90 Things We Love About Peg…Mom…Grandmom…Mom Mom!


Back in May, my mother-in-law started planning a birthday party for her mother-in-law’s 90th birthday(my husband’s grandmother).  A friend of hers had told her about their family tradition, where for significant birthdays, they made a poster with quotes equivalent o the number of birthday years that was being celebrated.  My mother-in-law wanted to adapt the idea and solicit 90 ideas from all of the family members as to what each loved about Mom, Grandmom, Mom Mom.   Having recently attended a lecture by Cheryl Lynch, who has made beautiful tribute quilts for special occasions, I immediately exclaimed, “I could make that into a quilt!”  Grandmom’s quilt was born!

Let me interject here that Grandmom is one amazing woman.  She is 90 years young and still very full of life.  After her husband died two years ago, she moved into an independent living residence and is now more active than even before (if that’s possible!)  She swims or exercises every day, plays bridge several times a week, volunteers with several church related organizations, including an adult literacy class and loves to socialize.  She has to check her calendar when you want to visit!  Her wit and sense of humor are as sharp as ever!

Over the summer, we collected 90 quotes and combed through family photos that would be representative of Grandmom’s life.  In May, I had acquired my EQ7 upgrade with its new photo capabilities and new grid feature on the custom quilt layout screen.  These new features would prove invaluable in designing this quilt! 

I used MS Publisher to turn all of the quotes into standardized text boxes and printed them all out onto EQ Printables Premium Cotton Lawn Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  Wanting the quilt to have a random feel, the grid feature on the  Custom Layout screen allowed me to to easily arrange (and rearrange) the text boxes (inserted as plain blocks) and photos.  It was wonderful to be able to import the photos into EQ7 and adjust their sizes to make everything fit.  I also printed the photos onto the Printable Sheets, once I was certain of the sizes. 

After many iterations, I was finally satisfied with the layout and began to sew everything together using the Custom Layout as a guide to cutting out the fabric pieces in between the text boxes and photos.  Because of the randomness, I worked on one section at a time, creating segments that were roughly 8” x 12”.  Each section was sewn together with one of a handful of gold fabrics that I had selected to blend together.  Of course, because the text boxes and photos were all different sizes, the sections ended up being irregular shaped pieces.  It created what I called a giant Chinese jigsaw puzzle with lots of partial and inset seams. What was I thinking when I thought this layout would be a good idea!  When the last two pieces came together perfectly, I breathed a huge sigh of relief!   The finished quilt measures approx. 41” square.


Once the quilt was done, I created a label similar to the heart in the center, telling Grandmom that although there were countless reasons why we loved her, we wanted to share 90 of them with her and then listed all of the contributors to the quilt.  Realizing that the label would be hidden behind the quilt when it was hanging in her home, at the last minute I ran to the store and bought an 8’’ x 10” frame and framed the label instead of sewing it to the back!  I did however sew a label on the back with the quilt’s complete provenance.  I am also planning to attach a separate label that identifies all of the people in the pictures so that future generations will know who everyone is.

This past Saturday was the big birthday party at my mother-in-law’s house.  With all of her children(4), grandchildren (8) great-grandchildren(2) and respective spouses and significant others present, we first gave her the wrapped frame to open.  The tears started to flow and this wasn’t even the real present!  Next came the quilt and a request for more tissues!  After Grandmom had time to digest it all, we temporarily hung the quilt for all to see.  Since the family members had only seen their own contributions, much of the night was spent with everyone taking a turn to read “90 Things We Love about Peg, Mom, Grandmom, Mom Mom!”  

Love you, Grandmom!  Helle-May



Extra, Extra, Read all about it!

Some exciting news to share today!

  • Did you receive your Connecting Threads catalog in the mail yet?  Turn to page 39 and you will see that they have made my Treasure Chest pattern (HMD-103) into a kit using their Midnight Garden fabric collection.  The colors are slightly different than the original, but it’s stunning, nonetheless!  If you didn’t get a catalog, go to www.ConnectingThreads.com and look under Kits.  Order yours today!  (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)
  • Did you see the December/January edition of Quilters Newsletter?  Turn to page 21 and you will read the nicest story about The 17-Year Cicadas, written by my good friend/ pattern editor/blog commentator Constance (Connie) Vanni!  I only wish they had also printed a picture of the quilt!  It’s absolutely beautiful!  (Maybe she’ll read this and send me a picture that I can post!)
  • Finally, if you been putting off the purchase of any new patterns, here’s your opportunity!  www.QuiltWoman.com, pattern publisher of my and numerous other talented designers’ patterns is having a FREE SHIPPING sale!  Now, through November 18, put in the Coupon Code: FREESHIP and there will be no shipping fees on orders of $20 and over!  Sorry, US retail customers, only!  Don’t delay – you know you’ve been meaning to do it!

That ought to keep you busy for a little while!  Back in a few with pictures from Grandmom’s 90th birthday party and the special quilt I just finished making for her!


Final Quilt Show Post

OK, this is it, finally!  Last post about the show!

On Friday, the first day of the show, we had some very special guests!  Jodie Davis, host of www.QNNtv.com  and Mark Lipinski came to shoot some segments for their www.QuiltOutLoud.com show.  We had only found out about their interest about a week prior, so natually we were all in a tizzy! 

They filmed a segment about the Bra Brigade exhibit. My crazy bra, “Booby Trap” got a close-up shot!

Jodie interviewed member, Jayne Stoll, in our Storybook Quilt exhibit.  The interview took place as they were seated at a children’s table and chair set, which belongs to my boys – who no longer fit at it!  The Storybook Quilts is a collection of 18 quilts which were made by members to accompany the children’s books they are pictured in.  The books and quilts travel around to local schools and libraries for the children to enjoy.


They also filmed a segment with Mark interviewing 5 guild members (yours truly included) about the reasons someone would want to join a guild.  We had to make several takes – it was just like a real film set, with director, camera man etc.and it wasn’t easy!  Can’t wait to see whether or not if I ended up on the cutting room floor!  The segments are due to start airing on www.QNNtv.com right about now.  Unfortunately, it’s one of those sites, that you have to be a paying member to watch, kind of like having to subscribe to HBO.  They also have a show about longarm quilting which I’ve been wanting to see – so maybe I should join now and see if I made it in the show!  Let me know if you see the show and you see me!

So that marks the end of my posts about the show – 23 months and counting until the next one!  Better get started!


More Quilt Show Catch-up

I can’t believe it’s November already!  Fall is flying by!  No sooner was the quilt show over than I had to resume work on 2 projects that are due very shortly.   First I’m working on a quilt commissioned by my husband’s family to celebrate his paternal grandmother’s 90th birthday.  Grandmom is an amazing woman.  I swear she’s more active at 90 than I am at 46!  The idea for the quilt came from my mother-in-law.  On it are 90 reasons (solicited from all the family members) why we all love Grandmom!   I have a week and a half to finish it before the big birthday party!  So I better get back to work.  I’ll post pictures as soon as it’s done!

At the same time, I am working on a sister quilt to Driftwood which was commissioned by American Quilter Magazine.  It will be published sometime next year.  Unfortunately I will not be able to publish pictures of it until it’s published.  All I can say is that the colors are absolutely yummy!  Stay tuned!

 So that’s why I haven’t gotten around to post more pics from the quilt show as promised – but here are a few more images:

As you enter the show, you walk through our Member Boutique with lots of handmade items to purchase.  Here is the Christmas section.


A glimpse of just some of the 200 amazing quilts that were on display.  The show is not judged, but we do award Viewer’s Choice ribbons.  It was a very difficult decision!


The 2009 Bag Challenge.  Members were challenged to make a quilt to reflect any kind of bag.


Attendees stuffed the cans at our Tricky Tray of Mini Quilts.  We had 50 to choose from in all different styles.


Finally, here is a small sampling of our October 2009 Bra Brigade Challenge.  That’s mine with the yellow and black caution tape wrapped around the midriff of the bust.  It’s called “Booby Trap”  I used a nursing bra with a mouse trap under the right flap and a heart under the left flap.  Breat cancer – Keep Out!  We sold 2011 calendars made from professional photographs of all of the quilts to raise money for the local Cancer Center.  There may still be a few left.  Contact me if you are interested.


There will be one more posting on the show!  We had some very special guests on Friday!  Back in a few days!