Sunday, July 31, 2011

Irish Quilting Magazine

It's no secret that I love Ireland.  I think it's so beautiful and inviting.  When Sue and I visited, we saw so many wonderful things, met some great people and enjoyed the breath taking scenery.  There was so much inspiration in the colors and the scenery.

A couple of years back, I received a request for advertising in Irish Quilting magazine.  I emailed them back and asked if they were interested in having some submissions for there magazine instead.  They were and the rest is history!  The first quilt that I designed for them is Blue me Over.  Here is a picture:

The latest quilt that I designed for them is called Fields of Green.  I love the way they photograph the quilts in the surrounding countryside.  Wouldn't that be an awesome job?!  Traveling around Ireland to photograph quilts?  Hmm...I wonder if they have an opening?!  Here is Fields of Green and we do have both the kit and magazine available on

Have a great day and see you later!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm back!

You were probably wondering, where is she?  Actually, I really didn't go anywhere (except for a quick trip with 2 buddies.)  I have been at home, like a hermit. 

My friends, Kathy and Peggy and I went for a quick shop hop on Friday.  We started off driving up to Spring Green, WI to Country Sampler.  If you love soft, muted colors and an old feel to your quilts, you would love Country Sampler.  She has been in business for over 20 years and is going strong!  Her quilts are comfortable and warm.  They had a few buses coming through so we shopped and then quickly made it out of there before they arrived.

We then went to one of my favorite shop, J. J. stitches in Sun Prairie, WI.  She had 3 pink and brown quilts right when you walked in her shop and I would have bought all three kits.  I showed restraint because I know that in a few weeks I'm going to get sample fabric of Memories of Provence and I will be busy sewing.  Julie, who ownes J. J. Stitches also designs fabric for Windham and it is wonderful!  She does mostly shirtings her eye for color is fabulous!  The selection of fabric in her shop runs from vintage baby to shirtings to Christmas.  I love it there and always find inspiration!

Our last stop was at Life's a Stitch in Janesville, WI.  Another wonderful shop!  Pat, the owner is an absolute doll and I love to visit with her.  As you might know, I have taught at her shop and will again.  She makes you feel right at home when you walk in.  Her shop has a super selection as well.  She carries everything from Moda to Civil War reproductions and has many samples to tempt you.  If you are in the area, a definite stop!

 So, there was much inspiration and lots of laughs on our trip.  Although it was beastly hot, we still managed to have an awesome time and enjoy each others company and of course the quilt shops!  I did pick up some more fat quarters.  You know me, always picking up more fat quarters!  :)

Meanwhile, I finished the Countdown to Christmas quilt.  I love it!  I decided to make it 3 x 5 instead of the 4 x 5 on the pattern.  I like the size of it.  I was thinking about added some borders on but I think it looks great just as it is.  Also, I'm undecided on the binding, scrappy or red?  What do you think?

Here are some pictures of the blocks and process. 

Final quilt.  Yummy!

Now, all I have to do is get it quilted.  I'm hoping to have it in time for Christmas but if not, there is always next year!

I am working on getting classes ready for the fall and winter.  I have several retreats that I am teaching at and you can view those on my Upcoming Events section.  If you are interested in receiving information about them, please let me know and I can forward that to the organizers of the retreats. 

Hope everyone's summer is going well!  Back later this week, I promise!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Modern Blocks

A while back, C&T had contacted their authors regarding submitting a block for their new book: Modern Blocks.  I submitted an idea and they accepted it!  I'm so excited to be included in this fun book with C&T Publishing. 

Now, I know what you are thinking...modern block? Monique?!  I actually used a more traditional block and added a modern twist to it.  The book will be out soon. 

I have been a bit under the weather with a summer cold.  So, most of my weekend was sniffing, coughing and sleeping.  I did manage to get some more work done on the Countdown to Christmas quilt.  Here are some of the pieces in progress.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tillie Update

Thelma left a comment that she was ready for some new pictures of Tillie.  I told her that I would post some new pictures of her and her latest mischief!  Her hair has grown and it's about 1" long right now.  She is looking much cuter and knows it!  She gives me that look like I can do anything and you will forgive me, right!?!  Well, look at this:

She decided that she is going to dig holes all over the yard.  She dug a trench behind the day lillies and Bill put up a fence to keep her out of it.  Now, she has started on another part of the yard.  The good news is that she isn't digging to get out.  She's digging because she likes to dig.  While I was at work yesterday, Bill let her out and she wouldn't come in for 2 1/2 hours.  She was working on her masterpiece!  Bill was not too happy at this and I heard about it as soon as I walked in the house.  He is going to work on her training!

Does anyone have any suggestions about preventing her from digging.  We have never had a sheepdog like her.  She has been a challenge.  We love her but she definitely has her own agenda!

Will have some more pictures of the Countdown to Christmas quilt soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Countdown to Christmas!

We are having a heat wave here in the midwest.  It has been hot and humid for several days/weeks (or so it seems.)  Tillie is very much agitated because I will not take her for a walk in this hot weather.  I'm sure that she can handle it but I can't.  I dream of the cooler weather and so I have been eying my fat quarter bundle of Sweetwater's Coundown to Christmas.  I know it's only July but what better time to start a new Christmas project?  It will give you time to work on the quilt and think about the cool weather.  So, I decided to start a quilt project.  It's not like I don't have many started!  :)  But, Thelma from Cupcake 'n Daisies inspired me with the Moda Bake Shop quilt.  She is going to use the pattern and I decided I liked it too.  It is called Starry Eyed and is free on Moda Bake Shop.  It is so cute and I just happen to have the fat quarter bundle of Countdown to Christmas make this quilt.  Here is the quilt:

Of course, I can't leave things as they are and do it the way the directions say.  I'm going to change the star block and use another block that I have seen.  It is a different kind of star and I like both the simplicity of it and the scrappiness.  Here is one of the blocks:

I will keep you updated on the quilt's progress.

I have been trimming 1/2 square triangles for my new version of Pinochle from Fat Quarter Winners.  So far, I have all the large triangles trimmed and am slowly working on the small ones.  As soon as I make a block, I will show you.  I'm anxious to see how it looks so I quickly sewed up 4 of the small triangles together.  I like the colors!

Hope you are enjoying the hot weather if you like it or staying cool if you don't!

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July Blog Tour - Day 5

Hi Everyone!

This is our last day for the blog tour.  Make sure that you stop by Thelma's blog:

Thelma from Cupcakes 'n Daisies

I met Thelma when she was taking a class from Carrie from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co here in Rockford.  We all went out for dinner after the class and I had the pleasure of sitting next to Thelma.  We became fast friends because she is a dog lover like I am.  We chatted about our dogs and quilting.  Instant friends!  She has a wonderful blog that I make sure that I read every day.  I love her fabric choices and when we did the blog tour on Fat Quarter Winners, I thought her take on Crazy Eights was fantastic.  She included a piano key border on the outside that just made the quilt.

Now, for the winner of my drawing.  It is:

andsewon, who said:

"This July 4th we are staying home and having a sweet niece over for cook out. We will just eat sit and talk, maybe stitch some later.No fireworks this year as too dry and hot!"

Congratulations!  She is the winner of a Fit to be Quarter ruler and the kit for the Quarter Square Mini Quilt kit.

Hope everyone enjoyed the blog tour and will see you next week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July Blog Hop - Day 4

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for coming back and hope the week is going well for everyone!  Don't forget to stop by Sherri and Denise's blog today for your free pattern, chance for a giveaway and recipe.  Here is their blog addresses:

Quilter's Window - Denise,
A Quilting Life - Sherri,

I've been telling you how I have met (or corresponded) with my fellow blog hosts.  I met Denise at Quilt Market one year.  We started talking and became instant friends.  She is always so nice.  She invited me to come to teach and lecture at her shop, Quilter's Window in New Hampton, IA.  It's about a 4 hour drive from where I live.  I enjoy visiting Denise, her shop and her customers and have returned every year for the past several years.  I love to visit Denise and she is such a great host.  I get to stay at her house with her family and her wonderful dog, Rocky.  Rocky and I have become great friends over the years and he's always happy to see me when I visit and of course the feeling is mutual.  Here are Denise and I on my last visit.  I will be going to back to New Hampton in November for a retreat, so if you are able to come, please do!

Let's see, I met Sherri from A Quilting Life through blogging.  Carrie from Miss Rosie's Quilt Co had sent her one of my Fit to be Geese rulers.  She tried it out and blogged about how much she loved it.  I was so thrilled that she liked it so much that I sent her a thank you.  Ever since then, we have been emailing back and forth and have become email buddies.  When I went to Market this past spring, Sherri attended and I finally got the opportunity to meet her.  She is an absolute sweetheart and I was so happy to finally put a face to all the emails.  She is also very talented and had one of her projects featured in American Patchwork & Quilting.  Make sure that you check out her blog.

A while back I had promised to give you another use for the Fit to be Quarter ruler.  Here it is:

Combination Unit:

First, start with 2 squares and 2 rectangles (sizes included in the instructions).  Sew them together and press towards the squares.

Rotate one and sew them together.

On the back, snip the center of the middle seam and press one side up and one side down towards the squares.

Again, on the back of this piece, draw a diagonal line using a 45 degree angle or your Fit to be Quarter ruler.  Make sure that the line goes right through the seam.  Rotate the piece and draw another line on the other side.

Place the larger rectangle, right sides together on the piece that you just made.  Again, sizes are included in the ruler instructions.  Sew on the lines.

Cut a 1/4" in from the lines.  There will be a small scrap inbetween your cut lines.

Press towards the large triangle.

Trim the unit by placing the ruler with the square in the top right corner.  Determine the size of the piece that you are trimming it to.  Once you have that measurement, place the square so that the lines on the ruler are at 1/2 the unfinished size.  Trim the two sides.  For example, if you are cutting a 4" unfinished square, line the square up on the 2" markings. 

Rotate the piece and line up the unfinished size on the trimmed edges.  For example, square to 4". 

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it is posted on my website.

One more thing, Lissa Alexander from Moda, is blogging about my ruler as well.  Make sure you check it out!

Our last day of our blog hop is tomorrow.  Last, but certainly not least, visit Thelma:

Cupcakes 'n Daisies - Thelma -

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Blog Tour - Day 3

Hello to everyone!  This has been a wonderful blog tour so far and I'm sure you will continue to love it.  Your host for today is:

Sweetwater - Lisa,

I have never met the girls from Sweetwater but they seem very nice through our correspondence over email.  I really love their fabrics and their latest line, Countdown to Christmas is fabulous!  I have a fat quarter bundle and we have also ordered some for a project that will be on later this year.  It is classic but whimsical and I just love it.  My friend, Sue who I have with is a huge fan of their fabric too.  Here is sampling of their Countdown to Christmas line. 

I forgot to tell you how I met Sherri from This & That Patterns.  Last year after Quilt Market, I was honored to be invited to a 2 day Designer Retreat hosted by American Patchwork & Quilting.  As you know, APQ is one of my favorite magazines and I was thrilled.  Sherri and I were grouped along with Terry from Atkinson Design and Julie from J. J. Stitches in Sun Prairie, WI for a group project.  We had a blast, Terry is a riot and we all laughed the whole time.  When I saw Sherri again at Quilt Market in May, I asked her if she would like to join my blog hop.  She readily agreed and asked if the girls in Sweetwater could come.  I was thrilled and of course said, yes.  Sherri is super nice and very talented.  I instantly liked her when I met her.

For those of you who live in the Rockford area, I will be lecturing at Sinnissippi Quilt Guild this coming Thursday.  I will be giving 2 talks, one at 1:00 pm and the other at 7:00 pm.  If you can make it, I'd love to see you! 

Here are tomorrow's blog hosts:

Quilter's Window - Denise,
A Quilting Life - Sherri,

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Blog Tour - Day 2

Thank you so much everyone for commenting on my blog yesterday!!  I absolutely love to read your comments and hear from you!  If you haven't commented, please do and for those of you who did, thanks again!

Today's blog hosts are:

Stashmaster - Lisa -
This & That - Sherri,

I met Lisa from Stashmaster through my good friend, Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  Carrie was teaching a class here in Rockford and Lisa, Thelma - Cupcakes 'n Daisies and Nicole - Sister's Choice took her class.  We all met for dinner and I so enjoyed meeting them all.  Lisa is a doll and here eye for color is fantastic.  She did Pinochle from Fat Quarter Winners in blues, reds and creams and has inspired me to do another version of Pinochle.  Here is the start of my version using a Moda line by Three Sisters, Grace.  I have done all the 1/2 square triangles but haven't trimmed them all yet.  I think it will be so pretty when it's done.  Will keep you posted on my project.

This weekend has been a very restful and productive.  I worked on the 1/2 square triangles for Pinochle, also the 1/4 square triangles for Fit to be Quarter.  Here is a basket full of 1/4 square triangles.

So, you know how it says in most patterns to read through all directions before beginning a project?  Well, my patterns don't say that but maybe, I should...I started a project using Jelly Rolls, it's called Jelly Log Cabin.  My mom and I were talking Sunday and she said that she thought it was a good, easy project.  I had forgotten about it.  I had designed it for a quilt shop and since they are no longer in business, I have several patterns left over.  I thought that I should work on it.  I started it yesterday and finished it today.  It was quick and easy and I think that we will probably put some kits on when I get a chance.  Anyway, I was working along, sewing the pieces together and finally read the directions.  I was supposed to use the same fabric for the 2 fabrics on the first round of light and the same fabrics for each round.  So, I add a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square of light to the center and I should have added a 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" pieces of the same fabric, well, I didn't!  Now, you say, who wrote this pattern anyway?  Well, I did and my only excuse is that I did it so long ago and I thought I was being so smart...not the case.  But I think it looks okay anyway, don't you?  It's just a scrappy version of a log cabin.  See we all make mistakes and me more than anyone!

Don't forget to check out Lisa at Sweetwater's blog tomorrow:

Sweetwater - Lisa,

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Blog Tour

Welcome everyone to the first day of the blog tour!  I'm so glad that you can join us!  Here is the schedule for the bloggers:

July 4th - Open Gate - Monique,

July 5th - Stashmaster - Lisa -
This & That - Sherri,

July 6th - Sweetwater - Lisa,

July 7th - Quilter's Window - Denise,
A Quilting Life - Sherri,

July 8th - Cupcakes 'n Daisies - Thelma -

The first thing that I would like to do is give you your free project.  I have decided to use my Fit to be Quarter ruler to make this adorable little quilt.  Here is a picture of the quilt:

I trimmed the 1/4 square triangles using the Fit to be Quarter ruler and they came out so perfect.  The unfinished size is 2" so they are nice and tiny.  It's a fun little quilt to make as a framed quilt, table topper or candle mat.  I am also going to work on making it larger.  I have the instructions for trimming the 1/4 square triangles on my website.  Here is the link: Here is the instructions for the mini quilt:

We have also decided to provide you with either a favorite summer time drink or dessert.  Knowing me, you know that I would pick a dessert.  I decided to give you a unconventional cheesecake recipe.  It uses Jell-o an Dream Whip.  It is so light and fluffy and very yummy!  It reminds me of summer. 

One of my favorite things to do on 4th of July is to hang out with my gang.  I'm not that into fireworks so the thought of going downtown to view them doesn't have much appeal.  I love to sew all day, have a BBQ in the evening and spend time at home.  What is your favorite thing to do on the 4th of July or your summer holiday?  Leave a comment on your favorite thing to do and I will enter your name into the drawing to win a Fit to be Quarter ruler and a kit for the Quarter Square Triangle Mini Quilt.  Comment from now until Thursday night and I will announce the winner Friday morning. 
Thanks everyone for stopping by and don't forget to check out Lisa and Sherri's blog tomorrow!