Grand Opening Visit to Between Patches, LLC

Today I chose to do something "Spur of the Moment"! 
I drove across the state (109 miles one way/2hrs.) 
to attend the grand opening of a long-time friend's new quilt shop 
in Bay City, Michigan. 
It is called Between Patches, LLC

I phoned a friend asking if she could go with me, which she could. 
The day was sunny and the temp. in the vehicle comfortable. 
Although the outside temp. was 44 degrees. 
We stopped for lunch half way there. 

Upon our arrival we found: 

A bright, cheery mailbox.

The very enthusiastic, experienced quilter and store owner, Robyn.

A welcoming display shelf, enticing us to come in and explore further. 

A shop with a variety of fabrics, with space and plans to fill more shelves 
with the next order of fabrics.
Here are blacks and whites, 1930s, and solids. 
A baskets of fat quarters, on sale this week.

A large stock of batiks that just seemed to gleam.

Colorful cottons and soft flannels. 

A crib of scraps...fill a zip bag for $3.

Does your husband need a place to sit while you shop? 
Or maybe you want to sit and look through a book.

Another shelfing unit with all kinds of things a quilter might want. 

She has a Block of the Month (BOM) to participate in. 
Robyn demostrates, one day each month, how to make that month's block.

She has classes scheduled. 
She is also an accomplished longarm quilter as well as a pattern designer.

While we were there, a group of ladies came in. 
We all began chatting about quilting, 
when one lady looked at my friend
and recognized her as the organizer of 
The Mitten State Quilters Facebook Group! 
We talked a bit longer!

We stayed about an hours, talking, laughing and relaxing around the cutting table. 
Robyn said that is the atmosphere she hopes to foster in her quilt shop. 

If you are in the area, stop and take a look around, 
you might even meet a new friend.

Her Facebook page link is HERE


Quilt Qwazy Queens Winners

Marian of Seams To Be Sew has a list of all the winners in the Quilt QwazyQueens blog hop at her website HERE.

I had to redraw for the Sweet Pea Block Embroidery Giveaway and the winner is Wendy.
Laura M. won the $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop. I have contacted both ladies.

I think this block embroidery looks so nice that I am considering ordering it very soon.
My embroidery machine is in the shop for a couple weeks for a tune up and cleaning, she wasn't behaving with the last embroideries I tried to sew.

Thank you to all who hopped along. Congratulations to all who were drawn for a giveaway.
And a big THANK YOU to all the sponsors who helped make this blog hop such a success for us.

Today I am working on charity quilt projects and will have a post in the tomorrow on what we accomplished.


On My Cutting Table

The draft of my next pattern was sent off to Cut Loose Press.
That gave me some time to cut fabrics. 
Another lady and I have organized a Charity Quilt Sew at church for Monday. 
We wanted to get some squares cut, ready to sew. 
And I mean way too much. 
This is what I have ready, plus a few more children's squares still needing to be sorted into kits.

And....I still have WAY TOO much fabric.
I think I might have an April sure to check back.

This is the quilt on the back of our sofa this weekend. 
I made it about 10 years ago. This one belongs to daughter #2.  
Happy Easter.


Blog Hop Winners

Wow! What a blog hop.
Nearly 400 people visited my blog. (Thank you all very much.) 
I responded to all those who commented (by email or on the blog)
which kept me busy much of the day.

Now, the winners:

Laura M. won the $25 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop

Emily C. won the Beauty Blocks Embroidery from Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery

Congratulations to both of you.
I have emailed both ladies to let them know.

Happy Quilting to Everyone.

Today I will be inside sewing 
because outside I see this, with some more to come:


Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop

Welcome to my post for the
blog hop.

In honor of World Wide Quilting Day,
this blog hop is being hosted by Marian at Seams To Be Sew.
She came up with this idea (which I think is great) so quilters can 
share something about their quilting passion that they might 
think is Qwazy!

Marian has procured a nice little discount for all our visitors until March 25, 2016. 
Everyone wins with this!
When you place an order at 
Fat Quarter Shop,
enter the code: seamstobe316
for 10% off your order.

I have two giveaways listed at the end of my blog. 
The giveaway is for today only.
It ends at 11:59PM EST March 23, 2016.

The requirements to join this blog hop were very simple:

"Tell us your quilting adventures, your proudest moments, how you got started quilting, show us your past projects, or make something fun and new that might be a little qwazy."

Will do. I have 40+ years of quilting tales that I could write about to fill those requirements. But that would fill a very large book or a very long post. So I will tell you a bit about my quilting journey over the years. 

I learned to sew, mostly on my own, about the age of 8. I sewed clothes for myself through college and a bit beyond. Not knowing the ins and outs of quilt making, I made a twin size quilt for myself in my last year of college. It is hillarious when I think of it now. I cut 4 inch squares from a variety of polyester/cotton fabrics in red, yellow, black and blue. I sewed them together in, what I found out later is, the Trip Around the World design. I put the quilt top over the polyester batting and used my decorative stitches on my Kenmore 1974 model sewing machine to sew the layers together down the seam lines. I sewed the yellow sheet backing, pillowcase style, to the other sewn layers. I didn't quilt or tie the backing to the top! 

I was very proud of it and used it for many years, even in my daughter's bedroom. I am not sure what ever happened to it. I could only find one photo with the quilt in it. 

I didn't have a clue what was in store for me in the coming years. 

My first teaching job took me to a small town in Michigan. I found a quilt shop 15 miles away where I took a class. We learned to quilt by hand! We made templates from cardboard, learned the 9-patch block, half square triangle blocks, and applique which we designed ourselves. We hand quilted the layers and the binding was wrapped around. I am still proud of this wall hanging. I thank Milly Splitstone for the skills she taught us in that class. 

(I am going to say right now that I am SO HAPPY the rotary cutter came along!)

In 1979, I joined a local quilt guild (Tall Pine Quilters Guild) that was starting up. It was fun getting together with people who shared the quilting interest. We shared ideas, had a really fun newsletter with tips and patterns. I went to a quilt retreat one weekend which was really fun.

Home, family, and job kept me busy, so I dropped out of the guild....but after 20 years, rejoined. The guild has brought many opportunities. We have had nationally known speakers come to our guild for trunk shows and classes. We have had quilt shows. We have joined together for charity sewing as well as to have fun sewing our own projects. 

While teaching, I introduced my 1st grade and kindergarten students to quilting. I used it as math lessons. The quilts they made were given to local charities for toddlers. 

Over the past 16 years, I have tried to take quilting classes in just about every technique devised at many different venues. I have made many new friends and travel with them to new quilting destinations. I have joined online groups and swaps, which have challenged me beyond what I felt comfortable doing. I've made quilts for more people than I can remember. 

I have a fondness for many of the styles and methods of quilting. I have learned that making quilt tops is easy if one breaks the design into small steps. And I revert back to my early hand quilting lessons....fabric can be manipulated, there are ways to accomplish what is desired in quilting if we know what is out there. 

I enjoy blogging (started in 2011) and sharing what I am doing with others. I began designing patterns in house at a quilt shop in 2004. I have since designed for Cut Loose Press and other shops and individuals. 

I have a book idea I am working on now and then as time permits. And am now an Island Batik Ambassador. 

Quilting has been quite a crazy journey, but one I am happy to be on. I am glad you took the time to stop and read about my quilting. I plan to continue my journey for many more years. 

I hope your journey leads you to new opportunities and you experience wonderful quilts. 

See what Quilt Qwazy thing the others are doing via this blog hop. 

March 23

Patchwork Breeze (you are here)
After you leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only at Seams to Be Sew

March 24

Kwilt Krazy
Marjorie's Busy Corner
After you leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only at Seams to Be Sew

March 25

After you leave your comments at the above blogs
Stop In To Enter Only at Seams to Be Sew

Giveaway information!

You could win 
one $25 gift certificate from 
Fat Quarter Shop

Beauty Blocks 
from Sweet Pea Machine Embroidery 

Leave a comment telling me what class was your favorite 
or what class you would like to take.
I have to have a way to contact you, so don't forget an email.
Then click enter on the Rafflecopter here on my  blog.

Seams To Be Sew has a giveaway, too, so make sure you visit there.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


World Wide Quilting Day

I remember the excitement of the first National Quilting Day. A bit of searching on the web, led me to the website for the National Quilting Day Association HERE. Where I found this information:

A Brief History of National Quilting Day

In 1989, the Kentucky Heritage Quilt Society organized a "Quilters' Day Out" on the third Saturday of March to celebrate the rich tradition of quilt making in Kentucky. In 1991, the NQA officers were so enthused with the concept and success of "Quilters'Day Out" that they voted to take it to a national level.
The first National Quilting Day was observed in 1992 and since then it has grown into a global celebration for all quiltmakers and quilt lovers. Helen Storbeck, one of the founders of National Quilting Day, wrote in The Quilting Quarterly, "Groups of quilters were encouraged to hold special events, publishers and shop owners were invited to sponsor promotions especially for quilters and it quickly became a grassroots endeavor with quilters in every part of the country participating.  In the first year of National Quilting Day, quilters in other countries asked to participate. They were welcomed with open arms. As our feelings of a community network has evolved to include a world community, it is only appropriate
 that quilters and quilt lovers everywhere united to give recognition to the special art form."
There are countless ways to celebrate National Quilting Day.  Find a few suggestions here. 
Now it is a World Wide Quilting Day. 
And how am I participating in this day? 
The postman started me off this morning when he delivered a package to my door. It was my order from Hancock's of Paducah! This is what I got:
One yard cuts of 3 fabrics for some cute projects, maybe some potholders and a baby quilt.

I took advantage of their sale on Island Batiks with a yellow pre-cut package of half-yard pieces. I was delighted that they sent me the designs I did not purchase while I was there in February.
I bought one yard cuts of two fabrics with teal in them that I am going to be very happy using. 

I am taking out the center square of a table runner I was making. I did not like the colors I chose. It is an upcoming pattern so all I can show you is this mess. It won't be too difficult to fix and I am pleased with the new color choice. I am, of course, using Island Batik fabrics. My seam ripper took out the stitches in the batiks like it was running through butter! 

I will be doing some embroidery, letting the machine run while I rearrange some sewing room items. I figure I will multi-task. 

Have a great day and I hope it includes something related to quilting.


Tutorial: Sandstones In The Sea Mini Quilt

Thanks for your visit. 
Today I have a tutorial for my mini quilt, 
Sandstones in the Sea, for the Island Batik Mini Madness. 

I used charms from the French Roast fabric collection charm pack.

I chose 4 tans, 4 browns and 8 blues from the French Roast charm squares pack.

I layered the tans and browns (nicely and evenly) and cut the squares, as shown in the photo below.

I rearranged the colors as the blocks would be sewn. 

I sewed the blocks and set them aside.

I layered the blue charm squares and cut diagonally, twice, as shown in the diagram below. 

I don't like to have the same colors next to each other so I arranged the blue triangles where I liked them with the blocks before sewing.  (I don't have a photo, but this layout photo shows what I came up with).

I sewed the long edges of 2 triangles to opposite sides of the 9-patch blocks. 
After pressing and trimming the little dog ears, I sewed the other 2 triangles to each blocks. 

After sewing the squares together 4 across and 2 down, I sewed only one 2" border strip of a blue (from a different manufacturer) to one side of the quilt. But I knew it needed a bit more to add pizzaz. 

I call this thin white strip a piping (without the cording in it). I cut the strips of white fabric 3/4" wide by the width of fabric and pressed in half, lengthwise. 

I cut a length a little longer than I needed for the long edges. Pinned it in place and sewed with a 1/8" seam allowance. 

The sides were done in the same way, and I made sure the end overlapped the previous pipping strip. 

I added all the piping strips.
I finished sewing the blue borders on the piece to finish the top.

I want to share with you a method I use to get ideas for quilting small items. I use tracing paper over some of the blocks and sketch out ideas. I decided to use the star on the 9-patch. 

 It was easy to use an erasable fabric marking pen to put some dots on the quilt top and sew with my home machine from dot to dot. I use a walking foot to feed all the layers through evenly--no back puckers.

I marked the waves with a chalk marking pen and stitched in lines that curved on the ends with Guttermann thread (I had it on hand and it was the only blue that worked with the colors.

I do hope you gleaned a tip or two from your visit. Perhaps you want to make a mini, go for it. The Island Batik fabrics are great to work with. I was able to finger press my shorter seams, which saved loads of time.

A different Blog Hop to tell you about and a discount code.

Briefly, I am participating in the 
Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop 
which begins TODAY. 
My post date is March 23.
During this blog hop, you can shop at 
Fat Quarter Shop through March 25 
and get 10% off with this code:


Hop on over to SEAMS TO BE SEW to find out all about it and the great giveaways that are happening daily. Island Batiks has a giveaway!


What I Found In Paducah

On my vacation in February, one stop was Paducah, Kentucky. I went to the National Quilters Museum to see the exhibits. Photos are not allowed in the exhibit halls, so I have none to share. This year I purchased the book with photos of all the quilts in the museum's collection. I will be able to look through, remember and compare what I did see. 

I talked with the quilters of the Yo-Yo Club of Paducah who were hand quilting on a frame next to the admissions desk. They showed me some of the pincushions and needle & thread holders they make. The proceeds are used to help fund charity quilts they make.

I put a piece of batting under the needles, so I could see them.  All the needles are threaded. I take one needle out of the batting along with a length of thread. Cut it and the rest of the needles are threaded and ready when needed. Below you can see the elastic that closes the needle & thread holder when storing it.

The next stop I could not miss. I was on a mission to buy some 1/2 yard precuts of Island Batik greens at Hancock's of Paducah. I checked out their website the night before, so I knew what I wanted. But, that is never the case at this fabric store! Once I saw the beautiful packages of Island Batik fabrics, I grabbed a yellow and a purple package as well. They were on sale, so I did not hesitate. Aren't these just gorgeous?

I have two projects planned for the greens. One is a pattern I am working on (to be revealed at a later date). The second is the President's Challenge for our quilt guild, due in May. I want to get both of these done SOON!

Don't forget to visit the Island Batik Ambassadors at their websites for the March Mini Madness. See my post HERE with all the links. Island Batik also has, in progress, The Wendy Sheppard Blog Hop. Check out all the beautiful quilts that have been made with Wendy's patterns--using Island Batiks.


Island Batik Mini Madness Quilt

I am happy to be have been selected to be an Island Batik Ambassadors.

The first activity I am participating in is the Mini Madness Quilt Challenge. We were to make a mini quilt no larger than 24" x 24" using some of the Island Batik fabrics that arrived on our doorsteps a few weeks earlier.

Choosing the fabrics to use was difficult. I opened the French Roast charm pack and knew those were the fabrics! I needed only some of the squares -- more to use later!

Then, what to make? 
A small table runner!

the mini table runner I made from two blocks,
a folded border and border strip. 

On Friday I will post the steps and measurements I used to accomplish this, 
so come back for a visit. 
In the meantime, visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see the minis they made. 

  •  Nan
  •  Pamela 
  •  Patricia 
  •  Anna 
  •  Jessica 
  •  Connie
  •  Tina
  •  Barbara  
  •  Barb
  •  Pam 
  •  Maria 
  •  Sally 
  •  Jeanette 
  •  Connie
  •  Joan
  •  Soile 
  •  Bea
  •  Christine 
  •  Maryellen 
  •  Adele
  •  Tracy
  •  Nancy 
  •  Marlene
  •  Linda
  •  Vicki 
  •  Tammy
  •  Carol
  •  Suzy