Make ATCs & Mug Rugs to Trade at Quilt Festival & More Pet Postcards!

More fabric postcards for Festival’s Pet Project are arriving and looking fantastic! Some more eye candy for you:

An assortment of fabric postcards by rebel quilter, Jamie Fingal. (I love the googly eyes!)



A sampling of fabric postcards by Pauline Salzman. These pooches are going to be gobbled up fast at the show!



Cute kitties by Terri Stegmiller. The bottom card reminds me very much of my own rescue kitty, Khaleesi!


There is still plenty of time to make fabric postcards to benefit Friends For Life! (All of the information is in this post.) We are accepting them here at the Quilts offices through October 23rd, and we will accept them at the show through Friday, November 2nd, in Room 213 on the 2nd floor of the convention center. Please note: Fabric Postcards will go on sale for $20 each at Quilt Festival (not Market) beginning on Preview Night, October 31st.

Share Your Art!

Make Art To Trade at Our Festival Trading Post!

Just because you may not have entered a quilt into our quilt show doesn’t mean you can’t have your art displayed! Our Trading Post where you can trade ATCs (artist trading cards) and mug rugs will be right next to Open Studios near the Food Court, and we hope you will make and bring as many ATCs and mug rugs as you can. This is a very lively section of the show floor, and a great way to share new quilt, surface design, and embellishment ideas with other quilters.

I cruised the web to find some good tutorials for you in case you are not familiar with ATCs or mug rugs:

ATC Tutorials online:

Mug Rug Tutorials:

Fabric Winner!

Congratulations to Corky Eden for being randomly selected in my last post. Thank you for making fabric postcards to benefit Friends For Life, and I will email you to get your shipping address.

Prepping for Summer Quilting & Countdown to International Quilt Festival/Long Beach!

Aaaaaaah….the dog days of summer. If you live anywhere near Houston or the Gulf, with temps reaching a mere  96 degrees on average lately, you know summer is clearly  here! I am still the new kid in town, trying to comprehend the seasonal temps and commenting to passers-by how wonderful the weather has been. Coming from Boston, I tell people how I am finally thawing out from the exceptionally frigid and snow-filled “Game-of-Thrones,” North-of-the-Wall-worthy Winter of 2011, and I am welcoming this heat. They then often roll their eyes, scoffing, and telling me this heat is nothing. Give it a month!

Summer is also a time when I give my blue jeans a rest from my wardrobe rotation since it is so hot. I also assess which pairs of jeans will make the cut for the next season, and sadly, which jeans I must banish to retirement.

This summer I am very, very sad to come to grips that my most cherished, my most beloved pair, my Fleur de Lis jeans by Rock & Republic, are officially going out to pasture. I just can’t permanently part with them, though, and know the only way to honor them is to upcycle them into a quilt project. They have sat on my quilting cutting mat for days, waiting for divine inspiration…

I was thrilled when this past weekend I stumbled upon an online how-to tutorial by Jane LaFazio for creating a denim studio box for your supplies–perfect for carting supplies to quilt classes! Click here to link directly to her denim studio box  tutorial. I know my jeans will make a terrific traveling box for my supplies this summer!

Jane’s cool denim studio box.

Jane has an exceptional and whimsical eye for combining surface design and stitching techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Case in point: I bought three small hand-stitched pieces by Jane last summer. I love her manner of mixing surface design, fabric collage, and hand stitching techniques for this botanical series, and I painted a rectangular bit of white canvas a shade of blue on which to mount them.

A detail shot of Jane’s stitched work:

Jane happens to be teaching at International Quilt Festival/Long Beach in two months time, so if you want to try your hand at surface design, this is a really wonderful opportunity to learn from the very best!

Windham Fabric Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Sherry Walker! Please email me at your shipping address and I will get out your bundle of Windham Fabrics to you immediately!

My Family- and Quilting-Filled Memorial Day Weekend Recap (And Free Fabric Giveaway!)

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

I partook in my 21st B.F.R (Bolton Family Reunion). Since the Boltons took pity on me in 1991 when I was  a junior at Boston College from San Francisco stranded in Boston over Thanksgiving (which happened to also be the time of their BFR), I have been fortunate to attend every BFR since. This is a very, very special family…

A family that indulges in celebrations, including Memorial Day.

A very patriotic bunch…

Each year the BFR is held in a scenic New England locale, this time in the Sunday River region of Maine. It was so gorgeous. I miss mountains as part of my daily landscape, so I just really enjoyed the beauty of Maine.

And covered bridges, too…

On the big day of the BFR lobster celebration, most of the men can be found sporting BFR collared shirts (every year the shirt color changes) manning the steamer and lobster pots.

The first course is a tasty steamer repast. This year we enjoyed wine with my in-laws on the label.

I have always tried to find a way to bring in quilting/ crafting to the BFR. In 2010 I poured almost my entire studio onto my backseat of my car so I could introduce my nieces and nephews to quilting…

And I got them going on my Bernina!

This year, however, coming from Houston with only carry-on luggage, I couldn’t bring anything to stitch or craft with the kids. But the first day I was itching to do something so I went to the nearest quilt store in Newry, Maine, which was a bed and breakfast that had a quilt store in the backroom. The clerk told me that the owner was out of town and she seemed  a little stressed I wanted to go back there. She asked, “Um, do you know what you may want?” And I responded that I’m sure I could find my way around and get something.

And look what I found!

Polka-dot fabrics!

As well as the Clover yo-yo tool! I had been curious about this tool (which proved very easy to use), so I thought it would be a great weekend activity: to make polka-dot yo-yos. I am not a huge fan of yo-yos, but polka-dot yo-yos are a different matter all together!

Imagine my surprise and glee when I learned my fabrics matched the women’s BFR shirts. I wish I had made yo-yo necklaces in advance!

All in all a good time. Lots of family down time with some stitching thrown in.

Johnny, my godson, posing with me.

I hope you enjoyed a fantastic weekend. In honor of Memorial Day, I thought it would be timely to give away some more fabric from Sample Spree from this past Spring Quilt Market. I was very delighted with this new line of “Bella” fabrics distributed with Windham.I will be honest; I want to keep this fabric because it is so whimsical and fun, and I have a hundred ideas for it in a quilt. However, I know it will go to a good home if I give it away.

All you have to do is answer the following question and I will pick a winner randomly on Thursday.

Question: Did you incorporate any quilting in your Memorial Day weekend? If you didn’t have time, it’s ok. Be honest and tell us what you did!

I have read through all of the responses from my last question about studio space and will post something about those later along with some pictures of my new studio. In the meantime, congratulations to Becky Greene! You were randomly selected to win the Riley Blake jelly roll. Please email me your mailing address to

Take a Peek Into My Quilt-y Office (…And Announcing This Week’s Fabric Winner!)

I’ve received a number of emails from people wondering what my new digs at Quilts, Inc., look like so I thought to blog about how I decorated my space.

I wanted to create an office that was welcoming, creative, and clean (not cluttered!), so comfy chairs were on my list of wants. I found a pair of vintage chairs quilted in blue velvet at an antique store, but I didn’t care for the color of the arms and legs, so I painted them black.

I also got an off-white desk at a hotel consignment warehouse, but since I’m so picky about color, over the holidays I painted it charcoal gray:

Green plants also keep a place cheery, so I bought plenty of them. Surprisingly, I haven’t killed any yet!

I made a patchwork bulletin board a while ago, which I mounted onto foamcore, then framed. I like to work three months out, so I always have three calendars up. Now that I’m looking at it, I realize the International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati is only three weeks away! Yay!

Patchwork bulletin board with my calendars. Quilt by Bonnie Ouellette who knows I have a slight obsession with The Sopranos.

Mixed-media assemblages with whimsy keep me smiling:

Assemblage with found objects made by Patricia Chapman of Boulder, CO.

As does handmade art. A few years ago artist Debbi Crane made a box for me with my initial on it and gave me a bunch of mini-handmade books inside…

Box made and given to me by artist Debbi Crane.

So I thought to repurpose it to store my business cards.

Right behind me, I keep some things that have meaning to me…like the picture of my godson, art by Lesley Riley, Beryl Taylor, and Kelli Perkins, and my “That was easy!” and “Insult” buttons. (Fortunately no one has made me mad yet, so I have not had to push the insult button.)

And the one item I love to gaze at throughout the day, what makes me smile most, would be the quilt my former Interweave colleagues made for me as a going away present. It is a reminder of what an amazing crew they are, and what they will always mean to me.

And I needed something to make me laugh, too, so I got a magnetic chalkboard that I have hung right by my door so I can leave important, time-sensitive messages for all my coworkers:

And Announcing The Fabric Winner!

First things first! Congratulations to Mary Brown! You are the winner of this week’s Maudlin-Free Monday fabric giveaway! Mary, please email me at with your shipping address, and I will have the fabrics sent to you next week.

Fabric Winner Announced & I Need Studio Suggestions…

As promised, today, on this eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m giving away some of my Marcia Derse fabric from my 1st Maudlin-Free Monday Giveaway.

In my very first blog post I asked you:  What makes you happy when you create? More than 100 of you responded, and I agreed with all of your sentiments.

Some highlighted responses:

“Creative time? It takes a bit of self-cajoling – but once I actually begin the ‘making’ process – whether it is cutting into the fabric, applying the paint, moving things around on the design wall…. it feels so good to be IN the creative process. I have no idea why it is so hard to make myself get there.”– Lyric Montgomery Kinard

“My happiest moments are when I stop ‘creating,’ take a couple of steps back and look at my work from a distance and think: ‘I made this!”– Laura Gamaleri

“I will say that I am happiest when I have my sewing room looking like a tornado hit with my stash surrounding me – that inspires me, and I am happiest when I am in contact with my hands wrists deep in fabric!”– Nancy Chaddick

“What I enjoy most? The fact that when I create (like a York Peppermint Patty) a blast of clean air whips through my brain and leaves it empty. Nothing wrong with that!”– Melanie Testa

Thanks a lot, Melly, now I’m hungering for a York Peppermint Patty.

1st Fabric Winner

Congratulations to Dixie McIntyre ! You are the winner! Please email your shipping address to me at and I’ll get your fabrics out to you faster than you can say “I LIVE and  BREATHE quilting!”

Taking Studio Suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, I am going to put on my favorite Capercaillie CD and do what I’ve been dreading. I am going to finish unpacking my studio, but I am afraid I am going to need the luck of the Irish to get this sorted:

If you have suggestions for me, I’m listening…


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