Quick Start Quilting–Quick Learners!

The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild invited me to teach Quick Start Quilting. I love to teach this class because the confidence levels of free-motion quilters just soars!

Here is a quick look at the first batch of practice sandwiches–and I think they are pretty impressive for beginners!

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After learning some basic shapes, the students took an odd-shaped printed fabric and used it as the basis for extending a design. They did an amazing job of totally imagining and then producing a design for their little quilt.

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My goal in offering this class is to enable students to gain enough free-motion quilting experience to be confident in attempting to quilt ANYTHING they desire.

These ladies did such a wonderful job that I am confident in their abilities!

Thanks for a great class.


Student work

I love it so much when a student finishes a class project and sends me a picture! This picture is from Janice from Sarasota. She reminded me that she was late to class, but what I remember is the fact that she jumped right in and was fearless in her choices!

I can see all the little elements that she learned from me, but I can also see her originality in how she created and assembled the whole.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Janice!

Progress is being made

Taught Rule Breaking Quilts at Friendship Knot Quilt Guild today and thought I’d show you pictures of pieces from starts to almost finishes! There are a couple that I just did not get photos of, but sometimes people pull the pieces off the design wall to actually get them assembled and then I miss the opportunity!

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As often as I have taught this, I am always amazed at how different each piece is. Totally unique in both construction and the artistic expressions of each student. I’m so grateful that I get to do this!

Tomorrow is Quick Start Quilting and Monday is Your Design Here. Two more days of fantastic fun for me…and work, work, work for these women! I do hope they are having fun, too!

My improv…

When I’m teaching an improv class, I’m sure to let the students know that there are many ways to do improv piecing and designing. There is absolutely NO WRONG WAY, but we all have our favorite methods and of course that’s what we teach. My favorite method is the stack/slash/switch method because you get a lot of related ‘elements’ in a very short time.

This past week my students had fun making stacks of elements, even though they had no idea what they would be doing with them! (And I’ll ask pardon in advance–I’m pretty sure I didn’t get everyone’s piece. I forget to take pictures during classes and sometimes miss things when I’m hurrying to make up for it!)

Things started making a bit more sense to them when they started to lay them out, either on the design walls or tables.

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It takes quite a while to get an arrangement that you like and even longer to get it sewn together! You can spend an hour or a week at the design wall stage–you just never know!

It was another great time for me…and I always hope my students enjoy what they are doing,too! Now I am home, no teaching, for almost 8 weeks. Holiday events will fill in any spare time I might have thought I had, but it is so good to be home with family for the whole holiday season!

I plan on being back to some sewing tomorrow. Maybe I’ll even have something to share with you. If not, it’s because I am too relaxed to write a post!

Love workshops!

When you go to a new city and teach a workshop to women that you don’t know and that don’t know you, it can be a challenge. But when you start the day with a great facility like this


you know that things are going to go well! Look at all that space!

I will preface the rest of this by saying that I forget to take pictures during the day…because I’m teaching! I can usually take a few shots at the beginning of the day and catch a few when everyone is packing up, and that’s what happened here at the Common Threads Quilt Guild in Lafayette, IN.

No one brings the same fabric selection, but most everyone brings plenty of fabric.


They got an awesome start making elements in non-traditional ways.

lafayette-4 lafayette-2 lafayette-5

And started putting those elements on their design walls


This artist started with a combination of warm and cool colors


and came to a design that kept them separate on the edges and blended them visually through the center.


She knows where she’s headed with this and is confident of her techniques as she continues forward.

And Tammy, I think, started with more traditional fabrics


and is working towards this much more dramatic piece.



Drama again, and combining curves!  Well on her way to her goal of creating a great piece for fall.

There were so many wonderful pieces and I always forget my camera until half the class has packed up and gone home! What a wonderful group! Everyone was so eager to give everything a try. Enthusiasm was the word of the day and my day working with these lovely ladies was wonderful.

And THEN one of the ladies, Anita, shared part of her work with me. She took me to a co-op gallery of which she is a member and it was spectacular! She brought part of the Marie Webster exhibit, recently held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, along with some new pieces to the gallery. It was beautiful and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

And then it was time for a quick run home to change suitcases and hop on a plane to Florida. Trying to visit my mother as often as possible and when the airfares are cheap and you have the time, it’s off we go!!! That means you may or may not get any posts for the next couple of weeks!

Time to board our twice-delayed flight…sheesh…driving next time!




Build a Night Village

Whenever I teach a class, I like to have more than one sample. Why? Because with improvisational work, there is never only one way to put a piece together!

I’ll be teaching Build a Scrappy Village

Scrappy City 72

at the Quilt Patch on Sept. 25…at least the very basics. It’s not a full day this time, so the students won’t get much of a chance at the design wall. That makes it my job to show them more options.

Night village 2

It all starts with 2 squares–various sizes, one background, one scrap.

I’m going for a darker feel this time, like a town at night, so my background is the black/white.

The village gets built square by square and then decisions are made as to how it is arranged.

Night village 1

In my mind, the first sample I made is of big city apartments. I will be aiming for a smaller village feel on this next one, with neighborhoods and streets.

Night village 3

It still needs some arranging and then construction…decisions on streets and roads…backgound filler or an accent color…lots to do but I can’t seem to spend as many hours straight on the sewing machine as I used to.

I’m also going to be teaching Improv With a Modern Slant and I want to make another sample for that class. Maybe I better suck it up and get back to that sewing machine! There’s work to be done!