Merry Christmas 2015 continued, kind of…

Hello Friends, I hope you have had a blessed Christmas celebration with your loved ones.


We three retreated for a getaway, just to enjoy a slightly slower pace of things!  We had handmade gift tags (courtesy of Miss Baby – she was the official gift tag girl this year!).

gift tag1

gift tag2

Our Christmas this year was a bit gingerbread man-nish.  We had one of the outfits with matching hairbow,


and artwork showing the nativity scene.  The artist requested that the viewers take note of the “cascading light rays” (her words, not mine!) brought upon by the angels singing praises to God.


We also had amazing weather.  I was in sleeveless dresses, and we weren’t in the tropics or Florida!



I am back to work.  I actually worked right up till Christmas Eve this year.  I managed to eek out a quilt top for a 2016 editorial feature.  Darlene of Sew Graceful Quilting (my quilting angel) is quilting the quilt as we speak…


… while I work on another editorial feature using these really colorful Basically Patrick fabrics from RJR Fabrics.


Despite having to work, we are continuing with our Christmas celebration… after all, it’s only the 4th day of Christmas! :)


So, have you put up your Christmas things yet?  Or are you waiting till after the New Year, or after the 12th day of Christmas?  You could probably guess when we put up our Christmas things at the Ivory Spring household, haha! Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely week!

The Little House On The Hill: Preview

Hello Friends,  I have been plagued by delayed flights in my recent trips.  I arrived home from Indiana after midnight on Monday. After catching a couple of hours of zzz’s, I went straight to work on a quilt that simply has to catch its flight to Australia. I stayed up most of last night working to make the quilt happen… and here is a very sneaky preview of another collaborative project with Lynette Anderson.


I have NEVER made yoyo’s this small (without using those nifty Clover yoyo makers) until this project.  It was not as scary as I had feared.  I found that starch-pressing the fabric first helped the process tremendously.


So tell me – do you like yoyo’s, and do you use them on your quilts?  I will be back tomorrow with a final post on Fall Quilt Market this year to round off our week.  Thank you for stopping by – I hope to catch up with your blogs and emails this weekend.

Constellation of Colors & Virtual Trunk Show #19: Sawtooth Star, Part 2

Happy Monday, Friends, I hope you have had a good weekend!  My quilting angels did it again… they were able to make yet another quilt happen for me.  I spent Friday night binding the quilt, and was able to ship off the following day Constellation of Colors!


You know I have a Sawtooth Star Block fanatic!  Click here to see my other Sawtooth Star quilts.  Today I am sharing with you the second installment on my Virtual Trunk Show of my Sawtooth Star Quilts! Click on the quilt names for more information on individual quilts.

1.  FRESH OFF THE PRESS – All That Glitters (American Patchwork & Quilting, December 2015)

All that glitters

“Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2015 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.”

2.  Get Happy (American Patchwork & Quilting Calendar 2015 for the month of March)


3.  Rising Stars (The Quilter, August/September 2015, Cover Quilt)


4.  Tutu Cute Twin Quilt and Floor Pillow, a free to use pattern for Quilting Treasures

High res_quilt with binding

High res_floor pillow

5.  Star Struck, a free to use design for Benartex, Fan Favorite 2015

High Res_3b_73 x 73

6.  Shimmery Constellations, a free to use pattern for Benartex

Redo_stripes out

Thank you for stopping by.  I have exactly 10 days before I leave for Market.  It’s crunch time again… so, I shall run for now!

Easing back in…. Random this and that!

Hello Friends, I hope you have been well!  I am finally back in the land of living… sort of!  During my time away, autumn happened!  The following Autumn Comfort runner is featured in my upcoming Creative Quilts & Projects book.


I did manage to finish piecing my 30 blocks.  Here you see all the blocks all stacked up… you have seen my Iron Man quilt.  This current quilt sure feels like an Iron Man II quilt!!!  However, my husband really likes this current quilt – thus a masculine quilt alert!  Stay tuned for details.


I also finalized my travel arrangements to Fall Market next month!  I will be in Houston from Oct 22 to Oct 25!  Please email me if you want to meet up!  I will have a few events during my time there – details to come.  I will also be helping out at Sample Spree.  I have never been to Sample Spree in my past Market trips… so I am eager to see how craziness unfolds in real life at Sample Spree!  I have heard it’s a bit crazy, and that might even be an understatement!


And in the midst of the frenzy, this (THIS!) came in the mail — my Aurifil Subtle Strings thread pack!!!  I am making a quilt with the threads in my thread box!!  These thread boxes will be available after Fall Market in November.  I am quilting a quilt with these threads.  I will be able to share more about the quilt after Market!!  I am VERY excited about this thread box… and will be posting more about it and the threads in the future.  Miss Baby saw the box and asked, “Mom, why is your picture on the box?”



And of course, where would I be without my friends being my “eyes” out there looking for interesting things/links to send me?  Mary emailed me a few days ago to tell me my Yuki quilt design is kitted and sold by Cotton Club.  You can click here to purchase the quilt kits.

High Res_Fractured Gray_76 x 94

High Res_Fractured Blue_76 x 94

Before I forget, let’s take care of the ladies who will be receiving some Windham Chambray Rose fabrics from my post here.  I decided to share the love, and managed to make 2 little fabric piles from my magazine project leftovers.  So, the two ladies to be receiving the fabrics are: Sandy A in St. Louis, and Carol Hendrick.  Ladies, I have emailed you privately asking for your mailing address.  If you don’t receive the email, would you please email me your mailing address so that I can get the fabrics sent out to you in my next mail run?


So I get home from Fall Market, and will only have time to catch up with laundry and a little of housework before I leave again.  I am teaching at Annie’s Craft Festival at Fort Wayne in Indiana on Oct 30-Nov 1.  Will I see you there?  You may click here to sign up for classes with me.

I think that’s all for now, Dear Friends.  Happy Fall to my northern Hemisphere friends, and Happy Monday and Happy Week to ALL my friends!



pumpkin patch6

Thanksgiving Topper




Spice Garden7


p.s.  The above pictures show some of the fall projects I have worked on in the past.

Parade: Preview

Hello Friends,  earlier this week I showed you the Chambray Rose fabrics with which I have been playing…


The quilt is now completed and shipped, and here are a few sneaky peeks for you…




Now, I have to catch up on other things…. like laundry, housework etc.  Thus are glimpses of my very unglamorous life. :) Thank you for stopping by – I hope you have a lovely rest of your day.


So I took a quick look at the school papers Miss Baby brought home with her, and nothing really caught my eye.  I was on the verge of committing the school papers of the day to the trash can.  One can only keep that many papers, and Miss Baby has many more years of school left.  That’s when I heard…

Miss Baby:  Did you take a look at the other Bible paper (with the fish)?

Me: Yeah, you were supposed to draw a fish.  And… you drew a shark?

Miss Baby:  Oh, Mom – we could draw anything on there as long as it’s under water.

[Me looking at the picture, counting the number of sets of gills on that shark…]


Miss Baby:  Can you see that it’s a food chain?

My head was spinning – instruction says to draw a fish… who said anything about a food chain? I took a serious look at the picture for the first time.  FOOD CHAIN?


Sure enough, it’s a food chain, sort of…. I think.

Miss Baby:  See? Plankton are at the end of the food chain.  [See circled dot in picture].


Still spinning, my mind frantically scrolled through all the “scientific” p-words – platelet, plutonium, pulmonary, planet, pipe cleaner, panda, plankton?! …. Oh, plankton – that’s right, plankton!

Me:  Oh yes, plankton — the quintessential element of  the aquatic food chain!


I am not a perfect Mom – that’s a fact.  I am a Mom who works too much.  And  I am painfully aware I am not the most patient Mom around.  BUT… I was reminded again to not blow off my child’s art work.

Thus a switch-a-roo on the fate of that particular school paper: Trash bin to Keepsake box.

p.s.  Oh, the knowledge out there waiting for us to learn about and explore including planktology here!


Meanwhile, I have been playing with these fabrics.  They are Nancy Gere’s Chambray Rose from Windham.  These fabrics are gorgeous — they are like the perfect fusion of denim and floral. The focal print has the look of floral printed on denim.   They are a little different from the usual floral prints, but very pretty.  Click here to view the fabrics in case you are interested in getting some for yourself!  And… if blue/lavender aren’t your colors, check out Nancy’s Carmen red fabrics here.  I have some – and they are absolutely GORGEOUS!


I have a few Chambray Rose fabric pieces (focal print and coordinates) left from piecing my quilt — if you would like them, please leave a comment in the comment section.  One of you will be picked to receive the fabrics.

I spy with my own eyes…

Happy Monday, Friends!  I am exhausted, but I was most excited heading out to the Post Office this morning posting my two quilts to their respective destinations.

In one of my quilts, I spy with my own eyes….


… fabrics from Nancy Gere’s Low Country Indigo for Windham.   Read about Nancy’s fabrics here.

You know I love history, but the funny thing is that I really haven’t worked with any historic-themed fabrics until very recently.  I couldn’t be happier and excited about the prospect!!!  Stay tuned for some designs coming up I did using more reproduction lines — SO excited is all I can say.

So — curious mind wants to know if you like using reproduction fabrics in your quilts.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a lovely week ahead.  It’s time for me to catch up with laundry and housework… or, Miss Baby is going to say, “Mom, I don’t mean to nag, but I think you need to dust this lamp! I am seeing powdery dust on it.”  Yeah, about that… I shall get right on it!  Thus, the reason why my sister calls me the overqualified maid and underpaid chauffeur.


Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you had a great weekend.  I worked (am still working) on this.  So far, I think I already have about 35 fabrics in it.  I was tempted to show you just how crazy my piles of fabric are for this project.  I decided against it because the sight is totally unappealing!


SO, a couple of Fridays ago, I mentioned about unpacking a huge box that has the machine. I am happy to tell you the machine which I have nicknamed The Machine That Could is a Bernina 770 QE!


One of the neat features that I love about the 7-series is their “eco” feature that acts as a power safe as well as child safety mode.  I like that the machine “locks” itself up when I am not at my machine because I do have a little one at home. Miss Baby was taught really young to have a healthy respect for my tools of trade, and we have never had any mishaps!  Nonetheless, the other kids that come through our door might not…

This machine is a little different from my Artista 640.  So, any chance I have before bed, whether it be midnight or 3am in the morning, I squeeze in time to read the manual, and marking the pertinent pages of information!


Now to my obsession of reading manuals — when I think on it, I can actually remember reading the manual of my Dad’s Casio semi-scientific calculator when I was a kid!  Fast forward to my former life in the research lab… Since safety was a big deal, and the equipment with which I worked could be potentially hazardous (like burning the eyeball out if I accidentally look in straight at a high-power laser beam – and I am NOT exaggerating), I would spend days reading and re-reading (out of fear!) the operation manual of the equipment before I even turned on the power switch.  That eventually became a habit that I have maintained till this day.  I am a manual reader – if something comes with a manual, I always read it first… just in case!

And I have read the section about oiling the machine about 5 times now — this is for Dan at Rogers Sewing Center.

So, our latest installment of Quilty THIS or THAT is… Manual Reading, or NOT?  Or only when that dumb thing still doesn’t work?  This curious cat is anxious to know your answers! Remember, there is no right or wrong answer in our THIS or THAT game! :)


Thank you for stopping by.  I will have much more to share about the Bernina B770 machine soon! Have a lovely rest of your week!


Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #1. Click here for Vicki’s follow up post.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #2.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #3.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #5.

Click here for Quilty THIS or THAT #6.

Click here for Quilty THIS OR THAT #7.

Preview of Upcoming Project & Life

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope your week got off a stupendous start!  Here is a quick preview of a project I completed over the weekend.  For this particular view of the project, I call it convergence


Indeed, convergence seems to describe my life today!  I was out shipping the project to the editor at the Post Office. The Post Office was so crowded that I felt like the entire population of the city in which I live converged at that particular moment at the Post Office.  Then, I was at the gas station where there were at least 3-4 cars converging at each of the 12 bays.  And then…. the traffic, I honestly didn’t quite know from where all the cars had come!  I ran three simple and little errands only about 5 miles from where I live, and it took 2 hours!  I tell you…. city life!  I love where I live, 99.999% of the time.  But today on the way home, I longed for a retreat to the country where traffic jam is considered as having 5 cars on the road at the same time!

I also have deadlines converging on me this week.  So, I thought perhaps the “convergence” theme was quilted over the weekend as a foreshadowing of my life this week… ha!

Please don’t read that as me complaining about life.  I really have nothing to complain about. Life is just… life!  And I am reminded that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever life circumstances in which He places me.

Have a great week, Dear Friends!  I hope you are all well, healthy and still enjoying your summer.

p.s.  THANK YOU for entering my Color & Count giveaway.  I read every single comment that you have left.  There is still time to win some cute fabrics!

Sheer Sherbet : Preview

Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you are doing well. I came through a rather stressful weekend trying to finish a quilt to ship this morning.  It’s really not a hard quilt, but for some reason, I kept making dumb mistakes.  A friend told me that happened to her a couple of weeks ago — and I guess it was my turn over the weekend.  BUT… I did get it done!  What’s the loss of a few hours of sleep especially when one gets to work with these Sherbet-ish fabrics, right? So, from these fabrics,…


…. four fabrics made it into the quilt!


I tried out this cheerful variegated thread from Aurifil — and loved the effect.  The color is 4659 (I call it Peach Cobbler) in case you are interested and want to get some for yourself. Here is a close-up to show you the peachy effect of the variagated thred. :)


There are way cooler quilting effects in Sheer Sherbert – can’t wait to share them with you! Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

Patch upon patch: Sneak Peek #1

So…. I have been listening to Anne of Green Gables in audio book format while I work, and came across the following quote that brought a smile to my face.

“I do NOT like patchwork,” said Anne dolefully, hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds with a sigh. “I think some kinds of sewing would be nice; but there’s no scope for imagination in patchwork. It’s just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere. But of course I’d rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than Anne of any other place with nothing to do but play.”                                                                        ~Chapter 13, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery


I have been working with small pieces the last couple of days… My 9-patch units, shown in image below, finish at 3″ x 3″.  I am using my little trick here to make the units.  Most of you know I don’t always enjoy piecing, so I kind of empathize Anne of Green Gables with her assessment of patchwork.  But I do not agree with Anne about patchwork having no scope of imagination.  I think there is plenty of imagination to be had in sewing up the “seamingly” endless seams. :)  This particular quilt has a non-negotiable deadline because it is going to travel far for an overseas publication.


Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek of Miss Baby’s latest stitching project.  She thinks she has arrived being able to stitch with variegated thread… ha!


And on and off while I am supervising Miss Baby’s violin practices, I have been stitching a little… a very little… on Miss Baby’s birth sampler.


And if you’re curious about the overall look so far…


That’s all for now, Dear Friends.  Back to patchwork-ing I must go!!!  Thanks for stopping by.  Hugs to you all.

Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and quilt fancy, and really add to the quilt.  The battle raged on fiercely (!), and finally, the Artist won!

I won’t tell you how much sleep I got last night, because I will get in trouble should my Mom check in and read the post. ;) But suffice it to say all those all-nighters I had in engineering school amply prepared for a stint like last night’s!



I was glad the Artist in me won in the quilting department of this quilt.  I really like the result. But the icing on the cake was when Miss Baby came downstairs and saw the quilt this morning… she said, “WOW, Mom…. this quilt is so pretty now (that it’s quilted)!” I guess she wasn’t quite sure about it before, and was too nice to say anything negative.

This quilt is now on its way to the editor.  Whether they would let me officially name the quilt “Engineer vs. Artist” remains to be seen.

Thank you for stopping by!  I need to start on the next few things on my list.  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  Through today only, you can still get my book Recreating Antique Quilts at a discount at my publisher’s website. Click here to purchase the book.

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