Total Pageviews

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


We moved to Wisconsin 30 years ago but even before we moved here we were trail riding  with our kids at Wildcat Mountain State Park.  

We were there last October and had a conversation with the camp hosts, who are people we have come to know reasonably well, about improvements to the horse camp.  They knew I quilted and asked me if I ever did quilts for fundraisers and if so, would I consider doing one to raise money for materials to be used for improvements. They told me they had people who had volunteered their labor but had no money for materials.

 I told them I had a pattern at home that might work well and I would send them a picture of the pattern insert to see if they were interested.  It was a Pam Bono pattern called "Saddles".    I had bought this pattern and 95% of the fabric for it about 10 years ago at Quintessential Quilts in Reedsburg, WI.  

I should have hesitated when I pulled out the two very large doubled-sided pages of instructions but I wasn't smart enough to do that.  I began cutting out this pattern on January 4th and it was a bear.  The pattern had all the sections lettered and numbered to match the illustration of the quilt on the instructions.  If they hadn't done this, I would not have had a clue how to get the whole thing together.  I cut up approximately 10 yards of fabric for the top.

This is what it looked like when I got it all cut up.  You can see the little tags on each pile to designate where it should go on the pattern.

The saddles were put together first.  Their were 21 applique pieces that had to be fused and satin stitched.  The horse shoe blocks had to be appliqued and the border strips added.

Next came the broken star patterns that were combined with some other blocks to make the outer border of the quilt.

Then the 78 spurs had to be appliqued and satin stitched for the inner and outer borders.
And on it went until I finished it on the 22nd of May.  I do not usually keep track of the hours that I spend on a project but I knew as soon as we started selling tickets that was going to be the first thing that would be asked, "Boy, how long did that take you?" It took me 150 hours to construct the top and 77 hours to quilt it on my domestic machine.  Tickets will be on sale soon.

It has been the most challenging project I have ever worked on and the largest. It measures 100" x 103".


Hand Stitching at Woodland Ridge Retreat

In mid July, for the first time in Wisconsin, I'll be offering a multi-day workshop that is open to the public. Woodland Ridge Retreat ( is an amazing retreat center that is set up specifically (and ideally) for quilters and fiber artists. Lodging, meals, and workshops are all right on site in a beautiful wooded setting between Madison and the Twin Cities. From July 16-18 I'll be teaching a three-day workshop "Dots & Dashes: The Language of the Hand-Made Stitch." It is a sampler-based workshop in which we explore bead embroidery, thread embroidery, and a variety of design principles while each student develops her/his own visual "hand-writing"/style. I've taught this as a two-day class in the Chicago area and Florida and as a five-day class at QSDS. I'm really excited about the opportunity to offer it for three days and in such an amazing setting. The class will be fairly small, so I encourage you to sign up soon if you'd like to participate. Chris Daly, the owner of Woodland Ridge Retreat, can be contacted at to register or answer logistical questions. Feel free to contact me with workshop-related questions.  

Registration for this class ends this week.