Jan 132014

I have recently had the opportunity to create a Frank Lloyd Wright quilt for a client.  I really struggled with the thin black strips wanting to stretch a bit and distort, this added quite a bit of time to my task as I had to rip and resew many times. I finally came to a system which really helped in my struggle and I thought it would be a great tip to pass along.

First, I chose to cut my strips the length of salvage, as oppose to salvage to salvage.  I did this by measuring the fabric to the longest piece I would have to cut, I hate to waste fabric. I also was aware that I would likely use all of the piece I had cut. I then folded the fabric edge to edge and not salvage to salvage.   I did this for each strip I cut from every fabric color in the quilt.

Second, I decided that I needed it stabilized a bit more.  Can you say spray starch?  That’s right I used a sizing agent on each piece of fabric, and then on each segment after it was together. This not only helped in stretching and distortion, but it also gave the quilt a crisp look.  Now that my problem was solved I couldn’t help but yell a yipee and share this tip with you.  Hope you try it.

Aug 202013

Due to an issue with spam hacking into my web site, we will begin rebuilding site.  I’m sorry for any inconveniences.   Hopefully we will have security in place to fight against hacking.  My web master , John Sorci , is on it!

Aug 102013

It has come to my attention that my website was hacked into. I apologize for any problems this may have caused and am rectifying the problem by changing my password and adding security onto my site that is more aggressive then I had. Thank you for your patience.


Feb 082013

With all the snow that we have gotten over the last two weeks, you would think that we would be ready for spring already… not so.  This is the Northland, home of 1,000,000 snowmobilers, ice fishermen, skier and snowboarders, I think you get the idea.  For the last few years we have had very little snow, so many of our outdoor addicts..oops I meant activists, have been having withdrawal.  So in honor of the abundant snow, I will be offering our first of the gift of the month classes.  this class will be our snowman round topper.  It is an adorable table topper that can be used throughout the winter season.  Class will be offered on Feb 26 from 5:00- 8:00.  call for information, limited space available  Class cost $25  kit fee is separate.  Class fee required at sign up.  IMG_4644


For the month of march we will be working on pillow cases that have french seams ( no raw edges).  In April we will work on rag quilts, a longtime favorite of everyone’s.  let me know if you have any suggestions on patterns you would like me to incorporate or dates and times that are convenient.  I look forward to hearing from you.  check out the classes page on my web site for info on t-shirt quilts.  Have a wonderful weekend and a happy winter break.  Blessings!

Jan 182013

I was listening to the news tonight, snuggled up in my nice warm bed under a multitude of quilts.  As I listened I saw that the weather was going to be turning bitterly cold in the next few days.  The next story that was given was the homeless rate among teens and young families.  I know this is sudden, but would you consider donating a winter jacket or warm blanket /quilt to one of our excellent community resources?  If you live in Duluth, these are some of the establishments you can drop off at.  Domniano on fourth street and 2nd ave west, chum center on 1rst ave W and 1rst street, Union Gospel Mission on first street and 2nd ave east, Encounter bldg @ 201 E 1rst Street.  I am also sure that many area churches and schools would take them as well.  Other items that are needed are mittens, scarves, hats, socks, boots, snow pants… you get the idea.  and if you have a pillow to give up, those are appreciated as well as sleeping bags.  If you don’t have time to drop off, give me a call and I will be happy to pick up and drop off for you.  If you are from another area of the states, would you please consider organizing something in your neck of the woods?  Now that Christmas season is behind us, we often get back to our lives and forget about those less fortunate.  Thanks for considering and Have a safe and warm evening.  Please leave comments to help others know where help is needed and where they can drop off life saving garments and misc.

Kelly <3

Jan 172013

Happy New Year!  My apologies, the holidays always find me so busy that my blog usually suffers.  I am sure many of you are just as hurried during the Christmas Season.  So much time spent baking, decorating and shopping for that perfect gift.  I had a great idea… many of us have joined block of the month clubs, what if we did a gift of the month club?  My thoughts are that each month I will offer a class that will teach a fast and easy quilt project to be given as a gift.  We will do wall hangings, towel appliques, penny rugs, purses and travel bags,  lap quilts, and so much more.   I will be teaching new techniques in painting quilted fabric, creating original art quilts and embellishing everything from clothing to christmas stockings. I am getting my  class schedule together and I would LOVE  input from all of you.  If you have a project that you would like to learn, let me know, leave a comment on my blog or facebook page, email me or feel free to call.  I also will continue to give private lessons and will post fun projects on my web page.  I will continue to post helpful hints as well as fun facts.  I should have my schedule for february ready by next week, so please hurry and send me more projects to include.


I also have some fun news for many of you.  I have recently been hired to host an online quilting community with TN Marketing in Waysata, Mn.  I was hired along with 2 other women, we will be doing webinars, classes online as well as a blog that will be a wonderful source of information for all of you.  I am very excited to start this next chapter in my life.



My children are all leaving the nest. Samantha, my youngest will be heading off to college this year, we aren’t sure where she will be heading but she is leaning toward Eckert in Florida.  It looks like my chauffeur days are behind me.  Dave and I look forward to visiting grandchildren and following our passions.  So for now, leave a comment, email me (kphanson@northlc.com), or phone me  2218-393-6262 to let me know what you would like to create this year. 2013 is looking to be an exciting and creative Year!  Now lets get those ideas going!!!

Nov 052012

Recently I have been enduring some family trials and hardships.  I had thought I was handling everything very well until I met with a family friend for coffee at McDonald one strange Saturday afternoon.  After we got our coffee I told him that we should drink our coffee while walking around Menards, he was a guy so I didn’t have a difficult time convincing him.  As we walked and talked he began to notice something that I had ignored, i had lost my joy and replaced it with anger and resentment.  Fortunate for me, I had this dear friend who held me accountable.  Fortunate for him, he has a friend who doesn’t take offense when held accountable.  When we parted ways I drove home searching deep within myself how I could recover the joy in my life and get rid of the anger and bitterness.  The answer was clear, I needed to ask for forgiveness from God and give forgiveness to those that I was angry with.  Hmmm, how easy was that going to be, cause I was still pretty mad!

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my quilts, cause that is my best source of therapy.  It is also a way that I can isolate myself from the world.  I generally find this time helpful to listen to God, sometimes he talks to me in a still, soft voice, other times he is screaming at me to listen as I try to ignore Him.  I know I shouldn’t ignore Him, it’s just that sometimes His answer is hard for me to facilitate…cause sometimes I’m stubborn.  I know, you never would have guessed that about me.. right?  and sometimes its just too hard cause I like being mad… but on this particular occasion I heard his voice loud and clear, I needed someone to pray with me that I would be able to give forgiveness.  I had a plan.  I would go to church in the morning and go up front for prayer when the service was over.  Now I know this may make some of my readers uncomfortable but something really amazing happened and you need to hear it.

I really Love my LORD with all my heart, and I know that I let him down and amazingly despite my flaws, He loves me beyond anything I could possibly fathom.  So I got up bright and early and went to church. I took communion and found my place in the back of the church, sitting next to my cousin.  I sit here because if any of you know me well, I am habitually late (I think that’s why my cousin sits there too) !  I listened to the service and felt that I needed to go forward for prayer when they called the service team up front.  Everyone but a gal in her 20’s had people to pray for, and I decided that she was too young to pray for me.  I decided to wait until someone else became free. but every time someone became free, I would take the steps forward and the only person open was that girl in her 20’s.  Finally it was like the holy spirit pushed me forward, I stood in front of this young woman.  I shared my story of hurt and anger.  She began praying for me, for my family, for my anger… and suddenly she said ”  this is very strange and I don’t understand it, but God is showing me a … a…. it’s a crazy quilt.  I am at a loss.  I don’t quilt, but the message I am getting is that you aren’t going to make this quilt.  This is His gift to you.  He is making it right now for you, and it is beautiful, it is your family.”  I was in tears, we finished the prayer and then I turned to her.  I told her that she had no way of knowing that I was a professional quilter and had a business in quilting.  She looked, I think the word would be Blessed!  God had used her to reveal something she didn’t understand but I did.  I told her how a crazy quilt is made up of scraps that would have been discarded, irregular shaped and sized of fabric sewn together that otherwise would have made the trash pile.  I saw this as My Heavenly Father telling me that my family would be coming through these trial stronger and complete.  The scarlet thread that held the quilt together was God weaving his hand in our lives.  It is a beautiful picture.  Here is the funny thing, I’ve never made a crazy quilt, now my interest has peaked and I may have to give it a try.  Just thought you might enjoy the story.  Have a great week and watch for the scarlet thread in your life, you’ll be amazed how often you will find it. 


Nov 042012



Last weekend my grand-daughter Gabby approached me with an interesting request, ” Grandma, will you teach me how to sew”.  At first, I thought she meant to sew by hand because she had watched me sewing a penny rug ( a small candle rug made from wool with small leave appliques all around it).  I got out thread and needles and was getting together some wool to create a rug for her and she said, ” no grandma, I mean on this cute little machine”.  I looked at her and she was pointing to my 221 singer featherweight.  My immediate thought was… 1. this girl has good taste in machines.  I own many machines, and by many I mean 14…. but don’t tell my husband, he has no idea.  I own 2 Bernina, 2 juki’s, a juki serger, 2 janomes, and 6 featherweight ( all different in color and model), a singer 94 that Ian gave me as a birthday gift when I turned 50 ( in mint condition I may add), and a singer treadle that was my mothers.  But this little girl choose my very first featherweight. Now my second thought was this… I FINALLY HAVE A QUILTER!!!!!! I am so EXCITED!!!!!! LOL   I am sooooo EXCITED!!!!  okay, Ive regained my composure.  I picked up my camera and decided to document this ostacious event, so with this blog you will see plenty of photos.  Consider it quilting 101.

we had to first adapt the foot control for Miss Gabby




glue stick instead of pins

penny rug






a little help, before I have her go solo



Gabby's first quilt block, her sister Audrey can't wait to start quilting..then Gabby will make faces in the background. LOL

ripping a few stitched out to make checkerboard lay properly



square ruler, squaring up block. fortunate for us… Gabby did a great job keeping her block square.

Continue reading »

Oct 212012

As I sit on the plane on my flight back to Duluth, I reminisce about the week I’ve just had.
I arrived in Portland with the beginning of a respiratory flu that would come to be know as
Typhoid Kelly. I survived on Protein shakes and hot tea, it was the only thing that I could seem to tolerate. I was not about to let that squelch the marvelous time I could and would have as I anticipated attending new classes and making new friends (most important, revisiting with old friends).

I arrived on Tuesday and was met by m brother in law Todd, he was such a gracious host as he chauffeured Norma, Claudia and me around the city. Poor guy, being in the car with 3 very overzealous quilters, it wasn’t long before he picked up on all the quilt lingo. We went to dinner at the Kennedy School Complex, if you are ever in Portland it is a must see.


I was fortunate to take classes with Sherry Rogers Harrison, Claudia Pfeil and Cathy Wiggins.
Sherry offered her Paint Lique’ and ink lique’ classes ( pronounced like applique’) They were not only great fun but relaxing and inspiring! Sherry is one of the all time great teachers, always encouraging and super fun to have teach.


Claudia taught long arm quilting class in quilting the alphabet called “A to Zet” ( Thats how she said it in german). I can’t wait to get home and play on my long arm. Claudia always brings chocolate from Germany, usually filled with alcohol, those chocolates and truffles are amazing.
Claudia also brings her award winning quilts along, she recently had a calendar made of them. I was fortunate to have her gift me one, I love you Claudia! funny thing happened on my way to her class, I nearly missed it. I walked in 35 minutes late because I thought the class stated at 11, where in fact it started at 9. Claudia would never let me live it down, as I tried sneaking into class, Claudia looks up and says ” thank you for joining us Mrs Hanson…were you out late last night? hmmm, Claudia, yes I was…I was with you trying to find a place to make copies for this class! LOL

A little off subject, Claudia was punked by Karen McTavish. While we were making copies for class, Karen called and asked Claudia her password for her computer. Claudia being german innocent, gave it to her. Karen posted how Claudia loved American Politics…she really has a distaste for it. She posted that Claudia had decided to move to the United States, which was hilarious because claudia immediate started getting posts of concern from her aunt, her parents, her children and even her youngest sons teacher. To dispell this rumor, Claudia is not movingto the US…yet. 🙂 LOL



We then had a fun evening of shopping at the boutique that Claudia and I love in Portland, “Dazzle”. A little damage was done to our pocketbooks, the clothing there is gorgeous!


We attended the banquet with brother in-law Todd in tow, poor guy, what he won’t do for his sister in law. The banquet speaker was Kimmy Brunner, she told a wonderfully heartfelt story of three generations of women. Her great grandmother, her grandmother and herself, and the history that quilting had in their family. If given the opportunity to hear this great story, you must not pass it up. Then came the door prizes, and I won! I won a bright orange Ott Light, I am a lucky girl.

Our last day was filled with filling orders for more thread at the vender mall and a class with Cathy Wiggens , who won many awards at this show for her quilt carrousel.

Her class was one of designing your pictorial quilt. It is a whole cloth quilt that is stitched and painted. I have started my design and the ideas are flowing.

Big thanks and hugs go out to Norma Riehm who was the best room mate, look what she made me!


so I am now on the plane home and am anxious to see my family and pets. My apologies to my
faithful followers. My internet has been doing strange things lately so I haven’t posted since July. I’m back on track… please share this with your friends and leave a comment if you like.

Jun 242012

Zach definitely my most mischevious child!

A few posts back I had eluded to the fact that the move to Minneapolis was not the last move for our family.  As Med School graduation quickly approached, so would our move to Hershey, Pa.  It was actually a fun move out to the great farm country, home of the Hershey Chocolate Bar.  My brother Greg came along to help with the drive east.  Zach enjoyed driving in the big truck with Dave, and Greg and I laughed the entire way to Hershey.  He is quite the comedian, actually our entire family has quite the flare for humor… usually at someone else’s  expense, unfortunately.  We made fun of just about everything on our way to our new home.  Greg even helped us settle in once we got to Hershey.  It was a very magical and frightening time for us.  The city has a magic about it that is hard to explain, you actually have to experience it, very much like Disney World.  There are street lamps that are shaped like Hershey kisses, the air smells of chocolate.  July is a busy time in Hershey as the tourist industry is high, the new medical residents start flooding in to start working at the medical center.

Zach had a great time during the years that we lived in Hershey. I always made special sugar cookies with almond frosting when his birthday came around, they were his favorite for school treats.  One year he came home and told me that his teacher liked the cookies so much, she was wondering if I could make them again for the next day.  Off to work I went baking cookies, it was my only real outlet with 3 small children at home.  The next day Zach went off to school with the cookies.  I met the school bus that afternoon and Zach had an unusual spring in his step as he got off the bus.  I looked at him and was so pleased at how happy he looked.  I attributed it to good parenting and nurturing.  Late that night I went into his room to see how he was doing on his homework.  That is when I noticed all of these dollar bills on is floor along with loose change.  I asked him what it was from and he replied, and I must add very proudly, “I sold the cookies and got all this money!”  My response was as you probably guessed, “You did what?” .  Zach explained how when he brought the cookies to school, some of the teachers said they wished they could buy cookies that good.  So Zach being a young entopunuer figured that they could buy them, from him.  I made him return the money and stopped making baked goods for him to take to school.  It did stroke my ego that they were willing to buy my cookies. Hmm, how does Mrs. Hanson’s cookie sound?  Watch out Mrs. Fields!

We had many more adventures with Zach, perhaps he will share some of them in the comment area.  If you want to be sure to see when posts are up, or comments are made, sign up as a follower and you will be notified via email.  FYI, Zach actually ended up in Sales as a career, he is pretty successful as well.  I guess that shouldn’t come as any surprise to us.  If you have a similar story to share, please put it in the comment area.  I love to hear your stories.  Have a great Sunday!

%d bloggers like this: