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The 2022 Springville Art Museum Quilt Show

Springville Art Museum

I was a judge this year for the Springville Art Museum Quilt Show, and while I can’t include all the quilts that were hung, I thought I would post up a few that were my favorites or that caught my eye.

Details from quilt. She used the pattern from Piecemakers: “His Majesty – the Tree.”

Pizzazz! designed and quilted by Ruth Davis — an original pattern!

Never a Blue Heart
Made and quilted by Lisa Johnson

Sheryl Gillilan designed and quilted this quilt, titled, It’s All a Game!

The Boys on the Block
Designed, made and quilted by Marian Eason

Afternoon Delight
Made by Patsy Wall; Quilted by Kim Peterson

Winter Bouquets
Made by Katherine Porter; Quilted by Emmy Evans

At first glance, I thought the flowers were broderie perse, but it’s all appliqué!

Ann Larsen started Nature’s Chorus in 1999 and finished about 30 of the blocks. During the pandemic she finished it. Quilted by Shelly Dahl.

I loved the simplicity and elegance of this design, with outstanding quilting.

Pamela (a fellow judge) and Wendy (Chair of Quilt Committee) on the day the show opened. (Lisa’s quilt is in the background.)

Julie Saville first created the borders of her quilt Star Garden, then did the center. She also did the quilting.

I could have looked at this one for hours–sorry about the images. Photographing in high contrast light (like spotlights on quilts) often does funny things. It was stellar, though!

Florence Evans’ Bow Wow Chow Mein
Made by Evans; Quilted by Quilts on the Corner

Improv Curves, Made and Quilted by Marian Murdock

Effervescence • Made and Quilted by Sheryl D. Gillilan

I loved this quilt, with all its blues and aquas (my colors!). It is titled Straits of Mackinac and was made by Lani Brower (my second scribe) in a Bonnie Hunter class on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Peggy Cameron did the quilting.

Just a handful more quilts for this post.

Diversity – Unity – Harmony (Mobius Radial Quilt)
Made and Quilted by Luanne Olson

I hope you can see what a wide variety of quilts there are in this show!

Andrea Erekson made and quilted Happy Golden Days

Katherine Porter’s Fan Flower • Quilted by Virgina Gore

There were quite a few more quilts, but next year you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Thank you, Springville Art Museum and the Utah Valley Quilt Guild!


Blooming Scrap Quilt & Progress

But first, some fun photos arrived in my mailbox this week!

Susan, of PatchworknPlay blog, and found on IG @patchnplay posted this in her Instagram feed this week. I have always loved her colors and especially how she subdivided the center (I changed the pattern because of her design!). Susan’s blog posts are always like a good visit with a far-away friend (we’ve known each other for ages, but have never met since she lives in Australia and I live in California); she makes such beautiful things.

I know that Linda is working on Heart’s Garden and Joan is nearly done as well. Lisa’s almost done, too, but then her daughter decided to get married. When they send their photos to me, I will post them.

Polly, who is on Instagram at Piecing Hope, sent me this photo, saying that it was just the right small project she needed during a move. She enjoyed the free patterns I have in my shop for the New York Beauties. Her feed is filled with lovely wonderful things. Mary S. has made some blocks as have others. You can see their work on Instagram at #newyorkbeautiesquilt.

Mary, of ZippyQuilts, really got in the spirit of New York Beauties, and is now making some more of her own to join these (I backed them with black). I like Mary’s blog, as she’s so inventive and is a champion of creating quick quilts in clever ways. Like Susan, I’ve never met Mary, but feel like she is a good friend. If you make one of my patterns, or something I said on the blog triggered something creative for you, send over a photo! I love seeing your beautiful blocks and quilts.

I started sewing up these blocks in earnest this week.

from here

It reminds me of the Meadow Quilt from the designer Lizzy House (shown above) back in the day, a quilt which doesn’t have a released pattern and was taught for several years only in workshops. I have always loved this quilt, but when I saw this Blooming Scraps pattern, I knew it would be a good one to keep my hands busy while my mind explored all the ramifications of the world we now live in (translation: the J6 Hearings and SCOTUS decisions).

This past Thursday, I finished all 100 blocks. Like the original pattern, I did it in ombré. Now to sew it together and get it sent out for quilting.

I have a whole post on rulers, written when I was teaching, if you want an overview. But this week, I pulled this one out and really found it great for cutting 2 1/2″ blocks and 1 1/2″ snowball blocks. It’s a pretty slimmed down ruler, and sometimes that makes it a lot easier.

I went to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting for the first time in ages on Saturday. I usually participate online, but the covid numbers were down (however, I wore a mask) and it was Just Time. The hybrid meeting was incredibly confusing, but we saw quilts, we saw each other and showed our “Roundabout Challenges.” You can guess what I showed:

Patterns are still free on my pattern shop, for those who are looking for them. And I showed my version of Heart’s Garden for the Show and Share:

It still needs more buttons and some embellishments, but July is bringing me a long car ride, where I can get to work.

Speaking of Get to Work, I packed away my 2021-2022 Get To Work Book, and prepped up my new 2022-2023 book (I like them to go from July of one year to June of the next). I had saved some stickers, acquired others as I like to decorate a bit. I added in events for July, wrote in birthdays, but it’s a blank volume full of possibilities that greets me now at the side of my desk.

As Elise (the maker of the calendar) always says: Big Things Happen One Day at a Time. Think 100 blocks big– Think Making a Democracy big, just like our earliest founders did.

Happy Independence Day!

free handout on making this quilt, found here

As I write this, the (illegal) fireworks are already being shot off, so we’re getting in the mood for the 4th.

(Belated) New York Beauty Notes:

Karen Stone was the one who kind of put the New York Beauty block on the quilting map, when she wrote her well-known book in 2004. You can get a copy now for $50, if you want one. Others have explored this block and written books. One of the more recent writers was Carl Hentsch, who combined the Beauties with Flying Geese blocks in his book, published in 2017. I purchased the book immediately, thought I’d lost it, and bought another. (typical)

Dora, of Orange Dot Quilts, and Rana, of Sewn Wyoming, are doing a summer-long NYBeauty quilt-a-long this year (2022), making a version they call Almond Country Beauty Quilt. Kits are available, as are patterns.

I’ll probably come back with the final four blocks of my New York Beauty series, after I take a break. I want to try out this quilt I sketched up!


This and That • April 2022

Yes, actually, I did have a March and I made these Gridster Bee blocks for Bren Moore. She had a hand-drawn sketch for us to use, and although I looked for it, couldn’t find the name of the original block. UPDATE: I think it is a variation of an album block, straightened up (the original album block is a diagonal block).

This one is Building Blocks, from Nancy Cabot, and if you switch the fabrics around and combine some–well, it’s the closest I could get. This is from Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns, the digital version (BlockBase+).

Tulips were April’s block for Carlene Drake, and we started with the tutorial from Kristina of Center Street Quilts, but added side strips to make the block square.

My friend, Mary of Zippy Quilts, asked me for an interview as she occasionally features quilters on her blog. I was most happy to oblige and she did a lovely post about me and my quilts. Thank you, Mary! If you don’t know Mary’s work, she is inventive with her use of color and shape and is always coming up with an interesting quilt or two or ten to put up on her blog. She’s also a sewist, and teaches classes near her home.

Another thing that happened in April: I purchased Timna Tarr‘s Mosaic Class way back in the ice ages of April 2020, and finally got around to going through the course and watching the videos. It was very informative and I added that Quilt-to-Make to my list from the last post.

I had planned to use this picture, taken by my husband Dave, but now I don’t know if it’s too dense.

Right after I first published Dave’s photo of his flower (anyone know the name? Zinnia? Gerbera?), Angie contacted me asking if she could use the palette of the photograph to inspire a quilt she was making. She recently sent me the final top–it’s really stunning! I love that she’s worked in all the purple to help balance the pinks. I am also very happy that my husband’s photographs also inspired someone else. (I really like his recent post of poppies.)

The eryngium (left) and the roses are some beautiful things I’ve seen lately.

These three images, also titled Quilt Fail #1, #2 and #3 are not. I loved all the incredibly supportive and encouraging comments on Instagram, but when you know, you know. Even my husband (also incredibly supportive and encouraging) agreed that it wasn’t worth more of my time.

I did love experimenting with the technique developed by Dora Cary of Orange Dot Quilts. With her skills and experience this is a fascinating quilt. But I had chosen this:

I was thinking: Impressionism, Monet, girl with umbrella: WIN!


There are more than a few renditions of Monet’s woman with a parasol. I think I’d purchased one of the more hideous versions.

from here

Here’s the original from the Musee d’Orsay. The colors are more delicate, the arm in front doesn’t look sunburned and the arm in back is in shadow, not a purple glove. And it’s not printed digitally, which I think often has a more garish look, with stronger contrasts.

Lesson Learned.

One down (actually two, if you count the Bee Block). I will probably circle around back to this pattern (because I like it) but will take more time to look for the right fabric.

Don’t forget that Part Four of Heart’s Garden will post up on Easter Sunday. If you haven’t already downloaded the free version of Part Three, go and do so now before Part Four goes up.

Happy Quilting!


The Tale of the Chess Bag

It all began when summer weather came early, and summer weather always calls for a summer purse. The Chess Bag was a kit I picked up at Road to California from a booth run by By Hands, USA. I’ve purchased from them many times (I have yet to make the Totoro Bag I picked up in the Before Times, but is no longer sold).

The kit also appealed to me because they sewed up the hard part for me: all those teeny chess board squares. I thought the back looked as good as the front.

I quilted the chessboard squares to batting, but it was too floppy, so then I quilted the whole thing to ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable, which gave it more body. I did parallel lines, but had to raise the quilting shank because it was so thick.

I used some scraps from the kit and made two interior pockets. Can’t have a summer purse without pockets!

I love the silvery color of the background against the russets, deep greens and blues in these fabrics.

I couldn’t sew on the handles as neatly as she did, so appliquéd on some squares to cover up the mess.

The End!


Merry Christmas 2021

There’s a great line that’s been rattling around in my head lately: “You know, I believe we have two lives. The life we learn with and the life we live with after that.” It’s from a scene in The Natural, a movie which — on the surface — is about baseball.

Richard Rohr acknowledges those two parts of our lives: the first part is learning all the rules, figuring out how to pay attention, learn to earn a living, climbing the ladder of success. Of necessity, it’s oriented to self, getting those tasks of our young lives checked off the lists. I could make this into a quilt analogy, but not today.

But Rohr argues that it’s necessary to learn the rules — not in order to break them — but to move on from them and into the better part of life: opening your heart, taking care of others, trying to meet the needs of those around you, finding out what’s truly important. I’ve been thinking about this not only because of the pandemic for the last 22 months, and how all the rules were suddenly up-ended, but also because of the joy and peace I feel during the Christmas season.

These past months we have had more new rules to learn: social distancing, masks, carrying hand sanitizer wherever we go. We wear our masks to care for each other; we keep our distance to care for ourselves. We work hard to keep sympathies for those too frightened or too confident to get vaccinated. We weary ourselves with the juggling.

The second part of life then is about seeing bigger, from an expanded viewpoint, moving away from self and not seeing things are we are, but as the world is, and navigating that. He reminds us that “life is characterized much more by exception and disorder than by total or perfect order. Life is both loss and renewal, death and resurrection, chaos and healing at the same time; life seems to be a collision of opposites.” The challenge, then, is to make peace with all our opposites and our chaos, and focus in on renewal and healing. (And, of course, quilting.)

At Christmas time, it feels a bit easier, with carols playing and with children and the Christ child at the center. In this pocket of time, we can step all the way back from the rigid and chaotic and disordered life, light our candles and carol our way to peace.

Merry Christmas to you all!


Pieced Quilter Ladies: Twelve Ladies Dancing

Aren’t these fun?? Here are my Lady Quilter Blocks, wonky, funny, off-kilter. My early quilter-self would have been aghast, but I love them all. One more is coming. I love the differences, the similarities, and think about how these women will dance across this quilt. In addition to having my beemates make me a lady, I asked them for some sort of sewing-related item (with the exception of the topiary). Most all of these come from the BOM patterns from Surfside Quilters, from 2012-2013.

Surfside Quilters did a challenge with their BOM from that year, and the array of quilts was inspiring. Mine will be much bigger, and when I mentioned this online, Janis tagged me in a photo of her quilt. I have since heard from others–it seems that Freddy Moran (who inspired the pattern) has made a big impact on us all.

I chose a few few patterns to revise for my Gridster Bee quilters to use. I made a special page with all my ladies and their pattern, as well as all the other special blocks my beemates made for me and their patterns. You can find it here:

Pieced Quilter Ladies & Notions

In other news, I revised my Sunny Flowers Quilt pattern to include the pattern for making the center bouquet. The first version had nudged you towards using BlockBase+ software (which I still use constantly), but I always knew I should revise the pattern. The original was a beast to piece, so I revised how to put it together, adding and subtracting seams and pieces. If you have already purchased it, the revised download is available to you at no charge, and your download count will be revised (or so PayHip reassures me).

If you haven’t purchased this yet, PatternLite patterns cost less than any one of my almond croissants I had for breakfast last week when I was in Boston. We ate every morning at Tatte, and sometimes we grabbed a lunch there, too. Tatte Bakery, where have you been all my life and when are you publishing your cookbook?

Kraków Kabuki Waltz, by Virginia Jacobs

Why Boston? I’d read about the exhibit put on by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. I’ve posted lots of photos on Instagram, if you are interested, but you also get our trip photos, too. Carol came into town and met us there–she also has some good posts. And Textile Talks had a show with the curator of the Fabric of a Nation exhibit, if you are interested.

Happy Frantically Getting Ready for Christmas, or whatever else is occupying you this week.
Maybe even Happy Quilting? I hope so!