Friday, December 30, 2016

My book is in stock!

Secondary Designs Cover 
 Just in case you haven't heard - my book is in stock!  Hooray! You can order your signed copy here.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Introducing Diamond in the Rough and some exciting news!

Secondary Designs Cover  
I am happy to say that I am currently tracking my first shipment of books from AQS and I can hardly contain my excitement!  Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen is my second book and will be arriving in my hands on Monday December 19th. This book has been 3 years in the making and is sure to be a winner, I think - at least for me - I love the projects and I hope you will too.  It was 3 years ago that my first book, Quilting Wide Open Spaces made its debut, so to have 2 books under my belt is an amazing feeling.  I don't know if you realize how much work goes into writing a complex technical book like Secondary Designs, but I hope you enjoy making the projects as much as I did - just be grateful you didn't have to write it. Haha!
So, this next book project I am introducing to you today is called Diamond in the Rough.  This quilt top was the first finished project for the book and is also the project that was submitted to AQS as an example of my Secondary Designs book concept. Let's just say this quilt sealed the deal.  I wanted to have a simple quilt design that allowed me to really show off the secondary quilting. I think I was able to achieve that with this quilt.  It is fabulous and like always, the pictures don't "do it justice," but hopefully you get the idea from the pictures I am sharing with you today.

 This quilt was quilted with Kimono Silk thread by Superior Threads and I used 2 layers of Hobbs Cotton/Wool batting - which really adds to the texture dimension of the quilt.
What I love about the quilt is the different fills used throughout the quilt.

The ruler work - it was so much fun.  I love the look of the straight lines going into points and creating such an amazing secondary design throughout the top.

The center motif is an amazing design, and I had so much fun working within the space I had.  This design was a result of that space.


There are a lot of designs in the background, but they all work together.

Here are some close ups of the stitching using Kimono Silk 100 wt thread. I think it made sense to use this thread for this particular quilt top, especially with the scribble fill because there is not a lot of thread build up in the dense areas.
Isn't this texture amazing?

I love looking beyond piecing and really enjoy coming up with these designs in the background.

The back -- Ahhhmazing!  This quilt, from start to finish, tension - everything - ended up almost perfect.  You will read about my not so perfect quilt in the book, I really hope you love learning more about this quilt and have even more fun making it! Piecing and quilting instructions are included in the book.

Scrumptious.  I love this quilt.

Okay, so buy your signed book copy here.  I will ship them out as fast as I can!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Candy Cane Wall Hanging! Merry Christmas!

Free Pattern!  My gift to you this Christmas season.  Read on!
Okay, so I just had to make something to reflect the time of year right now and I have always loved candy canes.  As you can see, this fabulous Candy Cane wall hanging is just perfect for the season, I love it.  The design was really fun to come up with, and it was even more fun putting together.

I wanted to incorporate a star in the project and it works perfect on the candy cane.  I just love how it turned out.

This wall hanging is 26 x 36 inches and is perfect as a fun accent to your Christmas decorations, it also fits nicely on a table as a center piece.

The wall hanging only took me a day to put together and only 1 hour for the quilting.  I went with quick and easy quilting on this one.

I was also able to use up some of my cute Christmas fabric that has been sitting in my stash for a while.  So, I hope you enjoy making this adorable wall hanging.  You can get the free pattern here, just print it off and enjoy!  I hope you like it! You can also check out my patterns here - I have a lot of fun ones in the shop.

Oh, and my book is shipping to me this week, that means it is shipping to you next week.  Hooray! It's about time!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sweet Surrender Quilt

Okay, so it took me a little while to finish this quilt top.  It is amazing that I find I don't have as much time quilting as I would like, but I am making it work and the quilts I am privileged to work on are always so much fun.  This client quilt was no different. 
The quilt is Beth's, and she did an amazing job with the applique and piecing.  I always love working on her quilt tops.  The quilt design is called "Sweet Surrender" by Sue Cody of Dragonfly Studio.  I looked everywhere on the internet to find a link to her website, but couldn't find it.  However - I did find where you can purchase the pattern, you can do that here.

The center of the quilt is hand pieced with pressed open seams.  Those of you who quilt know what that means for you, as the quilter.  I wanted to be sure to not compromise the quilt top, so I was very careful with the seams.  I didn't stitch in the ditch, but stitched slightly to the side of each seam.  You will notice that in some of the close-up pictures.  I just have to say though - this quilt is amazing.  The hand work is incredible.  The hand applique is unreal - Beth should be very proud of her work.

The border design came fairly easy to me as I just emphasized the shapes that were there.  I love the triangles in the border and I absolutely love the quilting balance that takes place by simply changing the direction of straight lines.
Oh, and before I forget - I used Fil-Tec Glide thread for the top and Magna Glide bobbins for the bottom thread.  I used Hobbs 100% cotton with Hobbs 80/20 batting.  I love the loft of two batting layers used together.

Here is another shot of a different corner.  It really is hard to narrow down pictures for posts.  I love them all!
The background triangles for the applique blocks were so fun to play with.  The above picture shows the tiling affect I like to stitch out, but it was so much more fun in a diagonal pattern.  The secondary design is incredible. 

I had 4 different background designs for the triangle blocks and I just quilted them in a diagonal pattern.

You can see that in more detail in the picture above.

So gorgeous!

The background fills are always my favorite.  So fun and tedious to quilt around the applique, but oh, so worth it.

The straight line quilting in the diamond blocks worked out perfectly.  It really adds so much to the quilt top.  It is simple, but effective and gives the quilt top a perfect quilting balance.

Eek!  Isn't this so fun?

This picture shows how I stitch on applique, but not a lot.  The applique does not need to have a lot of detail inside because of the quilting in the background.

The half triangles were so fun to quilt up.  I loved that the design fit so nicely, like a block that was cut in half perfectly.

Ahh!  The back!  Isn't it amazing?  I just love the texture.

One more look! 

Oh, and I have a new favorite pair of scissors that I started to use with this quilt top.  They are so sharp, but cut the thread like butter.  There are curved, which is what I need and I can get really close to my thread stop point, so no hanging threads. We just recently added these Karen Kay Buckley scissors to our notion page on our website,

Okay, I hope you liked the quilt!  It was so much fun to work on and I have another one that I will be able to start on in January.  Look for a Christmas piecing tutorial coming up.  Also, if you haven't had a chance to take my iquilt class, Quilting Makes a Difference - do, I think you will like it. One more thing, I have an event coming up in March, info here

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

This Way Quilt, Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen

Hi Everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful month and for those of you in the USA, I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with happiness and joy as you spent time with friends and family.  We had a wonderful time as a family and we are so grateful for all we have been given, we are truly blessed.

As promised, here is peek at another project from my book, Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen. This quilt is called "This Way." You will get to know more about this project in my book, so I won't bore you with all the details now.
I will say that I absolutely loved this project, from quilt design to quilting design.  It worked out better than I planned and the top really comes together fast.  It is an easy piecing job, but the quilting puts the design over the top.  I know you will enjoy working on this one.

Don't be intimidated by the quilting, you can do it and I walk you through it in the book.  I cannot wait to see your projects!

This center design is so beautiful. I absolutely love it.

So, the arrow design - perfect for the quilt top and it is also the reason "This Way" became the name.

And, as if on purpose or totally awesome fate.....a hot air balloon flew over our home at the right time so that I could take a picture of the arrows pointing up towards the balloon.  I think this was probably the coolest photo shoot I have had of one of my quilts and it happened in my back yard.  So wonderful.

Here is the back, I love the texture of the quilting.  Makes me happy!   

Secondary Designs Cover
The book is available for pre-order here, as a signed copy. It should be out in a few weeks!

Oh, and for those of you in the Louisville area, I will be there in March 2017 for a quilting camp.  Info is here - I hope to see you there!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Update and Sneak Peek!

Secondary Designs Cover 
Okay Friends!  I need to update you on what is going on with my second book, Secondary Designs with Judi Madsen. First off, you will notice that the cover is a little bit different than the one that is on my site for pre-purchase, as well as the cover picture on Amazon.  The cover change was a surprise to me, I saw the new cover when I went to Nashville a few weeks ago.  It still uses the same cover quilt (North Star), but a few changes in font and color make the cover page more grabbing or eye catching and exciting. I think it looks amazing and I hope you like it as well.

As far as when the book is coming out, well - it seems like I am in a re-run with my first book.  The original date was September, then October, then November and finally (fingers crossed) December.  The back story to this is that AQS, my publisher, has decided to not be in the book publishing anymore, ugh.  When I found out in July that they were rearranging things I was nervous that my book wasn't even going to be published.  I have gone through all the crazy emotions that comes with news like this, but I am thrilled and happy beyond all reason that they have decided to go ahead with my book. I have done my final editing and the book looks amazing.  It will have 122 pages of step by step projects and my design insights for 4 of 6 projects with plenty of quilting eye candy.  Elaine Wilson has done a beautiful job editing and coming up with the design layout for my book and I cannot wait to share it with you.  There will also be a jam packed CD with 2 more projects and the quilting outlines for the book as well as a chapter and in depth look into my studio. 

So, what does this mean for you who have pre-ordered my book?  Well, just patience please.  As soon as I have your book, I will sign it and ship it out.  I promise I am just as anxious as you are to hold my book, so please know that it weighs heavily on my mind that you have been waiting for a while for a book you have already paid for. I really do appreciate you and your patience! It will ship out as soon as I receive it. 

Okay, so because we have to wait a little longer for the book release, I am going to introduce my projects in the book one at a time here on my blog until my book comes out.  It is going to be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy seeing each project.  I am really proud of each one. 

So, introducing "North Star."  Isn't she beautiful?  Oh my word, I love her!  This quilt turned out exactly as I wanted it to, from start to finish.  The white background with detail quilting is out of this world and I had a lot of fun making it, so I made sure that she was the cover quilt for my book. I used 2 layers of batting, So Fine thread for the quilting and a lot of Moda Bella Solids white 9900-97 for the fabric background.  The red and blue fabric is from the Reunion line by Sweetwater from forever ago, but any fabric would look amazing in this quilt.
The quilting texture is just amazing.  I smile every time I look at this quilt top.  It is hanging in my studio now so I can enjoy it. 

The quilting design in this quilt inspired the name of the quilt.  The center blocks have stars quilted into them and the center star in the main design made it easy to come up with the name, North Star. 

Isn't this border amazing?  I think it is and it really was a lot of fun quilting up.  The step by steps instructions in my book will help you have the confidence to quilt up your own quilt. 

The corner, ahhh!  I love it!  I still can't believe this quilt is mine.  I work so hard on my customer quilts and have to send them away, but I get to keep this one.  That is the best part of writing my book, having heirloom quilts that I get to enjoy and then pass down to my children to enjoy as well. 

You can see that I tried to keep the balance of quilting in this project with simple lines in the blocks. 

Here you can see the "North Star" up close.  I love it.
Just some of the detail, isn't it fantastic?  I stitch with a stitch length of 15 SPI for everything, fyi...
Just gorgeous. 

Here is a shot with the back and the front. 

And another shot because I couldn't just chose the one picture. 

So, there you go.  I really hope you enjoyed looking at North Star and I hope you look forward to making it when my book comes out.  It will be out before we know it and the wait will definitely be worth it.  Thanks for reading!