Christmas Wreath
Yes, it really is December already. My door says so.

And he’s going to be here very soon. It seems like Thanksgiving stole a little bit of Christmas thunder waiting until three days before December to make an appearance. I still have pumpkins on my front porch (but there’s a wreath on the door!) I’m actually hoping the squirrels will polish off the pumpkins as they’ve been slowly eating them up since October.

Tree lighting at Casa Linda
Tree lighting at Casa Linda

I have been pretty consumed with projects. I’m actually a little bit panicky that 2014 is so close because I could use a bit more of 2013, please. Just two or ten more weeks.

Christmas Lights

Two very fun things are happening this week that will be a nice distraction – First, the Dallas MQG monthly meeting + ornament swap + cookie exchange. That is always such a fun meeting and um, cookies! Second, there is a Moda Holiday “Pin” Party tomorrow. There’s a party here in Dallas plus an online event for everyone else. We are all going to bring a yummy recipe from Pinterest and chat and share holiday pretty/tasty/fun ideas. I’m sure I’ll blog about it but you can definitely see what we’re doing on my Instagram feed. I need to Pinterest some hair and outfit ideas!

My friend Amanda over at Panda Bear Quilts is requesting help to make quilts for her nieces who just lost their father. She is asking for wonky cross blocks which are simple and fast to make. I whipped up these four in about half an hour.

Wonky Cross Blocks

If you would like to help Amanda, you can read her blog post {here}.


QuiltCon is over. There was so much build-up and excitement, and now I’m having post-awesomeness withdrawal. It was so cool to meet people that I’ve corresponded with or followed online for years now.  And, of course, I had an awesome time with the my group of quilty girlfriends. The event itself was very professionally pulled together – great signage, variety of vendors and exhibitors, an impressive line-up of lecturers and teachers. I was able to attend many lectures and a full-day workshop with the incredibly inspiring Anna Maria Horner.


{Things I loved: Arriving at QuiltCon. Staying so close to the convention center that I could see it from my bed in our hotel. Hamming it up in my Dallas MQG t-shirt. Having Moda Fabrics on my name tag. The absolutely wonderful handmade ribbons for the winning quilts. :)}

The show was smaller than I expected, but there were still a dangerous amount of vendor booths. I tried to exhibit self-control because fabric is THE LAST THING I need but there were so many, many lovely things that wanted to come home with me.


{My pile of QuiltCon goodies minus a few last-minute Sunday afternoon purchases.}

I fell in love with the Green Tea and Sweet Beans pattern when I first saw it a few weeks ago (at Quilt Asylum in McKinney) and one of the vendors at QuiltCon had a kit! They had the finished top on display and then one kit below it. Of course, I snatched it up and went immediately to the check out to make it mine. I was already imagining myself in the hotel room, opening the kit, and fondling the fabric. I was literally laying my head on it like a pillow and telling my friends how much I loved it when the woman in the booth said (very kindly) “That’s a pre-order. You can’t actually take that one home.” It was difficult (and kinda embarrassing!) but I did manage to hand it back. Hope mine comes in the mail soon.


{Green Tea and Sweet Beans kit from Sewing Party}

I spent some time in the Moda booth, and it was super fun to be on the other side of the counter. I loved meeting people who read the Moda Bake Shop, and telling others what it’s all about. All of the quilts you see on display are free patterns from the Bake Shop.


{Hello, Moda Bake Shop}

Moda had a super fun photo booth and a variety of signs and props to spice up your photos. This is one of my more tame pictures. 😉


{Love you, Moda Fabrics!}

I was lucky enough to be asked to demonstrate some modern quilt blocks using Moda pre-cuts, and I had a blast. Quilting is probably the only thing I’d feel so comfortable talking about in front of an audience and a camera.

{See more of my demo HERE}

2013-02-23 12.57.21

{Yeah, that’s me.}

The highlight of the weekend was probably hearing Denyse Schmidt speak. She is such an icon in the modern quilting world, but she’s also someone that has a relatively small online presence – no blog, no Twitter, etc. I knew almost nothing about her personally so I was blown away by her graciousness and eloquence. She is truly an artist, and her love of fabric and quilting is so inspiring. One of the things that endeared her to me is that she sketches each quilt design as it would look on a bed. Given the high price of her couture quilts and the fact that many of her pieces hang in museums, I was delighted to know that she obviously wants them to be used. And many of the quilts in the Denyse Schmidt exhibit had been washed, which is something I haven’t really seen in other quilt shows. It made me smile.

The next QuiltCon is in 2015, and I am already thinking about how I can maximize those four days.  So. Much. Fun.

This past weekend was the annual Dallas Modern Quilt Guild retreat at the Compass Centre. It was so much fun, and just what I needed.

I finished three quilt tops, and started a couple of new projects.

But even more important than the sewing, is the time spent with friends. Friendship is really the reason I started the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild. I wanted to meet local women who also love modern quilting. The guild has grown so incredibly fast, and though it is different from the first two years when I was president, I think it is exactly as it should be. The current leadership team is organized and inspiring and they are shaping the guild into an efficient  and professional organization. And the thing that I wanted most from the guild, for it to bring women together for friendship and inspiration, is still happening. It’s wonderful to see.

Check out The Modern Quilt Guild and find a group near you.

I’ve been on lots of quilting retreats with my quilty friends from the Dallas MQG since we all met in February 2010 (probably close to 12 by now?). I even went on two quilting retreats early this year and brought my baby along since he was still wee and quiet enough to let me sew. But since he started crawling, then cruising, and is now taking baby steps (only one or two at a time, then plop!), life has become a lot busier. Ben is awake more, and I have us scheduled in lots of activities each week (MOPS, The Little Gym, picnics at the Arboretum, story time at the library, and play dates). The social activities are good for both of us, but my “me” time has dwindled. I was ready for a retreat, baby-free.

A couple of weekends ago, I went to a favorite local quilt retreat – 1890s House. It’s close, cozy, charming, and clean. The owner is easy-going, and even though it’s in a suburb of Dallas just minutes away from all of the strip mall shopping and restaurants you could want, it feels like you are in the country. This is a photo of the house from the first time I went (on an officers’ retreat for the Dallas MQG)

Isn’t it pretty? This view is the back of the house. The sewing cottage is just off to the left. It’s nice to have the sleeping quarters so separate from the sewing space since many people stay up late sewing and some want to go to bed at a decent hour.

I worked on several projects:

  • AB Belle Squared {from Piecing – Almost Complete to Quilting & Binding / my friend Michelle of Urban Spools is quilting this one for me on her long arm. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!}
  • Flights of Fancy {from Still in Pieces to Piecing – Almost Complete / This is a kit (shown below) that I bought at an LQS in McKinney (Happiness is Quilting) and it was literally still in the bag a few weeks ago. My friend Angie‘s mom did the embroidery for me and she brought it to me this weekend. All I had to do was press, cut the embroidered blocks, make the large 4-patch blocks, and piece. This one just needs the borders and then it is going to Michelle for some custom quilting. I would never have gotten this done without Angie’s mom.}

  • I finished all of the HSTs and squared them up for my Vintage Sheet HSTs Quilt {from Piecing – Lots to Go to Piecing – Almost Complete / My little pile of square-up trimmings is shown below. I just love those piles.}

  • I haven’t shown many pictures of my Ruby Star Shining Improv quilt, but the top is now complete! It’s a reasonable size so I’ll probably quilt this myself. Maybe….I will at least get Michelle to baste it on the long arm for me.
  • One of my big projects was pumping breastmilk, probably my most dreaded baby-related activity. If I had to work outside of the house, I do not think I would have made in these 10.5 months of nursing. But on retreat, I forgot the plug for the pump but THANKFULLY had the car charger plug. So I spent a lot of time inside the car on retreat. I took this photo on Sunday morning because the rain looked so pretty on the window. And let’s face it, there is not a whole lot to do when you are pumping. Thank goodness for iPhones.


Last week I decided it was time to take stock of my projects. I’m trying to whittle down the stash so it makes sense to whittle down the WIPs, too, right? Plus, I’d like to have a working list so that I can keep track for myself and prioritize the almost completed projects instead of always starting something new. I’ve broken it down into a few categories:

  • Quilts to Make: – An ever-changing list of quilts I want to make
  • Still in Pieces: Quilts that I have planned out and/or set aside fabric for
  • Piecing – Lots to Go: Fabric is cut, some piecing done, but lots of sewing to go
  • Piecing – Almost Complete: Just needs a few more blocks/sashing/etc.
  • Long-Term Projects: Quilts that will take a few years to complete
  • Completed Top: Time to Baste!
  • Quilting & Binding: Self-Explantory
  • Donated: A new category for WIPs I’ve donated to the DMQG charity committee. The steps needed for completion shown in parentheses.

I’m going to link to photos of each project and keep this list current. It’s mainly for me, but thought some of you might be interested in what I’m working on. You can see the list here.

One center. Five borders. Six months. Lots of amazing quilts.

The Dallas MQG hosted a Round Robin this year, and our July meeting was the big reveal. We were matched up in nests of 5 or 6 women and we passed our center blocks around each month for a new border from the other members in our nest. My center block was a modified Swoon block with a fussy cut bit of Far Far Away from Heather Ross at the center. That’s my good friend Angie holding my quilt up for the reveal. She paper-pieced the “Happily Ever After” border. WOW, right? She used Castle Peeps fabric and it’s the absolute perfect addition to the quilt. All the other ladies in my group did such a nice job, too. My other favorite border is the “Once Upon a Time” one. Love how they went with the fairytale theme from my starting fabric.

Here is everyone from my nest holding her own quilt top:

There were some truly amazing quilts at the reveal. You can see all of them in the Dallas MQG Flickr photostream.

Last Friday I went to the Dallas Quilt Show with several good girlfriends. We met for a delicious diner breakfast and made it to the show just after it opened. I had a short wish list of goodies that I wanted to buy: a market tote basket and a curve master presser foot. I’m really trying to take a break from fabric buying but five booths into the show, I bought a fat quarter bundle of Amy Butler solids. Those pretty colors weakened my resolve. I was pretty proud of resisting the vintage quilty stuff at the next booth. Several of my girlfriends took home some really amazing stuff (Melanie’s quilt scraps, Monica’s vintage quilts) but I tried not to even look at the booth, knowing that I have four unfinished vintage quilt tops awaiting some TLC at my house already.

I did find my market basket, which was very exciting. These handmade baskets are from Ghana and a portion of the profits goes back to the community of weavers that makes them. They’re called bolga baskets and you can find them easily online (most of them are dyed bright colors). They’re ideal for your sewing room – I bought my first bolga basket at another quilt show in the fall and I use it to store pre-cuts and fabric stacks for future quilts. It holds a lot of stuff and looks pretty.

And it’s a good thing I bought that big old basket because there were even more fat quarter bundles that I could not resist.

quilt show goodies

Denyse Schmidt’s Katie Jump Rope and American Jane’s Peas and Carrots! Both of these bundles were priced at normal retail, not Etsy-OMG-are-you-for-real prices. If you’re searching for some hard to find fabrics, you must check out your local quilt shows. A lot of small shops don’t turn over inventory very fast and if they don’t have an online shop, the odds are very good that you’ll find some out of print goodies. (This quilt shop does have an online store with some Katie Jump Rope in stock.)

I was feeling so pleased with myself that I even did some sewing this weekend (I’ve lost my mojo recently so like Ron Burgundy it was kind of a big deal.). It’s a Union Jack block for Erica in the Ringo Pie bee.

union jack - Ringo Pie (Feb)

Can you tell that the blue fabric is 1930s bunnies? And the white fabric has tiny strawberries on it? I just wanted to point that out. 😉

Today was the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild’s last Saturday Sew of the year. We had a small group since most people are traveling, shopping, and just generally busy with Christmas activities this time of year but it was a fun day. I am so grateful to all of the ladies that came – they helped me baste two quilts!



more basting

[Wonderland + Aqua]

That’s a lot of safety pins….

These are two more items that I can now cross off my WIP list.

[updated WIP list]
1. Love Panes quilt {binding}
2. Plume Charms quilt {quilting + binding}
3. Fussy Cut Bee {piece top}
4. Modern Siggy Swap 2 {piece top}
5. Wonderland in Aqua {make backing + baste}
6. Gridlock: Summer Palette {make backing + baste}

7. Happy Campers {piece top}
8. Red + Aqua Strings {make backing + baste}
9. Far, Far, Away 2 plum {piece top}
10. Evangeline in Paris {complete all cutting}
11. Black, White, and Aqua {piece top}

I’ve heard from a few others who are participating in the challenge so I know you all are getting some sewing done. Having this challenge has really helped me stay focused (and avoid the distractions of reality TV shows).  Just under two weeks left of 2010 so we’re more than halfway through. I’ve got lots of goodies I’m thinking about for the challenge winner. I’ll post some over the next week to keep you motivated. 🙂

[On a side note, many people have contacted me about the Quilting Economics graphic I posted recently. I am looking into making prints since there was so much interest. (thank you! I’m so flattered and pleased that you all enjoyed it so much) I’ll share details on how to get your own copy after the holidays.]


Today I turned 30. It’s an age that many women dread. Maybe I would have felt that way if I didn’t have so many friends in their 30s and beyond. These are woman with stories to tell. Women who make me laugh. Women who inspire me and teach me. I’m lucky enough to be spending this landmark birthday with many of them at my guild’s first annual retreat.


We are piecing, quilting, laughing, overeating, staying up too late, inspiring each other…

quilting love panes
And even though I miss my hubby, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my birthday. Four days of quilting and fabric talk is almost better than two weeks in Europe. Almost. 😉