QuiltCon East

This morning I’m going to share three facebook live vids.

First up ScissorMan Brint Fanizza with a twenty minute tour of QuiltCon. His joy and exuberance, and his love for people shine through.

Famore Cutlery is giving away Scissors through Generation Q Magazine’s e-newsletter Stashed! The big news is the truly left-handed scissors. Oh my goodness. I’m right dominant, as a teacher I’ve worked hard to learn how to use my rotary cutter and rulers left handed just well enough to show my left-handed students. These scissors will make a huge difference, the cutting action is finally correct for lefties! Lefty or righty you can enter to win the scissors that will work for you.

Next up from the show floor BERNINA Ambassador Linzi Upton and I chatted about her quilt Tartan Tattoo. The quilt, made from Oakshott Cotton, is as beautiful on the back as it is from the front. While shooting the video feed cut and I finished in a second live vid. Darn thing.

Finally I got to chat with Stephanie Bradenburg of Frond Design Studios.Stephanie, Melissa, Anna and I went out for drinks after the show and had the best conversation.

Anna is the daughter of Maria Tamaoka, Pinwheels. Anna and I have Oakshott Cotton in the booth, 1016. I’ve enjoyed spending these few days with her.

If you’re at QuiltCon in Savannah please stop by the booth for a visit.

Happy Quilting!


and then there’s another character builder

Jury Duty Summons arrived in the mail today for service in mid-March. It’s hard to make a good decision at the moment as I have a couple of deadlines, and am looking for work.


Click on the link (photo above) to Stashed! in a few days we’ll be hosting a giveaway with Famore Cutlery. Details will be in the newsletter when it goes out.


I’m heading to QuiltCon later today working in the Pinwheels booth. I’m going to try and blog from there and maybe do some walking around on Monday. I haven’t been to Savannah in years!

Happy Quilting,


Trees are perfect: character grows

tree in the morning

Way back when my dear mother-in-love lived in South Jersey she planted two Dogwood trees.One afternoon as we worked on cleaning up the property I pulled one of them up. It looked like a twig. The baby tree was replanted and thrived. The dogwood still lives in my front yard now, in spite of my efforts to hasten it’s demise. Its limbs a safe haven for the mocking birds that hatch in our arbor. Well, actually, they’re after the birds the berries on the branches, but that’s a story for another day.

garrison landing tree

The branches of trees add interest to their overall shape. Visually the twisting and turning, this way and that, growing.

Parrots in treeTrees do bend. Though straight and tall.

Trees grow, and change. Branches strengthen and new branches grow from them. Each adds character. The branches strengthen in the wind, and rain, and snow. These forces in their lives help build the trees.

Nature provides us with interesting things to look at. I’ve never criticized her for sunsets, tree shapes, flower shapes, leaves, bees. When I look at wrought iron, which is a passion of mine, I see character rather than flaws. This is about unique rather than an idealized perfection.

Happy Quilting,


Puddle Jumping

img_20170124_163916Every now and again in front of my machine I sit and stitch. That’s it. There’s no plan or purpose other than reconnecting with the machine and the rhythm of stitching. The stitching leads to thinking, that’s sometimes a good thing, and sometimes not so much. Either way the level of enjoyment is increased with each stitch. That is, after all, the purpose of quilting, enjoyment.

As one fat quarter filled and the next begun the weather influenced the choice of motif a bit. Thoughts of puddle jumping filled the space between. I can do puddle jump with the best of them, and have fond memories of doing so while dating my sweetie. The center circle is where the rain drop lands causing ripples. There is something calming and meditative with rain drops landing on water, each ripple just a little different, influenced by the effect of the other drops and ripples. When I started quilting the intent was one full spiral, about the fifth round out it became apparent that wasn’t happening. Uh-uh. Nope. Because the reminder of rain drops is simply beautiful.

img_20170125_173408-1And going with the rain drops seemed the only way to continue. At first overlapping and connecting. Then going a little rogue not necessarily connecting them, or having them overlap more than one other rain drop.

Puddles are glorious. Puddles give happiness for such a short time. Puddles are there for jumping, and rain drops, and worms, and inspiration. Puddles are delightful. Like rain drops sliding down a window, wandering hither and yon until they reach the intended destination. Rainy days in the summer beckon me outside, rainy days in the winter drive me to the studio with all the lights on. *The fabric used for the project is Sumi-é by Frond Design Studios.

Once all the quilting is complete the two pieces are destined for greatness! Yes, dear ones, they will be made into a new bag and wallets for me.I’m going to remove the hardware and strap from another bag that has completely fulfilled it’s obligation and use it for the strap on this one. What a great way to repurpose a well loved bag. There will be cork involved in some detail work, how I’m not entirely certain at the moment but a plan is forming in my head that will come together at the right moment. This one is just for happiness as I work on a few other things. One I have to get a mosey on and finish this weekend. I’ll be posting that “need to finish and write about it” on the Gen Q blog. It’s something different and kind of fun.

In a few days I’ll reveal the quilt design for the Lucy’s Nickles – Creating Confident Quilters one Stitch at a Time group. After some serious contemplation we’re going to work on a piece based on a couple of quilts and tease out the stitching and design from there. The thing that makes drawing out the design easier for everyone, that is the great hope anyway. You’re welcome to join the group and play along for as long as you’d like.

Happy Quilting!



An invitation

cropped-live-your-brightest-life-11-e14726550775461.jpgTeaching free motion machine quilting is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. When a quilter relaxes into quilting, the breathing changes, the focus changes, the rest of the group fades from the room. There is a very distinct memory of a quilter doing just this, in the middle of a very busy shop, what a beautiful moment. The over-thinking part of us, in that moment, becomes quiet as the stitching takes place. Being in that moment is so amazing. I’ve been there, in the middle of a busy place, simply enjoying the restorative, creative energy.

20161127_074359A few years ago I started a group on facebook called Lucy’s Nickles to work with a few quilters answering questions and helping them grow. The name is from the Peanuts character Lucy, who sets up a lemonade type stand and gives advice for five cents. A few years ago I mentored a quilter for a quite a while, his quilting changed over this time. So much so that his partner asked him what happened, “it’s like the lights are on now” (this is the gist of what he said.) Often through this process I asked more questions, than gave advice.

One of the gals in the group recently asked for a directed project. I’m game, so on Friday February 3, 2017 we’re starting a whole cloth project, which I’m currently in the process of designing. Once I have the bones designed I’ll post a pdf on the site, and part two of the discussion will start. We’re going to work fat quarter size as we all have fat quarters, and it’s a nice size for something of a piece of art.


You are welcome to join us on the facebook group. Click on the link above, I’ll approve membership. Please introduce you, tell us a little about your quilting. And let’s have some fun. Along the way I’ll ask questions, offer some suggestions, and give permission for you to use your seam ripper as you choose.

Happy New Year,


Word of the Year and a little more



Gratitude is my word of the year for 2017. Contemplating over the last few weeks what the Word of the Year might be “gratitude” kept coming to mind in the midst of many other words. Creating a word cloud seemed appropriate and fun. There may be a few words added as the year goes on simply for the exercise in thinking this over. 2016 has presented a lot of personal challenges, some of which have kept me from pursing teaching quilting in the way that I would love to do. I’m grateful for this as it has given me time to reflect on the classes, descriptions, and how I’m getting the word out. I’m still working on the wording but feel free to check them out here.

lunar eclipse blood moon
Ever inspired by the moon, the Robert Kaufman Radiance is pressed, and sitting on my ironing board. Eagerly  awaiting for the time to select batting, thread, and get started stitching. 

As much as I disliked pushing the pause button on a couple of major “I really want/need to do this” things in 2016, I’m grateful that the door is still open to them when time is available. Knowing that pushing pause left the door open didn’t make the decisions easy, nor did that lessen the angst about growing the career I’ve wanted in quilting for a long time. Expressing a desire to give up to a good friend recently, helped me to realize that giving up isn’t something I want to do. Quilt teacher brain kicked in this morning with a “hey! have you thought of offering this?” This is a two or three day class that begins with inspiration, goes through drawing/doodling, fabric, batting, and thread choices, and ends with a quilt. This feels like a bit of a feat, however I think presented retreat style, a class like this might will work.

2017 may present some time to finish a couple of things that have been in my sewing room for a while. One of them I know I’ll need to get thread for, oh darn, right?! This one has the request for glow in the dark thread. I’ll get cones. Shocked? Yeah, me neither. The other two are for amazingly special people in my life. One for a long time friend, who started the blocks years ago and asked me to finish it for her. The other that I designed for one of my nieces, working on it intermittently. This will open the way for other quilts that are rattling around in my brain. And maybe quilts that will lead to being able to pick up one of the projects that I needed to drop.

I’m grateful for my sweetie. The ever supportive, and willing to stop at any quilt shop along the route. Twenty-four plus years gives a lot of counting of the ways and I just love him.

So, I welcome 2017 with my arms as wide open as possible, with gratitude. I look forward to further reflection on 2016, growing in gratitude in 2017 and the journey forward.

Happy Quilting!



Caution: Opening box may lead to. . .

spontaneous quilting. 20161129_101126

With a warning like that on the box, diving in made perfect sense.

Allow me to back up a little bit here. Kimberly Moos of Cotton Cuts asked if I would be willing to review the Cotton Cuts subscription box. While reviewing books and product for Generation Q Magazine is something that happens frequently, it’s not often that I get asked for my personal website/blog.

As you know things quilt related are my work. I try my best to do them well. Quilting, teaching, writing, reviewing, supporting quilters in their journey it’s all a part of it. Working well is a way that we express our dignity, our respect for others, and for our very self. Our work is very much part of who we are, our identity. When we have the opportunity to do work that is meaningful, that helps support our families, and brings us great joy there is something beautiful in this. The mission statement of Cotton Cuts is:

Cotton Cuts is on a mission to create jobs. We have partnered with a local workshop that provides dignified employment opportunities to the intellectually challenged and to those with other disabilities. Every Cotton Cuts membership that you purchase contributes toward enriching the lives of these very talented individuals.

Yes! Yes! Yes! This isn’t simply a feel good thing. If I wanted the feels there are other ways of achieving it. This goes deeper, this goes to the person. This goes towards recognizing the inherent dignity of the person, and the gift of the person. This goes to supporting their dignity as individuals. This company is about more than fabric.

The box is just the right size, and it’s purple, which is one of my favorite colors. While it’s not a reason to get the box it’s a bonus for me. The box is a good size to store fat quarters or other quilty supplies that we bring with us when going to a class or traveling from here to there.

The box comes with quilt block suggestions and simple, clear directions. On the back of the card is a diagram that might be colored in, or used as a layout for the block on the front. These might be collected like recipe cards we keep and use for special times throughout the year. The zipper pull says, “I heart quilting”, why yes I do, and there’s an upcoming project I may use this for.

20161129_101307And then there’s the Designer Spotlight, a lovely way to get to know a new to us designer. On the front is a bio, on the back a coupon code for a pattern by the featured designer. In this November box we meet Rochelle Martin of Cottage Quilt Designs in Michigan.


The fabric comes wrapped in a ribbon. It’s a gift wrapped up in a bow. This attention to details makes getting the box in the mail so much fun.

Now before sending fabric out to you they ask a few questions about your color, and fabric preferences, and whether you’d prefer fat quarters or fat eights. I do love the fabrics included in the November bundle. Cotton Cuts is a great way to build a stash, learn about your own fabric preferences, and have a lot of fun. And yes, use the fabric. Several of these will work in a quilt I’m already making. Head on over to the Cotton Cuts website and peruse around a bit, order a box (the holidays are coming!), try them out. With that said, I’m off with these newly acquired fat quarters to get some stitching in on this rainy day.

Happy Quilting,