Lectures (QuiltCon post #5b)

As I said the other day, we attended lectures almost almost all day on Saturday. I am not sure why I signed up for such a marathon, but with one exception they were all very good.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

My new hero. Have I said I want to be her new BFF? Actually I want to be her: tall, gorgeous, funny, kind and makes 14-20 quilt tops a week.

VFW’s lecture was called Creativity & Play/Process. This was a new lecture for her, so we were getting the unpracticed version. It wasn’t that she didn’t do a  good job; she did. She just wasn’t as familiar with the flow of the words. Any of you who speak frequently in front of a crowd know how it is to work out the kinks on a new lecture.

To her, process and play are the same. Process should not stifle your creativity or imagination. We are often trained out of using our intuition, which means that we don’t know how to use intuition in our work. She encouraged us to think about and document how we work, think about the colors we always buy then rip the process apart and see what comes from changing it up.

She encouraged the audience to put a story into the quilt in order to make a connection with the quilt.

Having an idea in our heads doesn’t mean that the quilt will end up that way, which means we have to be open minded in our quiltmaking. You can always make them into something else by cutting them up or appliqueing on top or….?

Making creative decisions means you are an artist (NO arguing with me or her about that!), which, further, means we are all artists.

The next section of the talk was interesting. She discussed types of creative people. Her types were:

  • Creative Self Doubter
  • The Creative Starter Junkie
  • The Creative Rule Abider
  • The Creative Free Spirit

One of the things she asked after describing these creative types was which one we thought we were. As she described the types I kept thinking I was this one or that one, then I realized I had elements of all of them in me. I panicked a little until she said she had elements of all in her, too.

Some of the overarching themes I gleaned when she described the types were:

  • let go, there is always more fabric
  • If you aren’t having fun, find a new passion. Life is too short and we are all just doing our best.
  • Making mistakes is a learning experience.
  • We are all perfect in our imperfections.
  • Stand up and show your quilt at your guild meeting. That is the only way to find your tribe
  • Play like children play. They don’t know where the story is going, but they start playing anyway
  • Chaos and creating go together
  • Not all great ideas are great, but why not explore them?
  • Quilts don’t always happen on your timetable.
  • The more you work on a project and come back to it, the more it tightens up
  • Surround yourself with creative people
  • consider the following strategy for people who give unsolicited opinions:
    • You hear it
    • You decide if its accurate
    • Let it go
  • The more quilts you make the better you get at making them
  • Slow down. Sit with the pattern or your sketchbook awhile longer. Sitting in the process awhile longer helps you make more connections
  • Look for opportunities to learn
  • Repeat techniques you learn so you can really master it
  • think about what else you can do with a technique – something different than the teacher taught
  • Make time; break it down into little morsels of time
  • Every quilt is awesome. Your life will not end if the quilt isn’t awesome. Cut it up, change it, add something to it

I liked her advice and thinking about what she was saying. I realized that I did cut up a quilt once: the Renewed Jelly Roll Race. It was horrible and now it is actually a quilt I am not embarrassed to show people.

Gwen Marston


If you haven’t seen her speak, get there NOW! If you haven’t taken a workshop from her, do whatever it takes to get into her class. She is awesome.

You might remember that I took a 2 day workshop from her around 2003. I made the Women’s Work quilt, which is still part of a series that I haven’t worked on any further. I will do it; I just haven’t yet.

Gwen Marston is a funny, confident speaker. She engages with the audience very well. I felt mesmerized and riveted by her talk.

She will have a book out in August, A Common Thread, which will be retrospective of her work. [Pre-order now and support the blog by clicking on the title.]

She started making quilts when she saw a quilt show at a Mennonite church in Oregon.  After that she went to the quilt group every week the whole year her family spent in Oregon. She only stopped going after er husband;s sabbatical was over and they returned to Michigan. She left with the knowledge to make quilts.

After that she got together with Mary Schafer. They both liked the irregularity of antique quilts and thought newer quilts seemed too coordinated and matchy-matchy. Antique quilts seemed spontaneous. She decided to model her quilts after vintage quilts.

Gwen wants spontaneity in her quilts. She embraced possibilities. She thinks good technique is important, but that an overabundance of concern about precision stifles creativity. She wants her quilts to be square with no ruffly edges.

When she makes a new quilt, she thinks about it as making up a new recipe – she gives herself parameters. She works a lot in solids, but also works with prints.

Gwen also talked about ghost blocks. These are blocks, or pieces of fabric that have no value change, so they disappear. Also, this concept is related to fabrics running together. When fabrics in different blocks run together, because they are the same or have the similar colors and values,they can merge into a block or piece next to them, changing the shape. Add bits and pieces to add interest and create new shapes

She kind of rocked my world about bindings. First, Gwen talked about Amish bindings. Amish bindings are on the straight of the grain. They put the sides on first and then the top and bottom. They do not miter the corners. I have never heard of this and have not checked it out. I also can’t imagine how they would finish the ends of the top and bottoms. Something to contemplate.

Then, she talked about how she uses single fold straight of the grain binding. I have always used a double fold bias binding. That was how I learned and I was always told they wear better. I was justified because I have never had a binding wear out. Gwen’s point was that if the binding wears out aren’t you going to replace the whole binding anyway? <—- Hhmmm

Gwen’s words of wisdom:

  • Do your own work and don’t worry about what other people are doing
  • Different sized blocks in one quilt add interest
  • If you try stuff, some of it will not work. That is part of the game/process. Take a chance!
  • Think about the practical or smart way to do something not the ‘right’ way.

I think I have a couple of more posts in me about random QuiltCon things, so stay tuned for those.


You might remember the review I wrote on Kathy Doughty’s Adding Layers book. After I wrote that review, I decided that I would make the Super Nova pattern included in the book. I wanted to make something fast and the pieces were big, so I thought it would be a quick top.



I had to rip out almost every seam at least once. It was so frustrating. After a break because of travel and Quiltcon, my quilting muscle definitely needed a workout. I got back to it and finished the top yesterday.

The back is still to come, but I am glad I am back on the sewing bandwagon.

The other problem is that we can’t take photos of large quilts without the YM anymore and I make large quilts. That is what I do. This time we tried doing it with blue tape holding up one side and DH holding the other. It was ok, but without the Young Man, we really don’t have enough wingspan to photograph large quilts.

Lectures (QuiltCon post #5)

On Saturday, I think, we attended lectures almost all day. I am not sure why I signed up for such a marathon, but with one exception they were all very good.

Mary Fons

Mary Fons
Mary Fons

First off, we were 5 minutes late for Mary Fons. The lecture started at 9am and I could have used a lie in that morning. They started, apparently, right on time, thus we were late. I thought she did a good job talking about quilt history. It wasn’t a perfect lecture, but she did a good job discussing most of the history of the modern quilt revival such as the Whitney exhibit and the effect of the Bicentennial. Included was mention of a variety of cultural issues/discussion that are relevant to quiltmaking such as gender in quiltmaking (do men get more attention in a female dominated environment), how feminism relates to quiltmaking (it’s ok to put a casserole in the freezer and go to a retreat) while giving a brief overview of the resurgence of quiltmaking. The late 1980s and the 1990s, a huge time for art quiltmaking, rise of shows, guilds and tools was not discussed as much.  There was a discussion of the increase in TV shows, especially on PBS such as the groundbreaking Georgia Bonesteel show, Sewing with Nancy and, of course Fons & Porter.

She threw out some statistics,w hich I have heard before, but continue to floor me:

  • 78% of US quiltmakers have at least a college education
  • 21 million quiltmakers in the US
  • $4 billion industry. FOUR BILLION!!!
  • The major companies in the industry are dominated by men

In general, throughout the lectures, there was a repeated suggestion for modern quiltmakers to look to the traditional quiltmakers (who are finding their way to modern guilds) and to learn from them. There was a constant reminder that the fabric used doesn’t impact the skill set. I heard it at this lecture first, but then throughout the conference as well. I thought that was very nice and speaks to some of my concerns about the exclusionary nature of the modern quilt movement.

Libs Elliot

Libs Elliott was not on my radar until I heard about her from Kathleen and found out that LE is teaching at the Make It Modern Event in Reno in June. I didn’t know what to make of her. I am really excited about her now.

Libs Elliot is an excellent speaker. She started off her talk with some comments about her family, telling us she is Canadian and grew up outside of Toronto. I got the impression she still lives near there. Her parents are antique dealers which provided a nice segue into her thoughts about objects, including quilts, having secret lives, they all have stories. She also said that when we make something, we are leaving our own marks and should feel a sense of pride.

As an aside, thinking about the ‘lives’ of objects is an interesting concept to me. I like thinking about what the objects have seen and whether they absorb the history of where they have been. Kind of like Ashakic Records, but for objects.

For her the past is calm and the future is exciting. Ms. Elliott likes clear simple lines. She enjoys using new tools and thinking about ways to use technology. She is particularly interested in the intersection of technology and traditional craft.

Creating designs using a computer code generator is an interesting concept to me. Some might think it takes all the work of the artist out of it, but there are still a lot of decisions to make: color, design modifications, size, fabrics.

Elliott explained the process very well, incorporating that into the trajectory of her quilt career. Her lecture clearly showed how she was moving forward within the space of creating quilt designs with code.

The message I got was “never be afraid to ask”.

Scrap Management Panel

The good thing about this lecture was that it was a panel and we got to hear about the different ways people deal with their scraps. I wasn’t able to appreciate the people who have one bookshelf full of fabric. I may have too much fabric, but they don’t have enough. JMO, of course. The members of the panel were Mary Fons, Christa Watson and Judy Gauthier. It was moderated by Rossie Hutchinson.

You can see a picture of the panel on Christa’s site.

Another good thing about this lecture was that I found Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. The owner, Judy Gauthier,  was a fireball, a great marketer and an inveterate scrap quilt maker. She has a new book, Quilts for Scrap Lovers out by C&T. She has written a number of quilt books and guides. I was only able to take a quick peek at the new book. Go and buy it anyway. She was awesome.

As you can imagine, methods of dealing with scraps run the gamut. Mary does not usually use whole lines. She stores in scraps by color in an old, but refurbished dry goods cabinet and a large rattan basket. She also advises not to buy what you think you should buy, She encouraged the audience to love what you buy.

Mary also talked about the ‘precious fabric problem’. If you have fabrics that you love and pet and don’t want to cut into, put them on the back of a quilt for you. You will be able to enjoy them more. She encouraged the audience to enjoy your fabrics by using them.

Christa is a minimalist. Her philosophy is Know It, Use It, Love It. I can appreciate that sentiment since I buy fabric to use. She cleared out her fabric sometime in the recent past and has one large cabinet for fabric storage. Christa buys and uses a lot of tone-on-tones. She also buys pre-cuts because she can use them up quickly and get a scrappy look easily.

Judy’s philosophy is buy as much as you can and keep as much as you can. She stores her scraps by color. She does believe that the fabric should move you.

Rossie put her two cents in as well and says she destashes scraps. She encouraged people to let go of fabric with which you are finished. She said to buy what you use and don’t be influenced by trends and formulas. Her theme was ‘admire don’t acquire’.

There was a discussion of pre-washing with a mini poll during the lecture. Pre-washers like me are definitely in the minority. Mary led this short segment and said she now pre-washes everything. She reminded us that there are good reasons for pre-washing and also for not pre-washing. We were also reminded that pre-washing=pre-shrinking and if you wash some fabrics for a quilt you should wash them all so they don’t shrink differently.

Christa pre-washes, though she doesn’t pre-wash her pre-cuts. She loves to iron yardage and enjoys touching her fabric.

The panel also discussed caring for your fabric:

  • keep fabric out of the sun. Sun is the enemy
  • wood ‘leaks’ oils and will discolor/damage your fabric
  • use acid free paper to protect fabric from sun and wood

There was also a discussing of building a stash. Judy reminded people to buy colors that make you feel good and makes you happy. Be selfish and buy fabric that speaks to you physically. Also, buy the best fabric you can afford. One great tip was to figure out what YOUR basics are and keep those in stock. As part of this discussion there was a thread about using fabric.

  • Take a photo in black and white to check contrast
  • Offset prints with solids (or tone-on-tones)
  • Contrast is relative: white makes buttercream yellow look dark.
  • Contrast can be a problem even when colors and patterns are great.

The panel left us with the admonition to USE OUR FABRIC!!

See part 2 of my report on the lectures.

Creative Prompt #352: Chicken

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

Everyone needs a pincushion and wouldn’t a chicken pincushion make you smile?

Don’t be a chicken!

Chicken pox

chicken pox vaccine

chicken pot pie

Definition: “The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the red junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, with a population of more than 19 billion in 2011,[1] there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird or domestic animal. Humans keep chickens primarily as a source of food, consuming both their meat and their eggs.

Genetic studies have pointed to multiple maternal origins in Southeast-, East-,[2] and South Asia, but with the clade found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa originating in the Indian subcontinent. From India, the domesticated chicken was imported to Lydia in western Asia Minor, and to Greece by the fifth century BC.[3] Fowl had been known in Egypt since the mid-15th century BC, with the “bird that gives birth every day” having come to Egypt from the land between Syria and Shinar, Babylonia, according to the annals of Thutmose III.[4][5][6]” (Wikipedia)


CHICKEN is a compiler for the Scheme programming language. It produces portable and efficient C and supports the R5RS and R7RS

chicken soup

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Chicken, Alaska

Chicken Run (2000 movie)

Chicken is an NPC in World of Warcraft. This NPC can be found in Elwynn Forest (11), Tirisfal Glades (8), Westfall (8), Northern Barrens (3), Redridge Mountains (3), Azuremyst Isle (2), Duskwood and Howling Fjord.

leghorn chicken

Steampunk Riders: Arcade Chicken Blast

IP Chicken

Chicken Chicken is a VNC client for Mac OS X.

Plymouth Rock Chicken

Chicken House Books

fried chicken

chicken and dumplings

Orpington Chicken

The Chicken Slacks: Boston’s premier performing soul and funk band!

Chicken & Egg Pictures supports women non-fiction filmmakers

The Golden Chicken serial

chicken salad

Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken

rotisserie chicken




Fun and Games (QuiltCon Post #4)

I can’t really say that this post is about Day 4 of QuiltCon, because we spent day 4 driving home. We spent little pockets of time having some fun in the vendor hall and the various rooms full of quilts, however. Some of the fun was discussed in a previous post.

A Winner from Timeless Treasures
A Winner from Timeless Treasures

I won a fat quarter pack from Timeless Treasures. The ladies at the booth were very sweet and I was sad not to be able to spend time making a donation block with them. I may see if I can make one and send it along now that I am home.

Avoid a UFO sign
Avoid a UFO sign

We got soft tacos at the convention center for lunch one day. They were very good. While waiting in line, I saw this hilarious sign. Do you think it means you will start weird projects if you drink and sew? Or that injuries might be involved?

BAM Donation Quilt with others
BAM Donation Quilt with others

I mentioned that we saw the BAM donation quilt. Michelle, the BAM organizer, wanted to see how it looked with some of the other donation quilts.

Going for a walk with an exercise bike
Going for a walk with an exercise bike

Do you know that song about how nobody walks in LA? Julie pointed out a number of these young men walking exercise bikes down the street.

Annie Smith (& Jaye)
Annie Smith (& Jaye)

I was finally able to meet up with the fabulous and unbelievably kind Annie Smith (Frances’ best friend).

Quintessential So Cal
Quintessential So Cal

I am still on the fence about some of the quilts on exhibit, but I have to say that looking at them made me look at things a little differently. I am looking at scenes and shapes and scenery with an eye towards incorporating some of the lines into future quilts. With my newfound bias binding skills, lines are easier to contemplate.

Big Star Quilt (upper left)
Big Star Quilt (upper left)

I really liked the big star quilt at the Northcott booth. One of the things I like about it is that it is a big block on a field of negative space,b ut the negative space is softened a bit by the smaller stars sprinkled around the negative space. Those smaller stars are concentrated more heavily around the large block. This whole layout is much more interesting than it would be with just that big block.

Enjoying the end of a lovely dinner
Enjoying the end of a lovely dinner

Food was a little bit of an issue for me during the conference. One of the last days, I demanded Mexican food and there was a mexican place across the street from the convention center that appeared on my GF app. We were able to spend some time with Susan, the History Quilter, and Zina, @zanymouse, who were stuffed and only wanted a drink (not food). Regardless, we were able to catch up and I was able to get to know Zina better.

Northcott Booth
Northcott Booth

I also was a little bit ridiculous at the Northcott booth.

I was sad that my dress didn’t cause a sensation in the Free Spirit booth. I think the print was a few years old and the girls at the booth were glued to their phones. Oh well, it caused a sensation everywhere else. 😉


My friend Charlotte wrote “Judges and juries can be pretty different in their ideas too.  Juries are often more concerned with what will make a good show and fitting quilts in and then judges get to choose from what the jury has given them.”

Charlotte’s comment made me feel a little better about my Fabric of the Year quilts not getting into QuiltCon. I knew the function of juries, but their job wasn’t on my radar and I was just thinking about *my* quilts not getting in. I wasn’t thinking about the overall look of the show. Thinking about the overall look of the show, I think that the jury did their job. She show was well coordinated and had good visual impact.

The question is: do I make a quilt I think will get into the show or do I continue doing what I am doing? The latter of course. I don’t want to make quilts I don’t like or quilts that use colors and fabrics that don’t appeal to me. That is a recipe for instant UFOs.

I think one idea of a show is to make a quiltmaker think. I am definitely thinking about what I saw. I have definitely been influenced by attending the show. I don’t know if what I saw will show up in some way in my work, but I think influences will.

One thing that won’t probably change is my love of complicated quilts. I have never been moved by minimalist art and translating that movement into quilts has not changed that. I don’t hate that style and will look at those pieces in a museum. I will always look at complexity and visual interest for longer.

Check out some of the QuiltCon 2016 rejects:

Flying Geese Design Thoughts

I was thinking about the design for the Flying Geese I have been getting and making for the Flying Geese swap with TFQ. We have been sending each other photos of interesting Flying Geese quilt designs.

Possible Flying Geese Design
Possible Flying Geese Design

The other day I was at In Between Stitches and I saw a version of Camille Roskelley’s Round and Round pattern. I really like the way she combined a bunch of small Friendship Stars into something fantastic. Seeing this quilt and thinking about the Flying Geese gave me an idea. Driving home from the North Coast, I sketched out an idea.

The image left is about the third draft of my design. It isn’t quite the way I want it and there are no sizes involved. Still, the Flying Geese portion is pretty much the way I want it.

Possible Flying Geese Design #2
Possible Flying Geese Design #2

I don’t want the Friendship Star blocks to be lined up the way they are in the picture above. Draft n.2 is much more asymmetrical than the picture above and more the way I would want the whole quilt.

What I don’t know yet is:

  • what sizes I will make the Friendship Star blocks
  • whether I will have half or quarter Friendship Star blocks along the border or only finished ones
  • if I will fill in more Flying Geese around the edges

Even though I have not decided to make the Flying Geese quilt, I like this idea. I get to use the Round and Round block and the Flying Geese are not lined up. For some reason that appeals to me.

EPP Progress

EPP Progress-main
EPP Progress-main

I have made a lot of progress on my English Paper Piecing project. I worked on it a bit during my recent trip to the North Coast.

I am now out of papers and basting thread, though I have more to use. I just didn’t have it with me. The papers are a bigger problem as I need to buy more or unbaste some from that big piece and reuse them. I will work on that.

Invisible Stitches from the front
Invisible Stitches from the front

I also tried a different way of stitching the sections together. I used an, supposedly, invisible stitch and I am pretty pleased with the results. The picture with the green star is one of the first tries at this invisible stitch and I can’t see the stitches. I am using Aurifil 50wt in the #2600 color, so I have thinness and a blendy color on my side. It is a bit of a pain to sew the pieces together, because you line them up side by side as they will look when finished. This makes it hard to hold them together while sewing. I can’t use WonderClips to pinch them together. I have resorted to a few stitches at critical points to hold the pieces in place and that seems to be working. I am pleased with the progress.

Back of invisible stitches
Back of invisible stitches

The back doesn’t look quite as nice. Fortunately, very few people will see the back.

In the photo, you can see my needle (towards the center of the picture by the green rabbit ear). That is how the sections, or stars, get sewn together. For the moment, I have been sticking to this method with big sections only.

I have found that using this method means that I trim more of the excess fabric, frayed threads, etc off the back.

So progress. Next on the list is to lay this on the bed and see how much more I have to make.

Donation Block Progress

Donation Blocks for Cutting Corners Ruler + a Lobster
Donation Blocks for Cutting Corners Ruler + a Lobster

It took me forever to get these donation blocks done and I am only marginally closer to having a finished quilt.

Mrs. K's Cutting Corners Quilt
Mrs. K’s Cutting Corners Quilt

These are the pieces I am going to use to try out the Cutting Corners Ruler a la Mrs. K’s quilt.

Now that I have the blocks, I have to figure out the ruler. I took a quick look and it seems to make sense. I am going to start with the sashing and decide about the checkerboard border later.

I am making a smaller quilt to start with and may use the ruler to make others later.

Cheryl’s IRR

I don’t actually have any IRRs right now and I wasn’t at the BAMQG meeting, so I couldn’t take another. I had three in quick succession, with Cheryl’s being the last before my brief hiatus. Ruth‘s and Claire‘s pieces were the other two in the trio.

Michelle and I met at Trader Joe’s again and exchanged IRRs. I took Claire’s to pass along as she wouldn’t be at the meeting either. I headed up to the North Coast again with DH for NSGW/#politicalwifery events and Michelle was headed to Spain. Rhonda was kind enough to take both bags to the meeting for us and I gave them to her at the CQFA meeting.

All of this meant that I had to get Cheryl’s done in time to get it to Rhonda. I had about a day once I figured out all of the timing, so I got down to business.

Cheryl's IRR - before
Cheryl’s IRR – before

Cheryl’s piece looked great when I got it and I was loathe to wreck it, but Michelle had added half a row, so that missing section was perfect for me to complete.

Cheryl’s piece is turning out really well. I love it, thus the feelings of avoiding wreckage. I really wanted to use the Paris map fabric, but couldn’t really fit it in once all was said and done.

I walked around with it on my design wall for a few days and decided to add some Flying Geese. Yes, I am still in love with Flying Geese.

I also needed to add my signature fabric, but I didn’t want to add a large patch or strip as I have on other pieces, because I wanted to preserve the mainly white and turquoise color story.

There were a few small strips left over from other piecing, so I pieced a few of those together to make another strip large enough to handle my signature fabric. I wanted something that would look like it fit in.

Cheryl's IRR - my part
Cheryl’s IRR – my part

I made some Flying Geese. Since those were the main parts, I started working getting Michelle’s strip completed. I added some white and a strip of the black and white stripe, which came to me after looking at the piece.

After making my piece, I think the white on the edge needs to be corralled, but someone else, or Cheryl, will have to worry about that. I am pleased with how my part came out and I think my signature fabric piece fits in well without overwhelming the whole design.


Cheryl's IRR - finished with my part
Cheryl’s IRR – finished with my part

I also think the piece needs some space at the top. The bottom is getting to be quite breezy while the top is looking a little cramped. Not fatally so, but a little. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Good things about this IRR

  • no rules about how much you have to do
  • don’t have to add much fabric

Checked Out Quilts & Vendors (Quiltcon Day 3)

Another quick post to keep you in the QuiltCon loop.

Skyline Pasadena
Skyline Pasadena

Today was our day to look at the rest of the quilts and vendors. There weren’t a ton of vendors (PIQF has more), but the vendors did have interesting stuff and there was lots of free stuff – fat quarters and charm squares. It was kind of fun, but also somewhat overwhelming.

First, we looked at quilts. As usual there was a lack of understanding of what the judges were thinking.

hoenix by Anne Sullivan of Gaithersburg, Maryland (@playcrafts)
hoenix by Anne Sullivan of Gaithersburg, Maryland (@playcrafts)

One I liked was Phoenix by Anne Sullivan of Gaithersburg, Maryland (@playcrafts). Anne gave a lecture to BAMQG at some point in the not too distant past about color.

Colorfall by Timna Tarr of South Hadley, MA (@timnatarr) was very interesting. I really liked the quilting on this piece. It did not distract from the overall design and fit in very well.

Drip by Suzy Williams, Chicago, IL, (@suzyquilts)
Drip by Suzy Williams, Chicago, IL, (@suzyquilts)

Drip by Suzy Williams, Chicago, IL, (@suzyquilts) was one of my favorites. I think it was because of the colors. I saw it from across the room and it caught my attention. I am dying to make a quilt that invokes such a sense of calm.

Falling by Kathy York of Austin, TX and the Austin Modern Quilt Guild (@kakiyark) was another favorite. The balance is good. The colors work well together. The design isn’t too fussy or complicated. There is also repetition with variety. That little bit of handwork adds something, but not a lot. I love it and am inspired to make something just as fantastic.

I also really liked Cog by Emily Cier (@cpatchwork). I have always wanted to make a Jack’s Chain quilt. This is the same pattern except in Jack’s Chain the squares are replaced by 9 patches.

Putting on the Glitz by Tami Levin of Sunnyvale, Calif. (@lemontreetami)
Putting on the Glitz by Tami Levin of Sunnyvale, Calif. (@lemontreetami)

I love the addition of the trees in Putting on the Glitz by Tami Levin of Sunnyvale, Calif. (@lemontreetami). The colors used to imply the trees are perfect on top of the Michael Miller challenge quilts.

There were some quilts I wondered about, but there were many, many more quilts that wee really interesting in some way. I did wonder about the size of some of the quilts. I thought modern quilts were supposed to be utilitarian? The small quilts, unless they were large mug rugs, did not seem to be utilitarian to me.

One of the good things about the show is that it wasn’t just about looking at quilts and buying stuff. There were manufacturers there who were not there to sell, but to market their newest lines and concepts. A couple of the manufacturers were also working with attendees to make donation quilts.

Kona’s new Color of the Year, Highlight, was the theme of the booth. In addition to all the Highlight quilts being shown, they had a color activity where you could design your own palette around Kona’s new Color of the Year. Julie created her own palette and we both received FQs for her trouble. 😉 It might be interesting to work with.

Dear Stella Selfie
Dear Stella Selfie

Timeless Treasures was making a donation quilt in their Dear Stella booth. We didn’t have a chance to stop and make a block, but we did take some time to post a selfie so we could possibly win a pack of FQs. I posted the goofy selfie above!

ALS Donation Blocks
ALS Donation Blocks

Victoria Findlay Wolfe told us about the donation quilt that Marcus Fabrics was making to provide additional funds for ALS research. We needed to sit down for a minute, so we stopped there and made some blocks. We met a fellow class member from yesterday and chatted with her about her guild, the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild.

I made two blocks and we have some pieces from the class that we can use to make more. The blocks are hand pieced and I have stuff to make more with me. I hope to find the time to do it. You know how much I support efforts make donation quilts. The fabric is the new Victoria Findlay Wolfe Manor House line. Julie and I bought a layer cake and will share it.

Jaye & Julie with donation blocks
Jaye & Julie with donation blocks

Finally we took some time to look at the vendors. There weren’t as many vendors as I expected, though others have said that there are twice as many vendors as last year. I loved seeing new and interesting fabrics (not the old stuff vendors bring to PIQF) and fun prints. I was also pleased to see Sizzix, Accuquilt, several machine manufacturers and small fabric stores like Crimson Tate.

I was thrilled when Coral messaged me asking to meet up. We met at the Marcus booth, because we were still working on our donation blocks. She was a sport in that she was willing to meet us there so we could finish. Coral is a lovely person who is a Bay Area native, but now lives in Canberra. We chatted for a few minutes, then she needed coffee and we needed to get back to our vendors.

Coral & Jaye
Coral & Jaye

It is fun to meet people I know from Instagram and Twitter.

I decided to look for some fabrics that I could mix in with my Timeless Treasures background for the VFW quilt. I won’t have enough of the original background and I want to make the design more interesting and the quilt larger. I took a piece of my fabric with me and compared it to various solids that were available. The above were some of the good choices. I also want to take a look at Moda Bella Seafoam and Moda Bella Big Chill. They look like they will work. I want the solids to blend, though, and not to stick out too much. It is a difficult problem because the TT fabric I used has a lighter fabric overlaid with a darker fabric.

Visiting QuiltCon
Visiting QuiltCon

All in all we had a fun time, met some nice people, saw some great products and quilts.


Creative Prompt #351: Cushion

This should be easy for you! You can even make a cushion!


whoopie cushion

foam cushion

Definition: “A cushion is a soft bag of some ornamental material, stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, polyester staple fiber, non-woven material, or even paper torn into fragments. It may be used for sitting or kneeling upon, or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch.[1]

A cushion is also referred to as a bolster, hassock, headrest and a sham.[2]

Cushions and rugs can be used temporarily outside to soften a hard ground. They can be placed on sunloungers and used to prevent annoyances from moist grass and biting insects. Some dialects of English use this word to refer to throw pillows as well.

The cushion is a very ancient article of furniture; the inventories of the contents of palaces and great houses in the early Middle Ages constantly made mention of them. Cushions were then often of great size, covered with leather, and firm enough to serve as a seat, but the steady tendency of all furniture has been to grow smaller with time. Today, the cushion is considered an upholstery item.

Cushions were, and are, used as seats at all events in Italy and Spain at a very much later period, and in Saint-Simon‘s time it is found that in the Spanish palace they were still regarded as a peculiarly honourable substitute for a chair. In Italy, the right to kneel upon a cushion in church behind the king was love guarded and strictly regulated, as it is learnt again from Saint-Simon. This type of cushion was called a carreau, or bird. When seats were rude and hard, cushions may have been a necessity; they are now one of the minor things of life.

Decorative cushions are likely to have a fancy cover material which are patterned style and generally used on furniture.” (Wikipedia)

cushion grip

seat cushion foam

medical cushions

cushion cover

scatter cushions

cushion cut engagement rings

M Cushion is the first fashion forward shiatsu massage cushion.

Lumi Cushion, a liquid foundation infused in an innovative sponge that delivers the perfect amount of makeup.

As your body position and shape changes, your ROHO cushion adjusts creating a safe and comfortable seating surface.

The Magical Cushion that helps children with attention deficit disorder and sensory procession issues focus better when learning.

Darma is the world’s first smart cushion that monitors your posture, sitting habits, stress level, and coaches you to sit better.

carpet cushioning

Zabuton cushions

The Cue & Cushion is a pool hall, bar, and lounge located in Hooksett, NH.

Carpet Cushion Council

meditation cushions

CPAP mask cushions

sofa cushion covers

Arctic Wire Spring Aircool Cushion

Zafu cushion

Brooks Cushion Me running shoes

wheelchair cushions

The Galaxy Cushion combines multi-cellular air technology with a patented, contouring design, shaped to fit the anatomical form.

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP

throw pillow

I Took a Class (QuiltCon Day 2)

This will be another quick post about my adventures at QuiltCon.

Quintessential Pasadena
Quintessential Pasadena

Today I was in class with Julie and Kathleen all day. We were pleased Leona was there as well. We took a class called Pies & Points from Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

Short version: she is a great teacher, I learned a lot want to buy a Sizzix Big Shot Pro. 🙂

Longer version

The class was called Pies & Points and is an updated version of a variation on the Drunkard’s Path. This pattern was popular several years ago and was called Snails Trails or something like that. I’ll look it up when I get home (if I remember). I have always wanted to make a quilt like this, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe is a great teacher and if you have the opportunity take a class from her. She was very clear. She was supportive and didn’t try to have us accomplish too much in one day. She was available, was walking around the room offering assistance and seam ripping services. VFW was also accessible and made the project accessible. She was pleasant and funny and very human. I liked her very much and want to be her BFF. She also wore leather capri pants, which were super cool.

I am not a project class person. This class kind of bordered on that type of class, but was full enough of technique that I could apply to other projects that the class worked for me. I could work within certain boundaries, but still spread my wings.

She gave a little bit of information and the Sizzix people passed out the Pies and Points die to us. We each got our own!!! I didn’t know that was going to happen and it was useful as well as exciting.

About this time, one of the QuiltCon people came in and announced that Victoria’s quilt, Mr. Swirly Bones, won Judge’s choice! We all clapped and she was very excited.

VFW showed us how to cut using the Sizzix and then how to sew the curved seams and then we got busy cutting and sewing. You can cut a lot of pieces at once, but there is still prep time for using the Sizzix. Without my normal setup, it took time to get the pieces cut.

I had a bunch of pieces cut and ready to sew, but wasn’t able to sew much before lunch. Right before lunch, I was able to sew one seam and that made me feel better.

Lunch was two hours. Very civilized IMO. We brought our lunch so wolfed it down and then went to check out the vendors and some of the quilts. There were not as many vendors as I expected, but there were manufacturers at the show giving away prizes and showing off stuff, but not selling.

The whole feeling of the show area is so light and airy. Everyone seems cheerful and there is very good energy. People seem excited to be there. I love that.

We looked at the vendors – more getting the lay of the land than shopping – and started to look at the quilts. After 1.75 hours it was time to head back to class and to sewing.

Sewing Pie Points
Sewing Pie Points

I got right down to business and started sewing. I had a lot of little pieces to sew together, but the first seams to get the middle arc were all straight seams. Once I got a few of the arcs done, I started making quarter blocks.

The class was supplied with Sizzix machines, rotary mats, rulers and cutters, irons and sewing machines. The sewing machine I was using was a Juki electronic machine. I wrote down the model, but am too lazy to go look for it. I’ll post about it later. It is a little disconcerting to use a different machine. This one kept lifting the presser foot every time I stopped the machine. It made it really hard to line up the edges of the curved seams. There was a Juki lady, Chris, who was there to help with machines and she changed a setting so I didn’t have to deal with that. I could probably learn to use that feature, but for one day I didn’t want to deal with it.

Without too much pain and suffering I made a whole block. I planned to put them together in her Snail Trails arrangement.

Whole block
Whole block

After working on the one block and looking at the options I had chosen for myself, I decided to make some of the other parts and mix it up a bit. No photos of that to share yet, but soon.

I want to work some more on this piece. I may add some different backgrounds to add interest (my idea turned out to be more boring than cool looking) and because I only have about a yard left and I’d like to make a larger quilt than a wall hanging. I also have the Sizzix problem. I do not have a Sizzix. There a few reasons I am not buying one, but the most important is that I have no place to put it. It is a desktop model and it stays out on a table (desk, worktop, etc). This is problematic since I have to cut more pieces for the quilt. I hope one of the local shops has one to rent and, perhaps, I will buy one at some point. I can also make templates and cut the pieces that way, though …. bleah.

Julie rested after the class and I walked around the show a little bit more. we went to a Brazilian steakhouse for dinner. They bring all different kinds of meat around and you can take what you want. It was a little bit on the pricey side, but extremely tasty. I was a little protein deficient, so it was just what the doctor ordered.

One of the projects was posted on Instagram. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of other students work 🙁 , but I did take a few.

Stacy's pieces
Stacy’s pieces

You can see some of the options available in the above blocks. My latest block has the pieced center like Stacy’s bottom block.

EBHQ Show Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Media Contact: Edith Beard Brady

Voices in Cloth 2016, Extraordinary Quilts by the Bay

Dates: Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2016
Hours: Saturday: 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Sunday: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

Admission: Two-day advance purchase tickets are $10 until February 29, 2016; tickets purchased at the door are $15 and children 12 and under are FREE.

Location: The Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South, in the Marina District of Richmond, California. With its huge windows, panoramic San Francisco Bay views and natural light, The Craneway Pavilion makes a spectacular venue for the vibrant quilts and fiber art that will be displayed at Voices in Cloth.

Website: http://www.ebhq.org/quilt-shows/vic2016

East Bay Heritage Quilters present Voices in Cloth 2016, Extraordinary Quilts by the Bay. Highlights of the two-day show include an exhibit of more than 200 new quilts and wearable art made by guild members; quilts by kids; a stellar lineup of 37 vendors, offering textile and eclectic wares; a Guild Marketplace of Fine Fiber Art; free demonstrations of quilt-making techniques including new ruler-free cutting techniques by Sherri Lynn Wood; bed turnings by the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles showcasing quilts from the museum’s permanent collection; engaging activities for children and introducing new children’s titles from C&T Publishing; and great door prizes.

Voices in Cloth 2016 will as also feature two special exhibits:

“Off the Wall: Maverick Quilts from the Julie Silber** Collection”

Well- known and highly respected quilt authority, Julie Silber curates this special exhibit of 20 of her favorite quirky antique quilts. The pieces all have in common an unusual twist on the ordinary, a certain verve, and a gritty individuality rarely found in more studied and self-conscious quilts. These playful pieces demonstrate that all over America original works of art may be as close as the blankets under which we sleep. Julie Silber will lead a personal tour through the exhibit each day at 1 p.m.


**Julie Silber is best known locally as curator of the world-renowned Esprit Quilt Collection , which was on display at the Esprit Company headquarters in San Francisco in the 1980s. She is the owner of Julie Silber Quilts where she offers a wide range of antique and vintage quilts made between 1800 and 1950. She wrote Hearts and Hands: The Influence of Women & Quilts on American Society, and Amish: the Art of the Quilt.


“Tell Me a Story” A Cloth Doll Challenge

For the first time, Voices In Cloth presents a special exhibit of 36 cloth doll sculptures and their stories. The Challenge is curated by Sondra Von Burg, a local doll artist, teacher and lecturer on the Art of Cloth Doll Making. She states “Dolls traditionally were made to represent the human form in miniature. Contemporary dolls are moving closer to sculpture, but often continue to represent humans beyond just the form and all dolls have a story to tell.” Sondra will be demonstrating “Cloth Doll Finger Turning” during the show and has a vendor booth exhibiting her work.

East Bay Heritage Quilters is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization based in Albany, California. The guild focuses on preserving and continuing the traditions, culture, and history of quilting and textile arts. A significant contribution EBHQ makes to our community is the Deanna Davis Community Quilt Project, through which our members and outside volunteers make and distribute over a 1,000 quilts a year. Recent recipients include First Place for Youth (a home for aged-out foster teens), and survivors of the Lake County fires. In 2016, EBHQ will make monthly deliveries to a Neonatal Intensive Care facility.

There are two Opportunity Quilts that will be featured at the show. Winning tickets in the raffle will be drawn on Sunday, March 20, 2016. Photos and descriptions of Bay Windows and String Theory can also be found at http://www.ebhq.org/quilt-shows/vic2016/vic2016quilts.

Bay Windows

42 inches by 46 inches

Raffle Quilt designed by Nancy S. Brown

Appliqued by Nancy S. Brown, Meg Cupman, Cynthia Demidovich Winn, Linda Gavin, Sue Gragg, Linda Gruber, Andrea Hong, Jenny Kolbusz, Liisa Lyon, Lily Pang, Laurel Putnam, Melissa Quilter, Valerie Sopher, Katie Spangler, Carolyn Weil.

Quilted by Laura Lee Fritz.

Photography by C&T Publishing



String Theory

80 inches by 84 inches

Raffle Quilt by Barbara Ramsey

Quilted by New Pieces in honor of Deanna Davis

Photography by C&T Publishing
East Bay Heritage Quilters, P.O. Box 6223, Albany, CA 94706

Quick QuiltCon Day 1

This will be a super quick post, because I wasn’t planning on writing anything else today, but I feel inspired.

This is the first really big quilt trip I have made since we went to Houston in 2014.

Julie and I drove down to Pasadena and it was amazing to see the green-green hills. We arrived at about 4 at our hotel. We didn’t have to drive through the whole of LA, which was nice, but the traffic on the 210 was bad enough so we were both done with it by the time we got to the hotel. We checked in and sprawled on the beds for awhile until it was time to go and register. By this time it was raining (yes, raining!) and it was dark, so it was a challenging drive: rain, dark, unfamiliar territory. Julie was a champ and got us to the convention center in one piece.

We ran through the rain (my feet got soaked) to the entrance and there were more than a few people milling around.

QuiltCon bag
QuiltCon bag

We registered and I was told to get a bag. I went and got a huge bag filled with stuff: mini charms, batting samples, a Soak sample, a magazine and other stuff. I was surprised and pleased. It turned out that the first 1,000 registrants got a gift bag. Nice!

We also saw Kathleen right by the registration desk!

After chatting with Kathleen and a couple of people she was talking with (one-Jennifer Moore- has a new blog sewingreport.com ), we went to look at the donation quilts. They were great and we did see the BAM quilt!

The top left is my favorite, but they were all awesome.

I was also really excited by this quilt, which has great quilting.

I was able to find the BAM donation quilt and was excited about that.

BAM Donation Quilt
BAM Donation Quilt

The exhibit hall, etc is not yet open and these quilts were just a little teaser.

We went to Trader Joe’s and got some stuff for dinner and lunch tomorrow. It is pouring rain outside and I need to get some sleep. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s class.

Have a great day!!!