A Quilt Collaboration






Last winter here in Northern California we faced what they thought would be the “storm of a century”.  Since we live on a piece of property with a lot of trees this typically means electricity going out, trees down and several days of time off the grid.  As we prepped bringing out lamps, blankets and our generator, it brought to mind the mood and the phrase “Batten Down the Hatches” and a quilt design was born.  I grabbed a large piece of orange/red Kona cotton and made it a pieced porthole with which i filled improv curved waves and sky.  The huge storm as it turned out never came to pass BUT I was left with a throw sized quilt top that grew on me daily and begged for some special quilting that I knew I was not up to.

I’ve mentioned before that 2015 has been a year of collaboration for me.  This latest quilt is the child of one such amazing union.  The free motion quilting work of Christina Cameli (A Few Scraps) is epic, truly.  To be honest I had no idea how special her art was until I held the fruits of it in my hands.  As I was pondering how to finish this piece, I threw out the idea of collaborating to Christina and lucky me, she said yes.

She filled this quilt with beautiful free form art that tells quite a story.  We both have since acknowledged the fact that somehow working with another makes you travel roads you would have never considered.  I am so thankful we got to travel the journey together.

Christina will be teaching several free motion classes at Quiltcon 2016.  One of them is titled “Wild Quilting” and uses this quilt and other works as inspiration.  Catch this quilt and Christina at Quiltcon if you can.  I promise, you will find her work and teaching inspiring.


Old Blue Eyes





Losing myself in some thoughtless creativity this week.  My work has been especially brutal from an emotional perspective-too much tragedy for certain.  Can sewing be therapy?  YES, YES, YES!!!

I finished a quilt top that has been several months in the making.  I was initially inspired by wood panelling made by artist Ariele Alasko (ariele alasko)  For me, is easy to see many of her designs interpreted as quilts.  It morphed in the making, as my creations always do and required sewing and unpicking several times to get right.

On my daily drives I pass by a beautiful abandoned gas station.  It is a remnant of the old Lincoln Highway that is now virtually unused since they built Highway 80 here in Northern California.  The blue wall and wood paneling of the station called for pictures (and that color combo deserves a quilt too don’t you think?).  While I stopped and set up my portable backdrop, the elderly owner came out to chat.  No question he was leery of me at first but warmed quickly when he saw my quilt.  It is hard for anyone to be threatened by that.  As I drove away I realized the quilt needed to be called “Old Blue Eyes” as the blue diamonds remind me of a steel blue gaze and in reference to the lovely old man who let me take pictures on his property.


Playing with Transparency: Bee Sewcial Blocks for March

It is feeling like Spring here in Northern California.  I am appreciating my bulbs that have already bloomed and the warmer weather which seems in stark contrast to the rest of the country.  (We would gladly take some of that snow and rain however given the multiple year drought we are in the midst of. Yikes!)

In any case, the March Bee Sewcial block challenge matches in palette and mood our current weather.  For details on this month’s challenge, check out Melissa’s instructional post on Flickr (Flickr: Discussing March is for Melissa! 🙂 in Bee Sewcial).  I must reiterate how fun this Bee has been.  It is forcing me to step out of my creative comfort zones and I have learned so much.

When planning my blocks for the month, I searched high and low on Pinterest and in Flickr for “transparency” inspiration.  Nothing seemed quite right so I finally settled on images that came out of the blue.  Translating those images to fabric was the big challenge and after considering several options, I decided to simply convert the scale pictures I had drawn directly into paper pieced patterns.



Making the points line up perfectly was the only real challenge of it all (along with picking the left over paper pieces off the back of the fabric.)  I can imagine glue basting would work well for this (another new method to try out).  I am now completely hooked on making paper piecing patterns.



And I think I can now call myself an official quilter after making two ginormous design walls.  That’s right, I will no longer be doing design layouts on the floor.  What a concept!  Now I just have to find a better fabric cutting spot as the floor is still my go to.  Kneeling, bending and squatting are good for you right?


Though I enjoyed playing with the new colors in Melissa’s palette I needed to nurture my creative rebel side a tad and made up the block above.  This design has been in my head for awhile.  I can imagine a quilt made of several similar equilateral triangles.  Unfortunately my darn new ideas keep competing with old plans for time on my sewing machine.  I have so many plans lined up I’m going to have to farm out some tops for quilting by others I think.

My mailbox and heart have been bursting with love from the huge hearted quilting community I now feel a part of.  Anne de Waxholm (Holland) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/anne_de_waxholm) and Berene (Canada) (@happysewlucky on Instagram) sent me their contributions to the “Nude is Not a Dresscolor” project.  Don’t they play well together?


I also got some similar blocks from Krista (Poppyprint) while at Quiltcon along with other special goodies and a signed copy of her new book (Martingale – Make It, Take It (Print version + eBook bundle)).  I can’t wait to make a couple of projects highlighted in it.


Chawne Kimber (completely cauchy.) was super sweet and sent me some of her Quilting business cards, some fabric and a pin of one of her gorgeous Quiltcon quilts.  I was bummed to miss her at the event but appreciate our ongoing dialogue online and look forward to a face to face meet up sometime in the future.


Lastly, along with her gorgeous Shirt Blocks, Berene sent me some hand printed linen tags that make reference to my day job.  They read “Quilts are the best medicine” , “Inject a little creativity into life”, “flesh and fabric are my canvas” and “give me sutures or thread and I will stitch beauty”.  Crazy amazing and generous right?!  These are going on some of my quilts for sure.



Wishing you a creative weekend.



Mentor Pillows

Does anyone else have project images in their heads begging to be made?  I am plagued with many.  Sometimes the translation into tactile pieces hits the mark and sometimes . . . not so much.  These pillows to be honest are better in person then in my brain – a heartfelt success.  Not too long ago I ordered some hand dyed fabric from Malka Dubrawsky of Stichindye and wanted to use them for pillows.  If you’ve never checked out Malka’s patterns and work, you need to – so inspiring.

A Stitch in Dye.


I also have been pouring through Carolyn Friedlander’s new book, Savor Each Stitch as well as her other patterns.

carolyn friedlander | fresh, modern quilt patterns.

I was hoping to translate her Circle Lattice pattern into a pillow but couldn’t make it work dimension-wise so I made up my own pattern.  Using Marcus Fabric Organic Cotton Canvas combined with Malka’s hand dyed lovelies and following Carolyn’s techniques, I needle turn appliquéd the designs on.


On Instagram I’ve been inspired and loving the work of Chawne of CauchyComplete.

completely cauchy.

I have especially been drawn to her hand quilting,  Using some thicker Aurifil thread, in a much more simple fashion then Chawne, I hand quilted to finish the fronts.

These pillows begged to be called Mentor Pillows because they are inspired by artists (in my mind mentors) whose work I admire: Malka, Carolyn and Chawne.




The next idea waiting to come to life in fabric is a quilt design based on a wooden table I have been lusting over.  This project shoud be fun!

Happy weekend everyone.


A Palate Cleanse

Bold, Graphic, Black, White – These themes have been calling me this week, perhaps in reaction to the color overload of our recent vacation.  I’ve ditched the small needles and delicate lace weight yarn for some lovely worsted weight hand dyed yarn in dark gray by Neighborhood Fiber Company.   I also finished up a quilt top this morning in black and white linen/cotton by Rober Kaufman that is all bold and graphic.  These have provided quite the palate cleanse.


My quilt top was heavily inspired by the work of Mark Grotjahn.  You can find some of his paintings here:

PHILLIPS : Art Auctions | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions | Private Sales | Private Collections.

I’m calling it “Queuing Theory” which per the Wikipedia definition means “the mathematical study of waiting lines, or queues”.




I’m not quite sure how to quilt this bold beauty up.  A big package of Aurifil thread came into by possesion recently.   Here’s hoping it lives up to  it’s amazing reputation.

in other news, the challenge of working with lace weight yarn paid off and a picture of my Windspiel shawl was picked up by Flickr Explore.  My husband is happy to remind me that it is actually HIS picture.  🙂

Windspiel Lace Shawl- Explore | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.


I have about 4 more quilt designs and several bag designs percolating but the next few weeks are full of work and family.




Big Blue Complete

I came home from vacation to a wonderful surprise.  My Big Blue quilt top had been shipped to me from Emily Sessions.  I quilt most of my quilts but when I am looking for something special I have turned to Emily to do custom quilting for me.

emerson quilting | longarm quilt design.

Emily does a wonderful job. You can see her work on another quilt of mine here:

Life in the ER Quilt | Entropy Always Wins.

Loving how this quilt has turned out.  It was heavily inspired by a painting of Alain Bilteryest.

Alain Biltereyst – Minimalist Geometric Paintings / Aqua-Velvet.

I think it looks a little like a flag while one of my friends says it looks like “two sergeants getting married”. That comment had me investigating military badges and medals. . . I may have found a new fount of inspiration.






Happy creating everyone.