Lopspeysa Quilt Finish–Blogger’s Quilt Festival

Happy Monday everyone!  I’m one of the weird ducks that actually LOVES my Mondays … it means that my orchard is closed and I get a day of rest (aka time to quilt and/or write).  Today I’m going to share with you one of my most recent quilt finishes for Amy’s Creative Sides’ Blogger Quilt FestivalLopspeysa Quilt by Kim Lapacek

A few months ago, the Lodi Valley Quilter’s Guild had Gudrun Erla of GE Designs come speak to our guild and teach a workshop.  It was a brilliant workshop and I learned so much.   We could choose from one of two quilts in her book “Big Blocks, Big Style” and I chose Lopspeysa.  Even though I feel that I’m a fairly decent quilter it is always fun to learn new things, new methods and new ways to look at design.  Gudrun did not disappoint.

Gudrun Erla and Kim Lapacek

As an added bonus – she taught us how to use her Creative Grids Stripology Ruler.  This ruler is a game changer when it comes to having to cut and I can’t recommend it enough.  Lopspeysa Quilt by Kim LapacekThe modern yet traditional look of Gudrun’s “Lopspeysa” quilt is striking but of course I had to change up how I put it all together.  The large area for solid just screamed “scrappy” to me so I pulled all of my fabrics turquoise tones and using strips of them created my own “solid” fabric.  I also used different beige fabrics and different light coral prints for the other two colors in this piece.  Lopspeysa Quilt by Kim LapacekKim Van Etten did a beautiful job quilting this piece for me.  I handed it over to her and told her to quilt it however it told her too.  She did an amazing job and I think her choices where absolutely perfect!  Lopspeysa Quilt by Kim LapacekThe back of this quilt is pieced with random pieces of turquoise fabric – sticking with the scrappy look.  Lopspeysa Quilt by Kim LapacekI think I might enter this quilt in a few shows over the next year or so but ultimately it is a piece I made for my cousin and new husband.  They have seen it and know it will be theirs soon but also are patiently waiting for me to be ready to part with it.

Now – be sure to head over to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival page and see what others are proudly sharing in this event!

Back To School Wee Zippy Pouches

I had a collection of gorgeous Fat Quarters of Meriwether fabric by Amy Gibson for Windham Fabric to work with and I knew right away I was going to make my girls Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches from Hunter’s Design Studios Chunky Wee Zippy Pouch Pattern.

IMG_7849If you haven’t tried Sam Hunter’s patterns yet – what are you waiting for?!  They are absolutely impeccably written and I love everything I’ve made from the!

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

I made Pip a set with blue as the focus color.  The inside of the middle pouch is blue fabric but she (and I) just loved the big flower print too much to put it on the inside.

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

Capri a set in “mint”.  Capri’s definition of mint is pretty broad and she was beyond thrilled with this little set of bags.

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

Mercedi a set a set in pink – her favorite!

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

And then a couple of extra of the big square pouches.

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

I shared on Thermoweb’s blog how I added decofoil-ed initials for each of the girls’ bigger bags so be sure to head over HERE to check it out.

Chunky Wee Zippy Pouches by Kim Lapacek

The girls were beyond happy with these bags and I know there are more in my future to make!

Scrappy September–an Off Season Project QUILTING Challenge

I’m late!  It’s already September 7thand I haven’t posted this months off-season Project QUILTING Challenge!  Sorry to you all but considering I only give you a week during the regular season you’ll still have plenty of time to get a quilt made before September 30th!

Dreaming in Fabric - A Quilt by Kim Lapacek

Dreaming in Fabric – Scrappy Quilt by Kim Lapacek

1.  The challenge for September is “Scrappy September.”  Pull out those scraps and make something fabulous!  Maybe even make a scrappy quilt for this that also meets the requirements for the Scrap Quilt Challenge?  I love knocking two things off my list with one project!

2. Incomplete or unfinished does not qualify. Every challenge piece must be a FINISHED project seen through from INCEPTION to COMPLETION during the challenge timeline (September 7th, 2017 through September 30th, 2017). Each piece must stand alone as DONE to count toward prizes.

3. Please remember that these projects need to be created during the week of the challenge (started on or after September 7th, finished by September 30th)

IMG_2328Scrappy Crown of Thorns – Scrappy Quilt by Kim Lapacek

4. Your project does not need to be a traditional quilt, but must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Include patchwork.
  • Include appliqué.
  • Have 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.

5. Link up a blog post, flickr image, instagram post, or public facebook post to the linky at the bottom of THIS PAGE by Saturday, September 30th, at 11:55pm CDT. Alternately, you may email the picture and description to {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} with PROJECT QUILTING in the subject line by Noon on Friday, September 29th. Yes - that deadline is earlier because it requires more work for Kim (which she is FINE with) but she has an apple orchard to run and won’t have time to link up after Friday night.

When you create your PQ entry's blog post or instagram or flickr image, please include:

  • a description of your creative process,
  • the overall size of your project (it's so hard to tell in a picture!)
  • where you are (ie, I create in Lodi WI)

If you decide to just directly upload your image to the link up party please email Kim {lapaceksorchard at gmail dot com} this information so she can share it with everyone else.

  • Please use the hashtag #pqoffseason when posting on social networking sites to help spread the word about this fabulous quilting challenge!
  • Share progress pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and your blog - seeing your process and how you get to the final project is part of the fun!
  • If you can, post your project to the Project QUILTING Flickr Group because that's how I make mosaics and it's fun to see them grouped together there.
  • Make sure you like Project QUILTING on Facebook.
  • We have created a ‘Challenge Quilts’ Facebook Group for you to share your thoughts, questions, and friendship on PQ and other quilting challenges. Just ask to join.

With that – good luck and have fun!


logo_crafty_sewing_150x150Marcia of Marcia’s Crafty Sewing and Quilting has generously offered to give each participant  a PDF Downloadable Pattern from her Craftsy Pattern Store!  How cool is that?  When you finish the challenge and link up to the post just email Marcia {marcia (at) craftysewing (dot) com} to redeem your prize!

Be sure to LINK UP your finished projects by 11:55pm on September 30th!

A bigger blade really IS better?! - Guest post by Trisha Frankland

A bigger blade really IS better?!

Hello again – it’s Trish Frankland (aka QUILTchicken) and today I’m sharing some thoughts as part of the 2017 Back to School blog hop.

BTS 20 Trish Frankland

For years, I’ve avoided the temptation to buy every new quilting gadget that comes into my periphery. You too? Every other shiny tool promises faster, better, sexier results with little to no effort. Plus, you’ll lose 20 pounds and gain lustrous, flowing silken locks. Or not.

Still, I get sucked in. I’ve got a HUGE drawer full of acrylic measuring and trimming tools – many still in the wrappers. Some I’ve bought twice, and still never used.

But for 15 years I’ve been using the same 45 mm rotary cutter that was one of my first tool purchases. I’ve put a fortune’s worth of new blades on it, and it just keeps working. So why would I change my cutter?

Cue the voice of Gudrun Erla! She came to visit my local guild and introduced us to her Stripology rulers. (Did I mention I have a weakness for acrylic tools?) After showing how to use this fabulous tool, she then uttered the advice that changed my world: YOU’RE GOING TO NEED A 60mm BLADE.


See, you cut through slots in the Stripology ruler – so you’re losing cutting depth to the ruler: if you use a 45 mm blade, you can only cut a couple layers of fabric. Step up to a 60 mm blade and now you’re power cutting.

So next trip to the local quilt store I bought a 60 mm Olfa.

WOW is this a slick cutting experience! Not just with Gudrun's rulers. ALL. THE. TIME.

I'm not pushing fabric. I’m not recutting because I missed a section. I can stack fat quarters for days and I’m whipping through layers and layers all at once. I’m a precutting machine! I have 4 quilts cut out and bagged, just waiting for me to carve out time for sewing!

My quilting friends are all like, “Duh.”

I don’t know why it took me 15+ years of sewing to discover the 60 mm rotary cutter, but I have jumped on that bandwagon and I’m dancing a new jig.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some cutting to do …


Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out all the other amazing tips and tricks shared on this years Back to School Blog Hop.

The full schedule is HERE and Robin Koehler: Tips on How to Travel with Handwork is up tomorrow!

Month 8–Starburst Block–Bella Skill Builder Quilt Along

My kids go back to school in just five days which means … it’s September 1st!  And we all know that September 1st means that the next block of the Fat Quarter Shop “Bella Skill Builder” is revealed today!Logo

This month you’ll be making Starburst Blocks.  There are two special Creative Grid Rulers recommended for this block – the Creative Grids Starburst 30 Degree Ruler and the Creative Grids 12 1/2” Quilting Square Ruler.  I highly recommend the starburst ruler – it is a great ruler and has the potential to make many unique blocks that will add pizzazz to any quilt.  If you don’t have a 12 1/2” square ruler in your collection it is definitely worth adding the Creative Grid 12 1/2” square.  There are a few essential rulers that every quilter should have and I believe a 12 1/2” square is one of those.  I also use my 6 1/2” ruler, 6 1/2” x 24 1/2” ruler, and 6 1/2” x 12 1/2” rulers all the time.

Starburst Block by Kim Lapacek

I randomly pulled from my bella solid bundles stash to create these dynamic, scrappy looking Starburst blocks. 

Now head on over to the Jolly Jabber to see what other bloggers and quilters are doing with their Bella Sampler Quilts!  It’s so fun to see all the different versions!

There’s a Facebook Group now too that you can share your work in!

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

sew sampler blox
Have you signed up for the “Sew Sampler” box from the Fat Quarter Shop?  I’ve been a member for about a year now and it’s something I look forward to each month!  Also a great gift idea for the quilter in your life!

Skull pattern – Fiesta de Azucar #9–Forget Them Not by Trish Frankland

Hello! This is Trish Frankland (aka QUILTchicken) once again taking over Kim’s blog.

Today we’re stop #9 on the Fiesta de Azucar blog hop. So far in the series, you’ve seen 8 other amazing designers’ interpretations of the iconic sugar skull. In the next couple weeks you’ll also see some ideas on how to set these nine blocks together to make a quilt.

But today, I’m introducing the block I designed: Forget Them Not, a block to honor all effected by ovarian cancer.


I am an ovarian cancer survivor (12 years now!) because I was lucky, but in many cases this cancer has advanced to an extreme stage before it’s discovered. I’ve made it a mission to raise awareness and funds for treatment and research of this too-fatal disease.

IMG_2251 (Edited)

The block pattern is available now for sale for $3 on Craftsy, and for every pattern purchased from today through September 30, 2017 I will donate $3 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (ocrfa.org). I personally will absorb any fees to make sure $3 for every pattern goes to charity.

Right away when invited to take part in this blog hop, I decided to use my block to honor those lost to ovarian cancer. A big part of decorating altars and making sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is taking special time for remembrance of one’s ancestors – the idea that as long as you’re remembered, you’re never really gone.

This design was inspired when I realized I could use the female reproductive system as the structure of the face. And while many skulls are decorated with flowers in the eye sockets (frequently marigolds), I realized a simple forget-me-not flower would work perfectly in that space … right where the ovaries would be. I added a simplified “goddess” at the center of it all, in royal purple, and a flower crown twined with the teal ribbon for ovarian cancer awareness.flowers

My block was created using Island Batik fabrics, with the sole exception of the teal ribbon fabric. I outlined and accented the applique with Aurifil 12w threads, which I put through the top of my sewing machine using a jeans needle (my favorite technique!). Both of these companies provided our designers with materials for the project, and I wish to express my gratitude to both Aurifil and Island Batik for their support – and their superior products.

Make sure you go back through all the sites on the blog hop and check out the incredible designs everyone created for the Fiesta de Azucar event. You can find every one of those block designs for sale – just $3 each – on Craftsy.

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, so I’m extending the donations based on my block’s sales through month’s end: I will make a donation to OCRFA on October 1, 2017 based on all Craftsy sales. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the design!

PS – there are still a couple days to register to participate in the Teal Mini Quilt Swap over at EvaPaige Quilt Designs. That event is also a fundraiser for OCRFA. Don’t delay - sign up here (http://conta.cc/2sLWtbU) and make sure you tell ‘em Trish sent you!

Don’t miss a block! 

July 1st – Block 1 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs
July 8th – Block 2 – Joanne Hillestad, Fat Quarter Gypsy
July 15th – Block 3 – Vicki Hansen, Cranberry Pie Designs
July 22nd – Block 4 – Cheryl Sleboda, Muppin 
July 29th – Block 5 – Penni Domikis, Cabin In The Woods Quilters
August 5th – Block 6 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis
August 12th – Block 7 – Kate Colleran, Seams Like A Dream Quilt Designs
August 19th – Block 8 – Susan Emory, Swirly Girls Design
August 26th – Block 9 – Trish Frankland, Persimon Dreams<=====YOU ARE HERE
September 2nd – Border Option #1 – Tammy Silvers, Tamarinis
September 9th – Border Option #2 – Terri Sontra, Purple Moose Designs 
October 30th – Prize winner announcements from our Facebook group here, so please join!

Tricks to Being Productive While Hauling Your Kids Around–Back to School Blog Hop 2017

Everyone tells you when you start having children that you’re going to lose all the time you once had.  And you never believe them until they get older and you can’t say no or make them choose just one extracurricular activity … and then you realize they were all right! This post isn’t just for people with kids but really for anyone that is out and about but still want to accomplish at least some sewing activities. 

BTS 9 Kim Lapacek

When Sam Hunter asked if I wanted to join in the 2017 Back to School Blog Hop I knew I wanted to share with you all the tips and tricks I’ve found to being productive while always on the run.


I have three beautiful girls ages 10, 9 and 6.  They participate in gymnastics, dance, softball and gymnastics.  My family also owns and operates an apple orchard.  As most are these days, we are busy.  I really don’t mind being busy and my kids are thriving in school as well as their activities.

When I go to guilds to give my talk, “Wildly Careening Into Quilts: What I learned by not knowing what I didn’t know” one of the most often questions I get is, “Do you ever sleep?”  My answer is a resounding “YES!  I just don’t clean my house.”  But really it’s more than that.  I work efficiently.  I am always prepared with a project I can work on when I know I will just be sitting somewhere.  snail trail quilt by kim lapacek

Luckily, the gymnastics club the girls are at has Wi-Fi.  I get a lot of computer work done while I sit and watch them at practice.  Unfortunately that doesn’t work quite so well at a basketball game or softball tournament.  For those events you’ll often see me with a needle, thread, and thimble on my finger, working on a project.  Did I mention I’m the super cool mom that never embarrasses her kids? 

Below I’m going to share with you a few projects you can prep to work on while you’re on the go and will make the time you do have at your machine more efficient. 

First and foremost – binding.  I know there are ways to bind by machine and folks that do it very well; I’m not one of those folks.  I’m just not comfortable with it. 

binding at a basketball gameI find binding at basketball games works really well.  It’s actually usually pretty cool in the gym so it’s not bad to have a quilt over your lap.  In a jam, I will bind at a softball game but prefer to bind smaller projects since it’s usually too hot to have a quilt over my lap.  orange slice hot pad by kim lapacekI have a huge fat quarter bag that I fill with projects and my needle, thread, thimble and scissors that I haul along with me whenever there is even potential to sew. binding at a softball gameI find that hand sewing while the girls are playing also helps keep me more calm.  I realize they’re young still but it’s absolutely ridiculous just how stressful games can get! 

I don’t always have quilts and projects ready for hand binding when I need them so I have to plan other projects too.  An easy thing to carry around is a bunch of pre-cut circles that I can sew into yo-yo’s.  I dream of making another big and crazy yoyo quilt so whenever the mood hits me and I’m out and about I sew a few here and there.

english paper piecing prep

English paper piecing is also a great take along project.  It’s easy to put some fabric scraps, paper templates, a glue stick and your hand sewing kit in the bag and sew some hexagons together.

But some projects you may not think about …

Pinning curved pieces.  Yes!  I recently started playing with Color Girl Quilts new ruler – the Classic Curve Ruler.  One of the reasons I’m not a fan of curved piecing is the pinning that is involved.


Turns out – it’s not so bad pinning curves while you’re watching a softball game! That way, I’m not in my sewing room pinning when I could be sewing.  I prepped a bunch of fabric pairs, packed the pincushion and got all of my curves pinned and ready for the next time I was back in the sewing room.


(The #sewsampler box from the Fat Quarter Shop’s monthly subscription club works great to bring along on the go projects.”

If you’re like me and love using your fabric strips to make #scrappytripalong blocks, you have another great take along project.  Ripping the seams you need to rip before you sew the second set of blocks together is a perfect on the go project!  Here is a link to Quiltville’s tutorial on how to make scrappy trip along blocks in case you’re completely lost at the moment.  There is a point in the block where you have six tubes that need to have a seam ripped about before the next step. 


I cut up these strip set tubes, pin them together and bring them along for ripping.  It’s easy to rip a seam, place the strip in my lap and rip the correct seams after that.  Once I have all six strips ready, I pin it back together in a group and it’s all ready for me to sew together once I’m back at the sewing machine.


As I find less and less time at the machine and more and more time at the field or gym I’m sure I’ll come up with more on the go projects but for now – this is keeping me busy and efficient!  As an added bonus, I have all the girls’ friends at least interested in quilting and loving watching the progress I make from the start of the game to the end.

Do you have a favorite on the go project?  I’d love it if you shared it with me!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check out all the other amazing tips and tricks shared on this years Back to School Blog Hop. 

The full schedule is HERE and Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines – www.quiltingjetgirl.com is up tomorrow!

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