Quilt Retreats

I “moderate” a monthly Open Sew at Village Fabric Shop.  It’s a great group of young women. Earlier this spring they decided to have a quilt retreat at Lake Norman and they invited me to join them.
IMG_0339So here they all are.  Steph, Carrie, Fowler, Mindy, Jennifer and Laura.  Kinda pretty there isn’t it?

IMG_0340Jennifer, our host,  decided to do a little free motion quilting.

IMG_0363She ended up with this beautiful table runner.

IMG_0343Mindy was working on her “critters” block of the month.

IMG_0357Here’s Laura’s block of the month.

IMG_0349Fowler made some more log cabin blocks.

IMG_0362Pink background.  🙂

IMG_0358Steph decided to finish up her machine quilting on this beauty.

img_0111And Carrie?  It’s a surprise for a sweet little boy.  I’ll post pictures later.  I’ll post this beautiful clamshell instead.  It belongs to her.

IMG_0346I explained the rules of retreat.  Basically you need good snacks…

IMG_0348and a great group of women.  A year ago, they did not know each other.

IMG_0353Now they will be participating in a round robin.  HAHAHA  They have swapped their center blocks and they will pass later this month during their Open Sew.  So much fun to watch them want to do their best!

They will swap blocks for the second round in just a few days.  I’ll keep you posted…

The Alphabet Quilt

I am in love with my alphabet quilt sampler from S is for Stitch.  The book is out of print but Village Fabric Shop did some digging and found some copies so if this inspires you, just e-mail Amy.img_9830Here’s the “c” block.  The author says “the door handle’s position is the only indication of which direction the car is facing.”  Such great drawings!
img_9829“Energy” is the block I teach in class.  One of my favorites.img_9827“Z” shows what a one-thread bee wing vein looks like.  So sweet.  This quilt is full of wonderful little colonial knots.  Martha at Knit One Smock Too taught me how to work a colonial knot several years ago.   I love them!img_9826“Volcano” is another one of my favorites.  So simple and so perfect.  One strand works the cloud.  🙂
img_9825The octopus makes me smile.img_9824And who wouldn’t love a baseball block?img_9904When I sent my finished top to Ginabean Quilts, it looked like this.When Gina brought it to me, it looked like THIS.

Custom quilted.  Look at the sashing.

Crazy good.  Thanks Gina!



Bragging on beginners

I teach a beginning quilt class at Village Fabric Shop.  I LOVE beginners; they think I know everything!  It really is fun to help them pick fabrics, learn to piece and then surprise themselves with their beautiful tops!  Here are some of their creations.  The pattern comes from Julie Herman’s book, Skip the Borders.img_0036This one belongs to Anne-Marie.   Her 4-patch fabrics were a great pick.

Love it!  She was in the shop just yesterday to pick her binding.

Amelia made this quilt for her grandchild.  She’s getting ready to machine quilt it herself.  It’s a happy quilt!

img_0032This Tula fabulousness belongs to Christi. img_0034The back of Christi’s quilt.  Gina Allen quilted this for her.img_0029Steph’s beginner quilt.  Don’t you love the set??  She and Anne-Marie (first picture) are besties and we had a great time in class!img_0027The pieced back.  Love it!  Gina Allen quilted this for her.img_0023This beauty belongs to Linda.  It’s a grandson quilt and I know he will love it!

Linda sent me these pictures after I posted this page.  Here’s her grandson enjoying his new quilt!

Front!Pieced back!  Fabulous!

Here’s Jean’s beginner quilt.  She used only eight fabrics.  She has it basted and she’s planning on hand quilting it.  Great looking!

Last, but certainly not least, is Laura’s lovely creation.  Such a great set.  She started binding it this week.  Laura Davies quilted this for her.

Such beautiful quilts!  A big thanks to my beginners…they aren’t beginners any more!!

The Improv Quilt


This winter I decided I wanted to TRY to make an “improv” quilt.  I have lots of respect for original design work; it’s not easy!  I used Jacquie Gehring’s book, Quilting Modern as my starting point.  This picture shows the first blocks I made.  I put them on a background of Freespirit’s Arctic White; it’s my most favorite white.  Amy keeps it in stock at Village Fabric Shop just for me.  🙂img_0070Didn’t like all that dark so I removed those blocks…
img_0075and ended up with this.  I used a nice collection of shot cottons and of course I had some Amy Butler fabrics that worked very nicely with them.

img_0088I arranged them sort of like I wanted them and then I started to sew.

img_0091I ended up with this.img_0123I bought a beautiful piece of voile for the backing and a spool of Sulky 12 wt. variegated thread because I decided to hand quilt it.

So I pin basted it and got started.  My phone dates this picture February 15.  I love deadlines.  I decided this project would keep me sane while I watched the NCAA basketball games.   We get a little crazy at our house with the tournament, brackets, etc.   My goal was to have it finished by the championship game on April 3.  That gave me about six weeks.  I echo quilted it.  I quilted around each block until the quilting ran into the next block and then filled in the “holes.”  That’s about a 3/8″ gap between the lines…more than 1/4″ but not quite a 1/2.”  No need to mark.  Just eyeball it.

It got to travel too!  It went to Florida for a baseball spring training trip and here’s a picture of it at Lake Norman…right before the Final Four games started.

I really like how it turned out. 

I finished it the WEEK of April 3.  🙂  UNC Chapel Hill won the championship so my Tarheel son was very happy.  Big stitch hand quilting does take time.  I think I had about 35 hours in this one.  It’s SO WORTH IT though.  It’s hanging at Village Fabric Shop.  Just give it a squeeze the next time you are there…so very soft.


The La Passacaglia Open House

We had a La Pass Open House in late February at Village Fabric Shop.  The tables were literally full of beautiful rosettes!  Countless hours of fabulous work.  Thank you for coming!!!

Machine appliqued…
And finally, here’s a great example of what we go through.  These pictures belong to Peggy.

I like the center.  So let’s try this combo.That’s pretty wonderful but what if I do this??Or maybe this??Or this combination?  I can see all of you nodding “oh yeah, I’ve done that…”Finally, I think this will work!  Thanks for sharing your WIP pictures Peggy!

Thanks again to all of you for coming.  So inspiring!!  Keep me posted with your pictures.

La Passacaglia pictures

This workshop has been so much fun.  This little rosette center belongs to Conni.  We like to play around with centers.img_9943


or #2??img_9945Amy Butler fabric


#2 won.  hahaimg_0011Sue’s beautiful first rosette.  The stripes in the second round…img_0008#1?img_0009#2img_0012#1 this time.  Chris used a black for her second round.  Perfect frame.

img_9564Here’s a progress picture of mine.img_9759Fowler’s… so pretty.  Fowler is going to use this as the center of a round robin quilt.  She said she learned the technique and she’s going to move on!  Love the idea Fowler!

img_0045MC.  #1?img_0044#2.  See how much fun this is??  You can’t even get past the center of the first rosette without pondering.img_0047Peggy’s.  Oh my.

img_8422Second round.  Perfect.

img_0067One of my last rosettes.img_0068I went with #2 and colored the outside edge with a pigma pen.  🙂img_0069Auditioning.img_0074There it is.img_0073On the design wall.img_0092Filling in the blanks.

I have fabulous pictures from the Open House.  I will share those next week!

Serendipity Sampler

We had our Serendipity Sampler block of the month class this week at Village Fabric Shop.  Lots of progress!img_9972Kelly’s beautiful Serendipity Sampler blocks.  #1img_9973#2.  Look at the bird’s nest.img_9974#3  Just finished.  Beautiful batiks on a beautiful background.

img_0200Here are her four blocks.  All batiks.  Beautiful!

img_0201Remember those “oak leaves” in Serendipity?  Well, Kelly actually MADE them.  img_0202Beautiful work.

img_9970Her husband made a “lazy Susan” pressboard.  How cool is this?  It rotates as needed so pieces are so easy to prep!  I want one!


img_1957Here are Jane’s blocks.  She’s working from a Tula collection. img_1959The brooms.img_1960The first block.  Beautiful control!

img_0198All four blocks.  She’s thinking about her layout.  #1


#2  🙂  No bad choices here.

img_0191I trimmed her bird block for her.  There’s a new tutorial on how to trim applique blocks under my tutorials tab if you want to check.

20170126_105554And then there’s this one.  Sue’s absolutely fabulous finished quilt.  Gina Boone quilted this for her.  I saw it last week at Village Fabric Shop.  Sue was choosing her binding.  It is glorious.


Well done Sue!