Friday, May 06, 2016


Happy Friday Peeps!

I just found out that a video of me talking about my Windy Quilt, filmed by the Quilt Alliance, has been posted to Youtube.  Hooray!  Now you can go see me talk for 2 minutes (and wave my arms around awkwardly exactly like my mom) about my inspiration and my process behind this quilt.

Click here to see it!

Thank you to the Quilt Alliance for saving these stories!

Here is one of the photographs I took last October that gave me the color inspiration for Windy. As I said in the video, the idea of capturing the tiny gold leaves had been marinating for a couple of years.  Often, if I have spent a lot of time with a quilt idea, the actual making of the quilt goes very quickly.  The question people ask me most often is:  "How long did it take you to make that?"

This quilt took me about a month to make.  I started by cutting hundreds (676 to be exact!) of 3 1/2" squares in various shades of turquoise.  I pinned them to my design wall in random order, using more light shades at the top and graduating to the darker shades towards the bottom.

Then I cut lots and lots of tiny leaves out of various shades of yellow and gold.  I arranged those in a swoosh, to give the impression that the wind was blowing them across the sky.

I am very happy with the way this quilt turned out.  I feel like it captures a beautiful October day in just the way I intended.  I was thrilled to get into Quilt Con 2016, and also the AQS show in Paducah.

I had a goal of publishing my own quilt patterns starting in 2016, and after I finished Windy, I decided that it was the perfect candidate for my first pattern.  In January, I made a smaller, slightly simplified version that would be suitable for a beginning quilter.

Meet Windy II

This quilt also uses 3 1/2" squares, but only has 324 instead of the original 676.  It finishes at 54" square, and the pattern has instructions for varying the size to any size you want.

Windy is available both as a paper pattern and as a PDF instant download.  You can buy the paper pattern in my etsy shop here:, and the PDF download is available on Craftsy here:  Windy on Craftsy.

More patterns are on their way!

Happy quilting! xoxo

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Quilt Con 2016

Hello Blog! Hello Friends! Greetings from sunny California!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Quilt Con in Pasadena, and visit my little brother while I was at it. It was a fantastic trip and I would love to give you a tour.

As a little background, many of you know that I've been an art quilter for over 20 years.  Over the past year or so, I've become more and more enamored of the newest movement in quilts called "Modern Quilting".  Modern quilts feel very fresh and exciting to me.  And judging by the growth of the modern quilt movement, and the growth of Quilt Con (now in it's third year), I'm not the only one!

Let's look at some quilts....

From the moment you enter the Convention Center, you are greeted by a massive quilt display in the lobby.  These were charity quilts created by guilds across the country that were made to support their local community.  What a mesmerizing exhibit they made--all displayed together!  I am a sucker for a good group quilt--improvisational elements contained in some sort of structure--and I had quite a few that I liked a lot.


Here are some individual quilts that really stood out to me:

"35 Sisters" by the Pittsburgh Modern Quilt Guild

"This Land is Our Land" by the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild.  (That's Woody Guthrie)

"Winter on Mt. Nebo" by the Nebo Modern Quilt Guild.

After a quick look at these beauties and getting welcomed by enthusiastic volunteers, I made a beeline for the quilts.  I was in a large hall filled with quilts on one side and vendors on the other.

The vendors were enticing--handing out fabric necklaces, fat quarters, and other tempting swag--but I was on a mission to find my quilt.  I walked through the quilts.  Mine was not there.  I walked through again, more quickly this time, and my quilt was nowhere to be found.  I was getting sweaty.  Was my quilt lost?  Was my quilt really in the show? Was this just a dream?   It occurred to me that there must be more quilts somewhere else.  I tracked down a white glove volunteer who kindly directed me to the other building.

Whew!  Here is the other building.  This hall was beautiful and old with big windows, and had a lovely feel to it.

And I found my quilt!  Yay!  This quilt is called Windy, and it gets a whole separate blog post coming soon.  But I will just briefly say for now that I have produced my first quilt pattern based on this quilt, and you can find it on Craftsy!

I hung around in this room for a while to chat about my quilt with some viewers.  Then, by chance, I met some awesome women from the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild which I had been contemplating joining.

After my pulse returned to normal, I was able to check out the rest of the room. In addition to the Quilt Con competition quilts, there were two special exhibits.

These first pictures are from the Gwen Marston special exhibit.  Gwen is a beloved quiltmaker, author, and teacher who has been making quilts for over 30 years and is best known for her improvisational style which she calls "liberated quiltmaking".  

Here are a few of my favorites, up close:

Broken Dishes

High Desert Country II

Liberated Triangles with Bars

The second special exhibit (shown above) was the work of Molly Upton.  I think the first time I was introduced to her work was the QNM article of 2000.  I have been a fan for many years, but had never seen any of her quilts in person.  It was a thrill to see the majority of her work in one place.

Fanfare 1975

Molly was an art quilter in the mid 1970's, in the very earliest years of the art quilt movement.  She was very young and produced an impressive body of work.  She used all kinds of fabric (corduroy!  wool!) when calicoes were the only type of "quilt" fabric available.  Her quilts are magnificent.  Tragically, she ended her life at age 23.

Summer Pine 1974

Summer Pine (detail)

Pine Winter 1974

Pine Winter (detail)

Blades 1974

Blades (detail)

Symbol - Self Portrait without a Mirror 1975


Watchtower 1975

I also attended a lecture by Pam Weeks, quilt historian and Binney Family Curator of the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.  Hearing the stories behind the quilts, seeing photos of Molly as a young woman, and reading some of her writings, made the exhibit more personal and moving.  It was outstanding, emotional, and a real highlight of the show for me.

To change the subject to a lighter side, another special gift was getting to see old friends, meet internet friends in person, and stalk Sew-lebrities.  Everywhere you looked, there was a famous quilter!

It was so fun to finally meet Malka Dubrawsky of A Stitch in Dye  (@stitchindye).  

I love her fabric and quilts and I was smart to visit her booth first.  She was nearly cleaned out by the end of the show!  

Another talented lady!  My long-time friend, Judy Coates Perez.  Judy became part of the Chicago School of Fusing when she lived in Chicago for a few years before moving to California.  It was great to see her and catch up.  

Ok, seriously, these next people win "fun booth award".  How can you not have the hugest smile when you are standing next to Heather Givans of Crimson Tate?

Don't want to leave out David @crimsontavid!  These adorable and talented folks are the masterminds of Crimson Tate, an amazing quilting store in Indianapolis.  I stumbled onto the store a few summers ago while making the annual trek with kids to visit Grandma in Muncie.  I wish it were my LQS!  I would be there every day.  I'd just take my sleeping bag and be all set.

Speaking of adorable and talented. For the one person out there who doesn't already follow him on IG, this is Giuseppe (@giucy_giuce) in the Andover Fabrics booth.  What a thrill to meet him and get to spend a little time with him.  I took a quilt that I had made with Andover fabrics into the booth to "show and tell", and he stopped what he was doing and took the time to walk outside with me and photograph it!  What a nice guy. (all the heart emojis here)

Ok, heavy hitters in the quilt world that I was almost too shy to approach, but so glad I did.  In the middle, Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete) was the star of the show, receiving well-deserved attention for her quilts (pictures further on in the blog).  Here is an article in the LA Times that features Chawne and a few other Quilt Con artists, about quilts with a message.  And on the right is Latifah Saafir (@latifahsaafirstudios), a talented artist and co-founder of the worldwide Modern Quilt Guild and the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild!  Whoo!

Here are some more people that I may have stalked for a couple of days before I had the nerve to introduce myself.  I am a huge fan of Anna Maria Horner--her blog, her fabric, her quilts and garment patterns, everything.  She headed up the Craft South booth with Pierrette Abegg and Juliana Horner and it was seriously buzzing with activity at all times.  It was beautifully designed and packed full of fabric, yarn, and quilts.

Me, Anna Maria, and her talented daughter Juliana @glittersmack.  It's all a blur, but very possible that I gushed.  Moving on...

The vendor booths were as full of inspiration as the quilt show itself:

The Andover Fabrics booth featured a wall of minis.  So original and fun!  The booth was crowded at all times--it is a miracle that I could snap this picture.  I am now convinced that a wall of minis is absolutely necessary in my house.

There were a lot of great quilts in the Hoffman Fabrics booth, featuring their new line of modern batiks called Me + You.  I am in love with these fabrics for garment sewing so more on that later.

This was a show stopper in the Hoffman booth.  It didn't have a tag but I've tracked it down via Instagram and it is by Jennifer (@jennrossotti) of Ginger Peach Studio.

The Moda Fabrics booth had an incredible quilt of David Bowie that was a major crowd-pleaser.  Read the whole story here.

The Robert Kaufman booth featured (or should I say: "highlighted") their color of the year.

In closing, I will leave you with some of my favorite quilts from the show.  I will stop talking and let the quilts speak for themselves. (With the caveat that the lighting at a show is not always ideal for taking a photo--I have tried to link wherever I could so you can visit the artist's website for a much more beautiful photo of the quilt).

Bzzzzzz by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Transcendence by Anne Sullivan (@playcrafts)

Fraction by Louise Orth (@imstudiolou)

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades by Rebecca Burnett (@duzzabear)

Red Hot by Shawna Doering (@thequilticorn)

The One for Eric by Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete) (quilted by Chawne Kimber and Pamela J. Cole)

The One for Eric (detail.)

Skylight View by Jennifer Rossotti (@jennrossotti)

Skylight View (detail).

Embers by Stephanie Ruyle (@spontaneousthreads)

Embers (detail).

Reflection by Nancy Purvis (@owensolivia)

Mod Mood (Group quilt category) by Debbie Jeske, Stephanie Ruyle, Leanne Chahley, Karen Foster, Felicity Ronaghan, Kari Vojtechovsky, Melissa Richie, Diane Stanley, Marci Debetaz, Hillary Goodwin.

Mod Mood, detail (love the quilting!)  Quilted by Debbie Jeske.

Life in the ER by Hillary Goodwin (@entropyalwayswins)

Catnado by Karen Duling (@karenbduling)

Catnado detail.

Maverick by Amy Ellis (@amyscreativeside)

Arrowhead Quilt--Berry Colorway by Kristi Schroeder (@initialkstudio)

Diamonds Quilt #2 by Tara Faughnan (@tarafaughnan)

Diamonds Quilt #2 detail.

November Nights by Gledra Bowser (@threadnhoney)

Modern Dresden by Lori Landenburger (@sewpsyched)

Tessellation 4 by Nydia Kehnle (@nydiak) (quilted by Gina Pina)

Night Flight no. 1 by Heidi Parkes (@heidi.parkes)  Sorry not a good photo--click her name and go to her website--so good!

Night Flight no. 1 (detail).

Octagon Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou (@jennifersampou)  Again!  Click on her name for website and awesome photos!

Octagon Shimmer (detail.)

Double Wedding Ring by Tara Faughnan (@tarafaughnan)

Cotton Sophisticate by Chawne Kimber (@cauchycomplete).  Quilted by Chawne Kimber and Pamela J. Cole.

There were so many quilts!   This is just the tip of the iceberg.  For great photos of all the winners, visit the Modern Quilt Guild blog here.

A few more blogs with photos of quilts:
Cora's Quilts
Erin Holmqvist
Erin Holmqvist (more)
Christa Quilts


p.s. One subject I didn't elaborate on was the fact that I got to stay with my brother, which made the trip extra special.  Over the past several years, most of our visits have revolved around kids and family, so to have some sibling time was awesome.  My little brother is a super talented architect and designer and a marketing genius!  His love and support means the world to me.  Thank you Earl!  I love you!!!!