Sharon Nadeau’s Owl Quilt QAYG Adaptation

IMG_0214-ASharon sent me a pic of her Owls Quilt – called Look Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed, by Susie C Shore Designs – that she adapted to be quilt-as-you-go, as shown in my book “Finish (almost) Any Quilt“.

Here’s the note Sharon sent:
Hi Marguerita,

I am attaching a photo of my recently finished project … using a pattern call “Look Who’s Sleeping in my Bed!”
I put my own flair on it by individually appliqueing each of the blocks and then using the CSCQing methods for sashing & binding.
I free-motion quilted the borders, then attached also using the CSCQing method.

I was very happy, indeed, with the end result. Loved working on smaller blocks … then tying them altogether.
I purchased your book “Crazy Shortcut Quilts” a few years ago; the Owl Quilt is the 4th quilt I’ve made following your methods.
By a far cry from perfect but each one gets easier! Many thanks!!

That was such a fun quilt to make … Emoji
I sure was happy to have the benefit of the knowledge of the quilting techniques from your book (CSCQ) to bring it all together.

Sharon (Nadeau)

PS … a birthday gift for my Grandson!

Jean Knapp’s Quilts

Jean texted me (to my email) months ago with pics of her quilts and notes about them and I have to admit that I know so little about phones and texting that I had no idea how to open any of her texts until today. Seriously.

Here’s her message and pics – finally!

Hi, first I am going to send a pic of a quilt I made for granddaughter. Did this without a pattern. Everything that could go wrong did. I made the sashing/front binding strips 2.5″ by mistake. But I left them and I think it worked out ok. I just had an extra line of stitching on the back. But since I used shrine backing it doesn’t show. It will be used a lot so after washing you probably won’t notice.

Back. Ran out of fabric, improvised.

Next I am going to make this hockey quilt. It is 68 x 88. Grandson plays. No way will I ever be able to quilt it. So what if I made the quilt before making the quilt sandwitch I cut it in 3 sections. Quilt it and then put it back together with your method. Any thoughts? I won’t start it for about a month. I am in to hurry. As long as it gets done by October. Man, when I leave Florida for 2 months in Ohio my car will be full of quilts. Now I am doing all the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff. 4 kids and 8 grandkids – lol. Thanks for any input. If you put my pics on your blog. It’s ok.



Here’s the back of her quilt and I love how she improvised!

Below is Jean’s “Hockey Quilt” from a pattern by Kristie Marlow.

Maria’s Penguin Quilt Story

Check out this super fun quilt and the story behind it, which is well worth the read. By the end you’ll know Maria, her daughter and her quilting goals in addition to the saga of the Penguins Quilt.


Our friendship started with an email – Maria had questions about the joining process. She bought our quilting e-books on her Nook and she needed just a bit of encouragement to clarify the quilted block joining process. I sent a few tips, but I replied about 24 hours after receiving her email because I’ve been traveling so much and not always able to reply right away. By the time she received my message she had already figured everything out!! A day later (one day!) she emailed again to say she was taking her new knowledge to a treasured project. Here’s her story:

Hiya Marguerita!

Girl I have watched every last one of your videos and love them all! I’m anxious to see what you and your daughter come out with next. I’ve also read all three books that I purchased on my Nook. Below are photos (yes I would be flattered if you posted my photos! ) of my daughter, Alexa’s (who is now 21 yrs old LOL!) applique penguin quilt.

When I finished it last night I asked her if she still wanted it and her reply was “Mom! I’ve waited years for this quilt! No one is getting it!”. I had to laugh! Like I told you in earlier emails, this quilt has been waiting to be finished for 11 years?!

Appliqueing the penguins gave me no problems when I first started this quilt. But after that it was nothing but a disaster in the making! I had originally put white sashing around the blocks and added 3 borders BUT when I went to sandwich it I found not only was the sashing wonky but so were all of my borders and it was extremely heavy. There was NO way to get this top smooth enough for me to even try to quilt it. Soooo it ended up in my UFO cabinet hidden for many years.

Every once in awhile Alexa would ask me when I would finish her quilt. I found excuse after excuse because I had NO clue as to how I would finish it. Then 3-4 days ago for some reason I went to YouTube and was just watching random quilting videos and that’s when I came across your QAYG videos. Let me tell you, I was blown away! I couldn’t get enough and after watching all of them I came up to my quilting room and cut the penguin applique blocks out of their sashing, cut backing and batting…spray basted them and had all 12 quilted within an hour and a half!

I did get stuck on how to add the sashing like you do but again like I told you I made a scrap block and had that major AHA moment!! From there I got busy and cut my strips and even cut border fabric, sandwiched the border fabric, quilted those and added them to the quilt.

There’s one thing I did different and you may or may not have tried this but it sure cut down on time and saved me from stressing too much (it was a FACE PALM moment! LOL). While adding the long strips of fabric to the rows of blocks (the back 1 1/4″ x width strips) to the first set of blocks I had a little trouble making sure it stayed straight. While putting the first strip on the wheels in my head started turning again and I remembered I had a bottle of temporary basting glue that came with a metal adapter and a very small hole. So after finding it, I decided to try it on my 2nd row of blocks and it saved me not only time but worry!! Once I had basted the back strip with the glue, mainly all I had to worry about was making sure the front 2″ strip was straight. I didn’t glue the top strip down but pinned just to make sure neither piece moved while I sewed them down.

There is no way I can Thank you enough for sharing your wonderful videos and books that have allowed me to complete a quilt that I thought would literally rot in my UFO cabinet!

My next project is going to be a king size quilt for myself and my husband using layer cakes and I can’t wait to get started because I plan to use decorative stitches which is something else I’ve never done and your QAYG technique to get it finished!! This was also my first time to sew a binding to the back of a quilt and machine sew it down to the front. Can I say I am in LOVE again? I do know that at all cost…I will probably never make a quilt the “traditional” way again.

We will be grandparents in August so you can imagine the baby quilts I will be making from now on lol! One last thing I’d like to share with you is in the 15 years that I’ve been quilting, I have never used my walking foot. For some reason it scared the life out of me. But now, I’m happy to say I do believe it’s become my favorite foot to use! There’s only two things that I will invest in very soon and that’s a 16 1/2″ square ruler and a 20 1/2″ square ruler or I may just invest in the 20 1/2″ square… do you prefer both? or would just the 20 1/2″ suffice? Ok I will quit rattling on for now! Again thank you thank you THANK YOU!

Sincerely and always a follower of your videos and books…. a fellow quilter and a friend!!


P.S. A couple of my favorite sayings: 1. I’m not perfect so don’t look to close and hard at my stitching. The imperfections in each quilt is what makes them unique in themselves! 2. If it can’t be made using QAYG then I probably won’t make it! 3. Love who you’re with, what you are doing and mainly life’s too short to stress over a wonky stitch! LOL
Quilters, receiving Maria’s email was so rewarding! I was thinking the other day “I can’t believe people read the books I write” and now to know that what I’ve written has made such a big difference for Maria and her daughter that I’m just speechless, and endlessly grateful for her kindness in sharing the story of her quilt.

The quilt pattern that Maria adapted is called “Penguin Paradise” and is by Amy Bradley.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has sent me their quilting questions, stories and photos!

Quilt Question from Carol Crites

I received a question from Carol and have tried everything I know to get back in touch with her, but emails bounce and Google searches are just not helping, so I’m posting both her question and my reply here in the hopes that she’ll see it. If you have any ideas on her quilt dilemma please chime in!


I just finished your quilt as you go re- imagined, LOVED IT!!! This top is one of three similar quilts I’ve been working on. Obviously, I’m nearly done with this one, have you got a suggestion for converting the other two? This top is a variation of one called Any Which Way developed by Vicki Thomas in To Stitch A Child’s Quilt. She used a single set of arrows, I’ve used a bi- directional set of arrows. It was a challenge adjusting the amount of fabric I needed. I feel like I should finish these before I moved on to the next so the boys can get some use out of them. My next project is a king size square patch that I think lends itself nicely to your method. My husband has no imagination, he wants just red, blue and neon green squares joined with black joining strips, all solid colors. As I understand your method, you quilt the blocks and then use the joining strips to butt the quilted blocks together, using the strips to make the edges pretty. I would welcome your advice on the quilts for the boys. They range in age from 9 to 7, and the oldest is trying to be more mature than other boys his age. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance for your advice and wisdom. Carol Crites.

Here’s my reply: Hi Carol,

Thanks for your note and your quilt pic. I’ve been thinking about it and the best that I can think of is to unstitch it into 3 or 4 rows and add white fabric to the long sides of those rows, so that you won’t lose your arrow points when you join the quilted rows. Layer and quilt the rows with the added fabric and then trim them to about 1″ wider than the points. Join with white fabric. Your arrows won’t touch like they do in the top, but it will be much easier to quilt. The quilt process would be a lot like the Aloha Strips in the book, which is a row quilt. You should only have to add about 2-3 inches of fabric onto each row edge to allow for the quilting and joining. I’d love to see your other quilt projects to see what the blocks look like.

Let me know what you think, okay?


Keeping Up With Kim W

Well, the truth is, I just can’t keep up with Kim! She’s made two more queen sized quilts and I’m just about speechless.

About a year ago I received an email from Kim telling me about her first queen sized quilt (quilt-as-you-go) and her own special ergonomic sewing table. I just treasure messages like that, especially when the author takes the time to photograph their creations and attach the photos so that I can see them. I consider it a wonderful gift from a new friend.

So when I recently received another email from Kim, I thought “Oh, how nice, a new pic of a little quilt!” No, four pics of TWO *large* quilts!! How does she do it?

Here’s Kim’s first quilt and her custom sewing table. Below are her newest creations and her note:

I just completed my second & third ‘quilt as you go’ queen size quilts!
I just wanted to thank you again for your technique!
Sincerely , Kim from NC


Her First Quilt

My friend Rena taught her friends how to make a Crazy Shortcut Quilt. Here’s the note she sent me:

I showed it to a couple of ladies at work & they tried it too! Better news- neither one of them had ever quilted!!!!
Here is her creation. She is Russian and never did anything like this before. She loved it! She plans to make more! I’m thinking about getting her the Quilt As You Go {reimagined} to help encourage her. Thanks for teaching this in Valdez!

Isn’t it just lovely? Thanks, Rena, for teaching her and for sharing her success with me.


A Happy Quilt and Happy Quilter!

What better way to start the new year than with a huge smile! Rena took a class with me and oh, did we have some laughs. She decided, like so many quilters who use our techniques, to add her own spin to her quilt. She chose to use Minke brand fabric, which is a super soft polyester fabric that is just perfect for baby blankets. Unfortunately the very softness that makes it so delightful to hold also makes it a nightmare to cut straight, especially if you’re trying to cut multiple layers, as our techniques call for.

Rena was up to the challenge though, with a great attitude and staunch determination to succeed. She did, just beautifully! Here’s her note to me and photo of her quilt. I hope you enjoy both just as much as I did. My next blog post, in about a week, will have a pic of the quilt her protege made. Thank you Rena!

You will remember me, I tried to do the quilt in all minky…
Well, I finished.
My first mistake was to use all minky, my second was to keep working on it instead of throwing it in the scrap pile. It looks great from a distance, but don’t get too close. Trying again.
Good news! I showed it to a couple of ladies at work & they tried it too! Better news- neither one of them had ever quilted!!!!
I’ll send a picture in the next email.


Eileen’s Crazy Shortcut Quilt

I love opening up my email file and finding a message like this, from Eileen. What a gorgeous quilt and a kind heart to share her quilt with me!

Dear Marguerita,

I have been working on my son’s quilt for some time. I finally finished today and thought I would send you a copy of the photo of it.

It is for his birthday. He has Irish heritage hence the greens on the front. He is a journalist and loves music, which explains the checkerboard pattern in the back.

Thank you for writing the Book. I have thoroughly enjoyed making this quilt for my son.

Kindest regards,
Eileen K


Jean’s Modern Quilt-As-You-Go

Jean sent me a pic of her quilt, made from our book Quilt As You Go {reimagined} and I just LOVE it! The quilt is made from 9 fat quarters, cut along the length of the FQ and the quilted blocks are joined with the same fabrics as the top, making the joining strips nearly invisible.

It’s taken me a while to get her photo posted but oh, boy, was it worth the wait. From the day that I received her pic I’ve been excited because hers is the first photo I’ve received of anyone else’s quilt made using that pattern. Jean did a beautiful job on her quilt and she took the process one step further, doing something I’ve always wanted to do but haven’t yet done, and made her binding from scraps of the top fabrics – it looks AWESOME!! Jean added this note with her pics “Did this one from strips The back is done with yellow flannel because it will go to chemo patients.” What a kindness to give quilts to those going through a frightening time of their lives. Thank you so very much Jean.


Pat’s Simply Charming Quilt

Pat Minich is a professional quilt designer and purse designer and she helped me with the text of one of my books and then gave me the treat of sharing a photo of her beautiful finished quilt! Called Simply Charming, from our book Quilt As You Go {reimagined} this quilt is made from just two fabrics, one framing center squares of the other. The joining strips are hidden in the framing fabric. I am deeply grateful to Pat for helping me with the text of the book and for our fun conversations. I’m really looking forward to seeing her next quilt! Here’s Pat and a portion of her quilt, and below the whole quilt. It really is simply charming 🙂