Tag Archives: Quilting

Summer solstice

Yes, I know that the summer solstice is NOT in July! I’m assigning my own meaning to those words, though. For almost all of my adult years the end of July has been vacation time…off the grid, away from everything, total relaxation time. The physical location has changed over the last several years, but I believe my mental state is definitely on vacation now.

No new projects and lots of relaxation time for the next couple of weeks. Rest and renewal. Solstice is the highest or lowest point the sun reaches in the year. This is my high point and I need to pause and enjoy it!

However, that DOES include lots of thinking about quilting!

My first ever fabric-of-the-month-club has been ongoing this year. (Color Inspiration Club from Pink Castle Fabrics) I’ve been quite pleased with the fabrics I’ve received, but this month’s selection is my favorite. It’s the essence of summer to me, so perfect for July.

IC fabric

I believe this means that the blog will be on vacation for a week or so also. I will be back by Aug. 10, with a totally relaxed smile on my face!

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Filed under Color, Thinking About Quilting!

Small progress

There will not be progress shots of my slow stitching project every day. However, I had some time today to work on it and I’m pleased with the direction it’s taking me!

Brown wool 4

I started adding some beads as I went along, but I had forgotten that it’s a bad idea when using a hoop! So, I’ll do my stitching first and add beads later…and I do have plans for lots of beads!

Brown wool 7

So far, I’ve used just the shades of blue and shades of peach threads. There may not be any other colors, but I’m not ruling it out. This is still so much in the early stages. I can see that there will be lots and lots more work to come, but I’m eager to be doing it. There is always a slight disappointment every time I move the hoop that I’ve made so little progress, but then I lay the whole thing out and I can see where I’m heading and I’m happy again!

Brown wool 5

All that hand stitching is just so relaxing and rewarding to me. I won’t post more on this until it’s done, but that may be a while! Slow stitching is just that….slo-o-o-o-w!


Filed under Beading, Big Wool Adventure!, Non-traditional Quilts

Quilt Show Finale

Oh, my…we unloaded the last of the quilt show materials in a driving rain! So glad most of the stuff was in plastic storage containers!

But our show was beautiful and successful–we couldn’t ask for anything more.

Lots of big, gorgeous quilts, but my quilts were hanging with the little art quilts! Far right…


and right again, with one by Mary Bajcz.


Things always look better when they are hanging in a show or in a gallery. I absolutely loved this one by Sharon Ray.


These are both by Erika Keith and the one on the right was started in a class with me! She really knows what she’s doing, doesn’t she?


These art quilts were only a small sampling of the many wonderful quilts shown.


And vendors, of course…I did not remain unscathed from that part of the show. But the most fun thing was winning a piece in the silent auction. June Guthrie does beautiful work and now I own one of her pieces! Wooo-hooo!


Great show–lots of hard work setting up and taking down–totally worth it! Think very seriously about getting involved with your local show! You won’t regret it.




Filed under Quilting

Starting slow

Things should be getting back to normal very soon around here. I’m busy this week teaching a class and helping with the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild show.

I had my sewing machines cleaned while I was at camp and I’ve surprised myself by not using them yet and it’s been three whole days since I got them back! That’s unheard of for me!

My stitching right now is grabbed at spare moments and it’s all by hand. I’ve barely started on a piece that uses scrunched up hand dyed fabric and wool. I’m not sure quite where it will end, but I’m pretty sure it’s becoming part of my city grid series. You can barely see what I’ve done, but I can’t have a post without a picture or two, can I?

Brown hand 1

I’ll throw in a close up ’cause that makes it look like I’ve done more than I really have!

Brown hand 2

I really am embracing the idea of slow stitching, though, and there is a ‘movement’ out there that I think I need to read more about…when I have time to slow down!

Maybe next week!

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday!


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

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