The Story of Serenity.

It has been a long time since I have made an effort to keep up my blog.  There are so many reasons why it's easier to just leave it alone, but I do miss writing about my projects.  I will have my blog posts on my website from here on out. The posts used to be on a blogger account, but trying to get these posts to connect between the two sites seems impossible for me right now.  In the end, this will be easier for me.  

The instant gratification of Instagram and Facebook have made my posts seem so impersonal to me, so for those of you who are looking for more info on my quilts, then this is the place to be.  I  will go back over the quilts I have missed writing about and share the info on the projects on this blog.  I hope you will enjoy the posts as much as I will enjoy writing them. 

First off is Serenity. This quilt is epic and has a lovely story to go along with it. 


In October 2018 I was teaching to a quilting group in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This group of ladies were so fun and engaging. This trip was my 4th and final time teaching in Canada when I was traveling to teach quilting.  While I was there I mentioned how much I love quilting needle turn appliqué quilts. I don't love doing appliqué myself, but I love quilting them. 

Sometime during the workshop a lady by the name of Tammy gifted me her needle turn appliqué quilt. I couldn't believe it, but quilters really are the sweetest people. She genuinely wanted me to have this quilt and wanted me to be able to "play" with the quilting. I certainly did just that! 

Serenity by Judi Madsen

I  have since learned the quilt top is a from the pattern, Calendar Basket by Brandywine Design. Tammy did not do the extra bit of appliqué in the border, but left those empty which made for a perfect empty space for a secondary quilting design.

Serenity by Judi Madsen

As you can see, I took advantage of the empty space and filled the border with an incredible geometric quilting design.  I cannot tell you how much fun and time consuming it was to come up with this quilting design, all of which is explained in my book, Serenity

Serenity by Judi Madsen

The large negative space quilt blocks that were in between each of the basket blocks made an area for a beautiful quilting design as well.  I  based my design on my "Clover block" from a quilt named "Serenity" I  made back in 2010 or so.  That specific design has been turned into a digitized design, but I did not do any computerized work on this quilt. 

Serenity by Judi Madsen

I used two layers of quilt batting to make the quilting designs stand out. I also used a 60wt glide thread to quilt the entire top.  I really like the 60wt thread because it is the perfect weight to do dense and detailed quilting without looking too heavy. 

Serenity by Judi Madsen

The quilt top took me over 100 hours of quilting to complete and once I was finished with it, I realized I needed to make a book with the quilting instructions. So, I  took the clover design block, and turned that into an appliqué block.  The quilt then became Serenity and the options to make several sizes are available in my book

Serenity by Judi Madsen

Serenity (wall hanging) is just the right sized quilt for those of you looking to amp up your quilting skills without taking on a huge quilting job.  I know several of you have already made this quilt, since I released this book in 2023. In addition to the large border quilting designs, I included the fun curved border design and curved quilting designs in the blocks for the smaller quilt. 

Serenity by Judi Madsen

I used my QuickMarkRuler, my QuickMarkCurvedRuler, and my A1 longarm straight ruler to get all the lines just right in this quilt. I used a purple water/air soluble marker to mark all the lines, but any marker that works for you will do the trick.

Serenity by Judi Madsen

This project was a labor of love for me.  I enjoyed the designing, quilting, and finally writing of the book.  It is a very detailed and colorful pattern that will help you bring your free motion quilting to the next level.  I  hope you enjoy making the quilt as much as I did. 

Isn't it amazing what a gift can do?  Thank you Tammy for helping me push my own quilting to the next level by gifting me an incredible quilt.   

May 09, 2024 by judi madsen

It's official! I am finally a fabric designer. Introducing Curated Blooms!

Welcome to my part of the Riley Blake Virtual Quilt Market. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
  I feel like this post has been a long time coming; sixteen long, but dream filled years. With any dream it takes hard work, persistence, and determination.  I have loved being able to quilt for the past 20 years and creating a unique quilting style that has been mimicked throughout the quilting world, as well as designing patterns and writing books. This dream of designing fabric has always been in the background - until now.
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs About a year ago, I finally made this dream a reality by taking a class on Adobe Illustrator.  I have used the Adobe Illustrator program for years for writing my patterns and it's a little, okay, very - difficult... 
Taking this class gave me the courage to draw up my designs and make continuous patterns for fabric printing. I am happy to say that I am so much more confident in digital design, but still learning. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
I now had the courage to turn my drawings into digital patterns. I just needed to submit my designs to a manufacturer for a possible partnership.  Riley Blake Designs happened to be the perfect fit for me, so it was a pleasure to submit my portfolio to them.  Their team absolutely loved my fabric designs and the quilt patterns I designed to go along with each line.  
I signed a contract with them in August 2023.
Best day ever!
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
So, without further ado, I give you "Curated Blooms." This collection is a fun and beautiful combination of hand drawn flowers, swirls, and all things pointy. The colors of blues, greens, auburns, and creams are so delightful together. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
Each one of these swirls, flowers, and pointy things were meticulously drawn out and manipulated by hand to make a digital image version of my pencil drawings.  I now have full appreciation for the amount of hours it takes to bring a fabric line together. The above fabrics are the "main prints" in the Curated Blooms Collection
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
It is hard to choose a favorite grouping in a fabric line, but I REALLY love the leaves. This fabric will definitely be a beautiful low volume option.  
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
The auburn, cream, and midnight damask prints are also a favorite. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
These are the "Dance" prints and I love them as well.  With my advanced cuts, we missed the "blush dance" print.  However, it will be with the fabric line when it releases in November 2024. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
The "on-point" and "mosaic diamonds" are perfect filler designs. 
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs  
 What is fun is that I've designed 6 patterns to go along with the fabric.  All of the designs will release in November with the fabric. CrissCross is one of the designs that I have quilted up already.  It was difficult for me to quilt without a lot of detail, but I love how It turned out.  
 Once I have all of these designs pieced and quilted up, I will be able to get these patterns available, so stay tuned. I will keep you updated through this blog as well as my social media pages - @judi.madsen
Curated Blooms by Judi Madsen for Riley Blake Designs
I love sharing the backs of quilts, and this is no exception, even though it's a bit scarce on the details, lol. 
Exciting things await and November cannot come soon enough!  Please let your local quilt shop know that you want "Curated Blooms" with my pattern designs available. Also, I have the precuts and yardage available for pre-order at Green Fairy Quilts here
Thank you so much for your love, support, and encouragement throughout the years. I'm thrilled to be able to share my journey with you. 
April 29, 2024 by judi madsen

Flower Patch Revamp Final Reveal!

Ok, this is going to be a long post.  I have not blogged in quite a while, but I feel like this project deserves the time and attention that only a blog can accomplish.
This quilt is 6 months in the making, not because I am that slow, but because life can be busy at times. While I love to quilt in heavy detail,  I do other projects at the same time, like writing my book Serenity.
This project is based on my Flower Patch quilt pattern.  I made a lot more blocks, and changed out the layout, which I will include at the end of this blog. You can get the original pattern here and that goes over the sizing and piecing instructions for the Flower Patch Block. 
This quilt is for my bed.  I  have changed my bedding several times over the years, but this one had to be made because I recently purchased a king size bed. It also answers the question of whether or not I use the quilts I spend so much time on.
  I fell in love with the fabric immediately when it came into our shop. The fabric is Chickadee by Create Joy Project for Moda Fabrics. I added some Moda Bella Solids for the sashings and pillows, I always love using solid fabrics when I quilt. 
My son still gives me flowers, he's 12 and he left this paper flower for me as a surprise.  It was the best surprise and one I had to share. 
This is the pillow backing, isn't it gorgeous?  It is a shame to cover, but at least I  have the picture for memory. 
I had 4 pillows that needed to be covered, so I decided that an exaggerated Flower Patch block would work the best!  I made two pieced blocks and quilted some fabrics to make the other two pillows.
It was really fun putting these pillows together and compliment the large quilt perfectly.
 I love the 60wt Glide thread because it's the perfect weight for high density quilting.  I  use white thread throughout because I want to showcase the quilting designs in the solid fabrics. I share a video on how to quilt this border design, you can see that here. I used my QuickMarkRuler and my A1 longarm ruler to draw and quilt out these designs.
This magenta corner is fabulous; seriously, it turned out so perfect. This corner is different than the top corner (pictured below) because of how the design lays out, but I love having different design elements in a quilt. It definitely gives it more character. 
The hardest part of the quilting process was seeing the marker on the darker fabric, but I like to use the purple disappearing marker for that. I have a large bright light that I use while I quilt and as long as that light is on, then the marker comes through perfectly on the darker fabrics. 
Here you can see the different corner design. Both are beautiful and give an awesome feel for the quilt. 
Here is a shot of the sashing.  I think my favorite part of designing the quilting is looking beyond the quilt blocks and incorporating the background of the pieced blocks to become part of the sashing.  It just changes the whole look of the quilt. 
And, the back! Oh my word, it's so amazing. I could easily use this as the front of the quilt for a bit of a change.
These last two pictures show just how amazing the fabric and the quilting designs work in unison to make an incredible quilt. Sometimes it is all about placement. I  must admit I am a bit nutty about fabric placement. Also, I am a bit nutty about line (stitch) placement because it does make a difference on a project. 
So, grab the original Flower Patch pattern here, then come back for the different/new layout listed below.
The above layout is the one I used for this new quilt. I have a 2 inch finished scrappy square border just beyond the sashing, then a 1/2 inch finished break border. After that a 2 inch border followed by the finished 9 1/2 inch border. For the large border I used a fabric with a large print and I love it, but if you don't want to make your quilt this large, you can eliminate the large border. The width of quilt that I made is 100" wide with all the borders.
For the quilt make 30 blocks. Instructions for this block is available in my pattern Flower Patch. Get that pattern now. The revamped layout is 5 blocks across by 6 blocks down.
  • 1/4 yard) Sash Squares - cut 3 strips 2 1/2” x WOF (width of fabric) strips, from these strips cut (42) 2 1/2 inch squares.
  • 1 3/4 yards) Sash Strips - cut 5 strips 12 1/2” x WOF strips, from these strips cut (71) 12 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch rectangles.
  • Squares border - cut (204) 2 1/2 inch squares from jelly rolls/scraps
  • 1/3 yard) 1/2” Break border - cut (12) 1” x WOF strips 
  • 7/8 yard) 2“ Border - cut (12) 2 1/2” x WOF strips
  • 3 1/2 yards) 9 1/2” Border (12) 10” x WOF strips
For the borders - sew three strips end to end for each side and the top and bottom. I used a 1/4" seam allowance for all seams in this quilt.
Have so much fun sewing this quilt top together!
July 19, 2023 by judi madsen

New Pattern! Patchwork Tillie!

I am so excited to share with you my newest pattern, Patchwork Tillie - now available in paper and PDF versions for $5 as a new release introductory sale for a limited time.

This quilt was a labor of love!  I had so much fun pulling fat quartersto make this darling quilt. This is a very scrappy quilt and I probably used about five different fabric lines to come up with the version here. I used...
April 08, 2020 by Judi
Tags: Quilting

Elaine's Carpenter's Wheel Quilt

I had a lot of fun with this beautiful carpenter's wheel quilt made by Elaine. I love her color choices. The leaves are falling around here and this quilt makes me think of fall. The fabrics are Flower Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings and the pattern she used was from a Moda Love In sew along.  You can get the pattern and info here.  It is a layer cakepattern, conveniently we...
November 07, 2019 by Judi
Tags: Quilting

Unhinged Digital Panel Finished!

This was a fun project!  I designed this digital panel a while back for Honest Fabric and finally got a chance to quilt it up. This is a 51 x 60 panel and the Moss version of my Unhinged design.  I have 5 different colorways to choose from for this design, also available in 3 different sizes.  

This design has a lot going on with the block, so I decided that simple ruler work would be the best...
October 29, 2019 by Judi
Tags: Quilting

Mama Gypsy Quilting! Final Post!

It has been fun posting about my Mama Gypsy, and the QAL that y'all participated in. It has been so great to see the projects and finished quilt tops in my Mama Gypsy Group

The above photo is a picture of the bonus HST quilt that I made with the leftover half-square triangles from Mama Gypsytop. I had a lot of fun putting the scraps together and creating this fun design. I also loved quilting it...
September 19, 2019 by Judi

Tillie Revealed!! All New Pattern!!

Oh my word!! I am so excited to share Tillie with you!  Isn't she darling?  She's been in the works for months - it's one of those quilt patterns that takes time, but is so worth it in the end.  I used several fabric lines from Moda designers in this quilt by pulling fat quartersfrom my stash together. The result is this fantastically happy colored quilt.
September 12, 2019 by Judi
Tags: Quilting

Mama Gypsy QAL Week 4 - Final Row & Border!!

(Block 13)
Week 4 and final assembly of your own Mama Gypsy should be happening - if not, no worries!  Keep going at your own pace. It has been fun to see the progress on so many darling quilt tops.

(Block 14)

(Block 15)

(Block 16)

When you are ready to piece the top - I like to piece 2 rows together, then piece the two halves together.  It is easier to maneuver that way.

My border for this quilt had...
August 30, 2019 by Judi

Mama Gypsy QAL 3rd Row!!

It has been so much fun seeing all the progress on your quilts!  They are being shared in my Facebook group here and on Instagram using the #mamagypsyquiltqal - be sure to check them out.

You can still join my QAL - get your paper pattern here, or the PDF pattern here

Don't forget to be cutting and squaring up your bonus HST's so that you will have the blocks needed to put together a darling HST...
August 23, 2019 by Judi