Archive for the ‘Traditional Quilts’ Category

Flexing muscles in the studio.

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I’ve decided to “sneak peak” what’s being sewn in the studio lately.  Just one block of this new quilt as it is destined for my next book release…next year!

Yes next year!

A book full of pieced patterns (with some applique…at least at this time that is the plan).   And all eclectic in nature.  The only thing joining all the quilts is they were created by moi!

Offset Squares Quilt Block
I am a very eclectic person.  I will and want to try anything once.   Even beyond quilting.   So when asked by my publisher that would be the “theme” I said… eClEcTiC.   There will be something for everybody.  And all kinds of fabric too.  Because I absolutely love them all.  I say there are no ugly fabrics…just misunderstood.

So for this quilt I wanted to do a truly masculine quilt.  And I say that just as a direction because honestly I am loving the look of these colors/prints.

This is a quilt block called Offset Squares.   There are several other blocks in the quilt, some old and some brand new.  But this is the one I chose to share.  Because last night I got a huge smile from Paul when he saw the mock up on the design wall.   And trust me there have been many a times he has not smiled and I take his eye for design and input to heart.

He loved it too.


As you can see I it’s got a semi-scrappy nature to it.  And it is a relatively simple block…but just wait to you see it’s quilt buddies.

Ok…I am back to work sewing away the day.




New Workshop debuting at Retreat

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Been spending a few hours every morning learning WordPress software and adding and sprucing up my website even more.  The tweaking never ends and neither does the education.  But I am fine with it.  I enjoy learning new things and giving my brain some new creative knowledge.  The problem is I now have so many ideas racing thru my head I have a hard time focusing.  So 3 hours every morning and then I am off to the studio.  3 hours that is it and the computer is put to “sleep”.  I keep a college ruled notebook on my desk and jot down every idea.  They will keep until I can get to them or find some help.  Which may truly be on the docket for 2014.

The files of new workshops to put into  the offerings is pretty high. (as are the pattern files)  And once Em gets home (tomorrow…fingers crossed with the impending weather that is forecasted) we might dabble with my new brochure making on Sunday.  It is one of the things on our “to do” list during her 2 week visit!  With Em’s graphic knowledge and artistic eye I can only imagine what she will come up with.    I know I mentioned it on facebook but she finally started her own blog/website.  You can find it here!

Ok..back on track….

EPP5PointStarWkshpPic2MDEPREOne of the new workshops is called EPP 5 Point Star.   I am excited about this workshop as it takes the “Pieced Hexies” idea and applies it to other shapes.   I wanted to design a 3 hour workshop so it can fit many situations and yet be new and exciting.   So it is just one design pattern (but trust me like the hexies the binder of patterns is quite thick…watch for more shapes/ideas over this year).

What is fun is there are two bonus blooms that can also be made from this 5pt Star Design.  You can find all my workshops under the tab at the top.chicago_lake_0114_cropped

I will be debuting this workshop (temporarily renamed EPP Pieced Snowflake to fit the theme) at the Lake Shore Quilting Retreat sponsored by Sew Many Places right here in Chicago!  The retreat runs from January 16th -19th and is going to be a winter pajama party blast!  This city girl is so excited to share not only this new design idea but “her city” (Native Chicagoan here!) during the prettiest time of 40sStringQTMDEPREthe year.  Winter.  I am hoping for some snowfall either Friday or Saturday night.  We can scout out an area in the hotel with big windows and sit and stitch together until the wee hours with the snow falling.  Wouldn’t that be magical.

I am bringing all sorts of quilts to share…since this is a driving gig for me the jeep will be loaded up!  So come join Pam Holland, Sue Bouchard, Brian Haggard, Jim West and myself for a weekend of quilty fun!

AntiqueStringBoxQuiltTopAntiqueStringBoxQuiltTopAlso Mr. UPS, Mr FedEx and Mr USPS have all been making their way up the stoop with packages the last few weeks.  One contained a new antique quilt top. Oh my.  String Pieced Blocks from the 40s.  Just my style.  I plan to make a very bold border for it and finish it.  I have made my list of tops to finish by August 1st and it is long.  But with a list it will get done.


Til Monday, (taking Saturday & Sunday off to hang with my favorite daughter)



Pineapple Fever has hit.

Monday, December 16th, 2013

PineapplePlaidMDEPREI have been tinkering around with a long lived UFO in the studio the last week or so.

On Saturday night I sat down and finally put the graph paper idea in the Pineapple Plaid file (yes each quilt/idea has a file made as soon as it is conceived.  It is truly the only way I can keep a handle on things) into EQ7 and made the quilt digitally.

Not sure what happened with the brown sashing…I thought I was coloring it black so please over look that.

PineapplePlaidPic1Yesterday morning I woke up and just felt the need to “unplug” from the world and just sew…sew…sew.

And so I did.

And now I am more than halfway thru all the blocks…actually darn near close to 3/4’s  so of course I had to jump tracks and start on the sashing.  You know how it is when you get fired up about a quilt again.PineapplePlaidEQpic3
I did some further tweaking of my design on the sashing, coloring them a bit differently.  I like the ends ending in black vs white as shown in the digital image above.   So I went in this morning and tweaked the EQ file.   I also think I am going to go with a robin’s egg blue for the cornerstones and outer border.   But that is still up in the air.  Yes I am thinking a solid border.  This quilt might need it with so much going on in the center.  Again…still up in the air.   But here  is the new digital quilt ….so far.

I am back in the studio for a full day of sewing today.

Tonight I start to bake the Christmas Cookies.  I have seven different recipes to get thru.  It will be one or two cookie batches daily for the week.

Going to go draw and post the Day 10 winners on the blog in a few minutes.

Also tonight I will put up a post with all the outstanding winners from the “10 days of Swag Giveaway”.   My hope is to get everyone’s snail mail addy by Tuesday night for one more trip to the post office before the holidays!

Enjoy your day,


New Free PDF Pattern – Blueberry Spice!

Friday, December 13th, 2013

To chase away any Friday the 13th negativity!


I added the PDF for this wall hanging pattern called Blueberry Spice on my FREE PDF page.  Just look at the top of this page for the link. Vlick on BLUEBERRY SPICE under the Quilt Pattern category and you will be able to download it.

This pattern will be added as a 6 hour workshop also.    I am also contemplating making it nine times for a large quilt…..hmmmm.

I need 48 hours in each day…but then I know you all do to.

Piece on!


I’ll have an Orange Crush please.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Tuesday was the “Great Day of Junkin” here at Chez Depre.   It has become tradition that Paul and I spend a day exploring an antique mall, or two…or three in search of a treasure for our abode as a joint anniversary gift. 

This year we chose to venture to Beloit/Rockford area to explore.   This meant we were up and on the road by 7:30am.   The fog was pretty thick but nothing was going to stop us from our day.   It’s really not about the item…it’s about the hunt and spending the day together.   Give us aisles to putter and we are happy campers.

Unfortunate no one item stuck out and yelled “BUY ME I am what you want” to either of us …and that happens.   And that’s ok.   This house is pretty full and we have been actually decompressing it the last six months so we are getting very picky about what we bring in.

But of course EVERY quilt that was happened upon was looked at.

And I saw the orange sashing/borders of this quilt the minute we turned the corner into a new aisle.   This antique mall was HUGE!  And the aisle were pretty long.  But there it was midstream in the middle of a stack of quilts.  It took all my self control to continue the mosey until we reached it.   A good 20 minutes.   But when just two stalls away I couldn’t wait any longer and I beelined to the stack.  I started to remove the quilts from on top of it.   They were lovely but nothing called my name.  I did glance at their price tags and my heart sprung with glee as I knew this was a vendor I would work with.

Oh my scrappy 30’s/40’s goodness.wpid-IMG_20131205_063215.jpg

Check out those stripes!  LOVE!

But where is this price.

The tag is missing!!  (this seemed to be trend for the day, everything I liked was missing it’s price.  Those aisle walkers/watchers got their workout running items to the desk to price check for me)   Ok a few items came home but they were clearly “for me” items…so more about them later.

Back to “Orange Crush”…yes I named it immediately in my head.

Wait there’s the price tag…on the floor.  As I stooped to pick it up Paul came into the stall and began to unfold it entirely so I could have a full look.

He knows when a prospect is a hot ticket.  Oh and the price’s in my range…oh goodie.

I turned to look at the quilt full on…and my heart sunk.


you can already see the problem a bit in the picture above.

Yep a full on full fade area…nearly one fourth of the quilt.  This quilt sat on a self or chair by a window for years I suspect.


DRATS!  …sigh.

it is not trunk show worthy.

double sigh.

So refolded it was and we continued down the aisle and then off to a few other places.

and Orange Crush kept swirling in my head.

and on the way home I came up with why I should of bought it.  It was trunk show worthy.  It could help teach the lesson of always rotate your quilts monthly.

drats and triple sigh.

wpid-wp-1386250406018.jpgBut on a happier note.

Tomorrow starts the “10 Days of Swag Giveaway” on the blog.  The post has been written and is scheduled to load early so look for it.   I need to unload this large box of swag and find new homes for all of it so please check back for all the details!

til tomorrow,




day 1OOPS….now how did that teaser pic of tomorrow’s swag get in there…..I know I am so bad at secrets….hehehe.



Pineapples on Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


It will be a quiet holiday here at Chez Depre.   Neither kid is making it home.  Emily is plowed under with work as it is acceptance letter time in the world of college admissions and Paul is off to spend the holiday with Anna’s family.    (Note I am ok with this…this is part of them becoming adults.  I will have a full house come Christmas!)

Paul is off to work because trains never stop.

And so while I have received many lovely offers to spend the holiday with family and friends I have decided to just make it a very quiet and jammie day of my own.

Who knows when Paul will get  home tonight so we have elected to have our “Thanksgiving Feast” tomorrow.  He has off tomorrow as his holiday.   And again this is fine.

Our lives are so “non traditional” all the other times of the year why should it change now.

Nov28pic4So yesterday I pulled out a several years in the making project in the studio.  My pineapple quilt.Nov28pic3

I believe everyone should make at least one pineapple quilt in their lifetime.  This is my third.  The other two were gifted away so this will remain mine.Nov28pic2Nov28pic5


I started this quilt about 3 years ago and I think this is the third foray into serious pineapple time.

This time around I am using Gyleen Fitzgerald’s pineapple ruler for the 8.5″ blocks.  I absolutely love this ruler!  You know what they say the right tools for the job make it so much easier and this is definitely the right tool for pineapple blocks if you were to ask me.

Here are a few finished in the project bin.  You can see I got antsy the last time this project was out and started sewing some into 4 block units.   You will also note I am making the blocks in two different styles.  ALL are totally scrappy but the color values are shifted.   For the project I will need 40 Dark Pineapples and 24 Light Pineapples.  My Nov28pic1count when I dove in was 15 Dark done and 4 Light done.

Surely I can make a dent if I work on this project pretty much thru the holiday weekend.

I’m not much of a shopper so I choose to avoid the craziness of the mall this weekend.  Maybe Paul and I will hit a few online sales but other then a trip out to a movie tomorrow this girl is gonna be in her studio.

As of this morning I am halfway thru ten more dark blocks.

Around midnight (maybe a bit earlier- maybe a bit later) I will put up the updated store with my PreOrder Special for Pieced Hexies Deux.   I will also post a blog announcing I have done so.

And then I am back to the studio.



I have some real “gifty” friends

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Who doesn’t like to get gifts?  And the best ones are the unexpected.
They don’t have to be HUGE gifts.  Just something the giver says made them think of you.

While in Houston I finally got to meet Annie in person.  We have been friends to several years but never had the pleasure of a real live hug!   I looked up while signing books in the Paper Pieces booth and there she was.  Her smile is even more beautiful in
person.   And she gave me this.

Oh my.

Annie is a spinner.  This is 350 yards of her own handspun yarn.  I do see another cowl in my future.

imageYesterday my bud Cathy came over.  We havent seen each other for almost 6 weeks with all my traveling.

Cathy loves Halloween. She brought me this for my studio.

It’s even better from the side.








Around 3 pm the mail man brought me

another gift.  This one from Maggie.
It seems she was out and about and saw this pin catcher that just screamed my name!  Love it!

I will be taking markers to it to “piece up” those hexies.  Hehe.






And of course one should always gift themselves from time to time.


My latest $20 ebay quilt top treasure.   I will be adding Pieced Hexie Rosettes to those fields of blue.

So with all this gifting I am going to give some of you a treat.  I mentioned this on my facebook page yesterday.

A one day sale of 4 items on my website store on Halloween.

I will tease that the Pieced Hexies Template set will be at a price point that it has never been at before.   And that is no trick.

Enjoy your day,

Posted on the whim of my phone. 🙂

O Canada!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

We spent last night totally clearing out the deep closet in our bedroom.

Flashback to this spring.  You may remember that there was some bedroom shuffling here at Chez Depre.   With P&E graduating college and informing us that they would not be returning to reside we finally made the move of our bedroom into the largest bedroom in the house (a whole 2 feet more in width!!).  Our old bedroom became the joint office and the smallest room in the house is a guest room.

So walls were painted and furniture shuffled and then life hit.  And the closets never got shuffled.  But they are now!

OCanadaPICTURE1The closet in our now bedroom had become a bit storage bin for the four years that the kids were at college.

Several “lost” items reemerged from the depths….shoes….bags…pillowcases (I found all my Halloween and Christmas ones…don’t ask I have no idea how they landed up in there).

And a stack of quilts that were way in the back.

These were quilts that Paul and Em used in their rooms.   Well some of them.  Some have already traveled to their new homes.

And on the stack was this quilt.

It is the very first quilt I made when I ventured back to quilting after a 5-6 yr hiatus when the kids were babies.   I had about 2 years of self taught knowledge under my belt thanks to the local library shelves.  But during their childhood I discovered Simply Quilts and I watched faithfully.  And absorbed.

So of course my first quilt back was from a pattern out of an early Alex Anderson book “Scrap….err….something or another”…I can’t remember right now and it’s in  the studio is two flights of stairs down…lol.   Anyway it’s out of print.

OCanadaPic2This quilt was made back in the day when my stash literally fit into two shoe boxes and my budget allowed visits to the 10″ square scrap bin at the newly discovered quilt shop, The Cotton Co.  (sadly no longer in business).

I so wanted to make a bed size quilt.  But as piecing (on the dining room table with my wedding gift Singer) was happening I was dreaming up more and more quilts.   And this quilt got smaller and smaller so I could just get ‘er done and move on.  See I was still in the “I will never have UFOs honeymoon stage of quilting”.

Finally I settled on this wall size….err lap size for a pint sized Emie and thus why it was in her room for naps.




Here are P & E standing in front of the quilt at a local show.   Yes even now at age almost 23 still this is the attitude.    Did I mention this quilt was made in 1997.

WOW 16 years have flown by!

And in the end we named the quilt “O Canada” because it has one red leaf in it…..pointed out by dear son.     Yes even at age 6 3/4 sarcasm was his middle name.

I can’t believe just 18 months later I was on a plane to teach my very first quilt workshop.  And six months after that I left my job and threw my hat in the ring full time.

Wonder what my life will be like in 16 more years…..I bet the journey is going to be lots of fun!

Enjoy your day,




Ring Around the Hexie BED SIZE it’s DONE!

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Sept29 pic 2I have sewed my brains out for the last 16 days (ok a few days off in there) but last night I finished the bed size version of Ring Around The Hexies.   I truly love Civil War Repros.  Some people think they are drab and without spark but I beg to differ.  I think when working with them scrappy is the way.   Individually the prints and colors can be “very quiet” but when they get next to one another they start to shout for the viewer’s attention and things get exciting.  Well at least that is how I see it.   Sept29 pic 1

So even if you aren’t a scrappy girl.  And I am not always.  But most of the time I am.  I always say “more is better” if you want a quilt that has “ZING”.   Give the eye a lot to take in.  So if you want a blue and yellow quilt.  Well use 15 blues and 15 yellows.  Variety is the spice of life.

So the top is done and I cheerily call out this fact to Paul who is in the kitchen making the most delicious sour cream apple pie.  Which I really can’t talk about because we landed up slicing into it and eating some before we remembered to take pics.   But I can share a link to the recipe.  Trust me it is wonderful and will be made again.  Now back to quilting.

So I call out to Paul that the top is now done!  YIPPEE!  And then I realize.  I have no where I can take a full head on pic of this quilt (84 x 84) in my small abode.   Sept29 pic 3


This problem is being addressed and might not be “fixed” for a few months.  So this is the best I can do at this time.

I am so in love with this full version.

I am going to put a 2.5″ temp border around the edges to stabilize it as it travels for a month with me before I get to quilting it.

You will be able to see this top in person at the Schoolhouse session for Ring Around the Hexies during Market.  And it will be hanging in the Paper Pieces booth at Festival!

So excited.

NOTE: The special preorder package of both the Ring Around The Hexies Book and Template will cease at midnight on Monday.

This morning my bag is packed and I am ready to hit the road for a whopping 58 miles to Michigan City, Indiana.   Tomorrow I am teaching Pieced Hexies for the Come Quilt with Me & Pat Yamin Retreat.  Then it’s back home til Friday.

I have a lot of travel kitting to do this week.  October is jam packed with trips.

But for now I am going to just sit back with some morning coffee and read the Sunday paper.

Enjoy your day,





p.s. I would really appreciate your posting of comments.  I am in the midst of trying to tweak this new format of blog.  My webmaster and I have the goal of once your first comment is approved all your comments will automatically be approved and immediately posted.  But in order to do this I need some comments posted.   Of course I ask this when I will be off on the road and unable to “approve” comments for 36 hours.  But if you could try to post a comment this week I would most appreciate it.   Thanks!

Ring Around The Hexies BED SIZE Part 5

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Sept27RATHpicHalfway done!

Well actually much more than that.  I just need to applique five more rosettes to backgrounds and sew together the remaining two wall hangings, join them to this half and viola the bed size version of Ring Around The Hexies pattern will be done!

Since this quilt top, no unfortunately it will not be quilted in time, will be traveling to Market and Festival I plan on putting a 2-3″ plain border on it of the burnt red paisley print that you see in the outside setting triangles.  This will keep those outer edges stabilized.   Then when it is back in my hands over winter I will remove it for quilting.

The debate is whether I will be quilting this myself or sending off to someone to do.  Time will tell with my chiropractor visits.   There is much discussion about rearranging the studio and making some changes to may be accommodate a stand up long arm.  But I am thinking this is just a dream for my current studio and it’s size and I will remain quilting on my APQS George machine.

Next blog post I will tell you exactly where you will be able to see this full quilt (top) at Festival.  I hope you will check it out.

Sept 27 Pic 2Along with a whole lot of sewing yesterday there was some homemade applesauce making.  My father-in-law’s apple tree has been bountiful again this year and several Depre abodes are simmering versions of apple sauce, chutney and spices slices to be canned this weekend.

Sept 27 Pic 1I wish there was a way to attach scents to posts….because it is unbelievable.


Speaking of scents I was trilled yesterday to learn that Yankee Candle had unretired truly my all time favorite candle.  Autumn Lodge.  This candle fills the house with the aroma of a wood burning fireplace.  And since my home is sans this wonderful feature. ..well this is the next best thing.

Two large jars are on their way.  Yankee Candle is having a wonderful Buy 1 get 1 Free sale….get over to their website to order or print out the coupon if you are lucky to have a brick storefront in your neck of the woods.

Sept 27 Pic 3And I have begun to decorate the house for Autumn.  Not Halloween, Not Thanksgiving, Not Columbus Day.  AUTUMN.

My very favorite season of all.