nybg orchid 8 Okay! these are not photos of the sunset. Ha! They are from the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Gardens some time ago. The show is on now and I need to make plans to go as this and the mums and the roses and the train show are my fave.

nybg orchid 6Yesterday as I was driving from home to the Yonkers Phil concert an idea for a quilt gelled for me. I’m going to cut up fabric. (Shocking I know) Somehow keep in order. That’ll be the hard part. Quilt each piece. Then attach the pieces together. Sounds like quilt as you go doesn’t it. Well, um kind of but not.
It’ll be fun though!

nybg orchid 9Have a great Monday.


I regularly read Seth Godin’s blog with something always capturing my attention. This one captured my attention a while ago, with a blog draft waiting for me to have the time to write. Shortly after this I chose to limit the blog in favor of writing my book and trying to keep blogging commitments with Generation Q Magazine, after all that’s why I was hired.
PS the strand that binds: machine thread test! is mine with local quilters Renee, Cathy, Susan and Anne testing thread for piecing and quilting.

And then I read The Difference between Commitment and Technique and have started wondering if what I teach and how I teach are working. In one case I’d say yes and in another I’d say a firm no. Interestingly this class and the book are linked, at least in my mind, in a way that I think will improve both. This has me thinking a lot about how I improved as a quilter on my home sewing machine. Other than spending a lot of time at the sewing machine figuring out what worked and what didn’t. That part I teach in the beginner class: needles, thread and tension. What was it that changed in the machine quilting?



Is it the machine quilting that changed or is it something else that changed? Is it how I see and view color? Is it how I decided to throw caution to the wind and play, simply play with thread in the same way that I would play with crayons? Is it the understanding of thread weight and how it will play across the surface of the quilt?
With each quilt over the last few years I’ve opened the thread drawers picked up a spool of thread, changed the needle appropriately and continued to stitch. Sometimes this means changing quilting motifs at the same time, sometimes not. Sometimes it means looking at the variegation and wondering how it will play. How do I share with you, with my students, in a book format that I just sit and quilt? How do I share with you that I gave up being afraid of making mistakes and failing? How do I share in a meaningful way that the only way to really get to know color well is to sit at the machine and learn to trust your judgement? That what I think of your quilting doesn’t matter?
If there are actual problems i.e. tension or eyelashing or batting troubles I can help you problem solve.
I can share with you where I find inspiration: spring and fall and sunrises and sunsets and wrought iron and really cool architectureJoe Cunningham at Somers.
That I’m totally inspired by some of the coolest people and the range is quite eclectic and random from Joe Cunningham and Melanie Testa, to Elizabeth Rosenberg and Renee Fleuranges-Valdes, to Karen McTavis and Stephanie Forsythe, Lynn Krawczyk and Cheryl Sleboda and my students. Oh I am so inspired by my students! I love becoming fb friends with my students and watching them develop skill as quilters. I love seeing the move from “a quilt has to look like this” to “my quilts look like this”. Melanie quilting full view
This is the best moment ever! Oh dear me that just gets me all giddy.
The list here is so incomplete.
And I’m back to: how do I change things up in classes and write so that this all works as a class and a book and each student is left with a sense that the hard work that they invest in quilting will be worth it in the end? How do I figure out how to really inspire my students in a meaningful way?

I’m off to think.

Happy Quilting!



From Seth Godin Today is Pi day, the 14th day of the 3rd month of the fifteenth year… 3.1415

Pi is our most famous irrational number. Not irrational in the sense that it’s a foolish argument, a form of wishing for one thing while doing another. No, pi is irrational in a magical, beautiful sense. It can’t be cropped off and fit into a box. The closer you look at pi, the more you see, forever.

And that sort of irrational magic is at the heart of our best work. Meeting spec works fine as long as you’re the only person who has to meet spec. But in any competitive environment, fitting into a box does us little good.

To be transcendent and irrational is to always have a few more digits to spare, to demand that you not be rounded off and filed away. To be human.

sewing and day out 074I’ve had a couple of magical, beautiful moments in the last few days. These moments have me thinking inside and outside my box.
I got to stitch on the BERNINA Q20 yesterday. Oh I am smitten. (You knew I would be, right?!) The final cabinet design is the one I was hoping for that gives us the most flexibility in terms of space and storage. The cabinet has 4 panels, two are removable and reveal storage underneath (think thread and other supplies). If your space is smaller these panels can be left out still giving a lot of space to quilt. Something fascinating happened as I quilted in manual mode – I stitched much faster than I do on my B 780 or 1080 and kept a good consistent stitch.


Lynn Krawczyk inkedSeriously.
Get Inked.

Get it?



Lynn Krawczyk’s new fabric line with Red Rooster. Hopefully soon to be at quilt shops across the nation, no the world. I’m hoping for world fabric domination. Okay not really but I love this line of fabric.

I finally met Lynn at Quilt Market in the fall. She’s adorable, has a smile to beat the band and intense kind eyes and is fun-sized. Some of my very favorite fb posts have to do with Art Brain and paint flinging. Oh and I can’t forget the coffee posts. You know how much I love coffee. My love for coffee pales in comparison. Seriously. And if you hadn’t guessed I’m smitten with Inked. it’s not just that it’s Lynn’s fabric line and that it’s different. The colors speak to my quilterly sensibilities. So when Lynn asked if I’d participate in a blog hop I said yes. A few days later these materialized on my door step.  Okay, they really showed up in the mail. It took me a few days to figure out what I wanted to make for the block. It had to be fun and different.

inked brown

inked lime brown


inked oranges

inked writing teal

Inked washers






my block for Lynn K inked

So here’s the block I made for her quilt. And if I do this right here are the directions for the block: Inked block directions pdf

Over on Lynn’s blog she’s having daily interviews of each of the blog hipsters:

March 2 – Susan Brubaker Knapp

March 3 – me

March 4 – Jessica Darling

March 5  – Debbie Grifka

March 6 -Lynn Carson Harris

March 7 – Jen Osborn

March 8 – Lynn for Susan Atwell

March 9 – Flaun Cline

March 10 – Lynn Krawczyk

March 11 – Cheryl Sleboda

March 12 – Maddie Kertay

March 13 – Lynn Krawczyk

March 14 – Winner!!!

And yes! there is an opportunity to win a bundle of fat quarters at each stop…including this one. Just answer me one question quilterly peeps: what would you make with Inked? A skirt? Shirt? Nifty tote bag? A quilt? On March 14 I’ll have a hot date with the random number generator and select a winner.
So stop by each one of the bloggers, get the directions for their blocks and enter for an opportunity to win their fq bundle. Word has it that Lynn has some extra fun on her blog. Oh and if you head over there you can see the quilt.

Happy Quilting!



And the Random Number Generator selected #6 Charlotte! Congratulations!
Thank you all for commenting. I love reading your comments. Remember Inked will be in quilt shops soon!

ally hand dyes orangeThe last few weeks there has been a tune running through my head.

You are the Sun
I am the Moon
You are the words
I am the tune
Play Me.

I love the voice and the words. I can hear Neil singing in my head.

I know what fabric this will be stitched on
I have a good idea of thread color
I have no idea of the stitching, yet but that always happens

I’m giddy. I love it when quilt ideas gel in a way that gets my heart pumping and my feet dancing!

Happy Quilting!


One week in the Passion Planner

A number of quilters posted video on the kickstarter program for the Passion Planner. The calendars I would pick up here and there weren’t quite enough. Adequate, yes, but not quite enough. I ordered the 8 1/2 x 11 planner. Yep, it’s the big one, it will fit in my pocket book and back pack. Yes, my pocket book is that big. I made it that big 3 or 4 years ago so I could fit my laptop in it. It’s leather so it’ll have the stamina to survive being in my pocket book. Well I think so!

The first thing that will happen is Gen Q blog post days will go in! Book Dates will go in. Book quilting dates. (Those started) Book this and book that. Work time and family time and friend time. There’s place to make notes and draw and plan and dream and generally take care of myself and all that is currently in my life with a bit more to be added.


tiara silk 1I don’t remember if I ever showed the full piece. A little taupe Radiance, a little silk batting, a little Superior Tiara Silk. Oh my. Have you seen this gorgeous variegated 50 weight silk thread? When they have the Tiara in the booth there will be a good chance that this little piece is in the booth. I am SMITTEN

Superior Threads Tiara Silk threa setI’m going to quilt to my hearts content because last night I purchased one of each. I ordered more thread however this one was so fun. 24 spools of Tiara silk will be here soon and the Big Quilt Idea.

Well the Big Quilt Idea I can’t show you but let me just say it’s going to be pretty.

Happy Quilting!


tiara nautilus



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