MISA and Quiltworx University

I’m sitting in a hotel in Minnesota waiting for my friend, Judel, to pick me up for the drive to Madeline Island School of the Arts (MISA) and Quiltworx University! This has been a project for everyone associated with Quiltworx, MISA, and Quilters Quest for a couple of years now. 

This summer I was lucky enough to make a couple samples for the class. The first was a Lakeshore Sunrise.

The second is my Madeline Island Mixer. 

The fun thing about these quilts is that the center is a 60″ circle, then a 4 1/2″ circular border then another border. They are all interchangeable–a fun way to design a “mixer”! Those designers–Judy and Bradley Niemeyer–are so clever!  

Participants at the Quiltworx University got to pick their Mixer pattern out then were given several color ways to choose from and kits were cut by Judy and Celeste (from Quilters Quest) this summer. Judy and 3 of her certified instructors (Kristen Bender, Jodie Madsen and I) will lead 63 participants through their own quilt during the next week. 

I’ll post more pictures at the end of the week. Time for a quilting adventure!


a bountiful table topper!


As September days shorten and begin to darken early up in Alaska, I thought the challenge this month from Island Batiks we very appropriate–a sweet little table runner.  I took this idea and ran with it… Fall days are crisp in Kodiak but the darkness comes in like, well, night!  So , I pulled out the brightest Island Batik fabric I could find and made something BRIGHT!





Once I decided on the 10″ blocks I looked around at patterns and found this delightful, quick pattern by OliVen on Craftsy for free! Her Chevron Table Runner was just what I needed.


And working both sides at the same time made this a FAST project.


Once at a length that was manageable, I trimmed it up and tried it out!


It’s slightly modified from OliVen’s directions (I didn’t border it!) but it turned out lovely… so much, in fact, I made a quick birthday present for my friend Belinda who loves to make French Braid quilts (similar concept).


The real beauty of this is Belinda also quilted both hers and mine!


Seaside Summer Blog Hop!

Hello and welcome to the Island Batik Seaside Summer Blog Hop!  The fabric I am presenting is called Surf Squirt and it is sweet!  This fabric is bright, weighty, and lovely–it “feels” good!  I also teamed up with a great designer, Cindi McCracken, to do this project.  Her Jewel Box pattern seemed to be a fun match for this project.


The first thing I would like to talk about is the Sea!! I grew up on an island in the Aleutians.  The name of the island is Popof Island and the town is named Sand Point.  It is 2 hours 15 minutes from Anchorage by plane or 40 or so hours by ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway (which only runs in the summer months).  It is a fishing community.  The people live by the sea.


My sister still lives there and as you can see, it’s beautiful!

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 My sister, Amy lives in a little tiny house right next to a beach.  Her house is beachy themed!  She loves the ocean, this island, and spending time hiking.  What better than to make a picnic quilt for her using this C-U-T-E collection?!
The first thing to do was make this project:

It was such a fun easy pattern that I started at noon cutting and the whole top was completed (without borders) by 8!


I have to say that between the great written directions and superior graphics this pattern by Cindi McCracken was SO EASY!  I got a little crazy on the borders and pieced them together from the brights.


I just want to say is that putting on the borders can be tricky.  One thing I work on when I place borders on is measuring through the middle, cutting my borders based on the measurement I get. Pinning the middle and each end.  I work both from the middle towards one side and also from the edge and pin to the middle–moving back and forth.  Pressing, measuring and pinning can make a huge difference on how nicely a border fits.

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Here I am with Cindi.  I used what was left of the fabric and pieced the back together.  I love a pieced back!

 My quilt is going to be completed by a new longarm quilter I had do a couple quilts earlier this summer.  Jessie Davis is the artist behind Rippers Anonymous.  She’s pretty talented!  Into the box and into the mail!

 Once this quilt top was completed I asked my sister for the best crab cake recipe she had.  Well, I have to say her best friend Hillary has the best spread I have ever had.   Here it is and please note this in NOT a fried crab cake.

Crab Cake by Hillary Smith

Take some fresh King Crab meat–about 2 cups and mix with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and a couple of chopped up green onions (to taste).  Spread (or HEAP) on 4 multigrain English muffin halves and cook for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until cheese melts/turns slightly brown.  Eat up!


I will be giving away this little package. I tried to get Rafflecopter to work but kept getting a “Bad Gateway” message and I don’t have time to get back to this part so…  I teach middle school in Kodiak, Alaska.  I will give this package to the person whose comment number is the same number as the students I have in my homeroom class on the first day of school (in two weeks). Good luck!:


The pattern is Jewel Box by Cindi McCracken.  The strip set is Hollywood Hills (and would be PERFECT for this pattern!) The Glass ball from a Japanese net and was found by my sister on the beach.

Island Batik Summer Blog Hop!


The Island Batik Ambassador’s are hosting a blog hop. Each day over the next couple of weeks, we’ll feature a new fabric collection and link to at least one Ambassador blog to see what she made with these wonderful fabrics. Be sure to follow along every day as we have lots of goodies to give away!


Here’s the schedule with the dates and collection names:

M 8/15 – Rain Forest
Kissed Quilts

Tu 8/16 – Red Tide
Free Motion by the River
Mary Mack Made Mine

W 8/17 – Sand Dune
Purrfect Spots
KnitBug 2

Th 8/18 – Seashore
Pamela Quilts
Maria Michael Designs

F 8/19 – Surf Squirt
Quilting Affection
Archipelago Quilting  (That’s me!)

M 8/22 – Tradewinds

Arkangel Creations
Bejeweled Quilts

Tu 8/23 – Equinox
Kauffman Designs
Del Lillians

W 8/24 – Sea Canyon
Lemon Tree Snippets
Bea Quilter

Th 8/25 – Sea Foam
Stone Cottage Quilts
Sew Supportive

F 8/26 – Spoolin’ Around
Sallys Quilting Corner

M 8/29 – Tide Pools
Inchworm Fabrics

Tu 8/30 – Wind and Sea

For Quilts Sake
Patchwork Breeze

W 8/31 – Spring Zing
Desert Bloom Quilting
Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Th 9/1 – Splash
Kissed Quilts
The Patchwork Pearl

F 9/2 – Landscapes
For Quilts Sake

Updated: travel and quilty errands

I started down to Montana on May 27th about 8 hours after I closed up my Middle School classroom for the year. There’s no moss growing on this rolling stone!

The m/v Tustumena is an older ferry (at least about as old as me!) that had just returned to service after a little fix-up. I live on a little hill with a narrow drive so it was easy to repack the car at the dock. After a quick 9 hour ride I jumped off in Homer and raced up to Anchorage and then to my niece in Wasilla. 

I spent the night with her and her babies. Sweet kids! I also dropped off the pillows to the twins. 

One night then up to Fairbanks with a quilty errand… To deliver to Jack his Rocky Mountain Bear Claw quilt. 

Success! My heart swells when I give away one of the quilts I’ve made. This was especially wonderful because he really loved it. 

Then on to Fairbanks and the last quilt drop in Alaska for the moment… A Southern Belles pillow and Ice Crystals quilt for Molly. 

I love how excited she is!
On the 31st my sister showed up and we drove nearly to Whitehorse. A quick delivery of 10 quilts for Fort McMurray victims was in order before heading down the road. A quick note: the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilt Guild donated 6, Martha Branson donated 1 completed/1 to be quilted/1 extra backing, Tina Fairbanks donated 1, Lindsey Cassidy donated 1 and I donated 1 as well. What an awesome handoff!

A Bear Claw for Jack

Well after 20 short years it’s time!  About 25 (?) years ago I met this great guy who became a fast friend. Jack is the kind of person who knows everyone. A super kind man who would (really) give you the shirt off his back. He has always been a true and sure friend. When I came to Kodiak to work as a teacher, he was my special education boss. Well, I made him a quilt. One of my first actually. It was a pattern I made up. A bear paw quilt. It’s a green bear paw. Yes, about 224 blocks of the same green grass fabric made into bear paws… Pretty hard to see the pattern except the gold paws meandering through. Did I mention it was one of my first quilts?! Jack asked for a “heavy” quilt. I wasn’t able to do it. In the end, I even tied it.

Now it’s time to replace that quilt. In 20 years, I’ve figured out a little more about contrast. I’ve also found and amazing friend who also is my quilter. Last summer the pattern I needed to make showed up. It’s called the Rocky Mountain Bear Claw. It’s by Judy and Bradley Niemeyer.

On the wall at Compass Rose Quilting.

It started small (68×80) but has ended up closer to 100×80. I sure love it. I couldn’t stop making this great paper pieced quilt!  I immediately gave this quilt to Martha to quilt and this is what I saw today when I stopped by:

When I catch the ferry out on May 27th it will come with me. I’ll drop it in his cabin in Talketna on the way to Fairbanks before leaving the State for the summer. I can’t wait until he finds it!

Good news! and Summer plans

Hello! It has been a long while… about a year!  How time speeds up (and runs over me)!

Well, summer is nearly here and time for my annual pilgrimage to my happy place–Kalispell, Montana!  My sister and I will be driving down together at the end of May. I am excited about this already.  This summer I will be working for Judy Niemeyer again in a couple different capacities… piecing/quilting for her in her studio AND teaching classes with her during retreats.  I am over the moon with my plans for the summer!


My happy place!

I also am excited to note that I recently became an Island Batik Ambassador.  This is a fun opportunity to make projects on a monthly basis and post about the beautiful batiks that they produce.  I AM SO FIRE UP!  It’s a fun opportunity for me to share quilty projects.  :)


Well, since it’s been a bit of time, I’m just going to post some quilts I have made this past year.


Desert Sky


Prismatic Star


Baby quilt for Sherry’s new grandson.


Stormy Seas table runner (turned into wrap for sister)


Joseph’s Coat for Anne


postage stamp for Mr. Vall’s new son


2 baby quilts for friends new sons.


Cory’s Snow Days quilt


Shivana Place for Terri’s retirement


My Prismatic Star!


More baby blankets for a couple more boys!


Postage Stamp for Judy!


Hexi pillow for Candice


Cindi’s quilt sample!


Cindi’s quilt sample II!


Alice’s quilt


Little Hedgehog for Kim and Kate’s new baby girl.


Glacier Star for ME!


My Paradise in Bloom!


Jack’s Rocky Mountain Bear Claw


Pillows for Jack!


Molly’s Southern Belle’s pillow


Postage Stamp Quilt of Valor.


Lakeshore Sunrise in progress


Misty Mountain Pond


Mariner’s Compass


Summer Solstice


Harvest Moon


Fractured Paintbox

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Cactus Flower Tablerunners

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