Quilting workshop in Iceland with Gudrun Erla and Icelandic quilters

“Katie” quilt pattern

Gudrun teaching the quilting workshop

Mary and I with our quilting buddies, Carolyn and Barb, took a bus tour of Iceland with quilter Gudrun Erla as our tour guide.  Gudrun was born in Iceland so she was a great tour guide.  As part of our tour we stopped at a textile museum and gallery and a wool shop.  On our last day in Reykjavik, Gudrun gave a quilting workshop with about 28 women on our tour and 14 Icelandic quilters.  The Icelandic quilters brought their sewing machines and supplies to the class so that we could work together to make 2 different quilt blocks.  We used 2 of Gudrun’s patterns to make

“Kira” quilt pattern

the blocks: Kira quilt pattern and Katie quilt pattern.  Check out Gudrun’s website for more quilt patterns, books, and tools – GE Designs (www.gequiltdesigns.com).   After the class, we had a show n tell with quilts made by our new Icelandic quilter friends and the American quilters on our trip.  I brought a small table runner for show n tell (one of Gudrun’s patterns – Peek a Boo).

Icelandic quilter shares her quilt

It was fun to hear the stories behind the quilts.  Fabric is very expensive in Iceland and there are very few places to buy fabric so they have to order through the internet.

Icelandic quilter (Anna) shares her quilt

Gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies (Anna and Steinunn)

The American quilters on our bus tour bought gifts of fabric to give the Icelandic quilters who we were paired with during the workshop. We received handmade gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies.

Icelandic quilter (Steinunn) shares her quilt

At the end of the class we had a dinner with the Icelandic quilters.  Now we have some new quilting friends on Facebook.  We had a wonderful day meeting new friends and quilting together. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna


Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

I entered 2 of my quilts in the wall hanging competition.  I was excited that both quilts were accepted.  All About Birds was a collage quilt  which was lots of fun to make the individual blocks and then put them together.  Grandpa’s Garden was an original design with purple flowers on a trellis. I also took 2 classes at the show.  I took a half day class with Bobbie Bergquist using Tsukineko inks.  We played with the inks on small pieces of fabric – marbling using shaving cream, using stencils, and using aloe to paint with the inks.  The instructor gave us a CD with 20 ways to use Tsukineko inks and pens.  I am looking forward to trying some of those other techniques.  I also took a class with Mary using Dye-Na-Flow paints.  Ashley Nichols was a great instructor – very organized and a great hand out.  We didn’t have to use prepared for dye fabrics.  We used an iron to heat set the paint designs.  I look forward to paying with these techniques more in the future.  I really had fun using black thread to do free motion quilting designs.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Back from Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival – Workshops

We had a GREAT time at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.   Donna and I took in the show, spent way too much money at the vendor booths and we both took two workshops.

I first took a 1/2 day workshop with Joyce Teng on Fabric Inking 101.


Tsukineko inks


We used Tsukineko inks played with various methods of applying them on fabric.   This included using dabbers, brushes, spray bottles and TSC stencils.


Here is the stenciled tree that I did with the inks.

I was a fun class but it was only 1/2 day and we all wanted more time.


I then took and All day workshop with Ashley Nickels: Watercolor Quilting: Colorful Explorations in Free motion Quilting.   Ashley Nickels is Sue Nickels daughter (some of you may know her work).

dye-na-flow-inksIn Ashley’s class we spent the morning painting on fabric squares with Dye-na-Flow fabric paint to make watercolor like images.

It was a blast!


My painted pieces.   Two of them in this pic have been thread sketched (free motion) with black thread.

After lunch we got out our machines and used black thread to free motion sketch our painted image.


My free form painted flower after it was thread sketched with black ink.


Close-up of my flower.

I’ve always loved watercolors and thread sketching.  This technique gave me both.

It was a GREAT class and we’ll definitely do more fabric painting.

Happy Stitchin’


Back from Quilt Guild Retreat – part 2

imageOne of the things that we do at retreat is to ask everyone (if they like) to make one 12 1/2″ block and the last night we raffle them on.

We sting them up in the main meeting room and they always look great!

This year we did B&W blocks and got 40 blocks so we had 4 raffle drawing and the winners each got 10 blocks.

No…. neither of us won.   Maybe next year.



One of the ladies in our group makes beautiful fabric collaged cards and did a little workshop on how to make them.    Here is the one that I made.






I don’t like to take projects to retreat that make me concentrate.  Too many people to visit with.  So I brought a charity quilt project.   A lasagna quilt.   You’ve all seen them.   Here it is (before I cut it up.lasanga1



Donna’s layout

Now, if I had left it that way and added borders, I’d be done.   But I got to thinking about Ricky Tims and how he cuts up things and then puts them back together.   Why not try it with a lasagna quilt?   One of my friend said YES and with that encouragement I cut it up.     First I separated it into two square pieces and then I cut it on the diagonal from corner to corner.   A few of us took the pieces to the design wall and played with it.   Nothing looked good, until Donna walked over and arranged them.   lasanga2

I sewed them back together and now I have 2 quilts (that both need borders).    What do you think?

I don’t think that I’d do it again as it took too much time and I could’ve  finished it if I’d left it as your basic lasagna quilt.  Oh well, it was fun experiementing.   Ya don’t know until you try something new.


Another project was to do a paper pieced block for our guild’s 2018 raffles quilt.   This was my contribution to the quilt.image


The “Big Block” 36″ x 36″



Lastly, worked on a Big block for my southwest Modern Sampler quilt.

It’s a 36″ x 36″ block.   I’ll do a separate post on that whole quilt.  Here is just one Big block from the quilt.   It combines lots of different block sizes and this is the biggest one in the quilt.

Happy Stitchin’




Quilting Retreat with Friends

We just got back from a quilting retreat at Carolina Charm in Tabor City, NC.   We went with 2 other quilting friends (Barb and Carolyn) and had a wonderful time.   We call our little group “The Galway Girls” ever since we traveled to Ireland together. The workspace was excellent and the historic home was lovely.   Unfortunately, we’ll both have to go back on our diets now, after gaining 4 lbs.

After 2 1/2 days of quilting, here are some pics of our projects.


Mary was working on her Southwest inspired quilt (one of many UFOs).    She was expanding 12″ blocks to 18″ blocks (under the direction of the group).


Just a few of the works on Donna’s design wall.


Carolyn finished a dinosaur baby quilt top.   She also cranked out 100 nine-patches for another quilt.  Yes…. 100 nine-patches.



Barb did a lots of strip blocks (like the one on the left), finished 100+ sets of segments for her Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt and finished one complete block of the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt (right).


Donna, Mary and Carolyn worked on their celtic zodiac blocks (in honor of our Ireland trip). Barb’s fabric for this project was unfortunately left at home. Donna got these patterns from a quilting magazine that she bought while we were in Ireland.


Mary’s design wall also included a small coffee cup wall hanging (appliqué). 


Donna’s design wall included these appliquéd mittens with a jittery free motion technique  (that she learned from Barb).  It gives a blurred edge effect.


Donna also finished this rainbow star and a bunch of red-white-blue strip blocks that she will eventually use in a Quilt of Valor.













Someone from the Whiteville, NC press also interviewed/photographed us for an articles she was doing on the Quilt Retreat facility.   We tried to put our best stitch forward.

Quilting with friends is always fun (full of laughs) and we are fortunate to have such talented ladies as quilting friends.

Thank you Joanne and Frank (and Linda) for hosting us.

Mary & Donna


Pretty Little Planet – Sew Beachy

At the 2016 Mid-Atlantic quilt show, Donna and I both took a class from Laura Wasilowski called Pretty Little Planets.     Donna’s piece has already been posted and you can find it here.

We all used Laura’s beautiful hand dyed fabric and we “free cut” our little masterpieces.   Every one is the class was entirely different.   Since we live at the coast, I decided to do a beachy themed one that I’ve now titled “Sew Beachy”.  The techniques used were fusible machine appliqué with hand stitched embellishments and free motion quilting.  Decorative rotary cutters and pinking sheers we also used.

Small Planet

“Sew Beachy”

If you ever get a change to take one of Laura’s classes…… DO!   She is a great teacher and she had us laughing most of the time.  What a blast!   Oh…  and I am now an official graduate of the Chicago School of Fusing!

Happy Stitch’n,


Ps… another UFO off my list!   I’m rocking and rolling now.

Happy Villages – Mary’s village

Donna and I both took a class from Karen Eckmeier on making her “Happy Villages” wall hanging.   You saw Donna’s adorable village in her August 23 post.

I saw an example of one of Karen’s village that was done in all red/white/black fabrics.    Well, my favorite color is turquoise so I decided that I’d do a turquoise/white/grey/black little village.

Little Village-2In class we all started with the same shapes and covered our batting with them.   Then roofs and steps were added.

Doesn’t look like much but then I added doors and windows.   It was starting to take shape but I felt like it really needed another pop of color so I decided to add some lime green.

Little Village-4



Black tulle was used to cover the village and then I free motion quilted it with black thread (trying to give it that sketched look).

I trimmed it on point and added some lime green piping and black triangles.   I finished it off with a pop of color on the binding.

Little Village-3

It’s a very different village from Donna’s Italian village, but I think it is kinda sweet.

Finished size is 15″ x 15″ and another UFO is now complete!

Happy Stitchin’,