Monday, May 30, 2011

Artist Monday–Ann Fahl

Ann Fahl and I met many years ago at a group we both belonged to, PAQA. Over the years we have become friends and on several occasions have been teaching roommates, as we will be this week at the NC Quilt Symposium in Raleigh NC.
Ann and I also share a love of nature, particularly flowers and animals.
Ann Fahl, prize winning quilter of Racine, WI has exhibited her quilts in competitions, solo and invitational shows in the United States, France and Japan. Her work is included in the collections of Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., Neiman Marcus, Quilts Inc., and Ripon College. She also lectures and gives workshops in the US. Her book is titled Coloring with Thread. In 2007 a DVD was published based on the book. Spring 2010 her book on free-motion quilting was released, Dancing with Thread. A Black and White Tale is her newest book about her quilts about the life of Oreo the cat. Many of her quilts and articles can be found in quilting publications worldwide. Ann has a line of patterns based on her original designs. She can be seen on Visit Ann’s gallery online at
One of my favorite quilts by Ann is – George’s GardenGeorgesGardenMedium
Spring Gift
If you ever get a chance to take a workshop with her you will be truly delighted.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts


As we expand our museum and our offerings, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts has implemented new, multi-level membership offerings, effective June 1.   The new levels include:  Individual ($30 annual fee), Family (including one additional adult plus children/grandchildren under age 18, at $50), and Student (with ID, $15).  Four new membership levels allow our most generous supporters to receive additional benefits, including a tax deduction, guest passes, additional gift shop discount, and, for the top two levels, special recognition as exhibit sponsors.  These categories are: Donor ($125), Patron ($250), Benefactor ($500) and Founder ($1,000 and up). 
All Memberships include:
Complimentary admission to all exhibits,
Museum e-Newsletter, "Barn Blast,"
Priority registration on classes and events,
Discount at the Museum Gift Shop on non-consignment items, and
Library access for research and borrowing.
As always, our membership year extends from January 1 through December 31.
Wanted:  Rummage Sale Donations!
Make way for new acquisitions by cleaning out your stash today and donating them to the WMQFA Rummage Sale.  We are particularly looking for craft-related items to re-sell:  fiber arts materials such as fabric and yarn, craft books, wearable art or even finished projects.  Kid craft items are also welcome.
You can drop your donation items at the WMQFA on June 8, 9, 15 or 16, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.  Donations will also be accepted Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The sale itself runs Friday, June 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Please contact Rummage Sale Chairperson, Joanne Prom 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Last days of May specials

May is my birthday month! Since we can't all be together to celebrate my birthday, I am offering you a birthday gift. The trilliums are blooming this month, so with every order over $30 I will include free my Petite Trillums pattern with your order. This is the second pattern I ever created, and it is my VERY favorite of all my patterns. I hope you enjoy it, too.
I have three new patterns on the website - Field Poppies, Sister Trees and Star Lilies. Each is more delicious than the next. Please take a look and try one of these easy fused projects.
Fabrics specials
My fabric specials this month are Earth Brown and The Blues. Earth Brown is a rich chocolatey gradation from dark brown to light brown. The Blues are three different colors of blue in a six step gradation. Brown and Blue are always favorite color combinations. This month they will be $20 each a yard .
New Silk Fabric and 4mm Silk Ribbon
I am excited to announce that I have added two new items to the website. I am now offering 1/2 yards of silk charmeuse fabric 36" x 20" and 4mm silk ribbon in 10 yard lengths. The silk charmeuse is dyed in the same colors that are listed on my fabric page, but the colors are scattered randomly all over the silk. The silk ribbon is dyed in the same gradation manner as the cotton gradation on my fabric page.
I fuse the silk and use it all the time in my fused quilt projects. It is easy to fuse and adds wonderful luminosity to your work. The ribbon is perfect for embellishments and crazy quilting. I have used it in bobbin work as well. I know you will find a fun way to incorporate it into your designs.
New notions
Kretzer Dura-steel perfect grip scissors

My Schedule for the rest of 2011
June 2-4 - NC Quilt Symposium Raleigh, NC
June 8-12 Beach Cities Quilters Guild, Mission Viejo, CA
July 2-5 Sisters Outdoor Quilt show, Sisters OR
August 4-13 family trip
August 16-17 Kalamoze MI
August 22-23 and 27 Prairie Star Quilters, St Charles IL
September 8-10 Quilt Expo - 3 Machine Quilting classes and featured speaker
September 12-13 Calico Cutters, West Chester PA
September 13 Brandywine Valley Quilters - lecture
October 8-10 Springfield Quilt Guild, Springfield IL
November 1-6 IQA Festival of Quilts Houston -booth and teaching
November 17 Pride of the Prairie Quilt Guild- Plainfield IL
Tell a friend
I hope you will take a moment and share my newsletter with one of your quilting friends. As always, I appreciate your business.
Keep creating wonderful work.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I am a big fan of acorns and oak trees. I guess it stems from my childhood and hearing my mom and grandmother talk about the flora and fauna so often when they were together. I especially love oak leaves and it only follows that I would also love acorns. I am amazed at how different they can all be.
While in PA this past week we went to a local art fair. We came across this guy SquirrelyWood from Florida doing beautiful wood working and low and behold he had crafted these acorn boxes out of cherry wood, also one of my favorite’s.
This is my birthday present from my DH -
It is about 4 inches wide and about 8 inches tall to the top of the stem. It is made from burl cherry. I LOVE IT.
Here are just a few of the other acorns I have about me.
I have two cooper ones that are the fobs of my key chain made by my good friend Sandy James.
A little vignette in my living room collected from my little woods. These are white oak leaves and acorns.
An oak door stop I bought in London at the V&A museum last summer. Made from English Oak.
Live oak and red oak leaves and their acorns. The live oak leaves are the ones on the left. A student brought them to me when I taught in Texas two years ago. LOVE THEM.
I also designed a label with an oak leaf and acorn, that C&T has included into a new book “Quilt Label Collective” that will be available soon from their website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Patchwork Asociacion Espanola


Yesterday we celebrated the girls of May birthdays with our annual lunch. In the past it has always been a very delightful day and this celebration was no different. Four of us have BD’s in May, Laura Wasilowski, Anne Lullie, Emily Parson and myself. Really any excuse to come together and eat and drink is good. Those in attendance who do not have May birthdays but are willing to celebrate were; Judy Coates Perez, Jane Sassaman, Barb Vlack, Ann Fahl and Trish Williams. Fun was had by all. I was having too much fun and didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure there are lots of pictures on the others blogs.

We laughed we eat we talked a lot. It was great.

My birthday present from Laura was a really wonderful surprise. Laura recently taught over in Spain. She returned with two great gifts for me, and I’m sure other stuff too. First was the magazine Patchwork Asociacion Espanola. I was a featured artist with a two page spread inside and my quilt “Woodland Treasures” featured on the back cover.



The second big surprise was my book “Fabric to Dye For” translated into Spanish.

What a trip that is to see your work in a foreign language.


Thanks for these fun birthday gifts. But the best gift of all was going to PA and being with my son and his wife as they baptized our precious new grandson Micah. Being a grandparent is the one of the biggest joys I have ever experienced.


The gown Micah is wearing is one that I made 26 years ago for our youngest son for his baptism. I made it with the thought in mind that it would become a family tradition. Megan was kind enough to ask if he could wear it, so my wish is coming true. It is smocked and has tatted lace on it that I made. It has a bonnet and booties but the bonnet was too big and the booties lasted all of a minute on his little feet. What a treasure it all is.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Design Wall Friday

My good friend Wendy Butlter Berns has sent along a few shots of what is new on her design wall.
Hi there,
here are a few small pieces I have been playing with.... still on the design wall.... !!

Poppy Pizzazz II and III are studies in playing with bolder fabric using my Poppy Pizzazz pattern.  I enjoy playing with commercial fabrics and both these pieces take the appliqued poppy and add it to a whole cloth background that is a fun large scale print.  Playing and experimenting is always so much fun to do!!!
Wendy Butler Berns

Wendy Butler Berns
textile artist, teacher, lecturer
Lake Mills, WI  53551
(920) 648-7576
Look for my workshops and gallery-
Vidcast of "Out on a Limb Exhibition"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jack in the Pulpit


The Jack in the Pulpits are up and “blooming” in the woods. I love looking for them each season and it always seems like a game to me to find them. They are my current favorite wildflower. Here are a few pictures.

But what really excites me are the ones blooming in my garden. Several years ago I brought home a seed pod and scattered the seeds in an area where I thought they would thrive. I was ecstatic last year when they came up. But none of them made a jack. This year I have nine plants and one with a Jack. Yea!!

Here they are.

IMG_1016 IMG_1021

Woodland Jacks

My back yard Jacks


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sandy James


Artist Monday is a day late.

I wanted you to meet my friend Sandy James.

Sandy is the artist who made the copper windows for my little fiber woodland house.

She is an amazing naturalist and jewelry maker. I have so many of her pieces of jewelry that I could probably open my own store.

Here is a link to her website. I hope you enjoy viewing her work.

hemlock and bunchberry brooch

These are from the cinnamon fern, native to Illinois and my new favorite earrings.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Design Wall Friday


I wanted to share a photo of my design wall that I took a few days ago.  There are two pieces on it that I didn't do.  The zebra was thread painted by a friend in Australia for an exchange, and I was the one lucky enough to receive it!  The other is the fall leaves with a wire snail, done by another friend for a different exchange.  The green and gold quilt is an original quilt that I did for a challenge/contest by my guild.  It was the first time I've ever entered a quilt in a contest, and it won first place!  I have finished and unfinished things hanging on the design wall.  I just haven't hung the finished pieces up yet.  There is one small quilt that I just started yesterday afternoon and is not able to be hung up there yet.  When it does, I'll clear a spot and send another photo.



Thanks for sharing Mary,  I hope more of you out there will send me pictures to share, along with a little story.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Small quilts for sale

Did you get a present for Mother's Day? Would you like to treat yourself to something special? Here is your opportunity to add beauty to your life.
Blowing in the Wind
Fused quilt made with my hand dyed fabric
 mounted on Peltex 14" x 12"

Monday, May 9, 2011

Artist Monday–Happy Mother’s Day


Mondays on my blog is a day to feature artist. I want to learn about artist myself and to share what I know and learn with others.

Today as a tribute to Mother’s Day, I am honoring my mother. Without the kind encouragement and dedication of my mother I would not be the artist that I am today.

My mother is not an artist per say but she does love to arrange flowers and she loves gardening.

Growing up we moved often. I attended five different grade schools. As a way to keep me busy and happy my mom always had me in some sort of art class. I am totally amused by the current interest in surface design and techniques. As a kid I was trying out all kinds of different arts and crafts and constantly figuring out new forms of creativity.

Thanks mom for giving me this life long gift of curiosity.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Design Wall Friday

I am so excited that Penny sent me a picture of her design wall.
Hi Frieda,
Here's my design wall earlier this week--looking at a couple of pieces I'd dyed to incorporate into a quilt back. 
I'm so grateful for our conversation on dyeing in the basement even if it wasn't 70 degrees!  You were right--it works just fine.  Perhaps things would be a little darker if the temperature were higher, but no reason to wait until summer to dye. . .
All best,
Penny from Galesburg

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Artist Village


Kathy York had a great idea for an entry into Tactile Architecture. So she contacted some of her friends to help out.The idea was to create an artist village with three dimensional stitched houses. A group of us put on our thimbles and started stitching away.


Mine is the little one under the tree to the left.

I call my little house “Woodland Cottage”. It seemed like a natural to me.

I don’t really have any process pictures, but here is my finished house. It is about 12” tall and about 8” wide. I used my hand dyed fabric, the stuff I call “wicked” fabric for the base of the house.

Woodland house

I love the trilliums that bloom in the spring in my little woods and decided to add them around the bottom of my woodland cottage.

I fused the “wicked” fabric and wrapped the fused fabric on top of the shape of the house cut out from TimTex. This was all fused to the TimTex. The Trilliums circle the whole house.

I fuse appliqued them to the fabric and then machine quilted them through the fabric and TimTex in 30 weight rayon thread.


Once I had all the Trilliums quilted, I quilted the base of the house also in #30 rayon in a pattern I call “tree bark”. It reminds me of the way tree bark looks on.

We had to make our houses so that they could be shipped flat, so the roof and the chimney all come off the house and can lay down flat.

The house, the roof, and the chimney are attached with velcro.


The roof tiles are two fabrics fused together.

I cut out white oak leaves from the two fused fabrics that then form an overlapping design on top of “wicked” fabrics fused to the timtex for the roof.

I machine quilted down the center of each layer of leaves with #30 rayon thread right through all the layers of fabric and TimTex


And while it is hard to tell the leaves gradate from dark to light. I used my gradation Forest Floor as the top fabric for the leaf tiles.

I have a good friend who makes jewelry,her business is called Of Nature and each item that "Of Nature" completes consists of an actual piece of nature covered in copper. I had her use this process to cover the doors and windows that I made out of leaves, twigs and acorns. I think they look FABULOUS!


I had a bit of a dilemma when it came to attaching the windows and doors, but I eventually drilled holes in them and sewed them to the house.


You can view the rest of the village by following along the time line on the schedule below. I hope you have enjoyed this peek into my process of creating “Woodland Cottage”.

Susan Else (website) May 2

Frances Holliday Alford May 3

Pamela Allen (website) May 4

Frieda Anderson May 5

Lisa Call May 6

Jane Davila May 9

Naomi Adams May 10

Jamie Fingal May 11

Barb Forrister May 12

Vickie Hallmark May 13

Connie Hudson May 16

Leslie Jenison May 17

Sherri McCauley May 18

Judy Perez May 19

Melanie Testa May 20

Laura Wasilowski May 23

Kathy York May 24

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And the winner is...

So I decided to go to to help me pick a comment number. I entered 1-100, because I had 100 comments, and 65 came up as the winner.
Maggie Szanfranski was the 65th commenter. Congratulations Maggie. I know you will enjoy this book. Please email me privately at and send me your address.
Thanks to everyone else who participated. If you go to Laura's website and check out the next blogger on the blog tour you still might have a chance to win a copy of Laura's fun book :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fanciful Stitches Colorful Quilts

My good friend Laura Wasilowski has written the most charming and fanciful new book. It contains 11 fused projects for you to make and fanciful stitching for you to create on top of these small whimsical house quilts.
This is my interview with Laura in our booth in Paducah, April 2011.
If you leave a comment today, here on my blog, you will have a chance to receive a free copy of this book.
Interview with Laura Wasilowski about her new book Fanciful Stitches Colorful Quilts

Artist Monday

More of my favorites at Paducah.
While I make contemporaty quilts, I love traditional patterns and settings.

My favorite color combinations, lime and pink.

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