Technique of the Week – Week 43 – Sharpie Tie Dyeing

This has to be one of my favorite techniques, because it’s SO EASY to do, it’s immediately permanent, and you can use it for just about any kind of quilt!
Check out the newest video below!

Here’s the quilt I made for this project, and it uses a bunch of the markers in the video.  Remember how I said some markers don’t run as easily?  This is why I test them first!


The markers are readily available everywhere, like your office supply store and on Amazon:


Have fun, and let me know what you make!!

I’m Jealous of Your Quilting Success, and Here’s What I Do About It.


I am the Green Eyed Monster.  I see you succeed at something, and I want it so desperately for myself I can taste it.  My jealousy of your talent is so deep, I have been in a serious funk… more than once… many times to the point of having considered giving up the quilting thing because “I’m no good at it”.

Social media makes it worse.  Someone is always saying great things about a show they got into, a ribbon won, or some other awesome accolade.  I’m happy for them but secretly… I sure as hell wish it was happening to me.

Sound like anyone?  Sure.  It sounds like everyone.

Way way back in 2005, I attended a quilt show and for the first time saw what the masters of the quilting art were doing.  I was dumbstruck.  I should have been revved up.  Instead I went home and moped.  “I will never be that good”, I said.   That depression lasted a long time too, during which I made barely anything.

In 2009, I was at the International Quilt Festival in Chicago, and Pokey Bolton introduced me to Melly Testa.  Melly and I were instant friends, and we hung out the rest of the show together the way new best friends do.  Over lunch, she said to me “What do you want to do with your quilting?”.  And I knew. Right away.  “I want to get my quilt into a show… No wait… the BIG show!  And.. and… I want to win AWARDS!  And I want to be in the catalog… I want to be picked to teach, too!  but most of all…. I want to be published.”   I told Melly my deepest secret.  And she told me one of hers. She wanted her own fabric line.  I’ll never forget it.

It was my jealousy, yes, but it became something else.  It became a GOAL.

That same weekend, Pokey approached me to be the Moderator of the new Quilting Arts website.  “Hey, you’re always online and connected, would you do it?”  YES!   Next, people asked me to help them with this or that project.  Would I do it? YES!  Man a booth? YES.  Make a block? YES.  Volunteer? YES. Why?  Because I wanted to be included, because my jealousy screamed at me to be “just like them”.

It served another purpose too.  I became someone to be relied upon.  I could step in, and step up.  If you needed someone, I was that person.  I worked… and it worked.

Even now, I see quilt artists….people who I admired from afar but who I am so lucky now to call my friends… and I feel that deep rooted jealousy of their accomplishments.  I still want what they have. I want that cover image.  I want that book deal.  I want that interview.  I want that fabric line. I want that gallery show. Someday, I will get them, because they are now goals of mine.

Are you jealous of me? Because it’s in my nature to want to be liked by people, I hope not.  But if you are, I want to tell you this ONE thing… you can have what I have.

You just have to be willing to WORK HARD to get it.

It will not happen overnight.  A fairy will not come down and magically select your quilt to be in a show without you submitting it.  A magazine will not be opened and an article you did no work towards will be there with your by-line.  BERNINA will not stop you on the show floor and scream “We found our new Ambassador!”.  These things are EARNED.


When people post stuff like this, I feel DEEP rooted jealousy, but that’s OK.

I put in 17 years of quilting towards it.  I have worked hard….harder than I have ever thought I wanted to work for anything… to get to this point in my career.   I took every little step I could take, made every connection I could make, volunteered countless hours, made literally hundreds of mini quilts to perfect my craft… built my own empire… ALL with a smile, blood, sweat, and a fair amount of tears…. just to get where I am right now.

Each of the things I have accomplished started with that seed of jealousy, and in almost every case, that became fuel for the fire in my belly to go get that for myself.  You have to ask yourself…….. how hard do you want to work to get that?  If your answer is “not hard” or “none at all”, then there isn’t much to be jealous over is there?

Spring Cleaning MY Studio… The HORROR

before1How did it come to this?  Well, I could have lots of excuses like “I was teaching at IQF Chicago”.  And “I was teaching and speaking at so many guilds”.  And ” I was travelling for my day job a lot”.  But there really isn’t any excuse.

When I tape my videos for Technique of the Week, only the corner behind me on the video has to be clean…   But my closet… Oh, the horror…

Is there even a floor in there?  It was soooo bad.

That’s when I remembered doing a Spring Clean Your Blog Hop ages ago, and decided to ask a few Facebook and Instagram friends to join in!!  Amalia from really went all out with this trailer for the hop:

So.  Ready to see the afters???


Not bad, huh?  You can see the floor and every surface has been rearranged and reorganized.


How I store my fabric. And fabric that is waiting to be put away are in the bins in the lower right. after3

The view from my sewing machine, and also where I sit for the video series.


While the closet is NOT perfect, it’s 10000x’s better!after6Doesn’t this look a little familiar?  It’s where I sit for the video series.  It’s so much better!

Now that you have seen what a mess I made, and how it was to clean it all up, you can visit a dozen other studios by checking out everyone’s blogs below.  I hope you had fun hopping with us!!

May 7 Kathy Matthews
May 8 Misty Cole Http://
May 9 Heather Kinion
May 10 Jessica Darling
May 11 Lisa Blevis Filion
May 12 Peta Minerof-Bartos
May 13 Mandy Leins
May 14 Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz
May 15 Sam Hunter
May 16 Debby Ritenbaugh Brown
May 17 Debbie Kleve Berkebile
May 18 Michelle Mattingly
May 19 Cheryl Sleboda


Blogger’s Quilt Festival!! – Spring Market Edition 2015


I’m super stoked to show you my modern Friendship Star quilt called “Wettersysteme” (weather systems).   I called it that because I thought the swirl of the stars looked like those hurricane icons I saw on TV when I lived on the east coast. 

Thanks to Amy’s Creative Side for the opportunity to show you my work! spring-2015-BQF-Button-e1429716312925 

This quilt has two of my heirloom sewing techniques from my DVD. The wiggly smocked panels were done with my Heirloom Smocking Template, and the center of the stars were machine gathered on my new BERNINA 750 QE.    This was also the first quilt I quilted on my BERNINA  using the Stitch Regulator.  I think it made a great improvement to my free motion quilting!  Wettersysteme-detail

Thanks for stopping by!!! Hope you take a look at my video series and also think about sneaking a look in my shop! :)  

Technique of the Week – Week 39 – Soy Wax Batiking

Here’s this week’s video!

After being so awful at Batiking, I thought that trying my hand at this again was going to be a disaster.  Soy wax is MUCH easier to deal with than the Jaquard beeswax batik wax.  In fact, I love the fabrics I made using the Soy Wax.  The cleanup was much easier, as you can iron out the fabric much easier than the other stuff.



Soy wax is easy to find in your local craft store, and pretty easy to use with any found objects.  The clean up is easy too!  While I was NOT a fan of the previous attempts at batiking, this was much more fun and much more of what I expected my results to look like.  I guess you just have to keep on trying!!