Focus Through the Prism–a Project QUILTING Special Challenge

I have something new and exciting to announce that will be happening for the next 7 months of off season Project QUILTING Challenges.

Focus Through the Prism – A Series of Project QUILTING Off Season Challenges


Purchase:  Special ROYGBIV fabric Bundle from Cherrywood Fabrics

One block-inspired challenge will be issued each month for seven months. Use that block, plus ONE fabric from your special ROYGBIV bundle, then add anything else you need to create a 20” finished quilt by the month's deadline.

  • Each final project should read predominantly as one color in the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet. 
  • A ROYGBIV hand-dyed color bundle of fabric must be purchased from Cherrywood Fabrics
  • You must use ONE fabric from the ROYGBIV challenge bundle in each quilt
  • Any other fabrics from your stash may be added.
  • You must use the month's block
  • Quilts must finish 20” square. 

Challenges must be completed by each monthly deadline
You can participate in as many monthly challenges as you’d like (one, or all seven!) but each challenge quilt MUST be started and finished within that month.

A NEW TWIST: the quilts also must be available to be shipped to me in January 2016 and in my possession for up to one year.

The end goal for this special challenge series is to build a controlled spectrum display of 20” quilts featuring seven traditional quilt blocks. A jury of your quilting peers will select top quilts in each colorway, and my hope is to submit this to quilt shows as a special exhibit illustrating the creativity a Project QUILTING challenge can inspire.

At the very least I will put up a spontaneous outdoor quilt show on the deer fence in the orchard photographed by Karmen Lindner Photography.


a shot from the Fall 2014 Spontaneous Outdoor Quilt Show photo shoot by Karmen Lindner Photography

When:  The first challenge will start on May 1st and a new block will be revealed at the 1st of each month through November.  Challenges must be completed by the end of each month regardless if it’s a month with 30 or 31 days.

Prize: To be announced but I promise I’ll get something good put together!

Purchase your Fabric Now so you’ll be ready to get started on May 1st!
The ROYGBIV bundle is available as fat quarters, half yards or full yards.  Individual colors are available online in fat quarters.

Woot!  I’m super excited about this!!!!

And don’t worry – more details will be posted with the first challenge.  The most important thing you need to do right now is click HERE to make your fabric purchase.  Oh – and tell all your friends to join in the fun too!

Apple Tree Planting at Lapacek’s Orchard

I’ve gotten quite a few new followers since last fall so you may not know that after raising my kids, my main job is our family apple orchard – Lapacek’s Orchard.  I’m mainly the ‘shop girl’ and I do my best work selling the apples and promoting our shop.  Turns out that this city girl transplanted on the farm is not so good at the whole ‘making things grow and thrive’ thing.  I do help when I can out in the orchard though and this time of the year is one of those times I’m out there with the rest of the family.  It’s tree planting time!

We’re only planting just over 300 trees this year.  Our orchard is around 3,000 trees at this point with just over 60 different varieties of apples.

Here are some pictures from our progress on Thursday.  We had a super good helper you may recognize as Pip.

planting pip 1Here is Pip at the start of the day!  She was excited to have her own shovel.

planting pip 2

After 10 trees she decided she was hot and needed to change.

planting pip 3

And of course, being the diva she is she changed back for the last set up trees we put in.  At least it was the same outfit as earlier in the day!

planting muppin selfie

I have a new friend on instagram and she always does these really fun selfies with just the top of her head.  I had to do just one of me driving the Kubota 900. 

magnolia in bloom

And – to end the gorgeous day I took this stunning picture of my magnolia tree in bloom!  Isn’t that amazing!?

On Friday, we had two more helpers – my parents!

planting treesTwo more helpers makes a huge difference!  We had over a 100 trees planted before lunchtime!planting pip in a tent

After lunch, our helper Pip chose a new method!  Hanging out in her little pop up tent.  Honestly, Pip was as good as gold through this whole ordeal.  She had to hang out, stay away from equipment, and keep herself entertained while we were all working away.  Not a peep of complaint from her!  The fact that she could do that was a tremendous amount of help!planting one more row

After lunch we had one more row to plant – less than 100 to go and the 2015 planting was complete (well, at least the trees were in … the trellis posts still need to be pounded in, wire hung, and trees attached to wire).

planting clay

So, when we plant our trees my father in law uses the tree spade on his skidster to dig the initial holes.  Then one of us (usually Diane, my mom was given this job too) puts the tree in the hole.  The roots need to be spread out and the height of the tree checked.  We want our graft to be about 2-inches about ground level for optimal growth and production.  While they hold the tree another person shovels dirt back into the hole.  This isn’t too bad when we have decent soil to work with except that we don’t.  We have clay, clay, and more clay.  But we made it through and by 2:00 the new trees for 2015 were all planted!

Which means … I get to sew again!

The Stained Glass Quilt

For the past couple of years I’ve been a teacher for the 4th grade CCD Class at St. Thomas in Poynette, WI.  During the Lenten season one of the things we try to teach the kids is to think about others and ways they can help them.  Which of course means … we make a quilt!

If you want to check out last years quilt just head back a year to THIS post.  

I decided to go a completely different route for the quilt blocks the students made this year. 

Stained Glass Quilt Progress

I started out by pressing pieces of white pfd fabric to freezer paper.  I then cut them out to all the same approximate size … not exactly but a little different makes the final even more fun!  Then I had the kids draw an outline of a cross with black fabric marker.  From there, they added more lines.   I suggested that they color their blocks in with warm colors inside the cross and cool on the outside or vice versa.  Some went with this suggestion – others didn’t – and they all look great! 

Once the coloring was complete I bordered each block a strip of black (following that whole stained glass thing).  Now it was time to cohesively put these all together!

  Stained Glass Quilt Progress

How else could one do that other than spontaneous piecing!?  (or free form, or cave man, or whatever you want to call it!).  It was perfect – I was finishing the quilt and completing the April Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge

Stained Glass Quilt Progress

I sewed together chunks of my random scraps.  I even had an extra cross block that I had made as an example but didn’t quite fit the layout I was going for.  So I cut it up and added it to the fabric scraps for the sashing!  Once I had a decent size chunk I could then cut strips out of that to make the sashing.  Whatever was leftover once I had my strips cut out where sewn onto other fabric chunks to be cut up into more sashing.  It was almost like the ‘Circle of Fabric’. 

Stained Glass Quilt Top

I started by getting the strips put together the long way. And then I added sashing in between.  It actually went together way faster than I thought it would and I’m beyond happy with the result.

Stained Glass Quilt

The final step was to quilt the quilt!  I free form quilted it using my Bernina and of course some lovely Aurifil thread.

Stained Glass Quilt

If you look closely in the quilting you’ll notice not only did I do free form meandering, loops, stars and hearts, but I quilted in some scripture that the kids had chosen.Stained Glass Quilt quilting

"In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Timothy 1:7

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

"Give thanks to God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever." Psalm 136:26

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Stained Glass Quilt Creators

The kids were so thrilled to see it hanging in church this past Wednesday!  It was great to see excitement and pride over what they had made.

Stained Glass Quilt Creators

Here are the kids all pointing to the block (blocks) they made.  (Pip didn’t actually make them but her and Alli are super close!) 

We decided to raffle the quilt off and raise money for future Project Linus Quilts.  I’m happy to say a wonderful family won the quilt and there will be lots of Project Linus Quilts in the future of the St. Thomas religious education program. 


Linking up to:  TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finish it up Friday

Butterflies for Vivi Quilt and a Giveaway

I teamed up with Therm-o-web and Pat Slaon’s new fabric line – A Sweet Life from Moda – to create this fun quilt for my friends beautiful baby Vivi.


Butterflies for Vivi

To read the story behind this quilt, find the tutorial and get a chance to win a great prize – hop over to Therm-o-web’s site now!

Fabrics N Quilts Revamped and a GIVEAWAY!

I’m so excited to share with you that one of my favorite fabric sites and good friend has recently released a revamp of her online store – Fabrics N Quilts!  I’ve just spent a little time doing some browsing (and perhaps a bit of shopping … it’s my birthday month so that’s okay right!?) and it’s absolutely AMAZING!

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I had to share with you a screenshot I took of Fabrics N Quilts webpage when I opened it up for the first time.  Isn’t it just beautiful.  And I’m a HUGE fan of the spool of thread symbol and I just love how she uses it throughout her page!

After I finished goggling over the beautiful web page design it was time to do some shopping.  The navigation is fast and easy and it is broken into sections – designer, brand, collection, style and color!  Love this!  I’m always looking for random things and now I’ll be able to choose which way is going to work best for my particular need at the moment. 

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Oooh!  The Style search just helped me just discover these beautiful crackle solids!  How great!?  And how have I not seen these before!?

Before I move into bullet pointing all the great features this new site offers I need to high light probably my new favorite thing ever – Preview your fabrics in blocks BEFORE you buy!

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Here’s how it works – put fabric in your cart.  (We can all do that right!?)  Visit your cart and click the button at the top of the cart that says “Preview Fabric in Block”.  The screen shot shown above will come into view.  You can pick which block you’d like to play around with and then you simply move your fabrics into the middle row and the block on the screen updates.  It’s truly amazing, quick, and easy to use.  I’m sure I’ll be using it all the time now!

Okay – and now so I don’t make you wait too much longer to find out about the giveaway I’m moving to bullet points.
  • FREE US shipping-all day, every day, no minimum, no limit, no coupon-NO HASSLE.  PLUS great international rates, including first pound to Canada is free (which would include an order of up to 2 yards of fabric).
  • Gallery - our virtual show & tell of customer quilts and our quilts (I will be expanding the number of pictures as time allows)
  • Gift certificates in any dollar amount - purchaser can even send a personal message to recipient, and the Gift Certificate is valid immediately after purchase!
  • Pattern downloads
Coming Soon …
  • Preview fabrics that are on the horizon & sign up for email alerts for its arrival. We'll send a 5% coupon code when the fabric is in house. No payment in advance.
  • Even more Fabrics N Quilts patterns!

Fabrics N Quilts is vending at Paducah!!!!

Shannon is thrilled to be selling at the AQS Quiltweek in Paducah for the first time ever from April 22 – 25th!  You can find her in the Pavilion (bubble or dome as most call it), at booth #4503. If you’re heading to this fabulous show (so jealous … but my daughter is making her firt communion that weekend so I definitely can’t leave …)  be sure to stop by and tell Shannon that ‘Kim from Persimon Dreams sent me and she said you have a fun little freebie for me!” 

The Giveaway!

It’s time!  What can you win and how can you win it!?
hearts content box-aurifil
The Giveaway:  You can win a $35 gift certificate to use at AND the fabulous Hearts Content Aurifil Thread set!

To enter to win I need you to just answer one simple series of questions for me: 

Have you ever been to to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah before?  Are you going this year? If no to both, do you hope to ever attend?

For a BONUS entry
  • Go check out the new  Come back and tell me what you like and what goodies you found!
Separate comments need to be entered for both of these AND please include a valid email address so I can get ahold of you when you win!  If I can’t contact you to give you your prize, I will be forced to randomly choose a new winner. 

The giveaway will close at the end of the day on Monday, April 20th.  I will announce the winner on my blog on Tuesday, April 21st.

But wait!  It’s a Blog Hop!

There’s TONS of chances for you to win Gift Certificates and Prizes to Fabrics N Quilts! 
Fabrics N Quilts already has her giveaway posted … Then keep an eye on Quilt Shop Gal this week!

The weekend of 4/24 - Quilting Gallery and Mary Mack Made Mine are joining in the fun. 

And finally for the weekend of 5/1 Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Life in the Scrappatch are must stops!

I hope you take a few minute to check out all the work that Shannon’s done to make her website Fabrics N Quilts the best shopping experience you could dream of!

Penny Arcade Quilt Block

I can’t begin to tell you how hard it I for me to not immediately sew up the latest block that Pat Sloan releases for her Mystery Vacation Quilt Along.  But – I have to use some self control and get the things that I HAVE to finish done first and THEN I can sew up the next block.


And it NEVER disappoints!  This is the April block – Penny Arcade!  Isn’t it just fabulous!?!


And here are my four blocks next to each other.  I’m so happy with how this is coming along!

The Easter Egg Hung

We went to my brothers for Easter weekend and we had a great time going to the Easter Egg Hunt with his family!Kids with Easter Bunny

I was super excited to see the Easter Bunny there!  We hadn’t had our yearly picture yet so this was perfect!

Keri and Pip

Here is Pip with her ‘best friend’ Keri.

Cedi and Capri

Cedi and Capri were in the bigger girl hunt.  Cedi was super excited that 8 was the oldest allowed at this hunt (the one by us has a cut off of 7). 

Erik and Brian

There’s Erik telling Uncle Brian his strategy for the hunt!

Laura prepping Pip and Keri

Laura giving Keri and Pip last minute tips!

Keri and Pip with bags

Another little girl by us had the great idea to put the bag handle over her neck – leaves both hands free for egg grabbing.

Pip in the hunt

And they’re off!  It was a mad mess of scrambling kids!  All of the kids had fun and before we knew it their bags were full and the ground was clean.

Then we headed inside to turn in our empty eggs and check out the results of the coloring contest.  Uncle Brian had given us the sheets the day before and the girls’ colored them in the hotel with gel pens that night.

Capri took first in coloring contest

Capri was happy to see she took FIRST in the 7-8 category!

Cedi and her coloring

And Cedi was very gracious about not getting a ribbon.

Kids and the Easter Lion

Then Pip spotted the Easter Lion and just had to get her picture with him.  Of course – the rest of the kids had to join in the shot too!  What a fun morning!