Sunday, July 31, 2022

GPDU--MONTH 8 One Applique Block and a Shoo Fly

 Garden Party Down Under is the 2022 Block of the Month quilt from The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. It is offered FREE all of 2022 to Star Members of The Quilt Show. Designed by Australian designer Irene Blanck, this quilt has captivated a lot of quilters around the world and many are making beautiful variations of this pattern.

This  month there is a striking applique vase. The vase can be cut from a single piece of fabric, or cut the  handle from a different fabric to add interest. Your quilt, you get to decide.

Here is mine from the quilt made as a sample last year:

Here is Irene's: 

The handles are reversed because mine was made with a pattern printed on a fusible, then ironed to the back of the fabric, thereby reversing the design. Irene does all of her applique by hand so her pattern was traced from the front side of the pattern.

That is what makes this such a GREAT PROJECT--use all the information provided to make a "Sampler of Techniques"--try several applique methods to determine which you like best. 

The borders in Months 1 and 2 can be appliqued or paper pieced.

When we get to Month 10, the outer Diamond borders will be introduced--they can be appliqued, as Irene did, or machine pieced, as I did. Instructions for BOTH methods will be provided.

Take a few minutes to look on the FORUM at some of the wonderful work being done by many quilters around the world. Click on PHOTOS  at the top, just above the purple bar, to see all the photos posted on that months' Show Your Progress Here Topic. 

You don't have to be a Star Member to see the FORUM, you do have to be a Star Member to post on the Forum:


I wrote detailed instructions for the SHOO FLY BLOCK in the MONTH 6 BLOG, FIND IT HERE.

 Please take time to post your photos on the FORUM for the world to see. And if you post on Social Media, please use #gardenparty2022bom on your posts.

Let's quilt,


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Exciting LOCAL Classes

 My Fall schedule is set with local  classes. Friends and students can take great classes, at home, without having to travel to away places and incur all those extra costs.

It's been a while and due to popular demand, I am teaching two of my MOST FAVORITE classes. These classes will not be taught again locally any time soon so sign up now or miss out.


Queen Size, using 12 sets of fabrics

Twin Size, using 6 sets of fabrics

Want to learn the process but not ready to make a bed-size quilt? Using 1" strips, you get .5" squares and a Teeny Tiny Two For One: 

Teeny Tiny 2-4-1, made with 1" strips, 21" x 28" 

Sign up online at Southern Charm Quilting  then contact me for a detailed fabric selection guide. Class is 10 hours of instruction, over two Saturdays. Sure to be one of your most favorite quilts.


When you learn the "MAGIC METHOD" for the dreaded Y-Seam, you will be amazed how EASY this quilt is. Every time I teach it to quilters around the country I want to come home and make another. So far, I have made 3 in various sizes. Students have made beautiful quilts in class and you can too. 

Sign up at  Patches & Stitches once they announce the Fall Schedule. This class is one session, Saturday October 8, 9-3. You will learn so much and be on your way to an amazing quilt.


I needed a quilt for a man's gift and his favorite color is blue. When I saw this pattern on Instagram, I knew it was perfect. The pattern is really called Blueberry Kisses but since I have a professional relationship with this person, I made a change to the name. Find the pattern at Thimbles and Needles.   The designer has several great patterns. 

NOTE: for this class you will need to have purchased the PDF pattern download before coming to class and know where you put it on your device. Or print yourself a copy. 

Two color quilts are so wonderful for scrap quilts or even carefully planned quilts. Any two colors you like will work or, three colors, like Red, White and Blue, or Team colors--whatever you like will work great. All the blocks and sashing/cornerstones are made from 2.5" strips so your best Jelly Roll is a good candidate too. 

Sign up online at Southern Charm Quilting--this is the ONLY time this class will be offered because when the quilt is gifted, I won't have it any more. Don't miss out all you can learn in this class: the cutting, sewing and the pressing as well as so  much more.

I still love teaching BEGINNERS TO LEARN TO QUILT  and this Fall I have two offerings at local shops. If you know someone who wants to learn, PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON.


This day-time class is 18 hours of  instruction over 3 weeks, on Tuesdays starting September 20. The past students in this class have loved being able to learn and sew all day, then go home to work on their project until the next week's class. By the 3rd session they were all quilting their quilts! 

Sign up online  at Southern Charm Quilting today to be sure you get a spot. It's so much fun and I guarantee you will learn a lot.


My heart is in this class. I have taught beginners how to quilt at Patches & Stitches for almost 35 years,. That is almost two thousand students. The class has changed from completely hand made in the early years, to completely machine made today.  After this Fall offering the class will change yet again--it will no longer be offered at night and will be a different pattern. 

SO, if you took this class and loved it, please spread the word to friends who want to become as passionate about quilting as you are, take this class now or miss the chance:

Sign up at Patches & Stitches when the Fall schedule is announced. This  class will be 5 sessions, Tuesday September 20, 27, October 4, 11, and 18, 5:30-8 pm.

As usual, a lot of time and effort goes into offering these classes, both by the local shops and by the teachers  who offer them. If the classes don't fill, the classes won't be offered. Each class/shop has a minimum number of students required to make the class possible. So, don't delay--if you see a class you like, at any local shop, sign up right away so more classes will be offered in the future.

My traveling schedule makes it less likely I will teach lots of classes locally. I hope to see you in one of these, while we all  have the chance to learn, share and laugh together.

To see great STUDENT WORK from past offerings of these classes, use the SEARCH BOX above left--type in the name of the class to see previous posts about these quilts.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Traveling Home

 Today I am flying home from Salt Lake City, where I worked at the International Quilt Festival. 

I was really looking forward to several of the Special Exhibits at this Show: Special Exhibits My photos won't be this good so, for now, look at these from the website.

Antique quilts thrill and inspire me and I can't get enough of them:

Early Center Medallion  from the Pieces of the Past Exhibit

The 1876 Centennial Quilt--ENCORE! One wonderful old quilt inspired a small group of quilters around the country to make their own versions and this amazing Exhibit is the result: 

1876 Centennial Quilt by Laurie Latta

I Spy a Barn Quilt: Barn Quilts Across America for the Sunday Driver. These will be great graphic designs:

The Electric Fan by Teresa Schoonover

If you missed this show, some of these quilts will also be on display at International Quilt Festival Long Beach in early August--find all the information for that show here: Long Beach

I will be presenting 5 different Open Studio classes throughout the Long Beach show--these are FREE presentations on the show floor, each is two hours, and no sign up is necessary. Just come by and see what we are teaching. You are sure to learn something!

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Traveling West

 At this moment I am in Salt Lake City, Utah for International Quilt Festival. I am sure there will be lots of great quilt photos to share when I get home. 

If you are at this Show, stop in the Education Office and say "hi"! The show is open to the public, the dates are July 21-23, 2022. Find out all the information you need right here: International Quilt Festival Salt Lake City

Here is my Neutral quilt, under construction: 

There will be a pieced border all around, still being made. 

I am working with neutrals as a challenge to myself. Bright colors or 1800's reproductions are my usual go-to. It isn't easy working with "low volume" fabrics--the current word for NEUTRALS. But it's growing on me. 

Perhaps I will see a neutral quilt or two in Salt Lake City for inspiration.

Let's quilt.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Student Progress with Garden Party Down Under

This year I am teaching a lecture/demo class on Garden Party Down Under at a local shop. There are 11 students working on this quilt. The two-hour class meets every other month--just enough to keep everyone motivated and most have kept up so far. Having a class deadline helps. Though it's not required. Even those not caught up benefit from the tips and tricks shared by all in the class.

Admire their efforts to date: 


Claudia--shoo fly blocks are just the best

Claudia--love that vase fabric!

Cyndi--using all leftover fabrics from previous quilts

Cyndi--love that vase. And her Dresden is various black prints, all 12 different

More lusciousness from Cyndi

Sally is adding some wool and lots of hand embroidery

Look at Sally's detail handwork

More from Sally

Franny has only made it to one previous class but she is loving this project

Lots of Franny applique
Franny's Month 1 and 2 together


Great blocks from Sandy--who always smiles so big--fire the photographer!


Love this vase and the entire block from Sandy

Sandy used a dark background for the Dresden Plate center

Julie got a sense of accomplishment from joining months 1-5 together

Julie--I covet this one!

Julie's month 7 block--the easiest one yet

Leila is doing her applique with the Back Basting method. At the May class she explained the process, and I told the students how to find more information on this method. Google "back basting applique"--I believe Jeana Kimball first taught this method years ago. 

Phyllis gave it a go after the May class and she tells us "This is my applique method going forward". Here are two photos showing the process Phyllis is so happy with.

Here the leaves are back basted and ready to be appliqued, except for the lower left leaf--it is ready to be back basted. The vase is a chunk of fabric ready to be back basted: 

Another of  Phyllis' finished blocks: 
Back basting has the advantages of no marking on the front of the quilt, no pins once the shapes are back basted to the background, which makes it very portable hand sewing, and the basting lets you know exactly where to turn the edge of the shape under. Try it, you might like it.

In these year-long classes, friendships are usually formed. Several of these women have been in prior Block of the Month classes with me: Color My World, Sizzle, Afternoon Delight, Patchwork Barn and Halo Star Medallion.  I look forward to seeing each of them every class.

One of our group is undergoing cancer treatment at the moment. Before class started this time, she was gifted a lovely hand made shawl, made especially for her, in her colors, by one of the other students--who only  met her this year. Quilters make the BEST friends:

Cyndi and Julie

Speaking of Cyndi, I have long coveted her stash! She has a great eye for color and design and a DEEP stash. Before class she  showed me this wonderful scrap quilt she is making, all from her little scraps. String/Crumb piecing is so much fun to do, and even better when the fabrics are this bright. The pattern is in Bonnie Hunter's book String Frenzy.  The string piecing was done on paper. Great job, Cyndi:

Being Summer, 5 of our classmates were out of town for this month's class--we look forward to seeing their progress in September. 

It is not too late for YOU to start making Garden Party Down Under. This pattern designed exclusively for The Quilt Show by Irene Blanck is FREE to Star Members of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  There is so much to learn and enjoy as a Star Member and this FREE pattern is the icing on the cake. It is available until December 31, 2022, when the rights to the pattern return to the designer and she can sell it. Join NOW and get it FREE.

Let's quilt. 


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Nature and Wildlife

 I walk about an hour a day each morning, 6 days a week. Usually alternating neighborhood streets so the view changes a little bit. Come along and see what I see.

These deep pink/red crepe myrtle trees are on our property line, belonging to the neighbors next door. But we asked to maintain them so as to avoid "crepe murder". The purple ones are on our yard:

One of our other crepe myrtles. Unlike the lilacs I grew up with in Pennsylvania, these blooms have almost no scent, but they sure are pretty:

Wildlife I see daily include squirrels, lots of those, chipmunks--too fast to photograph, the occasional bunny, and lots of Canadian geese. They are lovely birds but big birds mean BIG droppings and when they cross the road the sidewalks get really messy. People in this neighborhood have to hose off their sidewalks frequently:

Where the geese live. This neighborhood is about 10 years old. The detention ponds were built to handle runoff and provided the fill dirt to raise the lots up to meet newer flood zone requirements. The geese live here much of the year until they fly away and others take their place. There are two of these big ponds in this neighborhood so lots of room for lots of geese. I enjoy seeing them fly over in formation during the Spring and Fall migrations: 

This crepe myrtle caught my eye for it's rich, deep, almost red color:

These garden plantings are lovely and I told the homeowner how much I appreciated her hard work as I passed by: 

This older home has a beautiful side/back yard, very shady: 

The view of that same yard through a line of lovely crepe myrtles: 

Finally, back at my home. My husband is the gardener and he has an affinity for coleus plants. Each year we seek out new varieties. These like the semi-shade of the east-facing front yard: 

So what does this all have to do with quilting? I use the colors I see around me or in photographs to plan new quilt designs. One of the best photos used for a quilt is this rooster:

I made two quilts using this palette as a starting point. This is My Favorite Things:

Let's quilt.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Blueberry Hill

 I think it's done, no border. It's 69" square now.

 This is a gift for a tall man, a big throw, not designed as a bed quilt. 

It was fun to make and I think I will offer a one-day local class this Fall, first and only offering as a class. There is something really soothing about a two-color quilt, especially blue and white quilts.

The pattern is Blueberry Kisses by Thimbles and Needles.

Now back to the Neutral quilt, Disappearing Patchwork.

Let's quilt.


Wednesday, July 6, 2022