Tag Archives: quilting

Rag Quilt

Failure and Rag Quilts

My daughter called me the other day and said that she went to Quilty Stuff because she thought her RSS wasn’t working. When she got there she just found that she wasn’t getting any updates because I hadn’t posted anything in over a month!

Okay, I admit it. I’ve been working on other things. I have some great things planned so don’t give up on me yet.

I have a few announcements and I’ll be doing some classes in May.

Here is a peek at something I’ve been working on.

Rag Quilt

Rag Quilt

May 15th I’ll be doing a rag quilt demonstration.

I don’t know how these quilts got their name. They aren’t made of rags. I guess the edges get all ragged after you finish making them so that might be why they call them rag quilts.

Believe me this is a quilt you want to make. Especially if you live in the cold north like me. Even if you don’t these are so quick and easy and cuddly, it is hard to resist.

This is the best quilt for beginners. They are quick and forgiving of little mistakes.

E-mail me if you would like information about the demonstration or stay tuned right here I will be posting a tutorial so you can make one of these all of  your own.

Homework is calling so I need to go finish up a paper. I hope you are finding more time to quilt than I am.

Happy Quilting!



November FMQ challenge

I have to be honest with you. I didn’t think I would be able to finish up the year-long challenge. This time of year gets so busy.

I’ve been doodling in my little book, reading quilt magazines, doing some handwork, and cyber quilting (this means Pinterest, EQ, and Craftsy) but I haven’t been at my sewing machine for weeks.

I finally just grabbed some fabric and batting and followed Sarah Vedeler’s directions for swirls. It was easier than I anticipated. I truly believe this is because of the months and months of practice. The first time I saw swirls I was scared to death, scratching my head and sure I would never be able to do them.

I made this cute little purse out of my challenge piece. It went together in a snap.

One more Christmas present done and a challenge to boot. I’m thrilled!

Swirls are so much fun!

If swirls scare you I highly recommend you follow the tutorials at Sew Cal Gal’s FMQ challenge or if you are a visual learner like me try Craftsy.

It is an excellent platform for learning something new.

  • The classes are very affordable
  • You get to use them FOREVER!
  • You can watch them over and over
  • You can ask the teacher for help if anything is unclear, but they are so packed with information, that everything is very clear
  • You can share with others in your class
  • It is really cool and all accessible from your own home
  • They are on sale now.

I highly recommend the Quilting Negative Space with Angela Waters or the Free Motion Quilt Along with Leah Day.  They are both jam-packed with wonderful free motion quilting tips and techniques. I have taken both and enjoyed them so much. I will watch them again and again.

Online Quilting Class

Prize Package

August Fun

I won!

I was on my way to Tennessee to bring my DD#3 to college. We were in a hotel room and, of course, I couldn’t sleep. I was scrolling through my emails when I noticed the words “You are a winner.” It’s 3:00 in the morning so I thought it was just spam. It turns out it wasn’t. The next morning when I looked at the email a little closer I discovered that I truly had won something.

I was the July FMQing (Free Motion Quilting) Challenge winner.


I have learned so much through this Free challenge that SewCalGal has hosted. 


Prize Package

A spectacular collection of goodies!


There was

I wanted one of those SewSlip mats, but I hadn’t been able to find one locally. I love it! It makes a huge difference.

I already love Aurafil threads, but I am excited to try the thicker weights and the wool!

I haven’t tried the marking pencil yet, but it looks really cool.

I’m also supposed to be getting a pair of FMQing gloves and a DVD about binding.


I know this will sound cliche, but I feel that everyone who participates in this or any challenge is a winner. A challenge forces us out of our comfort zone, it stretches us as quilters, artists, people. It is really good for you. I had such little skill with FMQing before I joined in challenge and now my skills have really developed (and I really don’t spend very much time on them. I have kids, a garden, a job or two, a husband, a farm…. You get the picture.) After just a few short months I actually feel like I can confidently quilt something on my own machine and not be ashamed of it. None of us have the time to spend on the things we love, but if we don’t make some time, it is not going to magically appear.

Take some time for you today. Go do some quiltystuff or whatever you need to grow and recharge your batteries.

Thank you SewCalGal!



Double Stippling

May FMQ update

Double Stippling

May Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Hi everyone,

I have been MIA (missing in action) lately. I have so much to share that I feel like I am fairly bursting. I just can’t get in front of the computer for long enough to do it. Thankfully the end of the month is coming and therefore a deadline. I love deadlines, I get so productive.

The Girls!

All the girls!

The first weekend in May my DD #2 graduated from Asbury University. I hope to post more about that wonderful trip soon. I was able to not only see my daughter graduate with high honors, but also get to see my DD #1 and Dearest grandbaby, Emma.

We flew down and while I was stuck on the runway I took out a piece of paper and found the time quickly pass as I doodled free motion quilting designs. What fun!

I couldn’t wait to get home and try out Leah Day’s tutorial with actual needle, thread, and sewing machine.

When summer passes and the leisurely days of winter come upon me again I will definitely be spending some time at Leah’s website. I may find that I am soon parting with some precious greenbacks at her site very soon. I would have already parted with them, but summer allows me very little time to quilt.

Leah’s tutorial is a foundational design: (I am unfamiliar with this term, but I think it has to do with the fact that you stitch one line throughout the area and then go back and stitch more on that line.)

Leah’s very talented and her tutorial is full of helpful information for beginners and I’m sure more experienced quilters would glean many helpful hints also.

I loved the designs this month.

The first was very curvy and fun. It is called Double Stippling.

Double Stippling

Double Stippling



The second design was a little harder for me. It looks like railroad tracks, and in fact (after going to look it up) it is called Railroad Tracks. 🙂 Perhaps if my DD has a little boy, I will put this design to good use on a little boy quilt. You can see that I got bored with it and did some more random practicing.

Railroad Tracks

Railroad Tracks

I used variegated thread in these samples. I have hording it for when I work on “real” quilts, but I have found that I sometimes have trouble seeing what I am doing. The variegated thread makes it so easy to see. It is so exciting to see the next color coming down the needle and for the design to evolve. It adds so much to the design by using the variegated threads. I wanted to see what feathers would look like in many colors, then flowers, then leaves…..

I got a little carried away.


I am definitely bitten by the free motion quilting bug. (You would laugh if you knew me any better.)

I have always been such a traditionalist. Hand Quilting, Embroidery, Crazy Quilting.

I sense a change in the winds…….

Happy Quilting!



What are you afraid of?

Imagine being 11 years old and sitting in a movie theater to enjoy the last of an epic film trilogy. That was my DD #3. We stood in line forever to see the last of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. She was so excited to be going to the movies with her older sisters (and mom), little did she know that this would be the beginning of a life long fear. (She is only 19 years old now, but to them it seems like forever.)


Her new found fear?




Up to this point in her life I was convinced I had a budding entomologist on my hands. My daughter loved bugs, but everything changed that December evening. When Shelob’s hairy legs made an appearance and the grown man next to her spilled his soda all over himself and probably her too a great dislike of those little creatures was born.

Don’t worry, her fear of spiders is under control and hasn’t ruined her life or anything like that.


My Shelob….


I don’t know when my fear began. I know that I signed up for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge (FMQ challenge) this year because I wanted to master this facet of quilting.


It all began in January with leaves. It was wonderful. I was practicing my self imposed 30 minutes a day. I was making great progress.


Next came February. I could hardly wait for the new tutorial to post. The exciting day came when Sew Cal Gal made the announcement that the next tutorial was up and ready to view.  I clicked the link and when the page loaded my heart fell into my shoes. Diane Gaudynski was sharing how to make feathers.




I read the introduction to the tutorial and said “How nice, I can’t wait to get started.”  Then I found every excuse not to finish reading the tutorial.

  • I had taxes to do
  • I needed to clean the cellar
  • I needed to work on my seed order for our garden
  • I had so much to do

I was doing everything and anything to stay out of my sewing room.

Today is February 12, 2012. I haven’t sat down to sew for 12 days! Okay, I admit it I am a little afraid of feathers. They are so advanced!  I am just a beginner.


Well today I decided to finish reading the tutorial. I have to tell you that Diane does a wonderful job of explaining how to make feathers. I actually feel like maybe I can make feathers now.


Is there something that you are afraid of that is keeping you from doing what you love?  Just do it. You already fail if you don’t try. So try!!!


I lost 6 hours of practice by procrastinating about these stupid feathers. ( 1/2 hour a day for 12 days.) What am I afraid of? I don’t have to show anyone my first efforts. I’m sure after 6 hours I could possibly, maybe, stitch a pretty decent feather.


How about you? Come on let’s go ruffle some feathers and slay some spiders……


Happy Quilting,


Sunday Sew In

I just joined the greatest group online. It is called Connectedthreadz It is like Facebook only for quilters!

Anyway they are having a sew in today. I don’t know exactly what it is to them, but to me it is motivation to get Christmas presents done.

I’ve never participated in a sew in. I have many, many projects I hope to finish and even get started for Christmas projects. I’m going to rotate from hand work, to machine work, to cutting etc. today trying to make a big dent in things.

It is only 2 weeks until Christmas and I only have less than a week before my girls are home. All 4 of them, plus my new grandbaby Emma and Sarah’s dear husband Jordan. (It is nice for Edward to finally have a guy around.)

Well if I’m on the computer, I can’t be sewing  and sewing is what I need to do today, so I will post pics if I remember to take some.

Happy Quilting,


I’m a quilter, not a writer

Okay, so I admit it, English was my least favorite subject in school. I do not like writing. So why do a blog? Well, I really would like a record of what I have been doing. And I believe in sharing. It seems like the more you give, the more you get. There are so many online resources that have really helped and encouraged me, so I should give back a little.

I have been quilting, in fact I have been quilting more than I have in years. I am very busy lately.  I have been working on dd #3 quilt, I started a baby quilt for dd # 1, I have made a bag or two, finished several of my upcycled bags for market, and took a class on circles with Sheila Wintle.

I little bit about the class. It was great, but I was dreading the class. As soon as I was handed the supply list, I said to myself  ” I want to drop out of the class.” Unfortunately, I was committed. What scared me about the supply list?

60 assorted scraps, they must be able to accommodate a 9″ template.  These are not scraps!!! And 60 of them, was she out of her mind? Well I loaded up every hand dyed fabric I ever made and headed to class. It turns out that we only used 12 of them. I hate it when teachers do this. I know she wanted to make some color suggestions and stuff like that, but this was not a color class and the list was not practical.

Other than that, I learned a lot in the class and was very happy with the results.

As long as I am on pet peeves… I have another one for you.

I just made a sun hat. I love how it turned out, but the pattern called for 1 and 1/8 yards of fabric. Guess how much I used… 1/2 yard. Yup. As a hopeful future designer I know that designers often are generous in their fabric recommendations, but is this a bit much? Especially when yardage is over $10.00/ yard.

Okay, I’ve done enough complaining.

Happy Quilting


Hi everyone!

This blog is going to be about Quilting! 

I realize that as a first blog NO ONE is going to read this. I need to begin somewhere and maybe someone will read it later down the road.

My name is Michelle.

I am

  • a Christian
  • a Wife
  • a Mom
  • a Grandma
  • a Quilter
  • a Farmer’s Wife
  • a Hard Working Vermonter


There is a lot more to me, but I realize you don’t have all day and I just want you to know that I will mostly be sharing my quilting adventures. All that Quilty Stuff!

I am creating this blog so that….

We can encourage one another

I can share my WIPs (works in progress)

Get motivated to finish those UFOs (unfinished objects)

Get inspired by what you share with me.

Maybe show you something new or inspire you to try something new.

Who knows what else. Let the fun begin.


Anyway that is enough for today.

Happy Quilting,