• Upcoming Expo Classes

    It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by – where did it go? Summer is almost over and Fall will be here before we know it and with Fall comes NW Quilting Expo.

    Once again, I have been invited to teach and give a trunk show at Expo and I want to take a few moments to give you an overview of the classes I will be offering, the show class brochures have to condense the class description into one paragraph and often that is not enough to cover the class content adequately. Last year, my classes filled fairly well, some better than others but all had enough students that none were cancelled and I hope to keep that up for this year as well.

    I am offering three classes – two half-day classes and one full-day class and a trunk show/lecture as well.

    The Trunk Show takes place on Friday September 23 from 10am – 11:45am and will encompass a general sampling of my work over the years starting with some of my earliest pieces and how those led to what I create today. During this journey through fabric and thread (and even a bit of mink) I have explored a far ranging array of styles and techniques that span the globe in their inspirations; it will be a virtual smorgasbord of my work.

    My full-day class – Free Motion Magic – will be on Wednesday September 21 from 9am – 4pm. This class is well suited for beginners who have never tried free-motion quilting and more experienced quilters alike. The class will focus primarily on free-motion quilting and will cover a variety of techniques to use for various designs. After this class, you should be able to approach any design you wish to stitch and decide which of the techniques will yield the best results for that design.

    Free Motion Magic Sample
    Free Motion Magic Sample

    On Thursday September 22, I will be teaching Man-Doodle-Dalas. You may already be aware of the whole ZentangleĀ® movement that inspires people to doodle, even those who don’t believe they have an artistic bone in their body can learn this ‘stream of consciousness’ style of dancing with a pencil. These free-form doodled mandalas make wonderful motifs for quilting and in the class I will show you a variety of approaches to create and use them. You will learn to doodle your own ‘dalas’ and also receive one of my Man-Doodle-Dalas on a wash away stabilizer to stitch along with a handout with a few other mandala designs (in case doodling your own is not your cup of tea). This class will run from 9am – noon.

    Free-Style Medallion #2 stitched without a template
    Free-Style Medallion #2 stitched without a template
    Free-style Medallion stitched without a template.
    Free-style Medallion stitched without a template.













    On Friday September 23 from 1pm- 4pm I will be offering Simple Sashiko Landscapes. This is the class I’m most excited about. I learned to hand embroider as a child then abandoned that in favor of quilting for much of my adult life but I have rekindled the passion for hand stitchery in recent years. My love for embroidery, like my love of quilting, spans a world of techniques – mostly ethnic. Years ago I discovered Sashiko (Japanese Hand Stitching) which I took to like a fish to water. Many of you may have been hearing lately about a rather new stitching fad called ‘Slow Stitching’. Well, it’s not really new at all, anyone who has explored Scandinavian Darning, Indian Kantha or Japanese Sashiko, knows this meditative sewing technique has been practiced for centuries. What’s new is old and what’s old is new. What’s new in this Sashiko class is the subject matter for the stitching. Sashiko is usually applied to a wide variety of traditional Japanese designs ranging from all-over patterns to Komon (Japanese clan crests). In this class you will apply this slow stitching technique to creating little stylized landscape vignettes. There will be a couple of designs included in your handout with a variety of interchangeable tree designs in case you want to customize your own scene.

    Sashiko Trees, rendered on a piece of  antique Kimono silk
    Sashiko Trees, rendered on a piece of antique Kimono silk
    Sashiko Landscape #1
    Sashiko Landscape #1












    I do hope you will come join me for one of more of these classes and/or the trunk show, I promise you will leave the event with new skills in your repertoire or at least inspired to explore and take your own quilting to new heights.


    PS: Here is a sneak peek at my NW Quilting Expo show entry – Vintage Falls. It is yet another rendering of my Multnomah Falls pattern this time in Japanese Taupe fabrics (I LOVE those Japanese Taupes!) My goal was the try and recreate the image in a sepia tone presentation just like one of those old time photographs. It is hand and raw-edged machine appliqued with some textural embellishment. The photo does not do it justice – you need to come to the show and see it in person.

    Vintage Falls - my latest incarnation in my waterfall series
    Vintage Falls – my latest incarnation in my waterfall series

  • Someone DOES Make Them Like They Used To

    OK, I’m going to digress from my usual cat or quilting commentary and take the time to give a product review (and – ‘no’, it is not a quilting product). Have you ever caught yourself saying “they don’t make them as good as they used to…”? I’m talking about GRAHAM CRACKERS! You remember Graham Crackers? Those yummy, crumbly flat ‘boards’ from kindergarten that we loved to dip into milk? My husband has been jonesing for some good old-fashioned graham crackers for the last year or so and we have tried EVERY brand we can find. The Honey Maid, Annie’s, Nabisco; the store brand generic, the ‘gourmet’, the organic… cheap ones, expensive ones, cinnamon covered, plain, we even tried a knock off brand from the Dollar Store… NOBODY makes graham crackers like the ones I remember from my childhood. Some came close but missed the mark, others weren’t even close (in flavor or texture – the Safeway house brand were the closest we found). Try tossing in trying to avoid high-fructose corn syrup and the playing field gets much smaller. Well, we finally found them! Good old Trader Joe’s wins again, Their ‘boxed’ Honey Graham Crackers are it. We just put them to the milk test and it was like going back in time to sitting around that circle painted on the floor and dipping our crackers into the milk – I could almost smell the tempera paint.
    Mind you, these are NOT the TJ’s cinnamon topped crackers sold in the clear plastic deli containers, these are plain and come in the box but oh the memories… These are just cardboardy enough, sweet but not too sweet, and have just the right ‘sandy’ ‘gritty’ texture, hold their shape when dipped in milk but crumble in your mouth. Heavenly!

  • A ‘Treasure Hunt’

    If you are anything like me, you love to find interesting fiber art stuff. My sewing studio is jam packed with not only the standard ‘sewing’ things (fabric, batting, thread…) but also unusual finds – beads, novelty yarns and other exotic materials.

    I want to share a great source with you, many of you ‘locals’ already know about this place but some may not or may have heard of it but not gotten around to checking it out so here’s a nudge. It’s a thrift shop devoted entirely to sewing and related crafts. It was formerly called Knitt’n Kitten but is now operating under a new name – Kraft Kitty.

    The shop is run by my former daughter-in-law and her mom and features – well – just about anything you can imagine. Vintage and unusual fabrics, trims, old patterns, buttons, lace, beads,,, You never know what you will find but you can count on it being something you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I love to embellish some of my art quilts and have found all sorts of treasures there. If you like the rare and unusual, you need to check this out.