Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicago School of Fusing PatternWorks Houston 2011


Living the life of a traveling sales man. Laura and I are having a fun time here in Houston at the international Quilt Market. Quilt Market is the wholeside of the quilting industry. We have our booth all set up and are seeing so many people. This is really all about networking in the community.

Wednesday International Quilt Festival begins and we will see even more people. It is all very exciting.

I hope you stop by if you here and if not maybe these pictures will inspire you to come to the show next year.


Setting up the booth on Friday.


All set up and ready for business. My side



Laura’s side.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crazy Quilters

I am dying silk/rayon velvet. This stuff is incredible. I think that every crazy quilter is going to want some of this. I will only have these delicious fabrics at the shows that I vend at, since each piece is individually dyed they are all one of a kind and just too hard to picture on the website.

So if you know some crazy quilters, and yes I know we are all crazy quilters, but you know the ones who like to make “Crazy Quilts”, please send them to our booth at  Houston Quilt Festival -#1015. We will have lots of gorgeous silks, velvets and silk ribbon all hand dyed in scrumptious yummy colors. Absolutely to dye for.
George in a pile of cut soft white silk/rayon velvet. A dog never had it so good.
White textured jaguar silk waiting to be dyed.
Dyed Velvet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Houston booth #1015


It’s that time of year, off to Houston for the quilt show and market. Laura and I will be doing Market first, selling to all the shops and seeing so many friends. If you have a shop in your area and would like to see them carry our patterns you could plant a little bee in their bonnets. We will be in booth 1015.

If you are coming to the quilt show in Houston we will be in the same booth as Market #1015 be sure to drop in and say hello. We are always looking for someone to talk to. See you there.

This little video is from Festival several years ago. I hope I don’t look to much older.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Fermilab Art Quilts Exhibit–Artist Monday

I am part of the SAQAIL/WI group that has put on an exhibit that will run at the famous Fermilab in Batavia IL. If you live in the area this is a wonderful opportunity to visit the facility and then see some great art pieces. That’s my piece in the lower bottom right – Shimmering Foliage. I hope you can make the artist reception on November 18 from 5-7. I have to work and will miss the chance to drink wine and eat cheese with all of you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin hat

Being the good grandma that I am I had to make my gorgeously round headed baby grandson a pumpkin hat for the season. Here he is wearing it for a minute. That is his dog Wrigley, a cutie pututie french bulldog getting in the act on the back of the chair.

I got the directions off of Ravelry's website and the author said the following, "finish hat place on baby head, watch as baby yank's it off"
How true she was.
But this weekend the family went to Roba's Pumpkin patch and I guess it was cold enough to keep it on his little pumpkin head.

How cute are these guys!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, I love to decorate for the holidays, any holiday. So it was great fun to design and make these Christmas treats.
The tree skirt and fire-screen are featured in this year’s Quilting Arts Gift issue now on news stands. The patterns and directions are included in the magazine. This tree skirt is something that you will use and treasure for years. Even though it is fused I designed it to stand up to the wear and tear of many presents under the tree for future generations.
Holiday Christmas tree skirt, fire screen and Holiday Moments patterns.
If you are interested in the Holiday moments patterns please visit my website and order up one. You have plenty of time to make one or more before Christmas.
If you are going to be in Houston be sure and stop by the our booth #1015 and check these out in person.
Isn't George adorable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


We all experience rejection in one form or another in our lives. How we deal with rejection is the real issue.
Recently I have been rejected from several exhibits and while this hurts I remind myself of some of the following quotes from people who have dealt with this feeling of not being wanted or liked or really just appreciated. What is that feeling - disappointment, sadness, hurt, what it is I can’t define exactly.

Along with rejection are the comments one receives on their quilts when they are entered in shows. One of the first lessons I learned from my dear friend Melody Johnson was to NEVER read those comment cards that the judges write when you receive a quilt back from a show. You must always remember that judging is arbitrary and everyone brings their own feelings, aesthetics and values to the judging. If you liked the piece go forward from there.
1. I think that all great innovations are built on Louis Ferdinand Celine French writer
2. I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going rather than a retreat. Actor Sylvester Stallone
3. I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection. Billy Joel musician.
4. I submit all my plays to the National Theatre for rejection. To assure myself I am seeing clearly. Howard Barker playwright
5. A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.
6. Don't let anyone, or any rejection, keep you from what you want. 
Einstein, Elvis, Lincoln, Edison, J.K. Rowling all failed or were rejected many things before they succeeded.
I feel like I am in really good company when it comes to being rejected and I am proud to be a club member.
Just some of my work that has been rejected one place and gone on to win awards in other venues are…
Spring’s Greeting
Shimmering Foliage
Tall Trees
Woodland Secrets
To name just a few. Thanks for listening. Tell me how you deal with rejection. I think Ice Cream is good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yellow Dandelions


I am once again offering one of my small art quilts on EBAY. You can view the listing here for Yellow Dandelions.


I hope you will think about treating yourself this month and find a new home for “Yellow Dandelions”, or this would make a great gift for that special someone for Christmas.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Illinois - Land of Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Logo
Recently I had a day to myself. That doesn’t happen very often, usually I find work to do that creeps into my day, but this past Sunday I found myself in Springfield IL with out a care in the world. I decided to fill the day with culture and adventure.
The weather here in the Midwest has been absolutely gorgeous and driving to the Museum in downtown Springfield was a real delight with the windows on my car down and the sun shining and the leaves lazily drifting down around me. This all set the mood for the day.
When the new state of the art Abraham  Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum was debuted I immediately wanted to go there and see the exhibits. I got my chance this past Sunday. In the Plaza you are greeted by a life size and realistic Lincoln Family. Perfect for taking your picture with the 16th president and his family.

I arrived early and had the place almost to myself for the first hour. There are two wonderfully imaginative and entertaining film presentations. The first film Ghosts of the Library, presented by AT&T has a live actor with superimposed film work behind him that tells us a bit about the achieves in the exhibits as well as explains what a presidential library is.
The second film is in The Union Theater, presented by Exelon - Lincoln's Eyes a full theatrical special effects spectacular giving a broad overview of Lincoln's life. "Lincoln's Eyes" focuses on the personal and political dramas and key issues of Lincoln's presidency, especially slavery. The story is told by an artist, who explains that while he was painting Lincoln’s portrait, struggled to understand all the things he saw in Lincoln's eyes: sorrow, resolve, hope, vision, forgiveness, and more. As he explains, he tells us a bit about Lincoln's life.
This production has interactive sound and motion so that during the parts about the war the theater actually shakes. Very exciting
The are life size exhibits of the early years, a log cabin inhabited by the Lincoln family when Abe was young.
Lincoln’s life as a young man.
An exhibit of his law office with Lincoln working and his sons playing.
His courtship of Mary and then the run for office.
The White House years.
What Are They Wearing in Washington?
I particularly enjoyed this exhibit which included dresses from the period.
There is also an interactive map in the area of the War years that shows you in 4 minutes the history of the war. Each second represents a week as it shows the shifting boundaries of the war with flashes that appear on the map in chronological order as each battle happens, as well as a tally at the bottom of the map of the dead.  This was truly a moving exhibit with music playing in the background.
The final exhibit was a bit creepy but very interesting it showed the assassination, with a replica of the Ford Theater, the room where he died, the journey of the funeral train and a replica of the coffin lying in state at the state capital.
It is a fabulous place to visit.
After going there I wandered around downtown and then headed over to the Dana-Thomas house. This is an exquisite Frank Lloyd Wright house built in 1904. Unfortunately it is under renovation and I was unable to tour the inside. But I walked around it for a long time enjoying the stain glass windows and exterior of the home.
Dana-Thomas HouseCourtyard
Sumac Window
Finally I found a store called Steels that sells among other things Illini gear. I have two U of I graduates and a grand baby that need U of I shirts.
It was a thoroughly wonderful fall day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using Decorative Stitches in your work.

I just received my newsletter from Daphne Greig and she had this very interesting tip about using decorative stitches. She said it was ok if I shared this. I hope you enjoy it.

I have used decorative stitches to quilt the fields in several of my new landscape quilts and I think her tips are right on. You can also see examples of it in my new book ART Quilts Fusible COLLAGE.
Appliqué Stitching Techniques - Decorative Stitching Options
Many of us have sewing machines with lots of built-in decorative stitches. Do you use them? They are often a selling feature when we buy our machines but we do not think of using them with our normal sewing and quilting. Many of the stitches are very effective as appliqué stitches.   
Your machine has small drawings of each of the built-in decorative stitches, either on the machine itself, or on a separate plastic card. I think of these as an 'artist's rendition'. When the stitches are sewn they may appear a bit different from the diagrams. I recommend you sew every decorative stitch so you will know eactly what it looks like. Use a wide foot since the needle moves from side to side for most stitches.
Yes, this may seem to be a daunting task!  My machine has over 180 built-in stitches! It takes time to try them all and to change the width and length of each one to see more variations. It can also be boring to do this all in one sitting.
So, why not spend a few minutes before each sewing session to stitch 2 or 3 of the stitches. Set up a strip of muslin, put some stabilizer underneath. The stabilizer will prevent puckering of the stitches. Write the stitch number and width and length beside each row of stitching. If you change the width and length be sure to write down those changes too. Keep using the same piece of muslin so all your stitches will be in one place. This is an excellent reference for future projects where decorative stitches can be used.
Decorative Stitchouts

If you want to use one of your decorative stitches for appliqué you need to be familiar with the pattern of stitching, By this I mean, does the needle stitch one stitch forward and then one to the left and then one to the right? Or does it stitch forward, right and then left? You need to know exactly where the needle will stitch so you can anticipate pivot points for curves and corners. Before trying a decorative stitch on your project, set up a small sample and test the stitching. This gives you the opportunity to understand exactly how the stitch is made, and you can make adjustments in width, length and tension.
Another consideration is the colour and type of thread to use with these stitches. Select a contrasting colour so the stitching is visible. Variegated threads work well on some stitches but often not those that go backarwards and then forward. Thick threads can build up too much for some stitches. Test the stitch and the thread before working on your project. 

Decorative Stitch Applique
Some decorative stitches that do not work well for appliqué can add a unique touch to your quilts. I used a variety of stitches on top of the fused applique shapes for my Chutes & Ladders quilt in my book,Give & Take Fabric Appliqué.  I tested many stitches on fused fabric samples before I selected the stitches for my project.
Chutes & Ladders Stitching
Learn more about Give & Take Fabric Appliqué in my book:  Order your autographed copy here.
Daphne Greig is a designer, author, teacher and fibre artist. Her bi-monthly e-zine offers tips and inspiration for quilters and fibre artists. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall table runner–Three Pumpkins

I love to decorate for all the holidays and this project will take no time at all to transform your fall table into something special to last for years.
Turn my Three Pumpkins pattern into a table runner!

I have a fabric kit special to go along with this project.

The special kit includes an extra yard of hand dyed fabric for the Three Pumpkins design to sit on to make it into the table runner, with the added bonus of an additional 1/4 yard of fabric dyed to match the background behind the Three Pumpkins to make the fused binding. This would be an easy, fun and beautiful addition to your fall family holiday table.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Falling Leaves


While walking in the woods today with George, I was standing and waiting for him to come down the path, as I stood there little leaves were falling around drifting down towards the earth through the filtering sunlight. It seemed like I was in a magical land removed from all worries and cares. I felt one with the earth and at peace. I love walking in the woods with George.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Storms coming


This is what I did last week. I worked on two small quilts.I was suppose to be getting ready to teach. This was more fun.

I used my newest fabric gradations, Winter Sky a gradation from black to grey and Prairie Winter a gradation from rust to blue to make this 14" x 16" quilt called Storms coming $125. If you are interested in purchasing it or the following little quilt email me frieda@friestyle.comor go to the Small quilts page on my website.

Then I dipped into my fused scrap drawer and made this wonderful little quilt "CatTails IIII" this one measures 4" x 6" and is trimmed in silk. The sky is a scrap of my fabric gradation pink sunrise, and the cat tails are made from scraps of  Limey Avocado.$75.

Both of these quilts where inspired by my daily walks with George. We have been walking around a small lake near the house with fantastic expansive views.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bead it Like you Mean it

My friend Lyric Kinard has just published a very enjoyable and educational new video called,
“Bead it like you Mean it”
I just finished watching the whole thing and was truly captivated. Lyric is light hearted and charming in this video just like she is in person and it made it very enjoyable to watch her teach us the basics about beading. She shows us how to make knots and how important it is to make lots of knots. But also how to not make any knots on the back of an all ready finished quilt!! This is a GREAT tip. I have beaded a little bit here and there, nothing serious mind you, but with Lyric’s video I was actually thinking about how and where I could add some beads to my next art piece.

Lyric gives very clear and easy to follow directions along with the video close ups for even the beginner beader. She tells us what the beads are called, what needles to use and what threads are best. She shows us some great ideas of how to use each exercise she illustrates. I am thinking about adding big chucky beads on something just to be able to make the cage she shows in the video. Love this idea. I also loved the stacked beads and will use this in my next flower quilt.

I think this is a must have video for your library. I will be giving away one free copy of this fabulous DVD. Send me your comments and I will pick a number on random numbers to select the winner. Good luck!!! and happy beading.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flooded with Color

Join us in Cedarburg WI and learn how to make all this fabric  for yourself. We WILL have fun and you will want to join us to make 24 fat quarters of color wheel colors and lots of  other colors too. Email Johanna Fritz to sign up. This is going to be a good time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sharon Taffet - Artist Monday

When I was recently in the Philadelphia airport I found this display on the way to my gate. Sharon Taffet has made art from her shoes. Enjoy these fanciful footwear.

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