Monday, December 2, 2013

On News Stand Now

 My January 2014 AQS American Quilter magazine just arrived.  I am so excited to have my Poppy quilt on the cover of the magazine.  She looks good as a cover girl.  
I also wrote a story about the Secret and Power of Color which I will be lecturing about in January at the AQS Phoenix Quilt Festival. Jan 5-7 2014. Can’t wait.

It’s fun to have your words and ideas printed in the pages of a magazine.  
American Quilter also did a very nice feature story about me and how I got started 
in this business called "It’s Never too Late “ by Marjorie L. Russell. 
Thank you Marjorie for the very nice story. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pansy Thread Play Video!

My pansy video is ready to view.
This is a 28 minute free thread play lesson
This is also a follow up and a refresher course to my Renegade Thread Play classes.
I designed a new pattern called “Fresh Picked Pansy”.  
Easy to put together and a great piece to practice on.
When I teach my Renegade Thread Play class I notice that what everyone is short of, is practice time.  So here is the perfect pattern to practice on. 
This is to help you build your confident doing free motion quilting.  It’s all about logging in the hours behind the sewing machine that makes you more skilled.
So here is a project to practice on.  Pansy can be made in any colors.  
This is beginner friendly. 
Watch the video.
 Are you brave enough to try? I think you will be!

The pattern is available NOW on my web site shop for $10. Click in the link about to access the shop.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It All Started With a Prayer

Well this is the Big Week I have been looking forward to, planning for and a little worried  about for months.  In 3 days I will be standing on stage in Pasco, Washington alongside Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson doing my first Super Seminar.   How did this all happen?

Well, it started with a prayer.

And yes, I was lost, sad, depressed, and without direction. I had just lost my wallpaper/fabric design business that I had loved doing for the last 10 years.  Now what?  Is my life over?
Monterrey at Dusk
Someone had given me a book called The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I like the title, I am driven. So one day after being very depressed I finally picked up the book. I don’t think I read more than 4 chapters when I knew this ride was not over.  God is not done with me and there is more ahead of me than I could ever know. I cried!  But, then again, I am always crying.  

I reached for a piece of paper and wrote down 10 things that I wanted to accomplish in my life with the gifts God had given me. Now, mind you, he has not given me the gift of math or the gift of spelling but he has given me creativity. Now what can you do with that?  He has given all of us gifts and he has a plan for those gifts.  Then I felt guilty about the gifts. I need to get over this.

I started to write down things I would never tell anyone about: my dreams, ambitions, even a few things that I thought where fantasies at the time.  I said a prayer asking God's guidance over the list and put it back in the book and left the room.  I probably went and did the laundry.  Back in those days someone was always running out of underwear or socks.

I found that list recently and everything on that list I have accomplished and now I am about to join 2 of my favorite quilt artists on stage. I am so ready to teach, inspire, and encourage you in your creative path. 
Monet in Pasadena
But mostly I am grateful to God for not letting me go.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

You Can't Ever Start TOO Young

I love this next generation of quilter and her mom's not bad, either. I started sewing sitting on my mother's lap when I was about 5 and she has told me that I was trying to climb up to the machine even before that. Mom has been telling a lot of funny stories lately and loves to repeat the one about how I threw my shoes in the fireplace because I didn't want to go to school.  Which is true but she tells it to everyone, over and over.

Eventually, the hum of the sewing machine just rocked this precious babe to sleep.  She never made a peep in 6 hours because she was with mommy and sewing.  Makes me happy, too.  This is why I love quilters.  I used to put Matthew on the dryer or in the car to rock him to sleep after he cried nonstop for 3 hours.  Who new?

This is my Renegade Thread Play class last week in Long Beach.  The class was full with many different skill levels.  They gave me the Bernina class room which is a teacher's dream.

I am proud to say that I am now a Bernina Ambassador.  Pretty fancy if I do say so myself.  I am not yet sure what this all entails but I am very excited to be associated with Bernina.

So, if I am an Ambassador, do they assign me to an embassy?   Will the president be closing the embassy soon?  Can I bring my buff Marine?   I have trained him and so has the government to protect my Bernina at any cost.  And he has a gun (and the awards to prove his excellent aim).

There is just something about the power of a Bernina motor that lets me make the art I produce.  It just flows through the fusible web.  Some in this class had never free-motioned before.  I am so happy they had the Bernina because with that machine there were no problems.  Having the right tool for the job is a must. 

I have a few new ideas for this class in Houston.  More sewing and less cutting.  
And for those of you that don’t like funny stories, you may want to take a different class.  
I can’t help myself so be prepared to laugh and sew at the same time.  It's a requirement.

Monterey at Dusk and Monet in Pasadena 
After 3 days of teaching classes I finally got to the show floor to see the quilts. couldn't believe my eyes as I walked in the doors and saw both of my quilts in the West Coast Wonders exhibit greeting the guests as they walked in. Wow!  This is a traveling exhibit so these girls will be visiting  major cities near you over the next year. I already miss them. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

More Quilters Affair in Sisters...

 There is nothing like the Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon.

 Beautiful displays throughout the shop.

 Sue Spargo's quilt and her new book on display.

 On Monday night, teachers and staff were wined and dined at Jean and Bob's house.
 This is Jean's studio, which was thrilling to stand in. She has been hand-dyeing some fabulous fabrics. I can see something wonderful coming from this.
 Dining in the backyard with the view of a green field with mommy cows and the new babes. The Sisters mountain range in the background and 2 of my favorite artists hamming it up.  
Lynn Koolish and Laura Wasilowski

 It was a catered affair for the Quilters Affair staff.
What a great time we all had.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Where's your "Hidden Beach?"

Home from a creative week in Sisters, Oregon at the oldest (30+ years) and the biggest outdoor quilt festival in the world. 

The week started with Quilters Affair and 5 days full of classes from 30 teachers from all over the world. Every quilting technique imaginable was represented from the Modern Quilt movement to tradition hand quilting.  Truly something for everyone.

 Below are pictures from my classes.

I taught Hibiscus as a 2 day class,  Bird of Paradise (1 day) and my new pattern, Hidden Beach (2 days), which was a hit.
Look at the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics this student made before she came to class.
This is Tim with his beautiful flower.
 When the class is making a big mess you know they are in the zone.
In the Hidden Beach class I tried something new.   No paint by numbers this time.  It was all improvisational free cutting to make this beachscape. I was a little concerned about changing my teaching style without the students knowing what they were getting into but the students loved it.

This technique gave them more creative freedom and they embraced it. We used a lot of  free cutting with the rotary cutter which is the technique I used for the water in my Monterey and beach quilts.
We started with the beach, water, and sky for the first layer. Then we made the rolling hill and path. Then they did the tree layer.  About half of the class did there own interpretation of there Hidden Beach or lake or river. It was so exciting.
Candi finishing her beach.
This is one of the  hazards of the job: fabric sticking in places you don't want.
Isn't this wonderful?  She brought a picture for inspiration.
 She is now adding her trees.

This student is making cypress trees at her beach.

Here they are. Wonderful interpretation of cypress trees. 

Best part is that the NEW Steam A Seam 2 arrived in time for me to bring to Sisters for these classes. It is new and improved and I think you are going to like it. I haven't sewn through it yet but I will blog about that in a few weeks.
Here she added more rocks and dirt showing on the rolling hill.  Love it!

Now layer 3, the limbs of the trees.

I told them to add a punch of color as you make your trees. All right!
Her Hidden Beach is a beautiful lake in Oregon.
 This was so much fun and I can't wait to teach Hidden Beach again!

This is my class sample.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Great White North (take off, eh?)

We just got home form an amazing trip through the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay in Alaska. It was breathtaking. Now I was working the whole time but it sure didn't feel like it.  This was the best cruise I been on so far - OK, I have only been on 2 but it was really fun. I was teaching for Seminars at Sea.  Kim, Amy, and Linda put on a wonderful cruise. We met old friends and made some new ones. That’s what is so much fun about cruising - you get to really spend time with your students and become friends. 
Leaving Seattle
We traveled from beautiful, sunny Seattle. Yes, I said sunny.  Both days we were there it was gorgeous.  Then off to Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria. We toured the Bouchard Gardens in Victoria on our last day.   

The Scottish captain loved to do 360 degree rotations of the ship as we passed the glaciers so every side of the ship had a great view. There is nothing like driving a 40,000 ton ship like it's a race car. He was very smooth, though.

We picked up a ranger from Juneau that gave the whole ship a historical nature lesson as we sailed through Glacier Bay.  I called her the naturist but was reminded by my British friends that may not be the right word. In their country naturists prefer the absence of clothing.  Oh.
Dinner every night with Christine Porter, her husband, Neil, and friend Richard, Laura Wasilowski and husband Steve (missing again - who's watching Steve?)
Every day every there was something spectacular to see and this time I didn't get sick thanks to my Doc and the patch.  It really works great. I did over-patch on day 3 and had a little trouble talking but what’s new?
Sailing through Glacier Bay in June was wonderful and I highly recommend Holland America.

So here are some of my photos.
One of the many glaciers.
Leaving Juneau.

View at breakfast.

Thanks to all my students and the other teachers and, of course, Kim, Amy, and Linda and a big THANK YOU to Steve Wasilowski, Laura’s husband, who kept Joe very entertained - and we only lost them twice.
Joe's new friends.

We are looking for a large eagle on a rock.

Friends from Louisiana.

Floating miniature glaciers.

Oh ,and we did quilts.

And to the lady I offended (it's always someone) in the t-shirt shop in Sitka - Get over it, it was just a joke! I was making fun of myself, not you.  Everyone's a critic.

Next up, in 2014 we are sailing through the Panama Canal.  And Yes Joe, you are going!