Monday, November 18, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8 Blog Tour winners

Thank you to everyone who joined me last week for the Blog Tour! It was a joy for me to read all of your kind comments! If you aren't one of the lucky winners from my giveaway, or those on the other designers' blogs, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8 should be showing up on the shelves of quilt shops this week, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

The winner of a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 8 is pasqueflower. For those of you who also entered the Facebook giveaway, I have the winner posted on my Facebook page - hint: Linda!

Until next time,


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from today's top designers Volume 8

Welcome and thank you for visiting my blog on this fun blog tour sponsored by Quiltmaker Magazine! I love to design quilt blocks and I'm so honored to be included in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from today's top designers Volume 8!

Pictured below is my block, Martha' s Basket:

Martha's Basket

For a look at how it would appear in a diagonal set I've added the black triangles:

Martha's Basket block on point

My basket is named for my Grandmother, Martha. Grandma was an incredible seamstress and needlewoman, and my fascination for patchwork began with a beautiful Wedding Ring quilt that she made, and under which I slept in grade school. I don't have Grandma's sewing basket, but I do have a wooden cigar box in which she must have kept the paper and chipboard templates and piecing leftovers from working on that quilt:

When I chose fabrics for my block, I was in the middle of working on new patterns, which all had Fall and Halloween themes; hence, the orange and black color scheme But the block is very versatile, and has unlimited possibilities. Here are a few example of Martha's Basket using prints from Elementary, my new fabric line with Studio e Fabrics, which will be appearing in quilt shops this month.

Here is the block with a sweet pink and green color scheme:

And here it is with a more dramatic blue and red on gold:

So many possibilities!

Thank you for visiting today on the Blog Hop!

If you would like a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8, please leave a comment below by 11:59 pm PST Sunday, Nov. 17.


For another chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8 AND a bundle of Elementary fat quarters, just go to the West Designs Facebook page and leave a comment on my Quiltmaker Vol. 8 block post, again by 11:59 pm PST Sunday, Nov. 17.

Good luck and enjoy the rest of your blog tour! For a quick link back to the blog list on Quiltmaker's Quilty Pleasures CLICK HERE.

Until next time,


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Basket Quartet

September and October are now history! Wow, that went fast! I was busy doing a number of things. I finished two Halloween/Fall themed punchneedle pieces, but unfortunately not in time for patterns for this year. So, it will have to wait until 2014, but I will have them ready for a big show I will be doing the first of February (Feb. 5-8). I'm going to have a booth at the first ever American Quilter's Society show here in Phoenix. I'm so excited! If you have some time to spare for a nice little quilting related vacation, you might want to think about a trip to Phoenix in February.

I was also fortunate to receive some sample yardage of my new fabric line, Elementary for Studio e Fabrics. The fabric turned out beautifully, the colors are so rich! I designed three different free to use patterns for the line, which are all posted on the website .

So I began working on Basket Quartet (Light) for an upcoming event I'm doing at Zoe's Trunk, in Chandler, Arizona. It should be fun! As you can see from the flyer, we will be having a hunt for the missing Elementary fat quarters - finders keepers! And Sherlock Holmes will be there leading the hunt!

Here is the quilt, Basket Quartet, that I am currently working on. A lot of applique!

Basket Quartet

As much as I love hand applique, in the interest of time I decided to do this quilt by machine, which is fun do as well. I prepare my applique pieces with starched turned-under edges like so:

I simply pin the pieces in place with tiny applique pins, and then stitch the pieces to the background using a tiny vari-overlock stitch in a color that closely matches my fabric. I use Mettler 60/2 cotton thread, Aurifil Mako 50/2 cotton, or DMC 50/2 cotton machine embroidery thread, whatever matches best! This is the method which I think best mimics the look and feel of hand applique. No glue, no fusing, just pure fabric!

I'll be sure to post a photo of the quilt when it's done. I have one block finished, three to go!

I hope you'll join me next week for the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from today's top designers, Volume 8 Blog Tour which starts Monday, November 11. My day for the tour will be November 13 where I will talk about my block and giveaway one copy of the Vol 8 issue. The block I designed for this issue is one of my favorites, I hope you like it too!

Here is quick link to start the blog on November 11 - . Have fun!

Until next time!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Getaway

My husband and I decided we needed a little break from the Phoenix summer heat, and so we headed down south for an overnight stay in Bisbee, Arizona. Bisbee is an old mining town situated in the Mule Mountains. It is the southernmost mile high city in the United States, so the weather is a lot milder than what we're used to in Phoenix.

We stayed in the Copper Queen Hotel, a hotel built by the Phelps Dodge Corporation and completed after four years in 1902. We didn't have reservations, so we were offered a choice of three rooms, one of which has claims of being haunted. We took a look at each of the rooms, but when we returned, the front desk apologized, and told us that one of their reserved guests had actually requested the haunted room, and could they give us the room that they had set aside for them? You bet! I like to get a good night's sleep when I stay in hotels.

Our first stop when we arrived in Bisbee was The Old Corner Quilt and Dry Goods Shop, a new shop just under 1 yr old. I had met Debbie, the owner, at Quilt Market in Kansas City, so I was looking forward to seeing her shop now that's it's open. Wow! The shop is wonderful! Her displays are so creative, and she is even expanding into another room and working on more displays and eventually a loft. Here are some pictures, but you'll have to go see for yourself if you get a chance!

Debbie in front of The Old Corner Quilt & Dry Goods Shop

Front Door, with wonderful front window display

Vintage Christmas!

Cute Display!

Valdani Threads display in buckets - cute!

Homespuns - like!

Hand dyed yarns

Cute display with old window, door and tin roof with lights

Debbie and Martha
Debbie's shop specializes in primitive style quilts and projects, and by the way, she also carries Primitive Quilts and Projects Magazine. I'm a little late in posting this, but hopefully you've already picked up the Fall issue and seen my Scaredy Cats quilt inside --

Scaredy Cats

Right now I'm currently trying to finish another bunch of Halloween themed patterns. We'll see if I can get them finished before the big day!

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quiltmaker Shuffle! A new dance just for quilters!

In my May post recapping Spring International Quilt Market in Portland, I mentioned a dance that was taught and videotaped called the Quiltmaker Shuffle. Saturday morning at 8 a.m. before the show opened, a group of designers, myself included, got together at the Quiltmaker booth to learn a dance created by Gudrun Erla just for quilters.

Here we are learning the moves...

The dance includes moves to visualize the quiltmaking process - shop, cut, sew, press, quilt, sew and show and tell. For some reason, I had a hard time with the shopping move in the dance at first, even though I have absolutely no problem shopping in real life.

The video is now live on YouTube - take a look!

There is also a short video lesson,where Gudrun Erla teaches the moves, so that you can learn it too - the teaching part is at the end of the video below. Wouldn't this be great for guild meetings and retreats?

To read more about the genesis of this little dance and the whole shuffle story, go to Quiltmaker Magazine's blog 

That's all for now!

Happy dancing!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! (just a little early!)

It's never too early to start working on projects for Fall, and I have five new patterns out, three of which are Fall and Halloween themed.

Broomstick Hollow quilt pattern

Broomstick Hollow is a quilt pattern, made up of lots of different orange and black prints.  Really quick, and fun to make! This was my #1 bestseller at the recent International Quilt Market in Portland. Judy Danz did the beautiful quilting on this quilt and I'll try to show you just a little of it with this close-up. She quilted stars and pumpkins in some of the houses, and the border has a wonderful pumpkin vine winding through it.

Broomstick Hollow detail

Pumpkin Party wool applique
Pumpkin Party is a little wool applique table topper, and I have included full-size applique placement diagrams to make placement really easy. I used Aurifil Lana 50% wool/50% acrylic threads for the blanket stitching and whipstitching. I love how these threads mesh with the wool!

Happy Harvest punch needle pattern

And the last of the Halloween patterns is Happy Harvest, a punchneedle (also known as needle punch,) pattern. I used mostly Valdani 3 strand floss, with the addition of Weeks Dye Works and DMC embroidery flosses.
Each pattern includes weaver's cloth with the design printed on it, so you can get started right away. That printmaking class I took in college finally paid off!

In addition to the Fall patterns, I have two quilt patterns for any time of year. One of my favorite childhood nursery rhymes was "Sing a Song of Sixpence", where those blackbirds were baked in a pie....

And here is my "Blackbird Pie" quilt ....

Blackbird Pie quilt pattern

Judy Danz quilted Blackbird Pie, and again, did a beautiful job.

And last, but not least, is Boy Crazy, a scrappy pieced quilt with optional appliqued buttons. Included in the pattern is a sheet of foundation patterns for paper piecing all of the hats, but templates for that segment are included for traditional piecing, as well.

Boy Crazy quilt pattern

I hope that wherever you are this summer, whether staying at home or on vacation, you have lots of time to do some stitching!

Until next time,


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Spring Quilt Market Portland

I finally have a few minutes to sit down and write a recap of our trip to Portland, Oregon for the Spring 2013 International Quilt Market. I was lucky to have my husband, Thom, along with camera in hand to capture some of the moments of the trip. And, of course, he did so much more than take pictures.

We left Phoenix on Wednesday before Market, and it was fun to run into Nancy Shamy and Cindy Oates, two fellow designers, at Sky Harbor airport. Cindy's company, of course, is Taylor Made Designs, and she has been a pro at the business for over 20 years. This was Nancy's first market for the inauguration of her new pattern business, Kenzie Mac & Co.

The next day I was able to start showing the prints from my new fabric line, Elementary, for Studio e Fabrics, at a morning Schoolhouse for quilt shop owners. What a thrill, after nearly a year of hard work developing the line with Studio e!

 Studio e Fabrics Schoolhouse 
Quilt Market 2013

Banner for Elementary in the
Studio e Fabrics booth

The quilt on the banner is one of the quilt patterns I designed for the Elementary line. Here is another version of the quilt -- the instructions for making the quilts will be found on the Studio e Fabrics website soon.

One of my booth neighbors at market was Quiltmaker, and I was so excited to see my block "Simple Life" from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 7 magazine framed and hanging in their booth.

Quiltmaker booth at International Quilt Market
Portland 2013

On Saturday morning of Market, a group of designers met at the Quiltmaker booth to learn a very unique dance created by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs, titled "Quiltmaker Shuffle". The dance was videotaped and will be edited and posted soon by Quiltmaker. Although I've never been any good at choreographed dance moves, I gave it my best shot. :)

I have more to share, but it will have to wait until another day!

Until next time,


Monday, May 6, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 7 winners

Thank you to all of you for your comments. I truly enjoyed reading about the color combinations you would use for your own version of Simple Life!

And the winner is #207 - Jodi. Congratulations, Jodi!

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 7 will start appearing on your newsstands tomorrow!

Until next time,


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 7 Blog Tour!

Hello, and welcome to day 3 of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 7 Blog Tour! It has been my great pleasure to be a part of the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks series since it's inception. Here I am for the fifth time and on the cover too! 

My block is "Simple Life" and it's all applique!

Simple Life

I thought it would be fun to show you some different color options for Simple Life. How about using orange, black and green for Fall?

Simple Life

....Or, blue, black and red.

Simple Life

And finally, how do you like pink, red and green?

Simple Life

I took the last color scheme and drafted this table or wall size quilt using four of the blocks in a diagonal set.

Simple Life quilt

What colors would you pick to make your own Simple Life block?

Just leave a comment here by 5 pm PST Friday May 3rd for a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 7, to be sent to you directly from Quiltmaker.  Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 7 will be arriving on newsstands May 7.

Thank you for visiting and now I'll give you a quick link to get back to the Quiltmaker blog for more touring and giveaways!

Until next time,


Monday, April 29, 2013

New Fabric Line to debut at 2013 Spring International Quilt Market in Portland - Elementary!

I've been away from the blog for quite awhile, but I'm thrilled to show you a little bit of what I've been working on this past year with Studio e Fabrics. My first fabric line - 


This is the cover of the color card showing just a few of the 19 beautiful fabrics in the Elementary line. It will be debuting at Spring International Quilt Market in Portland in just a few weeks. I'll be back to show you more as soon as I can!

I will be having a booth at market, as well, and I'll show you what I made this weekend as a possible prop for my booth. Three of my new patterns are Fall and Halloween themed, so I thought I would try to make something I've always wanted to make, and here it is.....

We had a big branch from one of our trees break off a few weeks ago in a big windstorm, so it was timely, as the branch was perfect for cutting off a piece for my pot. I spray painted it black, and found this neat metal pot to "plant" it in. A foam insert covered in black Spanish moss is fitted inside.

We'll see if it survives shipping to Portland, and then try it as a prop with the new patterns.

Another idea I have, that I just don't know if I'll have time to get to, is to use my pattern for glitter birds from my book Vintage Christmas:

Glitter Birds from Vintage Christmas

Using black fabric, black clips, and no glitter, I think they would make perfect crows to perch on the branches of my potted black tree!

That's all for now!

Until next time,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Quilt Appraisals New and Old

It has been busy, busy around here. I've been working on quilts, wool applique projects and just recently finished a pretty cute Halloween themed punch needle. One of those quilts will be published in one of my favorite magazines this year. It's ready to be shipped to the publisher, but before that can happen, it needed to be appraised.

There are a variety of reasons to have quilts appraised. In this instance, for insurance purposes, my new quilt needed to be appraised for it's value in the case of loss or damage. My biggest concern when I ship my quilts off to their various destinations is what happens in transit.

Look at these photos of a box of my quilts, shipped back from a magazine photo shoot in France, when they arrived back to me. 

Gasp! When I saw the postwoman struggling to get this box out of her truck, with foam peanuts falling out onto the street, I thought I would be sick. Luckily for me and my quilts, the publisher shipped my quilts back in the heavy duty vinyl bags as I had requested of them. The vinyl bag was the only thing protecting my quilts after this box was practically destroyed during shipment! Even the peanuts wouldn't have been any protection. Thankfully, my quilts survived!

Here is another example of a box in which one of my quilts was shipped back to me:

Unfortunately, this time, my quilt was not shipped back in the heavy duty vinyl bag in which it had originally been encased by me to the publisher. In fact, it was not even wrapped at all! Again, somehow, my quilt was okay.

Yesterday, I had my new quilt appraised by my friend and local certified quilt appraiser, Karen Housner. We met at my local quilt store, 3 Dudes Quilting, who graciously loaned us their classroom for the appraisals.

In addition to appraising my new quilt, Karen also appraised an antique quilt I had purchased maybe six years ago. Yes, high time I had it appraised! I was curious, too, if I had made a good investment. If not, I really love this quilt. It's a redwork quilt, in very good condition, hand quilted, with a date, and the name "Mary" embroidered on it. The maker or the recipient, I may never know.

Karen Housner measuring my redwork quilt for appraisal
A closeup of the cute little gnomes


Each day of the week is represented by these hard-working teddy bears.

Yes, according to Karen's appraisal, I had indeed made a good investment! Although it's an added expense, having my quilts appraised definitely gives me a little bit of peace of mind in the unthinkable case of loss, theft or damage. I think it's also important for those around us to know the value in dollars and cents of these precious pieces of art!

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my 1908 redwork quilt!

Until next time,