• 06Jan
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on A Little Christmas Sewing

    I love sewing any time, but it’s always a little more fun at Christmas!  This Christmas, I really got a bee in my bonnet and sewed up a storm.

    I made a two little fat quarter bags for my Swedish neighbor girls.


    And some bigger bags for our five grandkids.  It’s always fun choosing fabrics to match their interests.


    I was most excited about sewing some fleece onesies!  I fell in love with this polka-dot fleece.


    I made five—for the little kids.  A hoodie and shorts seemed more appropriate for our 15-year-old granddaughter.


    And long pants and a hoodie for for the 12-year-old.


    Thanks to my friend Robin for steering me through the process!


    It was so fun to see them on the kids!




    We also gave each of the grandkids their own Nisse—the Swedish version of a house elf!


    I made them each their own mattress…


    …and matching scarf.


    I think they’ll be happy in their new homes.


    I made passport holders—one for myself…


    …and one for Melissa.  Hint, hint.  Come to Sweden, Melissa!


    I came across some adorable dice fabric and just had to make a couple of table runners for Sally to use at Bunco.


    And, lastly, this wall hanging for Sally’s Gingerbread Christmas that I blogged about before.


    Fun, fun!


  • 31Jul
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on Pretty Maids All In A Row!

    We have a winner in the Name The Quilt Contest!

    The winning suggestion was Pretty Maids All In A Row.  It was suggested several times, but Linda was the first—so she wins a kit to make her own Pretty Maids quilt.

    I also used a random number generator to pick a second winner.  There were 138 entries.  The number generator chose #86, so a second quilt kit will go to Emilee in England!  Congratulations to both winners and thanks to all of you who left comments.  To order a kit of your own, CLICK HERE!

  • 21Jul
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on Name This Quilt – Win A Prize

    You know how it is when a co-worker’s great-nephew’s girlfriend is having a baby, and your co-worker comes to you because she “…knows you just LOVE to make quilts and it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would it, to make something for the little expected bundle of joy???”  So you’re looking for something quick, really quick, but not something that looks like you didn’t care.  That’s why I put together kits to make this super fast but super cute quilt.

    As an experienced quilter, you know it’s just a matter of zipping those strips together.  The end result, though, is a very adorable (if I do say so myself!) quilt made with my Dolly Dear fabric collection.  I’m ready to add the kits to my web catalog, but I need a name for the quilt.  I want something that represents how easy this quilt is, and my pea brain keeps spitting out “Stripping With the Dollies.”  Yeah, I know, there’s just something wrong with that!  After all, they’re already in their underwear!

    So, I’m turning to you for suggestions.  What would you name this quilt?  I’m going to give away two kits–one to the person that comes up with the winning name, and another one to a random commenter.  Here’s your chance to win!  Leave me a comment with your suggestion.  This should be fun!

    Added July 31—Thanks to all who played along.  The contest is now over!  CLICK HERE to see a post about the winners.

  • 13Jul

    My latest fabric line, Dolly Dear, is in stores and shipping now.  It has lots of pretty prints, but my favorite is the repeating stripe with the paper dolls and their dresses.

    I’ve designed a free pattern for a quit that I think any little girl would love.  The dolls are sewn into the body of the quilt, pockets are added around the outside edges, and the dresses are cut out so you can play dress up!

    I thought I’d walk you through the easy steps for making this quilt.  First, cut out three strips of the dolls and “frame” them with the Patsy Posy print.


    Sash them with the Pink Marigold fabric.

    Add borders of the same pink print.  I know they look really wide, but there’s a reason for that.  We’re going to add pockets!  At this stage, you need to quilt the quilt.  I stippled mine.

    Cut pockets and lining using the template provided with the pattern.  The front of the pockets are from the Dress Panel that goes with the line.

    I LOVE rickrack, and this seemed like the perfect place to use some!  Put the pocket front and lining right sides together, insert rickrack and stitch edges and bottom.

    Turn right sides out, press under 1/4″ at the top and top stitch closed.

    You’ll need twelve pockets.  When they’re finished, topstitch down around the sides and bottom.

    Fuse some batting scraps to the backs of the dresses and cut them out.

    Now you’re ready to tuck them into the pockets….

    …or dress the dolls!


    I also added rickrack to the binding!  There’s no such thing as too much rickrack, is there?  The kit for this quilt includes the 12-1/2 yards needed!

    Here are a few other things made with this fabric line.

    This adorable sundress is made with the Tossed Dolls print and lined with the Green Jumble.

    The body of this jumper is the fabric I call Bette’s Bouquet, and this pattern is perfect for showing off the doll dresses.  Both these dress samples were made by Renee.

    This pattern from Yesterday’s Charm is one of my favorites.  Carol O. made this sample for me.

    Nan stitched up the backpack for me.

    And I made this quilt, Dress Up Time, from the Dress and Purse panel.  More rickrack–two sizes!!

    If you think I’m in my second childhood, you may be right!  But, I must tell you, I didn’t play with dolls in my first childhood, so I’m making up for it now!


  • 24Feb
    Categories: fabric design Comments Off on Speckled Dots

    You know I love designing fabrics–or redesigning fabrics, as the case may be.

    Since I work with 1930′s prints, I often start with vintage swatches.  Sometimes–with the help of the graphic design staff at the fabric company I design for-I’ll take a vintage print use the main flower, change the background, make something larger or smaller or closer together.

    Sometimes, though, the pattern is just perfect the way it is!  That was the case about five years ago when I was designing my Wash Tub Bears line of fabric.  I always try to combine a dot or a circle in each fabric line.  Well, this piece filled the bill–it was dots inside circles!  It reminded me of speckled eggs, and I named it Speckled Dots!

    The original swatch I had was blue.  We also did it in red…


    …and lavender.

    When I first started designing fabric, I was lucky enough to have as a friend and mentor Darlene Zimmerman.  She had been designing Thirties prints for a long time.  She said to me, don’t be surprised someday if we both use the same fabric for a future line.  Yikes, I thought, I don’t want to do that!

    But I knew what she meant, because I had seen one particularly adorable duck-in-a-top-hat print produced by three different companies–AND I had an original piece of it in some of my grandma’s scraps.  This is it.

    Imagine my surprise when I was in Sisters Quilt Shop recently and spotted what I thought was a bolt of “my” fabric.

    I picked it up and discovered it was part of Sandy Klopp’s Punctuation line!

    And not only had she done it in red and blue, she had done it in green…

    …and black…

    …and ORANGE!!

    You can bet I bought some of that for my stash!  Thanks, Sandy, for the orange!

  • 10Nov
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Scrappy Giveaway

    I was delighted when Jodi at Pleasant Home emailed me and asked if I wanted to play along in her Scrappy Giveaway.  You bet I did.

    More than scraps, I always accumulate bolt ends.  So, I’ve gathered up 3 yards of them, and some lucky winner is going to get them in the mail one of these days!

    Just leave me a comment before November 17th.  I’ll add you to my email list, use a random number generator to pick a winner, box up the scraps and send them off to you.

    Check out Jodi’s blog for more scrappy giveaways.

  • 02Aug
    Categories: Everything!, musings, quilting Comments Off on Fabric Stories

    Way back in 1974, when I was 20 and my Grandma Ikey was 90, I was getting married.  Grandma Ikey had two Nine-Patch quilt tops that she had made several years before and tucked away.  One was supposed to be for my brother when he got married, and the other for my cousin Jim when he got married–her two grandsons.  However, I was the first to get married, so Grandma gave one to me as a wedding gift.

    This quilt became very special to me, because my other grandma, my Grandma Kennedy, and the members of her Ladies Aid Society, did the quilting on it.  I slept under this quilt for years, had it dry cleaned a few time–I didn’t know any better–and have always treasured it.  My brother did get the other one, also finished by the Ladies Aid, and his is in pristine condition.

    I always said that someday I’d be a quilter.  About 1993, I got a free quilt pattern in the mail.  It was from Oxmoor House and was for a Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  I thought, “I should make this.  And I should make it king sized so it will fit my bed!”  Ah, ignorance was bliss!  I also remembered that my mom had given me some old fabric and blocks from my Grandma Ikey after she passed away, and that among them were some Flower Garden blocks.  Amazingly, I opened a drawer in my storage room, and there they were–16 Flower Garden blocks, or at least the components to make them.  I knew I wanted to use them in my first quilt!  It took me 2-1/2 years, but I finished that king sized top.

    As I was working with the blocks that Grandma Ikey had made (I had to take them apart and re-cut them as they were a different size than my pattern) I began to think that some of the fabrics looked familiar.  I was pretty sure they were the same as some in my Nine-Patch.  So, I got it out and started to compare.  Sure enough, there were some duplicates!  Like this yellow and green flower print.

    There was also this cute little blue flower.

    You can see it’s more faded in the Nine-Patch.

    Sometimes there were only enough hexagons for a half block, but that worked great for the edges of the Flower Garden.

    Well yesterday, Bob and I and my parents visited our cousin Betty, whom we rarely see.

    She had two quilts that our Grandma Ikey had made!  This star quilt.

    And this fan quilt!

    I was thrilled to see them, but even more excited when I started recognizing some old friends among the prints!  The white daisies on this pink background really speaks to me–I’ve always loved daisies.  Here it is in Betty’s star quilt….

    …and in my Nine-Patch quilt…..

    …and in my Flower Garden quilt!

    This very abstract blue print was in one of the stars…

    …and in my Nine-Patch.

    The other print in this star was also familiar.

    It’s not only in my Nine-Patch….

    …Grandma Ikey made my baby doll a dress from this print!

    And here it appears with a blue paisley…

    …which is also in my Nine-Patch.

    This fan blade had lots of matches to my quilts.  The center blade with the little Lemoyne Stars print….

    …made its way into my Nine-Patch, although it’s much more faded here.

    And the dark brown with the aqua flowers….

    …is REALLY faded in my quilt.

    Did you notice the little tulip print in the above block?  It turns out Dolly has a dress made from that print, too!  I love her rick rack!

    INSERTED 8/3  My sister emailed me last night.  She had gotten her dolls out to check out their dresses, and here’s what she found–and said.

    Here are Chatty Baby and Chatty Cathy all decked out in their tulip dresses.  Please note that my dolls can stand up by themselves, because they are not missing any legs.  Chatty Baby is upset, because she can’t find her scarf.  (I suspect the reason Chatty Cathy is looking away from Baby is because Cathy lost her own scarf and stole Baby’s.)

    Then this morning Sally emailed me this….Chatty Cathy has a headache this morning from wearing the scarf too tight. Serves her right, I think.

    How do you like the blue gingham sundresses?

    I love the pink gingham — wide rick-rack for Cathy and narrow rick-rack for Baby.

    Does the white fabric with yellow roses look familiar, SW?

    As a matter of fact, it does.  It’s in my Flower Garden quilt!  Thanks, Sally, for sharing!

    The dainty blue flowers, next to the bottom blade…

    …make an appearance in the Flower Garden quilt.

    And the last blade, with it’s wild pink, red and black combination…

    …shows up in the Flower Garden quilt.  I think Dolly had a dress from this, too, but I don’t seem to have it.  Maybe my sister does.

    And one of my favorite prints, which I remember is in my brother’s quilt too, is the gray and red one.

    It’s in both of my quilts….

    …and Betty’s fan quilt.

    It’s amazing the connections among these four quilts–five if you count my brother’s.

    Yesterday my mom told me that Grandma Ikey once said that when she and her niece, Elsie (who was two years older, but that’s another story) would buy fabric for a project, before they even cut into it, they were planning what they’d make from the scraps!  Spoken like a true quilter.

    And I have one more quilt to show you that’s from Grandma Ikey.  This is the crib quilt she made when my brother was born, and that Mom used on all three of us kids.

  • 19May
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Dear Dorothy
    Categories: Everything!, fabric design Comments: 0

    Carol Osterholm is a member of my Redwork Club.  Some time ago, she brought in a stack of blocks that her mother, Dorothy, had made in the 1930’s.  She was wanting some advice on how to put them together.  The blocks were adorable–cats, pigs, dogs, elephants….  Some were familiar to me, and others I’d never seen.  The prints in the appliques were very nice, too.  ”Hmmmm,” I mused.  ”These would make a great fabric line.  Would you mind?”  Carol said she wouldn’t mind, Timeless Treasures Fabrics loved the idea, and now the fabric is here!

    First, the fabrics.  I always like to have a large scale print in my lines.  Of course large scale in the Thirties is different than, say, Joel Dewberry large scale.

    There was a great large scale print in the elephant block, but it was a small piece, and not really big enough to see the repeat.

    I had the perfect substitute–this laundry bag.  Isn’t it fabulous.  Every laundry bag should have feet!  This, and Dorothy’s original blocks, served as the inspiration for the color palette.  The green is a great Thirties green, the pink is very raspberry and the orange, which is in this print and the little boy block of Dorothy’s, is a very muted orange, like it’s been washed and washed.  The yellow in the blocks is very buttery, and the blue is a clear, sky blue.  I just love the way they work together.

    I wanted a medium floral print, and the duck block provided that.

    I always like a monochromatic print, and there was one in the bunny block that I fell in love with.

    And what would a line be without a dot!  The kitty block had a great dot.  So, there you have it!  Those are the fabrics in the line.

    Now for the blocks.  I think Timeless Treasures did a fantastic job with the artwork on the panel.  The printed blocks look just like they’ve been stitched around.  Below are the different blocks, first, Dorothy’s original, then the reproduction under it.

    For the elephant, we changed his trunk, because an upturned trunk is the sign of a happy elephant!

    I’ve seen this cat with the big ribbon in other old quilts, but we took away part of the ribbon for our version.

    We didn’t need to do a thing to the dog.

    I’m not a big pig fan, but I have to admit, this one is pretty cute.

    I think the bunny is my favorite, both the animal and the print.

    Here’s the duck.  I’m not sure why we closed his mouth!

    There was a cute Sunbonnet Sue, but to me, there’s only one Sunbonnet Sue–the one my Grandma Kennedy made, so we substituted her.  I hope Dorothy understands.

    And I loved this boy.  His hat reminds me of a sombrero.

    When Carol saw the original blocks among her mother’s things, she asked if she could have them.  Her mother referred to them as, “Oh, these old things!”  I wonder what she’d think of them now.

    Here are Dorothy’s original blocks up on my design wall.  Carol is putting them together now, and I’ll share a photo of her finished quilt when it’s complete.

    Here’s the panel.  I designed it so it could be used just as it is, or the blocks could be cut apart and set together differently.

    Here’s how I chose to put them together after I cut a panel apart.  The free pattern for this is up on my web site.


  • 21Dec
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Magazine Time

    Wow, I’m in the new Fons and Porter magazine–and I didn’t even know it.

    Library - 7557

    I got suspicious last week when I started getting lots of orders for the Sweet Pea bundles and dress panel.  Then my friend Loretta came for our Redwork Christmas Party, and she had a copy of the magazine!  Jean Nolte designed the quilt, and all the little dresses are embellished with ribbon or rickrack or lace or aprons or pinafores.  It’s just adorable!

    Library - 7547

    I always have fun making samples with my own fabric lines, but it’s so exciting to see what other people do with it.  Thank you, Jean.

  • 27May
    Categories: brilliant ideas, Everything!, fabric design Comments Off on Red & White Delight Give Away

    We interrupt this Ohio adventure for a quilt kit give-away!



    This Red and White Delight quilt is featured on the cover of Quilts and More–and it uses my fabric!  The quilt was designed by Maebeth Oxenreider, and the folks at Q&M were nice enough to let me offer kits for the quilt on my web site.  One cool thing that Q&M does is show fabric requirements and cutting instructions for lap, twin, queen and king sizes.  There’s even a pillowcase kit!  Here’s the queen size – photo courtesy of Meredith Corp.


    So, I thought it would be fun to give away a kit for a lap sized quilt.  It finishes 42″ x 52.”  I’ll include the magazine, of course, so you’ll have the pattern.  This give away is worth $46.98.  All you have to do is leave a comment and on June 8, I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner.  Oh, and if you want a bigger size, you can apply the $$ toward a bigger one.  Hope you win!