Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Mermaid Embroidery

(This is a the picture of my mermaid embroidery that I designed awhile back. It is a preliminary stitch out that still needs some editing but I wanted to get some opinions on it before I put any more work in it. I know the satin stitch is too heavy in some places but I would love to hear what others think needs to be changed (I think).

Friday, December 23, 2011


I have a lot of people who get to my blog by searching on the word "mermaid" so I am wondering if there is an interest in my mermaid embroidery design. It was digitized over a year ago but needs some fine tuning but since I don't digitize myself I have had to put it on the back burner.

It is an applique design that I will post a pic of later!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just Finished!

I just finished my own Christmas Angel for my front door! I have made 3 others for some of my friends so far but I wanted to  make sure I had one too. Now I do! You can't see it in the picture but it is hanging from the coolest wire hanger that is in the shape of Christmas lights. Its from Ackfeld Wire Company and I will post a better picture later. I would hear about your Christmas/Holiday projects! If you have a blog post a link as a comment.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Working on my 2012 Teaching Schedule

I am trying to get my teaching schedule together for 2012. I have a lot of dates open right now but I am hoping to fill some of them in soon! I have classes scheduled for January, February and April so far and plan to teach a series of classes close to my home in Pittsburgh all year long. But I also have a cottage in Western New York on Lake Erie so I am easily able to teach in Erie PA and Western New York.

My favorite technique is paper piecing but I also teach a beginning quilting course for Community College. I have taught numerous classes in making different purses and home dec items and even though I prefer to teach my own designs am willing to teach other designs as well.

I have taught in West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina but would be willing to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to spend some time with my sister, too, if possible.

My designs have been published in 12 magazines to date, including Quilters Home, Quiltmaker, QM100 Blocks from Todays Top Designers, Quilt and a couple of others.

If you are interested in a workshop with me contact me via email:

Sunday, December 04, 2011

SewCalGal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show-TIME TO VOTE!!!

This is the weekend to vote for your favorite Christmas or Winter themed quilt at SewCalGal's Quilt Show. My quilt is #35 and I hope if you like it you'll vote for it but there are SO many amazing quilts in the show it will be very hard to choose!

Here is a link to the contest:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is cool...I think?

I found this blog post about me and my block that I did for The Quilting Gallery's Christmas Quilt-Along but it's written in Spanish and the blogger is in Spain!!! I wish I knew more Spanish and could tell (without doing a lot of homework) whether this is a positive post or not, but either way I think its cool that someone in Spain is talking about me and my designs!


Hola chic@s!!
Hoy oss presento a una señora que hace maravillas de navidad, pero que "creo bajo mi opinión" que se ha quedado bastante cortita con su presentación en quiltinggallery. Nos presenta el trabajo siguiente:

aunque Sue es capaz de todo esto y más...

Bueno, ¿qué os parece? para descargar paper foundation de su trabajo, aquí

Y con esto y un bizcochooooo, saludines.

Here is a link to the actual blog so you can check it out for yourself

Monday, November 28, 2011

SewCalGal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show

This is my entry in SewCalGal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show. Its called A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. I designed it a couple of years ago. I hope you like it! Here is a link to SewCalGal's site-  so you can check out the other entries!
While I'm at it I think I'll post some pictures of some of my other Christmas and winter themed quilts.







Waiting on my winners

I chose my winners last week for the 2 copies I have of The Wedding Quilt, the latest novel in the Elm Creek series by Jennifer Chiaverini, but I haven't heard back from them. If you commented on my blog to enter for a chance to win a copy please check my post from Friday, November 18th, to see if you are one of my winners. I will give them one more week to get back to me and if I don't here from them I will choose others.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Quilting Gallery's weekly contest

Today is the last day to vote for your favorite kitchen item in The Quilting Gallery's weekly contest. You can vote for your 4 favorites. Mine is called Peppermints and if you like it I hope you'll vote for it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I've Got My Winners!!!

I used a random number generator and chose my two winners! They are Elaine from Whitefish MT and Sharon from Chattanooga TN. I need Elaine and Sharon to send me an email to get their addresses so I can get these books out to them.

Thank you to everyone that commented on this post! It was so nice to get an idea of where some of my readers come from! I wish I had a copy for all of you!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Christmas Angel almost finished!

This is a picture of my newest project using my Lexa's Angel block. I was looking for a quick Christmas project for my regular students. I will be teaching this as a two part class on November 21st and 28th and also in December, though I don't recall the dates at the moment! In the first class we will cover the paper pieced portion of the project and as most of my regular students also have embroidery machines they will get the embroidery files to do the lettering at home. In the second class we will put the banner together and bind the edges.
If you are in the Pittsburgh area and are interested in this class but need more info (like the dates in December) feel free to call Gloria Horn Sewing Studio at 412-344-2330

Friday, November 11, 2011

Guess what I've got?!

I've got 2, yes 2, copies of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest novel in the Elm Creek Quilts series! I want to give one away now, read the other one and then give that one away too! For a chance to win a copy leave a comment on my blog and, just because I am curious where my readers come from, in your comment tell me your city and state.

BTW--I will announce the winners next Friday.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

What I'm Working On

This is a Christmas version of my design called Lexa's Angel. This is a design I use to raise funds for my friend's family. My friend Nikki lost her 7 year old daughter in a car accident almost a year ago. A young man, after having too much to drink, crossed the center line and hit Nikki's car head on. Lexa died that night and Nikki spent a month in the hospital and about 5 months in rehab. I think this block would make a wonderful holiday decoration or gift! If you are interested in making a donation to The Cleland Family Fund and getting this block design as a THANK YOU send me an email at:

Friday, November 04, 2011

Martha Washington Quilt Guild Show

The Martha Washington Quilt Guild Show is going on today and tomorrow in Washington PA. The hours are Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-4. The address for the show is 267 Beau St. Washington PA. I don't have any pictures of the quilts in the show but this is a picture of the dealer's booth for whom I teach on a regular basis. The quilts pictured (clockwise starting upper left) are Country Claus, And In The Meadow and Lexa's Angel. With any luck I will make it to the show tomorrow and have some photos of the guilds amazing work. I am told someone made a quilt using my design called A Few Of My Favorite Things and its on display at the show. I always love to see someone else's interpretation of my designs!

If you have made one of my designs and would like to have it featured on my blog please send me an email at

Saturday, October 29, 2011


This is a picture of one block from my design called A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS. This quilt was made by Susan Jones from Pittsburgh PA. She took a class with me to learn paper piecing a few years ago. This quilt is one of nine she has made for several lucky family members using my design. She still doesn't have one for herself! Susan added the lace on the eaves of the house and the crystals on the tree as well as some decorative painting to this block and some other embellishments to some of the other blocks. I only had my phone with me when she brought this quilt into the store where I teach but several other people took pictures so if I get some better pictures I will post them later.

Susan did an amazing job and I love the fact that she added touches of her own!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This is a better picture of my Peppermints pattern

Quilting Gallery's Christmas Quilt-Along!!!

Have you seen all of the wonderful blocks on the Quilting Gallery's website for their Christmas Quilt-Along? Thirty six designers were chosen to participate AND I WAS ONE OF THEM!

This is my block called Paper Snowflake and the next picture is of the quilt I made using my block. It isn't a pattern yet but hopefully soon!

This quilt was paper pieced and if you've never tried it I am including my paper piecing directions so you can! The foundation for my block is available on The Quilting Gallery's website here:


Paper piecing is a method of constructing a block by sewing pieces of fabric to a paper pattern in numerical order. All of the solid lines on the pattern are lines you will sew on. The dotted lines indicate the edge of the seam allowance on the outside of each unit. All fabric will be placed on the blank side of the pattern.

NOTE: Pieces of fabric that go on the outside of the block should be cut on the straight of grain whenever possible to minimize distortion. Refer to the section entitled FOR ODD SHAPES AND ANGLED PIECES for instructions how to cut pieces on grain.

Starting with the number 1 piece, cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the number 1 area and overlap each edge by about a 1/2”. This can be a large rectangle.

This piece of fabric is placed, right side up, on the blank side of the paper pattern, in a position where it will completely cover the number 1 area and overlap each edge by at least 1/4”.

 Check the position by holding the pattern and fabric up to a light with the printed side of the pattern facing you. Pin, lightly glue with a fabric glue stick or spray baste in place.
Lay the foundation unit (pattern and attached fabric) paper side up on a cutting mat. Using an index card or other lightweight piece of cardboard with a straight edge (I use a greeting card), place the card on top of the number 1 area and line up the edge of the card with the line that runs between areas 1 and 2. Fold only the paper back over the card leaving the fabric exposed on the mat.
Place the 1/4” mark of your rotary ruler or ADD-A-QUARTER RULER on the fold of the paper and trim the exposed fabric to 1/4”.
Turn the foundation unit over, fabric side up. The second piece of fabric, cut large enough to fill the number 2 area and overlap the edges by at least 1/4”, is placed on top of the first piece of fabric, right sides together, matching the edge of the second piece with the trimmed edge of the first piece.
Flip the foundation unit over and sew directly on the line running between areas 1 and 2, beginning at least 1/4” before the start of the line and ending at least 1/4” beyond the end of the line. Use a shortened stitch length of 13-15 stitches per inch. Press new piece open.
Continue in this manner, adding pieces in numerical order, until the unit is complete.
After each unit is finished, increase the stitch length and baste any large, loose pieces of fabric to the paper foundation in the seam allowance (the space between the solid black line and the dotted line).
After basting, place the foundation and fabric unit, paper side up, on the cutting mat. Place the 1/4” of your rotary ruler on the solid black line on the outside of the pattern and trim excess paper and fabric away. Do this on each edge.
To match up angles, simplify cutting of odd-shaped pieces and cut fabric on grain when necessary, lay your foundation unit fabric side up on work surface.
Take a large piece of the fabric to be used in the odd-shaped or angled area and set it right side up on the fabric side of the foundation unit in the proper position (the way you want it to be in the finished block). Make sure it covers the area to be filled.
With scissors, cut a large rectangle more than sufficient to fill the space. Don’t skimp and try to save fabric during this step but keep in mind you will have larger scraps that can be used elsewhere after cutting your angle.
Pin this piece of fabric in place to the paper foundation before flipping the foundation unit over and placing on your cutting mat.
Lay your card on top of the area to be filled instead of the previous piece that was just added. Line up the edge of the card with the line between the area to be filled and the previous piece.
Fold the foundation unit, paper and fabric, back on the line over the card exposing the new piece of fabric. Place the 1/4” mark of your rotary ruler on the pattern fold and trim the new piece of fabric.
After trimming, turn the foundation unit over and remove any pins holding the new piece of fabric in place.
Carefully flip the new piece of fabric on top of the previous piece, right sides together.
Turn the foundation over and sew on the line on the paper side as directed in the BASIC PAPER PIECING INSTRUCTIONS.
 This technique will also allow you to easily positions a directional fabric into a paper pieced project!
Lay out the pieces to be assembled as if you are putting together a puzzle, fabric side up. When assembling units into blocks or blocks into a finished quilt top the units are sewn right sides together
as in traditional piecing.
Points where the units need to match are marked with a dot on the MATCHING POINTS DIAGRAM. Push a pin through the center of one of the matching points from the paper side of one unit and bring the  point of the pin through the center of the corresponding matching point on the other unit from the fabric side.
There will be at least 2 matching points on each unit. Push another pin through the next closest matching point in the same manner as the first.
Hold the two units tightly together so the two pins in the matching points are perpendicular to the surface of the pattern. Line up the edges of the units as much as possible. Take two more pins and pin the two units together close to the matching points.
Repeat with any remaining matching points.
Remove the upright pins and sew on the solid line near the outside edge of the pattern from end to end.
If you made any of the blocks and want to show off or want to see other participants block they are posted on Flickr here:
Here is a link to The Quilting Gallery's website so you can check out all of the other participating designers blocks!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Celebrate Christmas with The Quilting Gallery and 36 Amazing Designers!!!

I am participating in the Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along! Along with 35 other designers I am making a block available for you to use in your Christmas and winter projects. I can't show you mine yet because my day is October 25th but there are already 18 blocks posted! There are a lot of techniques used in the different blocks so I'm sure you'll find at least one you like!

My favorite technique is paper piecing so that is the technique I used to make my block but I've already seen a couple of applique blocks that I might like to make myself! Check them out for yourself and get a head start on your Christmas gift giving!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just wanted to share

This is a better photo of my Peppermints projects. It is the photo from the front of my cover.

Christmas is coming-ready or not!

I don't know about you but I do Christmas projects all year long. This is my latest project called Peppermints. The pattern has two projects-a coaster and an ornament. They are simple and quick paper pieced projects and would make great gifts. The ornament is constructed in such a way as to have a pocket in the back that can hold a small gift-a gift card, cash or even a piece of jewelry. It could also be used as a tag on another gift. For more information contact me via email at:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Job loss

Those of you that have been reading my blog for awhile may be aware that one of my "jobs" was being a caregiver for my aunt who had MS. I have recently lost that job because my aunt lost her battle with the disease after 18 years.

My aunt was an amazing person who had the odds stacked against her from the day she was born. Tracy was born in a mental hospital to a mother who was having a nervous breakdown due to the fact that her husband and father to her 5 children was leaving her. Tracy's mom was my grandmother's sister and Tracy was placed in my grandparents' care for about 4 years until her birth mother was released from the hospital. At that time, her real mother decided not to take Tracy from the only family she's ever known and allowed my grandparents to adopt her. She was two years younger than me and we grew up together. We had our moments where we couldn't stand each other but underneath it all we loved each other like sisters.

At the age of 8, Tracy lost her adoptive mother to cancer and her adoptive father by the time Tracy was 15. She came to live with my family until she finished high school.

She was diagnosed with MS at the age of 28 and has been courageously fighting the disease for all this time. She underwent a lot of different treatments, one of which caused her heart to fail 8 years ago. They were able to revive her and after a month in a coma and 2 months in rehab, she proved the doctor wrong who told her she would never walk again. She walked for 4 years after that before needing to use a walker or wheelchair again.

She and her husband loved to travel and took at least one trip per year. Sam was Godsent and knew when he proposed to her where this disease would lead. He was always there for her and did whatever she needed done that she couldn't do for herself. One of their trips was to Mexico during hurricane season. Hurricane Wilma hit while they were there and they spent at least a week in a shelter. There were many other people in the shelter with them and at least one of them told her he wanted to complain about the conditions but when he saw her NOT complaining about anything he knew he couldn't either. She inspired many people with her courage and her fire (Sam's word for her spirit).

 One of the last things I did with her was this past Friday afternoon when she asked me to help her hide from Sam when he came home from work. We heard the garage door open and I helped her manuever her wheelchair quickly out the back door. We made it just around the corner when we heard him open the back door to look for us. Laughing the whole way, we made it around the side of the house to the front and waited for him to discover us. We waited for at least 5 minutes wondering the whole time what was taking him so long when we decided to give ourselves up. We went to the front door and rang the bell over and over. He was on the phone talking to Tracy's nurse telling her he couldn't figure out where we were. Sam had built a handicapped accessible house for Tracy with an elevator. The elevator happened to be on the 3rd floor so he thought that's where we would be. He searched all of the rooms and the closets and was confused we weren't there and then searched the basement as well. When I told this story to a friend of mine he told me it was mean but he didn't understand that Sam expected things like this from her and from me as well when I was with her. We were quite a team and I am a better person for having known her.

I feel sorry for those in her natural family who chose not to get to know her when given the opportunity because they missed out on something wonderful.

I was fortunate to be able to spend so much time with her these last few years and also to be with her when she took her last breath. She will be missed by many but I am comforted knowing she is at peace and able to all the things in heaven her body here on earth wouldn't allow her to do.

I am looking forward to seeing her again someday and causing a little mischief in heaven.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The reviews are in

I always look forward to getting my evaluation after teaching Special Studies at Chautauqua Institution and was particularly proud to read them this time. So I decided to share!

The class I taught was paper piecing and I used a project I designed specifically for CI. I call it Lakeview (this photo was taken with my phone so I apologize for the quality). One of the things I teach in the class is using a directional fabric in paper piecing. I have asked other teachers who teach this technique how they handle directional fabric and have been told by most they instruct their students to avoid them but I have come up with a simple way to handle these difficult patterns and have taught it to many students over the years. I would love to teach it to many more so if you are looking for a workshop for your guild and might be interested in learning this technique and others feel free to get in touch with me!

Anyway, back to my reviews. The things we are evaluated on are as follows:

Class was well organized
Class was well prepared
Instructor had knowledge of subject
Instructor communicated effectively
Instructor made efficient use of time
Instructor enthusiastic about teaching
Students free to ask question/opinions
I would recommend this instructor

I received EXCELLENT in all of the above categories which made me feel really good but the actual written comments are what I am really excited to share.

"Can not wait to take this course next year"
"Best class I have ever taken"
"Sue was the best teacher. She is very patient and willing to take extra time with each student"

I hope you don't mind me using my blog as the refrigerator door!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Paper Pieced "Y" Seam

I still haven't had time to remake one of the blocks from my newest design published in the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker but this block is very similar in construction and should help to show the technique.

In the first picture, one of the quadrants of the block has been sewn to the center square. To make the center square, I printed the foundation, sprayed it with a quilt basting spray, adhered the fabric to it and trimmed it to the right size. What you aren't seeing in this picture but might be able to see in the next one is that the center block is not sewn from end to end and the seam starts and ends on the drawn line. I backstitched on each end of the seam to secure.

Next, I added another quadrant in the same manner. After I have 2 quadrants attached, the center block can be bent in half to match the seams in between the 2 quadrants and can be sewn from the outside edge into the center stopping again at the 1/4" mark on the foundation.

The 3rd and 4th quadrants are added the same way and the block is complete!

As you can see, its very simple, there are less seams coming together in the center and there is less cutting and even less fabric used.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Sorry for the delay

If you have been reading my blog for a long time you may remember that one of my jobs is taking care of my aunt who has MS. My aunt is a couple of years younger than me and we grew up together, more like sisters. She even lived with my family for a couple of years when we were in high school. She has been dealing with MS for about 18 years.

Recently, she has had a few setbacks and has spent months at a time in a nursing home. She has decided she no longer wants to go to the hospital for any treatments and has put herself on hospice care. Her husband told me my role has now gone from caregiver to "comforter".

I still plan on posting pictures of my technique for how I would have liked to do the block for my quilt called Zanzibars but I haven't had a chance to do it yet. I hope you will check back and I promise I will do it as soon as I can.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

There's more than one way to skin a, I mean...piece a quilt

This is my latest design published by Quiltmaker magazine. Its called Zanzibars and is a paper pieced quilt. There are nine blocks in the quilt and each block is a 4 patch. It was much simpler to piece than it looks.

When I make a quilt with the same block throughout, I do it "assembly line" style, which means I piece all of the same units at the same time and then move on to another unit.

When I pieced this top I made all of the quadrants of the quilt first and added the half square triangle to each one before assembling each block. But, this block is the perfect opportunity to try paper piecing a "Y" seam.

By using a "Y" seam, there is less fabric used, less seams coming together and less matching necessary. I will show my process in photographs, hopefully later this week if I get the chance to piece one of these blocks and can FIND MY CAMERA!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Back at Chautauqua! Yay for me!

I'm back at Chautauqua Institution to teach again this week and I remembered to take a picture of the sign next to the chair that I took a picture of the last time I was here!

I love this!

While I was on the grounds of CI yesterday, I tried to take a few more pictures but my phone said my memory was full. So I have spent the morning at my cottage sending photos from my phone to my computer and then erasing them from my phone so I am ready for the next time.

Here are a few of those photos:
I know this last photo doesn't show it well, but this was a double rainbow around the sun!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Isn't This Cool!

Quilt Trends in Columbus Ohio is doing my pattern, CARTWHEELING CLAUS, as a block of the month. Susan Sandritter, the owner, added 8 additional Santas to my original design and had some fun with Santa's outfits. There is a cowboy Santa, quilter Santa, OSU fan Santa, Uncle Sam Santa, Flower Child Santa, and a ready for Halloween Santa! How much fun is that?

She will send out kits if you're interested in participating. Check out her website at:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Quiltmaker September/October issue

This is a link to Quiltmaker magazine's Facebook page which has a post about the new issue of Quiltmaker coming out next month. My quilt called Zanzibars is in this issue and I would love to hear what you think about it.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Marketing Experiment


This is my newest design called Country Claus. It is a small wall quilt that finishes at 29" square. It is paper pieced and each Santa has a 3 dimensional hat and beads for the eyes and nose. There is a jingle bell hanging from each hat tip. All of these embellishments are included with the pattern. This pattern retails for $12.50
I am only able to ship my patterns in the US at this time so the offer is limited to US residents only.

The hardest thing about making a living from designing is getting your product out there, especially if your advertising dollars are very limited. I want to try something new. I am offering to send this pattern free to anyone that gets their local quilt shop to place an order for at least 6 copies.

If there are any quilt shops interested in picking up this pattern, the offer is as follows:
For every 6 copies ordered I will include a free copy of this pattern or any one of my other designs except for A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS.

This is a limited time offer so if you are interested act quickly!

If you'd like more information email me at:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I see a quilt in this!

I spent this past weekend at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA with my friend. This was the view we had while we ate dinner last night. Wouldn't it make a great quilt?

I had a class to teach at Sew Special in Uniontown on Saturday but was also invited to spend the weekend at my friend's condo at Seven Springs so we went up on Friday and I drove from her condo to the shop about an hour away, taught all day and then drove back in the afternoon.

Back at the condo, I helped my friend with a quilt for her niece and relaxed a little too, but when we saw this view, we knew we had to have a picture of it. Its so beautiful it almost doesn't look real!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does anyone know how to remove the dirt from a 10 year old boy from a favorite quilt?

Yesterday was my birthday and I got to do one of my favorite things last night! I got to spend time with a group of ladies that love to quilt and talk about quilting! Usually when I go out somewhere I have to try and turn the conversation towards quilting and see if anyone else is interested but that wasn't the case last night.

I was the speaker at the guild meeting for the Hearts and Hands Guild in Scottdale, PA. Getting up in front of other people and talking about myself is NOT one of my favorite things though so getting started is a little tough for me. But these ladies were so wonderful that once I got going I really enjoyed it this time! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

During my trunk show, as I was showing my quilts, I opened one up and was a little shocked at first to see a powdery substance on it but after a minute I realized what it was from. My 10 year old son went to skateboard camp in June. It was his first time away from home and he wanted me to be there to drop him off, and I wanted to be there, too, but I had to drive back very early that morning from Columbus, Ohio. I had spent the weekend there with my friend after she had set up an appointment with a quilt shop owner for me to show my designs. It is a 3 hour drive from Columbus to my home in Pittsburgh and the skateboard camp in Woodward, PA is between 3 and 4 hours from Pittsburgh in the opposite direction.  As soon as I reached home, I moved to the passenger seat and let my husband take over the driving and I started looking through the camp information as he drove. My husband tries very hard to take care of things and does pretty well, most of the time. But when I came across the list of things to bring, I asked if he had packed a sleeping bag for Carson. He said he hadn't because it said it was "optional". The brochure said it was "highly suggested" which doesn't sound optional to me but we were only about an half an hour from the camp (and running late) at this point out in the middle of nowhere. Guess what I still had in the back of my car?

I ended up leaving 2 of my quilts at skateboard camp with my 10 year old son. This powdery substance could be from a couple of things. When Carson skateboards he goes all out and when he's finished, he looks like he just got out of the shower. He doesn't like to shower and its a struggle to get him to take one at home, so I have a feeling that if he wasn't made to take a shower at camp he probably didn't. During one phone call home, he tried to tell me they put soap in the water on the water slide so he didn't need to shower! So the powdery marks could be sweat, whatever WAS in the water on the water slide or dirt from the wheels of his skateboard.  The other thing it could be is residue from the wax the skateboarders like to rub on the parts of the park they like to slide their boards on.

This particular quilt was one I had designed for Quilter's Home magazine a few years ago. It is called Night Jewels and can be seen on their website.
The background is black and the rest is all jewel tones. The fabric has never been washed and I am open to ANY suggestions!!!


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Back from Chautauqua Institution and missing it already!

It is a different world there. My favorite word to describe Chautauqua Institution is "magical".

This chair sits on the corner of one of the brick streets with an invitation to sit awhile. One of these days I am actually going to sit in this chair and use it for the purpose for which it was intended. I wish I had had my good camera so you could see what the sign says or that my memory was better so I could remember exactly what it says but its something about taking a break to dream. I will be going back in August to teach again and will try to remember to get another picture of it and a close-up of the sign.

Lake Erie Sunset July 2011
My family and I are fortunate enough to own a little cottage on Lake Erie in New York. This is a picture from the bench at the end of our street on the path that goes down to the beach. We had one incredible sunset after another. This past weekend was very busy because of the holiday but we still had a wonderful time. Our cottage is in a nice, little neighborhood, with a lot of year round residents that we only get together with a couple of times a summer, but we never feel like outsiders. We had a potluck supper and Bingo at the pavilion Sunday night. Time seems to stand still here. Someday I hope to spend whole summers there and maybe build a small studio on our lot in which to teach. When I am there I tell people this is my "real life" and, what I do elsewhere, I do to finance my real life.

Do you have a favorite place to be? How often do you get there? Are you fortunate enough to live your "real life"?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mermaid Embroidery Design

This is my mermaid quilt I started last year. I have done more detail work on it since this photo was taken but still have a lot more I want to do before I photograph it again. I wanted to post this photo so you can compare it with the digitized version below. I stitched it out for the first time recently and have found a couple of things I want to change but I don't do digitizing myself so I will have to until my friend has time to work on it for me.

This is a close up of the embroidered design showing the detail but I will post a full view photo when I get a chance. I think she would look great on a beach towel or tote. What do you think?

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I have some new projects coming up that I can't wait to share but I'm not allowed to yet. There are contracts to sign and other things that have to happen first but I'm so excited to get this thing going! I will blog about it as soon as I am allowed.

In the meantime, I have a few other things going on that I AM allowed to talk about. First, I am getting ready to teach my first session this season at Chautauqua Institution. Wednesday, June 29th is my first class and I am doing it differently this year than last year. Last year, I did one project for 3 days but this time I have designed a project that can be done in 2 hours or my students can spend the 3 days with me and go a little more indepth with my original design or any one of my other designs.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Chautauqua Institution, check out their website at: It is one of the most amazing, inspiring, artistic places I have ever been. The classes are open to anyone and there are so many to choose from. I will post a photo of some of my designs that you can choose from for my class in a later post or you can see a lot of them on my website at:

I will also be lecturing for the Hearts and Hands Guild in Scottdale, PA on July 14th (my birthday, hint, hint) and teaching at Sew Special in Uniontown, PA on July 16th.

If you have any questions about any of these events you can email me at:

Thursday, June 09, 2011

You can't trust anyone.

This has been the longest "two" weeks of my life! My computer went in for repair and I was told it would take two weeks to fix. Well, closer to three weeks, I finally have my laptop back and am ready to get back to the work of designing.

So far everything seems to be working right but I want to give you all a little warning about turning your computer over to ANYONE for repair. My laptop was only 4 months old so the repair was covered by the warranty but when I dropped it off I was unable to sign out of any of my email programs or Messenger. If I had thought about it I would have changed my passwords sooner but it didn't occur to me it would be a problem.

Anyway, I found out from one of my Messenger friends that "we" had had a pretty lively conversation one late night. So while my computer was out of my hands whomever was working on it pretended to be me and talked to one of my friends in a way I would NOT have. Of course there is no proof on my computer since they erased all of my IM history so I have no way to prove it happened at all.

If you find yourself in a situation like mine where you can't sign out of your programs, find another computer ASAP and change your passwords immediately!

Now, back to work!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Good Riddance to May

What a month! I won't be sorry to see May end. I have had a lot of deadlines this month. My friend and I made a quilt for the pastor of our church, my other friend had 2 quilts to make for her grandchildren and needed a lot of help and I had a quilt I had to make for Quiltmaker magazine.

All of this, along with computer problems and regular life mixed in, made May a tough month for me! Anyone that has been reading my blog for awhile knows that I teach quilting and sewing classes on a regular basis, design quilts for my own pattern company and take care of my aunt (and one of my best friends) who has MS.

Last year I had to reduce my teaching hours at my regular job to make taking care of my aunt my "regular job". Unfortunately, my aunt has had some setbacks this year and she has been back in the nursing home for a couple of months which gives me a little more time for my other jobs, but now I am no longer receiving the small salary I was getting as her caregiver. The hours I gave up at my teaching job are no longer available and I want to remain free to go back to taking care of my aunt if and when she needs me again.

I am typing this post on my husband's ancient computer as my four month old laptop is being repaired.

I taught a class earlier this week in which I had a very disturbing experience. I had a student pack up her supplies and machine and announce that she was "done" and that she'd had "enough". I have never had this happen before and was so shocked that it took about 5 minutes to realize she was upset with ME! Anyone that knows me or has ever taken a class with me knows that I go out of my way for my students. I make sure they understand what I am teaching and have actually redesigned projects for some students who have difficulty or want to see what a project will look like in a different color way or size. I'm still not exactly sure what I wasn't doing for this student that she expected me to do. I had made several visits to her side and always check to see if anyone needs help during the course of the class. I give my cell phone number to anyone that wants it if they have any questions after the class ends. I had at least 3 of the other students contact me the day after the class to thank me and tell me how much they enjoyed the class and how much they appreciate me, so I'd like to think the problem was with her, not me.

I know this post seems like a series of complaints, and I suppose it is, but I consider it venting so feel free to ignore it or if you feel the need to vent a little yourself post a comment!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I had close to 500 visits so far to my blog thanks to the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour! I had a lot of wonderful comments to sort through and want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment yesterday. I have chosen my winners and have sent the winner's info to QM and also contacted the winner of the copy of the magazine from me and the page of clown faces. If you would like to purchase a page of clown faces I am charging only $5 per page. Postage in the US is included in that price. The page has enough faces printed on it to make 12 blocks!

I thought you might also like to see a picture of my newest design, Country Claus, which is being tested as you read this and will be available soon. As you can see, he is similar to my Clown block and just as fun, if I must say so myself!

Get a head start on Christmas and order today!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks--Just Clowning Around

This is just one idea for a finished quilt using my block design

This is my block featured in and on the cover of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks by Today's Top Designers!

And this is a picture of what one of my winners will receive along with one copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 3. Is a page of my clown faces printed on Printed Treasures. You must be one of my followers to qualify for this prize and also leave a comment on today's post.

If you leave a comment on today's post you will be entered in a drawing to receive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers Vol. 3. In addition, if you are one of my followers and leave a comment you will have a chance to win a copy of the magazine and also a page of my clown faces printed on Printed Treasures so you will be ready to start sewing when the issue arrives!

For anyone who might be interested in purchasing a page of my clown faces please send me an email for more info at:

Here is a link to Quiltmaker's blog with all the information for all of the other designers participating in the blog tour. There are some amazing blocks and amazing designers in this issue so be sure to check them all out!

The issue will be available by May 10th, so if you don't win one, you're not out of luck!