CAM01733I know I say this a lot, but, I love to quilt.

I am loving this whole cloth challenge.
I am loving the process of creating.

I like that after several hours of quilting the piece looks very, very different.

I like that silk thread allows me to add teeny tiny stitching and detail work.

I love that with each stitch the piece takes on a whole new look. It’s exciting to watch what happens.

CAM01738 (2)

I like how adding a bit of King Tut – a 40 weight 3 ply, variegated cotton thread in orange/yellow & purple added a sense of light and helped create movement in the quilt.

When I got to this point last night I thought maybe I’d finish the background in a similar color to the Radiance, but as I look at it now, I think not. There is more to add to this quilt top.

CAM01729Paula Nadelstern‘s visit was quite delightful. The quilts were hung in a way that she was able to take the attendees on a tour, talking about each quilt and her process. One thing that I love that she says when anyone asks her how long it took to make her quilts, “as long as I’ve been quilting”. It’s experience. The experience of this quilt leads to the next and the next and the next. We learn as we go along.

If you get the chance to see any of the trunk shows that Benartex puts together with Paula please go see it. These trunk shows are amazing!


I was invited to dinner that same evening with this delightful quilter, Luke Haynes. I must admit to getting all giddy when helping to show one of his quilts – with Joe Cunningham. Oh my goodness. Two quilters that I admire. A lot.

Well I’m off to do a little more blogging and quilting before heading out to work.

Have a fab quilterly day!


at play greg caseI get to teach tomorrow at the City Quilter.

Last I knew there is one space left.

We’re going to play with design and thread, Let(ting) our Foot Loose, being Fancy & Free.

Let’s see what kind of fun and trouble we can get into .

I’m hoping I remember to bring my camera and take a few pictures.

I’ve gotta be the worst picture taking teacher.

Doesn’t mean I don’t love my students.

Happy Quilting!



whole cloth challenge circle completeThere is nothing quite so comforting as listening to the sewing machine as I quilt. It’s a beautiful sound.

As I look at this update and think about the comments on facebook and think about another project I’m working on (I think a lot!). So the question I get a lot is, “what comes next?” or “do you plan your quilting?”

CAM01719Photo aside: This is the same quilt taken in different light.

I probably do know what comes next and I probably plan however there is nothing on paper. How’s that for an answer? Priceless eh?!
I am sharing process on here with this quilt as it’s part of the Whole Cloth Challenge with Lisa Calle. Thinking that Chocolate Swirl was it – I worked on that for a while (and will finish that eventually) Nope. That wasn’t it. Then I started quilting the dupioni silk. Nope that’s not it. This grape Radiance that Olde City Quilts sent me with an order I placed a while ago kept whispering to me. It’s the same color I used for Moon Over Manhattan. You know, Little Miss Sassy Pants. I got to thinking about Olde City Quilts. How Judy lived in Montana (if I remember correctly). My image of Montana is big sky, mountains and wide open spaces. And the Big Sky reminds me of the moon. And I love the moon. The moon reflects the light of the sun, Radiance reflects light. Hmm I see a correlation here. The more I thought and stared at this fabric the more the idea settled that I wanted to do a play on Moon.

From Moon Over Manhattan I have the fabric, moon shape and the lone star (it is intentionally wonky)
From Montana I have the mountains and big, open sky.
From my thread drawer I have the silk thread and color
From my imagination I have the quilting.

So when someone asked what comes next? My answer, “Lime green” may have seemed a little odd. In my mind it made perfect sense. It’s one of my favorite colors and it will pop against the grape. I finished with the lime green last night and moved onto black. I am so thrilled that Superior makes silk in a variety of colors. I won’t know what the finished quilt will look like until the quilting is finished.


Ellen McBurney, one of my readers and a member of The Quilt Show, is auctioning this quilt titled: Libby and Ricky Converging to raise money for Libby Lehmans ongoing medical expenses.
Here is a link to the ebay auction.

The quilt is lovely.


CAM01712The Walkway over the Hudson is one of my favorite places. Especially when I get to share it with dear friends. This area of the Hudson Valley is simply gorgeous and we’re getting closer to my favorite season – autumn. Oh how I love walking across here in the autumn. The ever changing colors get me all giddy and creative.

We started this day the Montgomery Place farm stand getting our fave apples, Pink Pearl, grapes, corn on the cob and a few other things. Then over to the wine & food fest. We left early this year. The bonus the Walkway over the Hudson.

Onto Hudson’s Ribs and Fish. The popovers! Oh! MY! A quick ride south and onto the Blue Pig for ice cream. We ate in silence enjoying every single mouthful of this delicacy. There is something beautiful about well made food.

One of those FAQ’s that’ll make it to the Tutorials and Helpful Hints page “why do you use two layers of batting in your quilt and what do you use?”

I use two layers of batting in competition quilts, The layers help ensure that the stitches will lock in the batting rather than trying to sit on top or on the back of the quilt. It’s not 100% because stuff happens: eyelashes (speeding); icky tension (pokies top or back).

CAM01490The back/bottom layer is all about the structure, it’s there to help keep the quilt square. Low loft is my preference. If I’m using cotton batting I’m not using metallic thread – this is a personal choice. Cotton by it’s nature is a bit “grabby”. I’ve had the experience of the metallic being pulled to the back of the quilt. Uh, this is not where it belongs. Unless, of course, I’m using metallic in the bobbin, then it’s a whole other story.
Wool is one of my faves for structure and bonus: it has no memory. So when a quilt gets folded, boxed and sent off on it’s journey I can be sure that after a bit of time any folds will ease out over time and the quilt will hang well.

For the top I like wool or silk – the stitch definition with both of these is fantastic. Silk has a bit less loft than wool and shows of fine threads very well. Wool has a bit more loft giving great texture to areas left unquilted for any reason, i.e. fake trapunto.

I used silk batting in this piece to really define the stitches. You can see some loft, wool will be a bit puffier.

Feather Zone

When I quilted Feather Zone I used wool. The unquilted areas have a bit more loft.

What I’ll do after the first of the year is a stitch out on low loft cotton, mid-loft cotton, wool and silk for clear stitch definition.

Happy Quilting!


Books! Books! Books

Melly 004

Melanie Testa

Dreaming from the Journal Page – Melanie Testa
– “What is this obsession with finishing?” is my fave Melly line ever and no it’s not in the book

The Lord of the Ring Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkein

The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis

Science Fiction by Isaac Asimov – particularly loved the short stories

Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon

Radiant New York Beauties – Valori Wells

Tom Clancy

Jinny Beyer – Quilt Making by Hand

Marie Bostwick – Cobbled Court Series

books and buttons

Partial book shelf

Earlene Fowler – Benni Harper Series

Clare O’Donohue – Someday Quilts Series

Jennifer Chiaverini – Elm Creek Quilt Series

Surprisingly this list is quilt heavy. I’m shocked, simply shocked. Well not really. There is a series of sci/fi mystery books that I can not remember the titles of right now. They were all timey wimey and fascinating, keeping me up late at night until I finished them all. I binge read the entire series.

What are you fave books?

Happy Quilting!


One of the things I get to do as a BERNINA Ambassador is blog and give quilting/sewing tips. Here’s the most recent tip on We All Sew. Somehow I have manage to not hit a pin while stitching. I’ve heard stories and Jo Leichte shares one of her own. Once I saw where a little kid was in someones sewing room and pushed a bunch of straight pins down the hole that is there for the screw (think binding attachment, circle attachment) that did some major damage. While our BERNINA’s are tough durable machines sometimes stuff just happens. Did you now I have a whole page of tutorials & helpful hintsthe back of the quilt John Cardin dyed fabric?

A couple of weeks ago I posted Feeding Artists showing you all of this gorgeous hand dyed cloth from John Cardin. I’m working on my whole cloth challenge giving an update the other day.  I’m using one of the pieces John sent me as the back. You might be surprised to learn I’m using silk thread on the back. Yep it is spendy but work every.single.stitch.
I’m loving the dense texture I’m getting with it. I can stitch so close together.

variegated silk so pretty

On the front so far I’m using a variety of silk thread including this variegated Tiara silk that I still have some left from the project I sent off to Superior. Even 50 weight silk lasts a long, long time.  There are little spaces of Tiara here and there.

tiny bubbes on my quilt

If you look really really closely here. Right here you’ll see some teeny tiny bubbles. I did them in pink too but for some reason I can’t resize the picture well enough to upload it here. I’ll just show it to you in a day or two.

I don’t have a name for this quilt yet. It’ll come when it’s ready it always does.



dupioni whole cloth playtime my brain on quiltingLisa posted a couple of Whole Cloth updates on her blog. I appreciate her honesty and admire her tenacity in learning how to free motion on her BERNINA 750. I’d feel quite the same on the long arm, in part because no matter what kind of machine we quilt on there is a learning curve And we need to be patient with it. It takes time. I can imagine being in one of Lisa’s classes and getting encouragement from her to keep going, because it’s the same thing I’d say to my students and myself.

Actually I told myself this the other day when, upon finding myself banging my head on the, thankfully, tempered glass of my desk while completely frustrated that I couldn’t do something because I didn’t know how to do it and was completely freaked out because it needed to get done and done now. I took a deep breath realizing that I had friends and know people who know how to do the things I needed and there are, amazingly, internet search engines and websites for products that I can go look at their FAQ and figure out what needed to happen for me to finish my work. All of these things happened. I reached out to Sarah and Jeanie and visited a few websites and learned some new things. My world is richer for taking the time to learn new things.

dupioni whole cloth tiny bubblesIt’s been a while since I’ve seriously quilted. Janie was feeling rather neglected. I more than made up for it yesterday. Oh was it just so delightful. I started with this gorgeous piece of royal blue dupioni silk with red undertones. Oh My Good-ness do I love the feel of dupioni as I stitch. I love the nubby texture, it’s just so real! I’m using Hobbs Tuscany silk/cotton or silk/wool blend (it’s not up on their site otherwise I’d link over) and Superior Kimono Silk Thread.

dupioni whole cloth i like itI’m digging this piece. It’s a bit of whimsy and fun and joy and tiny stitching. Tiny, tiny stitching.
This piece, as of this moment, has no purpose other than practice. I’m using this as a gateway quilt to a few other projects that are on hard time lines. One being the whole cloth challenge quilt and the other Quantum Leap.

After warming up for a bit I moved onto to the Whole Cloth Challenge portion of my day. I’ve been mulling over ideas in my head for weeks. What I started working on it Not what I intended to work on in part because I need to draw it out a bit more before committing to a design. Who am I kidding? I’m just not ready to use the Rust Radiance yet.

whole cloth challenge circle completeSo I pulled out this gorgeous piece of Radiance – the color is grape. I took the lid from my button tin, placed it on the fat quarter and drew a circle with my chalk pencil. Using a ruler and the 45 degree line I drew in straight lines then free handed the “star” points. It’s intentionally wonky.
John Cardin 5A few more freehand lines below and my quilt top is marked. I have a plan in mind but I’m open to whatever happens. I’m using this hand dyed fabric from John Cardin on the back of the quilt.
Step one: stitch in all of the freehand lines.
Step two: stitch the star.
Step three: keep stitching

That’s the plan. Keep stichin’. I like how it’s coming along so far. Later this week I’ll show more of what’s happening below this.
So far I’m using only Kimono Silk, though at some point other thread will be added. In the bobbin I’m using Kimono silk as well. It’s a color I have a bit of and want to use up.

Have a great quilterly day!





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