Jan 022015
 

I love to quilt, it relaxes me and gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I really couldn’t imagine anything more satisfying. I couldn’t, until I looked at my brother as he snuggled up with a quilt that his 11 & 15 year old daughters made him for Christmas.

The girls were talking about what they wanted to do for his gift, I asked them if they would like me to teach them how to make a quilt and they jumped at the opportunity. 8 hours later they had worked at completing a lovely rag quilt for their Daddy.

It was pretty humorous as they would bring it in to his room, as he snuck an afternoon nap, to measure its length on him. They completed it in October and kept it a secret until Christmas when he unwrapped it.

They watched him, eyes glued to him as he took it out and saw what they had created just for him. His lip quivered, a tear in his eye, a smile that spread from one ear to the other on each
of the girls faces. They had delivered the perfect gift. A gift of the heart that will be treasured for a life time. And this is why I quilt, I will never forget that moment, and neither will my brother.

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Jan 012015
 

Happy new year! How did you spend your New Years Eve? I spent mine working on Bonnie Hunters MQ (mystery quilt) It was so much fun.  I am especially intrigued by all the blocks that quilters used their own color ways.  I stayed with Bonnie’s because I really wanted to show the grand illusion of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  My husband and I spent our honeymoon there 29 years ago.  Here is my block, I’ll post the quilt when it is complete.

in the meantime check out Quiltville open studio on Facebook to check out all the great blocks!

I’m so happy to be back, i will be posting regularly. I am taking a break from article writing for a really great community I was hired for.  I’ve been busy this last year getting National Quilters Circle off the ground. It is a community geared toward the quilter of any skill level. We try to bring you new trends in the industry, give advice on quilting dilemmas, and act as a resource for you with web videos and DVDs for instruction, we also have many articles that will guide and direct you on many aspects of quilting. There is a free basic package and a premium package that you can pick up for $7.77 for the entire year. It’s a new year special which will give you unlimited access to articles, videos as well as opportunity to ask questions and have them answered really quickly.  Check it out, I’d love to hear your opinion so we can make it just what you need.  Have. A wonderfully blessed weekend!

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 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.

Kelly

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.

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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.

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