Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Simply Elegant Border For Your Quilts

This is one of my silk dupioni quilts, "A Mid Summer Night's Dream".  I love this quilt.  It was a joy and challenge to design and stitch all of the appliques. Then to finish it, I created a border using Curvalicious.  I added concentric circles to the border and inside of it is rick rack, embellished with sequins and seed beads. It is an elegant finish.
Using my Curvalicious tool made it pretty easy.
I also used it to add a ice touch to this disappearing 4 patch quilt.
With this quilt, the border comes to a point, or what I call a cat's eye in the corners.
The look of the corners depends on how the curvalicious border is placed.

If you're like me, usually when I finish making the body of a quilt top, the goal is to be done.  So, I just add a border that fits with the piecing.  The goal is to just get it quilted either myself  or by sending it out to the longarmer.  A light bulb went on one day and I thought about using Curvalicious to create an inner border.  I tried it and it worked!
Adding a Curvalicious border is simple and takes just a bit more time and you end up with an elegant frame for your quilt. You can use it with or without circles and the stitching is done before the border is added to the body of the quilt.  I have been sharing this border tip when I demo at quilt shows and have been asked exactly how I do it.  So I made a video. (That sounds much easier than it really is!)  Click on the arrow to watch.

I hope you find it helpful. 
And if you decide you want to see all the other fun things you can do with Curvalicious, click HERE.
I keep updating the Curvalicious website,

Friday, June 17, 2016

I've Been On The Road

I shared my new lecture last night with The Village Quilters of Catonsville, MD. It was their end of the year meeting and the tables were beautifully decorated. It was a potluck lunch that had 2 long tables of savory and 2 long tables of sweets. Yes, SWEETS!!! I began to salivate.

There was one tiny issue. It was warm and the air conditioning units were stolen the night before. Everyone had makeshift fans and thankfully there was some air flow. I was so glad I wore deodorant.

The title of my new talk is "Turn Travel Into Treasures ". It was the perfect talk for their end of the year meeting and the beginning of many summer vacations. Lots of my quilts were inspired by my travels, both near and far. It was a walk down memory lane, looking through my quilts and photos, while preparing this lecture.

My quilts fell into two categories. There are realistic quilts - those that look the inspiration and the other are quilts that are more abstract. Photos of lots of wrought iron from a trip to Barcelona



were the inspiration for "Filigree Fantasy".

The ladies loved my travel books. This one I made after our trip to Israel.

That's the cover. This is a peek at the inside.I use Pelltex to make it stiff so that it stands.

This is a travel book I created after a bike n barge trip in Holland.

I like using an interesting shape for the cover. For this book it was inspired by the amazing buildings in Amsterdam.

This is a peek at the inside.

I like including some type of map in each book to document the places that were visited. Here's the map from Holland.

Each location we visited is named and can you see the bicycles that I printed on organza? I also used the blue and white fabric that I bought at the market in Amsterdam.

When I create these books after a trip, it helps me to revisit the vacation and cement the memories. Instead of all the photos stored on my camera or in the cloud, they are a visible reminder.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Quilt Guild Meeting Today

The second Wednesday of the month is the day of the monthly meeting of my quilt guild, Calico Cutters. We meet in West Chester, PA. It's an awesome group of women who have supported me through this wonderful journey, becoming an author, designer, instructor and now ruler designer. They have a very special place in my heart.

I am Program Chair. I feel it's important to volunteer when you belong to an organization, even tho my free time is limited. Most months we have a nationally known speaker. Today our speaker was Jane Davila from CT. She's a surface designer.

Yesterday we held a workshop focused on stamp making. It was so much fun, although my carving skills left a bit to be desired. I did end up making a stamp that I loved. I stamped it in 2 different directions on silk.

Here are some of Janes samples. They are gorgeous.

Today was our regular meeting and Jane gave an excellent and informative talk about elements of design. Here are some of her little quilts. (You can read more about her at (


Sometimes I get a surprise bonus at the meetings. During Show &Tell, I see items that were created with one of my patterns or my techniques. It is so rewarding.


I love the fussy cut butterfly circles, Lee.

The next photos were created in my Mini Mosaic Workshop.





I'm heading to the mountains for another Mosai Pet Retreat. I can't wait to meet my new students.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

So Excited! It's Here!!!!

I am so excited.  My newest Curvalicious pattern is now done, printed and available for purchase!
 It's called "Fishalicious" and I am so thrilled with it.
I had so much fun designing it.  It brought back memories of my one son's childhood. When he was 11, we were on vacation in Key West, staying at a Hilton. He decided he wanted to take a scuba diving lesson that was offered at the hotel.None of us knew how to scuba, but he wanted to do it.  He took the lessons and then went out on a boat with his instructor and my husband as a chaperone.  He had a blast.  So for his Bar Mitzvah gift from us, he asked for a very unusual gift. He wanted to become a certified scuba diver. He found a school outside of  Atlanta and he was determined.  We put him on an airplane at 13 years old and he returned a week later with his certification.  
What a special kid! 
I used Curvalcious to create all of the  waves, the  ocean floor and the plant life on the left side. The pattern includes a 2 page full size newsprint layout.  
 with lots of colorful figures included in the directions.

The top edge is Curvalicious wavy and there are lots of quilting details for the appliques.

I know a bunch of you have added your own touches to Beachalicious and I think this pattern is perfect for the same treatment.  You can change the colors of the fish, add different fish, leave out fish and if you're a crab lover, there's plenty of room for that too.  
Or you could even add your own scuba diver!
I love seeing your creativity and how you alter my patterns!

So will you add this to your list of Curvalicious quilts to make?
Or will this motivate you to finally purchase a Curvalicious tool?
Either way, know that your success is important to me and I will offer as much support as I can, with more patterns, tutorials and videos in the works on the Curvalicious website;
and to purchase any of my patterns or the Curvalicious tool, visit my Etsy shop.
If you want to be among the first to be notified of new patterns, tutorials and videos, sign up for the Curvalicious newsletter using the sign up box located on the right side bar of this blog.
HINT: a new video is in production that will change how you do borders

So, this one is for you Roger!

Monday, May 23, 2016

3 Days Fly By

The May Mosaic Pet Retreat is over. It's truly amazing how fast 3 days fly by. Quilters who arrive as strangers leave as friends.


The subjects of the quilts were 2 dogs and one cat. It's amazing to see them come to life. What I find so fascinating is that each quilter lives something special about their pet, that makes their portrait so special. For one, it was the wisps of fur that extended from the cat's ear, another, it was the tilt of the dog's head and how the ears were attached to the dogs ear. To another it was the lipstick kiss put on the dog's head by her niece.

Here are some photos as the quilts progressed.


The start of Mittens, the cat.

We can see Mitten's ears.


Starting to piece the first section. The shrinkage using a 1/4" seam allowance is amazing.

Here's the start of Fannie Mae, a mastiff.

I just love how the head is cocked. It really shows her personality - the dog that is!

Starting with lots of background squares is a bonus when starting to lay out the squares. It's a great confidence booster. It all depends on the photo.

Mary brought these straight pins she had made. They were perfect for marking the rows. I use Post Its.

Thanks Mary, Caroline and Mary for trusting me to take you on this journey and letting me get to know you and your beloved pet.

I have lofty goals for all of my attendees. What do you think about an exhibit of our quilts? Maybe in 2018? That would give you more than a year to finish. So if you have come to one of my retreats, you better get working, except of course for Cheryl K. She finished hers right away.

If you are interested,visit and click on the mosaic quilt of my dog, Bailey. There is one spot open in about 2 weeks, June 9-12th. The next one won't be until May of 2016, and there are only 2 spots left.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Mini Mosaics Magic

It's quite an amazing day when there is a room full of 23 quilters that love my new technique for making mini mosaics. I'm always a little skeptical about the reception for a technique that uses tweezers and 3/8" squares of fabric.

But this was a group of my peeps! My fellow guild members. Even one who made a comment that I was crazy, a few months ago when I wrote about my Mini Mosaics on my blog. I knew they would be honest with me. So I was over the moon when the comments ranged from "it's addicting" to "this was the best workshop I've ever taken" to " this would be so much fun to do with my grandkids".

Here are some photos:

I was working on a psychedelic Bailey before the workshop. Thanks to the energy of my fellow quilters, I couldn't wait to go home and finish it. It looks just like her except it's in technicolor.

Show & Tell next month at our guild meeting is going to be so exciting. I think there will be lots of finished projects. Woo Hoo!

And even more good news is that everyone will be able to learn about it in a future issue of Quilting Arts, coming out this summer. I'll keep you posted. But of course I'm always available to teach you in person at your quilt guild.