Monday, July 31, 2006


My 9 year old grandson gets in the act! Of course he gets pretty goofy when the camera comes out, but he is actually doing a good job sewing. This will be an on-going project for whenever I come to visit. We started it last trip. We had one block completed! He is already doing better than previously. Little boys are just as interested in this as their sisters. One time I was here he wanted to embroider and he actually sewed a Scoobydo picture in big outline stitches. They just need the right topic! Today we are working with cowboy fabric.
Sweet P commented on a shop nearby named Grubers. It is a fabulous shop! It is in St. Cloud, MN, about 30 minutes from here. They were in one of the top shop magazines a couple years ago. Another shop that I really like is 30 minutes in the other direction, in Rogers, MN. It is Quilted Treasures. They were also named a top shop not too long ago. These are the two shops I always visit when I am here. They are the closest, and fortunately, really good! Lots of choices and friendly staff. There are many other good shops if you can travel around a bit, but with grandchildren to tend to, our time for shop hopping is limited. Still very hot here, but the AC got fixed in the van, so yay!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Just a note to answer comments. Thanks to Pat for the border advice. My quilts usually come out pretty square, I just am overly aware that they hang straight because so many of them go on display. When you measure, do you lay the quilt flat on the floor? Since fabric is so flexible, the measurements never seem true, no matter how I measure. But they look pretty good in the end.
My plane got into Minneapolis an hour late last night. My brother was there to pick me up. Spent the night at my Dad's in St. Louis Park. Daughter and family came to get me today.
The AC is out in their van and we drove to their home in Buffalo with the windows open and 102 degrees heat! But we are still kicking! Hard to complain when so many have it so much worse. I mentioned the locations to answer the questions of Mary and Sweet P. Although I was born in New York, my husband is a true blue Minnesotan of Swedish descent. We raised our family here amidst lots of cousins, etc. I come here about twice a year for family visits. It is a great place to live, I think. Mary, I hope you will like it here. You look to be about the age of my daughter, I bet you would enjoy each other. Great quilt shops abound!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


One more little bloggie before I am off to Minnesota. While daughter J. was here I came across a top in my closet that I did two years ago. It needed a border, but never got it. So it hung in the closet jammed between other unfinished works. After I brought it out to see the light of day again, I decided I really liked it and so I put on the previously planned red border. Then it looked boring. I messed around on EQ and like the simplist border the best. Yay! So I added two inch strips of various colors around the red border. They ranged in length between five inches and seven inches. Now I love it again. Funny how just a simple little detail can add so much. As I was attaching borders I realized that sewing those big lengths together is my least favorite part. I always worry that it will ruffle or not hang flat. I am so careful, but it is always a concern. I always try to cut border strips on the vertical grain line for less stretching. You need to buy extra fabric to do this, but it is worth it to me. As I cut the small strips for the border, I made an effort to cut them on the vertical grain line also. This method is one that I like to pass along when I am teaching. Probably most of you are already well aware of the difference the grain line can make, but since it was on my mind, I thought I would pass it along. I got a backing together and that baby is off to the quilters! I admire so many of you and the fine work you do with your machine quilting. That is not my thing, so let me tell you that your work is greatly appreciated by those of us who love to piece the tops and need you to bring them to life! In the photo you will see my wonderful quilter! She is working on someone elses quilt, but I let her do that sometimes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Thought I would pop in another baby quilt for show and tell. This was made using up some 30's scraps. I love the good old Churn Dash block. It looks good in any fabric style. I hand quilted this just to keep my hands busy. It is a poly batt, so the quilting was easy going. This weekend has been gray and overcast. Feels kind of nice, actually. It looks like it should be cool out, but it is not. My daughter is here and we spent time working a a big block quilt for her that used up lots of pastels. She is happy with that. It is supposed to be a summer quilt for her bed, but if it gets finished for this summer, I will be surprised. It is nice to have something to work on together, although while I am working on hers my mind is drifting to my own projects. There are projects in process that are haunting me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I have been working on my Buggy Barn Goose Chase Quilt. It is soooo fun! Most of you probably know the method: stack a pile of squares or rectangles, lay a freezer paper pattern on top and cut through the pattern. Methodically mix up the various pieces and sew them together. I haven't done the stars yet. But the rest is looking oh-so-cool on my design wall! I am giving you a sneak peak, because I will be tied up fopr a while. Tomorrow I have an all day class to teach, Christmas Kisses, from my Patchalot Patterns. The shop is doing Christmas in July. Should be fun! Then my daughter arrives from Atlanta for the weekend. I leave for Minneapolis shortly thereafter to stay with the family of my other daughter and take care of the 3 kids that will be home. Daughter and Granddaughter are going to Hong Kong! They are going to visit the exchange student that lived with them last year, Lisa, and her family. I don't know how much posting I will be doing between now and then, or even if I can post from their computer. We shall see. Luckily I am flying for free because last trip I got bumped and earned a free ticket! I am becoming convinced that one only needs to buy one ticket these days. The airlines overbooks so much that you could potentially get bumped from every flight and never buy a ticket again! It is like a sour dough starter: buy one and take another off of it each time. We shall see how that works. :0))) Just to let you know-I figured out the system for adding a name onto the blog title listed in bloglines. Click on "edit", then scroll down to a name, click one to identify it, then double click. Now you can edit the title. I went through and added names after the titles just to help me remember who is who. You can also alphabetize the titles, so I did that first, then added each name. When you have completed that task you can go back to the top and click on the tab that takes you back to the names list for opening. It gave those directions at the bottom of the page, I just didn't scroll down far enough. :p

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


The quilt that Cathi at, is working on reminded me of a baby quilt I did last year in a similar design. It is mostly 30's repros. They are always so cheerful. When I first got into quilting, these are the fabrics that I searched for at quilt shows, etc. I like the busy little prints of any era, actually. The block for this quilt is from a Debbie Caffrey book called Open A Can Of Worms. All the quilts are made with 2-1/2" strips. It is a great book and I have made many of the quilts in it. A rare thing, I assure you! Just a quick blog post today. I have to catch up reading what the rest of you are saying! Oh, by the way, Linda, the quilt behind me in the photo is not one of mine. The picture was taken at a quilt show at the Seattle Center! Ha! Figures you would ask!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


It's official. I have become a blogomaniac! This Bloglines thing is great because you get notified of all the new posts. But I can't keep up! I add new blogs to the list every day, and then try to keep up with everyone. Most of you have lists of blogs that you visit and that has been fun for me to explore. But I haven't taken the time to learn how to add a list to my blog; and at this point, I probably won't. I don't want to leave anybody out and I try to follow as many of you as I can. Now my problem is trying to remember who is the author of each blog title. Is there a way to add a name to the title on the bloglist?

Have you wondered what I looked like? This is me six years ago. I don't think there is a good picture of me since then. And this one looks really good to me now because it was six years ago. Sadly, now I have an extra chin and am more cheeky. But my hair is still remarkably blonde! If only all of life's problems could be cured with a bottle of Nice N Easy!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


The Mockingbird: To kill or not to kill? Have you ever seen a Mockingbird? It is a rather non-descript bird that I never learned to recognize. We can all identify the Robins and the Cardinals; Oriels, Blue Jays, and the like. But no one ever said, "Oh, look, there is a Mockingbird!" At least not to me. Then a couple of years ago my Dad spotted one on the railing of our deck. If he hadn't mentioned it, I never would have known that this bird lived around here. I hadn't given it much thought until we began walking down to the beach house to sit on the deck. Every time we go down there we hear this bird making all the noise he can. He perches on the high peak of the roof next door and sings his heart out. For a long time I kept looking around for a cardinal, then a robin--the two birds whose calls I can recognize. But the sound always came from this grey bird on the neighbor's roof. I looked him up on line, and sure enough, he is a mockingbird. HE NEVER QUITS! I wonder if he doesn't have his own song, or if he just likes the songs of others. Or does he listen to the other birds and think, "I can do that better than he can"! (Now he is reminding me of my grandaughter, Becky!) I am not sure if I should admire him or be annoyed at him for making me look for a pretty red cardinal in the trees. My daughter-in-law reminded me of that scene in the move Failure to Launch, with the mockingbird. Now I get it!!!
On a similar note, there must be baby robins hatching. I saw blue egg shells in the driveway this morning. Seems kind of late, doesn't it? I took a walk this morning and turned down a path to the beach. I always seem to be surprised to get there and realize it is so close to home! I don't do that enough. If it wasn't for all the people parading past our house every day with all their beach gear, one would never suspect it. On the return I walked up the path and over the dune, where I sat on the deck and caught my breath for a few minutes. That is where the Mockingbird entered my day! Have a happy day!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I came across this picture in an old book of US presidents. It was copyrighted in 1924. I was hoping to find a picture of Abe to copy for my Civil War Diary Quilt, so it was a lucky find! There are a couple blocks in the book that have his picture in them. I hope this picture comes out well so that any of you who would like to may also use it. I probably could have found a picture on line, but this one is pretty neat. On another note, the chicken I mentioned in the last post can be boneless or not. I prefer it with bones. I cook it in a gas grill, wrapped in foil with the lid down, for about 45 minutes at around 400 degrees. It is nice and juicy! Who else has an easy recipe to share? I stress EASY!


I spent the whole afternoon yesterday cutting up fabric for a quilt class I signed up for. It is a very scrappy Buggy Barn design from their book Certifiably Crazy. The name of the book says it all. We really are, aren't we? I searched through several boxes looking for the right combination of light backgrounds of appropriate size, scale and value. Cut-cut-cut, stack-stack-stack. 16 of this pile,12 of that pile, etc. By dinner time it was all I could do to drag myself to the kitchen and cook something. Fortunately I had some chicken breasts thawed and I wrapped them in foil with potatoes, carrots, onions and Lowry's seaonings and put them on the grill. Then I sat down! My husband said the chicken really tasted good. This is a meal I rely on a lot during the summer season. Now this afternoon I need to find all the dark fabrics for the quilt. Yesterday I mostly cut lights! I don't usually cut the whole quilt at once, but for their techniques you must. It is exhausting! No chance to sit and stitch a bit in the process. (Patti, don't lust after my sewing room. I know you want to clean it!)

Friday, July 07, 2006


If you have read my profile, you know that I teach quilt classes, and design and sell my own patterns. I love quilts and I enjoy the patterns and designs of many popular quilters. I also love vintage quilts and draw lots of inspiration from them. My purpose in creating this blog is NOT to advance my pattern sales. I do show my designs on this site because that is what I have made or am working on. I enjoy seeing what other quilters are making and I enjoy sharing my stuff with you. I will always try to identify the quilt designer when I display a quilt. I want to give credit to them. I may not mention it if I am the designer. That feels awkward to me. I am not a good self-promoter, but that is OK. I am happy where I am, doing what I like to do. If you would like to look at my patterns, please go to my web site, Most of my designs were made with classes in mind. They are not difficult, and they are based on traditional patterns. If you want to try your hand at one of my designs without buying a pattern, go for it. That is what quilters have been doing for generations. If you want to show it on your blog, I will feel complimented! If you want to otherwise publish it, then I will be ticked! Having said that, My Happy Place, and those patriotic quilts that I posted are my designs. Buy 'em or try 'em, if you want to. Any questions, you can contact me at Thanks for reading this. I know it is more fun with pictures! I'll post some later!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I LOVE patriotic quilts, and so I have to post this quilt for the Fourth of July. It is a Pat Sloan design. My friend, Joan, and I worked together to select fabrics from both our stashes to create two of these quilts. One for each of us. We finished it in time for the 4th in 2004. It was such a fun project to do with a friend. It is a calendar quilt and has a block with a flag for each month, except for the eagle block. I do think that is the cutest eagle I have ever seen! Terry Clothier Thompson also had a nice one on Simply Quilts this morning. You can check their web site if you missed it. Maybe I will try that one too. My problem, of course, is that I want to make EVERYTHING! Have a happy holiday!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Here are a couple more of my red, white, and blue quilts that I love to decorate with in July. The smaller sized quilts hang on the deck railing so nicely. We really don't need to wrap up in anything big around here in July! I enjoy just seeing the quilts and their colors. To me, they add a welcoming touch. I am really enjoying all the quilt blogs and also appreciate hearing your comments on my blog and others. It will take me a while to remember who is who, but it is fun to start recognizing some of you! Have a wonderful weekend!