Project Quilting Inspiration

Project Quilting Inspiration

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are over, and it’s time for Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams to begin the first week of the Project Quilting Season 10 challenge.

When I saw the first challenge phrase, “Hope Springs Eternal“, I instantly thought of a photo my son & daughter-in-law sent us of our sweet little granddaughter looking up in awe as she “helped” decorate their Christmas tree.

Isn’t she a sweetie? She’s just between 1-1/2 & 2…So this is the first time she’s really enjoying the tree. And that look on her face is just full of wonder and hope for what’s to come.

Not only does it represent the hope of things to come for her, it represents our hope of flying half way around the world to see her soon. I’m so grateful that I live in an age where we can video-chat online weekly and get instant photos every day, but it’s just not the same as seeing them all in person. I can’t wait to give her a hug and play together.

To start the challenge, I printed an outline of the photo on paper and used my Cutterpillar light box to lightly trace some of the important features onto white muslin with pencil.

Next I sandwiched the white muslin on top of batting and backing and started thread sketching (which also served as free motion quilting) with black cotton Aurufil thread and my Bernina BSR foot.

I decided to thread sketch everything…her sweatshirt, hair, and even the needles on the branches of the Christmas tree. And it helped to look at the photo of her beside me on my computer as I sketched in all of her features, starting with her eyes.

I’m so glad I’ve got a nice selection of variegated cotton Sulky thread! I think they really help add depth…

my granddaughter has the cutest pink cheeks (just want to kiss them!), and I couldn’t get the effect I wanted with thread…so broke out my stash of Derwent color pencils and started coloring… adding a bit if color to her lips, her hair, and some shading.

Now that’s a bit better!

A little more shading, and then I added a double border of batik fabrics.

Here’s some close up photos…

I started so late on this challenge, … I wasn’t sure I’d have enough time. But once I started, it just came together and I loved every minute. You really CAN do it in a week.

Participating in PQ is so much fun, because it forces me to try a new technique or idea and actually get it done. I don’t have time to worry about failing or to quit and start over. It is what it is. And I can’t procrastinate when it HAS to be done from start to finish in only one week!

The voting starts this Sunday afternoon (January 13, 2019). Come vote for your favorites…but of course I’d love your vote!

VOTE HERE. Be sure to scroll down to the end.

I believe the voting is open January 13-19 and the winners announced Jan. 20.

Until next time,

Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Round Log Cabin–Progress

Round Log Cabin–Progress

My progress is slower than I expected…but the last “rounds” are done on all my round log cabin blocks!


Here’s what they look like when four blocks are put together into a circle…


I’ve placed them on the design wall and decided to make one lap quilt…

I’ll add a batik border (oh-oh, that means I need a fabric store run!)…and perhaps a black binding, we’ll see.

AND, I’m making a large table runner…

Now I need to decide what to do with all the “trimmings”!  HA!

I enjoyed the precision of using the Creative Grids “Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool”.  Although it’s not a necessity to buy it to make the round log cabin, it certainly does make it more manageable to make.

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Wine Coaster DIY


I wanted a little gift to send to a friend for her birthday—

I came across several tutorials on the internet and TV for making wine coasters, all with similar ideas—a little folding magic and voilà!  Easy-to-make and fun-to-enjoy coasters!


Ah hah!  The perfect gift…  easy to send with the card, and I can make it from my stash.


These coasters will fit perfectly over the bottom stems of the average size wine glass, but you can also use them as regular coasters…for any beverage.


Wanna make some?

Here’s how I did it…

First, grab 5 fabrics and cut a 4-1/2” circle out of each one.  I found that a nested set of circles I have for machine quilting worked perfectly as a rotary cutting guide for my circles…

Next, leave one circle alone (base circle) and press each of the other 4 circles in half.  I cut enough to make two…

Now the layering part.  Put your base circle right side up…then place each folded circle (with the folds toward the inside and the raw edges in line with the base circle) like this:

Be sure to tuck the last one under the first…it’ll make sense when you do it.

Now the sewing part:  sew a 1/4” seam around the entire perimeter through all layers…you might want to trim with a pinking shears (but you don’t’ have to)

Just turn it right side out through the center of the folded circles…give it a good pressing…and like magic…voilà…a lovely wine coaster…and my favorite wine from our local winery–Wollersheim Winery 🙂 A great place to visit BTY, if you’re coming to the Prairie du Sac area of Wisconsin!

Or a lovely coaster for any beverage!

Wish my coffee looked like this

hmmmm…Time for a coffee break!

Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!!


Mulberry Patch Quilts


And the Winning Border Is….

Thanks for all your comments.  I appreciate your valuable input.

In the end, it seemed the “votes” were 50/50–about half of you liked the light batik, and about half of you preferred the green hand dyed fabric for the  border.

It was a hard decision—although I think either choice would have been fine in the end.  I wish I had made two iris art quilts so I could have used both borders!

IrisEtsy4…after much deliberation…

I thought the light batik contained too much purple (you might not have been able to see it in the photos)—and it clashed a bit with the deeper reds and pinks in the iris.  The green hand dyed fabric seemed to continue the grass and foliage theme.  Green always looks so good in nature surrounding the flowers that pop here and there in the garden…don’t you think?

So… ta da!  

I went with the green this time.



To create the border, I first folded four 1-1/4” strips of the batik in half and pressed them.

I ❤ my new iron!

And laid the folded strips against the four sides of the center—raw edges together–and basted it in place.

Next I cut four strips of the green hand-dyed fabric about 2-1/2” wide, and added them to the sides with 1/4″ seams & pressed them out

Then added them to the top and bottom and pressed them out too.

Using a free-motion foot on my Bernina, I free-motion quilted a vine with leaves running around the new border and then added a 1-1/2″ single fold binding in a deep green batik to finish it off.

I like to add corner hangers to my smaller art quilts (see this earlier blog for directions), so I can insert a wooden dowel for easy hanging.


It’s now for sale at my Mulberry Patch Quilts Etsy Site



Until next time, HAPPY QUILTING!


Mulberry Patch Quilts

Border Decision on Iris Quilt Project

So today I need to make a decision on which border fabric to use on my Iris Quilted Art piece.  I don’t think there’s ever a wrong choice—just better.  So here goes.

I’ve taken photos of the Iris Quilt with several batiks and some that I’ve hand dyed myself.

Here are some possibilities…

Mmmmmm…I like the way the lighter colors bring out the highlights and make the Iris brighter—but I also like the small inner border accent.

So I think, for me at least, it’s between the two possibilities below:

Iris with light borderIris with green border

A) Light border with green trim and B) Green border with light trim.

It’s hard…what do you think?  Any opinions out there?

Which one would you choose?  A or B?



Mulberry Patch Quilts

Trillium Art Quilt Process

Trillium Art Quilt Process

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It certainly can get messy in my quilt studio when I’m working on a new art quilt!  I like to have options–so I bring out every possible hand-dyed, batik fabric that might work before I finalize the ones that make the cut…

Trillium say “spring” to me…I love to see them appear, as if by magic, on the forest floor — coming up out of the brown leaves and pine needles.

This piece is based on a photograph I took of one of the Trillium in bloom last spring.

I start with creating the base–trying to replicate the feel of a forest floor.  I put the center pieces on a “sandwich” of a low-loft batting, the Pellon Deco-Bond, and backing fabric–then added a folded green mini-border, and the batik outer border.  Now it’s ready for the Trillium…

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Using the photograph for reference, I “fussy cut” each of the leaves, petals, and stems out of my stash of hand-dyed and batik fabrics backed with Steam-a-Seam Lite* and fuse them together as one before adding it to the background.

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Next comes the quilting, which really gives it life.  I like to use the Sulky variegated thread in different colors–from brown, to green, to golden yellow…

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Then the binding and “corner pieces” for hanging.

I’ve got 5 pieces made to take to Iowa — so my “mini-show” is ready for display at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts…

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*By the way–I’m almost out of my “Steam-a-Seam 2 Lite” and found out that the company (The Warm Company) has discontinued making the product until they find a solution to a problem.  Seems the company that supplied them with the backing sheet for the product shut down, and they were unhappy with the alternative paper they tried.  So they’re working on a solution to their problem, and the product is expected to be back on the shelves soon.


Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts







Leaves on the Forest Floor art quilt

I’m so excited to have been accepted by the jury to show several of my art quilts this summer at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts.  They’re located in McGregor, Iowa–just across the Wisconsin/Iowa border. If you go to visit, be sure to stop at the beautiful Effigy Mounds National Monument for a hike, and the Old Man River Restaurant and Brewery for some of the best hamburgers we’ve every tasted!

I want to make a few new pieces to take with the others later this month, so I’ve started working furiously this past week…

One of my new pieces is a replication of the forest floor.  As I was taking a hike last fall, I looked straight down and was amazed at how beautiful the fallen leaves were against the forest floor.  I took several photographs, hoping to some day make a quilt.

A few days ago, after laying a background fabric onto my batting and backing, I fussy cut leaves out of some of my batik and hand-dyed fabrics.  Next, I  took them to my machine and free-hand quilted them each down, trying to emphasize the veins in each leaf.









It took some time (a few days actually) to carefully free-hand quilt around each and every leaf…I have to take several breaks.









I decided it needed a little spark of color, so I did a three-piece border surrounding the main leaves…it has a peach batik narrow border, with a very small folded 1/2″ strip, and then a border of background fabric, bound in the same stripe.









Here it is, finished…and it does remind me of the hike in the woods.









My next piece is going to replicate autumn leaves in full color, using the “confetti” quilting technique…

Happy Quilting!


Mulberry Patch Quilts