Monday, December 31, 2018


Capriccio::a lively piece of music, that is free in form::

I'm so happy to share this quilt with you readers as I just love how it turned out! I was inspired to try something new in my quilting this summer and wanted to experiment with some improv stitching. I was inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood's book & style in starting with the wedge shapes - then just let the fabrics direct the process from there!

Constructing bits of wedges here and there & rearranging them on the design wall took some time - so many possibilities and ways to try and put them in place.  

I was using fabric from my stash, and had limited amounts of some colors, which also helped determine size/shapes. 

The fun of improv is working within the limits of colors, or fabrics or quilt size!

Starting to piece segments together and play with the layout took time. I was guessing for a lot of the white background and kept adding bits, or ripping seams to add something else back into the mix before re-adding the background. Free cutting the curves and stitching those together was a fun challenge in parts!

Once the top was finished, I moved right into basting it, and then stalled out before jumping into quilting it. I stared at it for awhile until realizing that starting at it wouldn't get it quilted. Also, I was determined to finish this in time to enter into QuiltCon - nothing like a deadline to get you going - am I right?!

Okay, here's the deal - I love to free-motion quilt. It's fun to doodle designs and I'm a big fan of matching the right quilting to the design of the top. However, figuring out how to quilt a quilt can be tricky. 

For Capriccio, I had an idea of one design in one place - echo lines around the bottom right sliver - and so that's where I started. I don't always have a full plan in mind when I start stitching, but find that once I start, more ideas come to mind and it starts to flow. I used Aurifil threads in a variety of colors for the quilting blending & matching colors with a few pops.

I knew fairly early, that I didn't want the quilt to be square, so I rounded the left corner. Getting that curve was a bit unnerving, until I discovered the sweep of the curve I wanted matched perfectly to a hula hoop I had in the house! Wouldn't you know - the hula hoop was easy to use as a 'ruler' with the rotary cutter and made that curve a snap to trim.

Thankfully, I finished just in time to get some photos in the daylight and enter this one into QuiltCon, but it didn't make the cut. Having that deadline to aim for really got me fired up to finish this so I'm not complaining! Happy to have it completed, and to check it off my Finish A Long 2018 Quarter 4 list as well! My orignal Q4 list can be found here. Linking up at Studio Sew of Course.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Snoopy the Flying Ace

Sharing a recent finish with you today! A friend of mine, who loves Snoopy, pieced this charming quilt in anticipation for her first grandchild.  She asked me to quilt it for her so it'd be ready to snuggle when the baby arrived.

Don't you love baby quilts - they are such a happy thing to make and gift and I was extra happy to quilt this one.

I kept the quilting simple - adding some woodgrain texture to the doghouse, loopy clouds in the border and keeping the grass in keeping with the comic-style, as well as my trademark bee. The striped binding makes the perfect finishing touch! I found out this morning, they had a baby girl so I know there will be plenty of baby snuggles for my friend & her family! Yay!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Quarter 4 FAL List

Marci Girl Designs

Well it's certainly been a few months since my last Finish-a-Long link up. I'm back this Quarter to finish it up strong for the year.

Operation:snooze part I
 A secret project so I can't get too detailed, but I've got all the pieces cut & ready to sew.

Operation:snooze part II
 Also a secret project so I can't get too detailed, but I've got all the pieces cut & ready to sew.

Inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood's book on improv quilting and a desire to try something different!

I'm keeping it short & sweet this time around but excited to join back to the Finish-a-Long! Linking up at She Can Quilt for Quarter 4.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Berry Dusk : Mosaic Entry

Here's my second entry for the Mood Berry Mosaic Contest over at Stitched in Color! Again, fabrics are from as specified for the contest - so much fun to fabric play and curate a specific group of colors & prints. 

Night Blooms : Mosaic Entry

Hello friends - do you love playing with color & fabric combinations? Check out Stitched in Color's blog for her latest Mosaic Contest- Mood Berries. Choosing only 9 fabrics from a whole shop can be challenging, but here's my first entry.
May I present Night Blooms. 
These brought to mind gardens full of colorful blooms at twilight in the late summertime. Fabrics from Fabricworm online shop.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fall Paducah Quilt Week

A couple weeks ago we had the 2nd ever Fall Paducah Quilt Show in town! We were a bit more prepared this time around and it was a week of quilts and fun and quilters and work. My work hours were fairly normal for a Quilt Week (hooray!), and I managed to duck over to see the show & exhibits on occasion.  Mostly, my duties include manning a register, taking pictures for social media, helping out when artists visit and agree to photos &/or a video interview, and generally being useful and building relationships with artists.
Oh, this guy? He flew into the museum and is covered with fabric - a patchwork pelican!

Here are just a few of the quilts that caught my eye at the show - some really great quilts being exhibited. These first two were part of the Taiwan Art Quilts exhibit.
Growing Continually II by Huei-Lan Chaung
Coexistence by Lien-Chao Tseng
Sunshine by Kat Jones, Australia

Arches by Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry

Faces of Four Seasons by Joann Baeth
Hello Harvey - Hello Irma by Beverly Blessing & Lynette Mart

Found it interesting that while the Quilt Show took place, the East Coast was preparing for Hurricane Florence, and there were 2 hurricane-inspired quilts.

Both were eye catching, though different in size, and very on point with their appeal for the current events ongoing.

Infrared Maria by Ann Harwell

This quilt stopped me in my tracks on the floor. The detail and design was intriguing and I had to take a closer look for sure on the quilting. What a cool design and such workmanship! The Scenery of Gameunsa Temple by Hyesook Kim, South Korea.

The colors! The white water breaking over the curl! The spray of the water! Love this!
Wave by Debi Webb

One of the special exhibits was Bourbon in the Bluegrass: quilts inspired by KY bourbon makers, made by MJ Kinman. While they are striking through the camera lens, in person they were excellent! Makes me want to like bourbon more....haha.

Between River and Sky
Kentucky Honey
 This made me smile! How can you resist?!
Making Amends by Carol Cote, Canada

Casting Shadows by Paige Alexander

That's Life by Mary Landon

One of the other special exhibits was Tula Pink's quilts! These were really fun to see in person, face to face if you will, after seeing them online as patterns or fabrics in progress. Tula's quilts are quilted by Angela Walters and it was awesome to see so much of her quilting in person too! Extra bonus fun? I went to Tula's evening talk Thursday night. So good! Seriously, so. good.

 Tula gave us an insight into her inspirations and creativity and process as she works her magic. Takeaways from her talk: Don't be afraid to have bad ideas, the good ones are in there too!
Make it authentic to your hand, to you. Art is the artist telling you who they are.

I have to say, Tula lives up to her reputation in a great way and if you have a chance to go see her-go!

me & Tula!
 All in all a great week, and a fun Fall Paducah Quilt Week!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Capture It, Remember It

Early in my time at the museum I set a precedent in making a mini quilt/block for staff members who retired/moved/etc. so they had a quilty remembrance of their time with us. However, it also means these have a rapid turnaround time once we find out!

This time, one of my dear friends was leaving for a new job opportunity so I wanted to make something really good. E was running our social media which meant taking lots of pictures around the museum so I went on a search for camera blocks to start. 

Found this paper pieced camera from Whims and Fancies shop on Craftsy and knew it was perfect!

It came together fairly quick, and the hardest part was getting everyone to sign it without E knowing - not an easy feat. We gifted it last week and she loved it. So here's to your next adventures and a reminder to Capture Memories - Love you!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Gliders - NQM Block of the Month Club - September

Super excited to share my latest project with everyone - I'm the guest designer for the September block in the Block of the Month Club with the National Quilt Museum. So awesome!

Have you heard about the Club? It's a Free club that encourages quilters of all skill levels to try new techniques & styles each month with a 10"x10" block pattern designed by a guest quilter. Blocks relate to the exhibits or other happenings at the National Quilt Museum. 

You can Join the Facebook group or find the patterns on the Museum websiteIt's not to late to join in on the fun - the club runs through April 2019! 

My block, which I named "Gliders," is made with Foundation Paper Piecing and was inspired by my job as Director of Education at the National Quilt Museum. I share the art of quilting with everybody I encounter and encourage creativity in each person & program which really makes my job the best!

I chose foundation paper piecing because it's such a versatile technique and one that I love. If you need some extra help getting started, or a refresher, I made a tutorial video for the pattern that you can find on the Quilt Museum's YouTube ChannelSo get out your fabric and start stitching!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Star Gazing

I've said it before readers & I'll say it again: making baby quilts is one of my favorite things! This quilt is for a coworkers' new baby boy and now that it's been gifted I'm excited to share it here!

We found out the nursery theme/colors - outdoorsy - fairly early, but coming up with the right kind of design to fit that took some time over the summer. With roughly 22 coworkers it couldn't be anything too complicated in design or take too much time for construction. We decided on a night sky idea and choose a variety of dark blues for the background and a variety of light colors for the stars. Every staff member chose their star color and background fabrics, and several stitched up their own blocks. Once all the stars were made it was fun to rearrange the blocks and try out different layouts. 

I kept the quilting pretty simple - a medium stipple in the backgrounds in a matching blue thread, then securing the centers of each star with a variety of thread colors - some matching, some contrasting. Blocks finished at 9" so it's roughly 45"x45" in size - a quilt baby H can grow into. Binding is machine finished for added durability and it was washed & dried before gifting so it's soft and ready for baby snuggles. 

This week S brought in new baby H for the first time and we all got to meet him! :D 
We surprised her with the quilt and she loved that all the staff helped make it. Definitely makes the quilt extra special for H and we hope he loves it forever.

Sharing the love at Needle and Thread Thursdays.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Ultraviolet Lightning

Well, yesterday was a Good day friends!

Had a fun group of elementary students in for a tour at work, managed a 10 mile bike ride on the greenway trail, stopped for frozen yogurt on the way home because it feels like summer, the Capitals won their first game against Tampa & I made the mini quilt I'm sharing today! So. Good.

Each year when the Pantone Quilt Challenge has been announced, I start thinking how much I wish I had a good idea or plan to make something to enter. I did manage a quilt top for the Marsala challenge (read more about that here), but was excited about the color for this year: Ultraviolet.

It brings to mind black lights & crime shows & light spectrums, but nothing that prompted a quilt design in my brain. Until last night. Seriously - last night, as in the final hours for the challenge. There's nothing like last minute ideas & the threat of a deadline, am I right?!

In anticipation of the Eastern Conference Finals hockey game >Go CAPS!< it finally hit me - a lightning strike! Seeing as it was the Tampa Bay Lightning of course. I searched some storm photos on Google for inspiration, dug through my purple drawer of fabrics and started cutting. It was fun to work fast on this one - it meant I had little time to agonize over the fabrics or my freehand cloud-making skills.

I call it: Lightning Crashes

I free-cut & pieced the background and the clouds and main lightning bolt are fused, raw edge applique. I used my walking foot to make it rain during this storm, then switched to free motion quilting for the rest. Some field-like texture in the black, outlines in the clouds for added stability, swirling clouds at the very top and then outlining the bolt and adding in more lightning tendrils. I used coordinating Aurifil threads #1240, 2535, 2692 & 3840- a variegated purple.

Again, I matched the binding on this mini - that's been a trend for several of my recent minis - which was done fast as the deadline loomed.  I managed some quick photos and posted to Instagram (go follow me there!) so I could link up at No Hats In The House with 10 minutes to spare. whew! It measures 19" x 16.5" and all I need to add is a sleeve so I can hang it up on my wall. 

Certainly a fun challenge and a fast finish for me this week - all told I think this took 4 hours.  I do love it & am happy with how it turned out to be the exclamation point on a Good day!  Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday as well.