Saturday, December 27, 2014

Living History Farm

For Christmas, our daughter gave us dinner tickets to the Living History Farm in Urbandale, Iowa. We attended a "1900 Farm Dinner" complete with horse-drawn wagon ride, home cooked meal, and history lesson.  It was a fabulous way to spend a brisk winter day.

The house has no electricity, so photos inside were a little more difficult.

Of course, I found the quilts in the house immediately:

Dinner was served family style:

The view from the kitchen:

The elusive farm cat:

My curious horse friend:

And a new lamb!

A pig named Lucky:

And a turkey pardoned by the Governor:

All in all, I'd highly recommend you visit the Living History Farm ( if you get a chance. They have several dinners and lots of programs throughout the year. I know this won't be our last visit!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Clue #4 Link up Party

A group of friends gathered again on Friday to work on Clue #4 of Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery. I appreciated that this one didn't take quite as much sewing, even if they felt a little fiddly to me. Of course, I managed to sew things to the wrong sides almost immediately. I finished sewing all the half-square triangles and made several blocks. Christine, we missed you and hope you're feeling great! Bella, we're looking forward to you joining us in January. (We decided to meet every Friday through January in hopes that would keep us encouraged and get this quilt finished.)  Here's a little parade of our progress:

These are Annette's units:

 These are Donna's units:

These are Jeri's units:

Finally, these are mine:

I don't know what this quilt is going to look like, but I'm loving the results so far! I love all the color combinations. I'm linking up with Bonnie Hunter - head over to Quiltville for a peek at other block units. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Something to Crow About

There's a delightful quilt shop in Springfield, Oregon called Something to Crow About. They have an incredible selection of Civil War fabrics and wool projects as well as everything in between. Something to Crow About has been having a little trunk show of my quilts in their classroom and we've decided to leave those quilts up until after New Year's. Stop on by and tell the girls in the coop that Joyce sent you!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clue #3 Linkup Party

Another fun day of sewing with friends... even if I felt like I did more "frogging" than sewing! I finally gave up and set it aside for another day and enjoyed everyone else's progress.  I loved that this clue was a little less fiddly. I was a little worried that Grand Illusions was becoming Grand Delusions for me. :)  No worries now though as I'm back on the right track.

Head over to Bonnie Hunter's blog to see more fabulous color choices and progress on this year's mystery.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Color Inspiration

Have you noticed that color inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places? My husband and I were visiting the coast recently and visited the local aquarium.  These are just two of the photos that I took that night. Now that he enjoys woodcarving, we have a lot to discuss when it comes to color, form, function, etc. I'm always looking at items and thinking about shapes and colors; he's always looking at them as potential woodcarving subjects!

When I look at the jellyfish, I see a completely neutral quilt palette. The shades of brown, cream, gold, white... they're all fantastic to me!

When I look at the sea anemones, I see a gorgeous array of blue, purple, brown, green, grey, peach, pink, fuchsia, olive, black, navy, and everything in between! 

How about you? What do you see when you look at this darling seahorse? This tiny creature really made me smile. I've always wanted to make a Storm at Sea quilt. Maybe this will be my color inspiration!

Have you ever made a Storm at Sea quilt? Do you have any advice before I get started? Any favorite methods? I'd love to plan ahead for this one and have a sew-along here on the blog!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Design Wall Monday

You know that exact moment when a UFO becomes a burden? I reached it with this project! I bought a BOM from a shop in Iowa in 2010 and dutifully kept up for a few months. I don't have any idea what made me stop working on this quilt, but I know the one fabric that stands out like a sore thumb may have contributed to my bleh feeling. I figured out the only way to get this thing finished is to put it out where I see it all the time... and it takes up so much space I can't put anything else on the design wall.  I confess, though, that I've already set aside a small piece of batting to tape to another wall! :)

My goal is to tackle this a few blocks at a time. So far, I've cut all the easy outside pieces and the neutrals for two more blocks. My goal is to have it completely finished prior to May 2015. Five years is long enough! Wish me luck.  Today I'm linking with Patchwork Times. Head over there to see more fun projects.

Grand Illusions Clue #2

I invited a group of friends over to sew every Friday through January in hopes of completing our Grand Illusions quilts. People come and go based on their schedules and we have a lot of fun. Last week we worked on Clue #2. Here are some of our results:

I just love the different color combos and can hardly wait for Friday to see our next installment. Hope we're caught up by then... but don't hold your breath! :)

Today I'm linking up with Quiltville's Link Up Party. Head over there to see more great projects!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusions Clue #1

Bonnie Hunter's 2014 winter mystery clue kicked off on Black Friday. No shopping or travel for me this year, so I started cutting. I used up black and grey strips from past projects and got everything cut. I had a deadline project to finish, so only made two units. I love these colors together, but may need to change my neutrals... we'll see what happens!

Two down, 98 to go!  

Head over to to see what others have made so far.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meet Daisy!

I'd like for you to meet Daisy. Daisy is an 18-month old shelter animal who found her forever home with us today. We're all adjusting nicely... with the biggest challenge not letting her run following her spay surgery. Not sure who's happier... Daisy or my husband!

I AM doing some sewing, though. I just found out a quilt for a local shop needs to be delivered Monday for a photo shoot. I'll have something to show by then.  :)  I'm also working on the Bonnie Hunter 2014 Winter Mystery -- Grand Illusions. Sewing 280 half-square triangles is perfect as a leader/ender while I finish the other quilt. My colors are very different from Bonnie's quilt. I'm going to love it! I may end up changing my light neutrals, though, based on how this looks. I'll decide as I go.

Two down, 98 to go!  :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24 Already?!

I'm happy to report I've been able to sew over the last couple of days. Not quite as happy with the results, though! I'm working on a project for a local quilt store using a specific line of fabrics. I took this design to the shop owner and we agreed it looks great. I'm not as in love with the results now that it's off the paper and on the wall.  Lucky for me, only the units are sewn together and I can contemplate a bit more before I commit. I thought maybe a wide purple binding (1-1/2") would help, but I'm considering replacing all of the blue with the purple shown on the left. I can always use a dark blue binding instead. Help!! What do you think?

P.S.: Did I mention I love these Cotton + Steel fabrics?

Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see what others have been sewing.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

New Mystery Clue!

Every month, my local guild offers a Sewing Saturday where members may come and sew all day long. We usually have a potluck lunch and a great time. Every few months, the event morphs into Super Sewing Saturday and we sew on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! We're in the middle of one right now. This is where I'm releasing the clues for the Mystery Sew Along. December's date may change so I decided to surprise everyone with December's clue as well. Check out the tab above and you'll find the next two clues to our Mystery Sew Along. Hope you're going to join us. I got to see more fabric combos over the past two days and have to say, these quilts are going to be FABULOUS!

Yes, I've been sewing a bit as well... these little gems will finish at 3" in the quilt. Aren't they adorable?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mystery Quilt Along

I've been leading our local guild (Westside Quilters Guild) in a mystery quilt along and am posting the clues here for easy reference.  I originally designed this quilt in December 2012 and invited friends to join me on January 1, 2013.  It was a lot of fun and I love, love, love the results.  Feel free to join in by visiting the 2014 Mystery tab above!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Finish

It feels good to be sewing again. I've had a rough month with the unexpected death of a brother. I know the grief will subside to good memories, but the pain is still raw. Holidays and deadlines don't always wait for me, though, so a little therapeutic sewing was in order. These Trick or Trick bags will be heading to Iowa to two darling children who have captured my heart. 

The free tutorial can be found here: The only modification I made was to the original cutting size. These were cut at 15" x 36" and the final bag measures approximately 12" x 14" x 3-1/2" deep.  

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Check out their websites to see more fun finishes!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

To Market, To Market

Saturday morning bright and early I'm leaving for Fall Quilt Market in Houston. My book signing is Sunday morning and I've got a couple of goodies to hand out to everyone I meet!  A friend and I are staying for the quilt show, beginning with a preview night on Wednesday. To say we're excited about going is quite an understatement. I've always said that if one of my quilts made it to Houston, that I'd be there. I never dreamed it would be quilts in a book! (Someday I'll actually submit a quilt to see if I can get into the Houston show!)

Here's a photo of one of my favorites:

I have no idea which quilts will be hanging in the booth -- it's kind of like waiting for a baby to be born -- do you want to know in advance or be surprised? I'm going for the surprise! Wish me luck!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Another Friday Finish!

Does it count if my Friday finish is my book?! It's finished and it's Friday, so I'm saying yes. I can't wait to go to Quilt Market in Houston and sign books in October. After that, a friend and I will stay and visit the Quilt Festival. I delivered three quilts to my fantastic longarmer on Saturday. One of them is a mystery I'm teaching on October 11 for the Westside Quilters Guild, so no sneak previews here!  :)

On Saturday, September 13, I'll be at the Columbia River Piecemakers Quilt Guild bi-annual quilt show. Visit their Facebook page to see photos from 2012:

Today I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts. Head over there to see what others finished this week!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Finish!

Woo hoo! A Friday finish to share! I'm delivering this beauty to Wichita today. This was made from the Beachside Bungalow pattern in Kim Brackett's Scrap-Basket Beauties book. I used Scrumptious fabric with a bit of additional scraps thrown in. Cheryl's stunning seashell quilting just really made this quilt sing!  Today I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict . Head over there to see what others finished this week.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Hooray! I get to share what's on my design wall! Included in my book is a pattern called Grandma's Surprise, shown on the left.  The exact same pattern, in only 4 colors, is shown on the right! I decided to include a coloring page and instructions for this pattern for anyone who buys the book from me directly whether at a guild meeting, quilt show, this blog, quilt camp, etc.

I'm busy this week getting ready for a trip to Kansas and Iowa, but hope to get these nine blocks sewn together soon! Wish me luck.


Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see what others are working on this week.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Museum Talk

Today I had the privilege to participate in a lecture series at the Washington County Museum regarding the scholarship and romance of quilts. A small and wonderful group was in attendance. Afterwards, I was able to share a little bit about each of the ten quilts that I have hanging in their current exhibit: A Summer Wrapped in Quilts!

The lighting in museums is intended to protect, not illuminate, your treasures, so I have only two photos worth sharing.  The first shows me pointing out the similarities and differences in these two quilts – the blocks are identical, with one exception. Where there is a 9-patch in the Cherry Chocolate quilt, there is a quarter-square triangle in the What's Up? quilt.  Change the colors and, voila, a new pattern is born!

The second photos shows a Margaret Miller pattern originally called City Lights. I used fabrics with a hint of safari theme and renamed it Oasis. Margaret Miller is well known for designing patterns that look like they're paper-pieced, but the units are sewn over-sized then trimmed with acrylic templates. 

Yes, that's Bill Volckening hanging out on the left of the photo! He came to every presentation this summer at the museum and always brought fantastic quilts to share!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Stash Report - Week 25

How did this happen?! I added 12 1/2 yards of fabric to my stash this week! I'm starting a new round robin project with friends and bought a few half-yard cuts to throw in with my center (shown above), then a local store had a 35% off sale and I knew they had a red that I've been wanting for quite a while, then, then, then…. you know exactly how this goes! I think I'm going to impose a bit of a moratorium on fabric buying until I get to Houston for the quilt market and show. I've never been to the Houston Quilt Festival before, so I'm pretty excited!

There has been a bit of sewing going on this week, mostly testing a block and binding three quilts. My husband is attending a wood carving camp next month and I'm going along with my sewing machine. I've got a great project all ready to go and it will use up over 20 yards for the front and back. Getting that complete will really help my numbers. My goal this year was to sew 200 yards and have a net number of at least 100 yards. I'd better get a wiggle on it!

Sewn this week: 29 yards
Sewn year-to-date:  146.5 yards
Gifted year to date: 54.5 yards
Added this week: 3.5 yards
Added year-to-date: 72.75 yards
Net sewn: 73.75

Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see how everyone else did this week. P.S.: My block is based on a Bonnie Sullivan block in her book Happy Trails (2005).

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Finish

Hooray! I finally have a new finish to report. May I present to you my new Nine-Patch Surprise? Yep, it's made with nine patches. I used a blend of 30s prints and a few new brights thrown in. I'm writing up the pattern and it will be available shortly. (My job for next week is to update the blog with patterns and a book cover!)

For today, I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I know Father's Day is coming up, but I'd like to celebrate my mom today! Here's a picture of her when she sewed shirts at the Miller Mfg. Co. in Joplin, Missouri. Mom's the one at the far right, looking directly into the camera. Here's to you, Momma!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Stash Report - Week 22

No fabric in or out this week, but a little sewing got done. Darling little half-square triangles! I'll show the project as soon as I'm finished. I'm teaching this class at Ocean Waves Quilt Camp at the glorious Oregon coast in October! My sewing room is also clean – it's been a disaster since last December. You should see the boxes stacked outside the sewing room, though! Some are going to my local guild, Westside Quilters Guild, some to Salvation Army, some to recycling, and several boxes to be shipped to quilters. Not sewing was worth it to have the room this clean. Never thought I'd say those words together in a sentence! Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see how everyone else did this week.

Sewn this week: 0 yards
Sewn year-to-date:  146.5 yards
Gifted year to date: 84.5 yards
Added this week: 0 yards
Added year-to-date: 72.75 yards
Net sewn: 73.75

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Stash Report - Week 22

I got my Celtic Solstice mystery quilt ( back from the longarmer and I just love it! I've wanted to use brown, red, green, and pink together in a quilt for years now. 

I felt so guilty about my recent fabric purchases, though, that I spent a couple of days making quilt backs for five finished tops. One more back to make and then I'm off to a new quilt! I've got several designs in the works and will share just as soon as I can. First, I need to spend some quality time cleaning my sewing room. My goal is that next week I can report binding yardage for at least two quilts. Wish me luck!

Sewn this week: 29 yards
Sewn year-to-date:  146.5 yards
Gifted year to date: 54.5 yards
Added this week: 3.5 yards
Added year-to-date: 72.75 yards
Net sewn: 73.75

Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see how everyone else did this week.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Stash Report - Week 20

I'm traveling this week, so no sewing is happening. I did manage to buy a few fat quarters while on the road, so my totals have only increased by 1 1/4 yards over last week. It's a good thing, though, that I don't have to write a report on books, magazines, and patterns purchased! Since there's no current sewing going on, I thought I'd share a picture of a quilt I made a while back. It's a case of a good design gone wrong. I designed what I thought was a beautiful quilt, but once it was together I hated it. Because I loved the fabrics so much and couldn't stand the thought of giving up on all those half-square triangles, I took the original quilt apart and re-sewed it into this. I'm much happier now! I've never named this quilt or looked up a block pattern. What would you call it?

Today I'm linking up with Judy over at  Check out her blog to see how everyone else did this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A New Project!

While I didn't love setting up my blog, I'm learning all about the features and kind of enjoying it. I'm working on a new project that I'm not quite ready to reveal, but here's a sneak peek at the fabric:

I've got all my blocks sewn, but putting them together will have to wait until after our daughter's graduation activities. She's receiving her Master's in Urban Planning and I couldn't be more proud! Well, maybe if she'd take up quilting.  J

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stash Report Sunday

Hooray! I finally get to join Judy's Stash Report Sundays. I haven't had a blog before this, but have been keeping track of my fabric use and purchases all year. My goal is to use a net of 100 yards by the end of the year. Here's how I decided to keep track:

Once the top is to the flimsy stage, it counts! Once the back is made or delivered to the quilter, it counts! Once the binding is sewn down onto the quilt, it counts! I love math and I love numbers, so this is a great exercise for me. I have to admit I'm a bit surprised, though, that 60+ yards of fabric didn't make a bigger a dent in my stash. Could it be because 50+ yards of fabric also came into the stash? ;)

Sewn this week – 0
Sewn this year – 63.25 yards
Gifted this year – 54.5 yards
Added this week – 0
Added this year – 54.25 yards

Visit Judy at Patchwork Times to see more stash reports.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

This is only a test....

A first book, a first blog! This site is under construction, so if you've reached it... thank you! I'm in the testing and designing stage and have to say I prefer designing quilts to websites. Please come back and visit again.