Monthly Archives: October 2015

Great Event!! – GHQG Annual Gathering 2015

So I was up bright and early last Saturday, off to set up our booth at Annual Gathering. Friendship Quilters of Windsor found a great venue with nice lighting and room for all!  We were set up across from Ami Simms booth, speaker for the day, which meant we had ring side seats to her lectures.

There were lots of attendees, the guild offered a quilt raffle, quilted sweatshirt raffle, a silent auction with some great items, and plenty of complimentary food! – YUM 🙂 Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves especially Ami’s lectures, if you were there for the first one,

Annual Gathering 2015, Ami Simms making us all laugh!!
Annual Gathering 2015,
Ami Simms making us all laugh!!



then you definitely wanted to stay for the second



Annual Gathering 2015 crowd
Ami had the crowd giggling all day!!

This was my third time attending an Ami lecture and she gets better every time! Ami had everyone rolling in the aisles, her down to earth quilting humor and slides assured us that we were not fabric hoarders, nope we weren’t – Ami provided photographic proof that people find the most unusual places to stash their stash, and that we all start somewhere and eventually our skills improve – all with a lovely bit of humor.  The room was full of laughter and isn’t laughter great, I think it’s like a little break from reality.


Booth mix of products
our booth – from antiques to contemporary

I presented a demo on Fusing Basics. It was well attended with lots of quilters asking lots of questions – yeah!  I had to beg forgiveness at the demo after starting early, it was only a couple minutes so I started again. Mumzy brought vintage lace and feed sacks to sell and I brought hand dyed fabrics and pincushions, the tables had a multitude of other items too.  We had great fun visiting with everyone who stopped by the booth – what a great day –  good friends, good quilting stories, and plenty of laughter!!!

lots of hand dyed fabrics!
lots of hand dyed fabrics!


Thanks Friendship Quilters of Windsor, great job!!

Crazy Quilt Lecture at Enfield Quilters

Crazy quilts were the first quilts to really interest me when I started quilting, they were my initial interpretation of outside the box quilting. Consider –

  • they weren’t pastels (which were the only colors my Mother was using),
  • they were abstract in their piecing (no Ohio Stars or Flying Geese there)
  • and talk about embellishment – anything goes: embroidery, buttons, and beads – oh my!!
  • NO RULES! – absolutely my idea of fun quilting, even now.
Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio,
Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio,

I was very excited when Madonna Terlizzi of Blackstone Valley Needle Arts Studio agreed to provide a lecture on Crazy Quilts. She brought beautiful samples, both antique and new, that were envied by all.  She provided interesting historical facts such as how metals in silks can cause the shattering  we now see in some of the fabrics and why both the manufacturer and the end customer may have wanted the metal in their fabric.  She also covered embroidery symbolism like spider webs representing good luck.  And best of all, she let everyone come up for a closer look with all there questions at the end.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.

I learned how to make crazy quilt block patterns from the first issue of Quilter’s Art magazine a long time ago (which was called Crazy Quilt magazine at the time). Just like everyone else (I assume), I started out with a lot of ambition and grand ideas for finishing my crazy quilt.  My favorite crazy quilt block, completely embroidered mind you, has since hidden itself amongs my UFOs of late but, based on Madonna’s inspiration, I’m motivated for a UFO treasure hut to find that block and begin my crazy quilt quest again LOL, OK somehow I picture my crazy quilt hiding amongst my UFO’s repeatedly before I, hopefully, finish my crazy quilt in my lifetime.

Thanks again Madonna for making the trip and lecturing on such an inspirational topic!!

GHQG Annual Gathering Saturday, 10/24/15

Hand dyed cottonOff to Annual Gathering in the weeee hours of the morning tomorrow, doors open at 8 a.m. so you can imagine the time vendors get to start setting up.  I’m definitely looking forwarding to visiting with everyone with my hand dyed fabric, beads, Angelina, scarf kits, my Mom’s feed sacks and all the other items we bring along.


Ami Simms is the speaker and I can comment from experience, I been to her lectures twice before – SHE is FUNNY and FABULOUS!!!   I can’t wait for her lectures tomorrow on

  • How Not to Make a Prize Winning Quilt (at 9am) and
  • Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide

Hand dyed displayNot a national speaker or anything, I will be giving a demo on The Basics of Fusing. I picked this topic because at the summer GHQG Quilt Show, I was amazed how many people asked about fusing in my booth once they saw my sample for my new line of landscape hand-dyes.  Hopefully a few people will attend and maybe learn something new 😉

There are a couple raffles, I donated a hand-dye and pincushion for one of them and there serving lunch and breakfast – hopefully I’ll see you there, make sure to stop by and say Hi!!!

Whole Cloth Quilts Design Rules???

I primarily quilt freehand designs for myself and customers, no patterns just doodling. This practice really lends itself to developing Custom Quilting skills. I love whole cloth quilts, but, do whole cloth quilts have to be intricately quilted with specific motifs like feathers, vases and wreaths in order to be beautiful?

I’ve made a few whole cloth quilts: one trapunto, one faux trapnuto, one from an antique linen handkerchief, a baby bib and there are a few more hanging around – ALL with stenciled intricate designs. Everyone thinks they look great, but what if you didn’t search for special motifs to quilt?

Recently a customer requested, simple edge to edge quilting on her white polished cotton top fabric and grey solid backing fabric. I ended up making five of these in different edge to edge / overall patterns I offer:

imageSwirls and Feathers

Petal Power

Matisse (which has dancing people and goddesses in it)

Lazy Daisy, and

Swirls with Fancy Feathers

Lazy DaisyI’ve decided that a whole cloth is beautiful no matter what design. A bonus for me, right now I’m really enjoying working with solid fabrics so the solid grey backing gave me a chance to play with thread color. I used a very light yellow thread on the grey and think it looks great! (white thread on top)

My recommendation as a long arm quilter – the most dimension you can achieve in a quilt, aka emphasizing the high and lows, light and shadows, or distinctions in the puffiness in the quilting– is best done with either wool of poly batting. My favorite is Quilter’s Dream Wool.

Caryl Bryer Fallert – amazing quilts!!

Corona II: Solar Eclipse, Caryl Bryer Fallert

My Mom, Aunt and I went to the New England Quilt Museum last Saturday to see the Caryl Bryer Fallert Exhibit. The ride was beautiful as the trees have moved into high gear for their fall change of color. There was lots of expectant conversation surrounding both the Exhibit and the Mass Shop Hop next weekend.

I’ve admired Caryl Bryer Fallert for a long time. I discovered one of her patterns in a book that was comprised of multiple designers. Although the instructions were a little hard to follow, I not only figured out the pattern but went on to teach it as a class a few times. The classes bought an individual pattern on her website but it was made to a different larger dimensions. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her quilts live and in person, especially a perspective from her first quilt to her latest.

Birds of a Different Color, Caryl Bryer FallertWhen we walked up the stairs to the exhibit, the initial color impact was breath taking. Corona II, a favorite of mine, was directly across from the stairs and on the left wall was Birds of a Different Color, I couldn’t decide which one to drool over first. There was a bench across from Birds of a Different Color so I just sat and took them both in.

What a great show, there were quilts that seemed like old friends I had admired so often in books, but to see them in person was a whole new perspective. Ms. Fallert’s quilting designs that travel out into the borders, the multitude of thread colors used in a single quilt, the hand dyed fabrics all brought such uniqueness to her quilts.

Caryl Bryer Fallert, realistic feathers


It was all so inspiring – her unique piecing method, the hand dyes got me to consider additional options for my dyeing techniques, and the quilting – there’s so much to consider there:



  • Although I often use multiple threads in one quilt, she stuck to solids (where I tend to use verrigateds) so she would have 10 times more thread changes than I might have previously considered
  • She let the designs, like a quilted feather, carry out into and run off of the border
  • Created ghost images (I have quilted an edge to edge twice but that’s not even close)
  • Feathers that resemble realistic feathers

I could go on and on, I took lots of pictures (no flash is a requirement) which they advised were OK to post to a blog – so I’m sharing a few. Hopefully you can make it to the show, to see her first quilt with all the others makes it all feel possible.

Flying Geese

Flying Geese, literally

Don’t know about anyone else, but as a newbie quilter it took me a while to see the Geese, in a Flying Geese block. I like the block and am amazed at all the different ways people find to construct them. I think they look great in a row quilt, I like the Dutchman’s Puzzle block and of course, everyone’s favorite, a star block (I especially like wonky star blocks).

Just because I like the way they look does not mean they’re not a challenge when it comes to a quilting design.  Let’s face it, it’s a triangle, and generally not an equilateral triangle, so symmetry and balance are out the window. Here’s my latest take on quilting Flying Geese, there’s definitely no confusion here where the Geese are!  🙂

This design made me laugh every time I quilted it in this quilt!


THANK YOU – Heritage Quilters!!!

Pete Pondering

About a week ago, Heritage Quilters were nice enough to invite me to present my lecture, Never Truly Traditional. This lecture highlights my personal art quilting journey and includes suggestions for different ways to step outside the box, from slightly stepping over the line to stepping out on another planet.

What a pleasure to speak with such an interested and friendly group. I’d say they were a captured audience since I was blocking the door, but they were terrific, laughing at my jokes and asking great questions during and after the program. I love questions, it gives me a sense of connection, that not only are people listening but that something clicked for them, and hopefully what I’m saying has inspired them to try a new technique.

This is one of the quilts from the lecture, it’s my dog Pete printed on a dryer sheet. I made it during the October snow storm so it has lots of hand work (we were out of power for 13 days) embellished with both hand-made and commercial beads and some basic embroidery stitches. This is just one way I’ve recycled laundry products into my art quilts – LOL. J

I also got a sneak peek at the beautiful raffle quilt for Annual Gathering coming up in October, can’t wait for the event!

Thanks again Heritage Quilters!!