Wednesday, September 28, 2016


How can there be only 2 more days of September?

I'm writing this on a cool, windy, rainy night. I'm wearing sweat pants, sweatshirt, and socks. Socks, people! It's been a few months since I've worn those.  Someone in the neighborhood is burning logs in their fireplace and the whole neighborhood smells wonderful. The neighborhood is also quite noisy.  There are many, many black walnut trees in this block and today seems to be the day they are all dropping. If you aren't used to the noise every fall you might think artillery is hitting the roof.

Fall is definitely here.  I made this a couple of days ago and the recipe is going into the permanent file.

This is what is commonly called the New York Times Plum Torte.  You can find the very easy recipe HERE.

The weather is particularly nice since I'm busy sewing a quilt for Quilt Market next month.  I can't show you much, but I'll give you a couple of hints.
Some red berries might be involved.  And our color palette is being tweaked just a bit.

I'm feeling quite jolly about it.

Since I'm in the holiday mood - how about a little sale?  As a thank you to our Block of The Month customers, we but some quilt backings in our Etsy shop.  We gave a special coupon code to the Portage Lake BOM members - BACK40 - and they could purchase their backs at 40% off.  The sale is good for the whole month of September.  We have just a few quilt backs left - and we have 2 days left in September.

Let me give you another hint - as long as the total of your "shopping cart" is $56.00 or more (the cost of the quilt backs) - everything you put in your shopping cart would be 40% off if you use the coupon code BACK40.

For all of you Block of The Month people - you can get another back, or anything in the shop that is at least $56.00 in value to take advantage of the sale again, there is only a few more hours left in September.  Thank you all - we sold a ton of quilt backs.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Football, Books, and Shoes

Hello again.  I'll tell you about the last couple of weeks by going through my photos on my phone. Polly, myself, Jennifer and Steve Keltner  had a nice treat 2 weeks ago. We watched a University of Michigan football game together.  We had spiffy seats. I'll probably never get to watch a game in that kind of comfort again.  A good time was had by all.  What you see here is the halftime show paying homage to Veterans.

I put several works in progress up on my design wall to see how they are getting along.  I haven't shown this one before on the blog.  It's a BOM from Australia called the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt.  It's kind of eccentric and very, very fun.  I went off in a totally different color palette (trying to channel my inner Australian).  There are 3 more big blocks to go - plus an appliqué border. It's excess on top of excess. 

This is the progress so far on my Star A Day quilt.  Only 2 more blocks to go.  It's all made with Minick and Simpson scraps and despite using hundreds of different fabrics - it is quite cohesive.  Just a reminder that all Minick and Simpson fabrics will work together.   For those of you looking for the pattern - we are currently sold out - but I will be stocking up on more next month at Quilt Market.  The next time I post an in-progress photo of this quilt - we will have the patterns back in stock.

 I have added to my personal library with these 4 beauties. The top 2 are artist studios and home decor and then the new Kaffe Fassett book and the new Gwen Marston book from Martingale.  There is so much inspiration in all of them.
 Speaking of books....... we can now announce that we will have a new one out in April of 2017.  It will be published by Martingale and will be a coffee table type book - tons of pictures! We know you want it and need it, right?  More info when publication gets closer.  So that sort of solves the mystery of why my fabric shelves are so neat.  Picture taking!

Jennifer Keltner and Brent Kane took tons of gorgeous photos.  Don't let these pics taken on my iPhone prejudice you on the beauty.  

This is my Mrs. Billings Coverlet looking spiffy on a great bed.

This is one of Polly's new rugs looking spectacular over a cupboard.  These are just a small drop in the bucket of pictures.  We can't wait to see it all put together.

 In other news..... I'm breaking in my new pair of Quilt Market shoes.



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Early Fall

 I'm ashamed to see how infrequently I have put up a blog post.  Things get in front of it on my daily "to-do" list.  It was summer when I last blogged and now it's early fall.  You know that of course by the kazillion football games that were broadcast this past holiday weekend.  It is football season here in the Midwest.  RAH!  If you are a football fan (or live among them) maybe our Gridiron! table topper is for you.  The color could be altered to fit your favorite team. 

Grand Haven Table topper is here too! We think of it as summery, but if the nautical look rocks your boat all year long - here it is.
Now that Grand Traverse Bay fabric collection has shipped to shops - we love seeing what you are making with it.  Instagram has been great for that.  This is my Miller Avenue - hanging our in the studio on Miller Avenue.  

Our friends at Moda in Dallas found the very last ever kit of Austin Bluebird hidden in the warehouse.  It is now here - waiting to be claimed.  It's in our Etsy shop.

Speaking of football season, we are anxiously awaiting cool evenings so we can cuddle up with this Ironwood quilt made with our Cotton Works fabric collection.  It's soft and squishy and feels like  wool, but it 100% cotton. 

And if snuggling up under a warm quilt sounds good - you might want to have this too.  This new book by Martingale is a wonder.  Gwen Marston and her quilts.  Gwen's genius is evident. You will want to pick this book up again and again for the inspiration.

Me? I'm plugging along on a new quilt for our top secret fabric group that will be unveiled next month.  It might have a lot of appliqué.  It also might have a lot of English Paper Piecing. I think this might be enough thread.  We hope you love it.



Monday, August 8, 2016

Technology is King

This is our great grandmother Polly. She epitomizes my mood.  It isn't a good mood.  There have been some challenges that I haven't quite taken in stride.  We had our 7th power outage of the summer yesterday.  Right now it is working (hence the blog post).  These power outages are not the result of weather.  They are because of equipment failure.  All I'm going to say is I'm waiting patiently for the power company to make things right.  If they don't I will have to channel my inner "grandma Polly" and let them know how I really feel.  Which begs the question.....what do you do when your power goes out?  You can go shopping.... Shopping somewhere air-conditioned and with working light bulbs.  You can clean (ugh) and straighten your fabric shelves.
What you can't do is do any work on the computer. You can't cook, sew, iron, or read a book after dark.  I survived. Other people have much greater challenges, but it is aggravating when it seems absolutely unnecessary.  

Ok, end of rant.

I had a great weekend at Elk Grove Wisconsin at Patched Works Quilt Shop.  I would love to show you pictures, but it seems any photo I took and put on Instagram - I cannot access right now. Except this one - Julie is going to have a Portage Lake Block of the Month club starting in October at Patched Works!

The great news is that Grand Traverse Bay fabric from Moda has shipped/or is being shipped right now to your local quilt shops.

This quilt is Martin Place - made with a Fat Quarter bundle and background fabric.  It makes a king size quilt (or smaller if you prefer)

I'm going to take advantage of our electricity and try to get some work done today.  Keep your fingers crossed.



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Latest News

We've had a bit of drama here.....
That is mail burning. Probably some of mine.  Whoops.  Hope the electric company doesn't turn off the power because the bill is late.

We had some fun....
Gibby had oodles of fun meeting and playing with his French cousins - William, Sophie, and Julia.

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row because this weekend I will start cutting, and shipping the Portage Lake BOM!  Yep, all you anxious people won't have too long to wait!

We've just had 1 cancellation - so if you want to get in.......... let me know.  I have room for 1 more.


The new patterns for Cotton Works have landed too so they are in stock ready to ship

And in other news, for those people of Illinois and Wisconsin - I will be at Patched Works in Elm Grove Wisconsin on August 6th for several trunks shows!  Whee!  It's a great reason to ride the fast ferry across Lake Michigan as the shop is quite close to the dock.  Zooming across Lake Michigan in August - to visit quilters - sounds dreamy



Monday, July 11, 2016

Cotton Works Layer Cake™ Winners

Thanks everyone!

The winners are:

Linda - (msstitcher)  and Kathiquilts

Linda has been emailed and - Kathiquilts - please contact me at

Some of you were wondering about hooking with this.  Polly has hooked this chicken with the new Cotton Works fabrics.

The chicken uses 2 of the black and greys from Cotton Works.  She used an 8 cut and she says it hooks beautifully.  The fabrics are woven just like their wool counterparts - so each weave is a little different.  Polly says that the solid Cotton Works has a unique weave that does make it ravel and it doesn't hook so well, but the solids are a small part of this collection.  The chicken's feet and comb are Cotton Works too - the background is black wool.  So, you can see it works well to mix in with your wool - if you are a rug hooker.

Also - I have put some kits on sale in the SALE section of our Etsy store



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Introducing Cotton Works

It's always fun to introduce you to our new fabric collections.  This one is just a bit different, so it super fun.

This is Cotton Works!  Cotton works looks like wool, it feels like wool, it stitches like wool, but it's 100% cotton.

It's perfect for all your stitchery projects, quilts, and even rug hooking!  (I'll have some photo's soon of some of Polly's hooking using it.)

Cotton Works is thicker than your traditional quilt fabrics, but it can still be used in quilting - with just a few modifications.  We found that it helps to starch it before you cut and we pieced quilts with a larger seam allowance and we pressed the seams open. That's it.  (Our piecing patterns will have the instructions for this) It stitches like a dream for raw edge appliqué that traditionally uses wool - projects like penny rugs, and table toppers.
 This is Flower Day - a spring time table topper.  It is raw edge appliqué and I used a fusible.

Flower Day is in our Etsy store.

Here are some more that I have finished

Gridiron is our Fall table topper and is in our Etsy store.
This is our winter table topper - Schuss

And our summer table topper - Grand Haven - which has both piecing and appliqué

Grand Haven

We also made this masculine quilt - don't you think this fabric group would make great quilts for the the guys in your life?

This is Ironwood.  It measures 50" x 70" and has large easy pieces.

Cotton Works is now being shown by the super duper Moda sales reps to shops right now.  They have  the fabric so shop owners can actually see and feel it's "woolness".  

But....... I have 2 Layer Cakes™ here that I want you to feel and see - at least a couple of you anyway.

Make a comment here before midnight Sunday July 10th and you could have a Layer Cake™ to fondle and sew.



Blog Archive