Monday, November 21, 2016


 Moonlight Migration
56" x 56"

For those of you who are following the progress of my newest quilt pictured here, I'm happy to announce that it has been chosen as a finalist in the National Quilt Museum's 2017 challenge:  New Quilts from an Old Favorite.   

It's on its way to Paducah, KY to be judged and photographed for the book AQS will publish, featuring all the finalists in full color, with a photo of the maker, information about the quilt's development, patterns and tips.

And as a finalist, my quilt will be included in the museum's exhibit which goes on tour around the country for two years. 

Monday, October 31, 2016



A Few of My Favorite Things

A nice 1st place ribbon for each of my quilts entered at the recent Treasures of Tomorrow quilt show, Marshfield, WI.  

This show is an annual tradition for me.  I've entered and attended with my friend Jan  for the past 20 years (rough estimate).  

There were lots of interesting and lovely quilts to view this year, and some great vendors. Every show I attend gives me some kind of inspiration.  

But lately I've been struggling with the "too many quilts getting in my way" syndrome.  It's keeping me from plunging right into a new quilt since finishing Moonlight Migration.  

I have never sold any of my quilts but am now changing my way of thinking;  some of them can certainly move on to other homes.  

My quilt Cottage Garden is listed on The Quilt Broker for sale. 
Cottage Garden

Another, I gave to a friend in exchange for deck repair and rebuilding.  I'm also thinking about eBay and Etsy as possible sites to explore.  

While I realize I will never recoup my time and costs involved in making my quilts, I have no reason to just keep them. They will be priced to sell.

How about you?  Do any of you sell your handmade quilts an if so where? Do you donate them to charity, give them to family and friends? 

I'll keep you posted as I list quilts for sale.  

On that note, while out walking this morning, a new quilt idea popped in my head.  I shall keep you posted on that too.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Moonlight Migration 
56" x 56"

In case you didn't read my recent blog post about Moonlight Migration, here it is.  

This quilt is completely finished, machine quilted by me, blocked, labeled and photoed.

My entry will be sent to the National Quilt Museum and if I'm a finalist (and maybe a winner), this quilt, its story and pattern will be included in the museum's 2017 book.  It will also be displayed at the museum during Paducah's AQS Quilt Week in April and then tour for 2 years as part of the challenge exhibit.    

A couple of close up photos:

On to a new project!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A finished quilt

Greetings from the northwoods of Mercer!

I'm please to share my newest quilt titled "Happy." 

Happy 74" x74"

Ann Becker completed the long arm machine quilting.  Here are a couple of close up photos of my appliqué stitching and the quilting.

Right now, I've paused the machine quilting of my Moonlight Migration quilt and am working on an article for Machine Quilting Unlimited.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Goose Quilt

Moonlight Migration 58" x 58"
Jane Zillmer original design

What we have here is a photo of my almost finished quilt top;  I still need to machine appliqué the moons in place.  

This is the first time ever that I have created a quilt strictly for a competition, in this case it's the National Quilt Museum's yearly New Quilts form an Old Favorite contest. Yes, I enter most of my quilts in quilt shows, but I don't make them just for that reason.  

I was initially inspired to make this quilt after spotting a flock of snow geese in the sky while out walking in the Minneapolis area last March. I had never before seen snow geese and what a wonderful a sight they were.  

Shortly after that,  I found that the museum's theme for the 2017 contest is the Flying Geese block.

Ah, perfect!  All I had to do was create a quilt that would be an interpretation of that block, recognizable in some way.  

Here's a sample of a traditional flying geese block from Purl Soho:  

Traditional Flying Geese block

I designed and drafted Moonlight Migration, and it is almost entirely made up of flying geese including the pieced black and brown background.  Geese and many other birds do migrate at night and I like the dramatic effect I created.  

Another entry requirement is that the quilt maker also does the quilting, my next hurdle.  

I thought the deadline for entry was August 15th - WOW!  I just read that it's actually November 4, 2016.  Plenty of time to do the machine quilting.  I could take the summer off..... but I won't!   

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Happy Ending


76" x 76"

I've finished my latest quilt; well the top is finished.  This is a rough photo before it's off to be machine quilted.  See my previous blog about Happy for more details.

One of the most tedious parts of making a quilt, especially a large quilt is measuring for, cutting and piecing the quilt backing.  You are dealing with lots of yardage.  Lots to handle.

I have always washed my quilt fabrics including my quilt backing fabric.  Imagine washing 9 or 10 yards of fabric;  it would come out wrinkled and frayed requiring lots of pressing and straightening.  I decided with my last big quilt "Gardens of Rock" to not wash the backing fabric.  Wow! What a difference. This saved so much extra work.  I have not been washing any new fabric since then and I'm..... happy. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Free Pattern Offer

Saturday, March 19 is National Quilting Day and I thought I'd help celebrate by offering a free pattern to my blog readers.  

Dresden Basket is a cute little wall hanging and finishes at 22"x 22".  It is suitable for any skill level.

You'll find complete instructions to make this wall hanging including my raw edge machine appliqué technique  but you can use any appliqué method you like.  Full size templates are also included.

Simply email me: and I'll send you the pdf, ready to print on your home computer.  

This offer will expire in one week:  March 26th, 2016.  

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cottage Garden!

Cottage Garden 80" x 80"

I am very excited to offer this quilt for sale by   

You may have read my blog post a while ago about how I never sell my quilts and that I make them for myself only. 

Well, time passes and my quilt storage space is at capacity.  I've decided I have a number of quilts that I am willing to part with. 

I enjoyed making this quilt using a pattern from the book "Quilting in the Garden" by Barb Adams, Alma Allen and Ricki Creamer.  Of course, the appliqué designs appealed to me and I used my raw edge machine appliqué technique.  It was professionally long arm quilted by Cheri Trexler and I added hand quilting accents and hand beading.  

This quilt was displayed at a number of quilt shows and has won several ribbons.  

Click here to purchase this quilt.

Also, visit The Quilt Broker's Facebook Page.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Center Applique Mandala 

Here's a glimpse of my new quilt in progress.  The simple title "Happy" is what it's all about.  No deep theme or major inspiration here.  

I enjoy watching hummingbirds all summer, both at my feeder and as they flit among my annuals.  They even worked their way into my new design. 

I started at the center of the mandala appliqué block and worked my way outward. This block will finish at 30" square.

Here's a sketch of the entire quilt-to-be:    

Sketch of quilt layout

OK, so far so good.  But things got messy when I started working on the side basket blocks.  I had pieced the backgrounds only to find I'd forgotten to include seam allowances. So, of course they did not match the size of my center mandala.  I'd even appliquéd two of the baskets.  

And I was really not sure at all what I wanted to add to those baskets.  

My project was at a standstill until I visited my quilt group last week (after a long hiatus).  I immediately got not only their enthusiastic approval, but they also helped me form a plan to carry on.  

I re-cut and pieced the background side blocks, appliquéd new baskets and I'm working on flowers to fill the baskets.  Each basket will have the same flower motifs (enlarged from the ones used in the center) but with different colors.

I'm happy when I'm quilting!