Thursday, March 28, 2013

Two finished quilt tops - what to do?

Quilt tops by Judi Madsen 
Okay, part of my balance with quilting is to keep my designing up.  I love to draw out and piece my own quilt patterns.  It is so fun for me.  These two tops have been finished this year (and holy cow they are my favorite designs by far), but the question is - do I make them into individual patterns or save them for another book? My dilemma is that I want to quilt them like I would like to - and push the quilting design limits like I do on other quilts, but if I am just selling an individual pattern, that might be a wasted effort.  I don't know - I have this problem with making my own decisions sometime, so I thought I would ask your opinion.  

Are you more likely to enjoy an individual pattern, or do you like the thought of having several designs in a book? Does it make a difference on how I quilt a quilt top determine whether or not you would buy a quilt design?  Sometimes I think when I quilt the way I do, it may discourage quilters to piece my designs because not everyone quilts as detailed as I do.  Anyway - it's a tough call - my mom says I should save them for a book - that thought just makes me giddy because I want to write another book.  Anyway - what do you think?

Oh, one more thing, I don't get out to visit many quilt shows, but I am thankful when we have one close to home and tomorrow I am heading to the Dixie Center to the Gems of the Desert Quilt Show.  If you are in Saint George, you should stop by and visit our local quilt shops and designers. It should be a lot of fun!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video Tutorial

Okay, promise not to laugh at my cheesy tutorial with funky disco music.  Just remember I have a very limited movie making budget (hehe) and I only have 2.2 seconds in between needy kids to put together a tutorial - so if you don't like it, don't tell me. Otherwise, enjoy! And let me know if you try out my diamond sashing. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

11 years and counting!

Photo courtesy Amber Wallis
Oh my word! I love this man! Today is our anniversary and we are spending the day together.  I can't believe it has been 11 years!  But then I think of the moves, the jobs, the kids, the new business and it makes sense that it has been a long road.  We have had our ups and downs, but I have never been more in love with this man!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

If everyday were like yesterday.....

I would get a ton of stuff done! I managed to do laundry, clean the kitchen, play with the kids and start a quilt and finish it all in one day.  This will go down as one of the most productive days in my history.  The kids were great and since the weather is so incredible here, they played outside and did not need me every two seconds! It was a great day.  Anyway - on to the quilt... 

This is Emily's design and quilt for a friend.  She lets me quilt the way I want and since her quilts are modern and fun, I just have fun doing free-motion quilting. I appreciate Em's style and I hope she knows how fun it is to quilt for her!

I used a Glide thread on the quilt, I felt it would work for all the colors in the quilt so I did not have to change the thread.  The border was my swirl feather with some added circles - I love to change designs up, makes it more fun that way.

Best part of the quilting was that I did not mark anything, this is all free-motion quilting. I did use a ruler for the stitch in the ditch though, I cannot live without my ruler. ;-)

This quilt is just so fun and happy, so glad to be a part of it.

This quilt is small, it only took me 4 1/2 hours.  I was able to get it finished because I stuck to my schedule.

See the pink fabric? Connecting curves are so fun - especially when you can make it up as you go.  I will have to show you how I do that sometime.

Circle and ovals can get boring, so I like to add in some detail and to give the shapes character.


And, the border!  Seriously, I need these smaller projects every now and again to keep me sane!  It would be hard to go from one huge quilt to the next.

Thanks everyone for your love on Thelma's quilt.  You know how to make me feel so special.  I appreciate all your kindness to me.  There have been a few questions about the quilt and I will try to address them through different posts throughout the next couple weeks, but I did want to bring up the fact that I did not mention the hours it took me to quilt Thelma's quilt for a reason.  Thelma and I have agreed to keep that between us and I hope you understand.

Have a great day! I am working on a tutorial and will post that sometime this week.   

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Labor of love, it is finally finished.

Since it is International Quilting Day, it is totally appropriate that I post about a quilt that I have been quilting for the past little while.  I am so excited to share this quilt with you.  This is the second quilt that I have worked on for Thelma, you can see the first quilt I quilted for her here.  It is always a blessing for me to be able to do what I like to do on a quilt and this quilt is one that I am very proud of. It truly was a labor of love.  I went through all of Thelma's post about Evening Bloom and I realized just how much she put into this quilt as well.  Only hers took 18 months of applique work - that is amazing endurance when it comes to a quilt! It was totally worth it because this quilt is gorgeous!

When I pulled out this quilt to put it on the quilt racks, I was in complete awe.  This quilt is gorgeous and the colors are incredible.  This quilt is called Evening Bloom and you can find this pattern in this Country Inn book.
Let's get started with the pictures!  I used Kimono Silk for the background thread.  It is strong thread and it is small, so the dense quilting looks incredible.

Because of the applique, I had a lot of "going around" to do and that made it a slow and steady process.  I did not want to compromise the beauty of the applique, just wanted to add a background that would make the applique stand out. In five of the flower blocks I chose a diamond design for the background. There was a lot of marking in this quilt. That is for sure! 

For the beige background blocks I chose a square tile pattern, and I love it!  This was fun to do.

The diamond sashing designs were my favorite part of the quilting.  I used two layers of batting to help pop out the designs.  I used a 100% cotton and a Hobbs 80/20 blend. 

I used my arc ruler for the curved lines around the Dresden flowers and the outside borders.

Each one of these blocks are unique and fun and I never get tired of looking at the texture.


I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad that this quilt is leaving on Monday. It's been here for a while and it is always hard to let go of these works of art because I pour myself into each and every quilt. I just feel lucky to have worked on this one.   

By far, this is my favorite block.  Everything about it is incredible.  The colors and the design are just perfect and the quilting texture just makes me happy.

So, naturally a close up of my favorite block.

You'll notice the applique flowers had simple quilting, the background was my focus as far as the quilting design.

The first time I "scribbled" in a quilt was when I decided to go around the fabric in the sash. I know it would not work to scribble with the thread if it was anything other than silk. 

I am so happy to be finished.  I am happy that I have these pictures for my memory.  Each quilt is a push forward to something better.  I want each one of my quilts to be better than the one before.

And the back - doesn't it look awesome?

I had four different thread changes, so I quilted the backgrounds first and went back through with the red and brown threads. 


Thanks for letting me share my work with you.  I hope you enjoy this quilt as much as I do and Thank You Thelma, for allowing me to work on your beautiful quilt.  It was a pleasure! 

Pre-order a signed copy of my book which releases in a few months by clicking here.
By Judi Madsen

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Break Staycation.....

This week was Spring Break for our kids, and lucky for us my mom and sister came to stay with us. The best part was that they surprised us with an early arrival by coming Sunday night. Clint has had this week planned out for a while now and we planned just to stay around home.  Saint George has so many awesome hikes to explore and Red Reef was new to all of us.  So, I pulled out the new Keen's and went hiking with the family.
Seriously, you have to make it sometime to Southern Utah, I feel so blessed to live here. It is so beautiful!

I even managed to stay calm as my boys inspected the cactus plant with a magnifying glass. That's a momentous occasion for me - not freaking out about my kids safety, and just letting them be kids.
The temperature was perfect and the little spots with water felt so refreshing on our feet.
That's my cute mom and sister with the kids.
Seriously, so cool. Can you see the creepy fingers? I got the kids to find them.

I love the red rock, it is just so beautiful. I never get tired of being out in nature!

I love this guy!

This is as far as we got with the kids. Clint and I plan on going sometime with just the two of us so we can explore this hike a little more.

Nothing sweeter. Love my kids.

Me and the munchkin sitting in a hole in the wall.

I love that my kids love being outside and exploring. Hiking is a big part of our life and I love that we have so many places to go around here.

So beautiful! It was a wonderful week.  This was just one activity that I took pictures of, we spent time swimming at a local resort and just playing outside with the kids. It was a wonderful week with them home from school and I am going to miss them next week when they are back in class.

 Clint also took us four ladies on a date to see a movie - it was so fun. I love my family! 

Thanks for letting me share, and thanks for all your sweet comments on my last post.  Spring Break couldn't have come at a better time, I was able to regroup and spend the time I needed and wanted to with my husband and kids.  It was a bonus to have my sisters and mom here too.  

One more happy note - I finished the quilt!  So, be sure to come back soon to see the finished quilt.  I can't wait to share it with you!  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Keeping it real

Monday through Saturday my alarm goes off, I pull myself out of bed and start the day by quilting for an hour.  Then, I feed the kids, get the older two off to school - or get them started on chores - and each week I think I am going to be able to stick to my schedule and that everything will go according to plan, but there is always a catch. 

This little guy, for the most part, would not nap this week.  I have a quilting schedule to keep while he is napping, but he doesn't know that. He just needs me.  I give him the time he needs, and I am grateful that I do, but in the back of my mind I know I have a quilt that is waiting to be finished. More like I am ready to be finished with it so I can move on to the next project. So, I plan a "catch up day" - today, where I completely ignore the kids and quilt all day long. Clint and I are both trying to get what we need to done and the kids were crazier than ever - I think they can feel it when we are a little stressed - so they make sure they are extra loud so we are sure to hear them.

I finished the background quilting today, and that was great - but I wanted to finish the whole quilt today.  The hardest thing that I do is that I put crazy expectations on myself (and my family) when I think that I can just finish up a project on a Saturday. What I failed to realize was that there was no way I was going to finish this quilt today. There is just not enough time in the day - especially since the red thread is not wanting to cooperate - but I put this above the time I could have spent with my kids. So, I feel like I failed them today.  

I think the hardest thing for me is to realize that it is okay to finish later than expected.  Everyone who reads this blog knows that I take forever on my quilts. But, I find myself adding more and more to my "to do" list and when I don't get to all those things on my list I start to think I am failing and not reaching my goals. Truth is, I have accomplished a lot of my goals, the book being the biggest accomplishment so far - but when is it enough? If I allowed myself to care more about my goals than the needs of my family, then I would lose out on what is more important. Days like today are always a reminder, or a kick in the pants, that get me back on track.  I am one lucky wife and mom who has a husband who is patient with me and kids who love me despite my weaknesses. 

I have wanted to share a note that my daughter wrote to me a little over a month ago during one of my "Mommy moments." This note is one that I promised I would read to myself whenever I had a bad day.  She wrote this note to me on a particularly bad day when Clint was in Romania and I was feeling like a lone ranger with a business to look over and 4 kids to keep track of.

I'll translate:
"Dear Mom, I love you so much! You are the best mom in the whole university. When we are sad and mad at each other, it's okay. We just have to remember we are not perfect. And if we always remember we are not perfect and accidents happen we just got to remember we always make mistakes. And we just have to say prayers, that will give you a warm feeling inside. We love each other so much and with Dad gone it is tough and not easy with the boys. But it is okay, you are not the only adult here. Jessie is here and you are not alone, the family is here.  I love my family, they are the best."

She is 7 and wiser than she even knows.  I read this today and it made me feel better.  I know that tomorrow is going to be a better day than today and I am so happy it is Sunday (no work, yay!) and I get to spend all day with my family. 

Instagram @ judiakagreenfairy
  This was the sunset tonight, it was a reminder to me that everything happens in the Lord's time and not mine.  Everything that I want to accomplish will happen eventually, but what is happening now is my family.  So, I will be okay with only getting one or two quilts done a month - I don't need to get four done like I want to.  It's my own fault that I am such a crazy, quilting detailed, perfectionist right?

Which brings me to one more thing - you have to see the new lines we have in the store.  I am sure you have more time than I do right now to sew these up into some amazing quilts! I am loving PB&J right now!

Thank for listening, sometimes it just takes writing down how I feel to make life so much easier.  


Monday, March 4, 2013

My book is available for pre-purchase in my shop!

I am happy to say that I finally have my book available for pre-purchase in my shop! It comes out fall 2013, but you can pre-purchase a signed copy right now here.  Anyone who pre-purchases my book will get it at the discount shown here.  Remember, we ship worldwide!! (please order book separately)

Thanks Everyone!