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Old Quilts New Life

Monday, November 9th, 2015

1991.27.1 (1)

I absolutely love Folk Art as it is funky and a little unpredictable. Many tell a story. I first saw this amazing embroidered quilt at the Folk Art Museum in New York in February of 2011. What drew me to the piece was the folky flowers and animals randomly placed on the quilt top. Nothing was placed perfectly using hand drawn images that were simple yet very appealing. It was made from wool, cotton and silk and embellished with beads and silk and cotton threads.  What I love about use of different threads and embroidery stitches is the added surface texture you achieve. Unfortunately the maker of this quilt is unknown but it was possibly made in New York State between 1825 -1845. The quilt measures 91″ x 80-1/2″ and was originally used as a bed cover. It is now in the permanent collection of the Folk Art Museum in New York.

Today many quilt makers reproduce original antique quilts. My lovely friend Sarah Fielke has gone one step further in her amazing book ‘Old Quilts New Life’ that was officially released last week. Not only did she reproduce  9 quilts form the collection of the Folk Art Museum in New York she took it one step further and produced a second quilt of each in a modern style. As I paged through her new book I was taken by her use of color, twist on the modern design and the amount of work that went into producing all the quilts for this book.

Old Quilts, New Life showcases 18 stunning quilts each one accompanied by step-by-step instructions so you can create them at home. The book takes you through the history of the quilting tradition and explores the techniques and styles employed by quilters over the centuries. From the beautiful simplicity of an Amish quilt to a pretty pinwheel design, there is a quilt in this book to suit all skill levels and styles.

This week is the official launch party for Sarah Fielke’s book ‘Old Quilts New Life’ to find out more about Sarah and her quilts visit Sarah’s blog , Instagram @sfielke and her Facebook page. You can also view many quilt designers favorite antique quilt on Instagram #oldquiltsnewlife during this exciting week.

Creative Stitching


October Adventures

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

I taught 10 days in October for my lovely friend Deirdre who owns Out Of Hand in Calgary, Canada. I have taught at her store for 8 years and it is always wonderful to return to spend time with all the lovely ladies who attend classes. Many have taken classes with me every year I have visited. This year we did a class using indigo fabrics which my son Andrew dyed for the class, a new piecing class I am teaching, a stitchery class creating bugs and a studio time class where each student worked on projects they had started in my previous classes. All students created amazing pieces and I am looking forward to returning next fall to share new and exciting creations.

I have just returned home from Quilt Market in Houston TX followed by two days of teaching at Our House In Milford TX.

I can’t believe it is already November 1. We have very exciting things in store this month. We will be doing a giveaway on Friday. Please hop over to Instagram and follow us so you have a chance to win something special.

Creative Stitching


September Adventures

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

It has been a wonderful month with travels to Italy with my daughter Kelly as well as teaching on my side of the country at Smith Owen in Michigan then over to the west to La Conner to teach at the La Conner Quilt Festival.

I teach each year in Orvieto,  Italy for Adventures In Italy owned by Bill and Kristi Steiner. It is the highlight of my year returning to a location where local people recognize you, makes me feel a little more at home each time. This year students joined us from Australia, Canada, USA and England as well as my lovely daughter Kelly. We found inspiration at a pottery museum for our textural piece which will be pieced into a a lovely leather bag. I collaborated with a a local leather artist who made the leather pieces for these special pieces. We enjoyed each others company experiencing local restaurants, a cookery class, olive oil tasting, enjoying the local history and a visit to the local market. I will be returning May 29 – June 4 2016 if you would like to join us.

I also returned for my annual fall visit to Smith Owen in Grand Rapids, MI. I taught three super classes to a great group of students along with a trunkshow one evening. The classes were embroidery based with lots of Creative Stitching. Thanks to Pam and Barb for taking such good can of us.

I spent a lovely fall weekend in La Conner just north of Seattle teaching with  Jane Sassaman at the La Conner Quilt Festival. This is a lovely town on the water which buzzed with quilters all weekend. My classes were filled with enthusiastic stitchers enjoying lots of color and fiber.

Thanks for all the creative energy that is what makes me so enthusiastic to continue this amazing journey.

Creative Stitching


Annie’s Country Quilt Store, Ashburton in the South Island New Zealand

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

I just finished 3 days of teaching on Ashburton for Rachel Maw. I taught the Peacock and Small Flower embellishment class. It was fun to see all the different variations of threads that were used on the pieces along with dimensional stitches.

I left the South Island yesterday and spent a few hours in Auckland with Robyn before flying to Los Angeles. We had lunch and a walk in Cornwall Park which is a fabulous park in Aukland full of sheep, cows, amazing old trees  and spring budding flowers.

It was a lovely trip. Many thanks to Robyn and Rachel for organizing the classes and to all my creative students form Australia and New Zealand who made it all worthwhile. I have an overnight flight from LA to Chicago then onto Akron in the morning. I will have time to wash my clothes, get a haircut and pack my bags for our trip to Orvieto, Italy. Looking forward to meeting all my students and so excited Kelly my daughter will been a part of this adventure.

Creative Stitching


Annie’s Country Quilt Shore – Teaching in Nelson, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

In the South Island I am teaching in two locations for Rachel Maw who owns Annie’s Country Quilt Store in Ashburton. The first one was in Nelson a lovely artsy city on the top of the South Island. I flew into Nelson and shared my quilts with an enthusiastic crowd on Monday evening then taught a one day class. Many were new to wool so I shared my applique techniques and a few embroidery stitches including stitching fun bees and ladybugs.

Tuesday Rachel and I took a little time visiting the Museum of Wearable Art – WOW and the Suter Art Gallery. They were both lovely. I would love to visit again when the WOW show is on in Wellington. Absolutely amazing! We then drove the 7 hour drive to Ashburton through the beautiful hillside and along the coastline to Christchurch then inland to Ashburton. What a beautiful country. We travelled through the Marlborough Winelands, saw a seal colony in Half Moon Bay, fields full of sheep with their lambs and an abundance of dairy cows grazing in the green grass.

Today is a catch up day then 3 more days of teaching before returning home on Tuesday.

Creative Stitching


Patchwork Passion – Auckland, New Zealand

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

I have had a wonderful time on the North Island of New Zealand having taught two retreats for Robyn Burgess who owns Patchwork Passion in Auckland. The first 3 day retreat was held in Long Bay at a lovely retreat center called Vaughn Park with an amazing view of the ocean from the classroom. There were 23 very enthusiastic students from New Zealand and Australia each working on a new design called ‘Indigo Vases’ which I designed especially for them. We layered with textural fabrics and threads designing small vases of unique blooms. Each piece was unique.

Many of the students shares quilts and bags made from my designs.

The second retreat was held in Taupo a 3-1/2 hour drive inland from Auckland. It was a lovely drive through dairy and sheep farmland. As it is early spring the fields were filled with lots of lambs and calves. We drove through many small towns with interesting buildings. Taupo is on a huge lake which was formed by a volcanic crater with snow filled mountains in the distance.  I also visited Huka Falls which is on the outskirts of Taupo. The class was held in a Conference center and Cindy and Robyn provided all the lovely food for this event. I could really get used to having morning and afternoon tea and nibbles with wine before dinner. The students created unique pieces creating layered backgrounds and vases with dimensional flowers. We had a lot of fun sharing and laughing along with much hand work. All the students were from different towns in the north island except for my lovely friend Joc who travelled form Canberra Australia.

Many thanks to Robyn and Cindy for all your hard work in making these retreats so much fun. I shall miss you!

I am flying to Nelson in the South Island this afternoon to teach for Rachel Maw who owns Annie’s Country Quilt Store in Ashburton.

Creative Stitching


The Main House at Creations – Kerrville Texas

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

I started the month with a private class here in my studio. It was wonderful to have 9 students who travelled from Southern Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee. We worked on neutral stitching over appliquéd tone on tone circles. Our new space worked out really well and I hope to continue adding classes in the near future.

The Main House is a great location for a few days of sewing, along with the amazing quilt store Creations. Owned by delightful sisters Julie and Kathy and retreats organized by Barbara. Every detail is thoughtfully planned and all meals are provided. The students were enthusiastic creating peacocks and birds in all colors and textures. I will be returning to teach at The Main House at Creations in October 2016.


I am on my way to New Zealand leaving LA in 30 minutes. I hope to post from the classes I will be teaching in the North and South Island.

Keep Stitching


MISA – Madeline Island WI

Friday, August 21st, 2015

I just returned from teaching for two wonderful weeks on Madeline Island at the Madeline Island School of the Arts. My classes were full of enthusiastic students. The first week was a Floral Medallion design class and the second week was Bird Dance. I love teaching at this school and am delighted to be returning in 2016 for three weeks.

Week 1

Week 2

Creative Stitching


Quilt Gallery – Kalispell MT

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

In late July I spent 5 days teaching for Joan at the Quilt Gallery In Kalispell, MT. Each student created a story quilt using the tree as a starting point to incorporate there own story about memorable parts of their lives. I love teaching this class as each piece is unique using each element as fun interpretations of ones life experiences. They started with a similar base which was done prior to class so to enable us to have more time for embellishing. Many fun threads were used many students especially loving the silk ribbon roses I taught them. They were used to embellish each piece differently.

This is a beautiful area of the country and I was fortunate to be able to take a little time to enjoy Glacier National Park. I will be returning to the Quilt Gallery in 2016 to teach.

Many thanks Joan for making me fell so at home and to Fred for making me home cooked meals.

Creative Stitching


Quilters Affair – Sisters OR

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

I spent a week teaching at Quilters Affair early in July. My first class was a two day class working in neutral threads. I am always amazed at how fun and creative these dimensional circles become with a fun stitches and textural threads.

My second class was a three day class working on birds from my book Bird Dance. The students layered the backgrounds using cottons and ribbons. Then appliquéd hand dyed wool birds adding stitches to them which gave each bird a different personality.

On Saturday it was the Outdoor Quilt Shows 40th anniversary. The weather was wonderful with 1500 quilts hung all over the town of Sisters. The Gees Bend Quilters were honored guests with many of there lovely quilts on display.

It is always a feast for the eyes to view all the teachers quilts in the teachers tent. Jean Wells is an amazing lady what an outstanding contribution she has made the the art of quilting. I always feel very fortunate to be a part of this annual event.

Creative Stitching