wygilia several flowersWhen my mother-in-love Joy had her home in South Jersey, rather than grass, she had stones surrounding her home. This meant that the blower and occasionally weeding, were important at various times of the year. Every now and again she would plant things like rhododendrons and dogwoods. My sweetie and I would go help with whatever when we were there including blowing pine needles into the small patch of trees or pulling weeds left behind by the generous birds, dropping things here and there. So, this one time I pulled the dogwood stick she just planted. Good grief I felt ridiculous later. Thankfully I left the errant “weed” right where I pulled it, it was replanted and survived. A couple of years later we moved it to our current home and if I’m right it lives in our front yard.

purple flowerMy gut says that 2016 is going to be a defining year in the quilting industry. I’ll tell you that it’s fascinating to watch. I’ll also tell you that this is, like weeding the front garden, going to be good for our industry for a long time to come.

This week in the quilt world has been potentially unsettling. We’ve learned that  Quilter’s Newsletter will finish its publication with the October issue; American Quilter’s Society will no longer publishing books; IMQA, the professional association is dissolving, and closing the MQS show. Several big name quilters have announced their retirement this year, including and Gwen Marston and Judy Woodworth. There are quilt shops that are closing for a multitude of reasons including financial trouble, retirement, or quilt fatigue. Some weeks being in this industry is just simply challenging.

In all honesty it makes me think, a lot. This thinking then leads to questions. The questions lead to more questions. The questions this afternoon led to a conversation with Jake wherein I rapid fired questions at her that were vying for attention in my brain. So there will be more thinking, more questioning, more talking, more.

Speaking of thinking and talking – Jake Finch, Publisher of Generation Q Magazine, has written two Editorial pieces discussing some important factors of our q-niverse
Notions: Quilt Magazines Relevant or Not
Notions: What the Heck is Happening in our Q-niverse

As I try to think of a way to wrap this up, bring it in, pull these thoughts together the rapid fire thoughts are running amok in my head. Most of all I want to hear your thoughts here or on the GenQ blog. What do you see? What would you like to see? What are the choices you’re making in your q-niverse? What kinds of things do you want to see happening? What is your quilting happy place? Do you want to teach, write pattern, write books? Are you reading quilting books? magazines?

I’m looking forward to the rest of 2016, come what may.

Happy Quilting!


AQS Des Moines I’m on the faculty!

Teaching at a Quilt Show is so much fun.  From October 2nd through 5th I’ll be teaching with AQS in Des Moines, IA.  I’m excited, it’s a great show to teach for and I’ll be joining a great faculty with Linda M Poole, Charlotte Angotti, Anita Grossmon Solomon, Jan Krentz, Martha DeLeonardis, Weeks Ringle and more!  I’m really honored to teach with such an amazing group of quilters!

Wednesday Morning Beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting  Free-motion quilting on a home sewing machine is the best, especially when you know all of the tricks and tips that the “pros” use.  This class covers common challenges that quilters have when choosing batting and thread for their quilts, adjusting tension, and choosing the right needles.  Join the machine quilting club!

Wednesday Afternoon And Now What?!  Which came first the chicken or the egg? Who knows, but the burning question on quilters minds is… “how on earth do I quilt this?” Well, there are some great ways to figure this out including doodling on paper or clear vinyl. Bring a quilt to class to talk as a group about options for your quilt top.

Thursday Let Your Foot Loose Be Fancy & Free   Bored with stippling? Stitching in the ditch got you down? Let’s play with design, thread, fabric and batting to create some fun, one-of -a-kind quilts. This class is all about new-to-us motifs, using our intuition and going for it with machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine.

Friday afternoon Quilting is a Beautiful and Complicated Art (lecture) Well sometimes I certainly think so from hand and machine piecing to hand and machine quilting see a variety of quilts that share my journey as a quilter over the last 20 years.

Saturday morning Beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting Free-motion quilting on a home sewing machine is the best, especially when you know all of the tricks and tips that the “pros” use.  This class covers common challenges that quilters have when choosing batting and thread for their quilts, adjusting tension, and choosing the right needles.  Join the machine quilting club!

These probably, no wait, these are different descriptions than the AQS website. After some simple thinking and encouragement this change feels right. Later this week I’ll update the classes & lectures page with the new descriptions.  And now for the big announcement!!
I’m also adding a new class

Wait for it




Wait for it



rainy days and mondays 003Go Mini or Go Home!

If great things come in small packages, then miniatures quilts are the greatest! We will learn to confidently piece log cabin blocks from 3/4″ strips and take the mystery out of quilting the smallest of quilts. Go Mini or Go Home makes great use of the patchwork foot and free-hand embroidery foot (open toe quilting foot) and learning how to make simple adjustments on our machines for the greatest success.



Happy Third Birthday!

The Quilt Life magazine coverCongratulations to Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims and Jan Magee!!!  Oh wait a moment – there are a lot of other people to congratulate as well from all of the authors and quilters to the publisher and photographers and so many people who have contributed to this magazine!  I’m privileged to have written for The Quilt Life twice and am planning on submitting something again soon for the “Be Our Guest” feature.

As I write this blog I’m sitting in the waiting room of the dealership waiting.  Waiting for the car rental place to open so I can head off to another part of my quilt life – Hartsdale Fabrics where I work part time.  This is part of my quilt life, one that at this moment did not “feel” very quilterly however, here I am with blog fodder. This is part of my quilt life.  As the name of the magazine offers The Quilt Life is about who we are as quilters, not solely about the quilts we make.  The things we do inform our quilts and our quilts reveal part of who we are.

Over the last few months I’ve been thinking about who I am as a quilter, my quilt  life, teaching and so much.  One of the thoughts that perhaps I’ll submit as an article to The Quilt Life, has been that quilters wear their hearts in public in the quilts we make to give, display and even the ones that never make the full light of day.  Maybe I’ll just flesh this out here a bit.
I myself have been known to make snarky comments and pick apart other quilters work in public.  (hanging my head in a deep acknowledgement of quilterly shame)  I’m not particularly proud of this.  The change was coming long before I ever started teaching as I often began to wonder if the quilter was around and if they could hear what I say, how would they feel?  Did it lift them up?  Did it encourage them?  If the answer was negative in any way or overly critical I keep my big mouth shut.  As a teacher I decided that encouraging quilters, particularly new to the process quilters is essential.

Of course my phrases like, “oh yeah you should have this technique down pat ’cause you’ve been quilting for, oh 3 hours” are part of my  repertoire.  I have a fairly efficient filter in place however sometimes sarcasm is particularly effective in helping the quilter to stop, breathe, blink and move on.

Quilting is not an easy task or thing to learn.  It’s a process.  A process that takes time to learn, to figure out who you are as a quilt maker.  Just like sitting in this waiting room waiting for the mechanics and techs to figure out what is wrong with my car.  They’re going to have to go through a series of diagnostic testing to eliminate a list of potential problems.

So today this is part of my quilt life, waiting for the car and blogging.

Happy Birthday to The Quilt Life!!!  Here’s to many more years down the road.

If you happen to be in Lancaster this week

tilde-competition-overall-3.jpegAnd you see this quilt hanging will you be nearly as excited as me?  Probably not.  The only thing better would be to have Keith there.  My friends and I are driving in Friday and staying until after the show on Saturday so I can bring the quilt home.  I know I’m going to need to purchase a bit of thread but beyond that I want to see the quilts and catch up with friends.

78 002The catching up with friends is important especially since they’re really great people.  Planning the trip is so much fun and I’m really getting anxious for Friday morning.

The above link is to the list of winners for the blog give away.  Just so you know I’ll be doing a give away in April on my facebook page only.  I’ll be giving away a copy or two of the CD Gallimaufry that “Twilight in the Bronx” is the cover art.

The sneak peak to the right is more beautiful Magnifico by Superior Threads, it’s an auburn color on dupioni silk.  I am loving Magnifico and Twist and can not wait to get my hands on more of them.

In April I’m teaching with MQX at the New England Quilt Festival.  I’m honored to be on the faculty and would love to have you in class.  On Saturday you get to bring your machine which means you get to work on a machine you’re familiar with.  I’m comfortable enough with problem solving issues that we can do this together.  I’m looking forward to seeing you!

Happy Quilting!


kal iris 2Gratuitous Kaleidoscope image

More PA Quilt Show

The beautiful gal with me is Angela Huffman of Quilted Joy.  Angela & I have been on-line friends since Alex Anderson had her message board oh so many years ago.  Angela is a rep for APQS and is traveling to shows for them.  She just mentioned the other day that she’ll be going to Houston for the first time this year and it’ll be as a rep!  Yay! Angela.  Angela was in Knoxville in July at the AQS show but I barely had time to wave to her.  She was on the show floor and the couple of times I had a moment to say hi she was busy.  I did get to introduce her to Paula Reid tho!


As you know I’ve fallen in love with silk.  Silk fabric, silk thread, silk batting it’s all good!  I love the feel of the different weights of silk cloth, the fineness of silk thread and the drape of silk batting.  When I saw Ingrid Poweski’s “Echo Quilt” I loved it!  The colors and texture just drew me in.

Ingrid Poweski Echo Quilt

I could look at this for days.

As I mentioned in Monday’s blog I purchased silk from Golden Threads Silks.  It’s hand woven and dyed in Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos.  These are lovely, have a beautiful hand and I can hardly wait to get stitching.  I’ll batt these with silk batting and most likely a cotton back.  Both the pink & purple are 2 color, the purple has a slight pink undertone depending on the light and the pink is a bit more orange with pink.

I also picked up some more of the Superior Threads titanium coated needles.   I do like these needles, they seem to last longer than other needles I’ve used.

Happy Quilting!


AQS Knoxville Quilt Show 2011

This trip confirmed for me that teaching and sharing the wonderment of quilts is the right career for me.  To say that I enjoyed this trip is an understatement.  Bonnie Browning and the staff of AQS made it easy to just be the teacher.

My sweetie dropped me off at LaGuardia Tuesday morning.  While I was initially worried about the weight of my suitcases I soon realized I could have brought a few more quilts.

My only flight event was Marcelle (from AQS) calling to let me know that our driver couldn’t park outside the exit for us due to a heightened terror alert.  No biggie, I met Karla Alexander & Kim Brunner at the baggage claim area and I phoned the driver, he came right over and loaded our luggage, driving us safely to the hotel.

Just a note: I brought my camera and I have very few pictures.  Yes, you read that correctly, I have very few pictures.  When I was teaching I’d forget that I had it as I’d get so involved with my students and then while wandering the quilt show the camera stayed in my purse.

This pic was taken after our teachers meeting and I was preparing for my first class on Wednesday morning, Beginner Machine Quilting.   I arrived early for the first class to talk with Kathy Bond, the Janome Educator to give me a little tutorial on the Janome Horizon 7700’s we had in the classroom.  I like to be able to teach on any machine that my students bring to class the Horizon 7700 made it easy.  Kathy let me know where Janome presets the machine tension which allowed me to explain to the students how to adjust appropriately for tension issues.

The students in all of my classes were great, working on the exercises and listening to me talk about needles, thread, tension & pairing them well.   If you’ve been in my class you’ve heard me say, “Speeding Violation #…” a few of these were issued over the course of the 3 days I taught.

Paula Reid let me show her Batt Scooters to my students, with the humidity making the air so dense it could be cut with a knife having some kind of help moving the quilt under the needle was essential.  Like me Paula doesn’t like to wear gloves while quilting.  I don’t even like to wear gloves while gardening.  (Ok so my husband does most of the gardening these days however when I do, the gloves stay off).  Paula & I were buddies all week.  I was so grateful!  There was a sense for a little bit of feeling entirely overwhelmed.  Paula and the other instructors that I met: Karen Stone, Laura Wasilowski, Kim Brunner & Karla Alexander were just amazing!  Paula & I had lunch with Bonnie Browning on the afternoon they served BBQ.  I was pining for some really good southern BBQ – and this was decent!

The show pin for the Knoxville Show is quite beautiful.  I pinned it to the Fiskars bag that I use for teaching.  See where the pens are above? that’s where I put the pin.  My roomie Mary Ann Scheblein-Dawson put a ribbon on so I’d remember her, she was a great room mate and Zentangle Instructor.  I mentioned in one of my classes that doodling and Zentangling are part of how I practice quilting…one of my students went & took Mary Ann’s class.

I had Julia Graber & her sister Polly Yoder as students for Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy & Free.   Their mom was a Bernina dealer for 35+/- years.  She taught them to use the foot pedal with their left foot so they could use the knee lift with their right foot!  I had an aha moment when I asked Polly about this – I never wanted a knee lift until I saw her stitching.    These sisters are amazing quilters in their own right and I enjoyed every minute of having them in class.

The convention center is in downtown Knoxville.  There’s a foot bridge from the convention center side of the street to midway up a hill near the Hilton on the other side.  One morning as I walked across the foot bridge to get to the Hilton for coffee & oatmeal (Starbucks) I saw this empty whisky bottle on the bridge.  The first time I crossed the bridge I felt it bouncing crazily….at first I’m thinking that either there were huge trucks in the area or earthquake.  (I check the USGS site regularly so I know that occasionally very small earthquakes happen across the country.) Then the runner passes me.  Yep, the runner was making the bridge bounce, which didn’t ease my sense of security crossing the foot bridge.

I do have pics of three of the winning quilts that I will share with you tomorrow.  I’ll also have pics of the 12 spools of silk thread that followed me home & some gorgeous hand dyes from Karen & Laura that will require bib wearing to view.  Restaurant reviews too!

Happy quilting!







Getting Ready

These last few weeks I’m in the process of getting ready for Knoxville.  I’ve finished up one major component and it’s printed.

brouchure for lecture and workshops june 2011  Here’s the pdf for you to see my lectures & workshops.  I have a few more things to do in the process, but all is coming along well.

I’d been hoping to meet my roommate before we get to Knoxville however some things have cropped up for both of us so we New Yorkers will meet at the teacher meeting on the 12th.  Given time I’d take her class in Knoxville…or Laura Wasilowski’s or Karen Stones or…or…or.

While online registration is closed for the show you can still register over the phone for those classes you’d like to take.  Check them out here.  I’d love to meet you.  As I’ve worked on preparation for the classes one thing I keep forgetting to mention is that I’ve been a member of several online groups over the years and on each one I’ve had the same name: littleflower, so if we’ve met virtually I’d love to meet you in 3d as my friends like to say, feel free to come over & say hello.  My schedule does allow for me to wander around the quilt show at some point!  Here’s my schedule for teaching:

Wednesday AM – Beginner Free Motion Quilting

Wednesday PM – And Now What?!

Thursday All Day – Let Your Foot Loose be Fancy & Free

Friday 1:00 – Lecture: Quilting is a Beautiful & Complicated Art.

Saturday AM – Beginner Free Motion Quilting

Saturday 1:00 – All Star Review

Anne delivered this to me the Monday afternoon.  I’m bringing this to Knoxville with me, as is, for part of the And Now What?! class on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the quilting possibilities.  While I’m not stumped I think this is a terrific jumping off point for the conversation and to get the creative juices flowing as we discuss student quilts.

If you haven’t read the description for And Now What?! this is a practicing free motion machine quilting class without ever taking a stitch.  That’s right!  I provide handouts to the students to practice designs for trying machine quilting motif’s.  As I learned to machine quilt I’d practice motifs on paper to get a feel for their rhythm before heading to the machine.  Now I’ve taken to something along the zentangles or more directed drawing to figure out how a quilt can come to fruition.  I doodle both right and left handed.  The left handed practice is not nearly as pretty as the right handed but it gives me time to really think about the process of the stitching.



Happy Quilting!


PS – I’m