Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Pet Deer

Quilting Arts Magazine has an annual calendar block challenge. This year's theme was "Feeling Pet-ty" where you make a quilt block of a pet or animal.

I live in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan. My yard backs up to a large marsh, adjacent to the open waters of Lake Michigan. The marsh supports much animal life including "my" herd of "pet" deer.

Every evening they travel along the lake shore dining on the local bird feeders. We keep the feeders full and put out corn for them in the winter. My quilt shows one of the girls looking in our sliding door. I think she is saying "I would like some more please."

My quilt did not make the list of finalist. Oh well.....I love my "deer" little quilt.

Happy Quilting


For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilt design software and free quilting calculators, visit

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Doll Pin Cushion Class

I am attending a class today with my friend Sally to make this fun doll pin cushion.

The class will be held at Alley Kat's Quilt Shop in Marquette, MI and taught by Paulette Carr.

Should be fun! I found an orange/purple batik for the cushion and a fancy orange/purple/gold for her dress. Sally and I enjoyed Paulette's face drawing class last year.

Happy quilting


For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilt design software and quilting calculators, visit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quilts at the Bay Quilt Show Cancelled

My quilt guild has put on a number of lovely quilt shows over the years. These shows have been a fun way to show our work and raise money for local charities.

Our last one was in October 2009. This last show ended up being quite large for us, with more than 150 quilts, hundreds of visitors, etc. We were able to make nice contributions to local charities but it is an amazing amount of work for our small group.

We decided to change the show to every other year due to the amount of work required. However, our group has gotten even smaller, we are all getting older and we have now decided to cancel the show that we had planned for this year.

It is a little sad but also a huge relief. We will raise some money for charity from a raffle quilt that we have already started. Now we will be able to spend time at our guild meetings learning new quilting techniques instead of all the business of putting on a large quilt show. Perhaps we can plan a few trips to out of town quilt shows.

Here are a few pictures of our 2009 show.
Happy quilting...
For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilt design software and quilting calculators visit

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow and Quodlibit

Every blog I have read for the last few days it talking about snow. Well in the UP of Michigan, we typically get a lot of snow - my home town averages 90 in/season. This is not very much snow compared to areas north of us. We usually have snow on the ground from November to April.

We have had very little snow this year. I could actually see bare ground until we got 4 inches today. Anyway - I LOVE snow and want more of it. Here I am taking a turn around the Rapid River Ski Trail on Sunday.

About a week ago, I posted about my huge Quodlibit quilt using Asian fabrics. I finally have the center assembled. Here it is hanging from the loft in my house.

You know, you really do need to square up quilt blocks. I have worked on this quilt on/off for a year and just forgot to square up some of the 6 in squares that determine the size of the quilt.

Needless to say, I assembled most of them prior to realizing my mistake and had to unsew several rows. Duh! I hate to unsew and this quilt it so large that it takes a while to unsew a row. So the project laid in my sewing room for several days, nagging me every time I looked at it, until today!

I still have some borders to put on this large quilt. I plan to use it for a bedspread in my bedroom. I have decided to have my friend Betty quilt it using her longarm quilting machine.

Happy quilting!


For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilt design software and quilting calculators visit

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Coloring Quilt Blocks in

A fun, free feature of the free quilt design software at is quilt block coloring.

To use this feature select Color Quilt Blocks under Quilt Blocks on the menu. You will see following page. If you have not selected a specific quilt block to color, you will see a Churn Dash block.

If you prefer to color a different quilt block, start by selecting one or more quilt blocks on the Select Quilt Block page also under Quilt Blocks on the menu. You will see your selected quilt blocks in the list on the right side of the page. Click on the block that you want to color from the Blocks for my Quilt list.
The list on the left shows any standard colors that I created for the block. To make your own, new color select the link Create New Color.

The coloring page consists of two steps. Step 1 lets you choose a color to change.
The basic version of the quilt block on the left with your recolored version on the right. When you first come to this page, they will be the same.

There is a little box above the blocks for each of the colors in the basic block. To change a color, click on the little box. The selected color box is larger than the others. So white is selected in the picture below.

Next, click on one of the colors in the Basics, Solids or Prints lists under Step 2: Choose New Color. If you are looking for a specific color, click on the small color boxes at the top or type the name of a color and click search.

On the screen above I clicked on Blue to only see shades of blue in the solids and print lists. I also change White to Green Stone.

On the above screen picture, I changed Red to Buttercup.

Type in a name and click save when you are done. Now you will see your new color for the block.

If you leave without logging your block colors are not saved permanently. If you want to be able to come back and use this color later, you need to log in.

After you log in you will see the following page asking if you want to save the colors.

Have fun using quilt block coloring at!

For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilt design software and free quilting calculators visit


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Simplex Star: New Free Quilt Block Pattern

Today I added the Simplex Star Quilt Block to the free quilt block patterns at

Simplex Star is an easy, beginner, 9 patch block similar to the Friendship Star. The pictures below show simplex star in red and orange color waves.

For more than 200 free quilt block patterns, free quilting calculators and free quilt design software visit
Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Free Quilt Block Pattern at

This is an easy 4 patch block that forms an interesting star pattern. Here are pictures of the block in the green and purple color waves.

For more than 200 free quilt block patterns checkout

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Art Quilting with Lutradur

The Art Quilt group that I belong to met last Thursday. We meet about every 6-8 weeks and one of our members organizes a program. Often it is a new technique or idea that we try out.

This meeting was working with Lutradur. Lutradur is a 100% polyester, translucent material that has been used on mattress backings. Glenna organized a program to try the various techniques in this book.

To keep us focused she had us pick a vegetable or fruit and write a Haiku about it. Then using the Lutradur with other materials we worked on creating an art quilt about our vegetable.

I picked tomato. I was inspired to pick tomato because I received my Burpee catalog. Of course I live too far north and have too much shade in my yard to actually grow tomatoes. But fresh tomatoes in the summer is one of my very favorite foods. Haiku is

Summer's bounty
Juicy, red, warm, delicious
My mouth watering

This picture shows how far I got in our meeting....

We started by painting the Lutradur, our poems printed on paper in various font, fabric and other things we thought might be good for collage using the colors for our vegetable or fruit.

Then we started creating a collage using these painted items and other materials we brought.

On the left is the beginning of a collage of tomatoes on a vine. The blue background with the green stripe in it was fabric created using painted Wonder Under made in a previous meeting of this group. It is sticky because of the Wonder Under so it is east to create a collage on it. (Always cover with parchment paper to iron on it - unless you happen to like cleaning your iron!)

I used red painted Lutradur to put shading on tomatoes cut from fabric. The top most tomato on the left is just Lutradur - note how translucent it is. The tomato stems and leaves were made by melting the Lutradur with an iron and soldering iron. Lutradur melts/burns at a pretty low heat so you have to be very careful. Also, the fumes of melting Lutradur are toxic so only work on this in a well ventilated area! The melted Lutradur is very dimensional and stiff so it makes great stems.

We didn't get to try all the techniques in the book at the meeting so there is much more try out at home.

I also include some of the painted Lutradur and fabric in the above picture.

Our next meeting is in early March so I can get pictures of all the Lutradur creations.

Happy Quilting


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Designing a Quilt with

I thought I would blog a little today about how to use the Design Quilt page at

If you just click on the Design Quilt page, you are presented with a very simple quilt using a Churn Dash block. From looking at the website statistics, it seems that some people just click to other pages from here and don't go further to actually design a quilt. I guess they are just checking out the site. To understand what this quilt design software can do, you have to take a few more steps!

There are 2 basic things you may want to do when you see this Churn Dash quilt..

  1. Change to different quilt blocks

  2. Change other things about the quilt

For today's blog entry, I am going to talk about Changing the Quilt Blocks.

To do that, you need to go to the page to select quilt blocks. Any web page is limited on space so I made selecting quilt blocks for your quilt one page and using the blocks you selected to design a quilt a separate page.

Of course if you know this, you can start on the selecting blocks page. To select quilt blocks look at the screen print below.....look for the links with the red circles.

The page to select quilt blocks looks like this:

There are about 170 blocks to choose from at the current time. Each block is available in 7 standard color waves. You can color your own blocks - but that is another lesson.

The screen has many ways to search the blocks. To get started click on a color and/or a type of block. If you are looking for a particular block - type in the search area and click search.

Clicking the left most color block (multi-color) and the All button for type will make all the blocks appear.

When you find a block you want to try on your quilt, click the "Select" link next to it. Clicking Select will add the block to the column on the right "Blocks for My Quilt"

On this picture of the screen I have chosen the green color wave and selected several blocks.

After selecting blocks, return to the Design Quilt page.

Now the blocks that you selected will be on the left side of the screen. Each block has a check box next to it to indicate it if should actually be on the quilt or not.
Try changing the check boxes - then click Update Quilt.
Have fun changing the check boxes and seeing what you get.

Today, my art quilt group is meeting! We always have fun trying new art quilt techniques. Glenna received a large roll of Lutrador as a gift. So, we are making making vegetable themed collage using Lutrador including a Haiku poem that we wrote. Hmm...should be interesting!
Happy Quilting

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Menu at

I updated the menu at after realizing, there are so many new pages that some pages might be hard to find.

It was quite a technical, computer programming challenge to get the menu to work with all web browsers - Internet Explorer, Chrome, Mozilla, and Safari. At least, I think it is working for all of these!

This picture shows the new menu for Quilt Blocks. It is now very easy to access the:

There are also drop down menus for Quilt Patterns (my patterns vs. automated computer generated patterns) and the quilting calculators (Backing & Binding and OnPoint Setting Triangles).

If you have any trouble with the new menu, please comment on the blog or send an email to Let me know what web browser you are using, the page you were on and a description of the problem.

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!
My new year started with a beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan. As you may notice, we are somewhat lacking in snow. It actually rained here melting most of the snow - unheard of for the UP of Michigan. I am really disappointed to not be able to x-country ski!
I have been trying to finish my quilting UFOs - a resolution for this year. I have also been working on improvements for Will fill you in soon!
Happy New Year!