Archive for September, 2008

Lights, Cameras and Action!

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Boy, the last few weeks have been a real whirlwind of travel. First, I traveled to the wonderful conference in Stanley, Idaho to teach for the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas. I returned home and two days later, flew to the west coast to film my new companion DVD for my newest book, Easy Reversible Vests-Revised Edition.   This book is currently available in my web store. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to produce a product that lets me personally take you step-by-step through the process of making vests that are so easy to make and fun to wear. Of course, I am a quilter and totally out of my comfort zone when it comes to lights, cameras and action. Thankfully, I had the staff of Nine Patch Media to take charge of all those elements. Here Chris Manuel, the Technical Director, is preparing one of the cameras.
Sharon Pederson, is not only a good friend, but as the Producer, she kept things on track and beautifully organized. As you can see from this “Clap board”, we are about to take “take 2”. I guarantee, the bloopers are a hoot!
Steve Walton was such a pleasure to work with during the filming. As the videographer and editor, he has promised to make me look 10 lbs. lighter in the finished product. You just have to love a guy who can do that.
Liz Phillips was there to make sure all the parts came together just as they should. Liz is not only accomplished in all those computer skills, she is also a quilter!
I was reunited with all my vests that I had sent to the publisher during the production of the book, so it was fun to showcase them throughout the video. Being able to actually show you and talk about each of the steps seemed such a natural way to teach. It felt as if I was teaching a one-on-one workshop.
This DVD was such a pleasure to do and lots of laughs along the way with Sharon, Chris, Liz and Steve. It is expected to be released soon. I will keep you all posted when it is. I think it will be the perfect companion to my new book!

PS…notice I am wearing the vest I described in one of my previous blogs?

They Are On Their Way!!!!

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

One of the advantages of reading a blog is to learn about the latest information. I just heard on Friday that my new book has arrived and my books have been shipped to me. Yippee!!! Writing a book and the editing process is about a 2-year investment so learning that delivery is about to occur is great news! Another thing I did on Friday was to take my advance copy of my book to an office supply store and have it spiral bound. I do this often to my books. This is a relatively inexpensive item and really adds to my enjoyment when using my books.
Since this new book comes with a pull-out pattern sheet of the two vest patterns, I had them include in the back of the book one of those plastic pocket folders. This way my pattern sheet is securely tucked in place and protected. I love doing this to my books, because it offers me the opportunity to easily include items with my books.
The spiral binding permits the book to lay flat when I am following instructions. Speaking of instructions, the step-by-steps for the vests in this book are sooooo easy. This page shows the instructions for making the cover vest and two other color interpretations.
This page shows another one page instruction for another approach to making Easy Reversible Vests.
Since I know the books will arrive next week, I have gone ahead and added my new book to my web store.

Once you all start making vests using the easy techniques in this book, I think it would be fun to have an online fashion show here. So, please do send me your pictures ( and I will collect them until I have enough for the fashion show.
Until next time,

Workshops Are Fun!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

I just returned from a road trip to a delightful quilt shop, The Cotton Cupboard, in Bangor, Maine where I taught a 2-day Fire & Ice Workshop from my Mariner’s Compass Stars book. It occurred to me when I downloaded some of the photos I took during the workshop, that some quilters might be interested to know what it is like to take a workshop. I travel almost 40 weeks a year to teach, so teaching workshops is something that I do often. Although I teach the same classes, each class for me is different simply because the students are different in each class. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job, is the opportunity to meet so many delightful quilters from all the world.
They come for different reasons. Some come to learn a technique, some come to perfect the technique, some come so they will enjoy the technique, some come just to make the project and some come to just have fun.
Typically the students come from the surrounding area when a workshop is local and bring their own sewing machines. When the workshop is at a national event, they can come from all over and many times the sewing machines are supplied by one or more sewing machine companies. The plus to having your own sewing machine is that you are familiar with it and therefore in a comfort zone. When sitting at a strange machine, it can sometimes be unsettling at first, but often times, it is a great way to explore other machines and what they have to offer.
Students tend to become a group throughout the day and enjoy each other’s company. There is often lots of sharing and support. Quilting, after all, is a hobby and is supposed to be fun. If I can teach students techniques that will add to their enjoyment of their quilting, then I feel it has been a good day. We tend to have lots of laughs in my workshop and that often leads to students relaxing, learning and enjoying!
And at the end of the day, some students will have completed the entire project and others will have completed parts of the project. The goal is not to work as fast as you can, but to work at your own comfortable pace. That is different for each student and a student who works more slowly has not learned less or is less accomplished. They simply worked at their own pace. A student who works quickly is not an “over achiever”, they are simply working at their comfortable pace.
If you leave the workshop feeling as if you enjoyed the day, enjoyed learning worthwhile techniques and laughed a bit along the day….then it was a good day.

Don’t You Just Love A Show And Tell!

Monday, September 1st, 2008

First, I want to share information about an exhibit of 26 of my quilts that will be on display at the upcoming quilt show presented by the Keepsake Quilters in Iowa. I’ve never done this before….sending off so many of my quilts to be on display in one location. As I gathered the quilts, I felt as if I was gathering my children and thinking back to the joy of making each quilt. Quilts really are the fabrics of our lives. The quilt on the left is a quilt I made for myself using some of the block designs from the 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars book. Here are the details of the show. If you stop by, say “hi” to my quilts for me.
Dates: Sept. 19, 20th 2008
Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM both the 19th and 20th
Place: Waterloo Center for the Arts, 225 Commercial St., Waterloo, IA 50701
Admission: $5.00 No strollers.
Show will feature 200 quilts made by the members of Keepsake Quilters and the beautiful trunk show featuring 26 quilts from Carol Doak.
Vendors at the show will be selling beautiful fabrics, patterns, tools and more.

If people have questions about the quilt show they can contact:
Cheryl (quilt show chair)
Leann (quilt registration chair)

Don’t you just love the show and tell portion of a quilt guild meeting when you get to ooh and ahh over the quilts being shown by the members. Sometimes, you are impressed by the first steps into quilting by a brand new quilter, sometimes you are inspired by the creativity of a quilt setting, sometimes you are inspired by the workmanship in the quilt, sometimes a quilt is not your style at all, but you still enjoy seeing it and sometimes you are just plain speechless. I thought I would share some pictures of quilts that I have received recently and have our own little “Show and Tell”.
This quilt is called “Ava’s Quilt” and was sent to me by her proud Grandmother, Debby, who made it just for her. It is heart-filled basket blocks and the block design is the Sherry block from my book 40 Bright & Bold Paper-Pieced Blocks. I know that Ava appreciates all the love being sent her way through this lovely quilt.
This quilt is a little miniature quilt (12″) that I designed for the Yahoo group. It was made by Carole Doyle who put her happy fabric stamp on the design. Carole has participated in most of the challenges and events that we have in the group and her quilts are always a pleasure to see.
This stunning little beauty shows off the Block of the Month designs that I uploaded for our Yahoo group this past year. Sandy in Henderson made this little beauty. Although the blocks were presented in a 12″ format, Sandy wanted to do them in miniature. The center block — the 4000 member block — is 6″, and the BOM blocks are all 3″. The top itself measures 16″ square. Just stunning!
Speaking of stunning, Gayle from Eureka, Montana sent this lovely picture of your Country Baskets miniature quilt that was awarded a blue ribbon at the Lincoln County Fair. Gayle wrote that making this quilt was a pure joy. I had the pleasure of having Gayle in a workshop when I was teaching in Montana recently.
In my last blog, I shared a graphic of the new 4000 Member Celebration Block that I recently uploaded for the group members. The above block was made by Kesley Jones of Iowa. Kelsey is not only good, she is quick as she won a prize for being the first member to upload a picture of the completed block.

If you have made a project from one of my books or patterns and would like to be included in a future Show and Tell, just send me a jpeg image to

Now that September is here, it is time to get out some fabric and start thinking about some new fall colored quilts.
Until next time, may all your points be perfect.