Archive for July, 2008

A Family Affair

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I recently put out a request for people to send in pictures of quilts that they have made from my patterns. Kelsey sent in some pictures of a quilt she made for her son’s, Jason’s wedding. The quilt was the result of a recent challenge on the Carol Doak Yahoo Group
The challenge was called the “Your’s Truly Round Robin”. I provided a criteria for each round in the quilt and each participant made their own quilt fitting the criteria. The results were spectacular and Kelsey’s quilt was no exception. In the photo above, Kelsey’s mom, 

Carole, is on her right and her daugther, Cheryl, is on her left. Both Carole and Cheryl helped Kelsey finish the quilt.
Here are Jason and his new bride, Nicole showing off their new quilt! Kelsey wrote that she received invitations to 6 weddings in the space of an hour! She thinks they wanted a quilt too!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt Kelsey.
All the best,

Debbie from Israel Won!!!!

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Here is the winning image. Each of the clues brought you one step closer to this image.  It is a picture that I took from my hotel when I was teaching in Ketchikan, Alaska. It was located in my April Newsletter on my web page.

Congratulations to Debbie from Israel who was the first to send me the correct answer and she will soon be the proud owner of 60 Fat Quarters of fabrics. Several people answered correctly after I received Debbie’s email. Thanks everyone for playing. Now I need to come up with a different game…I’ll put my thinking cap on.
All the best,


Monday, July 28th, 2008

Just a quick note to let you know we have a winner in the collect clues contest.

I will announce more shortly.
All the best,

Fun, Fun, Fun in Hershey, PA

Monday, July 28th, 2008

I just returned from Hershey, PA after teaching 6 workshops filled with fun and fabulous students at the Quilt Odyssey 2008. I travel with lots of stuff, so when I arrive I am always happy to receive a helping hand getting my quilts and supplies to my classroom. The staff at Hershey was wonderful and this delightful young man, who is heading off to Dartmouth in the fall, was ever so helpful. I taught six different classes and enjoyed chocolate all weekend long. What could be better? Some of the students were returning students from previous years and many others were brand new this year and lots had never paper-pieced before.

One of the trends that I really appreciated seeing was the number of young students. Brittany Austin, age 15, took two of the workshops and did beautifully in both of them. In this picture, Britanny is laying out the units she made for her first block in the Bright Stars Workshop from the Simply Sensational 9-Patch Stars book. I have a feeling we have a budding quilter here who is destined to create some wonderful projects. 
Toni Vardeman also took this class too and was really pleased with her first block. Toni was all smiles when she showed her block and the fabric that inspired the hot colors that she used. 
A quilt weekend is a great way to get away and just have fun with family and friends. I had lots of sisters, moms and daughters and good friends attending the classes together. 
Nicole Choiniere-Kroeker from Michigan and her friend, Susanne Engbers from Virginia were just tickled pink with their first Spinners blocks. Very different colors, but the same happy smiles are displayed.
And here we have one happy camper after completing her first Mariner’s Compass Star. 
I taught this class twice so there were twice as many happy students. For many, this was their first paper-pieced project. Way to go, ya’all.
Now, it is time for me to give the fifth and final clue in the “Collect the Clues Game”. Remember, you are looking for one image. If you followed the previous four clues correctly, this final clue should be a slam dunk. The first person who emails me at with the answers to the following two questions will win 60 Fat Quarters. What is the image and where did you find it?
The final clue is: The harbor and snow-capped mountains in Ketchikan are a beautiful site from my hotel window.
Good luck everyone!
Until next time, may all your points be perfect.

A Sneak Peak and Clue #4

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

One thing you all will learn is that I have a really difficult time keeping things under wraps. So, I woke up this morning and thought I would share a little sneak peak at one of the new vests being featured in my new book, Easy Reversible Vests -Revised Edition, coming out in September. This vest features a wonderful array of darling little plaid and stripe fabrics. A small patchwork garden sprouts around the vest. It reverses to a gorgeous batik combination on the other side. I am really looking forward to wearing this vest this fall.

Yesterday, a friend sent me a link to add a visitors map to this blog. It never ceases to amaze me how worldwide quilting has become. Each time someone visits, a little red element shows up on the map. I am looking forward to turning the world totally red with visitors. I’ve received orders on my website from all over the world and in some of the most unlikely places. The internet truly is amazing, virtually connecting people that share the same passion.
On another topic, I would love to share images of quilts that you have made from my patterns. Quilters do love “Show and Tell” (and so do I!). So, if you would like to share, please send me a jpeg image to and tell me a little about your quilt, your inspiration or whatever else you would like to share.
Time for Clue #4

Clue #4 – April showers may bring May flowers, but this past April, it also brought you closer to the winning image. The next clue will be the last clue and then you can send me an email with your answer to what you believe the winning image is and you may just be the winner of 60 Fat Quarters.
May all your points be perfect,

The Real World…

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

 When I was working on my new vest, I wrote that I don’t always put the fabric away, but just push it aside for now. My justification for this practice is that I might need a piece of that fabric and I don’t want to stop the creative process by organizing my fabric neatly on the shelves. 

Well, that was a couple of weeks ago and the fabrics are still all nestled together on the floor of my sewing room. I’m going to go fold and put them all away just as soon as I finish writing this post. 
But just in case you think my sewing area is always as neat as it was portrayed in my DVD, I thought I would show you my real world!
I’ll begin packing tomorrow for a trip to Hershey, PA this week to teach several days of classes at the Quilt Odyssey. This is a return trip for me so I know what to expect….Chocolate and lots of it!
It is also time to share with you the third clue in the “Collect the Clue” game. Just in case you are wondering, there will be a total of five clues. So, only two more clues to go before someone is going to win 60 Fat Quarters!!! Once I announce the fifth and final clue, just email me and let me know what the image is and you may be the winner.
Clue # 3- The monthly news is no longer just black and white, but filled with lots of color and inspiring quilts.
May all your points be perfect,

Removing Carol Doak Foundation Paper

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Fire and Ice Workshop Brings the Fire Department

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Today I went off to teach a workshop from my Mariner`s Compass Stars  book, called Fire and Ice. I had just gone through the introductory information about the class and the fire alarms began ringing with directions to exit the building. So, we all did as told and went to the area outside the lobby of the hotel. The sirens could be heard and the big red fire engines appeared. With short order, it was determined that it was a false alarm, but as we gathered outside, we had our picture taken with one of the fireman on his truck. He was interested in our “Fire and Ice” quilting class and I do believe he was having fun.

I’ve taught this class many times but it never brought the Fire Department. Once settled down, we got back to the business of the class. The students did very well with several finishing their center block. All and all it was a good day to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning.
Now on to the Collect the Clues game I wrote about yesterday. The idea is that I will provide a clue with each post. Each successive clue should suggest narrow the location on the internet and eventually bring you to an image I will describe last. In other words the clues will narrow down where you will eventually find the image you are looking for. Don’t email me your idea of what the image might be until I announce that the last clue has been provided.
Today’s clue is: While you are resting, you will have lots to do, some things to buy and lots to see and you will always know where I am if you click on the teal button in the upper right hand corner.
May all your points be perfect,

Let the Fun Begin-Collect the Clues and Win 60 Fat Quarters!!!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

As the members of my Yahoo Group know, I do love surprises and giving away prizes. I decided it should be no different here so I will begin a new game called “Collect the Clues” with this blog. It will be a sort of scavenger hunt in search of an image. In each blog, I will give you a clue to the image and at a set future date, the first person who emails me the answer to what the image is and where it was specifically found will win 60 Fat Quarters of fabric from one of my previous fabric collections!!!!

Clue #1 – Come on in and sit awhile and rest from your trip on the internet superhighway at my new home.

The bird photo above is a picture of the three little baby birds that have been resting at the top of my front porch. I’ve had a bird’s eye view (sorry, couldn’t resist it) of their birth and development. I have really been fascinated watching the mother bird return to feed them and keep them in line. And she does keep them in line! They have grown amazingly fast and in recent days I’ve watched them hang on to the edge of the nest and try their wings. I expect they will be leaving in a few days. I will be sad to see them leave. I’ve kind of taken them under my wing, but I know the UPS man will be thrilled. You see, the Mama and Daddy bird have been standing watch over the nest sitting on the house gutter. If anyone tries to come to our front porch, they dive bomb them and flutter their wings in an effort to shoo them away. So why am I sharing these photos with you? It is just a reminder to notice the wonderful world around us. 
Until next time, may all your points be perfect

Smaller Really is Easier

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

This past weekend I drove to Pennsylvania to present a lecture and workshops. I typically fly to places to teach, so this 7 1/2-hour drive gave me plenty of time to reflect and enjoy the ride.  I began to think about one of the biggest misconceptions quilters have about paper piecing….that bigger is easier. In life, bigger usually is easier…we grew up with “big blocks” and “large print” in kindergarten. In traditional quilting, larger blocks typically are fewer pieces and are easier. With paper piecing, it is just the opposite…smaller really is easier. I was introduced to this notion by one of my students who took a small graphic I provided in a handout and went home to make the block. She sent me a picture and shared her excitement. It is not more difficult to sew a short line or a line that is closer together and with paper piecing, that produces a small piece. The Nosegay quilt at the left was my first miniature paper-pieced quilt and I was hooked! 

After making this first quilt, I set out to design lots more miniature quilts. I could take advantage of incorporating paper-pieced borders because they would fit on a piece of paper. I could pre-cut all my fabric pieces and eliminate cutting lots of different sizes. With the Nosegay quilt, the background pieces used in the top of the block were cut the same size because they just needed to be larger than the area they need to fill. Creating a cutting list for paper piecing was actually born out of designing miniature quilts. Because the pieces don’t need to be the exact size, just bigger than the area they need to fill, the fabric pieces are huge in relationship to the patch they are covering. When I am paper piecing miniatures, it almost feels like a carefree version of paper piecing because I don’t need to be nearly as careful.
What quilter doesn’t have a bunch of scraps hanging around that are too small to create patchwork quilts? They are perfect for scrap miniature quilts! You can stack the scraps and cut a uniform size and use them in minis. That is what I did to make the scrap stars quilt on the left. I used warm colored scraps for one end of the block and cool colored scraps for the other end. When they met, they produced both warm and cool colored scrap stars. These quilts and 13 others were featured in my book, Easy Paper-Pieced Miniatures that I wrote in the early 1990’s. Unfortunately that book is out of print, so I have begun publishing the individual patterns and making them available in the store on my web page. Just try one mini, I guarantee you will be hooked too. When I teach introductory paper piecing classes, the students do agree that smaller really is easier!
May all your points be perfect,