Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Really Slow Stitching

Have you seen any of the La Passacaglia quilts? They are all over the Internet. They are so intricate, I never thought I could/would make one. It's English paper piecing and done by hand!! I joined a Facebook group where people started posting their rosettes and quilts in progress. A few had even finished their quilt AFTER TWO YEARS!! I started to think that maybe I could make one. I was so intrigued. Then the bits and pieces and the book needed to start showed up on Massdrop- the most enticing community buying website. I pulled the trigger.

Then I enticed two of my friends to join in the insanity. Today was our first stitching get together. This is what we showed up with! There's a lot of fussy cutting.

Are you wondering where is the third start of a rosette? She did bring her fabric. Hahaha.

We are going to get together once a month and stitch. It's all done by hand. I don't even know how to pronounce it, so most people just call it La Passa and so will I. If you want to take a look at the madness, Check out this link:


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New York Beauty

Last year Linda Hahn visited our guild. I took her workshop, Buffalo Bubblegum, from her book New York Beauty Diversified. I've always wanted to make a NY Beauty. It is my home state and I always admired the quilts made by Karen Stone.

Linda's method simplified the construction of this complicated looking block.

Since the start of my love affair with dupioni silk, I have tried to push my boundaries and use it in as many different types of quilts that I create. I've made traditional, contemporary, art and modern quilts. This was another opportunity to use my silk stash in another way. I finished a few blocks in the workshop and today I reacquainted myself with the project. You know how it goes. What size blocks do I cut? Which fabric was I using for what? How many blocks have I made and what size quilt was I planning?

My goal was to have a fun day sewing. Quilting has become more of a business than a hobby for me. This entails spending time doing business kinds of things intermixed with creating quilts. Sometimes it's more of one than another. Since returning from Key West, there's been a lot of business - stocking up, shipping, writing proposals as well as an article for Quilting Arts- which I am so excited about.

Now that I have my NY Beauty project organized, I work on it in when I find myself with bits if time or when I need to have some fun!

Speaking of business, tomorrow night or tonight depending when you are reading this, I'm heading back to my old stomping ground , Bridgewater, NJ for a lecture for the Pieced Together Quilters. Flemington, NJ was the location of our last home. Bridgewater Commons was our shopping mall. The topic of my talk is Personalizing Your Quilt. I'm excited to be sharing my 2012 journal quilt called Wednesday's Wanderings. It was a labor of love and a chronicle of a year in my life and I used every technique that I have ever learned and then some. A bonus - it helps to remind me of the year. If you're in the area, stop on by.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Quilter From Down Under

The Lancaster Modern Quilt Guild was clever enough to snag Sarah Fielke for a presentation. She was teaching at the AQS Lancaster Quilt Show. It was a brilliant move and she was brilliant. From opening a quilt shop in Australia called Material Obsession to writing many books yo designing a couple of fabric lines, she was engaging and fascinating.

She does not like to be labeled a Modern Quilter or a Traditional Quilter or an Art Quilter. She says she's just a quilter.

She brought a beautiful bunch if quilts, but my favorites were those inspired by antique quilts.


Thanks Sarah and thanks LMQG.

It was a great way to cap off my visit to Lancaster and the AQS show. I'll share photos of some quilts and my purchases tomorrow.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy International Quilting Day


This is a copy of an email that I sent out to my email list. I apologize if it's a copy. If you want to receive emails from me directly, sign up on my blog.

Dear Quilting Friends,

Grab a piece of paper and a pen. It's time to start making your lists - both for quilt shows to watch and quilt classes to take. Read on for more info.

This is the cover of my first book. It was published in 2010. It was such an exciting time for me to actually have my quilts in a book. I just never thought this would happen. To promote it, my publisher, Martingale, arranged for me to do a taping on "The Quilt Show". In my opinion,it is one of the most prestigious on-line quilting shows. I was so excited as I packed my bags and headed to Boulder, Colorado for the taping and to meet the world famous hosts. I dragged my quilts as well as 2 of my friends with me! That day, I became part of their family and now I am thrilled to be able to share all of their shows with you to celebrate International Quilting Day on March 19, 2016.

The Quilt Show (, the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will "open" all of its shows from the first seventeen series--that is, from show 100 through show 1713--for the entire weekend of March 18 –20. That means that—for three special days—everyone will have the chance to view these 221 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE.

I appeared as the featured artist in show 811. If you didn't have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you'll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in this unprecedented three-day offer.

In addition to being able to binge watch the shows featuring so many famous quilters, there is also a contest with over $11,000 in prizes featuring a Grand Prize of a Bernina 570QE - my favorite brand of sewing machine.

I hope that you'll share this information with all of your quilting friends. It's a fantastic opportunity to enjoy three days of learning and fun without leaving your home…all for free. Really, it's free - no strings attached!

3 Day Quilting Getaway

Also, this summer I will be returning as a teacher to the Mid Appalachian Quilters, a 3 day retreat at Mt St Mary's College in Emmittsburg, MD. It's not far from Gettysburg, PA. I'll be teaching 3 classes. This retreat is full immersion quilting, living in the dorms and eating and stitching with many other friendly quilters.

I'll be teaching 3 classes - silk applique, my Convertible Backpack and hands on fabric dyeing. I love spending so much time with my students and so many other talented teachers.

It's a great price for a bunch of great classes. Registration begins this Saturday, March 19, at 9:00AM. Don't hesitate. Some classes fill up fast.

The website is:

Do something nice for yourself. Expand your creativity tool box. Watch a show or sign up for a class. You won't regret it.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

An Experience and an Experiment

I walk at Ridley Creek State Park almost every morning, when I'm in town, with a very special friend of mine. Today she ditched me for golf with her husband. I wasn't a happy camper, but Bailey and I bit the bullet and walked ourselves. It became a walk in the woods instead of a chat with a friend where we solve all the problems of the world.

Ridley is a wonderful place and we are so lucky to have it in our backyard. Our walk is a 5 mile loop and it has been the inspiration for a few quilts over the years. Many people live it as much as we do. Since no leaves are on the trees yet, there's lots to see.

People like to decorate the trees. At Christmastime, one person puts an ornament on a tree and then others follow suit leading to a very festive tree and a nice surprise each morning to see the new addition.

The trees in wintertime are the perfect models for creating drawings or quilts of trees.

This is my favorite trees in the park. I can't wait each year for the colorful berries.

There are houses in the park. Don't you love this mailbox?

Speaking of houses, it used to be an estate of Mr. Jeffers, who lived in the mansion. I'm guessing the other houses in the park were where some of the workers lived. Some of the houses have been taken care of and some of them have not.



There are lots of old stone houses in this area. I love them and always wanted to own one until I realized the expense of the upkeep and the lack of modern conveniences. So a bunch of years ago, I created my own stone house/farm that I named Willoway- A Folk Art Farm.

It's as close as I will get, and that's OK.

So now to my experiment that has nothing to do with the park. I usually don't wet my silk dupioni quilts, but recently I needed to block one. It was seriously wonky. Unfortunately, some bleeding occurred. I wanted to find out which of the silks ran. I took a square of all of the colors that I own and fused them to a whole piece of cotton.

I wet it and let it dry. Nothing happened! Not one fugitive dye. I figured that was because it dried too quickly. With a quilt, it takes longer to dry because of the batting.

So the next time I wet it, I placed it on a wet towel so that it took a long time to dry. Voila! Bleeding. And it was interesting. It was the beautiful violets and the hot pink. Not the red. These would be fabrics where a red dye would be used along with another color dye. I'm not an expert dyer, but from what I know it could be attributed to striking, or which dye attached to the fabric first.

My next experiment will be to try and remove the excess red dye from the offending silks before I put it in a quilt.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Color Inspiration

Look what arrived today!

It's a fat quarter bundle. I love these fabrics with the graphic triangles and the colors are just beautiful.They're from a line called Prism Elements by Art Gallery Fabrics. I have a Curvalicious project in mind. I'm waiting for some hardware to arrive to do some experimenting.

Are there colors that make your heart sing? I have this piece of Kaffe Fassett fabric that I often use as a focus fabric.

For those of you that aren't quilters, a focus fabric comes in handy for choosing colors for a quilt. Sometimes I use the focus fabric in the quilt and other times, it's just my inspiration. I have used this fabric many times, mostly in small amounts.

I made this quilt about 10 years ago. It's called "Wheels" and was inspired by puddles and bicycle wheels. The background is white silk dupioni and the rings were cut out if cotton.

This quilt is called "Fractured". You can see bits of my favorite fabric need the center if some of the blocks. That's the only cotton. The rest is silk dupioni. I was making liberated log cabin blocks and when I put them in my design wall, they didn't do anything for me. After a few days I took each block and sliced it into uneven quarters. Then I like it!

This is a quilt top that I made for a talk at the Daytona AQS show. You can see the Kaffe fabric crossing in the dark grey fabric. Every single fabric color is represented by the linear curves.

So wasn't I surprised when it dawned on me that the colors in my sneakers were the same colors too!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Inspiration Is Everywhere

While in Daytona for the quilt show, we rented a house. This was really for Bailey, because if we left her alone in a hotel room, she would either bark or cry. It was only 10 minutes from the convention center. There are many bridges over the water to get there and we would drive over one from the International Raceway Rd. I noticed that there were mosaic aquatic scenes interspersed along the bridge. So we left early one morning before the show opened, so I could walk across the bridge and take some photos.







These are perfect to study the placement of the tiles. These tiles are glass and I have plenty of inspiration for my next Fabric a Mosaic quilt.