Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

Officially Retired!

Friday, September 11th, 2015

My trip to the Greater Kansas City Quilt Guild was perfect!¬† It was supposed to rain, but it didn’t, so that was good. The equipment worked and the audience was appreciative and very supportive.¬† I even got to touch base with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I know I am going to miss those aspects of traveling to do presentations and workshops for guilds, but the hardships of travel and the extensive prep time has won out and I am officially retired! It feels good.

Everyone asks “What are you going to do now?” Well for sure, I am going to sew and continue to make quilts for sale and competition. I hope to do more traveling just for the fun of it. Maybe there will be enough time to keep things neater around here and in the garden. I’m quite sure I will be plenty busy!

Now that I am not traveling to do trunk shows, I do not need all of the sample quilts, especially now that I am winding down the pattern business. My plan is to sell out the inventory I have, but not to design new ones or reprint the existing ones. And since I no longer need all of those samples I will be offering them for sale at reasonable prices.

Maybe I will even do a better job of keeping up this blog!

With that in mind I think I will institute “Focus Friday” where I will feature an INNOVATIONS pattern and it’s sample. Today is Sept 11, so I am focusing on “From The Ashes”, my tribute to 9/11.


approximately 38 x 39″¬† pattern: $8.00. ¬† To purchase, click on “Patterns” in the sidebar.


From the ashes of the World Trade Center, America will rise, stronger than ever.  Lady Liberty stands proud in the harbor as she has done since 1886, with her message of freedom.

Pieced Tumbling Blocks done in shades of gray represent the destruction, but they morph into golden stars of hope as America will recover. Add hand or machine applique and a message – either the one included in the pattern – or your own sentiment or memorial.

ashescloseupSample quilt approximately  37 x 38 , $200.00.  To purchase, email me.

Machine pieced, machine appliqued and free motion machine quilted with cotton and metallic threads.


Sold two quilts!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Things are going well here in Des Moines; what a nice group! Now the weather, that has not been so great. VERY heavy rains have caused some flooding in the area and some drenching of quilters but luckily it was not raining for the unloading of the quilts. The rest of the week looks like it will be clear and cooler.

The brand new “Beneficial Burn” quilt sold after the first lecture, as well as the “Bluebird” sample quilt. I had announced my impending retirement and the fact that all of the sample quilts would no longer be needed and were now for sale. I have not even posted that to my website, but hope to get to it after I get home.

Today is the “Coneflowers” class and tomorrow we will work with foundation paper piecing the “Third Weekend” and “New Leaves” quilts. It’s been a fun trip so far with lots of pattern sales, and I’m looking forward to the workshops.

Catching Up

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Tuesday I went to the Kaw Valley Quilt Guild meeting where David Taylor was the speaker. He and I often enter the same contests as we both do Pictorial work; his are hand applique while mine are pieced. His attention to detail is amazing and sometimes he beats me, and I really can’t complain! He is an excellent speaker as well, and kept us laughing the whole time.

While there, I learned of The Missouri Star Quilt shops – and that one of them is JUST batiks!! Better yet, it is about 9 miles off the highway I will be taking to Des Moines next week for my guild presentation of two lectures and two workshops. You can bet I’ll be stopping there!

Yesterday I finished the beading on the prairie fire quilt and blocked it; now I have to concentrate on getting ready for my trip next week.

Day Four At Hudson River Valley Workshops

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Day Four at the Hudson River Valley Workshop, much progress is being made!

LeavesCorinne hard at work:Corinne-LeavesJean’s original photo:OrigRedRocksIn Progress:RedRocksJean hard at work:

Jean-RedRocksThey are doing a super job!

I loose track of time but one afternoon after the designing and enlarging of the patterns, and preparing the freezer paper patterns, we took a road trip to Selkirk, NY to the Log Cabin Quilt Shop where the students were able to find some great fabrics to fill the gaps in what they had brought with them. I was not really planning to buy more fabric as I already have more than I will ever use, but I cannot pass up a good grass fabric, and some more of the brown marbley one that I may be running low on, plus a few fat quarters I couldn’t pass up.


Busy Week

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

It’s been a busy busy week! I got “Snow Buddies” shipped off to MAQF and several more entries made, thank goodness the books are caught up, but I do need to finish getting everything pulled together for taxes. My two twice weekly classes (Art History and Yoga) are going well but they do cut into my time, taking me away Tuesday and Thursday afternoons!

In spite of all that, there is progress to report. The foreground is finished (I think) and I was able to use quite a bit of the special grass fabric, by sub-dividing the larger original pieces to accommodate the scraps that I found.¬† A few more rocks add to the composition.¬† I took away the dark sky I was considering and laid up a piece of lighter sky, but I’m thinking it is too light, maybe it needs something more “dusk”.¬† I’m not quite sure yet.¬† One has to listen to the fabric, the composition and the subject matter!

prariefire13 It is so fun to see it change and develop and I see some other little bits to change, and pieces to sub-divide.

prairiefire14While I usually do straight seam piecing, it has been fun to do this one in curved seam piecing which I think compliments the scene and really isn’t all that hard.¬† I’m liking that lighter tree and thinking ahead, will probably give it more branches in the quilting. In addition to the hand dyed main tree fabric there is a batik in the smaller branches. The success of this technique is so dependent on fabric choices!

My workshop at Hudson River Valley Art Workshops is only a couple of months away and I am getting excited to share all of this fun with my students. We will be exploring all aspects of creating a work of art that is original to them!  Want to learn about designing, color and composition as well as sewing those seams (straight or curved)?  Hope to see YOU there!

I have linked this post to Off The Wall Friday — go there to see lots of good stuff!

Another Finished Piece from Asilomar

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Robin finished her Yellowstone scene! I think she did a great job, adding just enough to make it real, but leaving out enough to keep it from being too busy. I love how the lines of the sky and the hills oppose each other adding interest and how the clouds reflect in the water. Her quilting adds the finishing touch to this memory of her trip to Yellowstone.


Posting this brings back memories for me, too, of the wonderful week spent at Asilomar for Empty Spools and the fun times we had in the workshop. I’m looking forward to doing it over again at the Hudson River Valley Art workshops in April – join me?

Empty Spools Quilt Top Finished

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Here’s the first finished top from Asilomar – Robin’s Yellowstone piece! It was her first attempt at this technique and I think she did a great job!¬† Love the reflections.


Way to go, Robin!! She says she enjoyed it, learned a lot and would do it again..

Empty Spools Students

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

I finished the freezer paper, including the tic marks yesterday for the new project and am anxious to start the cutting and sewing! But first I want to show you my students from “Empty Spools”. I am so proud of them!
I’ll go around the room in the order that they worked.


Joyce was working from a photo of her grandmother in her wedding dress, a very ambitious project for her first attempt at Picture Piecing but I think she is doing an amazing job! That little bit of blue in the eye is only laid in to keep Grandma from looking like a zombie for now. Joyce enjoys making portraits in various styles and she will probably ink the eye in later. The flowers with dark background fabric was a lucky find at Back Porch where we shopped Wed.


Susan is working from a photo she took of a Mama Robin showing her baby what a birdbath is for. This photo only gives basic information so Susan brought reference material and is really bringing them to life! This is her second Picture Piecing project. Another lucky fabric find is the Marsha Derse light green that she has laid into the birdbath to be the water. It has the perfect color and built in ripple lines. She will cut it up and add the reflections of the birds.


Linda is making this beautiful Sanseveria plant for her first attempt at Picture Piecing and I think it is going to be wonderful! That lovely hand dye is the perfect background to set off the leaves. She probably does not have enough of it so is trying to distribute it throughout, mixed with other fabrics which will only make it richer. Bits of lighter leaf edge fabrics in chartreuse and blue green will accent the dark leaves and add sparkle to the piece.


Janet’s rendition of this photo of her son in Ireland is being done in a combination of straight seam and curved seam piecing. She has done Picture Piecing before so she is up to the challenge and is doing a great job. I love that she chose to do that amazing tree with curved seams. Can you see that his red hair is a piece of autumn leaf fabric? Genius! Janet gets two pictures because I want you to see the curved seam part that didn’t make it into the first shot.


Barbara came to the workshop with no photo, just a sketch, because her inspiration came to her in a dream! This was her first try at this process and she made excellent progress. There will be a second elephant a little darker than the first. That batik she used really gives the illusion of elephant skin wrinkles and look how she found the eye and the ear within the print! Her very well behaved Boxer, Shelby was our mascot for the week!


Last but certainly not least, was Robin with her photo taken on a visit to Yellowstone. The orange that accents this scene is sulfur and there is steam from the geysers against the dark hills. She brought wonderful fabrics to portray the scenery and was able to find the perfect gray cloud fabric for the reflections on our shopping trip to Back Porch.  This was her first time using this technique and she made an amazing amount of progress in the time we had available.

It was a pleasure o work with these ladies and I hope to be able to share “finished” photos with you later!

Hello from Asilomar

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Here I am at beautiful Asilomar in Pacific Grove, Ca., teaching Designing for Picture Piecing at Empty Spools Seminar. I have been so busy that I have only walked over to the ocean once, but I’m up early this morning and I intend to take the camera and see if I can get some photos before breakfast. (Yum! The food has been very good!)

I am finally able to find my way around this sprawling facility of many acres and lots of different buildings for each activity. There is a lot of walking involved and for the first few days I was often lost. But not for long!

My students are great! They seem to be enjoying the process and are making nice progress. There has been a lot of sewing going on and we will have good stuff to show when the open house happens tomorrow. The week is going fast!

Leaving For CA

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go, the weather is beautiful and I’m looking forward to sunny (?) California for a week. Asilomar, here I come! Can’t wait to meet my students and see all of the wonderful things they have planned!

Topeka Art Guild has opened their new show “Awesome America” showing til the end of March, and I have two pieces there – if you are in the vacinity be sure and stop in to see “Eagles Soar” and “Grasslands”.