Finding My Way Back & Super Mario Quilt Update

In 2015 when my marriage ended I pretty much had to put quilting on hold to focus on rebuilding my life.  It remained like that for nearly two years as I adjusted to the new way of things. My studio would sit untouched for months at a time until I had a deadline project or tried to work on something old. I didn’t have a lot of inspiration or drive to work on my quilting. Sometimes when I would walk by my studio I’d glance in sadly at all my things feeling like they were being wasted sitting there unused.  I wondered if I was losing my passion for quilting and if I’d have to eventually move on to something else. It made me really sad.

I definitely enjoy my new life with my new husband. I love my home. I love all the fun activities we do. I struggled with balancing my time between quilting and everything else I suddenly had freedom to do. I remember writing down the number of hours each week I used to quilt compared to the amount I do now and being amazed I was able to keep a pace like that up for so many years. I was quilting and sewing 25-35 hours a week on top of working a full time job and occasionally teaching quilting classes on the weekends. That isn’t a pace I’d be able to do now or be happy doing.

In 2017 I completed a three quilts and a number of smaller projects. I slowly worked my way back in and figured out my new process.  No longer did I have to lock myself in my studio to work, I could sew in my living room with my husband as I watched TV and get more done without feeling isolated. I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with my podcast and if I really want to commit to making a YouTube channel for it but I’m toying with the idea.

Mostly my focus this year will be finishing old projects and doing one new creative art quilt for myself. I’ve had a design floating in my brain for a year and a half now but wasn’t sure how to pull it off.  After finding the equipment I’d need for it I applied for an artist grant in hopes they will fund it and I can work on this new show quilt. The grant awards are announced by mid next month so fingers crossed I get it.

For me 2018 is the year I’m finding my way back to quilting. I’m still working through unfinished projects and ticking those off my list one by one. I am so looking forward to ridding my closet of all these boxed up half-finished quilts I’ve had following me around for years. I’m still destashing items from my studio. I really want to reorganize my studio and figure out a better layout of my furniture or build something that is more modular that uses the space better. I’d love to build a folddown cutting table and new design wall as both of mine drive me nuts in their current setup.

The good news is I’m sewing and quilting more and I find myself wanting to do it again.

Now for the pic and video updates! If you don’t follow me on Instagram and Facebook (I update more often on those platforms) here are some of the things you’ve missed:

I got a sideshave.  This was a biggie for me – something I’ve wanted to do for a few years.  I always thought girls that had them were total badasses and I was too much of a wimp to do it.  After watching a few YouTube videos of girls that have smaller sections done and how they can hide them if they want with a part down the middle I decided to go for it.  I rarely hide mine now and I love getting different designs put in every few weeks. It’s not much fun in the cold weather but I’m glad I got it done.

I tried my hand at making cold process soap for the very first time. Somehow I fell into the YouTube hole of addicting soap making videos by Royalty Soaps. She makes these delicious looking creative dessert-inspired soaps and I love watching the videos. To save myself a lot of newbie mistakes I purchased a kit from Essential Depot to do a Triple Butter Lemongrass Herb soap as my first batch.

It came out beautifully and I love how my laundry room smells right now as it’s curing.

I absolutely want to make more bath products but I’m stopping myself from going down that rabbit hole while we work on other stuff for the house. It’ll be a fun once in a while hobby  making fresh soap for us to use at home and to gift to friends. I kept thinking of the stories in Little House on the Prairie of Ma Ingalls making soap once a year with all the ash they saved and I felt sort of like a pioneer.

Super Mario Quilt Along Progress Update

I had to fuse and stitch the last seven blocks of this quilt.  On the last block I decided to try doing some timelapse videos as a test and I think it came out rather nicely.  I’ll definitely be doing more of these. This is the timelapse of the Goomba block fusing onto the QuiltSmart grid before I sew it together.

All the finished blocks after trimming:

I love this timelapse of me quilting the final outside edges of the quilt. My app captured 45 minutes of quilting before it automatically shut off. I condensed it down to less than a minute of footage.

I have to turn this quilt in on January 13th so I’m glad to be on the final stretch. Binding gets stitched on the front this weekend. The sleeve and label will go on by hand once I get the binding stitched to the back. This is a huge UFO I’m glad to be finishing and really proud of. Doubly thankful I get to keep it for myself!

May your 2018 be blessed with lots of quilting and crafting.


  1. Lisa of Boise says:

    Thanks for taking the time to update–always interesting! LOVE the Mario Brothers quilt–so cool and old school….remembering arcade games in the 80s….

  2. Sorry you had to go through a tough time to get where you are today. Glad you are back and finding what and how to do what you love.

  3. Katie, I am so happy you are happy!! I love following along with your, John’s, the Corgis’ and Cornwallis’ adventures on IG and would love to hear your voice again if you decide to podcast from time to time! That Super Mario quilt is fantastic! I’ve used that grid foundation before and had some trouble with it being bulky (but my squares were pretty small). Were you happy working with it?

  4. I have found a great deal of joy in watching you get happy over the last couple of years! I look forward to seeing more quilts an other projects as you work on them!

  5. It’s great to know you are smiling on the inside as well as the outside now. Continued success as you grow in other areas; just don’t let that busy bee stinger get you as you are too precious to lose. (((hugs)))

  6. I just saw a YouTube video the star of the show uses a table that is height adjustable with the push of a button she uses it for sewing and cutting as does her much taller quilter husband Sparrow quilt company is her/there business I don’t remember if she mentioned the table manufacturer at the touch of a button a cutting height table or lower to place pieces and on and on

  7. Sue Shamekh says:

    Like your sideshave, but LOVE your glasses!

    • Thanks! I got them from a cheapo website called Wherelight and I love them. I can’t believe I got a prescription pair for $16 shipped that look THIS good.

  8. It’s funny how we go through peaks and valleys with quilting, I have not finished a single one last year… I’m glad your journey is starting to go upward 🙂 can’t wait to see your art quilt! Xo