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Student Work - Empty Spools Workshop

What an incredible time I had teaching at Asilomar last month! The students blew my socks off with what they accomplished in such a short time. Most of them have not done this time of improv work before, but they dove in and went for it. 

Here is a sampling their work...


I have to say that Lynne impressed me so much. She's not piecer - she has always prefered to fuse in the past, but she took to it so naturally and is creating a very dynamic piece.

What I really enjoyed was seeing how different each person's work was. I loved what (the other) Sheila was creating. 

Elaine and Judy took to this like fish to water...

Lydia dreamt about her piece and had a vision of the direction she wanted to go - that's a really good sign!  :)

Heidi chose a palette that I would have never considered, and it's really lovely...


It's so wonderful to watch individual styles starting to take shape. Lynn and Tina have a very delicate feel to their work. 

This was the very first exercise we did, using a limited palette with the focus on value. This is a very soothing piece by Jenny - the movement and the colors are lovely. 

Diane blew me away with her sheer enthusiasm. (Which is pretty obvious in this photo) What's really cool is that she is not a quilter and had only sew "curtains" in the past. I can say there wasn't a quarter inch seem to be seen, but it didn't matter, she's on her way to making her first quilt top! 


And wow, did I love the colors and the whole vibe of Cristin's piece. (She and Diane are friends, obviously)

When you are doing improv work, you can go simple or super complicated, and Shelley went the complicated route. That's why I love to piece - to create complex challenges that I have figure out somehow. This is a great piece.

Cinda was one of five friends that were the wild and crazy bunch in class. Each one of them had a little (what looked like Mr. Potatohead to me) face on their design wall! Cinda's work is intense and I could clearly see a point of view right away. 

It was so exciting to walk around the room and see all the wonderful colors and patterns that were emerging. 

Pam was creating some exciting work!


I managed to get to the beach at least one day. This is a truly amazing place to take a workshop. 

I could go on and on showing the work, it was really wonderful to witness each student's point of view unfolding. 

This was a really large class, 24 students, and I was told by a few ladies that is should be listed as a "Master Class" because it's super intense and challenging. The reason I disagree is that a person could have been a quilter for 30 years, but really struggle when it comes to letting go. My workshop is all about letting go, and that can be very uncomfortable for some. 

As a teacher, you have do deal with many things, including expectations of what students think they "should" be able to do after taking your workshop. What I hope to do is lead students down a road, and they can decide if they want to continue the journey. 





Save on my MISA Workshop!

I’m so excited to be teaching a 5 day quilting workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts, June 16-20, 2014.  I’ve heard nothing but the best about this magical Island, MISA’s state of the art studios, lodging, and delicious meals.  

So, I wanted to let you know of a special program just for anyone who follows my blog, called “The Red Barn Special.” This is specifically for my workshop at MISA.  

Save $85 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by April 30, 2013.  

Now is your chance to get first pick at their comfortable and cozy on-campus rooms in their Mission Cottages. 

A 25% deposit is all you need to hold your place in my workshop.  To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email 


I'm on the Cover of American Quilter Magazine! 

"The Lair of the Amethyst Deva" 

The experience of working with the wonderful Michele Duffy, Editor in Chief and the lovely Marjie Russell, who wrote a great story about me, was enjoyable to say the least. Michele possesses a sensitivity and intuitive nature that makes interacting with her a total joy. 

I've also written a "process piece" about how I approach my work. 

I don't think it's hit the newsstands yet, but it's available via digital download. CLICK HERE

This is a HUGE honor - what more could an artist hope for. 


Equality Exhibit at Visions Art Museum in San Diego 

I'm thrilled to announce that I am curating an invitational exhibit that will premier at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, California, January 17, 2015. (I actually turn 50 on that day!)

The title is Expressions in Equality and it opens in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

The artists have been asked to make a piece specifically for this exhibit, and each piece will be the same size, in keeping with the theme of equality.

Summary of the exhibit:

Expressions in Equality

What drives people to undermine whole populations that they deem different and therefore unacceptable? From racial, gender and sexual inequality to ageism and classism, progress has been made, yet discrimination still abounds. This show begs the questions: What are the issues we’re challenged with, and what would a perfect society look like that’s sustained by pure, unconditional love?

I'm super thrilled with the artists who will be making a piece for this special exhibit:  

Alice Beasley

Carol Beck

Jenny Bowker

Dawn Williams Boyd

Blake Chamberlain

Hollis Chatelain

Shin-Hee Chin

Marion Coleman

Randall Cook

Ife Felix

Sheila Frampton-Cooper

Laura Gadson

Valerie Goodwin

Jerry Granata

Deborah Grayson

Sandra Hankins

Pam Holland

Sherry Davis Kleinman

Pauline Karasch Salzman

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

Judy Zoelzer Levine

Kathy Nida

Mary Pal

Pam RuBert

Susan Shie

Susan Wessels


There will be an opening reception and I will provide more info at a later date.  



One day workshops in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Recently I taught one day workshops at the Westside Quilters in Los Angeles, and the Coastal Quilters in Santa Barbara. I'm always amazed at what students do in just one day. Many of them have never done improv work, but they dive in and just do it! 

I'm really looking forward to my next workshop, which is 5 days at Empty Spools in Asilomar. It's very exciting to see what flows out of each student. 

I was so honored to have Maureen in my class. As some of you may know, I started quilting in January 2009 when I discoved Project Linus on the first MLK Day of Service. Maureen also discoved PL on that day and we'd see each other at Blanket Days. This was the very first workshop she'd ever taken! It was very special for me and she was getting off to an amazing start. 

Everyone was having fun! We had a full house of 20 students.

Brenda was really going to town...

The next day I gave my lecture and during the show and tell, before I went on, Brenda shared her finished top! She had gone home that night and completed it! Several of the students in my class showed what they had done the prior day in class. Brenda was not the only one who went home and continued working her piece. It put a big smile on my face, that's for sure. 


After my lecture, some of the guild members took me to lunch, and little did they know, it was my favorite restaurant, The Westside Tavern. 


Now on to Santa Barbara...

Before my Thursday evening lecture, some of the guild members took me to a lovely restaurant with a great view. 

The next day was the workshop, and it was full. We had 23 students and they produced some great work.

Lou Ann is in a art group called Abstraked and all of the members were in the workshop. They do wonderful work and have an exhibit at Sisters in Oregon every year. 

Maren, also in Abstrakted, hosted me in her beautiful home. She's a gourmet cook and she prepared a delicious breakfast and an amazing dinner me! She's a wonderful artist and she has a super cool husband!

I loved the palette Suzy was using. 

Each person was doing something unique. I was really loving the direction this one was headed.

It turns out that I absolutely love teaching. It's fun and the students are having fun! I could ask for nothing more...  :)