Vangogh’s Galaxy – My biggest finish of 2018

Ever have one of those quilts you are super proud of? That when it’s complete you know it will be magical? And for no real reason, it takes you four years to finish? This is the state of my Vangogh Galaxy quilt!

This is the Technicolor Galaxy pattern by PileOFabric.  I signed up to do this amazing skill builder block of the month in December of 2014 as it was slated to begin in January 2015. Three friends in my guild all signed up to complete this quilt.  By the way – I am the second to finish!  Don’t take that to mean it as a difficult quilt but it is definitely challenging and life got in the way.  Alyssa of PileO’Fabric has incredible resources for this quilt.  Downloadable pdfs, video tutorials, and a Facebook group.

You start off with a coloring sheet to design your quilt.  Her original design for the quilt is a color wheel.  Rarely do I follow other color choices and decided that the color wheel was too traditional.   I was inspired by Vangogh’s Starry Night and chose that iconic painting as my color palette. My daughter also decided to color with me.  I actually really like her purple and orange version! But I know I will never make this quilt again.  It is definitely an accomplishment, but not a repeat!


For this quilt, you start in the center and work outwards.  The center starts with bias strip applique.  The first time I had ever attempted bias tape and it is the first technique in the quilt! Starting with this center, you then build out on the rings and finally patchwork corners.  Each month has their own instructions, video tutorials and templates.  I purchased the templates from her, to make it easier on me and  I am very glad I did, some of the templates are huge!

I would say I was pretty current with the months until month 3.  Ok, I know that’s not too far – but you know, this is such a big quilt technique wise! The sun points radiating out from the center were my favorite to do.  As very simple paper piecing, they were fast to make.  Once we moved into the rings, the small patchwork kept taking longer and longer to do.  I like to sew and quilt fast which was one reason it was put away for so long.  In her design, you do this quilt as a Quilt-As-You-Go project.  I did that once with my guild for a project and will never do it again.  Definitely not my type of quilting! I knew this beauty needed to be on the longarm.

In 2017 I added the project to my American Patchwork & Quilting UFO list.  I did get it out that year, but only worked on one set of curve blocks.  Again I realized how time consuming it was, so back in its box it went.  For 2018 I felt like the time was ready.  The quilt rolled over on my UFO list, and then preempted about six months of UFO choices.  I finished the Gravity BOM in 2017 which was a big finish so I was determined to complete this one in 2018.  Other UFO’s would be pulled from the group list, but I kept working on my #1 – my Technicolor Galaxy. Which oddly enough it’s number was called in December, the month I finished it.

I finished the quilt top in November 2018.  My goal was December 7th for the full quilt to be complete.  I knew it would turn out amazing and after four years it better!  I planned to enter it into a few quilt shows so needed that extra time to quilt before the deadline. My Thanksgiving tradition is to quilt one of my own quilts, and a big one!  I was able to finish many client quilts beforehand for this beauty to receive it’s own week of quilting.  This is the first quilt I truly feel I “Quilted to Death.”  I knew I wanted to fill every little inch of this baby. I double batted this quilt with Quilters Dream cotton and a layer of wool.

It’s not perfectly quilted, and before you say in your head it is – No, it isn’t.  My quilting bumped onto the bias strips a few times and  I remember quite clearly when it happened.  I stared at it for a good minute trying to decide if I was going to rip it out or not, thinking really hard what that little bump would mean.  I knew I was entering this quilt into quilt shows and that little bump took away the option of “Best in Show” but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t be accepted.  Really, all I want are for my quilts to hang and be seen.  Ribbons are amazing – I earned my first three in 2018, but they are not the point of quilting for me.  After staring at that little bump I just kept on quilting.  I bumped three times which from a glance, you can’t see but a quilt judge would notice on close inspection.  Time will tell what happens to this quilt. I for one, am incredibly proud of it’s final state.  A four year UFO, finished with determination and a new set of sewing techniques and quilting skills earned.


Quilt Stats:

Size: 62″ x 62″

Thread Changes: 4

Quilting Hours: 21~

Binding Hours: 2

Length of completion: 4 Years

Shown: World Quilt Florida January 2019, AQS Quilt Week Spring Paducah April 2019.

My First Ribbon

I won a ribbon. My first ribbon. I’m shocked. I’m thrilled. It’s going to be a good year.

I entered two quilts into Mancuso’s World Quilt Florida competition last fall, for showing this past January 2018. If you have ever been to a Mancuso Quilt Show, you will agree the quilts are exquisite.  And literally, from around the world! World Quilt Florida holds a special exhibit solely for Florida Quilters. So why not enter, right? My ‘competition’ is limited to the state. Gives me a good chance for being accepted, I thought! And well, I thought right. Both of my quilts were accepted. 

Octagon Shimmer on the left, Stepping Stones on the right. Both mine!

That’s all I want. For my quilts to be accepted and hang. The more people that get to see my work, I know something will happen. So I enter quilt shows and get lucky! This love of quilting I have can become something bigger. I longarm quilt for others, as a small side business. I would love for it to grow and have a continuing clientele.

For people to trust my work, it would be good for them to know my work has been in shows, right? So that’s why I enter quilt shows. To be seen, solely.  Win? Pfft, I’m just this little longarm quilter in Florida. I’m not Gina Perkes, I’m not Judi Madsen, nor am I Angela Walters. I’m just me.

So imagine my surprise to learn that I won a ribbon for Best Longarm Machine Workmanship for the Florida Competition for World Quilt Florida!

My co-workers at Happy Apple Quilts will tell you how loud I screamed, and jumped, and ran out to all of them, and made them stop working and come look at my computer. I took only a few moments to freak out. Then I sat amazed for the whole day. ME?  Can I tell you a secret? I love my Octagon Shimmer quilt, truly. But my Stepping Stones quilt is an original design and I worked really hard on quilting it. I entered Octagon Shimmer as a second quilt, my fall back. For this reason is why I was really floored when I won. I love the quilting I did, but never thought it was ribbon worthy!


Nothing will happen, if you do nothing. Hence my motto: Leap and A Quilt Will Appear.  And maybe, just maybe, it will have a ribbon, too.
















Factual stuff:  Pattern is Octagon Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou, fabric collection is mainly Heather Givan’s Paper Obsessed, with other fabrics mixed in.



Bandannas for the Win!

For my second project as a Springs Creative Ambassador, I was thrown for a loop.  We were told to use Bandannas in a form of tail gating / decoration approach. For those that know me, my level of knowledge for sports is the same as Emmet from The Lego Movie.  “Go Sports Team!”  So at first I was a little dumbfounded.  Than I thought, if for some odd universe I was to go to a game, what would I do? I normally get cold at the movie theater and bring a sweater. If I go to an outdoor game, I could imagine getting cold! Yes I live in Florida, I’m one of those weirdos that get cold when it hits 60 degrees.

With Daddy I’m a Quilter = Let’s make a quilt for a game! Now in this case, we were challenged on how to use Bandannas in a non traditional format.  I took this as the idea the fabric is being featured in utility, not in the actual print.  So in terms of piecing I could do something with small pieces.  I didn’t need to show off a specific print like I did in the Mary Fons Small World fabric. I took this as an opportunity to do a quilt pattern I never have and always wanted to: an Irish Chain quilt.  I planned out my quilt in EQ7.  I even loaded in the same images from the Bandanna website into EQ7 to use in my design! Choosing colors of the Bandannas was difficult not knowing sports, so I decided to choose the colors of the local football team. Can’t go wrong with Red, Black, and White! And I knew I wanted to feature the center of the bandanna print in my spacing squares.

Being Shy

Cheering Zoe

















I am very happy with how this quilt turned out!  But as I began thinking of the quilt, I tried to rethink about the project as a whole.  Is a quilt on its own fit for ‘tailgating?’ Not really, how could I make it better to the project?  So thinking of game arena seating or bleachers, they gotta be uncomfortable. I know some people bring their own cushions to games. Let’s turn the quilt into a cushion! I adapted the ‘Quillow’ project from Allison Harris’s “Growing Up Modern“.  It turned out perfect and utilized a full Bandanna as the carrying pocket.  Little Miss Zoe was at first a little shy in going to the bleachers where there was an actual game, so we pretended to watch at the empty field first. Then we slipped over to the actual game in play.

I’m really happy with how I was able to utilize the fabric and still hold true to being a quilter! Bring it on Springs! What’s next?


Tampa Bay Comic Con Recap

IMG_0397I am so happy to say my faith in cons has been restored! After a few MegaDuds, our hometown Tampa Bay Comic Con was a smashing success.  Our printed plush line was received very well, and am very happy to say half of the sales were my original designs! My husband and I really enjoy drawing the designs and then my inking the designs.  Sewing construction is so much faster and the minky material holds really well. Up next are some more originals, some femme fatale and a new line of Doctors. And come on, you can’t beat meeting Elmo at comic con!  Here’s hoping that MegaCon Tampa in the fall is just as successful and perhaps hugging the Tenth Doctor??IMG_0403IMG_0408

Quilts for Pulse

Zoe’s First Quilt

Love Patchwork & Quilting issue#35

Ellen Ault Swag BannerI have been sitting on this for quite a while and am finally able to share! I have my first published pattern in issue #35 of Love Patchwork and Quilting!!

I originally came up with this idea about a year ago.  It was right after attending my first QuiltCon.  QuiltCon was amazing, so inspirational, came home with a tattoo. And lots of pins. But where to put them?  I have a little foam board thing I’ve had forever, but its really only for putting up pictures.  I needed something to hang up these awesome pins I came home with! So I created a little sketch of a pendant banner which I thought would work well.  Then I thought, why not make it a pattern?  I created the base idea of what I wanted and took many notes along the way.

Next thought, put it to Craftsy or to a magazine? Well I believe Craftsy has turned into Etsy in that there is so much goodness out there its near impossible to be found.  Let’s try a magazine first and see what happens. And the first magazine I thought of is my favorite, Love Patchwork and Quilting!  I emailed first to find the appropriate person to submit designs to, then emailed my design and little bits of inspiration to her. And luck on my side, she loved it! I was given a few resources and some time to work the pattern to their guidelines and ship off my design to them. The experience was amazing and do hope to come up with another contribution for the future!

And here’s my tip for anyone trying to get into a magazine: Take a chance.  I knew I wanted to make this no matter if it was accepted or not. So I took some time to develop it and took a chance. My chance here worked! I have had others with not so much luck.  But I will keep trying to get my work out there. It’s amazing to see yourself in print.getting magazine

Preparing for MegaCon – Our New Plush Line!

It’s just about that time, MegaCon! This is by far our biggest show of the year. We used to do many conventions but realized very quickly we grew quite tired of them and the work involved.  So instead we have slowed down to two big conventions and maybe 2 or 3 local shows. This allowed […]