Tag Archives: Quilting

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


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

Upcoming projects

My heart is telling me that I need some slow, long projects to work on. When I sit at the machine lately, I feel like I need to produce, produce, produce, sew, sew, sew! Fast and finished. I definitely need a change of pace.

I have an idea…no, I have the beginning of an idea. I can start, but I don’t have a clue where it’ll lead me. I like that.

Hand dyed fabric that I didn’t like too much, wet and scrunched. When I unfolded it, I liked it a bit better. I put a few extra folds in it and this is what I ended up with.

Brown wool 2

When I started looking for ideas on what the next step might be, my brain kept telling me to keep it simple! So I kept it just about as simple as possible. I placed the scrunched fabric on a piece of wool. Period.

Brown wool 1

When I look right now, I see buildings in a city and I will start my stitching with that in mind. Who knows in which direction it will take me, but I’m planning on taking my time with it.

I will keep you posted, but it may not be often. This is going to be hand stitched and done in my spare time. Looking forward to working slow.


Filed under Art Quilts, Big Wool Adventure!, Designing Quilts, surface design

Prep and plan

Blue Lake is coming up quickly and it’s all I can think about right now. Never having been there, I have no idea if my expectations will come close to reality. There are so many things I don’t know…

My dad always used to say, “Plan your work and work your plan.” I could use a little of his brainpower right now!


WHAT am I going to teach these children? What supplies are there in the classroom? Are they the things I actually want to work with? Will I be in a constant state of ‘make do’ or substitution? How does the daily schedule really run? Yeah, I have the schedule in a print out, but…Will the students be wanting to learn or just putting in time ’till camp is over? Are the things I want to teach too simple…not specific enough…too cliche? And I don’t even care about where I’m sleeping or eating ’cause I know that’ll be covered.

Thoughts, plans and ideas just swirling and swirling and I can’t wait to get there and get busy!

In the meantime, I’m trying to start a project to take that will be hand work for me…and I’m just not able to concentrate enough to come up with anything. I’m doing a few painted leaves that may end up in a beading class kit, but I’m not totally happy with my results.

From too dark

Black leaf print 1

to too light

Black leaf print 2

and then my old, crinkly leaves broke! Made me done with that project!

I’m not in a calm, peaceful place today. I need to take some time to relax and think good thoughts…and maybe make 100 lists or something! Could be I’m just getting old and it takes me longer to plan things out! Hmmm….maybe I shouldn’t let the gray hair grow out just yet!


Filed under Life, Quilting, Teaching

A bit more stitching…


When I posted these the other day, I thought I was finished with them.

Raw edge applique 4

Then I looked again and decided that they needed more stitching…but not hand stitching. I often combine hand and machine stitching now and I like the contrast.

Two piece fill

I’m a lot happier with them now.

Some detail shots:

Twin piece detail 1

Twin piece detail 2

I also finished up the sample for my new class, Sunny Summer Day.

Sunny Summer Day 72


Sunny summer detail 2 Sunny summer detail 1

I’m eager to make another sample with the same end goal and feeling of the modern quilt movement. I have one started that I’ve used to teach Improv Curves. I just need to find some time to work on it. HAHAHA–time!

What I NEED to do and what I WANT to do are not always compatible. I need to plan classes for high schoolers. I want to play with making improv quilts for me! I need to do some painting around the house. I want to paint some thread and do some stitching.

Sigh! Day by day…………




Filed under Art Quilts, Contemporary, Modern Quilts, Teaching


The bane of my existence–paperwork! I procrastinate horribly and then try to get it all done at one shot.

I’ve been spending time in the library while I wait for the grandson at Safety Town. Libraries have always been a favorite spot of mine so I thought I’d take advantage of the time and get that one shot paperwork task out of the way!



All sorted, stacked, organized and DONE!

Now I can sit back and enjoy reading my book. Sewing will happen later and my day will be complete.

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Filed under Life, Quilting

Filling time–productively!

It’s Safety Town time for the kids going into kindergarten in the fall. I’m taking and picking up my grandson and doing some sewing while I’m waiting. I’m also going to be teaching fiber arts to some high schoolers this summer and want to have some samples of what I plan on teaching. Sounds like a win-win for me—time to sew and projects to do!!

Today I was working on raw edge applique.

Raw edge applique 2

This one practically made itself…

Raw edge applique 1

And as I was working on it, I realized that I had two small stretched canvas pieces and that I could easily make a companion piece…which also is practically making itself!

Raw edge applique 3

I’m thinking this will be a win-win for the high schoolers this summer, too. Easy and no limits on what they can create! And using embroidery floss to sew it together gave it some texture, which I also want to emphasize to the kids.

Raw edge applique 4

Simple pieces, basic colors–can’t go wrong! But it does make me want to do more of them!

I also finished the little flower raw-edge applique…and did NOT put a single bead on it. I think it’s just fine the way it is, though I’m sure many of you can’t believe I’m actually saying that.

Raw edge applique 5

I am getting a bit desperate for a beading project, though. I haven’t touched a bead in weeks and I’m feeling the withdrawal. I’m glad that Safety Town goes through next week, too. I’ll get a beading project going on, for sure!!


Linking this to Off the Wall Friday…always fun looking at everyone else’s blog!


Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Quilting, Teaching

It’s just not working…

Sometimes you gather your fabrics and threads, needles and scissors and start a new project.

Paint play day12

Your hopes are high for a gorgeous result. You stitch and stitch…and then you hold it away from yourself to take a good look.

Leaf embroid 1

You turn it a different direction and take another look.

Leaf embroid 2

You think about it and take one last look.

Leaf embroid 3

Nope–it’s just not working for me. Maybe it’s because I started with the less exciting colors. Maybe it’s because I love to do trees and leaves with the sewing machine. Maybe it’s because I want beads and bling. Perhaps it wants finer thread.

But I don’t want to spend any more stitching time until I get it figured out a little better. I love this piece of painted fabric. I want it to turn out right. I’m not there yet.

Darn! Back to the drawing board!


Filed under Color, Designing Quilts, Quilting, surface design