Saturday, August 29, 2015

Quilt Seeds

Do you see a quilt in this picture?


Every quilt I make starts with a seed of an idea.

The seed may be pieces of fabric.

It may be a sketch.

It may come from somewhere deep inside of me.

It may be colors I am feeling.

It may be a part of a series.

It may be a combination of these things.

I am hoping I can make a great quilt with these seeds.

Time will tell.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Another Quilt Finished

It’s always a great feeling to finish a quilt and add another one to my list of finished quilts.


Since I haven’t named this one yet I’m calling it Quilt 416!

The pieced shibori section was made from extra parts of another quilt. I pieced them together with a satin stitch and then trimmed the edge to a pleasing shape.

I did some screen printing on the background fabric as it was too plain before I did that.

The finished piece is 16 inches wide by 14 inches high.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throw Back Thursday–Way Back!


This is a pledge book and an album I made beginning in 1958!

I used whatever I had at hand. The white fabric was from a dress I made for a dance. I have no idea why I had the red fur! The lace I tied the album together with was probably hem binding.

The white letters were made from pipe cleaners.

I also used red construction paper for the pages and red felt to line the covers!

I know some of my sorority sisters read my blog. I even have a sorority “step sister” who reads it.


The first page in the album….more of that lace…..the sticky letters are still attached as well as the day I made this!

Much of the rest of the album had items attached with original Scotch tape. It has failed in almost every page.


As a pledge I received this not from Rita Anderson Young, a sister I found again on Facebook several years ago.

I have torn the house apart this morning looking for the photo of all of us in our white wool blazers and still haven’t found it!

Wonder if any of you still have your blazer?


We had a lot of fun costume parties. This is ME although I don’t know what the theme of the party was?

I am wearing my raccoon coat. I made the turquoise dress with a short length of shiny fabric I had. It didn’t fit too well, but it was only a costume that was worn once.

If I ever find the group picture I’ll be sure to share it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Visit From A Friend

My friend Shelly arrived Monday around dinner time.

We had a great visit and did some catching up. We always enjoy hearing about the other’s kids and what they are up to.

We headed over to Seibert’s Pub for dinner and as usual it was great.

She was busy all day today and got home in the late afternoon. I tell my out of town friends to use my house as a motel and come and go as they please when they visit. It works great as they can see their other friends and family and yet have a place to relax. It gives us a chance to catch up, yet allows them to see others while they are here.

More visiting and relaxing. We never run out of things to talk about. We are both knitters. Her knitting is much more complex than what I am doing. She is currently doing double knitting and it is amazing.

I had planned on fixing something for dinner but she suggested we go to the Bristol Diner.


Even though it is very close by I had never been there. What a neat place. So many choices yet we each ordered the shrimp which came with soup, bread basket, baked potato and vegetables. they even serve beer and wine.


We were surprised to see who was there tonight!

Shelly brought her computer along and shared some family pictures from the early years of her life. Her parents were our good friends and I am sure they are looking down at us and so pleased to see we have become good friends.

After we got home we spent time in the studio looking at my recent work.

We also  had fun fondling the yarn in my  yarn cabinet. I was happy to share enough yarn with her to knit a sweater in her “spare” time.

She will be returning to Michigan today and it’s always hard to see good friends leave, yet grateful we have the time to enjoy each other’s company.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another Quilt Designing Tutorial


I wanted to be sure I was pleased with the colors and the order I used them when I made our king size bed quilt.

I cut narrow strips of each fabric which I had backed with a fusible.

I arranged them on a piece of graph paper and fused them in place.

I added an additional layer of fusible to the back of this and cut and moved them to get the design.

This showed 1/4 of the quilt.


I wanted to see how the entire quilt would look so I made this to view it.

I made this viewing device from two 12 inch mirror tiles.

I taped the edges of each with clear tape so prevent cutting myself on sharp edges.

I then joined the two tiles with a piece of duct tape.

You are seeing the back of the device in this picture.


By placing the mirrors on the corner I can see the way the finished design will work if I use this as the center.


This is what it would look like if I used the opposite corner as the center.

I felt very confidant going ahead cutting all the strips to make the quilt after seeing what the quilt would look like.

This is the finished quilt on our bed.

I realize you can buy mirrors to use to do this, but they are very limited in size. For the cost of a set of those you can make several of these sets and I am sure your friends would be happy to get a set you made.

Not only can they be used to test how  quilt design will work, but they are also handy when designing blocks for a quilt.

By opening them at a 60 degree angle, rather than the 90 degree angle I used here you can also see other possibilities when you are designing.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s A Beautiful Day

According to the calendar it is still summer, although we haven’t seen summer yet.
Today is a perfect pre fall day.
The sun is shining all around after a cleansing rain earlier today.
It’s time to bring out the cushions and enjoy some relaxing time drinking in the sunshine.
These leaves just glow in the sunshine.
Even inside the gazebo these gazing balls are glowing.
As day turns to dusk and darkness the gazebo is a perfect place to sit, relax and avoid mosquitos.
Won’t be long before the family is making music out here!

Friday, August 21, 2015

I Reached 600,000 Views Of My Blog

At 4:20 p.m. the 600,000 person viewed my blog.

No, I do now know who it was!

It’s amazing to me that there have been that many people who care to read my blog and follow my adventures.

I started blogging on September 14, 2008 with no idea how to blog, why I was doing it and what I’d be sharing.

The title “QUILTS+COLOR”  really is a true reflection of who I am and what my life is about.

I have made 1710 blog posts since then.

It has been one of the best things I’ve done.

It gives me a personal diary so I can look back and see what I was doing when.

It gives me a chance to look back at the family and friends I’ve been fortunate enough to have and share my life with.

It has been a way to look where I’ve been and anticipate where I might be heading.

And it has been a way to share all of that with you dear readers.

Each year I have had a book printed with all my blog posts. They are a lot of fun to look at by myself and my friends and see a year go by in a quick viewing.

I don’t consider myself a writer. Yet, since these posts are usually short on one topic writings I do enjoy doing them.

Since I no longer teach it is also a way to reach out to others with ideas and occasionally a tutorial.

Of course COLOR is a main focus of my blog and I hope the COLOR I share makes you feel good.

I know many of you are “Followers” of my blog.

If you want to be notified each time I post all you have to do is enter your email address under Follow By Email.  You will only get notifications when I post, no solicitation, etc. I don’t even know who has asked for the notifications, it’s all automatic when I post.

I don’t promote any business on my blog.

I hope YOU will be still here when I reach 700,000 posts!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Piles Of Projects–A Mini Tour Of My Studio Work

Today I want to share some photos from my studio.

This may give you a better idea how I keep track of some of my projects and current fabrics.


I keep some (not all) of my works in progress on these two quilt racks for easy access.


This is a piece of fabric I started to dye paint a tessellation on years ago. I have decided to piece the white areas using this group of hand dyed fabrics I created.


My drafting table is a good place for more of my works in progress. By the time I got my drafting table I was doing most things on the computer so it hardly was used for it’s intended purpose!


My antique library table is the perfect spot for a large portion of my dyes fabrics so I can see them and have easy access to create on the design wall.


Ice dyed fabrics on the back of a chair.


Commercial fabrics in wire baskets atop crocks that hold ???!

The smaller basket holds a select group of scraps for a possible project.

I use an eclectic group of containers/furniture in my studio. If it works I use it. If it doesn’t it’s gone.

I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of my studio and drank in all the color I love to share.

I always love to see how others keep track of things in their surroundings, being it a studio or their home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Best Of The Best

As I am quickly approaching 600,000 views on my blog I think this is a perfect time to share some of the most popular and best posts I’ve done on this blog.
Here is a link to my Sunrise Set quilt tutorial.
It continues to get a lot of views each and every day.

In Living Color is one of the first pieces I shared on my blog. It has been shared around the world and always gets amazing comments and shares.
It is featured as one of the quilts on this page.
Stay tuned and I will be showing other popular and best posts.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Criss Crossed Quilt

This is my most recent finish.
This was a challenge to create with the 1/8 inch red insets. Parts of it are from fabric I designed on Spoonflower.
The black/gray section is my shibori fabric and the red is a solid hand dyed fabric.
The fabric I used to back it reminds me of a crossword puzzle.
I like to finish the back of most of my quilts with facings and a casing to hang them. This was no exception.
Although you may have heard I have a goal of imperfection, that is not the case with my quilts. I may be the queen of facings as mine are perfection and help the quilts hang perfectly.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Perfect Imperfection

As many of you may know I am working on learning IMPERFECTION!
There is a time and a place for it!
This cotton dishcloth was started probably twenty years ago. As I was going through things to purge I found it half done. The lower left half is what I did 20 years ago. I decided to finish it and you can see the newly knit part on the upper right. The holes are just where my needles have rested for 20 years. There are other strange areas too.
I had enough yarn left to knit one more. This one looks a lot better.
I think they both will have a more even shape when they have been washed.
This was a perfect place to practice imperfection since either one will do an equally good job of washing dishes and wiping off counter tops!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ombre Knitting


This is the beginning of the knitting project I am currently working on. It is a surprise so I won’t be posting the entire thing for a while.

I am loving the effect I am getting with all the different yarns.

In addition to the ombre color effect there are a great variety of textures.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quilt! Knit! Stitch! In Portland Oregon August 13, 14, 15, 2015

My friend Bill Volckening took pictures of my Autumn Ombre Ensemble in the show. Thanks so much Bill, I really appreciate your photography skills.

I was impressed that the stand even coordinated with the clothing!

This is a closer view of the patchwork on the coat and shirt.

This is the description I sent for the show.


Autumn Ombre was inspired by my favorite season.

I used my Blue Ribbon No Sweat Checkerboard Shirt pattern for the shirt but used twice as many colors as my pattern called for.

The main fabric was a fine quality cotton sateen. The other fabrics were a mixture of 100% plain and polished cottons as well as blends.

For the coat I combined several of my Blue Ribbon patterns and made adjustments for an original design. It features the same piecing as on the shirt.

The coat was hand quilted with a polyester lining to make it easy to slip in and out of. I split batting in half and used just ½ of a layer to give it just enough shape and body.

The skirt was an original draft to compliment the coat.


The exhibit showcased some of the very best garments from the Fairfield Fashion Show over the years.

I felt honored they chose one of my garments to display.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Throw Back Thursday’s

I often post TBT’s on Facebook.

The problem with that is my blogging followers don’t get to see them. I am going to go back to some of the most recent ones and share them here.

Kay Koeper Sorensen's photo.

TBT - This picture was taken in 1943 or 1944. The man is our Uncle Charles Koeper who was in the Navy and home on leave. I am on the left, Karen Koeper is sitting on Uncle Charlie's lap, and Mary Rehorst is on the right.

TBT! My 7th birthday party! I am including names as I remember names on the back of the photo. names are left to right, not by rows.
Me, Rosemary Jacobsen, Patsy Freese, Karen Koeper,Georgia Bengtsen, Doris Krofta, Sandra Roberts and Marlene Nadler. I take no responsibility for spelling. — with
Rosemary Jacobsen, Karen Koeper, Patsy Freese, Georgia Bengtsen, Doris Krofta, Sandra Roberts and Marlene Nadler.

Kay Koeper Sorensen's photo.

TGT....My lifelong habit of keeping records of what I made started way back in 4H!
One of my visitors yesterday asked questions about how I started my sewing/dyeing journey and this is one piece of the puzzle.
This is just 1 of 18 pages in this little handmade booklet.
I think the prices are one of the most interesting things.
I also have used many of the scraps from the fabrics in this book in two of my first quilts completed in 1962!

Kay Koeper Sorensen's photo.

TBT I'm guessing this was about 1951..
Left to right: Marilyn Servis,?,Carol Koeper, Sandra Roberts, Connie Koeper, Billy Koeper, Karen Koeper

“They” say a picture is worth a thousand words and I am so glad to have these pictures to bring back memories from long ago!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Black And White Shawl/Scarf


It’s impossible to stretch this out to length and get a picture so I kind of scrunched it up on the table.

It is quite a large shawl that can cover my back, arms and front.

It is so soft, lightweight and warm. I was wearing black and white when I finished this and it is the perfect touch.


I can fold it up into a little bundle and if fits in my purse, ready to wear when I arrive somewhere where the air conditioning is set too cold.

I used size 11 needles to knit this so the texture is very loose and airy, yet warm.

It took less than half of the yarn I expected I would need.

I love this type of knitting. I can do it without paying much attention once I understand the shape.

This was done without a pattern, my favorite way to knit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heidi’s Wedding Shower

Recently Heidi was the guest of honor at a lovely bridal shower.


Heidi is my first grandchild.


Its hard to believe she is getting married even though she is 26 years old!


She is opening the gift from me. I often use fabric to wrap gifts as I have a never ending supply and the recipient can use the bag for something.


This wall quilt I gave her is a companion piece to the quilt she picked as her choice for Christmas this past year.


Heidi with her sisters.


Heidi with her mothers.

I have to thank Julie, Heidi’s godmother for sharing these pictures as hers were so much better than the ones I took.

We are all looking forward to Heidi and Nate’s wedding on September 6th!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Second Largest Quilt–Jubilation

This is the second largest quilt I have ever made. The only larger one is the bed spread/quilt I made for our king size bed.

It started out to be 108 inches square and after quilting ended up 104 inches square.


Quilting a quilt this size on a domestic sewing machine is a major challenge. Quilting this one was MORE than a major challenge.

I had planned free motion quilting for the curvy lines on the background. I had machine trouble doing that so the entire quilt had to be done with the presser foot down, stopping and turning each time the lines changed direction. I had less than two weeks to quilt and finish this quilt in my spare time as I was working at the time. I still am amazed when I look at this and see how I was able to quilt it so beautifully, even with the challenges I faced.

I finished it in time and it was hung in my husband’s new office until he retired. It was quite impressive in the space. The office had proper lighting and no exterior windows so the quilt is in mint condition.

The pieced sections were made with a variety of solid commercial fabrics. They were cut with a special triangle shape ruler which was new at that time.

I sketched the design of the quilt but couldn’t complete it as I had no source for fabric that shaded from light to dark gray. When I learned more about dyeing fabric I created the grey fabric.

I had to dye several batches to get enough to complete the quilt.

We don’t have any wall in our house that is large enough for this quilt.

It is available for sale. It would make a perfect piece of art for an office or a home with high ceilings. I can see it in a log cabin out west!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dining Chairs Finished


I finally finished recovering all 4 dining room chairs. I am pleased with the way they turned out.

I would be more pleased if I had read the information thoroughly when I ordered my staple gun. I somehow assumed it was an electric staple gun…aren’t they all???

Oh, no, this was manual and took more strength than I had, especially since I was dealing with the padding which was on the underside when I used it to staple the fabric.

Lesson learned!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bow Ties For Business


This is a quilt I made for my son’s office.

I used the origami bow tie technique to create the ties. Each tie is different.

For the background I chose shirting fabrics.

The border is charcoal gray wool flannel.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bodacious Blossom Completes The Studio Stairwell Display


This is the 5th quilt we hung last weekend. It is the largest of all of them and has won awards. There is a great variety of different quilting designs on the background and the rest of the quilt has been quilted with similar designs in the similar segments.

I did learn an important lesson when quilting this.
Of course I quilted the center designs first. 

when quilting the background with a variety of quilting designs, it is better to start the quilting at the bottom of the quilt  rather than the top. Your quilting improves as you work and people see the top more often than the bottom!

All of the fabrics were hand dyed by me.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Simple Interchangeable Quilt Hanging System

I have been asked how I hang my quilts over the studio stairwell.
This system works so well and I can load the quilts from an area that is not too high and them “roll” them over to the steepest point.
This view is from the bottom of the stairs looking up. You can see the tracks they hang on.
The tracks are traditional closet door tracks.
This close up gives you a better view of the tracks themselves. The tracks are attached to the ceiling.
It would also be possible to hang another set of quilts behind these as there are two tracks---think hanging closet doors and how they bypass each other.
See that black hole on the wall? That is where we previously hung a large quilt. My DH stood on the railing and leaned over the stairwell to hang the quilt. He told me to grab his ankles if he started to fall…..fortunately he didn’t as I would never have had the strength to hold him up. The quilt stayed there for many years as I was not open to a repeat performance the way he hung the quilt.
When we were ready to put up these closet tracks it was done with proper scaffolding and proper ladders and at the same time that quilt was taken down.
The vertical dark line you see in the track is where we joined two tracks to get the length we needed.
If you look closely at the top of the left quilt you can see the closet hanging bracket and the S hook we made to hang it from a clothes hanger.
The S hook goes through a hole in the bracket and also through the hole in the hanging bar for the quilt.
I love this method of hanging and the fact that I can change quilts on view often and easily.
When I want quilts to hang farther down the wall and not at the ceiling I attach a length of fishing line to each side to make them hang lower. If you look at this post you can see one that was hung lower:
No one even notices the fishing line.