Modern Traditions ~ Your Michigan Quilt Shop Hop 2014

This is the second Shop Hop I’ve attended since I started to learn how to quilt, just two years ago.  I tried to organize getting a group of friends to go but other commitments on Thursday and Friday morning got in the way of taking a bus to each of these locations.  A stop at Creative Quilt Kits on Friday after the Heritage Quilters Meeting spiked my interest once again and before you know it I was signed up and on my way by car!

Modern Traditions Shop Hop Modern Traditions Shop Hop 1

I visited Creative Quilt Kits and Lake Street Mercantile on Friday and the remaining four shops on Saturday.  Since there really isn’t a quilt shop close by where I live, I tend to venture to many shops to look for fabric.  I decided to make notes about each of the shops that I visited.

Creative Quilt Kits:  Many batiks & nice background fabrics, other fabrics are organized by collections making it difficult to find fabrics if you are searching by color.

Lake Street Mercantile:  Quaint shop where the upstairs is devoted to Heritage fabrics and downstairs is mostly, if not all, Moda fabrics.

Bits & Pieces:  Many beautiful quilts and kits to choose from and sells Bernina.  Quilt design and color selections are A+  Staff was very helpful in explaining how this shop hop worked since I hadn’t really schooled myself ahead of time.  Just make sure you go past Wayne Rd traveling eastbound on Michigan Ave before making the turnaround to W Michigan Ave.  The shop is on the left.

The Quilting Season:  Small shop who were extremely friendly.  They also provided information about Michigan Row by Row which begins July 1 thru September 2, 2014.  Check out the Facebook page for Michigan Row by Row Experience.

Pink Castle Fabrics:  I actually learned about this fabric shop on another blog, Fresh Lemons Quilts.  This shop is located in an small business industrial park and hosts the Michigan Modern Quilting Guild on the last Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm.  The shop was difficult to find and I actually thought they had closed once I did find it because their normal Saturday hours end at 2pm.

The Quilters Garden: This shop carries a lot of batiks and purse making and other accessories.  They also have the cutest Minky fabric bundles.

Finishing Kits purchased from Creative Quilt Kits and Bits & Pieces:


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Due to the 2pm arrival on Saturday at Bits & Pieces, the background fabric they used was sold out.  I’m really hoping they can re-order it for me.  I also wished I had purchased two sets of Block Fabric kits from each shop.

Pattern books at Creative Quilt Kits and The Quilting Season:


Fabric and Gadget Caddy Kit from Lake Street Mercantile:


It was fun to explore the new shops, most of which I had never been to.  It is definitely more fun and relaxing to take the bus like we did on the first shop hop I attended.


I am just now getting around to making a quilt with fabrics purchased from the first shop hop.

A Little R&R

On June 13th I flew to Seattle to meet my mom and sister so we could see my brother and celebrate my nephew’s graduation. It had been 25 years since I had been to Seattle, the first time was when my brother got married.  I have incredible fond memories of that trip 25 years ago. At that time, we also visited Vancouver, one of my favorite cities.  My plan was to do so again but at the last minute I could not find my passport.  The graduation party was on Saturday and we visited again on Sunday. Monday we went to lunch with my brother and sister-in-law in Bellingham on our way back to Seattle.  Our flights departed for Michigan and Wisconsin at 6am Tuesday.

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My brother lives in Blaine so I rented a house for us in Birch Bay.  It was Absolutely Perfect!

My VRBO review…

We had the most relaxing stay at Rancho Relaxo this past weekend. It was very clean and tastefully decorated and offered just the right amount of space for my sister, mom and myself. Since we arrived very late Friday night, the owner offered to pick up a few groceries on our behalf. The fireplace was especially nice feature as it was a cool and damp weekend. There were several other amenities available which we did not use but it was nice to know they were available. The Bay and C Shop are a short stroll away and the state park close by to watch the sunsets. I would definitely stay here on a return trip to see my brother or for future vacations in the area.

Rancho Relaxo

I fell in love with a picture the owner had on the wall in the bathroom which I sent to my husband as I was thinking about and missing him on this trip.


Myrna provided the following information about where to purchase it.

I did a little research and found the artist who painted the watercolor print that is hanging in the bathroom at Rancho Relaxo.  His name is Perry Woodfin, and the title of the piece is called “Anacortes Fuel”.  Anacortes is a relatively small town about 45 minutes southwest of Birch Bay.  I found that the print is available for purchase through a website called I posted the link below, which you may just have to copy and paste into the browser.

I had thought about visiting Treehouse Point in Falls City on Monday but the tours were booked all the way out to mid-July.  I tried to get tickets at the last minute.  What was I thinking?  Upon my return home, I got the brilliant idea that my husband and I should renew our wedding vows (40 years) in 2016 and invite our family to stay at the B&B.  This trip will be made on our motorcycles and will be patterned after our 2nd honeymoon where we visited Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Las Vegas and other sites in a “hippy” conversion van. We had spent many midnights preparing the van for that epic trip.  On the 2016 trip I will add stops in Glacier National, Hwy 1, Bryce Canyon, Zion National plus more.  The name of the 2016 journey will be:  We’ve come a long way, Baby!

Disappearing Rail Block

There are several challenges in making a quilt:  1) Finding or designing a pattern, 2) Finding enough fabrics for the pattern chosen and 3) the quilt design and quilting.  Many times at the Big Box Fabric Store, I usually seem to find only 3-4 fabrics. At the specialty Quilt Fabric shops, I usually find 5-6 fabrics.  Online Quilt Shops, like Hawthorne Threads will carry the entire collection from a fabric designer with a varied number of fabrics depending on the collection.

Of course, there is always the challenge when you fall in love with a single fabric, both design and color and you can only seem to find two additional coordinating fabrics to go with it.  So now the next task is to find a quilt pattern, one for a man and one for a woman, that uses only 3-4 fabrics.  You would think I would find the pattern first, then the fabric.  Not a chance!

Low and behold I found the most awesome YouTube video by Missouri Star Quilt Co looking for three fabric patterns online.  Jenny demonstrated a unique technique of creating a new block using two rail blocks.  She had originally designed a pinwheel block from a rail block but this demonstration was amazing and was showcased by 3 Dudes Quilting in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Make two rail blocks, Fabrics A, B, C, D (top to bottom).  Each strip is  2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.  Lay the blocks, right sides together, with rails going in opposite directions.

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Sew 1/4″ seam around the perimeter and cut diagonally from opposing corners.  Here are some of the different patterns you can create depending on which corner are set in the center of the new block.

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Here are some of the things that I learned trying this technique.

1) Iron the seams for each block in the opposite direction to reduce bulk

2) Make Fabric A and Fabric D the same to create a square where all four sides are the same fabric.

3) The final seam sewn is the most difficult because of the bias edges.

4) Using large, varied patterns can present some unpredictable designs with varied symmetry.

Here is the finished block!


I also practiced with 2 1/2″ by 6 1/2″ strips.  I tried it with just two fabrics and also with three fabrics.

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Now the challenge is to pick the one to use from all the choices since I love them all!

Quilts of Compassion Sew-In Event

Quilts of Compassion 6th Completed Quilt 51264 QP 6/7/14

Quilts of Compassion
6th Completed Quilt
51264 QP 6/7/14

Loon and I attended the Quilts of Compassion Sew-in Event at The Quilt Patch on Saturday, June 6th.  Janice and her friend Cathy will be delivering quilts in 5 different locations this coming week.  I turned in two quilts that I had made at home and gifted the tablet case that I made.  I had high hopes of completing two quilts during the event but there was a lot of other activity during the day.  I completed a very special quilt during the event, the quilt top was from leftover fabric I used on placemats for our daughter and the backing was beautiful butterflies that reminded me of my Nana.

Breast Cancer Shawl Update

Breast Cancer Shawl

Breast Cancer Shawl

The Breast Cancer Shawl for Kathy is nearing completion.  The appliqué is completed and the sashing/borders are done.  The eight upside down butterflies will be the back of the shawl and the center sashing will be opened once the quilting is completed.  The quilting will be a simple echo around each butterfly and the sashing will have a heart meander.

At the Quilts of Compassion Sew-in Event yesterday, Kathy stopped into The Quilt Patch.  What a surprise!  She looked wonderful.  She had her last chemo treatment this past Wednesday but also said that she would be having an additional surgery in two weeks.  Our prayers are with her and I truly admire her positive outlook.

Don’t forget that this pattern is free from

Quilts of Compassion

For the last three months I have participated  in the Quilts of Compassion Sew-in Event at the Quilt Patch in Tecumseh.  This event occurs on the first Saturday of each month (except July) in 2014.  The Founder and Executive Director, Janice Grimes, has been organizing this charity work for 17 years!

In addition to piecing quilts, I enjoy making purses and tablet cases.  This tablet case is for Janice to use on her upcoming delivery of quilts for the Tornado Relief Quilts for the South campaign.

Tablet Case Front Earbud Case, Cord Wrap and mini Prayer Quilt

Tablet Case Front
Earbud Case, Cord Wrap
and mini Prayer Quilt

Tablet Case Back with 3 exterior pockets

Tablet Case Back
with 3 exterior pockets

Be sure to visit my page of completed quilts for Quilts of Compassion.