Sunday, June 6, 2021

What Am I Doing?

 I can't tell you. Well, it's more accurate to say I can't SHOW you.

About this time of year Secret Sewing goes into high gear in my Studio. Here is a Hint: I will be in Dallas in August taping The Quilt Show...

Just a Teaser. Due to shipping delays, common in every industry at the moment, I am using my own fabric to test the pattern. Here are bits of tiny scraps--that's all I can show.    


I love to use a wide variety of fabrics in my quilts, because I can never run  out. Short on a deep purple? Select another that is similar. Instead of using a large amount of one background fabric, I use many, from white to tan. 

This year I have some awesome helpers, my Sunday Sew and Sews gang, who are helping get a lot of work done. While they are sewing, I am reviewing all the pattern instructions, which takes a  lot of time. I  have to do that myself, in the quiet of my Studio.  

In addition, I am writing "Optional Alternative Instructions" for those who want to try different techniques. So far, I have 11 pages prepared and ready. A few of the Sunday Sew and Sews will carefully review those for me. Despite best efforts, typos sometimes happen.

Writing patterns/instructions is harder than you might think. The designer knows what they mean but may not provide enough detail so the quiltmaker understands clearly what is meant. 

I also know that our Quilt Show members who make the annual Block of the Month quilt, really like specific instructions. For example, "Press". Immediately the question will be "Which way--to the dark, light  or open?" While it may not matter, sometimes it does, farther down the  line. I try to anticipate those questions.  

When techniques are new to a lot of people. like using Freezer paper for Color My World, the 2021 BOM, I try to provide detailed instructions and often make videos that show the process. I already have two videos done that won't air until October 2022 for the next project.

If you want to see more of my fabric pull, look back at the first Teaser post I made: Fabric Pull and the need to pre-wash. I will write much more about pre-washing in the future.

When not working on this I am creating a second "Charming Sampler" quilt. I will be teaching this locally in October and in Rhode Island in  August. Since I need a sample for both places, I have to get a second one made quickly. Here is the second in progress, small blocks, 3" finished:

And the complete project:

It's a fun class that teaches a variety of speedy tricks, which all can be applied to larger blocks in the future. 

Things are picking back up. I bought two airline tickets this week and booked a hotel at a location I am driving to.

And, I found all 20 of the quilts in my possession that need to be shipped soon to Houston. Two are on the walls of my home, four are stored in a closet. Of the 14 others, three need better labels. Two more quilts will be delivered to Houston by the owners--one is a friend who owns SIZZLE--HOT! and the other is in the Corporate Collection of Quilts Inc--Red and White--By the Numbers. Read more about that quilt here: Red and White--the Wrap Up. This is the blog post I tell people to read if they want to know who I am as a quiltmaker.

That's it for now. More to come way in the future on the "secret sewing" project.

Let's quilt.



  1. You continue to amaze me Barbara. You have been invaluable to this year's TQS BOM -- I am still hanging in with it and it is largely thanks to your thoughtful guidance. I am venturing out of my comfort zone by designing my own blocks for the outer circle but staying within the monthly parameters. When I have something to post on the forum I'll explain more there. I am grateful for your many friends that you mention who support you as you support so many of us in the wider world. It's a beautiful web you all are weaving. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Wow! You win the prize of the best comment EVER! The Sunday Sew and Sews just left and they let me know monthly how much they are learning and appreciate all the help I give them with our BOM each month.

      Do post on the Forum about your self-designed blocks. Quite a few people love to see how someone makes a quilt their own!

      When I write my blog or do the videos, I think of the quilter out there, working on her own, no group of quilting friends, no shop to take a class in, and hope I am able to encourage and teach that person.

      You made my day.

    2. You make me smile and blush, but I am very happy to have 'made your day' because you deserve it so very much!

  2. The quilting world certainly benefits from someone like you who is willing to do the hard stuff in order to make it easier for others to follow along. I am always impressed by your attention to detail, and your generosity in sharing what you learn from your experience.
    And I am absolutely in love with your Charming Sampler. Do you sell the pattern?