Happy Memorial Day!!!

On this Memorial Day weekend I would like to say thank you to all the men and women of our armed forces and their Gold Star families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Without their selfless acts we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have. As you are off having fun at the beach, lakes and parks please do not take those freedoms for granted, someone gave their life and someone lost a loved one to give them to you.

God Bless Our Military and their Families Now and Always.


Memory Quilting Online Classes Available!!!!

Memory Quilting is so much more than t-shirts. I am so happy and proud to announce that my online Memory Quilting Series of classes with The Quilting Company are now available online.  These classes, five in total, are geared toward your specific memory quilting needs.  Are you making a quilt with Ties?  Then check out my tie class.  Have a pile of children’s clothes that you don’t know what to do with?  Take my children’s clothes class.  There is something for everyone. In each class you will learn the techniques and supplies you need to take your clothes items and make them into quilts.  I will explain how to make decisions on what will work and what won’t in your quilts.  I will discuss what stabilizers are best and give you lots of other tips to help make creating your quilts a breeze.

Go to The Quilting Company at www.quiltingcompany.com and look for the following class covers to find your way into the wonderful world of memory quilting.

Check out all my classes for lots of techniques and tips on all the things you can do to make your memory quilts extra special.

If you have any questions about the classes feel free to contact me here or via email at quilter@happymemoriesquilts.com.

Happy Memories

Fussy Cutting Shirts With Difficult Designs

I am working on a project for a client that is a combination of the Mom’s/Grandma’s and Dad’s/Grandpa’s clothes.  They want four quilts that are the same design and they wanted squares as that is what Mom/Grandma liked the best.  I felt the squares needed to be big enough to show off the designs in the clothes. Many of the shirts had large patterns and some had only a few repeats in each shirt which made it a challenge to get four blocks out of them that were close to the same.  The block we decided on was a 10″ finished Uneven Nine Patch.  The center block was a 5 1/2″ cut which worked out perfect as I could use my 5 1/2″ All Squared Up Tee’s template to fussy cut the center blocks for the squares.

When you are using clothes for quilts sometimes you can just cut them up just like you would regular fabric.  I was able to do that with many of the shirts in this project but some of them needed special treatment. I am going to go through some of the blocks here for you to give you an idea of what my thought process was when I was cutting the blocks out.  Since I was in design mode not teaching mode I didn’t think of taking pictures of the shirts before cutting so please forgive the lack of before and after photos. OOP’s :-).   I am sure you will get the idea without them.

I had several men’s Hawaiian style shirts that had patterns with large elements that were spread out across the whole shirt.  When you have a design like this you want to pick the element that will pop the memory of the shirt the most and use that in the block.  In the case of the shirt below the little scooters were a focal point in the shirt so I needed to use them so the memory of the shirt would come forward when looking at the block. Using my 5 1/2″ Template I fussy cut 4 squares making sure the scooter was in the block.

Below is the final block.

Using the same 5 1/2″ template I cut the other shirts. For this one I made sure the flowers were in the center square and leaves and part of the volcano were in the corner blocks. This shirt had a row of the pink building across the front and back.  Using the template I was able to cut 4 different portions of the building so it was included in all the center blocks. I cut the leaves that were on the rest of the shirt to make the four corner blocks.On these next blocks I made sure that each block included a portion of the overall design.  I tried to make sure the center block was a major design that reflected the shirt.  The corners took in any other portions of the shirt I felt needed to be included to reflect the whole shirt design such as design elements or other colors.   The shirt cut for the block below was mostly the geometric black but it had large pops of the red with some orange.  For this block I made sure I got the red in the large block and then made sure each 10″ block also got a pop of the orange in it to reflect the overall design of the shirt.

The shirt that gave us the block below had all the different purples as well as the lime green and blues.  I made sure when I cut the pieces for the blocks that it represented all the different colors in the shirt.When designing quilt blocks using all these different designs it just takes a little bit of thought to make a quilt that will bring back all the fond memories your clients have of the person wearing them.  When they see the quilt block they don’t just see the block but a picture of their loved one wearing the item.  This technique can be used with any item such as dresses, skirts, coats etc.

Don’t forget to pull out my small All Squared Up Tee’s Templates for these projects. They really make fussy cutting the blocks a breeze.

Happy Memories, Trish

Layers, Layers, Everywhere!!!!!

Hope this finds all going well for all of you. I have been doing well getting into Pilates classes and working on stuff around the house. The weather here has been gorgeous. We finally got a real spring, which we haven’t had in several years. We spent late last week and weekend doing spring-cleaning and planting of flowers on our lani. It is so nice to have everything clean and fresh again with flowers spilling over pots.

On the work front I have started a new quilt for a West Point graduate. I have done quilts with these uniforms before, including one for my hubby, but this time I am keeping all the uniforms together and making the blocks out of the full fronts, including collars. I certainly like to challenge myself. J I have been taking the uniforms apart this week and it amazes me what all goes into the uniforms they make for the cadets. My husband, who is a graduate, made the comment that it is no wonder they weighed a ton with all the layers they have in them.

The photo above shows the different layers in the full dress uniform jacket. There are three layers under the wool fabric top layer. Two layers of thick woven interfacing and one thin layer of batting type interfacing, When I tell my students they need to debulk their items these uniforms take this step to a whole new level. Some layers you just can’t get rid of like the bottom one here in this photo. With the stitching on top of this layer this will need to stay in or I will loose the decorative stitching on the top. (Shown in the photo below.)

These are just a few examples of the challenges memory quilting can give you. Every quilt and every item that goes in them has the potential to pull you outside your comfort zone. I normally practice on similar items, and highly recommend it to my students and customers, but I really don’t want to practice on my husband’s uniform and there aren’t any in the local thrift shop so what do you do? In a case like this I wing it. I know that sounds scary, but if you take it slowly one step at a time you can do this. I take pictures and notes as I take things apart so if I need to put something back together I can. I seam rip as many seams as possible and not cut so this is possible.

This is definitely a quilt that will have to be specialty quilted.

There are always ways to get around clothes “problems” and put them in your quilts. You just need to be willing to take your time, make a few compromises, and be willing to do some special quilting to make it all work.

Hope this inspires you to think outside your box when designing your next memory quilt.

Happy Spring, Happy Memories,



And It’s A Wrap

The last few weeks have been crazy but so neat.  I went a week ago to Golden, Colorado to the offices of F&W Media to tape five Memory Quilting online classes for The Quilt Company.   The crew that did the taping was just wonderful.  They all worked together so well and made me so relaxed that I ended up enjoying the process instead of being intimidated by the camera.

Sabrina, Ginger, Andrew, ME, Corey and Jon.

You don’t realize all that goes into one of these classes until you do one.  It takes months of preparation organizing what you are going to teach, getting all the step outs together, and making sure each lesson fits into the time you have allotted.   I had requirements for taping such as the clothes I could wear, including colors. Nails, of course, had to be manicured.

The taping started everyday at 7 am with me coming in for hair and makeup.  For any of you who know me you know that in and of itself was a major accomplishment, I am not a morning person LOL. After Nikki was finished with me I started getting things together for the class we were taping that morning.  The crew would come in and get the cameras and lights together for the day.  Corey always set me up with a mike and Jon, Ginger and Sabrina would go over with me what was going to be taped and how they were going to tape it. Jon was the Director and worked with Andrew & Corey running the cameras.  It was so wonderful to work with people that respected each others opinions and ideas and genuinely seamed to enjoy working with each other.  Speaking as “The Talent” they made the whole experience so much nicer and easier for me. We had a lunch break around noon and then went till 5:30 each night except for the last day Friday when we stopped at 3:30.

I wanted to share some more photos with you so you could see the studio and more of the process involved.

The young lady who made me look good for the camera every morning. Thank you Nikki!



Here you can see the monitor/seating area for the boom camera that Andrew used.  There were a few times it got really close to my head but he always warned me. LOL  I am in the back right where I set up all my step outs for the days taping.


This is Ginger, the producer, and I talking about the next segment.  She and Sabrina, the Instructional Designer, were wonderful listening to what I wanted to teach and helping me to do it in the best way possible on camera. On the left forward you can see the white stool with a little heater on it, this was for the cold Floridian :-).  We had lots of snow while I was there, about 10 inches total. Luckily I had a heavy winter coat. Even though the temperatures were in the single to low double digits most of the time Doug and I were there it was a dry cold, so we did pretty well dealing with it.  You normally think of the lights during filming as creating heat but these are all LED’s so no heat was generated, therefore the little heater was put on off camera to keep me warm.  Corey did a great job as sound/camera man shutting it off during taping when all of us forgot it was there.


Jon, Ginger, and I setting the scene for the taping of the Children’s Clothing Class.  You can see the boom camera in front of me and one of the other cameras to the left.


Ginger sitting at the table in the back with screens for all three cameras.  Sabrina sat back here as well when she wasn’t running around taking pictures 🙂


The gang discussing the next step and having a good laugh.  They kept it so light and fun everything went really smooth.


The Filmslate/Clapperboard used on the set.


Me behind the table getting ready to tape.


It was a great experience but exhausting. Friday night it was time for my hubby and I  to celebrate a successful week with a great meal and a great bottle of wine at a wonderful restaurant called The Fort.

The classes are slated to be put online in May.  I will keep you posted as things move forward. In the meantime, if you have any questions or I can be of help with any of your projects don’t forget I am a phone call or email away.

Happy Memories


Announcing Memory Quilting Online Classes

I am so excited to announce that I have been asked by the Quilting Company to work with them to create my memory quilting classes as online classes. The Quilting Company has numerous classes available online. Their classes cover the entire spectrum of interests and techniques in quilting. I will be taping 5 classes that will be available online for those interested in making their memory quilts extra special. I will be teaching how to take T-shirts, Dress Shirts and Polo’s, Sports Jersey’s, Ties, and Children’s Clothes and make them into wonderful memory quilts for family, friends and clients. I have always done things a little differently, with that little extra, which many memory quilters don’t do. I am hoping these classes will allow anyone interested in making memory quilts beyond the norm to spread their wings and have fun with the process.  Memory Quilts including T-shirts are so much more than just cutting a square and I am excited to be able to share my expertise and ideas with a larger group of quilters.

I head to Golden, Colorado in a week for the taping. It should be really interesting and fun. I promise to take lots of pictures and keep you posted on my adventure.

Have a wonderful, productive weekend.


How To Make A Small Ironing Board For Your Studio

I have a great little ironing board in my studio that I love.   It is compact and collapsible so you can easily store it but I rarely put it away as I use all the time. The size is perfect for ironing tricot onto t-shirts and it fits just right next to my sewing machine for when I am piecing a quilt.

Attached is a video on how to make it.

Making an ironing board

Hope you find this ironing board as great an addition to your studio as I do.

Happy Memories and Happy Sewing.




Having Your Quilts Appraized

There are a lot of people who have quilts that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have three quilts that are from Doug’s grandmother and great-grandmother. Over the years we have talked about getting them appraised for insurance purposes but never managed to get it done. There are normally quilt appraisers at quilt shows but I have either been working the shows in my booth, teaching classes, or I am there with friends and just haven’t been able to take advantage of the opportunity.

The quilt above was made for Doug’s grandfather as he was leaving for service in WWI by his mother and sisters.

There was a quilt show in Orlando last week and I was going to the show with my girlfriends one day to shop and look at all the quilts on display. I realized there was going to be an appraiser there and decided to take advantage of the show being local to go a second day and finally have the quilts appraised. I found that it really isn’t difficult to do. For this show I just had to register online in advance for admission to the show and schedule three half hour appointments with the appraiser, one per quilt.

The day of my appointments I took my quilts to the booth. There were several tables put together where the quilt was spread out. The appraiser, Joyce, looked over each quilt individually, taking pictures of the quilt, the embroideries and the fabrics used. She asked questions about who made it, as well as when and where it was made. We talked about the types of fabrics included in each quilt. In our case two of the quilts are crazy quilts. Joyce noted they were made from all kinds of fabrics: corduroy, suiting, dress and shirt fabrics. She asked if they were made by a tailor or seamstress since there were so many different fabrics. Doug and I found this really funny considering I make quilts for people out of those very kinds of fabrics now in my memory quilting business.

Thia quilt was also made by Doug’s great-grandmother.

I learned a lot about how appraisals are done by doing this. Joyce wanted to know everything I could find out about the history of the quilts. Knowing as much as possible about the quilt helps her to date the quilt and fabrics and give the best appraisal possible. You could also tell that she really enjoyed hearing the stories that went with the quilts and had a genuine interest in the history of the quilts beyond her job.

Since in this case the appraisals were taking place in a booth in the show I had to pay admission to the show and then pay her a fee of $50 per quilt. I have found this is a pretty standard price for appraisals. For those of you who don’t know much about quilt appraisers it is something that takes a lot of knowledge and education in the history of quilting and quilt fabrics & textiles. There is a certification process involved so you know they know their stuff.

There are many reasons to have your quilt appraised:

Secure Insurance Coverage

Making a Donation for the Quilt

Settle an estate

Shipping a quilt for a show or contest

Selling a quilt


If you are interested in having a quilt appraised check out any area quilt shows to see if they have an appraiser scheduled. You can also contact Professional Association of Appraisers – Quilted Textiles at http://paaqt.com for the names of appraisers in your area.

Whether you are a quilter or just have family quilts that have been passed down to you this is something you should think about doing. It would be expensive for a quilter to do all of his or her quilts but you should definitely get appraised those quilts that you have taken a great deal of time with and are of a more intricate nature.

Hope you have learned something from my latest adventure as I have.  If you have any questions about the process please feel free to ask.

Have a great weekend.





Christmas Present Quilts

Happy New Year!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday. Most of us are socked in with the cold.  I know, I know who am I to complain about cold when I live in Florida.  Well, for us it is pretty nippy but I really am enjoying snuggling under my quilts in front of the fire.  We don’t get to do that much here and this past week I have spent many an hour doing just that – which is just fine for now.

I gave several quilts to my great nieces and nephew for Christmas just in time for them to snuggle under as the storms go through PA.  I wasn’t able to share them before as I didn’t want to risk anyone seeing them before they were given but I thought I would share them with you now.

This is the first one I made.  I kind of did this one backwards as I found the fabric for the back first. One of my great nieces loves turtles so I started out with the beautiful turtle fabric for the back and then designed the front to go with it.

The next one I did was for my other great-niece who loves Paris.  I used fabric that I had bought as a kit years ago and has been in my stash since waiting to become a quilt.  I teased my husband that I knew all those years ago that I would have a great-niece who loved Paris and would need to make her a quilt, which is why I have been moving this fabric around from PA, to Virginia and now Florida. 🙂

The last one I made was for my great-nephew who loves to fish. This was actually made out of two panels from two different designers.  I used one full panel and used parts of the second one. I love how they blended together.It was a lot of fun designing and making these cuties their quilts. I hope they keep them warm and snuggly for many winters to come.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday and are excited about the year to come.  I have gotten some other projects from my stash done in the last couple of weeks, which puts me ahead of last year already so I am on a roll.  What are you working on?  Don’t forget to share. We all love to be inspired and encouraged by other quilters.

Have a great week.  Trish


Snowmen and Holiday Blessings

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  Doug and I had an amazing holiday.  For the first time in two years we had all of our children in one place, it was such a blessing. Our daughter arranged for us to have family pictures done as you have to take advantage of the those special moments when you have them.  I look at them now in their frames and my heart just glows. We came home after that special time and I threw myself into decorating for Christmas.  I love decorating for Christmas.  I have boxes and boxes of decorations.  It takes me days to get it all done, but I love it.  I put on Christmas movies and Christmas music and watch the witches of Halloween and pumpkins of fall get replaced with adorable snowmen of winter.  A lot of people collect Santa’s but for me it has always been snowmen.  I keep them up into February, especially since I have lived in Florida, as it fills my need for the cold north without having to go there.

Here are some pictures of the snowmen I have collected over the years.

Even with all the snowmen we never forget the reason for the season. xoxox

As we approach the holiday season we want to thank all of you in the quilting community, quilters, friends, family, students, clients and customers for all of the wonderful fellowship and blessings we have received from knowing you.  Your stories and encouragement have been awe-inspiring and we are so happy to be part of this wonderful community.   Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe or any other holiday Doug and I wish you all the blessings life can bestow.  May your time with your loved ones be cherished and joyous.

See you in 2018

Love Trish

Fussy Cutting with All Squared Up Tee’s Templates

How are your Christmas projects coming?  I am in the process of getting some of my Christmas presents made.  The quilt I am working on is being made from fabric I have had in my stash for years.  It is so funny how you can buy something because you really like it but not know what you are going to do with it. Fast forward 10 years and you find it in your stash and have the perfect person to use it for.  I had some cute Parisian Cat fabric that is perfect for a niece who loves anything Paris.  One of the fabrics i used for fussy cutting into blocks.

My 6 1/2″ All Squared Up Tee’s Template was perfect for the job. I even cut the blocks on point.  See how you can look right through the template to the design.  With no lines in the way you can see what you want to put in the quilt perfectly.  The templates are perfect for this kind of quilt block and the blocks can be made in a variety of sizes.  4 1/2″ up to 16 1/2″ if you want them that big.

Do you have a project where you want to fussy cut the fabric.  Check out the various sizes of All Squared Up Tee’s Templates. I bet we have the perfect size to help you make your quilts easily and your centering and cutting perfect.

Have a great weekend.


What’s Old Is New Again

Fall has come to Florida, YEAH!!! I am so happy.  We were able to open all our windows and slider doors today and let the cool breezes come through house.  We even went for a drive out to the coast for dinner in Doug’s convertible, fantastic.  Don’t know how long it will last but will enjoy it while it’s here.

Off and on I have been redoing some old quilts that I had just tied instead of machine quilted.  This last one I did is a quilt I made for my Mom and Dad’s camp in Maine about 20 years ago.  I say about because I was bad back then and didn’t put labels on my quilts.  Bad Girl, Bad Girl, ugh. I now put labels on all my quilts.

This quilt originally had a hunter green backing on it and had been pillow-cased and then tied. I took it apart and found another flannel that would match the best I could and quilted it.  Since this is all flannels with batting it certainly won’t be used here in Florida, as it is really heavy, so I am going to give it to our son who lives in Syracuse, NY.   It is said that Syracuse is the city in the US with the highest number of inches of snow a year, something like 138.  It will certainly help to keep him warm on those cold winter nights. Hope you are all having a great week and enjoying your fall.  Have a great Halloween  next week and be safe Trick or Treating with the little ones.

God Bless, Trish

Witches, Witches, Witches Galore

Hope everyone is having a great week.  Since I shared my inside holiday decorating I thought it would be fun to share what the outside of my house looks like.  My theme seems to have become witches flying into things and crashing so my yard is full of witches in crazy circumstances.  Maybe I need to check my wine frig to see if any is missing. 🙂

I found the witches legs in a catalog and thought they were so cute but didn’t want to spend the money on them.  Here in Florida things only last a few years and then bleach out because of the sun so I don’t like spending a lot of money on outside decorations since they don’t last as long as they use to up north. I remembered reading someplace about using pool noodles to make legs so I bought some and kind of did my own thing.  I got the socks at JoAnn’s and some shoes at the local thrift store.  First I stuffed the feet of the socks with some poly-fill and then slid in the noodle.  Because I was putting real shoes on them I added some PVC pipe, at my hubbies suggestion, to the inside of the noodle for support but if you aren’t going to use real shoes you don’t need the pipe.  I then put the shoes on the feet.  The shoes on the green socks needed some wire to help keep them in the proper place because of the open style but the boots stay on all by themselves.  I used tent stakes fastened to the pipe to hold the legs in the ground.  Once I had everything together it only took maybe an hour to do both sets of legs.  Now I can just replace the socks when they fade and not have to buy a whole new set of decorations every few years.

For anyone admiring my mums on the porch, they are beautiful silk.  I have learned in Florida it is a waste to buy real mums, they die so quickly in the heat.  We also have to wait till the very last minute to carve our pumpkins as they rot in just a few days.  I really do miss the north this time of year but then the really cold weather and snow hits and I am all for my Florida home again. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed seeing my crazy witches.  What kind of decorations, theme do you have for Halloween?

Have a great week. I am working on some projects for my grandchildren which I will share with you later in the week so stay tuned.

Decorating For Halloween And Fall With Quilts

Hi everyone hope this finds you all well and enjoying your fall.  My hubby and I went on a river cruise and sightseeing trip in Europe for 18 days and even though the weather was against us and it rained most of the time we still enjoyed seeing new things and going back to a few places we had been before.  We have been in recovery mode the last few weeks but I took the time to get my house decorated for Halloween and Fall.  I love this time of year and it is the one season I sorely miss living up North for.  We just don’t get those beautiful leaves changing colors down here in Florida :-).

I thought I would share with you some of the ways I use quilts to decorate all over my house to bring the fall season to me since I can’t go to it.

This is a block of the month quilt I love so I hang it over the couch where it adds color and texture and I get to see it every time I walk in our family room.

This is a fall panel that I made into a mini quit to hang on my oven.  I just use small safety pins to pin the straps over the oven door handle and have a great decoration for the kitchen.I found a free standing quilt stand at one of the quilt shows I went to and I have it in front of the large slider glass doors going out onto my patio.  I change the quilt every season.  This is the fall one.  Years ago I found this quilt pattern and loved it but didn’t even register how small it was going to be till I had started making it.  I finished it and put the tabs on it to hang it up on a small rod someplace and then realized I could use the tabs to hang it from my secretary desk.  I open the front door of the desk, slide the tabs down in and close it again. Now I have my wonderful little quilt decorating my living room in a very unexpected place.  I ended up enlarging the pattern to 3 times its size and making it again to hang over Thanksgiving. This is a table runner I made for my dining room table, I love all the colors in it.

Some of you have seen this quilt before at one of my Lecture/Trunk Shows.  It is one of my favorite quilts as it is a memory quilt for our family as well.  The original pattern was for a much bigger quilt but I scaled it down taking out some of the borders that the original pattern included.  The other thing I did was to design some of my own costume appliques to use instead of the ones included in the pattern.  The ones I designed were of costumes that our kids wore on various Halloweens. Those were an Ice Cream Sandwich, M & M, Soldier, Snow White and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Adding our own children’s costumes takes the quilt from a nice generic Halloween quilt and turns it into a very special memory quilt for our family.

This is the entrance to our master bedroom suite.  I use the little niche to hang a variety of small quilts.  I have a book of seasonal “Window Quilts” that I have made several of.  I usually put them in this niche and hang them with two small map tacks.

These two quilts, the ghost and the witch are in my sewing room.  I usually hang a quilt on my design wall and just remove it when it is in use and then I have a hanging quilt rack that I can display one.  I share my sewing studio with my husbands model railroad hence the train quilt above my design wall. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this little primer on decorating for the fall with quilts.  They don’t all have to be hung up on quilt racks and rods. Don’t be afraid to use quilts in different ways in your home, challenge yourself to find a way to use a quilt you really like so you can make it and enjoy it.

I would love to hear and see how you all use quilts to decorate in your homes so please share if you can.

Have a great week and enjoy getting ready for fall.



Nancy Zieman Retires

It is with great sadness I share the news of Nancy Zieman’s retirement and the return of her cancer. She is the consumate professional who has given so much to our craft either with her show Sewing with Nancy or her numerous books, classes and the list goes on. Her legacy will be with us long after she has said her goodbyes and we will be forever grateful for what she has given us as individuals and as a group. Please keep her, her family and friends in your prayers as they go through this difficult time. To read her personal good bye please go to

Using Color Catchers In Your Wash

I have used Shout Color Catchers for years in my wash when I am concerned a new piece of clothing or fabric is going to bleed onto everything else. I have had people tell me that they don’t believe they work but I have found them to be very useful.  There was an article recently in USA Today by Cindy Bailen and Johnathan Chan which reviewed the use of color catchers in the wash. I thought is was really well done and worth a read for those who do laundry that includes both clothes and quilts.

Can this laundry sheet keep your white clothes from turning pink?

When I make quilts for clients I usually always give them a box of the color catchers with their quilts and recommend they use them when they wash them.  As the article explains, when doing regular laundry they aren’t always necessary, especially if you are separating your colors.  However, when I make my memory quilts I am using all kinds of fabrics and colors and you never know when something may bleed.  I have my clients use the color catchers as a precaution so their wonderful quilts and memories don’t get ruined by a stray color in the wash.

I hope after reading the article you feel more comfortable deciding when it may be appropriate to use the color catchers and when you can leave them out of the wash.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that those of you in the path of Harvey take care of yourselves and stay safe.  I have lived through several Hurricanes and they are not fun so those of you lucky enough to be someplace else please keep everyone in the path of the storm in your thoughts and prayers.

God Bless


Turn About is Fair Play

Hope you are all doing great.  I am sure those of you with children are either recovering from the first weeks of school and the madness it creates or are getting ready for school to start and the madness to come.  I have been busy traveling for our Granddaughters birthday and our nieces baby shower and have been supporting my husband in his love for trains.

For over two years my hubby Doug has helped me pack and unpack my mini van, set up and take down a booth and worked long hours for me at numerous Quilt Shows. A week ago I got to pay him back in a small way by helping him at the National Model Railroad Convention.  This year the convention was in Orlando at the convention center.  Doug was in charge of the rail tours where convention attendees travelled around the central Florida area to see model railroad layouts.  We spent the last 3 years touring layouts all over so he could evaluate and set up the tours.  At the convention we got up early each morning and sent the tours off to where they needed to go and helped out in a few other areas. On the weekend he got to shop at the National Train Show and we got to see some really neat model railroad displays.

Here are some photos of the layouts.  I love looking at all the details.

Replica of Smokey and the Bandit

If you look close this tornado has sharks in it. 🙂

Large “garden” size railroad.

It was great to be able to finally repay in some small way all the hours of hard work Doug has put in over the years for me at my shows. We had a great time working with the volunteers from the Sunshine Region of the National Model Railroad Association.  They worked very hard and put on a great convention.

It is great having a hubby that has a hobby of his own so he understands the passion and time that goes into something you love.  It also helps that his hobby, trains, is as expensive as my hobby, quilting! That way neither one of us can complain about the cost of the others “hobby”.  LOL

Here is hoping you also have a hubby or significant other who supports your crazy obsessions and allows you to reciprocate when you can.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend, take time for your passion.

Memory Quilt Ideas

Hope this finds everyone well and enjoying their summer.  I have been traveling a lot visiting family and friends and it has been great.  I have also spent time designing quilts for my family that I can’t wait to get started on.  A few are in the works but since they are gifts I will share them at a later date.

What I would like to share are a group of quilts that I recently did for a client that used a variety of techniques that I teach in my classes and book.  Some of you may have seen some of them before in my or other quilts but I think it is good to see lots of examples of the flexibility these quilts have as far as what you can put in them and how you can add a personal touch to any quilt with just a little extra thought and work.

I did three quilts from this clients husbands t-shirts.  Each quilt had different shirts for the most part but several things were requested to be in all three quilts.

They are big Redskins fans and he had several shirts but only one pair of pajama bottoms.  I took the pajama bottoms and framed out the shirts in different ways and since I had only 2 shirts used the logo on the sleeve from one shirt for the third quilt. You can see in the photos below the different ways I used the fabric from the pajamas.

Photo 1 

Photo 2

Photo 3

These photos also show several different ways I combined shirts to make blocks. In photos 1 and 3 you can see that I combined two shirts.  Photo 3 also shows how I combined 4 of his polo shirts to make a block.  Each of the quilts has one of these blocks in it. Photo 2 shows how I took a white shirt and framed it in black so it would pop and not get lost in the sashing.  This photo also shows how I appliqued two logos from other shirts onto a whole block to include them in the quilt.

The daughter had a baby blanket that she wanted included in the quilt.  I put it in the four corners of the border.

Does it match perfectly?  No it doesn’t but that is ok these are memory quilts not works of art.  Of course you want to do the best you can to make a nice looking quilt but you are not always given things that match and necessarily go together perfectly. Sometimes a quilters perfectionism about matching and blending of colors and fabrics has to be thrown out the window for the more important idea that the memory of a loved one, time or place must take priority.  I sometimes cringe at what I need to do or am asked to do to make a quilt but when I see the look on the clients face and hear they cried when they got it I know throwing my perfectionism out the window was the right thing to do for the sake of the memories.

Each of the quilts had a quote embroidered and placed on them as well. Below is an example of one of them.  I am not comfortable embroidering directly onto a clients shirt so I usually use other fabric, in this case the extra fabric from the back of the shirt, and do the embroidery on that.  This way if anything happens during the embroidery process it does not damage or ruin the memory item. I simply applique the embroidery onto the shirt.  You can barely notice the applique since I used matching thread.

The last thing I wanted to show you was how I did one of the backs.  One of the quilts had too many shirts so I took five of them and place them on the back of the quilt.  It helped to utilize all the shirts she gave me and at the same time added a nice design element to the back of the quilt.

I hope these examples of different techniques gets you blood flowing with different ideas for your own quilts.  Don’t forget to think outside the box and when you have to make a choice be truer to the memories you are saving than to the aesthetic of the quilt.  This is very difficult for quilters, we are artists at heart which is why making these kinds of quilts is not for everyone.

I would love to see and share some of the memory quilts you have got going out there or did for graduations.  Drop me an email with some photos that I can share.  Also, don’t forget to contact me should you come across something you don’t quite know what to do with I will be happy to troubleshoot it with you.

Keep enjoying the summer and hope you are getting in some fun time with family and friends.

Happy Memories,  Trish


Conor’s Finished Quilt Top

Well, it has taken a while but Conor’s quilt top is finally done – YEAH!!! And I finished it before he was in Preschool or even High School LOL.  Life has been so crazy I haven’t had much time to work on it so I was excited that I finally had a block of time to finish it.  I still have to quilt it but I wanted to share with you.

The first two photos are of the train station, water tower and track observation building blocks. I used photos of real ones to make the applique’s.  I don’t add all the details from the photos, just make the basic buildings, so it is easier to stitch.

I sewed the center together first with the railroad crossing sign, station and water tower block.  I made sure this piece was the same length as the side train pieces.

When I added the border I decide to miter the corners.  I don’t usually fuss with mitered corners but in this case I thought the fabric I was using warranted it.  I am really happy with how it came out.

I am going to finish the quilt this weekend as well as working on some other projects that have been in my queue since we are just hanging out at home.

What are you doing this weekend?   Whatever it is please take the time to give thanks for our Independence and all of our freedoms. Especially thank all our military and others who fight everyday to keep us free and allow us to enjoy this long weekend.

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July. God Bless