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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.




Hello beautiful people!


It has taken me more than an hour to figure out why adding photos to a blog post or title page, was not working!!!! I used to think that I was very savvy with technology but I must admit, even though I succeeded, all my new laptop needed was patience from ME! Big surprise there.  So here I'm, so ready for school to start and aligning my priorities with a new reality. I'm going back to school. Now Imagine me saying that on the top of a mountain, really, yelling it out of the top of my lungs because I'm beyond thrilled.


Back to the reason for writing the blog post today.  The North Freedom Public Library - a rural community gem. 


Talk about a deserving library and community leaders! The staff at this library is beyond dedicated and personal, creative expressions can be found all throughout the library. It has the charm of a small town and the personality of the big city.


This was my first time visiting, January 7, 2017 but I had, like so many people read a recent article on how far the library has come with the encouragement and leadership of Ms. Roloff, the library's director and her team members. This is a team effort.


My family, along with the help of the wonderful people that have supported my work by either purchasing it or taken a class from me, presented the library with 2 brand new Janome sewing machines. We are confident these machines will be a great addition to the current offerings at the library.


We plan to continue being a steward of sewing supplies to the libraries that reach out to us and we will do our very best to assist where we can. This post would not be complete without giving a shout out to the owner of Ardyth's Sew n Vac Shoppe in Downtown Baraboo, Michele M. I purchase machines locally to help as many people as we can. 


Below I share a few of the photos from our visit; you will see many beautiful cake pans all around this little gem of a library and yes, they can be checked out for that very special cake baking in your future.

Ms. Roloff, North Freedom Public Library Director.


Cheers to all for your continued encouragement. Our pledge to spread sewing joy and empower our communities through sewing with the Free Spirit Sewing Machine Project turns 2 years old next month.





How can we be our best selves? Helping and empowering others. You can quote me on that :)



Happy New Year to all of you!


We hope it was everything you wished it to be and may the new year bring you what you are searching for. 


The last five days have been so enjoyable and carefree; I have spent time cooking delicious meals, many for the first time, organizing school office space, planning teaching curriculum, making crafts and getting caught up on sleep and much needed family time.  

I can't welcome this new year without sharing some of the most special, creative moments of 2016.


December 2016 Barn Quilt Painting class, 8 participants

We were blessed with great working opportunities and many new prospects going into the new year. We also had reminders of what being a family is all about; if one of us is not feeling or doing well, then the whole unit does not work as efficiently or as happily. This last point is so important.


2017 for us, myself and my family, will be a year of deep connections to the earth and the work presented before us, whole 3 acres to nurture. With the new year comes new schooling opportunities for me; I have no idea where this will take me but for the time being I'm relishing deeply in this moment of making a difference in sustainability. Creating and supporting downtown gardens remains a priority for us, where we live. In the end, education is my most important goal.


The Free Spirit Sewing Machine project continues to benefit non-profits that demonstrate a creative initiative to benefit rural communities. 


Now on my second year, I will lead once again AccuQuilt club at Nancy's Notions in Beaver Dam, monthly, beginning in March with a one day retreat in May. I'm also delighted to partner with Janome on their Maker program with regular contributions to their website. Finally I will be presenting at various guilt guilds  around our beautiful state. 


Sincere thanks to those that have helped us grow since 2012 in meaninfuly ways and offered us opportunities for growth.  I work tireslessly to come up with classes and activities that stimulate the mind and brings us closer together to develop our collective artistry and sense of community. Textile art is here to stay and so am I.


Remember to create art that is personal and meaningful; don't compromise and don't follow trends if they don't represent your artistic journey xoxo.


Happy New Year to all of you.

Many thanks!




A very short visual tour - Free Spirit Designs by Maday

The Very Merry Holiday Art Fair

Special Order

Special Order

Modern Stitching Affair, Madison. Photo by L.L.

Well organized and infused with creativity and goodwill.

QUILT EXPO, Madison, Traveling with the Black & White plus one Challenge entries. "Domestic Violence is my plus one"

Art for me using reclaimed wood and batiks

Nature escapes, to remind us of the beauty that awaits us.


We made it through the giant snow that never came!



There is nothing like breathing that freshness and seeing the beautiful, fresh coating of fine snow to remind us that there is a reason for the four seasons. My island bones can't adjust to this, not even after almost twenty two years worth of seasons but I look forward to it and the joy that it can bring.


Seasons remind us of how far we have come as we wear our lessons, triumphs and failures deep within us; it brings us perspective as we navigate and mentally review where we have been for the last year (or facebook will throw it back at you). 


Mostly, I enjoy seeing how we deal with challenges from one year to the next and overcome the things we can't control. Strength, perseverance and cheer stubborness educates everything I do personally. With each season I aim to break away from routine, boredom and negative rethoric. I know many that do as well. 


It's is liberating to follow the path of your own seasons, taking one step at a time and challenging ourselves to be more curious than we were ever before. We have no choice but to be molded by the natural seasons, hoping that when we come through, our stubborness would have paid off. 


I have been blessed with an incredible amount of work this year (I'm so grateful) and while I enjoy the many joys of social media, I have continued to self-ban myself from places like youTube and following "famous" people. I look to the world around me to find all the inspiration I need. Frankly, I prefer it that way. Face to face human connections is my you-tube channel and the great, funny human connections I have been a part of this year, are a true testament to that; we need to interact face to face more. 


Always, follow your seasons, even if you don't know the joys of winter.


Top created by JM, Quilted by Free Spirit Designs by Maday. Many thanks to my family for coming out to photograph and help me hold this giant, king sized quilt.


Cheers, Love & Stubborness!






Sharing from Midwest Fiber Arts Trails website from November 28, 2016

Maday Delgado: A free spirited quilter

by Jennifer Wilder | Nov 28, 2016 | Midwest Fiber Arts TrailsQuilting

Dear Friends,maday28


A force of personality, Maday is passionate about her life. She approaches her sewing projects, sewing classes and community projects with equal verve and dynamism. As I’ve gotten to know Maday I’ve come to realize she’s more of a city gal; taking off on junkets to Chicago to breathe and feel the action of the city beat. These short trips are a nice punctuation to her home base in scenic central Wisconsin.

Connected to Wisconsin’s larger quilting community, Maday is a part of a new Wisconsin Pubic-TV documentary on quilting. “Treasured Quilts of Wisconsin” showcases tradition, innovation and inspiration. It airs this Tuesday, November 29, at 7:00 p.m. with follow up times through December 11. Check the schedule for online viewing after aired via TV. Maday teaches quilting and art classes at Ardyth’s Sew ‘n’ Vac in downtown Baraboo and also at Nancy’s Notions in Beaver Dam, WI. Currently, she’s teaching a wildly popular ‘Barn Quilt Class’ which is a fusion of a fusion of painting, woodworking and quilting! Click here for details on registration for December 12th class.

Giving back to her community

In February, 2015, Maday and her family launched Free Spirit Sewing Machine Project in the Baraboo, Sauk County area. Feeling that family and consumer science classes have become a lower priority in the education system, Maday sought to create awareness and provide opportunity for students and adult community members who would like to learn to sew. After all, “it’s a skill we need; we all wear clothes.” Here’s Maday’s philosophy and reason for giving back to her community:

“Sewing has become an integral part of my daily life and I want to ensure that others have access to the tools that have so positively impacted my life. Making these available in the community has become my main focus.”

According to the project, the Baraboo Public Library was the first recipient of three brand new Janome sewing machines. The library is a great resource in the Baraboo community and creative programs are in the works for this summer. In early summer 2015, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Sauk/Baraboo received a new Janome sewing machine to be used in the club. They also were the recipients of art supplies and scrapbooking die-cut machines. The third recipient was the Lodi High School Music Department as they prepared for their next production, Shrek. The donated machine was put to good use! The fourth recipient, who received the sixth machine, was S. Joseph School’s Art Department where the Janome will join their creative space. In December 2015, Maday and her family presented Sauk County Libraries with three brand new sewing machines.  In April, 2016, two sewing machines were given to Kent District Library in Michigan. The list keeps growing! Keep up with the Free Spirit Sewing Machine Project here.

Welcome to my favorite sewing time of the year!


There is nothing like the first snowfall of the season, hot chocolate and our all time favorite holiday movie Elf, to help us jump start the celebrations!


Elizabeth Hartman’s Frances Firefly pattern is a joy to work with and lent itself to the oversized reading pillow my young, voracious reader requested months ago. Any project that helps to encourage and foster a love of reading, it’s ok in my book no matter the season. The pillow is also the perfect size for road trips and beginner friendly.




About the Project:


For this oversized reading pillow, I chose the small pet bed insert from Pellon for its size and surprising strength; it’s easy to clean, super fluffy and showcased the firefly beautifully. The finished firefly panel and pillow form are the same size and that is a bonus!


With a little bit of planning and labeling of all your pieces, the firefly construction should be a breeze. Can you spot the free spirited background triangle that does not match the background color? Yep, make sure you have enough of your favorite print BEFORE you start working on your firefly!

Oversized Reading Pillow Supply List:


Janome Skyline 9

¼” piecing foot, walking foot

Elizabeth Hartman’s Frances Firefly Pattern (See pattern for specific firefly fabric requirements)

Pellon Small Pet Bed Insert 20”x 30”

Batting: 21 ¼ x 30”

Envelope pillow fabric: Cut 2 -  21” ¼ x 38”

Firefly panel fabric borders: lower border 3 ¾” x 30”, upper border, 5 ½” x 30”

Iron/seam ripper/scissors

Aurifil cotton Thread - Gray





  1. Construct your Frances Firefly per Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern. To keep myself organized I placed a folding table next to my Janome S9 machine, laid out all of my pieces, sewed each section and then returned to the lineup.





  1. Add borders to the firefly panel, 5 ½” x 30” top, 3 ¾” x 30” bottom.



You might like the borders to match your background fabric. Add your own flare by selecting your favorite color combination (s).

  1. Quilt your block using your favorite technique




I quilted the block directly onto my batting piece using the walking foot and gray Aurifil thread.


  1. Create the pillow envelope

The envelope format saves time and can easily be removed for washing. There are always a few yards of fabrics around the studio that I save for this purpose. I love mismatched fabrics because to me there is no such thing as fabrics “that don’t go together.” Besides, children will love almost anything you make for them so go for it, use what you have, make do and surprise yourself!


  • Fold the envelope pieces in half, wrong sides together and place on the right side of the firefly panel. Match the raw edges of your folded envelope pieces with the raw edges of the quilted panel. Sew all the way around and reinforce the seams by backstitching over the area where the panels overlap. If you have a serger this would be a great time to add that beautiful finishing touch or add zigzag to prevent fraying.



You can expect a 3 ½” overlap between the pieces and I find it to be a nice alternative to adding velcro or buttons :)


Below - Inside and outside view of finished pillow envelope panels









I had a lot of fun working on this project and am thrilled to have one unique christmas gift completed for my young reader. If you love Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern but are pressed for time, this pillow is a great alternative and you will want to make more than one!


I wish you all Happy New beginnings. Try something new, spread cheer and find the time to re-energize what makes you, you. Cheers!



Happy December !


To say that I'm far behind with posting about the fun events we have had would be an understatement. So here I'm pretending to catch up and that is ok too.


The Barn Quilt painting classes, (no you do not need to own a barn to attend) have been received so positively that there is no way not to backtrack to show you the progress and the beauty. The ladies have done a phenomenal job! Gentlemen are of course welcomed to attend. 


The truth is we are having such fun getting to know each other from different places in Wisconsin and beyond through paint and design. I'm learning so much about drafting with the old fashioned pencil and paper on wood and translating some of the designs into fabric quilt blocks. 


I would like to thank everyone that has shared, liked, supported and taken my classes this year. I can't say it enough. Your support through these classes allow me to continue the Free Spirit Sewing Machine Project with more opportunities to  support worthy causes in our communities. I can't do it all alone, I have tried. So Thanks again for joining me in this crazy "paint the towns" mission of mine.


Barn Quilt painting class - October 2016

Barn Quilt painting Class - November 2016



Our next Class is December 12! Email me for details. 

Come join us if you can. A few spots are still available. No painting experience is needed to attend and we always have a great time, besides, there will be cookies and your design will be all set when you get there. All you have to do is add your own artistic touch and have fun leaving behind the little stress of the holidays. 


Love to all!

Be good to another and do the best you can.