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Sizzix blog hop!

I’m so excited to be a part of the Sizzix Spring Fling blog hop!  I’ve been a Sizzix machine user for quite a few years now,I started out with a Big Shot machine and I also have the larger Big Shot Pro Machine.  I used the Big Shot machine for this project that I’m going to share with you today:

finished22This 12″x 12″quilt is mounted on a 2″deep purchased stretch canvas.

Here’s the step by step directions how I made it:

First I started out by cutting a piece of blue background fabric 17″x 17″and I fused a layer of Mistyfuse fusible web to the wrong side. I cut a piece of wool felt (national non wovens wool felt 65/35 wool rayon blend) and fused it to the center of the wrong side of the blue fabric:

hop11Then I turned the piece over and used a chalk marker to mark of the 12″square:

hop12I quilted the background using a wavy line:

hop13Then I cut some wonky vase shapes out of fabric that I had put a layer of Mistyfuse on the back of and fused them in place within that 12″square that I marked on the blue background and quilted the vases using the shape of the vases to guide my stitching line:


I outlined the vase shapes using strips of black fabric that I fused a layer of Mistyfuse to the back of:

hop17I set the quilt aside and cut some flower shapes using my Big Shot and the Sizzix Flower Layers #5 die:

hop15I stacked them up to create a dimensional flower and set them aside while I made the leaves

hop16To make the leaves,I used Sizzix die Leaves #2.  I wanted my leaves to have a black outline so I put a piece of black fabric with fused with Mistyfuse on the back on the die and ran it through my Big Shot machine.  I discarded the black leaves and used the outlines instead.  I fused the black outlines to a piece of green fabric and then cut out the leaf shapes leaving a thin black border around the shape:

hop18I made some stems and then fused the stems and the leaves in place on the quilt:


I used the Tim Holtz Alterations Word Play die to cut out the letters for the word bloom and then fused them in place on the quilt.  I didn’t sew the flowers in place just yet.

Before sewing the flowers in place I fused the quilt to the stretched canvas.  I turned the quilt over and fused a layer of Mistyfuse to the back side and then placed the canvas in the center of the quilt over the layer of wool felt.

hop111I had just enough room to get my iron in the space to give it a little bit of a press to hold the quilt in place before I flipped it over and pressed it well from the front.


hop112I just pressed the top of the quilt to the canvas,I haven’t done the sides yet

I flipped the canvas back over and then turned up two opposite sides and fused them in place:

hop114Then I neatly folded and turned up the other two sides and fused them in place:

hop116Once that was done I used a hot glue gun to fuse a layer of grograin ribbon over the raw edges of the fabric.  This creates a nice neat finish:

hop118Then I used some embroidery floss and stitched the flowers in place on the quilt:

hop120you might find it helpful to use an awl to prepunch the holes through the layers of flowers and the quilt and canvas.

The finished quilt:


Visit the other artists participating in the Sizzix spring fling hop for some other project ideas.  Here’s the complete hop lineup:
Mon,April 6 –Jamie Fingal
Tues,April 7 –Nicole Daksiewicz
Wed,April 8 –Leslie Tucker Jenison
Thurs,April 9 –Cindy Cooksey
Fri,April 10 –Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Sat,April 11 –Sue Bleiweiss
Sun,April 12 –Jessee Maloney
Mon,April 13 -Karin Jordan

make your own silkscreens with this new kit!

I’ve posted about using the Jacquard drawing fluid and screen filler to make hand drawn silk screens on my facebook feed but I’m not sure that I’ve ever talked about it here on my blog.


This is one of my favorite products from Jacquard to work with!  In fact I wrote an article on working with it in the February/March issue of Quilting Arts and Interweave has put together a special How to Make a Silkscreen Collection kit with these terrific products!

S0586How to Make a Silkscreen Collection

You won’t want to miss out on this  awesome collection! The kit includes:

a 10”x14” Speedball monofilament printing screen

4 oz. of Jacquard drawing fluid

16 oz of Jacquard Printing Filler &Block Out

The silkscreen-making instructions from Quilting Arts magazine February/March 2015

meet Sandy…

Ever since I created the Donald the Dotted Dragon quilt I’ve been wanting to do another large creature quilt.   I drew out two quilts,a sea serpent and a sea horse and I decided to create the seahorse one first.  Meet Sandy the spotted sea serpent…

seahorse1Sandy the Spotted Sea Serpent  31″x 43″

Hand dyed cotton,machine quilted,raw edge fusible applique using Mistyfuse



Tutti Frutti Tropical Getaway

As you are no doubt already aware,we have had a lot of snow this winter here in New England coupled with some seriously bone chilling cold weather.  All this snow and cold has me dreaming of warm sunny days…

tropicalwborder“tutti frutti tropical getaway”

40″x 40″hand dyed cotton,machine quilted

and a couple of close ups:



modern art quilting?

QuiltCon was last week and so naturally there was a lot of buzz around the internet about Modern Quilting and you can see images of the winning quilts here.   I haven’t paid much attention to the modern quilt movement but this year for some reason I stopped and looked a little closer at the winning quilts and then visited the Modern Quilt Guild website to find out more about what makes a modern quilt “modern”.

According to the website the things that make a quilt fall into the category of modern are those that exhibit the use of a combination of some of these characteristics:

  • White background
  • Bold colors
  • High contrast
  • Graphic areas of solid colors
  • Improvisational piecing
  • Minimalism
  • Expansive negative space
  • Alternate grid work

Now while I am drawn to the esthetic of the style of a lot of the modern quilts I am not a fan of piecing.  I just don’t have the patience for it.  But the rest of the characteristics that make up the style of modern quilting definitely appeal to me so I decided to take a departure from my signature style of working and create an art quilt using some of the modern quilting characteristics…

newwork115“the house”12″x 16″fused,machine quilted

I kept the shapes simple,the color palette bold and bright (this piece was done with Cherrywood fabrics by the way) and used a white background.


I kept the quilting simple,using straight lines and the shapes of the images to guide the quilting lines.

Not sure what’s next for me with this departure from my signature style.  I am not abandoning my current way of working because I enjoy it too much and I have a lot of quilts that I still want to make using my signature “coloring book”style but it was fun to take a break from it and explore a new way of working.




Autumn is for the birds blog hop!

I am thrilled to be a part of the blog hop and giveaway to celebrate Jamie Fingal’s new “Autumn is for Birds “fabric line by Hoffman Fabrics!


I love the bright saturated colors in this new line and I’m a huge fan of the bird and leaf motifs.  I had no trouble at all deciding what to create with these fabrics.  The first thing that came to mind when I was handling them was being in the garden in the spring so I made myself a new garden tote:


But since the several feet of snow in the backyard means that it will be a good long while before I’m able to use this tote I decided I wanted to make something I could use now to brighten up these long cold days of winter and a table runner seemed like the perfect way to do just that:runner7

I cut the two outer blocks from the bluebird fabric and for the center block I cut the bird and leaf imagery from the leaf fabric that I prefused with Mistyfuse and fused them in place on top of a square cut from one of the background fabrics.  The border is cut from the Autumn fabric. Then to quilt it I used black thread to outline the house,bird journal,the banners and the branch imagery as well as the centers of all the leaves.  I love the way it turned out and it’s a wonderful pop of color on my dining room table.

But I couldn’t stop there!  I wanted to make something for my studio too so I made a bird house to hang in the corner of my studio…


where I can see it everyday and be reminded that spring will eventually return to New England!

Thanks so much for popping by my blog to see what I created using this wonderful fabric.  Before you go leave a comment on my blog to be entered into a drawing to win a bundle of the Autum is for Birds fabric.

bird bundle 2015

The giveaway is only open to residents in the US. If you want a chance to win the bundle,leave a comment to be eligible.  The deadline to enter  is February 25th at Midnight PST.   All comments from each stop on the hop will go into the Random Number Generator,and the winner will be announced on February 26th.  Make sure you visit all the other stops on the hop and good luck!

Feb 16 - Leslie Tucker Jenison
Feb 17 –Lisa Chin
Feb 18 –Cheryl Sleboda
Feb 19 –Stacy Hurt
Feb 20 –Candy Glendening
Feb 21 –Sue Bleiweiss
Feb 22 –Jamie Fingal

my new book,workshops &more!

I really need to get better at blogging more consistently.  It’s not that I don’t have lots going on and things to share but facebook and instagram have become my go to methods for sharing what’s going on in the studio.  But I do have some news that I want to share so I decided it was time to do a blog post…

First bit of news:  The look inside feature is now available for my book!  Visit the Amazon listing here and you can browse some of the pages.

indexI am so excited for the release of this book.  It’s currently schedule for release in April but it’s available for pre-order now.

I have added to my list of teaching engagements for this year.  If you’re local to the Acton MA area I will be teaching my Fusible Fabric Collage workshop on May 16th at Quilters Way.  This workshop is a ton of fun as you can see from the looks on the faces of the students in the class the last time I taught this workshop:
10483916_808538272545508_589112918819949457_nThere are only a few open spots left in the class so don’t delay,click here to register! 

For a listing of all my upcoming teaching engagements click here.  And speaking of workshops,I’ve updated all my available workshops and you’ll find those here.

And lastly,  there’s a very exciting blog hop going on to celebrate the release of Jamie Fingal’s new fabric line Autumn is for Birds.

bird bundle 2015

I’ll be posting some fun new pieces that I made for it in a couple of days but in the meantime check out what the other hoppers have made and enter yourself into the giveaway.  Get all the information about the hop here on Jamie’s blog.

Sizzix quilt blog hop!

I am so excited to be a part of the Sizzix blog hop to showcase the Sizzix Big Shot Pro,fabi Quilting line and the newest Bigz Pro Quilting collection with designs by the fabulous  Victoria Findlay-Wolfe!  In addition to the amazing projects handmade by each of the blog hop participants,Sizzix will also be giving away a GRAND prize! You can find out how to enter at the end of this post!

As those of you who are familiar with my work already know,I am not a traditional quilter.  So when this double wedding ring melon die arrived in the mail:

660196I thought what the heck am I going to do with this?!  I decided to pair it with the Piccadilly Sunflower die:

657971_3and I came up with this:

final_full view45″x 45″hand dyed cotton,machine quilted

I decided that even though I was working with a traditional quilt theme that I could still stay true to my own style so I used my signature black lines to outline all the elements.


You can visit the Sizzix website here for more information about the Sizzix die cutters and all the awesome dies available.  I have two Sizzix machines;the Big Shot and the Big Shot Pro and they’re both terrific cutters.  Here’s the line up for the rest of the blog hop:

January 16th Jamie Fingal
January 16th Tracy Mooney
January 17th Elizabeth Timmons
January 17th Nicole Daksiewicz
January 18th Ebony Love
January 18th Holly Hughes
January 19th Marni Weaver
January 20th Karin Jordan
January 20th Sue Bleiweiss
January 21st Jenny Doan

Victoria’s new book Double Wedding Rings –Traditions Made Modern is available for purchase here.


and my new book  is available for pre-order on the Interweave web site and


szus_quilt_bloghop_giveaway_rafflecopterClick here for more information about the Sizzix Quilt Blog Hop Giveaway!

my 100 donation

Okay I finally decided which quilt I am going to donate to the 100 fundraiser and it’s going to be….

The Beach House…

beach house1“the beach house”

12″x 12″hand dyed cotton,machine quilted

(the beach house quilt is one of the art quilt projects in my new book Colorful Fabric Collage available for pre-order now)

FFAC2015logoOn February 4,the first 100 people to contact Virginia Speigel beginning at 10 a.m. Central will be given a link to donate $100 by credit card directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause.  Each of those 100 donors will receive an artwork from one of the 100  artists listed on this page.  Assignments of artwork will be made using a random number generator.   You can get all the details on the fundraiser here.


it’s laundry day

It’s been a while since I’ve had a new piece of work to share.  I’ve been working on this piece for a few months and got sidetracked by other commitments and the holidays but I finally managed to get it finished…

Untitled-01Tutti Frutti Alleway

33″x 45″

hand dyed cotton,machine quilted