Infatuated with Mosaic Quilts

Infatuated with Mosaic Quilts

Over and over again, I’m drawn to quilts that incorporate tiny bits of fabric into mosaic patterns. They create such interesting designs, I can’t get enough.

Recently I was thrilled with an episode of Quilting Arts TV that featured a mosaic quilt technique used by Heidi Proffetty. I was so blown away by her talent, that I wanted to share some of her amazing work with you.

Her quilt “Daddy Hold My Hand” (below) is a great example of her mosaic fabric technique.

“Daddy Hold My Hand” by Heidi Proffetty

I found this wonderful article from Superior Threads about her:

Heidi says she begins with an inspiring photo. Using her computer, she reduces the colors and transforms the photo into a mosaic drawing. Using her iPad and a vector app, she creates a .SGV file that she can upload to her digital cutter to cut all the individual tiny pieces (like tiles) of fabric for the mosaic quilt. After assembling the tiny pieces onto a background fabric, she free-motion stitches them all in place.

Here’s a more detailed step-by-step article about her process:

Heidi recently won First Place (People, Portraits, and Figures) for her quilt “Is She Ready Yet?at the 2018 Houston Int’l Quilt Festival. Isn’t it stunning

Close-up (quilt by Heidi Proffetty)

You can see the free-motion quilting in the closeup. And you can readily understand how a digital fabric cutter could be helpful in cutting each and every one of these unique shapes. Just the thought of cutting them all by hand is overwhelming.

Although I’d love to try her technique, I don’t have access to a digital fabric cutter, so I’d need to cut the individual pieces by hand. Wouldn’t it be fun to give this technique a try in a small scale project. Something a bit smaller…for example, try it on just a section of an inspirational photo?

I’ve tried a similar technique doing mosaic art quilts like my Lady Liberty, but the mosaic fabric shapes used were all squares. Using all these individual and unique shapes adds so much depth to her work. It would be fascinating to try.

This will take some experimentation, but let’s see if I can come up with something…

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Stitch in Time Entry

Project Quilting Stitch in Time Entry

So…I thought about the challenge for Project Quilting this week…A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE. And nothing came to me for several days. I thought this would be the week I just didn’t enter.

Then, as I was thinking about the time change this Sunday…and about having more daylight, …the sun was shining (even though we did get more snow a few days ago)…and the birds were singing outside. They weren’t singing their usual winter chirps, but their special beautiful spring time songs! Then I thought about how I should be saving bits of colorful ribbon, yarn, and little strips of fabric and putting them outside so the birds could use them because they’ll be building their nests soon. And the idea for the challenge came to me…

I started to equate “a stitch in time” with the little birds getting their nests “stitched” together with bits of string and twigs. And then I started to visualize nests made out of fabric selvages and bright fabric strips. And the idea started taking shape!

I used scraps from my stash to flip and sew the background, and fused the appliqué shapes on top. Then cut up a bunch of my selvedge edges I’ve been saving and quilted them down to create the nest.

I even found the Stonehedge fabric selvage from their fabric called “a stitch in time”!! What are the chances? Totally unplanned! How cool was that?

So here’s my entry for Project Quilting Season 9, Challenge #5 “A Stitch in Time”. I hope you’ll stop by the website to vote for your 10 favorite entries. Voting starts after noon (Wisconsin time) on Sunday, March 11, 2018 and I think it runs through Friday, March 16, 2018.,

Until next time…HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

Project Quilting Challenge: Vacation

This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is “I NEED A VACATION”.  My favorite vacations are traveling to a beautiful spot, finding a cabin or home to rent, and relax by the lake, river, or ocean and just take in the beautiful view.  We might do some day trips in the area, like hiking or going out for lunch, but always coming back to the serenity and beauty of the surroundings of the spot we’ve rented.

I found a photograph I had taken this past summer when we ventured up to one of our favorite spots near Bayfield, Wisconsin.  A short walk from the back of our cottage is a rocky private beach with a spectacular view of Lake Superior, with Bass Island and the rest of the Apostle Islands, in the background…it was breathtaking!  I loved walking down to that spot with a cup of coffee every morning to take it all in.  So when I heard “I need a vacation” as the theme, this is where I’d want to be.

My first step in creating the scene was to find fabrics that had the same feel as the photograph (and my memory of it), and cut a piece of batting and backing to the size I wanted to serve as the backdrop “canvas”.


Then I cut and positioned the background and shoreline onto the batting.  I had just purchased something new—a Fons&Porter glue pen.  It worked great to keep everything in place.  I found it a lot less messy than the regular glue stick.


Bit by bit, auditioning fabrics–some that didn’t work, and others that did, I continued adding to the scene.


I thought the trees and bushes needed a bit more depth, so I got out my soft pastels and went to work, shading the foliage…


And adding some depth to the water and rocks…


I’m glad I purchased the set (on sale).  I used a blending stick to blend it in.


The sailboat is small in the distance, so I decided to create it by thread painting…


After quilting, I wanted to add a border…so I auditioned several different fabrics and came down to three possibilities…

I didn’t care for the dark blue-grey, it seemed too dark and gloomy.


The blue batik was interesting, but the black piping was too harsh…


I felt the brown brought out the color of the rocks, so I went with that…


Here the borders have been added…along with more batting and backing.


And here’s the finished art quilt…


With a close up of the water…


and the thread painted sailboat in the distance.



I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey, and that you’ll stop by Persimon Dreams website PROJECT QUILTING and vote for your favorite quilts!



The voting begins February 21 and runs through February 26 (2016).

UPDATE:  The voting has closed.  I came in #3 of 39 entries–no prize, but no bad!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

Mosaic Pixelated Quilted Wall Hanging

I found this photo of my dad (Harry Haverkate) that I  just love.  Isn’t he handsome?


I’m not sure of the year, but It was probably taken around the time he was dating my mom (early 1930’s), when he was in his early 20’s.  Back in the time when men often wore suits and always wore a hat.  I thought dad looked so “dapper” with his hat tilted just right.  So I named this quilted wall hanging “Dapper Dad” to hang in our hall in his honor.

I found two websites that will make your jpeg photograph into a pixelated document for free:

One website is pic2pat:

The other is

I scanned the photo, cropped it, and then used the website to convert it into a document with numbered pixels (squares) that I could print out to use as a guide.  Next I drew a 1/4” grid (with my ruler and permanent marker) on a piece of light weight fusible interfacing, and placed it fusible side up on my portable ironing surface.  I cut strips of my hand dyed brown fabrics just a bit wider than 1/4”, and I sorted/numbered them light to dark.


Using the numbered grid as my guide, I started choosing and cutting individual 1/4” squares and “tacking” them onto the fusible interfacing with my small iron.  In areas where more than one square was the same color, I used strips instead. And in large areas with the same number I simply cut squares or rectangles slightly larger than the section.


It’s very much like putting a puzzle together, but you’ve got a guide to help you.  It’s very “mindless” and relaxing.  I love doing it.


Here (above) are the strips in a bin helping me keep the numbers straight.


You can’t see much of anything as you’re putting the puzzle together (see close-up shot above); you just have to trust that it’s going to work.



But when you back up a few feet, you begin to see the photograph come to life!


Then back up even further, and it really begins to look like something!


After adding the batting (pellon fleece) and a backing fabric, I took the fusible interfacing with the squares completely cover it, to my Bernina and free-hand quilted using similar colors of variegated cotton thread.


After adding a striped 3-D border, brown inner border, and paisley outer border and dark brown binding, it was ready to hang in my hallway.  (Sorry for the yellow tint.)


From a distance, you can really see “Dapper Dad”.

Have you tried pixelating in your quilting?  If not, give it a try—it’s so rewarding.

Beagle1     MosaicCat1  pixelated Josh Rhi   Pixelated Pastor Brad

Hope you enjoyed reading about the process.

Have you tried pixelated quilts? I’d love to hear how your experience was.  Please post your comments below, and include a link to your photo if you can.

UPDATE:  I was so pleased to find out the photo quilt got an “honorable mention” ribbon at the Sun Prairie Quilt Show earlier this week!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Class on Landscape Painting with Fabrics at the Quilt Expo

Class on Landscape Painting with Fabrics at the Quilt Expo

I love attending the Quilt Expo held in Madison during September each year.  I’m so lucky–I only live a few miles away!  It’s sponsored by Wisconsin Pubic Television and Nancy Zieman, and has a wonderful quilt show, workshops, one-hour lectures, vendors, and much more.  I found 3 days last year a bit overwhelming, so I decided to concentrate on two days this year.  One day was filled with shopping, taking in the quilt show, and a few one-hour lectures.  The second day (Saturday) I decided to take an all day class by Susan Hoffmann entitled “Landscape Painting with Fabric”.


Here’s a photo of Susan at the start of the workshop.


We had about 20 or so students in the class.  Susan was so patient and easy to understand.  She told us not to be intimidated by the class and assured us that everyone in the class would go home with something they loved.  She was right, as you’ll soon see.


We were each given some batik fabrics, fabrics for trees, heat-n Bond Lite to create our landscape, and a Copic marker, blender, and soft pastel chalk to use during class.  The other items we brought with us.


Here’s the start to my landscape.  Susan gave us great step-by-step instructions on how to piece and fuse the background, and the techniques used to draw on the fabrics with the pastel chalks.  We added shrubbery above the sky line, and tree trunks and branches onto the background with the Copic marker.  We even drew in a faint outline of a full moon in the sky.


The next few photos show the progression of the project …  In this one, I’ve cut and placed fabrics to resemble birch and other trees.  The trees are fused down using Heat’n Bond Lite.  You can see it’s beginning to look like a landscape, but it’s rather flat.


Now the fun really beings–we started shading the tree trunks with a darker charcoal grey on the right, and a light pencil on the left of each trunk. I chose to incorporate some oranges and browns into the background.


Finally, we added shading using the full moon as our light source.  Can you see the difference in how flat the first photo was with the shading in the final photo?  It’s really remarkable.


The last step was to have her spray a fixative onto the fabric to set the chalk.  Every one of the students had something completely different, yet they were ALL beautiful!


After I got home, my husband liked it so much I decided to frame this piece instead of quilting it (I’ve never done that before).  I got out my coupons from Hobby Lobby and away I went.  It only took a week or so.  And because Susan had the foresight to give us a diagram so the final framing would fit into a standard 22 x 28 frame, it wasn’t as expensive as I had imagined.


I think their suggestion of the rough wooden frame along with the linen-like texture mat brings out the birch trees, and the additional thin black frame helps to stop your eye.

If you ever get the chance to take a class from Susan Hoffmann, I highly recommend it.  (See more about her classes at her website here.)  Don’t be intimidated, just have fun.  It’s a learning experience.  I was amazed that I came away with something I like so much.  You will too, I’m sure.  She’ll be doing another full day class at the next Expo–and I’ll be there!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Amazing Kaleidoscope Quilts

Have you ever seen the AMAZING kaleidoscope quilts created by Paula Nadelstern?  If not, you’re in for a treat…take a look at these photos…

Kaleidoscopic XVII: Caribbean Blues by Paula Nadelstern

Kaleidoscopic XI: Snowfall by Paula Nadelstern

And see her quilts and interview on this YouTube video at the Akron Art Museum.  Just breathtaking!

And here’s Paula’s website, if you’d like to see more in her gallery:

There’s something about a kaleidoscope that’s always fascinated me…the colors, the symmetry.  Remember those cardboard tubes with chips of colored stone or plastic in the end?  Well, there’s a world of sophisticated kaleidoscopes out there that take my breath away.  I love the surprise when you rotate and see a whole new view of spectacular colors radiating in perfect symmetry from the center. So this year, I’d love to make a few kaleidoscope-like quilts that reflected that beauty and wonder.

Although I’d love to take a class or workshop from Paula Nadelstern (please, please, please come to Wisconsin Paula!), she lives on the east coast and the only workshop/class I see on her schedule in 2015 for creating these lovely kaleidoscope quilts is one in Spain and a cruise to New Zealand/Australia.  (guess I won’t be taking those!)…

But I did find a wonderful article about her quilts and her process in my copy of American Quilter (Spring 1994, Vol X, No. !), “Kaleidoscopic in Design”.  She also has a book on the process–but sadly I think it’s out of print. Anyway, her technique may be a bit too advanced for this quilter, who’s just beginning to get her feet wet!  I also found an article by Bonnie McCaffery in the same issue of American Quilter “Creating a Kaleidoscope Quilt” that seems more do-able for a beginner. 

But then I found a wonderful YouTube demo by Ricky Tims online showing his version of techniques for creating a Kaleidoscope quilt:

And knew I had to purchase his book right away and give it a trial run…just to see if I could do it.  His technique seemed right up my ally, at least as a “do-able” starting beginning.

Ricky gives great step-by-step instructions in his book with lots of illustrations.  At first I thought I could figure it out by just watching the quick video—but no, I really did need the book to keep me on track…it was worth every penny!

Quilt by Ricky Tims

Next time, I’ll show you a few photos of my first attempt at his technique!  (OK, don’t expect it to look like the photo above!!  Remember, I’m just a beginner!)



Mulberry Patch Quilts

Sunset Art Quilt for Project Quilting Challenge

Sunset Art Quilt for Project Quilting Challenge

This week I’ve decided to join in (for the very first time) with “Project Quilting” challenge.  It’s a one-week quilt challenge put on by Persimon Dreams, a blog by Kim Lapacek.

I met Kim last year while attending her blogging class at Mill House Quilts, and I’ve been following her blog ever since. Kim was recently interviewed on “Sewing with Nancy” by Nancy Zieman about her “Project Quilting” challenges. I’ve been meaning to join in …  I’m finally ready to give it a try.

The theme & rules were given out (in her blog) last Sunday at noon, and the quilted item has to be done and uploaded by this Sunday at noon.  This week’s challenge is “SUNSET”, and the rules are simple–it must be made during the week of the challenge by applique, piecing, or 3 layers quilted together.  There’s no size restrictions.

The first thing that came to mind was a photo I’d taken last summer when my sister, Judi, came to visit Madison.  I treated her to a night downtown at a B&B right on Lake Mendota.  We watched the sunset from the pier after dinner–it was magical.







First I dug through all my fabrics (mostly the one’s I’ve hand-dyed) to find the right shades.







And I sketched my photo onto a piece of muslin.







I think this piece of commercial batik will work for the skyline.







Cutting into the stash, I tried to create the right shading for the background of the sky and water with the sunset in mind.







A few extra bits here and there of slivers of fabric cut with my rotary cutter will (I hope) help convey the feeling of the sunset and it’s reflection on the water.







When all the bits are placed (some with glue, some not) it’s all covered with tulle.  I used black tulle on the water and white tulle on the sky.







Then I quilted it all with batting and backing on my domestic machine with variegated cotton threads in lots of different colors.







Somehow it seemed to need alittle something more–so (after some experimenting) I added a tree with branches and dark foliage.  I’m hoping the foliage looks like the light is sparkling through it–so it’s making it grey and black.







That’s better…







Here’s the finished project (below).  I’ve just uploaded it to Kim’s blog site.  The challenge deadline is Sunday at noon–and voting starts soon after that!  (It would be nice to get a few votes.) 🙂







It’s hard to crop a perfect edge in a quilt–even when it’s nice and square.  It all depends on the angle of the photograph.  On this one, I tried putting black fabric as a background–but it just won’t do.







This one is better–just shows the black binding.






Here’s a close-up.














This photo has more of the wall showing.  Not sure which one I’ll upload for the contest…maybe this one.

Hope you’ll hop on over to Kim’s blog to see all the contestants, and vote for your favorite!

Until next time,



Mulberry Patch Quilts