New Quilt ……. my process

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was working on a new project for myself (well it will actual go to my son).  I have people ask me all the time … how did you come up with that idea???  Well, I don’t know, seriously, I just think of it, there isn’t any big thought process for me.  I just get the idea, then sketch out a basic drawing (and I do mean basic, you’ll see in the photo, lol).  And then I just basically work it out as I go.  So I thought that this would be a good project to kind of share my step by step process of how I made it.  Especially since the inspiration for this quilt came straight from the fabric!

Sooo …. it all started with a piece of fabric that I absolutely fell in love with.  I knew as soon as I saw it online that I HAD to have it.  But, of course, it was constantly on backorder (apparently a lot of other people HAD to have it too, lol).  I eventually was able to get my hands on some, and I ordered a bunch, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get any more later if I needed it.  It is from Michael Miller Fabrics, and it is called Atomic.


I have had the fabric for probably about a year now, and just kept looking at it trying to figure out what I could make with it, without having to cut it up into little pieces.  Because to me, the large, bold print is just too cool to cut, and wouldn’t look the same.  Then one day I realized why not just take my inspiration from the designs on the fabric.  So I drew something up real quick (see what I mean, not some precise scaled drawing or anything, lol)


So I decided I would do an applique panel, frame it, and then surround it with the print.  So my next step was to draw out an actual pattern for my applique panel.  I did this on freezer paper because it was the only paper I had big enough for the size of my applique.


The next step was to decide on a background color for my applique panel.  I was initially going to just use light gray, but decided to go ahead and add tiny white strips to the gray to mimic the white lines on the actual fabric.  So I sliced and inserted random 1/2″ strips (they finished 1/4″) to the light gray.


I then starched and ironed the daylights out of it from the backside (like 4 or 5 times), until it felt like paper


My next step was to transfer the applique pattern to the background so I would be able to easily place my applique pieces.  And wow, how lucky, I realized that because I drew the pattern on freezer paper, I could just iron it to the back of my fabric.


After I ironed the pattern to the back, I used the edges of my pattern to trim my background to the correct size.


And the final step in preparing my background was to flip it over, put it on my light box, and trace the pattern lightly with pencil on the right side of fabric.


And yep …. the second I held it up to look at it, I realized that because I ironed it onto the back of the fabric and then traced it, I had reversed the pattern!!! Seriously, I was not going to start again …. so, after looking at it for a few minutes, I decided it really didn’t make a difference to me that the design was leaning the other direction now … I can live with it, lol.


So the next step will be preparing my applique pieces, and I will pick up there in my next post.




Update on “In The Background Book”

In my last post I told you about my second new book, “In The Background”.  The discounted copies that I had available with printing that was too dark are now gone.  And … I finally have good copies available that I can live with, lol.  You can click “HERE” if you are interested in more info about the book.

I have received a couple of emails asking about the quilt on the book cover.  The quilt was a challenge piece for the longarm group I belong to.  I just took a white square of fabric, and used a flower stencil to paint the flower with Stewart Gill fabric paints.  Then I did the quilting.


After I finished quilting it, I went back with a pigma pen, and added doodles over the stenciled petals, and on some of the areas of the background fills.


I really like this little quilt!


Two posts in one day!?

Just a quick note —- I gave my MIL a copy of my next book that is coming out called “In The Background” last week to check out.  Well, I saw today that she mentioned it in a post online, and then she called to tell me she didn’t see it anywhere for purchase on my blog —-well, that was because I wasn’t ready to sell it yet, LOL.  Sooo, I just added a page for the new book.  You can click HERE to check out the info on “In The Background” if you’d like (or you can use the tab under my blog header).  There is an explanation there as to why I hadn’t mentioned it yet.



Computer Skills, lol …..

Wow, I am so seriously in need of some computer skills!  Now that I have finished my new Modern Simplicity book, I have been trying to figure out how on earth you add a paypal button so people can order online.  After looking at numerous youtube videos, and doing searches in the help section, I finally, after 3 hours (yes, I said 3), figured out how to add a paypal button to purchase the book.  I mean really, everyone I talked to told me how easy it was, NOT!!!  I just absolutely suck at computer stuff.  So anyway, at least it is finally done, so if you are interested in purchasing the new book, you can now do that on the “New Modern Simplicity Book” page up there under the blog header.

I have been keeping extremely busy trying to get caught up on customer quilts after being away teaching at the Machine Quilters Showcase.  MQS was really nice this year, except for the fact that my boxes of class supplies didn’t show up until the last day I was there, lol.  I was so happy that the two Modern Simplicity classes based on my new book went really well, and I received great comments from the students.

Because I have been so busy trying to get caught up on quilts, I forgot to take pics of most of them. Below are a couple of the quilts I’ve done over the past few weeks (that I remembered to get pics of, lol).

This is Marian’s wallhanging, I did some Less Stress Feathers on it:


This is Barb’s Quilt — I love the fabrics and colors she used! I used some designs from my new book on this one.


I also wanted to share a couple of photos sent to me by people who have used some of the new modern designs on their quilts.

First up is Vicki’s table runner ….. I soooo love this!  You can read more about it on Vicki’s blog


This one is from Janice, she used one of the Modern Simplicity designs in a quilt border ………….. COOL!

Jodis border treatment

I have a couple of projects I’ve been working on for myself, that I will share with you in coming posts.  One of which is a quilt I’m making for myself (well, actually for my DS), and I thought it might be fun to share pics of the process of making it from start to finish.  So watch for that in the coming week.

Now, it’s back to the machine for me!


My Newest book is FINALLY done!

I mentioned in my last post, that the pillow I made


Was planned for another use as well ……….

Modern Simplicity Book Cover

I wanted something to use for my newest book cover!

I have been working on some new books for what seems like FOREVER!  And I finally have “Modern Simplicity” – Machine Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts actually in my hands, lol.  I am so excited about this book …. it is my favorite that I’ve done.  You can click on the “New Modern Simplicity Book” link (below my blog header pic) for the particulars on the content, and ordering info.  At this time, I can only take orders by mail, but as soon as I return from teaching at the Machine Quilters Showcase, I will get everything in place to take credit card orders online.  And of course, if you will be at the MQS show, I will have them there.

I am actually a little disappointed, because I had 2 books done, and submitted to the printer, but ….. only one made it out as a book, LOL.  I haven’t done a book in quite some time, and thought that this time around I would get some desktop publishing software and try to make things easier (I mean, the description for the software made it sound like a piece of cake) ……… well, it really just made it much more difficult, especially with my computer skills being so terrible.  So, it turns out I need to totally reformat how I put the other book together in order for them to print it, so I am hoping to get that done, and back to the printer by the end of May.

My Pantos in use!

I have the most amazing friends (who also happen to be longarm quilters)!  They were nice enough to share photos with me of quilts that they have used some of my pantos on.  My pantograph patterns are available at : Digitech Patterns

The first one is Dancing Wedges:

Modern Wedges Pantograph

This first quilt was done by Janice, she finishes more quilts than anyone I know, lol.  You can visit her blog at:

JaniceDancingWedges2 JaniceDancingWedges

Nancy made this green and white quilt for one of her grandchildren (I love the color combo!)


The next quilts are done with my Modern Ripple Pantograph:

Modern Ripple Pantograph

First up was another quilt done by Janice, I love the texture of this one!

Janice Modern Ripple

And another quilt made by Nancy for one of her grandchildren.  I love how it looks with the pattern oriented across the stripes vertically, rather that having it oriented horizontally with the stripes.


I also want to mention, that both of Nancy’s quilts (the purple/white and green/white ones) were made using an AWESOME tutorial for the Firefly Quilt found at Canoe Ridge Creations.  Here is a link right to the tutorial .  I sooo love this quilt pattern!  So much so, that I made one too.  My son wanted a smallish quilt for on his couch, but wanted it to coordinate with a room divider curtain he has, so I replaced one of the solid stripes on the bottom of mine, with the same fabric that is in his curtain.


And of course he needed a coordinating pillow too!


This pillow was also made for another purpose —- and I’ll share that with you tomorrow 😉   Now …. back to work getting ready for my classes at the Machine Quilters Showcase .

Another one done!

I finished binding this next table runner a while ago, but haven’t had the chance to post it here.  I made some cool candle holders for Christmas gifts this year, and wanted something to put them on, to make them stand out.  (I saw the idea for the candle holders on Pinterest, though they used frosted spraypaint, and I actually sandblasted them to get the frosted effect).

Full Shot:



Heres a closer shot of one of the ends & quilting



And last, a shot with the candleholders on it 🙂



I spent last weekend at a monthly retreat, which I truly enjoy, since it is pretty much the ONLY time I get to spend working on things for myself (well, not necessarily things for myself, but things I WANT to work on, lol).  I was able to get two small quilts pieced there this month, but when I got home, and added it to the pile of things that need quilted ….




I was reminded what being a longarm quilter is all about, LOL!  I seriously need to come up with some kind of schedule to start getting some of my stuff quilted between customer quilts.  Ugh, if only I could take the quilting machine to retreat every month, lol, then maybe I’d get something done …. rather than just adding to the stack.

Better get outside and clear the snow off my car (again), I am SOOOO sick of doing this, it really needs to quit snowing EVERY day!!!