Moo-Shu, my collage art quilt panda

Yesterday, figuratively speaking, I jumped off a cliff and released my first collage art quilt pattern. Yep … I have my own Etsy shop! Moo-Shu comes with her own full-size pattern, supply list and detailed instructions. The link is provided, or you can head over to my “Home” page, and click on the “Etsy” button.

Over the past forty year, I’ve done lots of different types of quilting. I love it all! It has always amazed me how fabric can be manipulated and turned on its head to create a personal story. Every quilt is so unique … and no two quilts are alike.

It wasn’t until I took a collage quilting class earlier this year, that I found my joy. Everyone in the class was making a different Laura Heine collage quilt. I was the only making Lulu, the elephant. It was so fun creating my own interpretation of the quilt. I think my husband thought I was a little nuts when I bolted through the door after the first class day. The emotion expressed was “excited” and it was an understatement. He encouraged me to create my own pattern and Moo-Shu is the result. It took me a couple of months to create a prototype quilt. I wanted it to be perfect.

The basic premise of collage art quilts is fusing small amounts (fat quarter size or smaller) of cotton fabric, cutting out the motifs you want to highlight in your quilt, and pinning them on a background (your line drawing). After you like the way your collage looks, the paper fusible backing is removed on each motif and placed back on the background. A final fuse with an iron and you are onto your next step. Next week I will write about that!

Notice the word “sewing machine” has not been mentioned. There is no sewing involved until you get to the machine quilting stage.

Let me know what you think about Moo-Shu! I am also pondering my next collage pattern. Any thoughts?

The Firefly Quilt – part three


Progress on The Firefly Quilt for MD Anderson’s Ovarian Quilt Project came in the form of completing all the wings sections and sewing the head section to the wing section. Makin’ progress.

Also started on the abdomen sections of the firefly. I just love the three horizontal color choices. With fabric color names like eggshell, wasabi (my favorite) and pickle, how could you go wrong? Fabric Bubb did an excellent job in putting these fabrics together in a kit. After this section is completed, I will be able to sew the three sections together and actually have a bunch of fireflies on my cutting table.

The Firefly Quilt – part two


Progress on The Firefly Quilt, designed by Pen and Paper Patterns, is in the can! I’ve got the antennae for 16 blocks completed, the head … and the wings are coming together nicely! Chain piecing certainly has helped make this quilt come together fast.

Did I mention last week this is going to be a very large quilt? At least for me … it will be. The finished quilt dimensions will measure 72-1/2″ by 72-1/2″. If I was keeping this one for myself, I would probably make it with nine blocks and hang it on one of my walls when it was all finished. I would take three of the leftover firefly blocks and make a couple of adorable table runners. But since it is for charity, I decided to go big! Hope it makes lots of money for MD Anderson’s Ovarian Quilt Project!

Stay tuned for progress report next week!

The Firefly Quilt for MDA’s Ovarian Quilt Project


In addition to purchasing lots of fabric at last year’s International Quilt Festival, my sister, Gretchen, and I also stopped by M.D. Anderson’s Ovarian Quilt Project booth. The group has a quilt auction every two years. The proceeds from the auction go to Ovarian Cancer research, screening and awareness. In 2017, over $52,000 was raised from the online auction. They receive quilts from all over the United States and also internationally.

Gretchen and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor our sister, Mary, who died in 2017, after being diagnosed seven months earlier with Ovarian Cancer. She was only 62 years old. We have kicked around a few quilt design ideas that would honor her memory. But nothing really stuck. When I saw The Firefly Quilt, and shared it with Gretchen, we knew this was the one. Mary loved nature. To us … it seems fitting that a firefly, actually 16 of them on the quilt, would help keep her memory lit … and also help to raise money for Ovarian Cancer research.

The Firefly Quilt comes with a “bee” block option which is adorable. The quilt is designed by Pen and Paper Patterns. We loved the colors on the front of the pattern and purchased a kit from Fabric Bubb with that colorway. Sewtopia also has kits.

So far, Mary’s quilt for MD Anderson’s Ovarian Quilt Project is cut out and all the fireflies have antennas! I will post our firefly quilt progress next week!

Quilter’s Patch – the finished quilt!


My Quilter’s Patch block-of-the-month quilt is back from being custom quilted. Now that the binding and the patch on the back is sewn on, I can finally blog about it. Thanks to Sally for using her awesome embroidery skills for the patch on the back!

Cindy Gravely did a FANATASTIC JOB custom quilting this quilt! When I dropped off the quilt top and backing several months back, I also included the Quilter’s Patch book, so Cindy would have an idea of the way the quilt could look. With so much going on in this quilt, I let Cindy just go for it! I am so happy with the results.

A little history … the quilt was designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. The Fat Quarter Shop provided the monthly kits for sale and distribution in 2017. This is not a beginner quilt. I even had a love/hate relationship with some of the blocks … as in the greenhouse roof tiles. Those clamshell tiles nearly did me in. Then there was the bachelor button block. I never could get the blooms to lie flat. But Edyta Sitar’s directions were amazing. Even if you have never worked with hexagons (dahlia block), the directions were so clear, it gave me all the encouragement I needed to be successful.

The quilt as presented in book is quite large quilt … 75″ by 78″ with wide borders. I made a few changes in block order and left off the wide borders. Instead, I added a simple four-inch border which made the quilt more manageable for me to hang. I also left off the little bird on the greenhouse. No reason … just because.

Lulu collage quilt – she is finished!

Picked up Lulu from Erica, the awesome long arm quilt lady at A Needle and Thread, and couldn’t be happier! It was so fun to collaborate with her. Erica quilted an outline around the entire elephant image and custom quilted around the flowers, leaves, butterflies and other critters. I especially love the puffy textures she created with thread on the fishes. On the background yellow batik, Erica quilted an lovely all-over leaf design.

I’ve seen collage quilts quilted in tight vertical and horizontal grids. I know this ensures the fused fabric pieces will stay in place … but then I saw an alternative. Our collage quilt instructor, the awesome Jo Lynn, brought several completed collage quilts to class and they were stunning. On her quilts, the collaged image was custom quilted around the whole image as well as into the flowers, feathers, critters and such. I loved the look!

The amazing Sally embroidered the patch for the back of the quilt in hot pink thread. I had Sally place it on white fabric to remind me to “audition” background fabric on all future collage quilts. I almost had a huge “Oops.” I originally purchased plenty of white fabric for the elephant background while still taking the collage quilting class. I was obviously trying to hurry the process. Thank goodness I brought an unfinished Lulu for “show and tell” to the prayer quilt ministry I volunteer at on Wednesdays. The ladies stepped up and gently prepared me for an intervention. Yep … I would be making a huge mistake with the white! It was either Noreen or Cathy that suggested yellow and it really works on this quilt!

So what is next? I created a collage pattern and am busy working on a prototype collage quilt. Stay tuned! Future blog post in the making!

Lulu Collage Quilt – part two

In a couple of weeks, Lulu will be hanging out with the longarm lady getting some custom quilting work! But first a little progress report. Lulu, the collage elephant (pattern by Laura Heine), went from having lots of fabric pieces pinned to her … to taking the fused backing paper off all the pieces, and repositioning the pieces back on the quilt. The backs of the pieces are tacky enough to stay put until the final fuse over the entire elephant shape. Next, I cut around the elephant shape. I was now ready to fuse Lulu to my background fabric. But there was a little snag.

I had purchased the background fabric for Lulu at the fabric store where I took the class. Big mistake on my part. I was in a hurry and didn’t really think it through. Lulu was left behind on her board in the workroom and I just wandered around looking for … whatever!

Thank goodness for quilting peeps! I recently dragged Lulu for a little “show and tell” to the Prayer Quilt Ministry at our church. Before fusing Lulu to the background, I wanted to audition her with the background fabric. Right away I could see by the many frowny faces that the white backing I had picked wasn’t doing Lulu justice. Yeah … I had those thoughts but didn’t trust my gut. I went back to the drawing board and found this bright yellow batik! Quilting disaster averted! After some serious ironing of the batik fabric, I positioned Lulu on the backing fabric. I applied the fabric fuse around all the outside edges and pressed with a product called FabricFuse by thermoweb. It is a quick bonding fabric adhesive which dries in four to six hours. I’m certain most quilting shops/craft stores sell something like this product.

I’ve also have chosen a purple batik for the backing and a Kaffe Fassett fabric for the binding! In a couple of weeks, I will post the finished quilt!