Guest Artist: Van Gogh with Stitchery


Jennifer and me with her lovely quilt.

This terrific quilt was made by Jennifer. We met at the North Country Quilters Guild where she took my class, Garden of Eden. Don’t you love the fabrics she’s chosen for the design?


Quilt by Jennifer.

You may recognize the quilt as the House in the Woods project from my book Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts. Didn’t she do a wonderful job on the stitching? Her fabric choices and hand embroidery add those swirls like a Van Gogh painting with stitchery. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your work with us!

A Castle for You

boldtcastle2One of the perks of being a traveling teacher is seeing amazing sights like this. This is Boldt Castle placed on Heart Island in the St. Lawrence River north of Watertown NY.

boldtcastle3My visit to Boldt Castle was arranged by my lovely hostess, Laura, from the North Country Quilt Guild in Watertown. Before my evening lecture, Laura gave me the gift of a visit to the castle. Thank you Laura!

boldtcastle1It is a magical place. If I ever become a princess, I will live here.

News Flash from Frieda

News flash!


Me and Frieda looking cute.

Did you know that Frieda Anderson has a new class out on Craftsy? It’s called Machine Quilting the Home Sweet Home Quilt. Frieda is an expert machinist. And she can teach you how to add free motion stitching to your quilt top from start to finish. You should check it out!


One of the projects from my Craftsy class.

Craftsy is a great way to learn something new from an instructor. Your Craftsy class never expires. Take my class, Hand-Stitched Collage Quilts, for instance. You own it forever. And I shall remain the same age on screen for years!

Devoted to Textiles

Penelope's Peaches by Laura Wasilowski

Penelope’s Peaches by Laura Wasilowski

If you are in the Minneapolis area, you know you are one lucky person. Why? Because Minneapolis is the location of the Textile Center of Minnesota. This wonderful facility, devoted to the fine art of fiber, currently hosts an exhibit by the Fiber Artists Coalition called Blue World / Green World. You can see my quilt, Penelope’s Peaches on display there through July 13, 2013.

panel1901Sadly, if you are in the Chicago area you just missed an exhibit of nearly acquired textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago. Here you see an applique panel made by the Haslemere Peasant Industries in the Arts and Crafts style. Sorry, I should have told you about this exhibit sooner. But happily I got to see it!

Does This Seem Natural to You?

rock1I seem to be in trouble. And maybe you have this problem too. I am inspired to use this image of stone in my art work. Isn’t it beautiful? I love the way the colors ripple across the surface. It was formed so very long ago. Imagine being alive during that time on earth.

rock2But here’s the problem. I can admire the stone but can not work in those colors. (I’ve tried!) They are just too darn subtle. Don’t you feel most at home using a certain color palette in your work? These stone colors are wonderful. But working with them… just doesn’t feel natural.

Why You Need a Sketchbook

sketchbook1Do you miss your fabric? One of the difficulties of being a traveling quilt teacher is that I can’t take my art work with me. It seems you can no longer pack an iron on the airplane and fuse your fabric in the lavatory.

sketchbook2So I travel with a sketchbook. Here’s why you need a sketchbook too:

  • A sketchbook records ideas. Think of it as your visual memory, a way to document design ideas and file them before they escape to the Land of I Forgot.
  • A sketchbook helps you plan and rework designs. Paper and pencil are an inexpensive way to test variations of your design idea thus saving time and fabric when you make the art.
  • A sketchbook drawing can be enlarged and made into a pattern for your design. It gives you all the information you need for placement, scale, and size for the composition.
  • And finally, doodling in your sketchbook is a soothing way to pass the time. It allows you to stay in touch with your creative side while they refuel the airplane.