Wrapping up camp

Phew! Final day and the big art show. There were hundreds of paintings and drawings and scuptures and ceramics and fiber pieces displayed. 86 kids can put out a lot of quality work in 10 days–more than I would have imagined possible.

I found that there was no good way to show everything, so I just took shots of some of the work I really liked. There was just sooooo much!

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All in all, it was a great time but it’s good to be home!

Now to gear up for The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show this weekend! Woooooo-hooooooo!


Filed under Contemporary, Teaching

Notes from camp…


BL Fri 1

I am totally enamored with silk scarf painting. Seeing so many designs created from drawing to resist to painting…beautiful!

BL Fri 8

BL Fri 10

BL Fri 11

BL Fri 9

We are getting close on finishing up our small wall art pieces also. The students are working very hard in our class, plus they have responsibilities in two other classes. It all happens in 10 days and they need to be very proud of themselves.

BL Fri 7

Some of our fiber students came in without even knowing which end of the needle to thread! Many had never cut a piece of fabric, turned on an iron and most had never operated a sewing machine. Now those of you who sew—you know how much skill is involved in creating a fabric piece.

BL Fri 6

These children had to design a piece, learn how to sew a seam, use 3 embroidery stitches and/or other embellishments and finish the edges in order to have a presentation piece for the show. I am so impressed with what they have done.

BL Fri 2

Here are a few more in process photos…

BL Fri 3

BL Fri 4

BL Fri 5

This has been quite a fun job!


Filed under Designing Quilts, Fabric, Quilting, Teaching

And our students are working so hard…

Most of our fiber art students are totally unskilled in the sewing department. Some have never held a needle. Most have never used a sewing machine. A few haven’t turned on an iron or cut a piece of fabric.


All of them have to complete several projects for the art department in general and fiber arts in particular.


They had to draw out a design and plan it’s execution and my co-teacher and I had several criteria that they had to meet.


I spent most of the first several days explaining sewing machines and teaching them only how to sew a single seam! “Seam” was a mysterious term to them.


They have an incredible hodge podge of materials from which to choose and we try only to steer them away from things that we know absolutely won’t work. Everything else is open ended and I did not think I would see order emerge from the chaos of the first days.


There is a totally different feeling in the studio today. They are focused and intent on executing their designs.


Can’t wait to see the final products when they are hung at our art show on the final day! I’ll show you—I promise!




Filed under Quilting


Blue Lake is 50 years old this year…just found that out! It started out as a very rustic camp and many parts of the camp reflect that very strongly, because they are still rustic. Updates are made as needed and as funds allow, which might be why our internet connection hasn’t worked for several days. I’m going to try and post this quickly while we have a signal!

I’ve come to love our little fiber arts studio as it is, though.

BL 1

Love the graffiti on the ceiling boards—love the ceiling boards!

Every angle contains a postcard opportunity for me…

Aprons on pegs

BL 3

Our scissors rack

BL 2

Spools and spools of thread

BL 6

Embroidery hoops

BL 4

Old fashioned bushel baskets

BL 5

Whether I come back here or never see the place again, these images are engraved in my brain to inspire me.

And I have photos to remind me if I forget—hooray!


Filed under Non-traditional Quilts, Quilting, Teaching, Thinking About Quilting!

Summer Camp!

Aaaaah…summer camp! Never went as a child—don’t know for sure why I’m doing it now! I’m hoping to have a great time teaching high school kids how to use fabric as an art medium.

Like any new camper, we had orientation today. Meeting—what can you say? A meeting is a meeting! Then we had a tour of the camp. It looked so huge and confusing when I was trying to study the map. Then our guide said we’d be walking about a mile…SNAP!

Families are allowed here and many of the faculty have family with them. My  hubby will be joining me later–but he’s coming up here to golf! One of the other newbies brought the family on the tour. We actually are out in the middle of the woods!

Camp tour 1

There are two huge band shells here for performances…this is one of them. As you might expect from a primarily music camp, there are lots of performance spaces and all the ones we saw today were wonderful.

Camp tour 2

This tower is by the first band shell we were at…I can’t wait to get a chance to see inside it.

Camp tour 3

There is also a musical instrument museum here and it was fascinating! Very unusual instruments…great to look at.

Camp tour 4 Camp tour 5

One of the theaters is a medieval type, open air theater. Built with timber frame construction and a likeness to Shakespeare’s Globe theater, I found it just beautiful.

Camp tour 6 Camp tour 7

My teaching area was close to the end of the tour and we didn’t get to go in. However, I was able to visit a bit later and this is what it looks like. It’s set up for anything and everything we might want to do…much more than I’ll need for what I’m doing, but it does give me lots of ideas for future projects should I be asked back and should I wish to come back. We have 10 days of teaching to figure that out!

Camp tour 8

WiFi is not the strongest up here, so you may or may not get a few more reports while I’m at camp. I hope to be able to show you some cool things from the students…if not while I’m here, then I will be sure to report when I get back!




Filed under Designing Quilts, Quilting, Teaching, Teaching Quilting

New Classes!



Scrappy City 72

Your unique improv blocks will be used to create a scrappy little village. Learn straight line improv piecing, while trying to put a dent in your personal scrap pile. Design, color choices and construction methods, including quilt-as-you-go, will be a big part of this class. Your village will NOT look like the sample, but will be completely and uniquely YOU.


Sunny Summer Day 72


No need to be dependent on patterns–learn how to do free-form piecing to create your own unique designs. Think ‘modern’ with lots of solid colors, low volume prints and asymmetrical gridwork. Your quilt will NOT look like the sample. We’ll discuss contrast and color value and learn how to construct a quilt with different sized blocks. Once you learn the basics, your quilts can always be pattern free and any size you’d like.


I’ll start offering these locally in September at the Quilt Patch. Other venues will be posted as they are scheduled. Stay tuned!



Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Modern Quilts, Teaching, Teaching Quilting

Another new project

Still on a quest for long, slow projects. Using a hunk of wool for yesterday’s start made me look through the wool I’ve recently felted and dyed. I have a beautiful multi colored piece that I thought I wanted to keep all in one piece. But today, it spoke differently.

I blocked off a section and cut it out of the middle!

Multi wool 1

Then I cropped it a little bit more…oops! I found that I had cut too much off of the top edge, but I’m going with what I have. I’m sure it will work out fine. So…I learned from asking Mary Stori that yes, indeed, I should use an interfacing with wool. Here we have it interfaced and trimmed, ready for stitching.

Multi wool 2

Details of each side and as I say that, I’m wondering if I may end up cutting this in two pieces before it’s all said and done. It’s about 20 x 40 and it may not stay that large.

Multi wool 4

Multi wool 3

Again, a nice, big, slow hand stitching project. I’m soooo looking forward to taking forever to work on a single project.

I’m sure there will be other projects going on at the same time, but the easy stitching times will be great…no matter which direction the piece ends up taking.



Filed under Quilting