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Gail Brown's Quilting Retreat

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One of my favorite weekends of the year is the weekend that I teach at my friend, Gail Brown's quilting retreat.  She holds the retreat in Elkton, MI every year in June, usually the first weekend.  People from all over Michigan come to the retreat and as far as Loves Park, IL (that would be me!)  I met Gail at a different retreat in the Chicago area many years ago.  We became friends and started holding the retreat once a year.  Next year will be the 10th Anniversary.  I can't believe we've been doing it for so long!  If you are interested in attending next year's retreat, the dates are  June 1st and 2nd, 2018.  If you want to be on Gail's mailing list for this awesome retreat, you can contact her and find out more at:  https://www.facebook.com/gailbrownquilts

Here are a few examples of what was worked on that weekend:





I usually teach two different quilts.  This year I taught Fruit Slices and Lady Slipper.  Fruit Slices is a quilt that is offered on Craftsy.com and…

Sample Blocks

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Does anyone make sample blocks?  I sure do!  There are two different times that I make a sample block.

First, I create a sample block when I'm designing a pattern and I want to make sure that my sizes and instructions are correct.  Usually I make it out of scrap fabric but on occasion I like to make the sample block into something.  For example, I created a sample block using the center of the quilt that I designed for Craftsy, called Frequency Quilt Kit.  If you click the link, it will take you to the kit and pattern available through Craftsy.


Here is my sample block of the center of Frequency that I made into a table topper.



The other time that I make sample blocks is when I get the fabric in and want to see how the fabrics work together (and I'm also excited about the quilt and HAVE to see a block!)

Let me know if you make sample blocks and what you do with them.  I'm always curious as to how people go about making their quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Social Media

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Where have you been, you say???  Well, I've been on Facebook and Instagram.  You can check me out on those sites with the following links:

Facebook:  Open Gate Quilts

Instagram: @opengatequilts

Open Gate has been busy.  We have a new website, have been very active with Facebook and Instragram as well as traveling to teach and lecture.  To see where I'm going to be, check out my Facebook page and Instagram. 

Next week, we're off to Quilt Market in St. Louis, MO.  Although, I won't have a booth, I'm going to be walking the show and seeing what's new.  It's always fun to catch up and see what's new in the quilting world. 

One of the other things that I have been doing is working with Craftsy. I have been designing lots of quilts for their new fabric, Boundless Fabrics.  It's been a lot of fun and wonderfully challenging.  Love it!  Here is one of my newest quilts on their website, Frequency.  They offer the pattern and kits at great prices!  Don't …

Lectures, Demos and Classes

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I do it all!  Lectures, demos and classes.  If you are in need of an experienced quilter for an event, retreat or class, I'm your gal.  I have traveled across the US teaching and lecturing and I love it!  I'm very passionate about quilting and would love to share my knowledge and experience with your group, quilt shop or guild.  You can contact me at info@opengatequilts.com for information and rates.



Hope to hear from you soon!

Juicy Cactus

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Have you got your Juicy Cactus kit yet?  It's on Craftsy.com and has been selling really well.  People seem to love it.  I designed the quilt using Crafty's new fabric, Boundless Fabrics.  Their Aura Blenders collection.  Here is Juicy Cactus:


I love the gradation of color.  When I made it, I used the Tri-Recs Tool by Darlene Zimmerman and my Fit to be Quarter 6.5 & Companion Rulers.  It made it so much easier!

Let me know what you think of Juicy Cactus.  Thanks for stopping by!

Design Wall

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In our new home, my sewing studio is in a spare bedroom.  I got it all set up and had a space right beside my sewing table for add a design wall.  It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to make my design wall but I figured it out.

What I did was I used yard sticks from Home Depot. I had measured my space and figured out how many yard sticks that I would need.  I used 1 1/2 yard sticks at the top and bottom and 2 on each side.  (I had to cut one yard stick in half to get 1/2 sticks. Mark cut it using some kind of power saw :) Then, I used Warm and Natural batting and cut it to the size of the yard sticks plus 2 inches.  Starting at the top, I nailed the yard sticks in by sandwiching the batting between the wall and the yard stick.  I then worked on the left side, smoothed out the batting and working from the top, did the right side.  Finally, the bottom was done last.  I love it because it has the inch measurements on the yard sticks and I know approximately how big my quilt is.…

Quilt Kits are on Craftsy!

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They're online! The quilts that I've been showing you for the past week are on Craftsy.com. Click on this link to direct you to the exclusive kits and patterns. http://www.craftsy.com/kits/quilting?sortBy=NEWEST












 Thanks for all your support and hope you enjoy the quilts!