What's New

Any colored text on my website is a link. Clicking on the colored text will take you directly to more information about the topic.

Be sure to check out my newsletter on this website. It is updated frequently to list new classes that I am teaching here in my home studio as well as on the road for quilt guilds, shops, and conferences. If you would like to be added to my email mailing list, just let me know by clicking on the email link in the upper right corner of this page, and sending me a message.

If you have signed up for my mailing list and haven't been receiving messages from me, it may be because you have changed email addresses, or I may have typed in an incorrect character in your email address. Send me an email so I can update my records.


2015 Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop Quilt

It's Shop Hop time in Wisconsin! The 2015 Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop is June 5 to June 27. If you are new to this site, let me explain. Every June, Wisconsin quilt shops (over 60) join together for a Quilt Shop Hop, where shoppers are encouraged to make the rounds to as many quilt shops as their hearts desire. Special exhibits are put in place, each year featuring a new line of fabric that has been designed especially with Wisconsin in mind. Many of the shops design a pattern using the year's fabric, and the patterns are unveiled during the shop hop.

This year has been really fun for me, as I was asked to design quilts for TWO of the shops! Millhouse Quilts, in Waunakee, WI, are fully embracing the Wisconsin theme of the shop hop by paying tribute to Wisconsin born Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Praire fame. Millhouse asked me to design a quilt using blocks from my book Quilting With Laura, Patterns Inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie Series. While the book features hand piecing techniques in keeping with how Laura pieced her quilts, this quilt and the pattern that goes with it are done with machine piecing techniques. A charming 30" square, this quilt would make a lovely keepsake for any home.


In addition, Gatherings, the shop here in my town of Boscobel, commissioned me for the fourth year in a row, to design their Shop Hop quilt. If you don't know by know, I love scrap quilts, and this pattern fits that bill perfectly! There is something very satisfying about using lots of different fabrics in a quilt that works up quickly, and that is just what this quilt did. I call this quilt Pick-Up Sticks. It is NOT done with paper piecing (paper piecing and I don't get along. I always cut off the wrong piece of fabric!) Instead, I devised what was really a quick and clever way to create this design using just strips and squares. Measuring 29" by 29", this too makes a darling wall hanging.


And if the color scheme of this year's Shop Hop Fabric isn't your thing, how about this very scrappy version of Pick Up Sticks. It was such fun to do, and I love the colors. Hope you do to.


Both shops are offering kits for their quilts as well as the pattern. Check out the ORDERING tab of this website for pattern ordering info. In the meantime, get out your maps and start planning your Wisconsin Shop Hop!

National Quilting Day 2015

Looking for something fun to do on National Quilting Day? If you are in the area, think about joining me for an all day workshop at the Quilt Peddler in Fennimore, WI!

Crazy Quilt Sampler
Saturday, March 21, 2015
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The Quilt Peddler, Fennimore, WI

Priority Alzheimer

Spend National Quilting Day with me at the Quilt Peddler as we explore Crazy Quilts by making this charming sampler. Hand embroidery (no sewing machine required!) creates a variety of stitches that are then embellished with buttons, laces, and bits of ribbon to create a lovely keepsake. Crazy Quilt Embroidery is the perfect technique for capturing special treasures such as bits of antique handkerchiefs or crochet or tatting or lace and embellishing them with embroidery to create a very special keepsake. The class sample is about the size of a sheet of paper, making it an easy project to complete. Come learn the heartwarming story behind this creation.

To register at The Quilt Peddler, contact:
Nancy Porter
4420 US Hwy 18 E
Fennimore, WI 53809



Be sure to check out the Links section on this website. Included are links to sites featuring handcrafted quilting tools, special retreat sites, and a treasure trove of links to quilt related sites.


Wisconsin Writers Quilt


The Wisconsin Writers Quilt was designed, created and quilted by a group of volunteers from the Friends of the Reedsburg Wisconsin Public Library. Autographs from forty contemporary Wisconsin writers have been incorporated into the quilt. The goal of the quilt is to raise money for the library to improve public access to technology. Notecards featuring the quilt are available. The quilt itself will become part of the library's permanent collection.

The quilt will be featured at a special book event February 21st from noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Blue Heron in Reedsburg. Several authors will be on hand to autograph their books.

Class is in Session!

With the holidays behind us, classes are now in session for 2015. Several skill building classes have been scheduled at both the Quilt Peddler in Fennimore, WI and Mill House Quilts in Waunakee, WI. Skill Building Classes are half day sessions meant to cover the basics of any given technique. They are a great introduction to learning something new, or the perfect refresher if it has been a while since you have done a particular technique. Remember that for any shop or quilt guild, when classes are scheduled, the sponsor needs to evaluate whether or not to go ahead with the class based on attendance, so don't wait until the last minute to sign up, or you may find that the class has been cancelled.


More Church Banners

Through the wonders of the Internet, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in West Grove, Pennsylvania found out about the church banners I had made for St. John's Lutheran Church here in Boscobel. As a result, they commissioned me to make banners for their parish in remembrance of one of their parishioners.

They recently completed construction on a new community center and wanted artwork for both the general meeting room as well as the stair well. Once again, I used their stained glass windows as inspiration to create a series of banners for them.


This set of banners expresses the guiding principle of their parish: To Know Jesus, To Love Jesus, To Serve Jesus. The white lilies are the symbol for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is the name of their church.


The other set of banners was made for their stairwell, an imposing 12 foot high space that was beautifully filled by these banners which create a cross in the white space between them. Again, the white lilies are used in honor of their parish.

I flew to West Grove to install the banners and was able to be there then they were presented to the congregation. To see such color and pattern bring otherwise blank spaces to life was a joy.


Stay tuned. More banners have been commissioned by the church in Janesville, WI. They will be created this Spring.



2014 Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop Quilt


I don't know how time escaped me and I didn't post pictures of the 2014 Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop quilt, but somehow it did. If you are new to this site, let me explain. For the last three years, Wisconsin quilt shops (over 70) have banded together for three weeks in June for a Quilt Shop Hop, where shoppers are encouraged to make the rounds to as many quilt shops as their hearts desire. Special exhibits are put in place, each year featuring a new line of fabric that has been designed especially with Wisconsin in mind. Many of the shops design a pattern using the year's fabric, and the patterns are unveiled during the shop hop.

For the last three years, I have had the pleasure of being commissioned by the shop here in town to design a quilt for them using the current year's fabric line. The 2014 result was Postcards: A Remembrance Quilt. This quilt gives you perfect areas to frame and highlight those special fabrics or mementos you want to treasure, whether they be pictures, embroideries, or signatures.

I had such fun doing this quilt that I have chosen it as the class project for the 2015 Cabin Fever Quilt Retreat in February at Watson Homestead in Painted Post, NY (central New York State). It is a fun 3 day weekend event, beginning Friday afternoon with a half day workshop, followed by the Feature Project, which begins on Friday evening. Stitching continues on through Sunday at noon, interrupted only by meals prepared on site by the Watson catering staff. The Retreat is limited to 30 participants. While many of the students are repeat retreaters, we always welcome new students each year.

If your schedule allows, and you are in the mood for a getaway, consider joining me February 6 - February 8, 2015. Watson Homestead is located between Rochester, NY and Corning, NY in a beautiful country setting. It is the former boyhood home of Thomas Watson, founder of IBM. This site has been host to countless retreats for a wide range of groups over the years. If you are looking for a place for a retreat, conference meeting site, or family reunion, consider Watson Homestead.

To register at Watson Homestead, contact
Neil Yoder


More Church Banners

In 2011, I was commissioned to make banners for our church (see details in article below). As luck would have it, the sister of one of our parishioners saw them, and told her church about them. When a member of her church expressed a desire to do something special in memory of her husband, the banners came to mind, and I was commissioned to make some for their church.

Here is where the fun of the challenge came in. I wanted to create something that honored the spirit of the project, but still allowed our banners to be one-of-a-kind. In addition, upon visiting their church, I saw that while our stained glass windows are what I would call a traditional style of window, theirs were much more modern, full of geometric shapes as opposed to flowing curves. There was also the matter of colors. Instead of greens, blues, and golds, they wanted more blues and reds.

The size is the same, approximately three feet x ten feet each. Batik fabrics were still the fabric of choice, as they mimic the texture and richness of stained glass so beautifully. The results, I think, met my goals. The style is modern, the colors tie in beautifully with the colors of their windows, and they are in themselves one-of-a-kind. They are installed on the face of the choir loft in St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Janesville, WI.



What I truly love about both sets of banners is how they pull the glowing colors of the windows all around the church. A previously blank wall in both churches is now ablaze in color. I have loved the challenge of working on both projects, and hope to have the opportunity to do so again. In the meantime, if you are in Boscobel, WI or Janesville, WI, I hope you get to see the banners in person.



Dates: February 7 to February 9, 2014
For the 9th year, I will be returning to Watson Homestead in Upstate NY for the Cabin Fever Retreat. People can either come for a Friday afternoon class only, for the Friday evening thru Sunday noon workshop, or both.

Once again, I am debutting two brand new classes.


HOPSCOTCH After years of doing quilts with many fabrics, I found new and fresh challenges to working on a two fabric quilt! What fabrics you choose make all the difference in the resulting quilt. While it looks like there are tons of pieces in this quilt, it is deceptively simple to construct. I once again work my piecing magic to show you ways to create this quilt.

This class will be held Friday afternoon, February 7, 2014, from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The Friday evening through Sunday noon class is my SPOT ON SCRAP QUILT.


This is the quilt I designed for the 2nd Annual Wisconsin Statewide Shop Hop.

While the traditional method of working with curves can be challenging, this quilt gives you the illusion of curves without having to match curved edges together. Sounds strange, I know, but trust me, it can be done! I first tried this design out by using the traditional method, and found that this new way can be accomplished in a third of the time. It was such fun that instead of making one or two class samples, as I usually do, I made four, with another in the works.

To add to the fun this year, we will be working on some special projects Friday evening before starting on Spot On on Saturday. In addition, because some of the participants last year enjoyed the opportunity to exchange fabrics with other retreat-goers, those who want to will be precutting some of their fabrics prior to class to exchange with other students.

To register for any of the Retreat events, contact Watson Homestead. watsonneil@stny.rr.com
or go to their website for details www.watsonhomestead.com



Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys Revisited

Two of my favorite workshops are Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. In them, we play with strips to create a fresh new look with traditional patterns.

In Lincoln Logs, the log cabin block becomes an overall mosaic that really sparkles.


And because strips are just such fun to play with, they are also used for a variation on the Courthouse Steps pattern, creating Tinker Toys.


I am very fortunate to have Penny Gerds in my circle of friends. She is an extremely gifted machine quilter, and she just finished quilting these two quilts for me. What truly amazes me is that she does this all on her home sewing machine. What treasures! Thank you, Penny! Well done!

Woodland Ridge Retreat Opens mid October 2013


I am so happy to share this news with you. Chris Daly, the talented fabric dyer I have written about in past postings, has had a dream come true. She and her husband Mark have purchased Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, and we are all the beneficiaries. This gorgeous retreat center can be the site of your next quilting get-away (or scrap booking, or knitting, or writing.... whatever your heart desires!)

Chris describes it best: Woodland Ridge Retreat is a creative getaway designed with quilters and fiber artists in mind. Located in the rural village of Downsville, Wisconsin, this idyllic property overlooks the scenic Red Cedar River Valley in the west-central part of the state. Our retreat offers deluxe accommodations and brightly lit gathering rooms. The facility is on one level with ADA accessible guest accommodations.

I have to say, just looking at the pictures is an inspiration. The setting is so peaceful, the light in the rooms is amazing. I can't wait to check it out. You should, too. You'll be glad you did!



Update on Church Banners

In the winter of 2011, I had the honor of being commissioned to make two banners for St. John Lutheran Church here in Boscobel, WI. The church is blessed to have a wonderful collection of stained glass windows, and I wanted to incorporate the spectacular colors of the glass in my work. With batiks in hand, I created two banners that I wanted to share with you.


They hang from the choir loft, one on the left, one on the right, visually framing the stained glass windows in the back of the church as you view them when you walk up the aisle.


I created the quilts entirely out of fabric, using batik fabrics and a stained glass applique technique. They measure three feet by ten feet.

This summer, I was again commissioned to create paraments for the church for the Season of Growth. I chose the Tree of Life symbol for both the altar and the lectern.


The altar piece features 12 apples for the 12 apostles, and 40 leaves, for the 40 days and 40 nights as well as for the 40 days of lent.


The lectern piece contains 33 leaves, for Christ's 33 years as Man, and for his 33 recorded miracles.


The stole contains various symbols of life, from the wheat to the grape vines to the chalice and host.


Spot On: pattern commissioned for the 2013 Wisconsin Statewide Shop Hop


For the second year in a row, Gatherings, the Country Decor and Fabric shop here in Boscobel, WI, commissioned me to design a wallhanging pattern using the fabrics designed especially for the statewide shop hop. The circle prints just begged for something happy and bouncy! Curves, which can be tricky to piece, are done in a whole new way! There is not one single curved pieced seam in this quilt. Try my revolutionary way to create curves that can be done in half the time of traditional piecing and is much more accurate! Give it a try. I think you will love my new method for doing curves as much as I do!

Order the pattern for Spon On directly from me for $6.00 plus $1.50 shipping

Pay by check made out to Linda Halpin, with your name, address, phone number (in case there are questions) email address (for shipping verification notice) to

For information on Quilt Kits for Spot On, contact Gatherings at 903 Elm Street (which is Hwy 61) in Boscobel or call them at 608-375-2556.


New Quilt Shop in Fennimore, WI

For those of you who travel throughout southwest Wisconsin, there is a new quilt shop in Fennimore (12 miles down the road from me). The Quilt Peddler opened its doors March 1. Spacious and with several well lit rooms, they feature quilting fabric, notions, yarn, and will soon be adding classes to the services they offer. If you are a lover of antique sewing machines, they have an excellent collection of featherweight machines available. Located on U.S. Hwy 18 just down the road from from Southwest Technical College, you can also check out their website at www.QuiltPeddlerLLC

In addition to a lovely classroom on the main level, they also have a huge (and I mean HUGE) classroom on the lower level, complete with restrooms and kitchen facilities. You can access this level from the back of the building so that no stairs are involved. They could easily accommodate 30 people, each with their own large table. There are several flannel boards mounted around the room. This is a terrific workspace with excellent lighting and ample electrical outlets. Be sure to check it out!


February 10, 2013 Update: Walnut Ink Antiquing Spray!

While at a teaching retreat last week, I came across this product I just had to share with you. I listed it as my February tip, but in case you don't read that section of my website (and if you don't, you don't know what you are missing!), I wanted to list it in the What's New section.

It is called Walnut Ink Antiquing Spray, and it is pretty amazing stuff. If you have fabric that is too white, too bright, or too new looking, spritz it with Walnut Ink Antiquing Spray, heat-set it with an iron, and it takes on a lovely mellowness that transforms it! Here is a before and after setup, with the top row being the original fabric, and the bottom row being the antiqued fabric. Several students used it in the workshop, transforming fabric that was too bright for their collection, creating fabrics that really worked!


Made by Cindy Hilfiger, it is all natural, acid free, and can also be used to antique leather, paper, wood, anything that is porous enough to absorb the spray. The Walnut Ink Antiquing Spray is available on Cindy's Etsy site.


If you are new to Etsy, it is a website where artisans can set up their own online shops to sell handcrafted items. I have found some wonderful treasures on Etsy, and it is a great way to support the the crafting community. While at Cindy's site, check out some of the other items she has to offer. And be sure to try the Walnut Ink Antiquing Spray. Cindy provides some very good information about how to use it on her site.


January 4, 2013 Update: Note Cards!

Last month I announced the creation of note cards featuring four of my quilts:
Princess Feather Applique
Barn Raising Log Cabin
Log Cabin Free For All
Split Rail Variation

They are really lovely, and would make beautiful gifts. They have now been repackaged to offer greater variety and better pricing opportunities. Each pack contains 4 glossy note cards, blank inside, with envelopes. You have your choice of all the same design in a pack, or a variety pack of one of each design in a pack. Packs are $6 each, or two packs for $10.


Princess Feather Applique is a half scale replica of a circa 1850 antique quilt. Hand Appliqued by Linda Halpin.


Barn Raising Log Cabin Quilt started out as a way to use some of my cutaway units as the centers of the log cabin blocks. Machine Pieced by Linda Halpin. Beautifully machine quilted by Penny Gerds.


Log Cabin Free For All uses a 1 inch half square triangle (a cutaway unit) as the block centers. Machine Pieced by Linda Halpin. Custom quilted by Marcia Wachuta of www.CraftySewing.com


Split Rail Variation is the bonus quilt made from cutaways of a larger Flying Geese quilt. Machine Pieced by Linda Halpin. Custom quilting designed and expertly done by Marcia Wachuta of www.CraftySewing.com. This quilt was featured in Quiltmaker Magazine.

To order Note Cards, send $6 for each pack of 4, or $10 for two packs. Postage is $1.50 per pack. Pay by check made out to Linda Halpin, with your name, address, phone number (in case there are questions) email address (for shipping verification notice), and your desired pattern(s) to


Favorite Scissors

The importance of having good tools can't be underestimated. When was the last time you updated your scissors? I treated myself to top of the line scissors 30 years ago (can it really be that long??) and I have taken good care of them, but I have to admit, when I tried Karen Kay Buckley's scissors last year, I was blown away at how much scissor technology had changed.

Karen is a well known award winning quilt artist. You have seen her quilts many times on the cover of Quilters Newsletter Magazine. She is known for her astonishing applique quilts. If anyone knows the importance of having good tools, it is Karen. That is why she worked with scissor manufacturers to come up with her ideal tool.

They are lightweight. The finger hold holes are roomy. The handles are cushioned and comfortable to hold. And best of all, the blade is thin, allowing for extreme accuracy, and they have a slight serration on them which means they grip the fabric and the fabric doesn't slide forward on the blade as you are cutting. They come in 2 sizes, small (green handle) which is ideal for applique (you have supreme control over where the blade is going for all your clipping and trimming needs)


and large (purple handles), perfect for larger cutting jobs.


These make the perfect gift. My husband is into fly fishing, and ties his own flies. I got him the green ones, and he loves them. The finger holes are large enough for his hands, and they allow him the control he needs for cutting tiny snippets of fur and feathers for the flies he ties. I got my mom both pairs. She has arthritis and has trouble with most brands of scissors because they are uncomfortable for her to grip and cut with. Not these. She loves these. Karen is not paying me to tell you how great these are. I am just a huge fan! Gatherings, the shop here in Boscobel, has started carrying them. Be sure to stop in and treat yourself to some really fine scissors!


Internet Radio Interview

In September, I had the honor of being a guest on Sarah Uthoff's Internet Radio show Trundlebed Tales, talking about quilts and what quiltmaking was like during the times of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie books. Sarah and I met that past summer when I was a featured speaker at Laurapalooza, the Laura Ingalls Wilder conference held in Mankato, MN.

The Little House books, made even more popular by the Little House on the Prairie television series, tell of the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder as she grew up in the Midwest during a time of pioneering expansion. Quilting was a big part of Laura's life. In fact, she mentions quilts and quilting over 70 times in her books. And that is what I was there to talk about.

Doing the presentation in Mankato was great fun. I could show quilts to illustrate my talk. Not so on the radio! It was a new experience for me, relying totally on words to express myself, with no props or pictures! I have to say, it was great fun.

You can listen to the broadcast on your computer. Just click on the link below, and it will take you to the site. The show is one hour long, and we really covered a lot of territory! Imagine my delight to have heard from Sarah that over 2,000 people have listened to the broadcast and it has been one of her most listened to broadcasts!

Check it out, and enjoy! Trundlebed Tales: Quilts and Laura Ingalls Wilder



Dates: February 1 to February 3, 2013
Watson Homestead in Upstate NY is once again the scene for the Cabin Fever Retreat. People can either come for Friday afternoon only, for Friday evening thru Sunday noon, or both. In addition, Watson Homestead is in the process of setting up a Thursday evening to Friday morning option where people can come in on Thursday night and work on whatever they want to, then on Friday morning, Watson Homestead will take them to some of the area quilt shops.

This year we feature two brand new classes.


PATCHWORK X-PRESS In celebration of our 8th year, I have picked a really fun block that will allow you to fine-tune your piecing skills. I love patterns that allow me to use lots of different fabrics, and this one is no exception. It is one of the speediest blocks to put together I have ever done, making it ideal for a 3 hour afternoon class. You will precut some of your fabrics prior to class in preparation of exchanging fabric with other students to help supplement your fabric selection.

While deceptively simple, there are tricks you will want to know that help make this block so much fun to piece. In addition to clever construction tips, you will also learn the handy formula for how to set blocks on point, a skill you will use over and over again in future quiltmaking.

This class will be held Friday afternoon, February 1, 2013, from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

The Friday evening through Sunday noon class is CROSSROADS SCRAP QUILT.


One of the things I love about doing scrap quilts is that I learn something new about fabric combinations with each quilt I do. Using four patch blocks in the construction of this nine patch variation will really allow you to fine tune your piecing and fabric selection skills.

Not only does the construction technique contain a bit of magic, but we will also be exchanging fabrics to create a visual tapestry lush with texture. You will precut some of your fabrics prior to class in preparation of exchanging fabric with other students to help supplement your fabric selection.

To register for any of the Retreat events, contact Watson Homestead. watsonneil@stny.rr.com



If you have not participated in a Shop Hop before, it is an event where shops gather together to offer special sales and programs for their customers. You set up your own travel route, and pick and choose which shops you want to visit. In June 2012, Wisconsin held its 1st Annual Statewide Shop Hop in which over 70 quilt shops participated.

Three blocks from my house is Gatherings, the shop I have mentioned in past What's New articles. Holly Taylor from Moda Fabrics designed an exclusive line of fabrics with a Wisconsin theme for the shop hop. Gatherings commissioned me to design a wallhanging pattern using the fabrics, and I have to say, I am pretty darn excited about it! I had such fun designing it that I made it in two versions, one with the Wisconsin fabrics, and one with some wonderful bright pastels! Both are currently on display at Gatherings, where they will offer the pattern, as well as quilt kits.

If you missed going to the shop yourself, here are pictures of the quilts and the pattern I designed for the shop, which you may order directly from me on the Ordering Page of this website. The pattern is called Gatherings, both in honor of the shop that commissioned it, and for the idea that it is the perfect canvas for you to gather your favorite fabrics and showcase them in this fun pattern.


The Wisconsin Travels version of Gatherings features the Wisconsin Icon fabric of the Moda Wisconsin Shop Hop Fabric. Nine special images celebrate all that is Wisconsin, with accompanying theme fabric surrounding the images.


I call this version of Gatherings The Happy Quilt. It contains a collection of joyous fabrics that gave long arm quilter Marcia Wachuta of Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting (http://www.craftysewing.com)the opportunity to play with a different quilting pattern in each block.


You may remember Marcia from other postings as a source of extra wide flannel for your flannel wall. She also carries extra wide backing fabric. She has quilted several quilts for me, including one of the quilts that appeared in Quiltmaker magazine. What I like about Marcia's quilting is that she does not do all-over patterns, but rather, works with the quiltmaker to come up with quilting that highlights the features of each quilt, making every quilt she does specific to the wishes of the quiltmaker.


Marcia had such fun doing the Happy Quilt, which will be on display at Gatherings, that she has generously included a coupon for 10% off the quilting on any quilt made from the Gathering pattern. To get your coupon, order your pattern today! The pattern is perfect for featuring specialty fabrics, whether they are the Wisconsin fabrics, or other fabrics you want to showcase. And it goes together in a snap! I've made three of them already, all totally different, and I can't wait to start making another one.

Plans are in the works for a Shop Hop 2013. In the meantime, I want to pass along that Moda, the company that produced the Wisconsin Shop Hop Fabric, held a contest to choose the store with the best display of the fabric line, and Gatherings won! Congrats to Gatherings for a job well done!


Church Banners

In the winter of 2011, I had the honor of being commissioned to make two banners for St. John Lutheran Church here in Boscobel, WI. The church is blessed to have a wonderful collection of stained glass windows, and I wanted to incorporate the spectacular colors of the glass in my work. With batiks in hand, I created two banners that I wanted to share with you.


They hang from the choir loft, one on the left, one on the right, visually framing the stained glass windows in the back of the church as you view them when you walk up the aisle.


I created the quilts entirely out of fabric, using batik fabrics and a stained glass applique technique. They measure three feet by ten feet, and if I do say so myself, they make quite a statement.


UPDATE on LauraPalooza

In case you missed it earlier, Laurapalooza was a conference that took place in July 2012 in Mankato, MN, focusing on details of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House on the Prairie books. The study of her writings, her life, and the history of her times were the focus of a terrific 3 day event. I was honored to be one of the featured speakers, giving a presentation on what quilting was like in Laura's lifetime. Did you know she mentioned quilting over 70 times in her books?

Participation in Laurapalooza is open to all fans of LIW. There is even a Kids' Camp with special activities for children who are attending. The next conference is planned for 2015. To find out more, check out the Beyond Little House website.

If you would like to know what quilting was like in Laura's time, I would love to do the presentation for your shop or guild. I have added the program I presented at Laurapalooza to my Lecture offerings.


Civil War

2011 marked the 150th Anniversary of the start of the Civil War. This era in history takes on a new face in view of how quilting was affected by the strife. If quilt history fascinates you as it does me, consider having me do my lecture Quiltmaking in Civil War America for your group. You may also like to follow that with the half-day workshop Hand Piecing Civil War Style

cvlwar thumbnail

or the full day workshop Civil War Reproduction Quilt.

Civil War


Fabrics in Boscobel...

Where, you ask, is Boscobel? My little corner of the world is in southwest Wisconsin, a little town of about 3000 people. Whenever a new shop comes to town that starts carrying quilting fabric, it is worth a mention, especially if you are coming to my studio for classes. You will now have another reason to come to Boscobel.

Literally 3 blocks from my house is a charming shop called Gatherings. They specialize in wonderful little treasures to decorate your home, such as wreaths, placemats, holiday decorative items, etc. Think "Country Living Magazine", and you have the idea.

They also carry Moda fabrics and homespuns, and are expanding their offerings, soon to include batiks. What a treat! They are not a full-service quilting shops with classes, but you really do have to see their fabrics. They fit so beautifully with the theme of the shop, and the gals that run Gatherings couldn't be nicer. In addition, they carry my Quilting with Laura, and Scrap Bonanza 2 books. An extra treat for me!

Gatherings also carries the pattern I designed for them featuring the fabric Moda designed for the 2012 statewide Wisconsin Quilt Shop Hop. Samples are on display both of the pattern made with the shop hop fabric as well as with other fabric. It is a terrific pattern to feature special fabrics you have been wanting to showcase. Check it out!

Gatherings is located at 903 Elm Street (which is Hwy 61) in Boscobel. It is on the corner of Warah Street. They are currently closed on Mondays, and open Tuesday through Sunday. Call 608-375-2556 for more information.


Classes in My Studio

Check out the Newsletter on this website for a listing of class opportunities here in my home studio! The newsletter is updated about every 4 - 6 weeks.

This is a chance for students to take a class with a much smaller group than what is offered in a shop or guild setting. Classes have a minimum of 4 students, and a maximum of 6 - 8 students, depending on if a sewing machine is involved.

It has been great fun for me to open up my home for these small classes, and I find that the students enjoy the smaller setting and being able to really delve into each class with more participation than in a large group.

What to do when you see a class on my offerings list that interests you? Let me know. It helps me know that to schedule next. Or, if you have a group of 4 or more who would like to take the class, contact me and we can schedule a date. Both half day (9:30 to noon, or 12:30 - 3) and full day (9:30 - 3) classes are available.


New Patterns

By popular request, I have added two new patterns to my Ordering section. Be sure to check out the Quick Gifts Tote Bag and the Casserole Carrier.



As is my habit, I always end up starting my Christmas Gift stitching at the last minute, and these two items were so quick, I just knew others would be as excited about making them as I was. The tote is loaded with pockets to make being organized a breeze, and I can't tell you how many times over the years I have used my casserole carrier to bring a dish to pass. Both are great as year-round gift items. Add them to your pattern collection now!


Extra Wide Fabric for Backings and Flannel Walls

If you have been following my website for a while, you know the work of machine quilter Marcia Wachuta. She did the terrific job of machine quilting one of my quilts that appeared in Quiltmaker Magazine a few years ago.

In addition to doing exceptional machine quilting, Marcia also sells some things on her website, including lovely 108" wide fabric for backings (both prints and solids) AND she has 60" wide white flannel. This is perfect for building your own design wall. Check out the June 2010 tip in the Tips section of my website for directions on how to construct your own flannel wall. It is super easy, and such an invaluable tool for making your quilts.

To order the flannel, go to her website (http://www.craftysewing.com) , and click on Fabric. Thanks, Marcia, for being a source for the extra wide flannel!


Lap Quilting Frames Now Available


Exciting news relating to the Hand Quilting class is that I have found a source for both the hoops if you want to clamp a hoop to a table, and for the lap frames like I use. I have a local artisan who is making the 14" lap frames for me, so if you are in the market for one, let me know. He does a wonderful job on them and past students who have purchased them are extremely satisfied. Go the the Ordering section of my website for details.


My Electronic Newsletter...

Did you know that I have a monthly email newsletter that I send out? If you would like to be added to my email mailing list, email me at wihalpin@mwt.net and let me know. Clicking on the link will open an email window for you. You may then fill in the subject and message, saying you want to be added to my mailing list.

I update my newsletter announcing not only what I will be teaching where, but also, quilting events that are of interest. To accommodate those with different levels of internet access, I am changing the way I send out the newsletter. I send out an email to those on my subscription list giving them a link to the spot on my website where the newsletter can be located. The newsletter will remain on the website until a new one takes its place.


Classes in My Studio/ Lodging Recommendations

I started teaching classes in my home in Boscobel, WI, and I have to say, the feedback has been great! For those of you who live in the area, it will be a chance to have a small class experience right here in my home, surrounded by quilts. Classes will have a minimum of four students and a maximum of six to eight students, depending on if a sewing machine is required or not. This is a great opportunity to take a class that has that small class feel. Check out the Newsletter page on my website for the newest class offerings.

Class offerings have been expanded to include half day and full day options. If you are traveling from a distance and want to come the night before, I am happy to make hotel recommendations. While I have not stayed at either of these locations, I did go and check them out, and both would be quite comfortable. The closest would be the River Inn in Boscobel. It is the newest of the facilities in Boscobel. The rates are reasonable, and they have a continental breakfast available from 7 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. There is a pool on site. The River Inn is 5 minutes from my house.

The River Inn
1700 Elm Street (which is Hwy 61)
Boscobel, WI 53805

To register, email me at wihalpin@mwt.net
Clicking on the link will open an email window for you. You may then fill in the subject and message, saying you want to register for a class. Please provide your phone number also. You will receive a supply list and driving directions as confirmation of your registration. Preregistration is a must so I may have the correct number of handouts prepared.

If you can not make it to a scheduled class, but have a group of between 4 and 8 students, you can scedule your own private class session. Contact me to set up a date by emailing me at wihalpin@mwt.net. Clicking on the link will open an email window for you. You may then fill in the subject and message, saying you want to schedule a class.


Published in Quiltmaker Magazine


The May/June 2009 issue of Quiltmaker magazine featured two of my scrap quilts. The Flying Geese quilt shown here is the design that started me on my journey of what has become my 'two-for-one' technique of making a bonus quilt out of the cutaways created in the construction of the first quilt. I machine quilted the Flying Geese quilt in the 'cyndication' technique developed by Cindy Fenster and Cathy Doyle.

piecing The Split Rail Variation was made with the cutaways from the Flying Geese quilt, making oh so efficient use of your time and your fabric. I was delighted to have Marcia Wachuta machine quilt this one for me. Her choice of pattern is perfect for this quilt. To see more of Marcia's work, or to schedule her to quilt one of your quilts, see her website at http://www.craftysewing.com.

If you are interested in learning how to make these quilts, I have a Flying Geese workshop. It is a full day workshop. Contact me to schedule this workshop for your guild, or to schedule it here in my home studio.


Hand-Dyed Fabric...


A while back I told you about some wonderful quilt-related jewely made by Chris Daly (see below). Chris has now set up a new site on Etsy, the website for buying and selling of handmade treasures, for her hand-dyed fabric. Her new site, Dye Candy is definitely worth a look. The colors are luscious! Whether you are looking for hand-dyed fabrics to add to your collection, or something special as a gift for a friend, Chris' fabrics are sure to please.


Quilt Jewelry...

quilt pin

I just had to let you know about some beautiful hand crafted jewelry made by Chris Daly. Chris is a stained glass artist turned quilter, and she has blended the two into the most charming pieces of jewelry. At present, you can see her work at ShadyGroveStudios.etsy.com.. If you don't know about etsy, it is a website to 'buy and sell all things handmade'... a sort of ebay for handcrafted art of all kinds. Chris hand dyes fabric, then turns it into the tiniest of quilt blocks, capturing them in a stained glass setting to transform them into earrings, pins, and pendants. If you are looking for a quilt-related gift, be sure to check these out!


Student Showcase

After talking about it for ages, I finally learned how to add a new segment to my website. It is called Student Showcase, and features quilts students have made in classes with me! Check it out. When you click on the photo in the Showcase, it will enlarge it and give you more details!

If you have a quilt (or quilt top... they count too!) that you have completed from one of my classes, please send me a picture along with your name and any story that may accompany the quilt. I will be pleased to add it to the website.


Quilt Happenings In Wisconsin

For thirty years, Wisconsin Quilters was the statewide quilt guild for Wisconsin. It was dedicated to providing inspiration, instruction, and encouragement in the art of quilting. Quarterly meetings offered lectures and workshops led by instructors and quilt artists from the national teaching circuit. Over the years, times have changed, and the way we receive information has changed. Wisconsin Quilters ceased operations as a quilt guild in October of 2010, but they continue to be a source of information on what is happening in quilting in Wisconsin.

Be sure to visit their blog by clicking in the link above. Read about what's happening in the area, and feel free to submit your information. This is a place to share communications on Quilt Happenings In Wisconsin.


Quilt for a Good Cause

We are so blessed to be able to quilt. For so many, it is their passion. And for so many, they share their passion by quilting for a good cause. Let me tell you about a very good cause that can use your support. Quiltmaker Ami Simms has started the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. The goals of the project are to raise awareness and to fund research so a cure can be found for Alzheimer's disease. How can you help? Check out the Priority Alzheimer's Quilt Auction, where quiltmakers have donated quilts that fit into a flat Priority Mail envelope for on-line auction. Since January 2006, the Initiative has raised over $883,000. If you know anyone affected by this terrible disease, you know how devasting it is for patient and family alike. Whether you donate a quilt, or place a bid, let your quilting support a great cause.

I made a quilt for this auction and I have to tell you how participation in this project touched me in ways I never imagined. Priority It started out as a way to do something in memory of my mother-in-law who sadly was a victim of Alzheimer's. The crazy quilt I made was fun to do, a collection of bits of fabric held together with the fancy hand-stitching I so love to do, embellished with ribbons, buttons, and beads. It was exciting to see it come up for bid, watching how people responded to it, and seeing the price rise. What I never expected was the number of lives my quilt would touch. I received a message after the auction closed from Kathy Ockuly from Glenwood, (Baltimore) Maryland. It seems she and her friends had joined forces to have the winning bid on my quilt. They have a dear friend who had recently lost her mother to Alzheimers, and wanted to do something special for her, so they bid on this quilt, and sent it to her to let her know how much they cared.

It didn't stop there. A few days later, I got a lovely letter from Ruth Bragg, in Meadville, Pa, the recipient of the quilt. She and her mom had shared a love of stitching, and she told me how very much this quilt meant to her. With so many groups doing charity projects, making quilts for such a wide variety of causes, sometimes we forget that the charity doesn't stop with the completion of the quilt. The kinship goes on and on and on, to all those that the quilt touches along the way: to the friends who found a way they could offer compassion to a friend who had gone through a crushing loss, to the friend who felt the warmth and love of her friends in their giving her a quilt in memory of her mother. And through all of it, money was raised to help search for a cure for this terrible disease.

While we may think there is nothing we can do, quilting is a powerful medium. When my quilt came up for auction in August, the Priority Alzheimer's Quilt Auction Project had raised close to $9,000 since it started in January 2006. Now, that figure is over $878,000! Never let it be said that what you do doesn't count for something. When we join forces, we can accomplish great things. So think about participating. Think about bidding on a quilt in memory of a friend or a relative or an acquaintance. Your gesture will lend support in ways you never imagined.


Autographed Books Available

This isn't new, but just as a reminder, I am happy to personalize autographed books. Check out the Ordering section of my website to see what is available.