Wonderful Quilters

Friday was such a fun day. Each Summer the North Carolina Quilt Symposium is held somewhere in the state. This year it was in Asheville so I made a date with a friend/quilter to attend for the day.

We went to a few quilt stores on our way north and after a yummy lunch, found our way to the UNC Asheville campus. This year they had an amazing group of teachers who each brought 3 or 4 quilts to hang with the participants’ quilts. When we paid our entrance fee, we were given a plastic glove so that we could look at the back of the quilts. To be able to see the quilts very close and check out the amazing quilting on the back was such a treat! Here are some of my favorites…

Susan Cleveland:

Though I took a class with her some years ago, it must have been before I started blogging. In any case, it was her Piping Hot Bindings workshop. She is an excellent (and fun!) instructor. If you have made bindings on quilts, you can understand that a teacher has to give very simple and clear directions for everyone to understand and be successful! This quilt, Flowered and Feathered Frenzy, is full of wonderful details showcasing her class content. There is a double binding around the wonky edges. There is both machine and hand quilting; the hand quilting she calls her “Morse Code” technique.

I was quite taken by these embroidered circles. And I love the color! I had just been complaining to my friend about all the dull grey quilts that everyone seems to like now. She pointed out that Susan’s quilt was grey. It is indeed, but the colors she used are brights – not the colors with grey added. It’s just wonderful.

Melinda Bula:

You may remember that I took a class with her to make her wonderful zinnia quilt. I can’t say enough about her stunning quilts and easy-going manner in the classroom. Looking at Waratah on the computer screen, I am struck by its beautiful graphic quality. In person you see her layers and layers of machine quilting and the lovely hand dyed fabrics that she often uses.

And her Monet in Pasadena. It was a hot day in Asheville and I wanted to swim among the lily pads.

Lea McComas:

I believe I saw this quilt in a magazine and I was delighted to be able to see it up close and personal. Bike Boys is amazing – Lea used 114 threads which added up to 8 miles of stitching.

This ad below was her inspiration! This is also a good shot to see her thread painting. Can you see how thick it is?

Barbara Olson:

I have seen Barbara Olson’s quilts many times at various quilt shows. Her work is constantly evolving and I was really struck by Life Unfolding. Do click on the picture to see the amazing detail, fabrics, colors and stitching!

And her Peacock Flower. (The Guild labeled this Stroke of Blue but on her website it is called Peacock Flower.) Talk about juicy color…

What is it about seeing art or fine craft in person? I feel refreshed and energized. I hope you do as well!







































One More Batch of AQS Phoenix Quilts!

I meant to get to this sooner, but life gets in the way sometimes. There is one more group of quilts to share with you. It really was a good show and I found lots to study and admire. There is something for everyone to enjoy in these shows, that’s for sure!

This one comes first because of its colors. In a sea of brightly colored quilts, this beauty quietly waited for a closer inspection. This quilt is Trellis by Mary Owens. I think the design is lovely – and –

Trellis by Mary Owens

— be still my heart – it’s hand quilted! I want you to see this detail. I was standing in front of it and another woman came and stood with me. After a bit she asked me why the quilt looked so soft! Hand quilting and piecing will do that.

Detail Mary Owens Trellis

This elegant quilt is Celestial Orbs Sylvia Schaefer. The simplicity of the design and the circular quilting is amazing, and she sells this pattern if you’d like to make one.

Sylvia Schaefer Celestial Orbs

I wandered around the convention hall late on Friday afternoon when the crowds had gone home, and enjoyed the quilt show almost alone; and I saw some quilts I’d missed! This colorful quilt is called Yellow Sky and is by Shirley Gisi. She lives in Colorado – might you have guessed? The colors sing and the simple quilting echoes the design.

Yellow Sky by Shirley Gisi

Summer Storm by Peg Collins also has amazing use of color and simple quilting. I think the design is so fresh and pleasing.

Summer Storm by Peg Collins

And of course you know that I save the best for last. This is my favorite quilt; I love, love, love it! I saw it in some quilt magazine or other and thought it was wonderful. And lucky me, I got to admire it in person. It’s called Golden Temple of the Good Girls, by Susan Carlson.

Susan Carlson, Golden Temple of the Good Girls

Here’s a close up for you to admire the delicious fabric choices, lovely quilting and of course, the sweet girls.

Susan Carlson Golden Temple of the Good Girls close up

Upon reading her website and blog, I found that the quilt is a fabric collage! Susan has a lot of information on her work and this blog post talks about designing this quilt. Though you can get quite close up to the quilts in the AQS shows, I had no idea. No wonder the piece has such a richness to it.

Hope you enjoyed my show and tell. Any favorites???


Laundry Basket Quilt Class

I’m not sure when I started to notice quilts by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. I really don’t look at quilt patterns – it is rare that I buy one (I like to draft my own) and am always confused when someone tells me “I just finished a “blah-blah-blah quilt”, the latest quilt design by so-and-so.

When looking at the AQS Phoenix class list, I was delighted to see that Edyta Sitar would be teaching a star class. In the morning, she explained the construction and design of many star shapes, and this was the class project, called Dresden Star. It’s quite an interesting variation and before I found this class, I spent a good amount of time, to no avail, trying to figure out how to piece it.

Laundry Basket Quilts Dresden Star

Edyta brought many quilts for us to look at and I discovered this pattern, called Dresden Bloom, a variation of the Dresden Star. O happy day! Everything about this quilt just sings to me – the pattern, the colors, the setting – and I couldn’t wait to get going!

Laundry Basket Quilts Dresden Bloom

First though, here are some other great star pattern ideas. Edyta called this one a Twirling Star. I envision it in much brighter colors…perhaps a Summer throw in red, white and blue… or red, blue and yellow…

Laundry Basket Quilts Twirling Star

And this one is quite the beauty, and it’s called American Beauty! I have to look over my notes as I can’t remember how it’s constructed. (It’s a more complex variation of a simpler star.) We were encouraged to take as many pictures as we wanted and attach them to the pattern sheets so we would remember each pattern and I need to do that.

Laundry Basket Quilts American Beauty

But back to the Dresden Star. It has 16 points, which means 16 different fabrics can be used ( or 8 or 4 or 2). Here is the fabric pack that I got. Edyta explained that in order to get a nice assortment of fabrics she chooses a small, medium and large print as well as a stripe and a dot. It works for me!

Dresden Star fabrics

The lighting in the room was very odd, and made everything look a bit freak-ish. This is the best shot I got of Edyta, holding up the string piecing of my table mate. This was a whole day class and it went by much too quickly. I have taken a lot of classes with many teachers over the years, and Edyta is truly superb. She’s patient and funny and knowledgeable. She managed a class of 25 with no trouble and believe me when an instructor can’t do that it’s a loooong day! Her instructions were very clear and she repeated them as many times as we needed to hear them. Unlike many teachers, she was on her feet and working with us during the whole class. If she is teaching anywhere near you, I would suggest you sign up ASAP.

Edyta Sitar

In case you too are obsessed with the Dresden Bloom quilt, here is a close-up so you can see the wonderful quilting and fabric choices. Feel free to drool…

Laundry Basket Quilt Dresden Bloom close-up



North Carolina Quilt Symposium {and winners!}

I have not had a quilt show to report on for quite some time and I was so pleased to attend this one…

Last Saturday Peter and I drove up to Flat Rock NC so that I could check out the quilt show put on by the North Carolina Quilt Symposium. I discovered the event while Googling something else. It’s an annual event and next year I believe it will be in the Raleigh area. They had very good teachers and vendors this year so I will be sure to look for it next year.

The quilt show was not a big one but there were many quilts that I enjoyed. This is Nineveh by Linda Voltz, quilted by Deb Beaver. It consists of 12 modified star blocks, which are foundation pieced. I assume Linda drafted them herself.


Here is a close-up of one of the stars. She has drafted two different points, can you see? One is a wonky sort of flying geese pattern and the other a traditional sort of pointy shape. I like it!

Ninevah star detail

Isn’t this stunning? I believe it’s a Judy Niemeyer Christmas tree skirt pattern that Ira L. Inman modified to make a wall hanging. It was quilted by Karen Rathmell. Ira named it Celebration. I would love to see where she hangs it in her home.


I thought this quilt looked vaguely familiar and when I read the tag, I realized why. It was designed by Sue Nickels and Pat Holly for The Quilt Show  2013 block of the month. This is called Solitaire and was made by Connie Griner. The design is so typical of “the Holly girls”, whose work I really admire. The folk art quality of the design really sings to me.


I think this is quite an elegant quilt with wonderful use of color to create the three-dimensional look. Susan Mimkin calls it Elliptical Staircase and it is her own design for a guild challenge. I hope she won!

Elliptical Staircase

This beautiful thread painted quilt is called Daisagi by Chris Eichner. She enjoyed looking at white egrets on a trip and created this quilt.


There was a baby quilt contest and there were two that caught my eye. This geisha one is very cute with a wonderful use of fabric.

Baby Geisha quilt

And this tiny fan quilt is a treasure. Sorry, there were no names because of the contest.

Baby Fan quilt

This miniature log cabin quilt is named Cabin Fever. Judy Lilly said on her tag that she had made a large version of this pattern some years ago and decided to design a smaller version. The cabin scene is hand painted. It is a very nice piece. {I cannot tell you what any of the ribbons are for because they did not say!}

Cabin Fever

Giveaway Results:

Since not many people threw their comments in the ring, I dug through my Asian stash and found some more Hmong reverse appliqué squares. Peter chose the names from a hat and I will send pictures to each person to choose the square they would like, since your e-mails are attached to your comment. I hope you enjoy your little square and please let me know if you make a project with it!   ;-D

  1. Paige
  2. Kerry
  3. Gayle
  4. Molly
  5. Laura
  6. Margaret

Houston’s Ruby Show: Florals

Flowers… I’m always drawn to them, either in the garden or a convention center. Every year, the floral quilts seem to get better and better. Here are some of my favorites.

Murdererskill Crossing by Janet Atkins was a surprise to me – it is entirely hand made! Generally speaking, the quilts in that category are very traditional in design with subdued color. Janet worked outside the box and everything about this quilt is wonderfully wonky. The color sings because blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel – it’s a pleasing combination but also punchy, because of the intensity of the values she chose. She won a prize for this beauty.

Murdererskill Crossing

Andrea Brokenshire created Yellow Mellow in Paradise. I quote from her description :”hand painted fused appliqué turned edge on a confetti-style background”. That’s a mouthful, but it makes for a stunning quilt. There is something almost etherial about the lemon yellows – you can see this quilt from quite far away. It sings like Fall colored leaves do on a dim and gloomy day.

Yellow Mellow in Paradise

I like Cleomes in my yard and so Spider Lilies appeals to me as well. Carol Morrissey is the maker of this quilt and it is fused and painted appliqué on a whole cloth background. The size of the flowers makes this quite stunning.

Spider Lilies

In Bloom, by Renee Caswell is machine appliquéd and stitched. This design has the feel of a botanical print of old, but has a more contemporary feel to it. As she says in her statement, it’s a flower that won’t fade.

In Bloom

This last quilt is the complete  opposite of the first one I wrote about and I did want to separate them for that reason. Magnolia, by Sylvia Gegaregian, really drew me in. I love the simplicity and stylization of the flower! Sylvia used a variety of techniques to create this piece, all by machine. Do click on the photo to examine the juicy center, which is nicely balanced by the magenta diamonds around the flower. This is one elegant quilt.



Houston’s Ruby Show: Applique’


Ruby Quilt Display

I happily spent most of last week in Houston at the 40th IQA Show. This was what greeted you when you walked in the main entrance! So many lovely red and white quilts, with the large ones arranged like the red and white quilt show in New York City in 2011. It was a spectacular and inspiring collection, with the smaller quilts hung nearby. I took lots of pictures of the quilts and have a few, just a few, to share with you. ;-D

This group is either appliquéd by hand or machine. First up – Becky Goldsmith of Piece O’ Cake Designs was inspired to make Tick Tock when she found the funny, retro clock fabric that you can see in many of the background squares. She said in her statement that she made the quilt by hand, without using rulers or templates. It is a charming and happy quilt, as her work always is! She usually uses quirky and unusual fabrics in her work, which cause you take a closer look.

Tick Tock

Karen Buckley and Renae Haddadin again teamed up to create this prize winner! It’s called Majestic Mosaic and is machine appliquéd by Karen and machine quilted by Renae. It is a stunning quilt and I so admire Karen’s skill. I did not count all the circular floral designs that border the quilt, but you can! The colors are striking – the gold, turquoise and pink really sparkle.

Majestic Mosaic

Breezy Garden is an award winning quilt make by Kayoko Hibino. As is typical of Japanese quilters, this entire quilt was made by hand. There is a handmade category in the show, and the Japanese quilters “own” it. I did not count this year, but the last time I did there was only one non-Japanese entry! When I lived in Tokyo, I went to many quilt shows, and was always amazed at the workmanship.

Breezy Gaarden

May Morning was designed by Jane Holihan. Don’t be fooled by the photograph – it is a miniature. I neglected to eyeball it in the show, but I bet it is about 6″ square. The design and coloring make me think of  many Chinese textiles I saw when we lived in Shanghai, and how juicy this combination of colors is!

May Morning

Beneath My Wing was made by the incredible David Taylor. The birds are hand appliquéd and then covered with rows and rows and rows of variegated, machine quilted thread. I took a class with him and was able to “inspect” one of his quilts and I could not see any seams. (It is his intention that you not notice the fabric, but see the piece as a whole.) Do check out his website as his work is amazing!

Beneath My Wing


More Quilts in Chattanooga!

The AQS had several special shows and one of them featured Melody Johnson. I have seen many of her quilts over the years and follow her blog, but it was wonderful to see the quilts in person and to have a long chat with her. Some of the quilts were older and some brand new and all feature her exuberant use of color! The first Melody quilt I remember seeing was Summer, which must have been in this sunflower series. I was really struck by the design and it made me want to experiment with fusing. This is Melody’s Sunflowers II created in 2001.

Sunflowers II

Cross Series III was done in the mid 2000’s and I don’t remember this group at all. It is pieced and I see the design as a complex jigsaw puzzle. It looks wonderful both close up and far away. It is 62″ x 47″ – that’s a lot of color!

Cross Series III

Matchstick Moons is my favorite series by far! I have seen these quilts before but I stood and stared at all the tiny pieces of fabric again. For those of you who are not quilters, click on this link to read how to fuse and how Melody created the Matchstick series. Whenever I see these quilts, I think I should try making match sticks on a tiny scale. It’s like pointillism with lines!

Matchstick Moons

I took many more pictures, but Melody has a wonderful blog with her recent work and then an older one with photos of all her work over the years, which you can check out should you be interested.

Chattanooga went all out for the quilters coming to town and there were many special events to enjoy over the long weekend. On Friday night we went to a gallery to see more quilts. Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler was pieced and hand appliquéd by Delia Price and machine quilted by Sherry Meyer. I have made many sampler quilts over the years, but this 140 square quilt really impressed me!

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

This is Bright Jungle Birdies made by Mary Saxton. The star patterns in this sampler quilt are called feathered star and it’s a pattern I have on my to-do list. All those tiny triangles are nasty to piece! What really struck us was the marvelous appliqué with the birdies and flowers and leaves. Click on the photo to ee the little lines with dots that are between each feathered star square. It’s a really nice detail.

Bright Jungle Birdies

This quilt was hung in a perfect spot beside a window so that it was easy to see the amazing quilting! The floral designs really make this quilt. It is called Delectable Sawtooth made by Karen Downer and quilted by Quilting Squares.

Delectable Sawtooth

One can never look at too many quilts…

AQS Chattanooga Show

AQS had another new show in Chattanooga, TN last weekend and Peter and I decided we would take a road trip and check it out; neither of us have been there before. I spent Friday at the convention center, enjoying all the beautiful works of art. I am pleased to say that the lighting was good and so I did not need to tweak my photos!

The juried show was not as large as the one in Charlotte, but I saw lots of great quilts. This masterpiece won best of show and I absolutely agree! I have seen pictures of the quilt in some other blogs and was very pleased to view it myself. Marilyn Badger is the maker of Exuberance.


I took many pictures of this quilt so that I could study her work. I think you need to see this close-up so that you can admire the amazing appliqué, piecing and quilting! Her colors remind me of my favorite hand weaver – Randy Darwall. I have taken several classes with him over the years and he creates the most amazingly colored scarves. In the first class I took with him, I learned how he used purple as a neutral and how wonderful it looks with brown, as you can see in Marilyn’s quilt.

Exuberance detail

This multi award-winning quilt is made by amazing Japanese quilter Hiroko Miyama. I assume she owns Gold Retriever dogs, as she has used their images in several other quilts. This is a pieced quilt but it’s so realistic – particularly the tails. She won a major prize in this show.

If They Were in P.E.I.

Mary Ramsey Keasler is a favorite quilter of mine. I took a picture of this quilt with my phone and when Peter and I were walking around Chattanooga, I showed him the picture in front of an actual yellow and orange Lantana! It’s an amazing likeness.

Ms. Lantana

This quilt, Through the Cracks, is also by Mary Keasler! If you check out her blog, you will see the variety of quilts she has made. I follow her blog and have seen both of these quilts in progress. I don’t know of many quilters who experiment (successfully!) with such different sorts of designs.

Through the Cracks

This is quite an amazing Baltimore Album style quilt. It’s a large 4 by 4 square design, but I thought I would show you a detail so you could see the incredible workmanship. It’s called Sailing the World on the Waves, by Betty Jeffries.

Sailing the World on the Waves

And here’s another detail shot, this time of Grandmother’s Rose Garden, made by Donna Gilbert. The pictures I took of the whole quilt were fuzzy, but you can see in this close up what amazing hand appliqué she does.

Grandmother's Rose Garden

Lots more is coming about the show and the town!

AQS Charlotte Show: Modern Quilts

AQS issued a Modern Quilts challenge  and so there were many of this sort of quilt at the show in Charlotte. For those of you non-quilters, check out this link for a definition of what a modern quilt is. As any arty group does, quilters are always redefining themselves…

This is Modern Mirage by Lee Heinrich. I think the color here is a bit off – one photo has the background showing as pink and this one as blue. It was closer to white! I very much like the colors and the circular sort of stars pattern.

Modern Mirage

Orange Creamsicle was made by Renee Eudaley. Impossible to photograph in the convention lighting was the variety of machine quilting on this quilt. Many modern quilters rely on a straight stitch, but not this quilt! There’s a lot to admire.

Orange Creamsicle

Marina Kontsevaya made Warm or Cold? One of the typical colors associated with modern quilting is gray, and though I like gray, I am not fond of colors with gray added. This warm (it looks warm to me!) sort of kraft paper color appeals to me, as do the colors that look well with it. Many modern quilters use commercial fabrics in solid colors, and I notice that Marina, as well as a few others I chose, included some prints.

Warm or Cold?

Waterfall by Sandra Morgan Cockrum was actually in the bed quilt category. I would very much like to see this quilt on a bed – either a modern, floating platform bed or even an antique iron one would showcase this great design!


And here is my favorite – Graphic Garden by Kendra Biddle. The shape of it is so appealing and the bright pops of x’s or crosses with the many, many “almost whites” is great.

Graphic Garden

Here’s a detail that better shows all the light-colored fabrics. And I’d like you to get an idea of the variety of fabrics she used in her quilt! She notes in her interview (the link above) that amassing those neutrals was the hard part. I have some that I could have contributed!

Graphic Garden detail

There was another show sponsored by AQS and because they have a book about it, there was no photography allowed! I was sorry as there were several quilts that caught my eye. Each year AQS chooses a traditional quilt block – this year it was Carolina Lily – and quilters create a quilt with that pattern as the starting point. It is amazing to see what ideas they come up with. When I was a new quilter, I used to buy the books to give me ideas. Back in 1989, quilts were pretty traditional and I wanted to get some ideas about what might be possible.


Next up: People, mostly!



AQS Charlotte Show; Color!

Wow – I haven’t been to a (big) quilt show in a very long time so I was excited to attend the new AQS show in Charlotte. They have added several new shows this year and I am also hoping to go to Chattanooga in September. I hopped in the car early Friday morning and headed off to Charlotte. It was a good show and I enjoyed being inspired. Because I am not a fan of posts where the blogger just posts picture after picture (it’s boring!), I have decided to break down my collection of pictures into categories. Today’s is color, my favorite part of quilting!

Rainbow Star was made by Carol McDowell and Kim Burterbaugh. There were two of these Judy Niemeyer quilts in the show and this was my favorite. (Didn’t it photograph well?) It’s hard to see in this photo, but the variety of fabrics in the flying geese border is amazing. The color moves so well from family to family. Carol must have an amazing fabric stash!

Rainbow Star

At every quilt show, I think I am tired of Baltimore Album type quilts, but then I find one that is different in its use of color or design. This is Autumn Journey at White Oak by Kathryn Zimmerman. Rather than having a variety of appliquéd squares, the many borders around the beautiful center square makes it quite unique. The yellows are so inviting and the red-orange (which didn’t photograph that well) adds such a pop. Being a fan of hearts, I very much admire the designs of the heart squares.

Autumn Journey at White Oak

And yum – how delicious are these colors??? This beauty is Adagio by Diane Hire. Her quilts always are amazingly colored and beautifully designed. The cool exterior moves into such a bright and warm middle. Here is another link that tells more about her work.


This has to be my favorite quilt! It is Grande Finale and was made by Tami Graeber. The color called to me from across the convention center.

Grand Finale

From a distance it looked to be all the same orange fabric, but there are subtleties when you look close up. I really liked the surprise of the jeweled button or brooch in the middle! So many of the flowers and butterflies are fussy cut and done in a broderie perse fashion. And it’s not overly quilted – just enough to highlight the design.

Grand Finale detail

This is an astounding use of color! From a distance this quilt looks like Chinese or Japanese embroidery. As I approached it, I wondered if the quilter had used silks for the appliqué. But no, she picked intensely colored hand dyed fabrics to give the look of silk embroidery!!! Susan Marra made this beauty.

Japanese Fighting Roosters

Next post: Modern Quilts…