Archive for January, 2016

Focus Friday – Fun Fish

Friday, January 29th, 2016

This might be a good time to focus on something really simple and easy, something you can even get the kids involved in on a snowy day, because this is a perfect beginner’s project! Just triangles, half square triangles, squares and rectangles, Fun Fish is quick and easy with three different fish swimming in 8” blocks.

So find fish fabric – fun, fabulous or funky – add water and make FUN FISH!


“FUN FISH” – INNOVATIONS # 95106 – approx 42 x 49” Pattern: $8.00
Click on Patterns in the side bar to order.

The cover sample wall hanging is for sale at $300.00. Email for details.

Artsy Stuff

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Yesterday evening was my presentation for the Topeka Art Guild, “Painting With Fabric” and there was a nice turnout. It had been postponed from a week ago when the roads were so icy and the weather cooperated this time! I even pulled some non-members in and away from the local quilt guild which was also meeting last night! Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I think it went well.

I am also enjoying my time auditing the watercolor class at Washburn U and even did my homework! As an auditor my work is not graded, but I hope to find the time to keep up and do the homework as it is such a nice opportunity to learn from a master.

I am also trying to find the time to get started on my next art quilt. I know what I want to do, but am finding it hard to get inspired to draw the scene that is in my head. At least I have gotten started with the drawing and pulling some fabrics off the shelf to try and help me decide which season of the Flint Hills to feature, the greens of summer, the colors of fall, or even another prairie fire.


At this time I am leaning toward fall. I find the fall color in the Flint Hills to be quite lovely; a quieter beauty than what I grew up with in New England, but still….beautiful!

On the business side of things, I got the sales tax filed last week, EARLY, yeah! but still have book work to do for regular taxes, got entries submitted for a few more shows and have had to spend time packaging patterns and shipping – that’s a good thing to have to do! But still, it all takes time.

Focus Friday – Starburst

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

I’ve been getting more orders lately for “Starburst” so I thought I would feature it today for Focus Friday.  I made the original version called Starmageddon” to be a contest quilt and it won some national awards including a second place at AQS, Paducah.  It was all hand quilted. It is a combination of two different star blocks in a unique setting to make it look like an explosion of stars.  I decided to include it in the pattern line, but I made a few changes to make it even easier. Of course the pattern tells you where to place the different colors to blur the lines between the easy blocks to make it look harder than it really is.


Starburst – INNOVATIONS # 01929  Approx. 72 x 84″   Pattern $9.00

Sample quilt, machine quilted in a stars pattern, $2000.00

Good News, Bad News

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Here in Topeka we have a wonderful “Over 60 audit program” at Washburn U and I have taken some great classes; they are offered ‘space available’. Enrollment for Spring semester was Friday and I was lucky enough to get both of the classes I wanted! Watercolor with Ye Wang, ( he taught my Figure Drawing class last semester) and Yoga. That’s the good news.

We signed up for a “Winter in Yellowstone” trip in February. Even though cold is not my favorite season, it sounded like it would be fun, beautiful and a chance to get some nice wildlife photos. Since SW damaged my Nikon when they made me check my carry on at the last minute and I forgot to take the camera out, and in spite of the fact that it has been in for repair twice, it never has focused right since then. We decided to get a new camera before the trip. Ended up with a nice Olympus that seems to focus great for the closeup quilt shots and has good zoom capabilities as well. To that, we added a long extra lens to really pull in those animals- Good news. Everything is extra these days, battery, memory card, bag it ended up being nearly $1000.00! Bad news!

That same day when we got home from buying the camera, there in the mail was a letter and a refund check from the tour company cancelling our trip due to lack of sufficient people signing up. That’s the REALLY bad news!

Focus Friday – POPPY!

Friday, January 15th, 2016

If you are dreaming of summer or just need a project to brighten up your winter days, check out Poppy!

Have you always wondered how these picture quilts go together? Here is a fun project to learn the basics so you might even decide to go on and design something of you own! This one is all straight seam sewing, that goes together quickly in easy sections.

INNOVATIONS # 08754 Poppy! 24 x 24″ wall hanging pattern $9.00

Cover quilt for sale – $300.00


Workshop sample quilt for sale – $300.00

Poppy Workshop Samp

Heron Finished!!

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

The heron quilt is FINALLY finished. “Tranquil Dawn”, 40 x 52.5″

It’s not that I’ve been working on it all this time, but so much time was wasted looking for that “perfect” fabric. When I just let it go and added some others, I think it was even better than it would have been had I found the one I wanted in the first place. More is usually better! As usual it is loaded with machine quilting with many different threads used.


Now I am seriously thinking about what is next; it is always exciting to start something new, and I hope, smaller!

But first I need to get those books caught up, sales tax is due soon……

Focus Friday – Garden Path

Friday, January 8th, 2016

It’s January so the seed catalogs are piling up and I am starting to think about spring and new gardens. It’s a weird winter with the Forsythia already blooming confusedly in the rain! We know it is much too early to be planting outside, but not a moment too soon to dream of a flower garden quilt to while away the hours until Spring really arrives!

This is an original 12″ block design that I gave to 20 friends, along with a piece of the colorful batik and the instructions to combine it with coordinating colors from their own stashes and some yellow for each block, for a scrap quilt. When I got all 20 blocks back, I arranged them and added some flower blocks to make a Garden Path. A border of the starting batik gives a nice finish! In case you would prefer a one fabric background, that yardage is also included.



Garden Path – INNOVATIONS #06848 62 x 74″ $9.00

The machine quilted Cover Sample quilt is for sale, $1500.00. Email for details.

Nativity Sets

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday commemorating the arrival of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem and we had a display at church of about 150 personal Nativity sets of varying size and design loaned by members. Here are only a few:

Mine is ceramic made by me. I poured the slip, cleaned up the figures and did the detailed painting and antiquing over 50 years ago. It was one of the larger sets, but not the largest. After seeing all of the others, I decided mine needs a stable.


This one was unique in that it is all one piece.


This one is made of horse shoe nails.

HSNailNativityThis one was hand carved from Olive Wood in the Holy Land.

OliveWoodNatSome were teeny-tiny – the smallest being made of pewter and set in a jewelry box.TinyNativitiesAll in all a very beautiful display which drew visitors from as far away as the KC area!