Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reload and Refresh

Retreats are a time of quilty companionship, power sewing, and recharging my quilt energy. We have a about 24 hours to go and I've gotten so much finished already. As usual I did manage to bring more than I could ever hope to finish at retreat. But what I have finished would have never gotten done at home. I tend to work on others things and neglect my own work. So far I've made 5 baby quilt tops, 1 lap quilt top, a tote purse from a breakout group demo, 1 finished (quilted and bound) baby quilt, 1 table runner and next I'm going to play with some curvy piecing. Wish me luck. The retreat is always done too soon. I promise to not stay up past 2 am.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Classes at Country Loft Quilt & Design

Classes at Country Loft Quilt & Design
Email me if you are interested in the classes at

Blue Garden
Fiber Layering on the Longarm
All day class, Confident Beginner to Intermediate Level
Just in time for spring. Come join us in a fun and creative class learning how to layer and quilt at the same time on the longarm with   Norma J Riehm, award winning art quilter and national teacher.
Students will make a fiber layered art quilt with silk flowers, yarns, Angelina, crystals, and other fun fibers. They will learn techniques for layering, McTavishing, applying crystals, and making a perfect binding. This all day class will spark your creativity and you will have a finished art quilt when you leave class.
There will be a small trunk show of Norma's layered art quilts to let you see the possibilities of using this technique. This is a very fun class that inspires fresh ideas using the longarm.
What you need to bring:
Reading glasses if you need them for hand work, a notebook and a pencil, a camera if you wish to take pictures. There is a kit fee for this class of $25. The kit will contain everything you need to make the table runner including embellishments and it is due the day of the class.
Background Fillers Gone Wild
Freehand Overall Class
All day class, Confident Beginner to Intermediate Level
This fun freehand overall class is just what you were looking for. Students will be making a wholecloth using many fun refreshing designs without a rigid class format. I will help you learn to relax when you are quilting and think about quilting like drawing on a paper. We will cover the 35 designs on the class sample but I will encourage you to think beyond my designs and take what you quilt best to the next level.
What you need to bring:
A notebook and a pencil, a camera if you wish to take pictures. There is a kit fee of $10 which includes a handout for the class and the fabrics for the wholecloth and is due the day of the class.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Making a Fresh Class Sample

Today I prepped for a class I'm going to teach this month. The class sample is a sweet spring table runner named Blue Garden. I'm super pleased with the fibers I chose for the layering. It makes me feel good on this blustery snowy first day of May. When the snow started I was just plain angry with the weather. This pretty piece made my temper go away and now the end of the day feels all the sweeter. I've attached cobalt blue crystals on the flowers and the binding will get stitched tonight. Then I need to take a final "good" picture for the kit instructions. Kits will be made in the morning. So if you've thought about taking one of my classes, this is a good opportunity. The class will be at the Innova Dealer, Country Loft Quilt & Design in Forest Lake MN the middle of this month. 

Next I need to work on the class sample for the 2nd class for overall background designs. These are both classes on the longarm. If you want more info you can email me at

Friday, April 19, 2013

Last Row

Working on the last row using freezer paper templates. I wanted you to see how I lay out the papers, iron, then stitch as I go. I was supposed to leave on a quilting retreat for the weekend, but with getting a deep spring snow dumped on us, it's been delayed a day. I think I'll dig into the retreat bag and work on something else this afternoon as the chicken soup cooks in the crock pot.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Freezer Paper Templates

With today's quilting of a customer quilt, I had the need to make little pine tree templates for and outer border and larger trees for four inner blocks. I start with a cut of freezer paper about 1/2 an inch smaller than the outer border, fold the paper several times on itself until it is about 2 1/2 or 3 inches wide. I draw half of a simple pine tree and then cut on the lines. This yielded about 8 little trees for the border. These can then be placed on the border and ironed into position and will hold long enough for me to stitch along the edge of the paper. I can then peel them carefully off and re position onto a fresh spot. These should last long enough to do the entire border.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Framed Felt Art

Just wanted to let those that followed the previous post about the felted framed art piece. It was auctioned at the Amy Johansen Benefit and the person that won the bid for it was a close friend of mine, Helen Gubrud. Thank you Helen for winning the bid and loving the piece. I was hoping to win it myself because my daughter said she loved it and wanted it for her home. But now that gives me incentive to make another original felted framed piece for her.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fiber Art for a Friend

Yesterday I worked on another piece for the silent auction for a friend. I made a felted piece using acrylic felt for the base adding alpaca and wool roving, organza, yarns, inchies from a previous project for accents and colored pearls. It's in a wood frame. I'm very pleased with how this developed. I tried not to be premeditated but more organic in the making of it.

I feel fulfilled by this piece and I'm going to have a hard time parting with it. I might even bid and buy it back.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fund Raiser for a Friend

My nephews wife is a good friend and she has a brain tumor. She is a young mother of 2 beautiful little girls, and she is currently undergoing treatment after surgery. On April 6th there will be a Pancake Breakfast and Silent Auction fundraiser held in her benefit at the Hayward Wesleyan Church in Hayward WI. The event starts at 8 am and goes until 11 am.

She is a fellow quilter, fiber artist, and crafter. The fundraiser will have many lovely handmade items being auctioned and I plan to donate several things. The picture is of a felted art scarf I made tonight for it. It's felted organza and wool yarn on black felted wool. I've also attached a glass pendant that I made.

If you are in the Hayward area on April 6th, please stop by and bid on something to help out a good friend.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stitch Samplers

There are big benefits to making thread/fabric quilt sandwich samples to help you kick the fear of using non matching threads on your quilt work. The picture is of two sample sets from a group exchange that I participated in in the past couple of years with our Wild Threads machine quilting group. The project coordinator started with a color wheel and paint sample chip cards. Picking colors opposite on the color wheel, members received two colors and then they were to use one of the colors as the thread and the other as the solid fabric. Most made two sets of stitched samples doing the opposite for the other set. We then cut the sandwich into 2 inch squares and swapped with the other members to get a healthy variety of color variations  It's great to see the different effects of the threads that we are so often afraid to use in our quilting. When I get that little tickle of fear, I glance at the sample and shake off the fear by grabbing the cone of thread that will push me out of my color box.