Keith is a calendar guy!

Well at least his quilt “Curvilinear Energy” is!

MQX Calendar 2013 FINAL

Isn’t it beautiful!  Congratulations Keith.

Janet-Lee and Mary announced last night a very exciting change with MQX!  MQX East is now: New England Quilt Festival and MQX West is: Pacific Northwest Quilt Festival.  The links will be active shortly and when they are I will post them.

I’ll be teaching at the New England Quilt Festival.  YAY!!!

Congrats Keith!

Happy Quilting,


Free Motion Quilt Challenge & More MQX Quilts

SewCalGal emailed me the sweetest link the other day Joan at Leschenault made a video of the nautilus shell in my tutorial on the SewCalGal Free Motion Quilt Challenge.  Thank you Joan!   I’ll have a bonus tutorial in December that should be kinda fun.

As I worked with my students at MQX I encouraged several to enter either the Rookie or Emerging Entrants categories.  There is some serious talent out there in the quilt world.  Spend time at your machines, find your comfort zone and stitch to your hearts content.  Work through the frustration and ask questions.  Use the good batting and thread to practice!  It makes a huge difference.

This off the hook quilt is by Linda V. Taylor, it really speaks to my heart of the serendipity of the quilting world.

This one by Kelly Kreft reminds me of Split Complimenterity.  I love the use of color here.

And then there is this magnificent dessert.  I’m in need of a bib just thinking about it.

This is the back of Janet Stones quilt…hmmn, where’s the front?

Phew! I found it.  I see blue.

And here is Sherry Reynolds amazing quilt!  The quilting on here is outstanding.

I love BJ’s quilts.

I can not quite get over Laurie Tigner, I really admire this because it’s all silver lame.

The detail work on this is well planned out and beautiful.  Laurie has a deep sense of iconography and quilting, the combination really draws me in.

Work on what you love!


Friends and Teacher Ribbon

Saturday afternoon I sat down to check email and facebook Angela Walters sat with me to enjoy her bagel and some witty banter.  She’s quite funny.  Angela sat at a table with some very happy quilters the evening before and I told her the truth.  As they were taking pictures I very nearly raced over to the table and did the whole rabbit ears thing over her head.  I resisted.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why I resisted but I did.

Part of our conversation involved our teacher ribbons and how challenging it was to award them and our individual criteria.  First, it needed to be a quilt without a ribbon already including other teacher ribbons and second, I wanted to award a domestic machine quilter as that is what I’m remaining committed to doing.  This isn’t as easy as it sounds because there are so many amazing quilts in this show and most of the teachers had awarded their ribbons.

I perused the aisles with great care and nearly took my shoes off to think.  The quality of the quilts is amazing.  Every quilt had a quality or 5 that said give me the ribbon, give me the ribbon.   It came down to a couple of quilts and then I rounded the corner and saw this quilt (which I’d spent time ogling over) titled “Bursting with Joy”  by Terry Knott and I knew that this was the one.  The quilt that I would give my ribbon.  It’s a whole cloth quilt, stitched out on her Bernina.  This is something so right!  Terry it’s an honor to give you this ribbon.

Back to Angela, another quilter joined us for a little while and as we sat there Andy Brunhammer walked by and whoopsie!  I would have said blond moment but Angela was sitting right there.  Truth be told she would have loved the comment as we’d already established a mutual love for sarcasm – hers being the giggly style and mine being rather dry.  It works tho.  Andy wanted to talk about Tilde and I said I’d be there after class.  Yep, promptly forgot.  This wasn’t the first time this week I’d forgotten an appointment!  I wanted to sit down with the Janome folks and go over the machine  I made it just in time then too.

I got a mango smoothie because I needed a bit of brain freeze (not really) and walked over to Tilde where Andy & I discussed the quilt for a while.  As an aside, the binding on Tilde is Robert Kaufman’s Radiance and after last night I understand Keith’s comment about it being very challenging to hand stitch down.  It’s so right for the binding on the quilt though.

I must share that I love being “just the quilter” on the quilts I work with other people on.  I know that the quilting if its right will make the quilt and if it’s wrong seriously detract from the quilt.  Next year there will be at  least 4 quilts that will hit the public view.  One will be Staten Island Sunset, one will be with Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero of Kaleidoscope Collections, Keith will be sending another quilt soon and there will be 1 or two more.  Thankfully they are spaced out enough that I’m not freaking out. Yet.

The quilt on the left is Stella Luminosa by Karen Marchetti.  Oh my!

There are more quilts that I’ll post in the next day or two.


Happy Quilting!


I don’t always remember to take pictures in my classrooms.  Truth is I get busy with my students and forget that the camera is in my pocket.  They do good work and it deserves to be featured!  I did get to be a student this week as well.  I took Karen McTavish’s class  Mastering the Art of McTavishing.  It’s such an honor to take a class with her and I made a point of it knowing that, at least for now, she’s “retiring” from the teaching circuit.  I learned so much from her on the development and process of McTavishing.

I sat in the back of the class next to Karen Zimmerman, the Janome Educator and tried to stay out of trouble.  Karen is quite delightful and I am hoping to see her in Houston.  In both classes I taught in her room she very nicely demonstrated a stretching technique that Karen McTavish shared in her room that I will be sharing with students in every class.  And you’ll just have to take a class with me to see what that is!

On Friday afternoon Jim Smith told me he almost bought me a pair of socks.  All week long I wore highlighter color socks.  Lots of people were getting a big kick out of them.  Susan dared me to wear 2 different colors on the same day.  I did. 🙂 it was fun.  Jim found some pink & green socks heehee, I would wear them!

Here is Donna Morales-Oemig from Follow That Thread/Aurifil.

She’s very fun to hang out with and look at all that beautiful thread!  OH MY!  I love thread and Aurifil is one of the best!

and do you see what was right across from her?

Sew Batik and all of that beautiful, beautiful batik cotton, rayon and flannel.  How do you stare at that booth all week and not buy anything?  Neither one of us resisted.


There will be more later in the week.  I need to start getting ready to work.  Click here for a list of winners from MQX West.  There is some amazing talent and I’m honored to be on the list with Keith.


Happy Quilting!




I volunteered to help hang the show today, it’s hard work and Cathy Wiggins is well organized!  162 Judged quilts, Wearables, and 2 special exhibits were hung while the vendors were bringing all their amazing stuff in!  I knew I’d won something, but wasn’t sure which quilt, I had 3 in the show. I behaved myself for the most part, I did ask Janet-Lee and Cathy but tight lipped.  The winning quilts are displayed so that both side of the quilt can be viewed.

Remember back in August when I picked out all of that metallic stitching?

Well I think the end result might be well worth the effort!  Here is the front of Tilde.  I’ve shown bits and pieces over the last few weeks.  Snippets here and there, close up but not anything that would really show the entire thing.  Keith Dommer pieced this exquisite top.  The center is Sharon Schambers Fresno block (used with permission).  Keith designed the rest of the quilt around this motif, exploring the shape of the tilde.

It was truly an honor to quilt Tilde.

I enjoy the process of working with other quilters, there is something about this that brings a certain sense of joy.

I did tell Keith that if he wanted me to requilt any part of this I would be happy to do so.

The blue ribbon tells me with clear certainty that I don’t need to requilt anything.

A little about the quilt – Keith’s applique is intense and accurate and well, he has a damn good sense of color.

I used a single layer of Hobbs Tuscany Wool Batting.

And then there is the thread – MasterPiece, So Fine, Bottom Line, King Tut, Metallic and Magnifico were all used in this quilt.

I have a few more quilts to share but will do so later tomorrow evening as I have a few more I want to shoot.

Happy Quilting!


MQX West Day 1

The convention center from the restaurant of the hotel

This trip started out with a blond moment.  I thought I was leaving Monday and actually left yesterday, Tuesday. Can you imagine showing up a day early?  As luck would have it a quilter did that, showed up at the airport a day early.  Oh I felt for her and her flight home is something like 24 hours.  My flight cross-country was, thankfully, uneventful and using the Portland transit system is fairly straightforward. I did call our contact just to make sure I got off at the right stop.  Portland has the Convention center and the Expo center.  I’d printed out the correct directions however when on the train, being kinda tired at that point, I needed to make sure my brain was still working.  I have come to the conclusion that  I’m going to make myself a new teaching bag/carry on at some point, I love the Fiskars case that I have however it’s heavy on my shoulder!

While I was on the plane I figured out the Open Text version of  PowerPoint so when I get home I’m going to make a Power Point presentation. I like when I have some focused time like that.   I could have used it at the Ice Cream social last night or just about anywhere and while I love taking my quilts with me I see why PowerPoint presentations have become necessary in the quilting world.  It’s a lot lighter bringing a laptop or flash drive than a number of quilts.

Michelle’s green for Portland

While I was waiting to meet up with a couple of quilters I saw that Cathy Wiggins received an email from MQX West that her quilt won a ribbon.  I checked my email and I’d received the same email.  I won’t know until tonight if it’s Serendipity, Serendipity the Third Time Around or Tilde or some combination of quilts.

Claudia Pfeil and Karen McTavish at the Ice Cream Social

The Ice Cream Social is always fun.  There’s the ice cream of course and the quilters and the MQX show theme song this time to the tune of the Brady Bunch.  I love meeting and chatting with quilters.  I met Arlene Simpson last night.  We’ve been facebook friends for a long time and she’s taking one of my classes this week.  Yay!  As I talked with the quilters last night I shared one tip several times so I’ll share with you:

Claudia’s Gummi’s

When using Metallic thread I put either So Fine or Bottom Line in the bobbin and use a 90/14 top stitch needle.  One of the reasons I had to pick out that quilting in August is that I used cotton in the bobbin and cotton being rather fibery was pulling the metallic thread to the back.  Once I switched to the polyester thread I had no more problems.

In about an hour I’m going to go help hang the quilts.

PS before I go as you know I did the tutorial for October for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge at SewCalGal.  SewCalGal sent me this link last night which, to me, beautifully sums up why I love teaching.  I’ve enjoyed looking at the work the quilters have done!

Happy Quilting!


Autumn is my favorite time of year

I don’t really mind that the days get progressively darker because the deepening of the days means an explosion of color over the landscape.  The mums in the front yard are blooming heartily.

We’ve lost a few, that’s to be expected.   And next year I suspect a trip to Long Island with Mary will replenish our stock.  And perhaps my sweeties wife (that would be me) will invest some time in the front garden weeding though I have a severe distaste for weeding!


The trees are doing what I expected them to do with the lack of rain this year, the oranges and reds are exploding everywhere and the color is rich and deep.  I love how mother nature uses color in her quilts and I’m thinking that brown may play an important role in the next quilt.  As I think about it, I can see brown playing an unexpected and colorful role.  Thankfully I’m at a quilt show later this week and will have access to some great thread!

PS if the mane on Barnums neck is any indication (started filling out noticeably 4 weeks ag0) we’re in for some winter this year!

The gazanias are in bloom again.  I love these bright sunny flowers.  Each one is unique and beautiful and the colors suit the season well.

I’m leaving in the morning for MQX West in Portland for a week of quilts, teaching quilting and more quilts.  There is room in my classes and I’d love to have the time with you.

I’ll be blogging from MQX as I can.  Since there is a 3 hour time difference we’ll see what I can do!  I’ll be in Houston in just a couple of short weeks lecturing/teaching and looking at quilts!

Happy Quilting!