my . artist run website

Hi All!


What a perfectly, delectable summer day we had today!


I ended my day outdoors with my family after an amazing week of creative endeavors and much needed reprieve after Quilt Expo last week; to call it work would not really reflect the true spirit of what I'm trying to do. So offer me coffee if you see me with my beautiful dark eyes walking around :)


I feel encouraged by the support of many who often ask, "when do you sleep?" I try hard to give each of my classes, special orders and projects, 1000% and if I fall short, because we all do at some point, I remind myself that I can be and plan better. So, time management is something I work at regularly with great zest. Many thanks to Rob from The Village Booksmith Bookstore in Baraboo, for having the best calendar to keep me organized because my phone is just not "paper."


I'm happiest when I have a lot of work to do; I'm productive and creative when those internal thinking wheels are energized and I find that true hard work, has all the redeeming qualities I seek. 


The photo below is from a super fun bachelorette party that took place today. I was there in spirit and in the mini barn quilt boards' designs drafted by yours truly, personalized by these creative ladies! The best part was that Jenny created a family friendly event for all with a gorgeous day to boot!


My deepest appreciation to Jenny, the bride to be and guests, for giving my humble barn quilt painting workshop, an inviting and friendly outlet. Spreading color in our homes and towns is an incredible opportunity.


Photo by Jenny P.

Another super event took place last night, I was there :), at The Market in Wonewoc, WI. The class was sold out and the ladies worked 3 hours straight. I was  personally grateful to have had a well lit room for the work at hand. If you have not been there, please go. They have many events there and great food. 



Back to today, at Nancy's Notions in Beaver Dam, WI; I lead an AccuQuilt Club once a month and we had another great crowd, talented and cheerful.

and playtime in the great outdoors. The breeze was peaceful and the colors, inspirational and fiery! Nothing beats being surrounded by the dreamy sounds of dusk away from the city.



I love Macro Photography and a simple class is coming to the Free Spirit Designs Studio in Downtown Baraboo very soon! The photo below was taken with an iphone 7. I'm hoping we can compare techniques by using a professional camera and cell phones.


Lastly I want to share a photo of a quilt top I quilted for a friend/workshop attendee, this week (picked up today). She loved it and so do I; she made this for her best friend on the occasion of her marriage. Congrats to the bride, who lives in Colorado!



 I hope to bring a sense of excitement and inspiration to the work we are doing today. I sincerely appreciate you being here with me.


Thank you!





Greetings on this gorgeous summer day!


Earlier this year, Artisans, Shops, and Galleries from Baraboo, Lodi, Portage and Sauk came together for our very first Midwest Fiber Arts Trail tour with the guidance from Jennifer Wilder from



Our trail is diverse, fun, community driven and extremely creative. The tour, held on the last weekend in March, is filled with workshops, lectures and so much more.


This past March I had workshop participants from all over the Midwest and some made a weekend out of it. We had an inspiring keynote speaker at the Ringling Mansion Bed and Breakfast to kick off our event. 


I'm way behind on posting photos from all 3 of my workshops but I wanted to share how successful and humbling these three days were. I'm sure that the talented artists that participated, feel the same way I do. It was a memorable weekend where positive memories were made and great hopes for the future were forged.


United communities through Art, Diversity & Tourism, is something that I'm proud and passionate about. The name of our Trail is Threaded Streams and you can find all of the participating artisans and businesses here


Please share with your communities; the more we empower makers, the best chance we have to discover, learn and share with those near and far; our communities also benefit as friends visit our towns and discover places to eat and rest. 


This is an amazing group and I look forward to our futures together. Please check out the artisans listed; some of them are opening new studios and embarking on great collaborations. 


There is no stopping us now!



some of the slow stitching workshop participants (pictured above)


 Every one of my 13 slow stitching participants received a beautifully packaged, goodie pouch, carefully curated. 



The photo above is from an artist that took 2 of my workshops in Baraboo. She traveled from far and enjoyed a quiet evening at Durward's Glenn. 


I invite you all to check out our local artisans and businesses in the trail and beyond.


Hello and thanks for reading!


We had a great open house last Sunday! Thank you to all that attended and for the beautiful gifts.


Photo by Helen's Daughters Studio

Many of you have asked me about the studio space so I'm including everything you  may want to know in this blog post. 


I named my business Free Spirit Designs by Maday back in 2012 for a very special reason but I'm not as much of a free spirit as people think. I'm methodical and often takes me a long time to make a decision but when I do, my heart is completely in. 


This wonderful space I have leased, for 6 months, is a Pop-Up dream of mine. No, I'm not part of any Pop initiative at the moment. On Art June day I made up my mind and decided to sign the lease. No, my business is not new and yes, I formed an LLC finally, after dragging my feet for many years.


So, What does Free Spirit Designs by Maday do?


Well, I have been teaching sewing classes since 2010 when I barely knew how to sew and have continued growing in my craft and in my spiritual journey. My weeks are full and I could not be more proud. I also work full time for a wonderful local business. 


I love to teach and will try almost anything that is Positive, Invigorating and Fun!


I like to be productive and charitable and I'm honored to be part of many artistic endeavors at the moment. I'm also a graduate student and thrilled beyond belief that I get to go to school at any age.


I'm so proud of my collaboration with Dana from D'Marie Fiber and Yarn in Sauk City. Talk about a wonderful artist herself and very charitable and giving.


I have had many questions about the future and my teaching is my number one priority so if you are in need of a creative outlet in barn quilt painting, hand stitching, Sashiko, Kantha stitching, conversation, plants, and knitting, I can help you. I love to travel, to teach and to learn. I'm happy and excited about life and the opportunities I continue to seek. 


If you ever find yourself curious about my adventures, ask me; I love questions and I will share what I know. 


In the meantime, come see me at all the places you know I'm. A big thank you to all the shops and friends that allow me to continue to teach in their establishments. Many thanks to those sharing my cards, encouraging me and taking my classes. Really, I'm very grateful to you. 


My studio space is for now a place for slow-making: weaving, painting, handstitching and knitting. If you like to know what hours I will be there please check Facebook. My business page is very well established and you can find all the details there. 


I hope you continue to enjoy your summer and remember, I'm just a message away.








Good Morning!

Is is almost July? 

I don't know about you, but I'm fascinated by birds, for many, many years. Once I discovered that with a little dirt and a few seeds, I could be persuaded to change my stubborn ways and welcome gardening into my life, I have looked for ways to benefit and help birds thrive in our gardens. I also have done that in Downtown Baraboo with our volunteer gardens. 


I don't use chemicals in my yard and I'm deeply saddened when its used near me because it alters how the natural world works around us, even in a small scale.


So, the reason for talking about birds this morning? Well, I saved a little bird yesterday. Why is that newsworthy? Because in my almost 4 decades here, I had never held a bird. It was trapped in the corner of glass windows and was trying frantically to get out. The little bird was helpless, fluttering about. 


Yesterday was a beautiful day so the shop where I work had the doors open. I was determined to help this little creature and scared of touching it! I kept saying outloud, It's ok, It's ok, It's ok, as if the bird could understand. I think I was just trying my best to be gentle so I would not hurt it. It was also a great reward to see it fly away, having lost just a few feathers.


A few years ago I had a logo created for my creative business to call it something and the only thing that made sense to me, was that it needed to represent the freedom only birds have but birds get captured or trapped sometimes by their own design. I still enjoy their freedom to enjoy their adventures for as little or as long as they are here.  


Sometimes we have to tell ourselves that things will be ok and that is just good enough.


Fly a few birds but don't forget to fly yourself with your imagination.




Hi all!


Towards the end of last month we were lucky enough to be invited to charming Hudson, WI to speak at their local quilt guild. It was a great experience to share and discuss some of the projects I have been working on for the last couple of years. Since then we have returned once more on our way back from Morris, MN and wanted to share from those two trips some of the lovely sights and eateries that we have come upon. 


I also discovered one of the most inspiring textile havens I have ever, evah, seen! This post is all about the enchanting offerings that small towns offer, particularly during the summer months.


Hudson Quilters Guild meeting - May


During our May trip, it rained non-stop but we still managed to enjoy Hudson's lively downtown after the presentation and take the Mississipi river road. What a treat that was. A big thank you to the guild for the invitation to share my work. 

We found an amazing restaurant on our first trip called Brick's Neopolitan Pizza. Everything was delicious and only the best ingredients! The place was clean and the service impeccable.

The tastiest stuffed mushrooms I have ever had and yes, I look forward to photographing my food everywhere I go.


My daughter loved her sandwich

A delectable salad; the kind you are happy to eat. The medallions are little bundles of warm goat cheese I believe.

On our way back from Morris, MN earlier this month, we stopped once again in Hudson and visited another great restaurant called San Pedro's Cafe! 

It has a great atmosphere and seems like it's always busy. We were there on a Thursday for lunch and the place was packed.

No matter how determined we were to make it home early from our trip, the scenic river road really is a time "waster" in the best sense of the word. Really. There is so much to see on the Wisconsin side of that road and we were helplessly drawn to the small towns and fun businesses along the route. Below I share a few of my all time favorite finds.

When we drove by Cultural Cloth and I glanced at the word Cultural, I immediately told my partner that I had no idea what it was but we had to stop. It is not every day that that word is casually on a sign!


Cultural Cloth is the most inspiring place I have ever seen and I believe I might have mentioned this earlier. It is located in Maiden Rock, WI and it is every bit a culture shock to me in the middle of nowhere, or so I thought. 


The owner is gracious, hospitable, knowledgeable and frankly, delightful ! That is a whole lot of adjectives but that is how I felt being there. I left with just a few small purchases but I called two days ago to make the purchase that I should have made while I was there.


The place is a cultural heaven for the work that women do around the world. It could not be faked. It is original and drew me into it because of my heritage and the tribute and respect that all cultures deserve.


I could live there and be their cleaning lady, truly. Here are a few of my favorite things I found, imported from all over the world.


Everything is exquisite, the packaging, surroundings and work by the many talented women from around the world, which this shop supports. I could not be more proud as an immigrant woman myself, of the women from the developing world, that are represented in this shop. 

Look at that smile. She was wonderful to talk to and sent me home with a few pieces of textiles, I will always cherish.

I have other places to share with you but I don't want to bore you with too many photos so I shall save them for another day.





It has been over three months since I have been able to sit down and share some of the adventures and photos of the lovely places we have been and the things we have been able to partake in, besides sharing a few on social media.


I have been doing such fun projects, custom quilts, teaching classes, learning and most of all, very grateful that I get to do what I'm doing presently. I have worked very hard but I owe all those that follow me and support me, many many thanks. My family is always at the forefront of what I do, whether it is walking distance from our home or very far away. This adventure is part of our goal to discover and learn more about the Midwest.


We had a great time sharing barn quilt painting with all generations!  


The adventures have not stopped since the Midwest Fiber Art Trails at the end of March, so my blog posts, to help me catch up, will start with the latest event we were at in Morris, Minnesota. I still can't believe that I was accepted as a presenting artist at the local flavors event, a great community event and that I was paid for my work. What a novel idea!


As a sustainability, graduate student, and everyone asks me what that means, I strive to live and create art within communities that deepen connections and contribute to lasting environmental awareness, trying to pay attention to sharing and caring about others in an honest way. 


Being sustainable to me is much more than volunteering my time in working at community gardens, supporting little free libraries and other donations of physical items, although all these things help; I wish to spread a love of creativity that integrates inner growth as artists, makers and humans and allows us to construct more fulfilling places that embrace our cultures and generations, for generations to come. 


I love promoting art that satisfies the human spirit as much as the creative, outwardly need many of us have to share, to be part of communities with a common goal. My creations are always an expression of the world around me and the things I learn from others but my culture shapes the whole of who I'm and what I do. I'm also grateful to have the ability to share my life with people that get it. 


Morris, Minnesota will always have such a special place in my journey; the summit was 3 days and there was so much love, creativity, inclusion and understanding that I have not seen in quite a long time. I was inspired and humbled by the love and giving spirit of people from all over the US. This is a dream come true and I was only a very small part of this celebration. 


Thank you all for being on this crazy fun ride with me!


Spread your wings and go for it.


Xoxo to all.


Morris's Rural Arts & Culture Summit - a remarkable gathering.

A reporter with the Pioneer


i love the pure joy of this shot!


My little lady, the welder!


Great performance in over 80 degree weather.

a few of my art quilt collages were displayed around the tents.




Thanks for viewing!



Good day friends!


School has kept me very busy and blog posts are a little infrequent. I can finally share my progress in combining hand-stitching and the phenomenal designs included in the new Janome S9 which I'm lucky enough to have for a short time to test out. Hope you enjoy it and/or learn a few tips here and there. 


Slow Stitching meets the Janome Skyline 9!


Late spring last year I got this crazy idea that I would learn to sit still and hand-stitch. With a very busy schedule, hand-stitching isn’t particularly convenient but that is precisely why I fell in love with it. Now I spend a few hours a week practicing my slow stitching and share this love with all of the friends that will listen.


When the Janome Skyline 9 became available, I jumped for joy because some of the built-in embroidery designs are Sashiko! I have been working on this project for many months on and off. I hope you stick around as I take you on a Sashiko tour of built-in designs on the S9.


My featured panel project combines my love for Sashiko hand-stitching and machine embroidery. It is not everyday that your embroidery machine compliments your favorite technique so well. I plan to use my panels to create a queen size quilt and matching pillow.




About the Project:


If you decide to give this project a whirl, you can create your own panel of embroidered Sashiko designs from the S9 instead of fitting the designs between the hand-stitched pre-printed,  squares.


Sashiko Project:


Janome Skyline 9

Embroidery foot

Rayon thread

White bobbin thread

Sulky sticky fabri-like wash away stabilizer (not paper)

OESD fusible polymesh stabilizer

RE20 machine hoop & template

Olympus Preprinted Sashiko patchwork panel 20”




Stabilize your fabric with the iron-on fusible stabilizer


Hoop the sticky wash away stabilizer and place a corner of your Sashiko panel on the hoop covering the entire area, press down gently to smooth out wrinkles.





You can see from the photo above, that I had started the hand-stitching portion of the project. This made it easier to see where the “empty” patchwork squares are located. These are the spots where the embroidery designs will go.


Use the template for the RE20 hoop to visualize where your designs will appear in relation to the editing screen.




There are 4 built-in Sashiko designs that worked well for the blank patchwork square on the panel. Select from the square designs available for SQ14a hoop.




Now the fun part!


I shrunk the designs to 93% to ensure that they fit in the designated areas. To reduce the design simply use the icon to the right of the trash can as seen on the editing window above. Tip: to preserve materials embroider multiple designs per hooping.      






There is another great built-in feature on the S9 and that is the “tracing outline” icon found underneath the yellow flower. This allows you to see the area where your embroidery design will appear; it uses tacking stitches that can be removed easily after your design is embroidered.


Trace the outline before embroidering your design    








One of the designs I had hand-stitched was also available as an embroidery design on the S9 so I put them side by side and they compliment each other beautifully.

Continue embroidering the Sashiko patterns as desired



As with every creative pursuit, practice matters. This is my second attempt at working with this type of panel. When I started this process last fall, my first few attempts had some misses mainly because I was impatient and the designs I chose were bigger than I had anticipated.


The 2nd panel on the bottom portion of the photo below, looks better because I used S9 features for success, like the tracing outline and templates as well as patience.


I hope you will give Sashiko stitching a chance, whether you hand stitch your project or use a combination of slow stitching and machine embroidery methods. I fall more and more in love with this technique because of how it is helping refine my love for sewing, attention to detail and the creative process in general.


Cheers to a machine that can keep up with us.


Happy Spring Friends!








My theme this year is “Elevate, Celebrate LOVE”


Today I bring you a short and sweet machine embroidery Valentine’s day project that can be adapted to any occasion or hoop size. I have wanted to experiment working with cork fabric for a few months and since I had an embroidery hoop available, I decided to give it a try. Create a fun display for your home or the office.



About the Project:


Part of what motivates me as a fiber artist is the ability to embroider and work with unusual textiles or materials as long as my machine can handle it!  The Janome Skyline 9 certainly can. Cork fabric comes in a variety of colors, is easy to work with, has a great texture and plays well with denim fabric. Another favorite thing is to upcycle clothing pieces that have seen better days!


Valentine’s day Embroidery Hoop Art:


Janome Skyline 9

Embroidery foot

9” round, plastic embroidery hoop

10” x 10” cork fabric

Small curved Janome scissors

Rayon thread,  3 colors, 1 variegated

Denim fabric

Sticky wash away stabilizer

RE20 machine hoop






Hoop the sticky stabilizer to fit your machine hoop and place the cork fabric on top, smoothing out any bumps. 


IMG_2330.JPG                IMG_2332.JPG

Select the built-in heart design.





I skipped embroidery steps for this design to be able to cut the center of the blue denim heart and make it into a raw edge applique shape, exposing the cork fabric behind it. You can continue customizing your embroidery project after the initial heart is embroidered, under the “edit” screen.








After your embroidery design is complete, hoop it and trim back the excess cork fabric with curved scissors. Since we are using a 10x10” square and a 9” inch hoop, you should not have a lot of wasted material. You can see that the back of the cork fabric is perfectly smooth. I left the wash away stabilizer in since this is a decorative piece.


I hope you will give cork fabric a whirl. The sewing world certainly gives us plenty of inspiring materials with which to work and expand our creativity. Embroidery hoops are also a great source of whimsy to uplift our walls and our hearts!

This type of project is also great for the sewing studio and/or a child’s room.