In Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a Pink Fabric Giveaway!

UPDATE! Congratulations to Julia Hyll! Please email me at to send you the pink fabrics! Thanks for answering, everybody!


When October came around, I noticed in my health club’s women’s locker room they hung laminated fliers from the shower heads with diagrams for conducting a breast self exam. I thought to myself that was a good reminder ‘cuz I sure hadn’t done one in a while. However, I am good about getting my yearly mammograms, and I hope all of you are too!

In honor of all of you who have had to battle breast cancer, and in honor of our loved ones who have lost theirs, I thought I would do a small something and conduct a pink fabric giveaway. All you have to do is answer the following question and I’ll randomly select a winner later in the week.

Pink Fabrics2

Question: In addition to conducting your monthly exams and getting your yearly mammograms (if you are of the age), what is a healthy habit you have recently adopted?

Mine is pretty basic: I’ve cut down my caffeine intake to (at most) two cups of coffee each morning, and I drink a lot more water during the day.  You?

A Very Maudlin-Free Monday, Indeed (& Fabric Giveaway!)

UPDATE: Congratulations to Adele-loving Kathy Schermerhorn! You won the fabrics, and I will email you for your shipping address!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I sure did…starting Friday night when the Boston police caught Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Watertown, MA. Alive.  What happened in Boston is just surreal to me, I know this area very, very well, and to think of terror like this happening so close to home, I had that same awful pit in my stomach I had during 9/11 when there were two planes out of Logan. I don’t think I was alone in crying tears of joy and relief that it was over this past Friday night, and hopefully we can get some answers out of this guy for why he and his brother would intentionally cause such incredible hurt and angst on what was to be a celebratory day.

At any rate…it was a gorgeous, sunny weekend in Houston, and on Saturday afternoon I unpacked my supplies from the Cincinnati show and washed my monoprinted fabrics I had created in Open Studios.

my fabrics

They don’t look like much now, but I have some ideas for cutting them up into 4″ squares for hand stitching, much like Linda McLaughlin’s work that you can see here.

As it is Monday and the start of a new week that I know will be so much better than last week, I thought it was time to give some fabric away!
How about this little stack:

Fabrics for orange giveaway

Just answer the following question and I will randomly select a winner in the next day or two.

Question: I am always on the hunt for new tunes to listen to while in my studio. What are you listening to now?

Me? I added a new tune to my playlist this weekend that I heard on satellite radio, and it feels pretty appropriate as we triumph over such a senseless act and take back the spirit of Boston and the marathon…



Love you, Boston!


Free Fabric Giveaway! 20 Fat Quarters to Ring in 2013!

Blog update!I loved reading all of the resolutions and I hope we all attain them! I would love to see pictures of works-in-progress or works completed so feel free to email them to me, and I can post on the blog. The winner of the fabric is Brigitte Baierl. Congratulations! I will email you for your address.



I think y’all know how this works by now: I ask a question, you answer, and I randomly select a winner. The first free loot in 2013? How about a stack of fat quarters from Riley Blake Designs!


Aren’t these colors yummy?

They kinda’ remind me of my breakfast this morning (before I turned all this stuff into juice):


Since it’s only the second day in 2013, I’m going to ask the queen of cliché questions, but ask it with a twist:


What is your quilt-related New Year’s resolution that you will ATTAIN by year’s end? This mean that what you write in the comments area–whatever goal you type down–you WILL accomplish by the end of the year. And at year’s end, I am going to check back in to see if you actually attained your goal.

My attainable goal: I will start and complete two art quilts by the end of the year, one of which I would like to enter into a juried exhibition. Maybe making two art quilts doesn’t sound like much, but I have two ideas in mind, and I would really like to see them through…not just keep the ideas in my head.

Now it’s your turn. Leave your attainable goal in the comments area and on Friday I will post the winner in this same post. Think hard and think lofty (but attainable)…

Tis’ the Quilt-y Season: Free Fabric & Your Holiday Wish List!

UPDATE: Fabric winner…Congratulations to Amanda Kattner! I will email you for your address and ship these Ty Pennington fabrics to you!

It’s an exciting time of year here at Quilts Inc. headquarters, as the last of the quilts on loan for Fall Festival are being shipped back to their makers, many of us are busy stitching holiday gifts for loved ones, and we are pleased knowing that Friends For Life is putting the money raised for Festival’s Pet Project (more than $20,000) to good use saving animals!

FFL check

From left to right: Meredith Wierick (Communications Manager), Me, Clarence (my pooch from Friends For Life), and Salise Shuttlesworth (Founder & Director of Friends For Life)


It’s also (past) time for me to announce the three book winners from my previous book post:

three books

Congratulations to: Patricia S., Tetonmountaingirl, and Hueisei! I will email you all individually to obtain your shipping information.

Monday’s Fabric Giveaway

Ty Pennington Fats

I have an assortment of fabrics designed by Ty Pennington to give away. (Sorry, Ty doesn’t come with the fabric.)

Answer the following question and I will randomly select a winner tomorrow (Tuesday).

Question: What quilt-y gadgets are on your holiday wish list?

Maudlin-Free Monday Fabric Giveaway!

It’s a soggy, dreary Monday here in Houston, but we don’t mind the grey skies and puddle-ridden roads…the rain is finally cooling things off.  I hope everyone had a nice weekend; I had a quiet one–my favorite kind–spending hours stitching. I began working on about 20 fabric postcards for our Pet Project, our upcoming fundraiser for stray animals in dire need here in the city of Houston. I like to make fabric postcards in batches, and this first batch features Louie, my 13-year-old Min Pin whose image I screened on fabric, then fused to some pieced backgrounds.

I have a lot of embellishing as well as hand and machine stitching yet to do on these, but I had fun working with such graphic prints for the backgrounds.

Speaking of which, I have a stash of Malka Dubrawsky fabrics that she designed for Moda that I would love to give away to someone who might use them to create fabric postcards for our Pet Project.  Are you interested?

If so, answer the following question and I’ll randomly choose a winner tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.

Question: Fall is coming, and with it cooler temps and more reasons to stay indoors and quilt. What are your bigger quilt projects on the front burner right now?

Free Fabric Friday & Weekend Plans

UPDATE! Congratulations to Judith Reynolds! Please email me your shipping address to, and I will ship the fabrics to you!

And everyone,  thanks for responding and letting me know what you are quilting these days!

Aaaaah, it’s Friday! Weekend forecast calls for several dog walks, a manicure, a Houston Modern Quilt Guild meeting, a Sunday bike ride, quilting, and sunny skies with temps in the mid-90s.

I am also going to play with Khaleesi, my newest quilt studio pet as I want to bond with her more before I leave Monday for Long Beach for International Quilt Festival next week.

Since it is Friday, it’s time to give away some free fabric, and in honor of my little tabby…

I thought to give away some orange fabric!

Free Fabric Friday Question

My question to you on this lovely Friday afternoon has to do with wanting to know what kind of quilting you are doing nowadays. I, of course, love art quilting and surface design work, but right now I find myself making lots of small projects, and wanting to make finished quilted throws that I can colorfully stack in my console table behind my family room sofa. So I guess I am making lots of scrap quilts, and want to make some modern quilt-type quilts, too.

What about you? What kinds of quilting activities are you doing right now or want to explore? Leave a comment and I will randomly choose a winner tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon and post the winner in this blog.

Have a great weekend!

Introducing…Free Fabric Fridays!

Blog update: The fabric winner has been announced at the end of this post. Thanks to all for playing along and commenting!

What better way to gear up for an industrious weekend of quilting than to give away free fabric, and give it away right now?

Here is some fabric that I got at Sample Spree at this past Spring Market. Isn’t it just divine? I have an “installation” of it in my studio at home and just love to gaze at it from time to time.

I got a fat stack of half yard cuts of linen fabrics from Seven Islands. Look how cute these fabrics are. I mean…really! Polka-dots and deer with glasses?!

And sorry…I am too selfish to give any of this away.

But…I also got fabrics that have multiple designs in them: zebras and stripes and chevrons…oh my!

I am keeping one to make a wholecloth table runner, but am giving the other away. And I am giving it away right now!

All you have to do is fill in the blank below, and by 3:00 Central Time today (Friday, July 6), I will select a random winner and announce in this blog post! Just make sure to fill in the blank and leave your response in the comments area by 3:00 P.M. Central–today!

My Pondering to You: If I won this fabric, I would make _____________.


Well, it is 3:00 PM and time for me to pick a winner! And through blind pointing at my screen, the winner is Sue Chef! Please email me at with your shipping address, and if you make that shirt for your little grandson with this fabric, please send email a picture!

I think this was a fun little Friday afternoon activity so I will definitely be doing this again soon, maybe even next Friday.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, stitch-filled weekend!

Has Quilting Gone to the Frogs?

I hope everyone had a good weekend! I spent mine pondering my pond. It is located in my side yard where I like to sit quietly and hand stitch after a long day’s work.

My fish pond–home to goldfish, waterlilies, and Houston toads.

My fish pond can be viewed from both my office and my quilt studio, and is a sublime place to relax. The pond is too small for koi, but there are a variety of goldfish that reside here, as well as “Houston toads,” an endangered species of toads local to the area. (For all of you herpetologists, its proper name is the Bufo Houstonensis.)

Earlier this year I began hearing load noises at night from my pond area, and I worried it was some kind of rabid raccoon. But nope, it was the load trill of a male Houston toad. (Have a listen to a male Houston toad here.)

As a new pond owner, I have learned a lot about water plants, how to keep this pond clean, and the fish fed and healthy. What I wasn’t prepared for were predators!

This past Friday morning I woke up to let my dogs out and found one of these creatures just outside on the ledge of the pond, looking intently into the pond’s murky depths…

Night Herons

I had never seen one of these before, and as I was staring at it, mouth agape, all of a sudden–to my horror–it dove into the pond, plucked a Houston toad, and carried it high into a tree. I felt so bad for that little toad, and when I flew out of my French doors in my pajamas and screamed at the bird to DROP IT!, the heron looked down at me and promptly ate it.

I then decided there was no way I was going to be outsmarted by a bird. But this guy was persistent and had a friend, and they didn’t want to leave anytime soon. So I took my fish net, and thrashed it about like a sword above my head, trying to scare them away. But eventually I had to put the fish net down and go to work.

Two mama toads with their babies on their backs in my pond.

This weekend I went to a water garden nursery to ask their advice about how to handle the herons, and I learned a few things that will help me protect the toads and fish from predators. For instance I need to invest in Blue Heron decoys, underwater fish caves for hiding, and more water lilies to protect them from view.

Quilters: Friends of Frogs?

I know I am not the only quilter who has a love affair with frogs, toads, and amphibious creatures in general. I’ve come across a number of quilted frogs in my day.

Take for instance this pieced quilt that was touring the International Quilt Festivals two years ago:

“Sunset Ceremony at the Pond”
44 x 44″ by Susan L. Griffin of Mossomin, Saskatchewan, Canada
This quilt was featured in our “O Canada 2010” exhibit.

Other famous quilters have used frog imagery quite effectively in their quilts, like Ellen Anne Eddy  with her quilt “Balcony Scene” or  “The Problem with Princes” that resides in Caryl Bryer Fallert’s Studio.

Oh yeah…I made a frog quilt a while ago, too:

My little frog quilt; whole-cloth painted and free-motion stitched.

And frogs aren’t just featured in quilts, many folks have named their quilt businesses after frogs, like the quilt store The Purple Frog in Jefferson, Oregon, or the online business The Quilted Frog (not to be confused with the long-arm machine business,

I also noticed that at last year’s Spring Quilt Market, it wasn’t just owls that were the trend of the season, lots of  frog quilt patterns and fabrics were hoppin’, too.

Maudlin-Free Monday Question:

So my question to you is, what do you think the next big quilt trend will be at this upcoming Fall Quilt Market in a few months? Hmmm…what have we seen a lot of lately: owls, frogs, bicycles, mustaches, chevrons, stripes, and polka-dots. What do you think will be next?

And in good Maudlin-Free Monday fashion, I am giving away 15 fat quarters of the Puppy Park line by Bella BLVD for Riley Blake Designs. Maybe quilting hasn’t gone to the frogs, it has gone to the…. (Ok, I know that was corny.)

Make your quilted prediction in the comments area and I will pick someone randomly and announce in my next post!

Previous Book Winner

And congrats to Ali M as you are the winner of the Weeks Ringle book! Please email me at with your address, and I will get your book to you!

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

Like Free Stuff? I’m giving away a fat pile of hand-dyed and screened fabric!

It’s time for my second Maudlin-Free Monday giveaway (and yes, I realize it is Tuesday, but are we really going to quibble about this when I’m giving away free fabric?)

A little bit about this second batch of fabric I am giving away…

I have a huge love for painting, dyeing, stamping, stenciling, screening, and printing fabric in my free time, and in the summer of 2010 my (then future) colleagues at Quilts, Inc., invited me to come to La Grange, Texas–the same town as the new Texas Quilt Museum–to play with them and teach them some of my favorite surface design techniques.

We dyed fabric:

We did deconstructed screen printing:

And oohed and aaahed at the results:

And oohed and ached and jumped for joy as they flapped dry in the Texas wind…

We also played with Thermofax screen printing:

Me with Ruth Polanco, Show Director

And yes, we played until the cows came home.

I have learned that a team that works and plays together, stays together!

Want to win some fabric?

All you need to do is answer the following question and I’ll choose a winner randomly this upcoming Friday.

My Question: We all love to learn new quilt techniques. In fact, in case you might have missed it, we have a quick online survey that we would LOVE for you to take to help us offer classes you want at International Quilt Festival.

But back to my question: What is the one thing you want to learn how to do right now?

For me, I want to be brave enough to try bobbin embroidery. I recently met with Ellen Anne Eddy and she made it look so easy (and fun)!  So that is next on my list. What about you?


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