Greetings from Colorado!

Posted February 20, 2012 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Events and Shows

I found myself in Colorado this weekend enjoying the company of good friends, working on business concerns and getting to sight see a bit!  This was my first trip to the Rocky Mountains!  So of course I had to play tourist and fortunately my friends were glad to indulge me!

The first stop was Golden, CO to see Male Call: Quilts Made by Men exhibit at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.  The exhibit is open through April 28, 2012 and is worth the trip to see!  We had a docent led tour which was very interesting and enlightening.

After seeing the exhibit and visiting a couple of quilt shops, we devoted the rest of the day to nature.  The scenery was so inspirational!

  Playing tourist includes the picture at the Continental Divide sign!  The skiers and snow boarders were amazing to watch.  There were ski tracks in the most amazing locations on the side of the mountain.

Of course the wind was something to consider!  But seeing the Big Horn Sheep in their natral habitat was worth it!

  Can you see the sheep?  There are actually two of them of different ages.


Indulge Sewing

Posted February 5, 2012 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Pattern Designs

 I had purchased the Elsie and Paige pattern last summer from Theresa Hill at the Batavia, IL quilt show.  The pattern was designed by Carlene Westerberg Designs and is a fun, quick and easy pattern to do.  While visiting with family over Christmas I pieced the blocks using 3 charm packs from Moda and a black fabric.  The pieced border went together very quickly using the chain piece method.  I actually sewed too many rectangles together and have to figure out how to use the left over pieces.  It was a great pattern to indulge my need to sew!

The quilt is on the design wall but is ready to be layered and quilted!

Announcing REPEAT A Fabric Design Competition

Posted February 2, 2012 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Uncategorized

  Announcing the kick off of a new fabric design contest!

Ellen Rushman and Madeleine Roberg have created a contest for fabric designers!

The competition will run for five months with monthly challenges and eliminations. Challenges will be judged by Madeleine, Ellen, a variety of guest judges, and you! Readers will help determine the contestants’ fate. Ten talented designers will be revealed on March 7th.

  • All you have to do is submit an informal portfolio of three to six surface designs and any other work work that may sway the judges and fill out the entry form. Simply email materials to

Rules, judges list and bios, entry form and much more information is available at the  If fabric designing isn’t quite your thing, check out the website and blog often to see the new entries and to vote on your favorite.



Patterns on sale at

Posted December 10, 2011 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Uncategorized

December 9 – 15 is giving a free pattern with every online retail or wholesale US order.

The pattern is Playful Pinstripes by Barb Sackel.  The pattern is AccuQuilt friendly!

December 16 is a free shipping day at on US retail or wholesale orders online or by phone.
 carries four patterns that I designed

Gradations – the pattern uses Shades ombre fabric from Clothworks.  I have kits and yardage of the Shades red, orange and green available.  Contact me by email at  The pattern and kit makes 1 tablerunner and 6 placemats.  The placemat is pictured here.





Diamond Surprise – a great pattern for children or adults.







Whimsey- an I Spy type of quilt that uses novelty prints.  It is fun to collect whimsical prints on one subject to use in the quilt.  I have kits available in crib and twin sizes for cats, dogs, frogs or cowboy subjects.  Contact me for more information and ordering through email at





and Forever Friends.  All of the patterns are fun and easy to make! 

Piecing with Flannel

Posted April 10, 2011 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Pattern Designs

As the weather gets warmer and spring finally arrives, I am in the sewing room working with flannel.  I have found that large, fairly simple patterns work well with flannel.  I have been writing the directions for a local quilt shop, Quilter’s Haven, for this pattern.  It is fast and easy to put together and flannel would make it really comfortable.

I pulled some fabrics from my stash and thought they color coordianted well.  As the blocks came together, and I stepped back from the design wall, I discovered that the green corner sqaures of the inner frame do not quite fit with the other brighter colors.

Flannel is easy to work with.  The local quilt shops have a wide selection of beautiful colors and well woven flannels.  It is worth the extra cost to purchase the heavier, better made flannels from the quilt shops.  Thin flannels will wear much more quickly over time and they also pill more easily. 

I do prewash my flannels and have not had a problem working with them.  Flannel will stretch a bit more than 100% cotton fabrics, making it easier to match points but is also something to be aware of.  I also really like using flannel for backings on all of my quilts.  It is softer than 100% cotton and it makes sense to me to have a soft fiber on the side next to your skin.  Flannel machine quilts easily either with a walking foot or a darning foot for free motion quilting.

Marseille White Corded Quilting IQSC Symposium

Posted April 6, 2011 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Exhibits

  The International Quilt Study Center (IQSC) in Lincoln, NE hosted a symposium on April 1-2, 2011 on Marseille white corded quilting.  The quilting was exquisite.  Kathryn Berenson has collected and donated many of her pieces to the IQSC which became the focus of an exhibit and the symposium. 

A highpoint of the symposium was having Kathryn conduct the tour of the exhibit.  The work is just amazing and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area!  The exhibit will be in place through May 22, 2011. 

Basically corded quilting is the marking of a pattern, sewing channels along the pattern lines using the back and running stitches, and inserting fine cording into the channels to create the design in relief.  Professional ateliers in Marseilles created many pieces for international trade beginning during the Middle Ages.

I went to the symposium hoping to meet fellow classmates, my program advisor and learn about quilt history.  I was very successful and also met many fellow quilters, five of which shared many laughs over wonderful dinners.  Quilters from CA commented on how friendly everyone was.  They were also very friendly bringing to mind the thought that a mean spirited quilter must not exist.  At least I have yet to meet one in my twenty years of quilting, visiting shows and being a guild member.  Being a quilter says a lot about a person.


The International Quilt Study Center is a beautiful building in itself.  We received behind the scenes tours of the storage areas and were able to admire a 16th century quilt up close.  All of the quilts were amazing.  I was able to see one of Nancy Crow’s pieces from her Guadalupe series.  I had written a research paper on her work and it was great to see the actual quilt.

On the drive to NE, I had to stop by the Mississippi River to see the view.  The Iowa welcome center has a sign that reads, “Northeast Iowa is a patchwork quilt of stories … the personality of the landscape, the richness of the soil, the history of farming, the dreams of the folks who live here.    Silos and Smokestacks is the connecting thread in this colorful fabric of agricultural experiences.”

  What a wonderful to greet visitors into the state! 

  The scenery was mostly tan hills with just the slightest tint of green.  Spring is on its way.                              

Rhapsody of Quilts

Posted February 24, 2011 by In Stitches quilts
Categories: Events and Shows

In the midwest, we are subject to the mid winter snow storms and thaws.  For two days, the city was shut down as we shoveled out from under 2 feet of snow (not as bad as New York but bad enough).  The very next week, we had temperatures in the 50’s and most of the snow has gone.  It was amazing to feel balmy spring winds in February.  While we patiently wait for the real spring to arrive, it is great weather to be quilting!

   Of course in cold weather, it is nice to cuddle up with a comfortable quilt.  The pets enjoy them also! 

   The winter season is also a good time to get the creative juices flowing.  Review photographs for inspiration and find quiet time to contemplate and just let the ideas flow.  Doodling is a good exercise to get into a creative frame of mind, to relax and enjoy the process.  Doodling is also a good way to limber up before free motion quilting.

With the cat banned from the sewing room, I have fewer distractions and can focus on preparing for upcoming events.   March 5 and 6 is the “Rhapsody of Quilts” show in Princeton, IL, presented by the Covered Bridge Quilters Guild.  It is a judged quilt show with a merchants mall, silent auction and a quilt raffle.  The show is open Saturday, March 5 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, March 6 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  I am working on three new quilt patterns and hoping to debut one of them at least.