curved feather on black silkOne of my very favorite conversations is “if it isn’t hand quilted it isn’t a quilt” or “hand quilted means putting your heart into a quilt”.

I no longer get my panties in a wad
My back no longer gets up

I just share

because I’ve been in that group who thought and felt and experienced and said that out loud.

Now I just share

that I love hand quilting and appreciate the level of work that goes into the hand quilting process
I can hand quilt, I can hand piece, hand applique


I’ve found home, peace, contentment in doing the machine work. Nobody is more surprised than me. But I do. I love the hum of the machine, listening to the needle pierce the layers of batting and fabric seeing stitches form evenly and cleanly as I stitch around the surface of the quilt. My heart is all over that baby.

at play greg case


@play is my heart, in that moment, on a quilt

I can clearly see the journey of this quilt and hear her whispers.


I can see how good Greg Case made her look and

how squaring her up made a difference

I can see the gift of what she taught me and appreciate her beauty

corner stone

I can see my heart in Quantum Leap too.

I can see the growth and progress.

I can see things I think as flaws that no one will notice

I can see the love in this quiltSarah vedeler future quilt

Yep, my heart is here too

I can see my heart in one of my future quilts as well that will be based on this photo of Sarah Vedeler taken at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel while we were at BERNINA University.

Yep my heart will be here too.

If your heart is in hand work I get it.
If your heart is in machine work, I get it
if you heart is in quilting on a long arm, I get it.

My one question this Saturday afternoon. . . how can we appreciate the beauty in all of quilting? How do we promote that perspective shift? One that honors and respects quilters no matter what their style? How do we work on developing that appreciation for the broad range of quilt making that’s out there?

These are serious questions quilters. I’d like to hear what your thoughts.

Happy Quilting!




John Cardin 4but it’s also kind of fun

because the silence indicates

1) work
2) thinking about work
3) gratitude for work
4) I’m working
5) I need to work on quilts
6) I’ll get to share some fun stuff with you very soon!!!!
7) I like to quilt
8) I get virtual hives when I don’t quilt
9) I have virtual hives
10) tomorrow is a quilting/blogging/quilting kind of day
Sometimes when I’m not blogging here I’m blogging at Generation Q.
I’m teaching in August at Steve’s Sew & Vac
I’m teaching in September at the City Quilter
I’m teaching in August and September at Hartsdale Fabrics
I love to teach :)

Saturday I’m working on
blog for Generation Q
If the Foot Fits PowerPoint tweaking so I can get it out to the dealers who want it
expressing gratitude for quilterly friends
sending questions to a quilter/blogger/Aurifil Queen for an interviewquilting

did I mention quilting?

Have a great weekend y’all!

PS if you’re participating in the whole cloth challenge with Lisa Calle & me I’d love to hear from you

Happy Quilting!


at play greg caseTeaching alert!

Teaching Alert!!

I’m teaching at Road to California! (This is a dream come true!)

Wednesday Beginning Free Motion Quilting

Thursday Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy Free

Friday Go Mini or Go Home

Saturday Beginning Free Motion Quilting

I’m in BERNINA rooms each day!!!


Happy Quilting!


Meadowlark play date squaresMonday will be the last day to enter

to win some of Melanie’s fabric
Meadowlark by Windham.

Then you get to make a quilt.

or a bag

or a purse

or a wall hanging

or a. . .



PS – I’ve updated the lecture/workshop page… I added a presentation – If the Foot Fits, Use it! a BERNINA specific presentation on feet & accessories.
I’ll be adding another class when I can figure out a name for it, a combination of And Now What and Let Your Foot Loose, be Fancy & Free.

Happy Quilting!


minnesota quilt sho studentAt the Minnesota Quilt Show in Go Mini or Go Home one of my student showed me her quilt in Karen McTavish’s new book Mastering the Art of McTavishing 2nd Edition.  How cool is that?! The quilt is beautiful.  PS I perused Karen’s book, it’s a must have!
One of the things I loved about her is that she’s a hard core leftie. And I do mean leftie. Leftie like my friend Gio.
It’s hard being leftie in a right hand world. It’s exactly like being an introvert in an extrovert world.  And I may, or may not, have some experience with the introvert bit.binding by machine corner quarter inch foot

I love, love, love the BERNINA Patchwork Foot.
I love the flexibility that it offers.
So I had “Mary” not her real name change things up a bit while she worked on her lone star. I had her move over to the left so she sighted the left side of the foot; then had Mary stitch from that side of the foot with her quilt top on the inside of the harp.
Since slowing down is a huge part of the class this did slower her down, a bit. Mary kept going and going. The quarter inch and the patchwork making sense to her.
And yes, I occasionally stitch patchwork from using the left side of the foot as my guide.
I like to see what my students see or more to the point what they need to see or feel (rotary cutter/ruler or doodling).

Sometimes if I’m not getting something in the quilting realm I try things differently.
How do you try to mix things up so they make sense to you?

happy quilting!



cherrywood 12 step color run funI know, I know the grammar on that title is pretty awful.

At some point in any class I will lean in close to several students and whisper this to them.
And yes in a rather noisy room I will whisper or lower my voice enough that the quilter must pay attention to what I’m saying, “You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be” It’s important to know that.
sometimes it’s not easy being where you’re supposed to be because you’ve looked around to check where others are in relation to you and it’s where you think you want to be, but it’s not where you are and you start stitching faster and then the troubles come
the seam goes off and out comes the seam ripper
and you must slow down
if I need to I will whisper this again when I see your shoulders and ears becoming one body part.
take a quick walk
The other quilters might be moving at a different pace, seemingly faster than you however, it might not be what it seems.

Take your time and piece and quilt your quilt with all of who you are. Your quilt will be beautiful when  your done. Yes, you’ll know where all of the “flaws”, “design decisions” are, but those are the places that give your quilts character and make it yours and unique.

You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be

Quilt on


Susan Brubaker Knapp leaf quilt

Susan Brubaker Knapps leaf quilt

Yesterday was a really full day.
Wake up – check
Find easy peasy breakfast food – check
Teach – Go Mini or Go Home ! – check
Have fun! – Check!
Pack up classroom – check
this includes fabric, rotary cutting mat, rulers, rotary cutter, fabric I’ve purchased – check
*note* place rotary cutter when I know I’ll remember where it is!
cookies I’ve purchased at Grubers – check
two more t-shirts that will be sent to: Donna, Pearl and Beverly – check

Diane SewBatik and meGo down to show floor to help Diane Magidson of SewBatik to tear down her booth. I will sometimes help Donna with tear down when I’m around – when you’re at a show by yourself as a vendor this is hard slog. Start playing Happy by Pharrell Williams and dancing in booth. And yes I did and no there’s no video.
In middle of tear down remember that I need to check in for my flight. Do that as quickly as possible. Diane gave some clear direction and off we both went, moving as quickly as possible. The room was so humid it seemed like it was going to rain.
Diane closed up the trailer just in time for it to start pouring. There were a couple of volunteers who helped with a lot of the heavy work and it got done much more quickly than expected.

when I got back to my room I started the to pack.
Hmmm, that’s odd. Where’s my rotary cutter and batting?
Keep packing.

Look through everything again. Can’t find the batting or the rotary cutter. At this point I’m figuring that I must have left them in my classroom.
Weird. I don’t remember doing that.

Shower, check email, look through backpack, tote bag, purse and teaching bag again. Nope Can’t find them.

Wake up bright an early this morning because I didn’t want to miss my shuttle to Minneapolis.
Look through bags again. Nope. Look through drawers…YES! found the batting and rearranged the larger suitcase to make it fit. Whew.
Still no rotary cutter. At this point I’m thinking it’s gone for ever.
This Olfa rotary cutter was probably the first one I purchased when I started quilting. We’d recently become reacquainted again when working on smaller projects like the ones for Go Mini or Go Home and it’s perfect for traveling.

Get on shuttle – whew! One big hurdle to my sweetie down and big sigh of relief.

Arrive at airport. I can get my boarding pass but I can’t check my bags.
Fine. I find someplace to sit that has power because my phone decides it likes to use a lot of power. Okay okay, facebooking and messaging for 2 hours might have had something to do with it. Maybe.
Finally I’m able to check my bags, get them through security and head upstairs for the TSA check point. I’m shuffling through my backpack looking for something else and I catch a glimpse of yellow, in an upper pocket. I look. Great! I’ve found my rotary cutter! Woohoo!
Perfect timing too, it was BEFORE my backpack when through the scanner. *Happy Note* I got a TSA precheck somehow so I didn’t need to take off my shoes! WIN!!!
So I get around the corner and start taking all the important stuff out of my bags: laptop, camera, phone, power cords. “Excuse me” I said to one of the TSA agents, “may I give this to you please? I didn’t realize it was in my backpack, I found it and thought I’d give it to you now.” I mean, why wait. Right?
So in one moment I was happy and thrilled I found my rotary cutter and happy and thrilled that I got to give the rotary cutter to the TSA without further trouble.
When I passed by him later he told me to have a good day. Note to self. Check All the pockets.
Ahhh the life of a quilting teacher…tis better to lose one rotary cutter than to …

Happy Quilting!


cherrywood 12 step color run funGood morning once again from the Minnesota Quilt Show!
I am having such a great time here and enjoying my students so much.I have to tell you I’m kinda giddy with the excitement and if you know me in real life that means I’ve hit the goofy BIG TIME.
Let Your Foot Loose be Fancy & Free had such a good time yesterday that I issued them a challenge – a whole cloth challenge.
I did change their challenge up a bit though.
The Minnesota Whole Cloth Challenge includes a fat quarter of Cherrywood – to support a local business. They can go 18 x 18 or the whole fat quarter, it’s up to them.
They can use whatever batting, thread and design they’d like.
And they’re due for Houston.
I’ll be blogging about the students along the way as they send me photos.

If you are one of the students reading this blog contact me through the blog and I’ll email you back from the address I’d like you to send photos.

Thank you all for being such a great class!

Happy Quilting!


Mississippi sunriseIt’s not often I get to see a sunrise.
I do this morning because I’m an hour later than East Coast time.This part is so cool.
And this body of water that you see is the Mississippi.

I walked around the quilt show last night with Susan Brubaker Knapp to award our Faculty ribbons. If I have a chance today I’ll get pics of several quilts including the winners.
And the winners: Just WOW!

Today I teach beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting! This is one of my favorite classes. EVER!

Happy Quilting!


rainy days and mondays 003Dear Monday,

Right now the song flitting through my head is “Rainy Days and Mondays” by the Carpenters. I love Karen’s voice! Rainy days and Mondays do not get me down though. I love rainy days, they’re perfect for going puddle jumping. And Mondays…Monday’s hold the promise of a busy full week ahead. Are you surprised to learn that I like rainy days and Mondays? I do.
And today, dear Monday, you are going to prove to be very, very busy with a task list that is a mile long:
Print hand outs for 3 classes
make sure kits are complete for students
start packing – which means doing some laundry
make sure I have mismatched socks
make transportation arrangements including tickets for BERNINA University
write copy for a special project that has to be done tomorrow because I leave Wednesday morning
photograph quilts for said special project that has to be done tomorrow because I leave Wednesday…
bind a couple of quilts that need to be photographed for said special project that copy needs writing that has to be done tomorrow

Thank you Monday for being so awesome!



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