Lectures and Workshops

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Inkle weaving

 Not a lot of quilting going on here these days. I've been flooded with weaving orders, which I love! In the last month I've woven a dozen towels and there are more on the loom now. At the same time, I've been keeping my smaller, inkle loom busy too. I've woven several pair of shoe laces and a couple other projects I'll share with you today.

A friend asked if I could make a camera strap for her to give as a gift. I did some research, ordered some hardware, and set to work. I'm thrilled with how it turned out and she was too.

The woven band is about 2 inches, the widest I've woven! 

When I got an order for a guitar strap, I knew I could do it! Similar band, only longer, and different hardware. A few you tube videos later and I had it all mastered.

I even sewed one of my leather labels on the back, the perfect touch I think. In case you are wondering, the yarn I used is #10 crochet cotton.

I'll be getting back to my sewing machine soon but in the meantime, my looms are keeping me happy and busy!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

My Midcentury Modern Quilt

Eek! This is a big finish for me. Well, not literally. It's actually not a huge quilt, about 46"x48", but the whole process of the making was fun and new.

Somehow, a couple of months ago, I became intrigued by midcentury modern graphics. At some point I decided to try drafting some into quilt blocks. It began with color selection. Even this part took several days, as I auditioned different colors from my stash, let them sit, switched some out, etc etc. These are all Moda Bella and Kona cottons

Then the designing and assembly began! Some blocks were entirely pieced, or paper pieced. This diamond block proved to be especially tricky.

Other blocks lended themselves more to raw edged appliqué...
and this block required a combination of traditional piecing and appliqué...

Several instagram followers asked if I would provide a pattern for my quilt after I finished. After mulling it over a bit, my answer was no, I would not. First off, I pretty much designed each block on the fly! I have some rough sketches I made along the way, but no precise measurements or any of that. Second, I selfishly wanted my quilt to be one of a kind. I struggled with that, but in the end that was my decision.

I delivered my finished topper to my friend Diann at Happy Quilts to work her quilty magic. She found the perfect design (she always does!) which reminds me of the Jetsons in a way.

Those cosmic swirly star shapes really added to the mood of the quilt I think.

Today we had a guild zoom sew day and it was the perfect opportunity to stitch down the binding. Such a satisfying finish.

oh, and can we take a moment to appreciate my wild and crazy covid curly hair? slightly out of control. haha!


Thursday, October 15, 2020


 Hubby and I early voted in Texas yesterday. I've been voting for more than 50 years and have never felt as passionate about voting as I do this year. There is so much at stake in our nation right now and the obligation (and privilege) to vote has been heavy on my mind.

The line was not long yesterday at the polls, and it moved quickly. They had great safety measures in place and everyone was wearing masks and socially distant. 20 minutes from arrival to finish... not bad!

In a very timely manner, our Improv small group, the Comedy Club Quilters, chose "VOTE" as our quilty prompt this month. I made this postcard to share...

I used Sarah's great tutorial posted here.  I'd really like to make more postcards. Maybe I'll do all of our monthly prompts as postcards so I have a collection!

I hope you have a plan to get out and vote!

Friday, October 2, 2020

an outdoor photo shoot

 Is anyone else desperately missing their quilting buddies? Our improv small group has been meeting on Zoom since March but it's just not the same. Since the Texas weather is finally cooling down (hooray for fall!) we decided to do an outdoor quilt photo shoot at a nearby park. We met at the park in the morning on a perfect, cool and cloudy day and got some beautiful photos of our quilts.

Five of us met, we all wore masks and social distanced to keep each other safe. There was a pretty gazebo that served as a nice backdrop for most of the quilts.

This is a charity improv quilt we made as a group last year.

There was also a beautiful bridge over a pond where we got some gorgeous pictures! I love the way the quilt reflects in the water in this shot. This gorgeous quilt was made by my friend Chris.

There is an old train car at the park and it was a great backdrop for groups of quilts.

Many people wandered by to see what we were up to. It was fun to chat with them and share our work. A mini outdoor quilt show!

I think this is my favorite photo of the day, another one of Chris's quilts

We got a great shot of our guilds charity quilts that are ready to be donated to the kids at CASA in December.

It was a wonderful day and a safe way to spend time with friends! Do you have a favorite spot for quilty photo shoots?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Bee blocks

 Here's an update on bee blocks I've sent out to my Solid Seven beemates in recent months. If you're not familiar with our bee, you can follow our shenanigans on instagram at #thesolidseven. We work only in solids.

In July, we made these awesome paper pieced blocks for E.A. She sent us the fabrics she wanted and we could place them in the block however we wanted.

In August, Sarah requested these tic tac toe blocks. She provided us with her desired color palette.

I had so much fun making them, I decided to make a whole baby quilt with them for yet another great niece who arrived this month.

Laura was queen bee in September and her paper strip pieced blocks were so fun and cheerful...

And finally, Nicole requested these blocks for October (yes, they are done and ready to mail. don't hate me). They are improve curves based on Maria Derse's Palette print...

This group inspires me so much! I can't wait to see what we get to do next.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

variations on Geo Pop

 When my friend Jayne, over at Twiggy and Opal started sharing her Geo Pop pattern in different variations, I decided to see how small I could make one! I pulled out some of my solid scraps and made this citrussy version...

Each block is 1 1/2" finished so the mini finished at 9"x12". pretty small but, of course, Jayne made a smaller one hahaha, which you can check out on her instagram.

Our Improv small group is doing a placemat swap. In August I needed to make a placemat for my friend Anne who had chosen pink and green. I enjoyed making the Geo Pop so much I decided to do a variation of it for Anne...

This one measures 12"x18".  Anne brought me this placemat (my chosen colors are black and white)

I love it! It will be fun to collect different placemats from my friends over the next few months.

Of course I didn't stop there with the Geo Pop quilts. A new great niece was on the way (she has since arrived and her quilt has been delivered). I thought a pink baby sized quilt was in order.

I quilted it with a simple grid on my domestic machine. 

Can you tell I really love this pattern? Jayne really hit it out of the park with this one!

Friday, August 28, 2020

Denim shirt remix

Years ago, hubby bought me this cute denim shirt from the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. I wore it a lot at first, but for a long time it's just been hanging in my closet. I decided to revamp it into something fresh and new.
A quick trip into the local quilt store and I had some gorgeous Ruby Star Society fabric and a couple of spools of 8 weight thread in coordinating colors.
In a jiffy i had this cute tunic all done! I added a gathered "skirt" with the fabric and embroidered flowers above the front pocket and on the back .

 Now I can't wait for fall so I can wear it! We've been having lots of 100+ degree days here in Texas, not exactly conducive to long sleeved denim shirts! For now it's safely tucked back in my closet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020



I've followed Alisa Burke for a long time. I just love her art, the whimsical style, huge flowers, vivid colors. So, when she recently offered her doodle it out class 50% off I jumped at the opportunity (it's still on sale as of today! quick, go sign up!). 
Thirty days of video tutorials and prompts went by so fast!
I worked on cardstock, doodling with Sharpie markers, no special supplies needed.
I really didn't think I could draw faces, but with Alisa's excellent instruction I pulled it off! And buildings...
I found myself really looking forward to each day's lesson. Bonus, Ally said she wanted to color them! For her birthday I made copies of some of my favorites on cardstock(just used my printer) and I mailed them to her with a new set of colored markers.
I'm so glad I did this! now I'm eyeing up some of Alisa's other classes.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

colors of the year

When the 2020 colors of the year were announced at the end of last year I stocked up on both solids knowing I would want to do something fun. What beautiful colors they are! Perhaps the best thing to come out of 2020. 

Kona Enchanted, a beautiful deep green with a hint of blue tone....
 And Pantone Classic Blue. A gorgeous true blue! Per Debbie's advice (she always does such a good job evaluating the options) I opted for Kona Regatta.

 At first my plan was to use just the Regatta and Kona White for my little quilt for our guild challenge. I had an idea for a strip pieced "snowflake" design. Once I made one, it kind of fell flat for me. No worries, onto the back of my finished quilt it went. And the extra strip set too.....
I finally settled on some improv framed triangles in both colors. The centers of my triangles are actually some Moda Grunges that I had in my stash

I quilted it with my favorite angled grid and bound it in a blue & white stripe I found sitting on my shelf. It's a perfect little table topper or mini quilt to hang!

Our guild was supposed to have a display at the library like we did last year, but alas, COVID, sigh. We shared our challenge pieces at last week's Zoom meeting and that will have to do!

Monday, August 3, 2020

house swap quilt

Well, I just realized I never wrapped up my saga of all the house blocks! House blocks were swapped, and I adored every single block I received from my friends (people, there is an advantage to being in charge of a swap! YOU GET FIRST PICK! although I will say, every single block turned in was a masterpiece so it was a win/win situation). The blocks only spent a few days on my design wall board and I was off and running. I added some low volume rectangles to stagger my blocks but there was still something missing. If you know me well, you know what that something was. WORDS! Improv letters were quickly in the works and added as two borders (because, assymetry! ha!)

Oh, yes, I did add in a little red car to represent my RAV4 (named James) because it's my quilt and I do what I want, so there! It was quickly quilted up with a walking foot grid on my Janome and bound with a tiny low volume polka dot. I quite love this finished quilt and need to find an empty wall to display it (not an easy feat in this house!)

Also, why have I never thought to photograph quilts on this pretty stone wall on my front porch? I wish I could leave it there but unpredictable Texas weather does not allow for that. sigh.....

my little house quilt finished up at 34" x 36".

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Collaborating with Brooks

My friend Brooks does amazing work with mixed media collage. Her pieces all tell a story, which I love. I've been finding that my quilts recently tell stories too. We have connected with each other's work for a long time. Recently, after she saw my quilt Urban Emergence, she made this collage in response...

  Look at the two pieces side by side....
We got together on zoom and chatted about collaborative work we could do. Brooks told me all about her art studio she is preparing to build on their property. She even built a 3d model to share with the architect. I was so intrigued by her plans....
 We decided to each make a piece that reflects her dreams for her studio. We talked for a long time about the plans, set a color palette and went to work. Although we had planned to work separately and not share until we were finished, we found ourselves texting and sharing photos along the way. Our pieces ended up more literal and alike than we had originally planned.
 I love the colorful circles bursting from the roof of the studio, representing all of the wonderful creative ideas happening inside. At first, my circles looked like the balloons from the movie Up, lifting the studio into the sky, hahaha! I worked at it and I think i finally got it right.
Brooks and I have another collaboration in the works. We are working off of some photographs I shared with her. This time, we really plan to keep our work to ourselves until we are finished. I hope we can stick to the plan! This is a real learning process. I can't wait to share our next project with you!