Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Travel Finds...

When we travel sometimes there is a tad bit of extra time to visit a shop or two and see if any treasures need to come home with me.
I am always on the lookout for old (older than these) blocks for my new "FABRIC COLLABORATIONS" Workshop.
These were found in Texas and the sweet Victorian carriage print was just too sweet to pass up.  With the 3 blocks, I can get 6 full squares that will be put with a different fabric and some applique:) Stay tuned!
When we went to Chicago this past summer, one of our stops was in West Virginia.  This circa 1940 tulip quilt is very interesting.  Not usually my go to for collecting but it will be in my "TULIPS" Lecture that is in development for 2020. The actual applique design is older but there was an applique revival in the late 20s-.... so there you have it, the old inspiring the new.  

Then I found this set of hand applique roses in another shop.  ALL my colors Except those pink ones....??? Those will be turned into something darling for the COC auction this year.  
Grandmas get ready for a bidding war:)

Lastly I found this adorable little green sewing machine.  It is from the 1930s I believe and will look fantastic in my work room that has green walls:)  Right now it sits on a chest in my living room with my runner, "Swaying Hearts Trio".  If you love embroidery, you can find it on my website under Quick Stitches or go HERE
Keep stitchin' 

Monday, September 24, 2018


Fabrics for quilters are inspiring and cherished.  As a designer they spark more ideas than I will ever get done in a lifetime.

My appraisal studies found me collecting antique and vintage quilt blocks for fabric/date study and the designer in me went crazy.  Wouldn't it be cute if.....?  What if I ….? and so 

I LOVE design and applique and I feel people as a whole are more creative than they give themselves credit for!  This workshop allows you to play without a lot of investment.  You already have what you need and you weren't using it anyway:)

Take any orphan block-
I know you ALL have one due to a workshop taken and life intervened or the technique wasn't enjoyable but you still love the colors and just can't part with it....

Here was one I started with-
I am really not a pink person but this block was intriguing and I wanted to challenge myself since the print isn't super inspiring.  Then I had to decide whether to fix her little error or leave it ….I just couldn't leave it.  The asymmetry bugged me too much. After the repair, I played with some designs and here is the result, meet "Strawberry Shortcake".
I echoed the tiny circular print in the light fabric while challenging myself to use the smaller circles from my Karen Kay Buckley perfect circles.  I also challenged myself to do a back stitch vs. my usual stem stitch for my embroidery because it was the repeat from the small black lines in the fabric too.  Now this unknown quiltmaker from the past has had her work completed whilst making myself a sweet little 12" square wall hanging to decorate any small space perfectly. #heritagearchitect at work:)

Next I came across this vintage 1930s block.  Again 30s aren't my 'go to' since I like OLD but the black and green and yellow was so striking that it came home with me and I couldn't beat the $1 price tag:)

On this the inspiration was the daffodil.  I LOVE applique if you haven't already figured that out.  I know a lot of people avoid it but a workshop with me just may open your eyes.  You don't have to needle turn, fusible works great too.
"I CAN'T DRAW", you say?? Well I have some great hacks for drawing items using very simple shapes we can all handle easily.
I have also developed some drawing aids you will be able to use in class.  Easy Peasy! Meet, "Dancing Daffodil".

On this one, I added a header only and my daffodil has dancing ribbons flowing from her...sweet and simple. She measures 9" x 12" and fits perfectly on one of those adorable little Ackfeld hangers.
I have many other samples (shown in class) because once I got going, I just couldn't stop but these three are my favorite Finished ones. This last one I will show (to inspire and excite you) just made me cry out with glee!  Look at those Fabulous flowers in the print!!
I get to applique and embroider and add leaves and swirls and circles, Oh MY!!

Meet "Chocolate Brownie Bliss".  My mom named this one because there are only so many ways I can say Autumn Bloom, etc.
She is hand applique, hand embroidery, and hand quilted and I love love love her!!!

Your block can be from any time period (modern too) as long as there is an inspiring print somewhere within.  We will discuss copyright, choosing the best portion of the print, choosing the best layout for your block (1, 2, 4 borders), and work through our drawing hacks so that you get to go home with a mostly completed and upcycled, Orphan-No-More, original work!

Tell your friends--Tell your guild Program Chairs--
Email: for available dates.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Happy 2018 and BOOM, September already!

Why do we always say that we don't know where the year went already?  HAPPY NEW YEAR......Boom.....March...Boom

We do know, we just can't believe that time goes so fast!  I have been SUPER busy this year and no signs of slowing until December.
Here is a quick run down of the year so far.....

We were given tickets to see Jim Gaffigan on New Year's Eve at Amelie Arena here in Tampa.  His opening act was hilarious!  It is great to see so many people come out to see a comedian vs. watching free online.  Live is always better for the shared community experience.

January was quite chilly down here in Florida.  We were way below average temps and although we weren't as cold as the rest of the country, for Florida is was brutal!  We have tile floors that little dog usually sleeps on so we let her up a few nights.  Doesn't she look like she is never leaving?!
I had a quilt to finish hand quilting so I was very cozy:)

Took a trip to St. Louis for a quilt retreat with friends from when I lived there.  We stay in a lovely quilt shop, ROSEMARY'S, in Highland, ILL. There was also time for antique shopping:)

 Plus 2 appraisal events with Brenda!


"Robin's Wreaths" had been finished and sent off for photography
Our trees started getting some leaves back after IRMA last September and we had a brief warm up where we could go sit for a beer by the water...I know, Boo Hoo:)  I needed the break after 2 more appraisal events (First one on my own this time) and being chained to my computer to finish writing, "Robin's Wreaths" for AQ magazine. 
More commission quilting, another pattern written, another appraisal event, and then my guild's annual charity event for the COC!  
 ALL the quilts up for Auction
 New postcard for guild Advertising
One of my donations to the effort:)  This is a block from one of Sue Garman's patterns.  Hope I get to make the whole quilt someday:)

There was also some time for necessary Spring Cleaning!

April blew in the same way March went out with more work:) 
I was starting to do some appraisals on my own, which is exactly what I needed.  The hand quilting commission was coming along and I finally was able to meet the great lady who had been entrusting her family heirlooms to my hands!  We had a lovely day.
I was also trying to get as much done on my part of the guild Opportunity quilt as I could so I could get back to my work.  It is going to be a beauty!

BABIES!  I look so forward to our April lunch meeting at a guild member's house every year and this year did not disappoint...SO Stinkin' Cute!!
I volunteered to help with the applique for the center portion of the OPP quilt. This is P3 Designs, "Baltimore Autumn".

Here I am with Brenda, my AMAZING Appraiser Mentor, in front of my quilt in Paducah.  We had quite a road trip but that is a story for another day:)
The month of Snake Lovin'....EEEWWWWW!
The LIGHTNING were in the play offs-Very Exciting for this hockey fan!
My husband and I went to a concert...outside...after dark:)))
My parents went on a trip to celebrate their 50th Anniversary and I went to pup sit.  I think she likes me:)

Before getting to my parent's, I stopped to see this cutie.  We went to a comedy night and got DRENCHED on that way back to the car!! I LOVE her!!!

While in VA, I was able to visit the Williamsburg museum and do a little antique shopping where I found another lovely to add to my Red and Green lecture: "AN EVENING WITH WELL LOVED LADIES".
This month was lots of catch up after being gone and lots of company:0  My BIL came down to help his daughter with a project so he and Jim spent some time together.  Then my brother and nephew came for a visit.  I had the honor of riding with my nephew on his first Roller coaster...Fun.  I hadn't been on one in ages.
This is becoming an annual tradition for him as well.
Lastly, our niece got married so we had a lovely family visit in Georgia at the end of the month.  I had never been to St. Simon's Island and it was lovely. Great margaritas and another outdoor concert:)

We were back on the road in July with a trip to Chicago to visit my other baby girl! The pups travel relatively well. And this trip brought a Momentous Occasion....My First EVER trip to Wrigley Field, the home of my husband's lifelong favorite team, The Cubs!
When asked, he said I was the first girl he had ever brought there:)
Another "first" after so many years together is endearing!

All the usual work has been getting done with one quilting commission finished this summer and another one into the hoop!
In case you have missed one or two along the way, here is one to read about.....
This month started with a Fabulous trip to San Antonio to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary.  A bit frustrating that this is the only pic I have of us from that trip. Oh Well, we know what we look like:)
Thanks for following along and see you again soon!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Heritage Story: Green Strip Quilt


You have met Kay before here on my blog.  I adore working with her to finish these lovely works of art.

Heritage Stories
This quilt had rows of pieced swirl blocks and I wasn't sure at first how to best showcase them.  There is a suggested rule of thumb that using curved quilting on geometric and geometric on curves are good ways to accent a design so that was what I leaned on to quilt these blocks.  They are a variation of a Snail Trail so I decided on large concentric swirls coming from the centers and it worked. 
Heritage Stories

The alternate rows were a strip of preprinted Calla Lilies.  I have said this before, let the fabric tell you what to do.  Any other design may have distracted from the lovely florals so a gentle outline and some freehand swirls was all that was necessary to accent the great design already done for me by the fabric designer.
Kay sent me green thread to work with and although hesitant at first, I fell in love with how well everything shows!

Lastly, the borders....look at that print!  I didn't outline EVERY detail but there was enough here to outline key features and provide enough quilting to keep consistency across the quilt.
It is so exciting watching a top come alive into a finished quilt one stitch at a time!

There are more #heritagearchitect stories to come....
In the meantime, Kay wrote a couple of sweet posts that you can read below.  We were finally able to meet this past October when I went to her ice dye show in Ocala.  So much talent!!
There is also a post about the story of her quilt above.... I'll let her show you the full quilt:)

Quilt Story:

Friday, July 13, 2018

AQS Publishes Robin's Wreaths

The magazine hit AQS member mailboxes early 
June and newsstands late June. 
"Robin's Wreaths" will be the series quilt
 this year presented in 5 parts.
If you are not a member, consider becoming one. 
There are many other benefits like all the
access to their digital content as well 
(a treasure trove in itself).
 Plus as a member you can find the first issue in the
 Members Only section of the website:) 
And, my name is on the cover which for some reason
 I completely didn't expect and 
therefore am surprised and delighted!
 Here is the layout on page 18....

"ROBIN'S WREATHS" at Paducah
in the Authors Section!!!

This quilt will also be displayed at the Grand Rapids, Virginia Beach, and Fall Paducah AQS shows this year.  I am On Tour:)

I started a Facebook Group for those of you that would like to sew with friends and receive extra tips on my process for making this quilt.  The above picture shows the Group header and 
click JOIN to become a part of the fun!
The Group name is Robin's Wreaths, AQ Magazine

Part 2
 Part 2 reviews have been done and ready for printing....
I do hope you will follow me on FB: 
Instagram: @nestlings1 and sign up for my newsletter
by emailing me at

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


December was a very busy month too. I finished a quilt commission just in time to hit the road to go see this sweet girl get her nursing pin!  We are beyond proud of her hard work ethic and her choice of profession.  Nursing is not for the faint of heart!
JULY UPDATE: My girl is a Licensed RN in NC and working in a Cardiac Unit.  YAY!! How could we be prouder?? ~!!

Pooka and the Biscuit chillin on the highways of America
from FL to NC and home again!

I like doing these posts because I appreciate how fortunate I am that occasionally it is my turn to have Everyone!! :)) I have been fortunate 2 Christmases in a row so this year (2018) will be very quiet.
THIS happened....Jim thought his groupon was for 2 flights and 2 pints.  It was for 4 flights and 4 pints.  This pretty much sampled Every Beer on this brewery's board.
One set of children came a day early and we took them on a Brewery tour since that is an interest to them.  There are SO Many down here and so many varieties.  As a Budweiser girl, Who Knew!  We ended at one where they serve pretty amazing grilled cheese sandwiches-YUM!  Jim and his groupon😀

There was a neighborhood light tour and a LIGHTNING game (GO BOLTS!) where I convinced us to all wear ugly sweaters...some of us wore t-shirts so we wouldn't explode in the heat:)

It was an absolutely LOVELY holiday and 
I can't wait to hug all these kids again!!
Not sure why they always catch me when I look like I may pee myself!!