do. There is an opening in the pool, or the ocean is presenting the best waves to jump into at the moment and you need to just do it.


I feel that way about my creative life. I have a plan on what my quilting will look like as a business now, as well in 5 years. I have big plans that will need to be worked every day: writing a book, publishing patterns and making a show quilt. I want to continue to long arm for other people, too. But I am not letting things hold me back. I am actively working on each step of the plan. I am putting the suit on and jumping in the deep end of the pool. It has been a time, over the past couple of years, that I have been sitting on the chairs of the pool patio cheering others on while I work and dream. But now is the time I need to experience it fully for myself.

So, are you gonna just go put on the swim suit and jump in the pool ? I am because I just don’t wanna sit and watch everyone else at the pool party fully immersing themselves because I am afraid of exposing myself to the world. White legs and jiggly middle and all.

Here is step one. I made a YouTube channel. I videoed my 51 year old, overweight self for all to see as it currently is. I decided that real life and everyday people are more interesting. Maybe others will think my daily adventures, quilting and travel are too.

Step two: Keep working on being a healthy me so I can keep doing what I want to do. Exercise, diet and sleep right. Follow Doctors orders and keep on keeping on.

Step three: PUT ON THE SUIT and JUMP IN. The slowly immersing myself has been what the last few years were about and not fully immersing myself in my creativity. I submitted a quilt to a show but didn’t make it this year. I convinced my quilting friends to submit a collaborative project that I long armed and helped piece. It DID make it ! I submitted a book proposal. I have been rejected before but I keep trying. I have another company to try if this one says no. I have lots of options for printing my patterns.

It is really that simple. Put in the work every day. Buy the suit, put it on already. Now, you are ready to jump in.

Here is my latest video from my adventure last weekend:

Hope to see you at the beach wearing your  swimsuit and getting in to the water.