Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December flew! Merry Christmas!

So, I always have this feeling of guilt when I look at the date of my last post on this blog.  As good as my intentions are at keeping up with my blog, it seems like time is moving so fast.  It has been a fabulous December.  Really.  I happen to love my tree - call me a little crazy detailed though, there are a ton of ornaments on this tree.  So much so, that recently the stand broke and Clint had to wire the tree to the wall. ;-)

Because this is our first year in this house, we don't have room for our ginormous tree from the last couple of years.  That means I had enough ornaments for two trees, this one is in my entry. I admit I did buy more red and gold ornaments - I have a thing for those colors this time of year.
I had a lot of fun with my railing as well. 

I spent a lot of time in my studio this month.  I wasn't able to share all that I have been working on, but I did have a lot of fun. 

I had the chance to see this incredible view from my studio windows.

I love being able to step out onto my roof and enjoy the sunset.  I feel so much closer to God every time I take the time to enjoy His creations.

We took a couple of trips up to Salt Lake City (4 hours north from here) and had our own Hallmark movie moment ice skating at the Gallivan Center.  We have watched our share of Hallmark Christmas movies as well.  Have I mentioned I love this time of year?

A trip up to Salt Lake isn't complete without going to see the lights at Temple Square.  It was so beautiful and thankfully, not that cold. 

I found this incredible tree silhouette after a beautiful Christmas concert here in Saint George.

We have had time for walks to the river and of course my boys are all over throwing rocks in the water. 

Red happens to be my favorite Christmas light color and main street in Saint George did not disappoint.

One of the funnest parts about this time of year is watching the excitement and anticipation for Christmas through my children's eyes.  My son Micah wrote this incredibly hilarious note to Santa. I couldn't stop smiling at his honest - almost reverse psychology approach.

This picture was taken on Sunday before church.  I can not believe how grown up these little munchkins are getting.

It's been a crazy busy time and I feel exhausted like my little boy here sleeping on a restaurant floor.  This time of year is busy, but it is also wonderful being able to focus on family and friends and most importantly the birth of our Savior.  I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I wanted to share this beautiful video with you about the true meaning of Christmas.  I wish you a safe and wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Patchwork Professional and another finish.

Okay, first things first.  I had a happy mail day this week when I received my copy of Patchwork Professional. I was asked a few months ago if I would like to be featured in their magazine. Of course I would!  It's a beautiful magazine and they did a fabulous job with the article.  Now, I just need to brush up on my German to read it. ;-)  The title of the article is Judi Madsen - The Queen of Quilting.  Wow, that's quite the title and honor. I certainly wouldn't call myself that, but I thank them just the same.  I still have to pinch myself every time I think about where quilting has taken me.  An article in a German quilting magazine?  That is totally cool and it makes the quilting world that much smaller.  I love that quilting brings a common interest to so many of us throughout the world.
Okay, so I have finished this fun quilt.  Jan asked me to quilt this before Christmas so that she could give this Simpson's themed quilt to her son as a gift. What a labor of love.  I know he will treasure it forever.  He better!  Jan - I have a sister who would love it if he doesn't. ;-)

I have to apologize that I didn't get better pictures of this quilt.  It was raining and foggy when I finished this quilt and it's the same today.  I grabbed a couple quick shots with my phone and then headed off to the post office to ship it off.  

Anyway, the thread was Glide - love that stuff.  I used Magna-glide for the bobbin and I love the combination.  The tension was perfect throughout the quilt.  I used two layers of batting - 100% cotton and Hobbs 80/20 blend.  This gives the quilt a wonderful texture.  

The quilting was a lot of straight lines and I did what I could to keep it simple.  I had to refrain from quilting too much so that this quilt would be able to be cuddled with. 

Pretty sure this is my favorite border design that I have come up with.  I really love how it frames out the quilt and compliments the flying geese throughout the quilt design.  

I love it and I hope you do too!  

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I love clouds.
 Today is Thanksgiving here in the US.  This holiday has always made me reflect on those things I am grateful for.  I try to be grateful throughout the whole year, but this day helps me to say out loud the things I am grateful for.  I hope you will bare with me as I share some of those things.
Zions National Park, Utah
I am grateful for this beautiful earth because everyday I am reminded of the love that God has for us.  I am grateful for my husband and children and their unconditional love.  They love me despite my weaknesses and imperfections. 
I am grateful for my parents and Clint's parents and for our extended family.  We moved to Saint George and thought we would be all alone, but have been blessed to have both families visit a lot.
I am grateful for a house to live in, food to eat and clothes to wear. I realize that just the necessities in life are taken for granted when I think of people around the world who don't have as much. I pray that I will always be grateful for those things.  
I am grateful for my love of quilting.  
I am grateful to all of you who I have met throughout this past year since I started teaching.  I can't thank you enough for coming to my classes and making me feel so at ease when truthfully I have been scared out of my mind nervous to be standing in front of you.  
I am grateful for the years of support from all of my readers and followers. Thank you! 

There are so many more things that I could say I am grateful for, but these are the ones that stand out today. I want to wish all of you celebrating today a Happy Thanksgiving! To those of you not celebrating today I wish you a wonderful day and weekend. Thanks for listening. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

My first time to Nashville.

A few weeks ago I was preparing for a trip to Nashville.  I was playing with silk too!  The project above was made from left over blocks from the "secret project" that will be shared sometime in February.  I gave this little beauty away on Instagram (@judiakagreenfairy) and hopefully the new owner will love it as much as I do. 

The back of this little beauty is fantastic.  I never tire of the beautiful texture that quilting makes. 

So, Nashville.  Yep - I am not a country music fun, except for George Straight - Pure Country and all.  I flew through Denver and saw the most amazing clouds.  It is always a treat to be in the clouds and enjoy the beauty of this earth.  
Why Nashville?  I went to film an online class that should be available sometime in February. 

It was beautiful there.  I was able to catch the last part of Fall there.  We have some yellow trees around us in St. George, but I haven't seen any beautiful red trees like this one. 

This was my view for two days. In a studio filled with cameras and the all watching eyes from those ladies in the back.  See the guy on the right?  His name is James and he thought that quilting was pretty cool.  He asked for my sample when I was finished filming.  How could I say no?  He told me that he is going to frame it.  So sweet of him. 

Meredith Schroeder, me, Elaine and Lynn from AQS Publishing.  These ladies are incredible and it was so fun getting to know them better in the two days I was there. 
I am really excited for the class to come out and I will be sure to tell you when it is available. It was a great learning experience for me and I still have to pinch myself when I think of all the amazing opportunities I have had because of my quilting.

I didn't have time to really see everything around Nashville, but I did happen to check out the Grand Ole Opry.  It was pretty amazing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MQX open for registration!

Quilting from my Secondary Quilting class. 

Okay, so I have finally updated my Teaching/Events page to reflect my teaching for next year up until June 2015. MQX has opened registration and my 3 hands-on classes are already filled - sorry about that, but I have 6 other lecture/demo classes that will be a lot of fun and I hope to see you in New Hampshire.  
If you can't make it to the East Coast, then I will be in Paducah (pinch me) and Salt Lake City in April and May. I am also heading to Canada again in June. I will let you know when these other venues open up registration for my classes.  I am excited for the Spring, it is going to be a lot of fun!  In the meantime, I have a lot of quilting to do!

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Zealand Part 1

I realize that a lot of my posts may not necessarily be about quilting, but I have found that every aspect of my life is who I am and so I want to share this on my blog.  I want to thank you in advance for reading. After my teaching trip to Australia, Clint and I headed to New Zealand, I have always wanted to go there.  Especially since I have watched Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia. I have to say, it didn't disappoint.  Everywhere I looked was green hills with beautiful pastures of cows and sheep.  The topography is amazing there and it was complete eye candy everywhere we looked.  Clint had to learn to drive on the left side of the road instead of the right, and that was hilarious and totally confusing at first.

We stayed two nights in a loft in Cambridge and the above photo was our view.  It was so beautiful! 

We made our way to Hobbiton and the tour was amazing!  Seriously.  Everything here is natural and part of the amazing outside set for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
We got to see Bilbo and Frodo Baggins hobbit house.  

As well as Samwise Gamgee's place. 

I loved how much effort was put into making this look as real as possible, even down to the mailbox.  


One of my favorite things about traveling is being able to find different plants and flowers.  These little beauties were amazing! 

So, so beautiful!

It was hard choosing which pictures to share, but I wanted to share the things that I really loved about visiting there.
Anytime I see a bridge it reminds me of the romantic proposal at the end of Anne of Green Gables.  Call me crazy, but I love bridges and one day I will be at the bridge where Gilbert proposes to Anne.  Preferably with my own Prince Charming - just putting a bug in Clint's ear ;-)

Clint and I had a wonderful time walking around the Shire. It was a perfect day.  

I love these beautiful flowers. 

I loved the doors to the Green Dragon.  So many inspirations for quilting can be found anywhere.  You just have to look!


Later that day Clint and I took a walk to an abandoned Military barracks somewhere in Cambridge. This would be the perfect setting for a quilt backdrop, or using the textures within this building as inspiration for my quilting.  I just loved it. 

Aren't these flowers beautiful?
These trees were amazing.  We were there in the springtime, so everything was coming to life.  The birds in these trees were chasing each other and singing, it was really amazing.  Clint took a video of the birds in action. 

Here's a closeup of the blossoms on the trees.  So amazing. 

We finished the night with a lovely view of the valley and the sunset.  Stay tuned for the other part of our New Zealand trip. 

Have  a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Flourish on the Vine and Around the World Bloghop!

So, I have been asked by the super talented Carla Barrett to participate in the Around the World Bloghop. Carla and I met briefly in Australia and she was kind enough to let me borrow a clicker and lazer pointer for one of my classes.  She was a life saver and she is so sweet! 

The Around the World Bloghop has a few questions that I answer and since I just finished Flourish on the Vine for Loanne - I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and create one blog post for both things. 

Okay, first question - What are you working on now?

Well, I am always working on something and the current "something" I am working on can not be shared until February - sorry! But, I finished quilting Flourish on the Vine designed by Kathy K. Wylie and pieced and appliqued by Loanne last week. I feel like this project is current enough to tell you all about it now.  

First off, let me tell you that I love this quilt.  When I first took out this quilt to come up with a quilting design, the design concept came to me immediately.  I knew exactly what I was going to do in a round about way.  I always leave a little to the imagination as I am quilting in case a few more ideas come to me during the process.

I quilted this beautiful quilt on my A1 longarm.  I am a free motion girl and I do not have a computer aided machine.  I have my straight ruler, my purple disappearing marker (both on sale right now) and a lot of patience to help me through each quilt I work on.
The thread I used on this quilt is the color Pearl 20005 from Fil-tec Glide threads.  I used #402 So Fine as the bobbin thread and I really enjoy the combo of the two threads. I used two layers of batting, Hobbs 80/20 and 100% cotton.  I love to use two layers for my quilts because of the detail I put into each quilt.  

Second question - How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I think my work differs because I see things in straight lines and shapes. I do not focus on feathers as the main part of my quilting (not that I don't like to quilt feathers), but I want each of the quilts I work on to have a different feel.  I don't do curves.  I like straight lines.  It is pretty obvious with my quilting that you can see I utilize the use of my straight ruler.  I like to focus on the background of the quilt tops I work on so that I can show off my quilting, but showcase the piecing at the same time. My quilting has evolved and I pray that it will continue to get better.  I work hard at what I do and I try really hard to make sure my quilting is unique.

 Another thing that I feel makes my work a little different is that I don't fully plan out a design.  I design as I quilt.  I quilt as I go and do most of the marking with each advance of the quilt.  On this quilt I pre-marked the grid in the center of the quilt, I just had 7 lines as a reference. I did this because the area is large enough that I need to mark it before it is on the frames.  The inside details were added later. That is why there are three different designs within the diamond shapes in the center of the quilt. If I had preplanned this area and marked it all out - I wouldn't have had the flexibility to change or improve my designs. 

Third question - Why do I write/create what I do?

Seems like a simple question with a simple answer.  I love it! I love creating! If you have read my blog from the beginning you would know that I started quilting out with the whole thought of it being a side job while I pursued my pattern and book writing.  What I didn't plan on is that quilting would be the reason I could pursue a book, and now teaching. It's amazing to think that God's plans for you are always better than the plans you have for yourself.  Because of that, I thank Him each day for the gift of creating and quilting and that I am able to do this as a job where for the most part, I am home with my family each day. 
 I feel lucky that I get to work on my next book throughout this next year.  I am excited for the new designs and approaches to the quilt designs I have come up with. 
I hope you are enjoying this quilt.  I had so much fun quilting it.  Sometimes I struggle to work on the quilts that take me a long time.  I get bored and want to move onto something new.  Not this one.  I had so much fun with the ceiling tile background as shown above.  It gives the quilt a movement that is incredible.  The applique pops on top of the quilt and the quilting is a wonderful element that enhances the work that Loanne put into the piecing and applique.

This border is a new design for me.  I love it.  I had so much fun coming up with this design and I think it looks incredible! 

I figured out how to complete this in two passes of the quilt and I hope you love it as much as I do.

Isn't this texture fantastic!?!  I am really proud of this quilt and I feel really grateful to Loanne for letting me "do my thing."
Last question - How does your creative process work?

So, my creative process starts first when I see a quilt. I usually take a day or two to mull over what design I want to put into the quilting.  With this quilt it was a lot quicker.  I leave my options open and design as I go.  I let the quilting speak for itself and a lot of times it just comes together. It is hard to explain how I come up with a lot of my designs because they just "come."  I can see exactly what a quilt needs just by looking at it.  I look back at where I was in the beginning and realize that the quilting art is an ever evolving thing and with time - it gets better and easier.

You can see in the above picture what it means when I say I quilt as I go.  I leave my options open to new design elements.  I quilt around the applique first, then I quilt the designs in the background. I only pre-mark lines that are too big to fit within the quilting area that I have.  I have about 18 good inches to work with on each pass of the quilt.  

I hope you enjoyed this post and I really hope you like my latest project. Take care ~ Judi