Accuquilt Gallery Spotlight

Last fall the folks at AccuQuilt invited little ol’ me to be a part of their gallery and, of course, I said “Yes, please!” I knew I would send some of my favorites, but also used the invitation as a starting point for the American Travels series I’m working on. You can read the interview on their blog or watch just the gallery tour and conversation below:

Make sure to check out the close-up of Wyatt Wolf–he’s a Luxe Cuddle/faux fur cotton version of Violet Craft‘s Wolf Abstractions pattern and several years later, I still love him.

Thanks, Accuquilt for the spotlight and for the fabulous cutting system. I use their dies often in my personal quilt making as well as for Shannon Fabrics projects and have come to appreciate their ease of use and longevity. I’m sure I’ll be using them plenty more in all my quilt making.

I’m glad I finally got to share it with you.

Happy sewing!

Longarm Quilting with Cuddle minky & Hawke [Sew Together Tuesday]

Last March, my bosses at Shannon Fabrics asked me to cut my travels short and come home. I was pretty sure my workload would decrease and I’d be able to finally spend some time learning to longarm quilt, so I bought a small Grace Company Q-Zone Hoop Frame and Q’Nique 15R from CaliQuiltCo. I’ve worked with Tayva many times and she was just starting to sell the machines, so it was an easy choice on where to buy one.

Fast forward a few months and the reality began to set it that not only was I not going back on the road, I wasn’t going to have any less work to do! Sew Together Tuesday had gotten some momentum and suddenly I was busier than ever. So the whole set up sat immobile for months. Then I had a bunch of quilts to finish and not enough time to do the design, piecing and quilting. So I asked Hawke to help out.

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Missing Horseshoe Bend {American Travels Quilt Series}

If you are looking at this picture and thinking “That’s not Horseshoe Bend,” you’d be right. It’s nearby, but this certainly isn’t it.

On our road trip last August, Hawke and I were heading north around the eastern side of the Grand Canyon. It was our third day on the road and we were heading toward Zion National Park; we didn’t have reservations anywhere and wanted to get to our next sleeping spot as early in the day as we could. We were making good speed, but as with all road trips, a bathroom break was needed, so we stopped at what looked like a rest stop. Turned out it was for a hiking trail and the fellow at the gate explained that it was just a 20 minute hike if wanted to do that after using the bathrooms, but we demurred and he let us through to use the facilities then hit the road again.

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Dignity Quilt {American Travels Quilt Series}

In Chamberlain, South Dakota there is a sculpture of an indigenous woman that stands 50 ft. tall along Interstate 90. For years now I’ve wanted to “someday” see it in-person. She carries one of my favorite quilt designs, a Lone Star quilt, billowing behind her and she towers over the hills and the Missouri River. The pictures I had seen were amazing, but as with most places, the pictures can’t do it justice.

Hawke and I were almost to the end of our week when I realized that our path toward Omaha would take us directly by her. We had to stop.

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American Travels quilt series

I used to spend almost half my time on the road, traveling the United States while teaching at quilt shops and conventions. Over the past year, that work travel stopped and it was a shock to the system. To all my systems.

We started weekly sewing classes on Facebook Live, so I kept on teaching (albeit it in a completely different way) and I was happy to finally be eating homemade food rather than restaurant food.

But one of the biggest revelations after months of lockdown was just how much I had loved the side benefits of seeing this country, learning its history, trying local foods and stopping at roadside attractions. I’d learned a lot in the three years I’d been a traveling sewing/quilting teacher.

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Something old made new again

One of the things I love best about quiltmaking is the love and care that goes into the process. Sometimes though, despite the love, the design just doesn’t suit the receiver. This was the situation with my friend Jeremy’s quilt.

His great-grandmother had made it and given it to him, but it wasn’t a particularly handsome quilt in his eyes, so it had stayed folded up in the closet for years.

One night he asked if I’d be willing to remodel the quilt, taking out the periwinkle sashing that wasn’t in his color palette and taking down the amount of negative space. I said yes and started cutting up his quilt.

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That Quilt from the MSQC Sewlebrity Sew-Off

Do you remember this fall when I was at the Missouri Star Quilt Company Birthday Bash? Okay, maybe not, but I had a great time (like always!).

I was on Jenny’s team and we worked like mad women for an hour making a lovely pinwheel quilt that was designed by Jenny Doan just for the event. Sue Daley was there so we had to add some EPP hexagon flowers thrown in; hand-piecing with a strict time limit just makes it that much more fun–ha!

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Alex Anderson and I doing tutorials– whoda thunk?

I met Alex Anderson last fall at Quilt Market, years after I started following her in the quilt industry.  I look up to her immensely as she has much the same passion that I do about sewing and quilting. We both really just want everyone to find their happy place here! A lot of that passion involves teaching the basics and I’ve often admired her Alex’s ability to seem so approachable and excited in her public presentation.  The truth is, she is actually one of the nicest people I’ve met.  She knows her stuff, too.

As the head educator for Shannon Fabrics, she invited me up to her home in northern California to do some videos and I jumped at the chance.  It was a mix of fear, excitement, admiration, and joy to be honest.  But I’m so glad I did it.  We got to share some great information and I got to get over my awkwardness (or at least a bit) by the time we filmed the last video.

If you are interested in sewing with Cuddle fabrics, I think we’ve included some helpful info. Give ’em a watch and let me know what else you are curious to know.

You can see more tutorials and interview on The Quilt Show YouTube channel.

xo,

Brewery Artwalk

April 7th was a big day for me.  For the last few months, Hawke and I had been working nearly every day on the Ascension Quilt, a collaborative art quilt based on his wall mural. We had a hard deadline for the Brewery Artwalk and neither of us were entirely confident it was going to be complete. I gave myself a pretty gnarly concussion in the studio in early March, but with some pretty intense work we managed to complete the entire quilt in time for it to be hung in Hawke’s loft and be ready for the droves of weekend visitors.

A lot of love went into this quilt, including Hawke’s favorite “woobie” jeans. He’d worn them to the point that my patching was doing no good, so he sacrificed them to the quilt gods and we used them for the top of the wings.

Hawke’s porch above the quilt was  a favorite for many visitors and it was fun to see their reaction when they realized there is an indoor porch!

The number of people who came through the loft was pretty overwhelming, but between the living room theater, the quilt space and the upstairs studio and  bedroom they had plenty of places to wander.  It was still weird to have so many strangers in there all weekend.

Hawke took his time to explain our methods and purpose to so many visitors and Aaron disarmed one visitor after another with his brash humor. I can’t thank them enough; it was really outside my wheelhouse to talk at length about my quiltmaking work and get such positive feedback.  So strange.

We had quite a few fellow Brewery Artist Lofts friends come by (thanks, Binns!) as well as our local security guy (below).

This was my first time participating in the Brewery Artwalk as an artist. It was wonderful. It was overwhelming. It was inspiring. It was exhausting. It was everything I could have hoped for.  An enormous thank you goes to Hawke, whose support I could not have done without.  The collaborative work was amazing and then there was Artwalk.  His love, encouragement, artistic skills, knowledge and handyman skills made it all work out and I can honestly say, this would have never happened on my own. Thank you, Hawke.

Getting started on a denim quilt

Late spring last year, I was able to help Luke out with some piecing for a quilt he did for the Stagecoach music festival, piecing the denim/star part of the quilt background you can see in this cute pic from Instagram (I have no idea who @sophieschillaci is, but it’s her photo with some country music star). Anyway, while I was piecing that Greg, our mutual friend, saw it and decided he really loved the denim and wanted something similar, but not the same. He wanted the stars and the denim, but wanted to add a spiral and less structure.  I took him up on it and together we started brainstorming.

First stop was the local Goodwill, then St. Vincent’s and another thrift shop or two, buying the cheapest and largest jeans we could find. He washed and dried them all then brought them back to me to start chopping them up.

 

I cut them so that most of the seams were gone, but left a few intact.  I also purposely left some holes that I then patched and darned.

I’m piecing it together more boro-style than anything else I can name.  Just laying them on top of each other and topstitching close to the raw edge.  I’ll built it out, incorporating about a dozen of those stars. I plan to back it in flannel, then will quilt it with thick yellow thread and top it off with some hand-stitching.  It’s slow and tedious, but I’m learning along the way.  The rugged and raw nature of the denim is lovely. The precision of puzzle making is equally enticing and I love how the two aspects work together.

Denim quilt being pieced

My advice so far:

  • Buy more denim than you think you’ll need. I cut up 23 pairs of jeans.
  • Use a 90/14 universal needle.
  • Denim is heavy so work in sections.
  • Don’t expect to get it done quickly.

Expect more soon (but not too soon!)