Monday, September 25

Christmas Quilt deadline.....

If you get your quilt(s) to me by
November 1st
I'll guarantee they will be returned to you before Christmas.
Here's a little teaser.....
A friend/customer of mine, Denise from Florida, sent me her Modern Christmas Tree quilt to quilt and
I absolutely fell in love with it.
I really like her pieced backing of tree prints and that black & white stripe cute!
So.....I made one for me. 
(it's actually a gift but I can't way who it's for....she might follow my blog)
I started making the blocks at a retreat last spring and just couldn't stop!
 I put a Christmas-y flannel on the back and quilted it with a single wave.
Gingham binding - I'm kind of in love with ginghams again.
I'm teaching a class on it through the Adult Education program in our school district.
I loved every minute of making this cute quilt.
The blocks work up so fast and it was fun to pair the fabrics together so that each block is different.
You can find the free tutorial online at
 "Diary of a Quilter" - here.
is the deadline to get your Christmas quilts to me.

Thursday, September 14

"thicket" baby quilt...

My step-niece recently had a sweet
little baby boy.
Oh, yay!  I finally had a reason to make this cute baby quilt.
I used a panel from the "Thicket" line of fabric from Gingiber for Moda.
My niece loved it!
I also made this little burp cloth out of a smaller block:
For the back of the quilt I had this red/white chevron.
For the back of the burp cloth I used a piece of dot flannel - they need to be absorbent!
 It was so easy to just keep adding borders to the center panel.
I quilted loops in the center of the quilt and each border received a very simple design.
It was so fun to make - welcome to this wonderful world, little one.

Friday, September 1

Fancy Forest times two....

Both of my sweet granddaughters had birthdays this summer.
(making fruit pizza - one of our favorites at grandma's house)
I decided to make each of them a Fancy Forest quilt with their names on them.
It's an Elizabeth Hartman pattern - she's brilliant! 
You can find the pattern here.
Miss Audrey....
(we had a tea party at my neighbor's home so we got to dress up with some pretties - thank you, Danette)
 I made individual quilts for each of them.
They each finished at about 60" x 70"
Audrey likes the color aqua... 
The backing is Tula Pink's "Free Fall". 
I quilted loops in the background and
straight-lined each block. 
I think the cows want a quilt, too... 
Miss Alayna...
Alayna loves pink...
This is probably my favorite block - Hazel Hedgehog. 
I used a cute pink print for the backing and a
scrappy binding. 
I swirled Alayna's background, outlined the small "fill-in" blocks and
straight-lined each individual block. 
 Picnics inside make the food even better! 
I loved having my girls with me last summer...
Alayna, Audrey and Erin - my daughter.
Oh, how I love my girls....
(floating on Ennis Lake)

Sunday, August 20

new mailing address...

We are trying to phase out our post office box in town.
All I needed to do was purchase a mail box and the numbers....
the post was already there.
I just discovered we have a very nice postal carrier out where we live.
How nice of him to deliver your quilts and sweet notes to me at my house!
Just use our physical address from now on....
Kathy Olkowski
144 Ennis Lake Road
Ennis, MT   59729

Sunday, August 6

Candy's quilts....

Candy, from Missouri, asked me to quilt a few of her quilts.
I love Candy's style - it always speaks to me.
This is Thimble Blossoms, "Round and Round",
pattern found here.
I have the pattern but I had never seen it in "real life". 
I fell in love with it all over again.
Candy used a pretty Lori Holt line of vintage fabrics.
I quilted a pretty swirl design in the background and
outlined the stars.
I love this backing, too.
This is one of the cutest little guy quilts I've ever seen....."Tools, Baby", pattern found here.
She made it for her great nephew who comes from a long line of customer home builders - perfect!
I quilted small loops in the background and customized each tool with straight line quilting.
Who doesn't love "Boo Crew" fabrics by Sweetwater.
I quilted a wood grain/water swirl all-over pattern.
Thank you, Candy, for letting me add a little something to each of these darling quilts.
I can't wait to see what you're creating next!

Monday, July 17

Karen's Scrappy Trip

Karen, from Georgia, made this beautiful Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. 
I can't seem to get enough of this pattern - so many color ways I want to create it with.
Here is the online tutorial from Bonnie Hunter: Scrappy Trip Around the World tutorial.
Karen used all Bonnie & Camille fabrics and the placement of her blocks were inspired by one Camille made - found here.
Every quilt has a story and this is Karen's quilt story from her words:

"Part of the fun of making my Scrappy Trip Around the World was collecting fabrics.  Having made the decision to exclusively use Bonnie and Camille fabrics for this quilt, I began my search for their fabrics.  I decided early on not to limit myself to just one of their fabric lines, but instead mix together fabrics from several of their collections as most all of their colors and prints play together so well. 

After shopping several local Atlanta area quilt shops, I realized that I would need to broaden my search for Bonnie and Camille fabrics, so I turned to Etsy where I found a great selection of both their more recent lines such as Little Ruby and Vintage Picnic as well as their older out of print collections like Miss Kate, Daysail, Hello Darling, and Scrumptious as well as wonderful Etsy sellers willing to offer small cuts of fabric. Plus, I love Etsy's low shipping costs, especially when purchasing only a small piece or two of fabric.
Once I had a good variety of fabric in hand, my piecing began and what a fun top to sew!  Just as I was finishing all of my piecing, one of the fabrics in the middle of the quilt top jumped out at me as not being a Bonnie and Camille. Urgh!!! Nothing doing but I just had to change out those six squares, otherwise I knew that every time I looked at the quilt my eye would be drawn to that renegade print.  Well, halfway into the frustrating task of changing out those pieces, I made the realization that the fabric was in fact a Bonnie and Camille and could stay after all! Oh well!!"
I quilted a simple cross-hatch design throughout the quilt.
It created these beautiful little 1 1/2" pillows all over the quilt.
Her backing is an extra wide "Vintage Picnic" from
Thimble Blossoms, too.
I love how Karen placed the aqua fabrics in the #6 position causing an aqua "chain" throughout her quilt - so, so pretty.
One day I'll finish one for myself - but in the mean time....I get to enjoy quilting others.
This is so beautiful, Karen, thank you for letting me quilt it and have "her" visit me for a short time.

Friday, July 7

Montana retreat - ahhhhhh......

I recently attended a quilting retreat in the mountains of Montana.
I love this retreat and setting. 
It's located at the Upper Canyon Outfitters lodge and cabins.
They are such gracious hosts - it's a family affair.
Donna Trischman, of Timelessquilts, is our quilt hostess.
Here are a few snapshots of our 3 days together...
I'm packed & ready to go.....including my mud's been raining in the mountains.
I love the variety of mud boots that showed up.
Such a welcoming sight - the lodge where we all gather for our meals.
This is the Upper Canyon Outfitters office - lots of pups hanging it!
The cabin where I stayed with my sister, Vicki,
and my friend, Carol.
I love the antler hanging over the dining hall door.
 We get to eat with the family and the ranch hands - it's always fixed up so nice for meals..
 Mmmm - pork, green salad with huckleberry vinaigrette, baby broccoli, and mashed sweet potatoes. 
It's the best treat ever to have someone else cook for you!
Here's Donna - the owner of the ranch, pouring something sassy from Willey's Distillery on Donna's (our quilt hostess) brownies.
 Warm brownies with ice cream.....the food, to me, is just as important as the sewing!

OK - now on to the projects. 

Donna offers classes and a mystery project. 
This is one of the classes - "Sugar Cookies".  

It's a darling quilt - so I bought a kit!
My friend, Carol, had one finished before the retreat - it was such fun to quilt - some swirls, straight lines and feathers.
 Here are some of the gals who attended - I'm not going to attempt to remember names but I'll show projects
 that were created...
Bonnie's blocks - love the autumn colors.
 These pretty fabrics were incorporated into Dianne's trellis quilt top.
So many pretty pastels.
This was Dawn's first retreat - I think she's hooked!
 Such nice ladies - that's one more thing I love about retreats - you get to meet new friends.
Chain piecing - oh, yeah!
And more chain piecing...
Here are my "parts" to the mystery quilt.
I am finally using some of my Kaffe Fasset prints.
 My first block - I love it!
Mystery revealed - it's a Fig Tree pattern.
Here is a finished table runner Donna made
up for the "reveal".
Her quilting is gorgeous!

 I also worked on these cute basket blocks. 
I'm using Amy Smart's tutorial from her
blog, "Diary of a Quilter." 

I also worked on these funky tree blocks.
They also came from Amy's blog here.
Thank you, Amy, for such cute quilt block tutorials.

 Carol was busy, busy creating these amazing blocks.

Don't you just love them? 
I can't wait to see them in a quilt.
Mr. Elk watched over us the entire time. 

 Thank you, Upper Canyon Outfitters, for letting us soak in your surroundings and hospitality.
Here's the link to their beautiful ranch.
 I know just how you feel, Mr. Pup. 
I'm all relaxed and ready to tackle the world again.