Precision Piecing class by Philippa Naylor

Several months ago I signed up for an online course for 12 months with Philippa Naylor.  The class is called “Quilters’ Question Time” and each month a new class comes out. I am looking forward to her appliqué classes since I do lots of appliqué.  I had seen a couple of trunk shows by Philippa Naylor when we went to Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar in California.  She is a fun teacher with lots of wonderful tips and tricks.  Lesson 2 was called “Precision Piecing”. I made a 12.5″ block with fabric and colors that match my pizza box challenge that I am doing with my quilting bee.   I learned some new tips for rotary cutting, accurate 1/4″ seam allowance, and pressing.  I used poly thread (60 wt) in the top and 80 wt DecoBob thread in the bobbin.  My seams were really flat and the I didn’t lose any of my points. Yeh!

Here are some of the other blocks that I have made for the pizza box challenge.

Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Another UFO complete – Lock and Key Collages

I created this little “Personal Symbols” collages in Deborah Broschert‘s class when we went to the Sacred Thread show.

Once home, they landed in my UFO pile.

So, I took them out and thought about making a small wall collage with them.

They stayed on my design wall for awhile as I wasn’t sure I wanted to make a small wall hanging with them.

Then one night, I was looking around on Pinterest I saw a B&W house quilt.  Inspired by it, I decided to integrate my little collages into a Habitat for Humanity quilt.

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I used B&W scraps and added a punch of the green and red (from the key blocks) as the doors.

I look forward to presenting it to a new homeowner when they have another Habitat for Humanity home dedication.

Happy Stitchin,


Sacred Threads Experience weekend: Art Quilt Workshop with Deborah Boschert (part-2)

Here are my little “Personal Symbols” collages from Deborah Broschert‘s class.   I did 2 series (3 pieces in each series).

Can you guess what symbols they are?


If you guessed Lock and Keys, then you would be correct.  To me they represents new opportunities.  The one on the right looks like a cross between a scissor and a key (my free cutting got confused but I still like it.  I know, this one was easy.

Now, this one his more of a challenge to figure out.

Hint:   Look at the green.


If you guess Bridges, then you would be correct.  I think bridges carry you to new adventures.

The first bridge reminds me of Venice (my favorite city) and the one on the right reminds me of Rome (and the Romans aqueducts).  The one in the middle is a close up of a bridge (not sure where… maybe another Venice bridge).   Clearly they need hand and machine stitching to come alive, but it’s a start.

I have not done any additional work on them since the class.   I want to add some hand stitching and then free-motion.  I will group them as two separate sets.   It is now another UFO.  Funny how every time we take a class, I get another UFO project.

It was a great class and I love Deborah‘s work.

Happy Stitchin,


Map Quilts – Ohio State University

Last month, Donna and I went to the Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar in California.    My workshop was on Map Quilts with Valerie Goodwin.   I love her work and really wanted to learn her technique.   Her book is excellent.

The piece that I worked on in the workshop was of the Cape Fear River and downtown Wilmington, NC (my home town).    It’s not finished so I’ll post about it when it is done.   I stopped working on it because my brother has a big birthday (that is today) and I wanted to make him an Ohio State University map quilt wall hanging.  He went to and loves OSU football.   Happy Birthday Jim!

This multi-media piece is layered up with fabric, silk organza, fabric paint & stamping, ribbon and thread.  The background is collaged fabric with fabric paint applied to soften and blend the edges.   After that silk organza was fused and the map details/building were applied (fused and stitched).   More organza was fused and then I couched thin ribbon to indicate the major roads/streets.

Close-up of stadium printed on silk organza and fused onto the piece.

I also printed on some silk organza sheets the OSU logo and the stadium which I fused in the corners.   I really like the ghostly and watercolor feel of the piece.

I was careful with my color choices as I did not want it to look like Christmas (with the red and green).    I am happy with the result and it was great fun working on it.   I hope he like it.

Happy Stitchin,


Sewing the Land workshop – day 2/3

Water background

Ready for shading and quilting

Mary and I brought landscape photos to the class to use for inspiration in our quilted landscapes.  I decided to use a photo of cattails for my first piece.  First I created a background on my quilt sandwich.  I added lots of green leaves and then added some purple and orange leaves for fun.  I found a fun stripped fabric for the stems of the cattails. I like the fabrics that I used in this quilt.  I need to add some shading to the sides of the stems and also to the cattails.  Quilting will be the next step. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Iceland Landscape from Sue Benner workshop


I decided to make an Iceland landscape at the art quilt workshop (“Sewing the Land”, from Sue Benner) at the Hudson River Valley Art workshops in Greenville, NY.    My landscape inspiration was of a picture from a book that I bought during our August trip to Iceland .

My piece was built on a quilting canvas and I fused strips of fabric for the sky and water.  


During one of my critiques from Sue, she mentioned that my colors were very primary and that I might want to tint it so it looks more like my inspiration picture.

Water tinted with grey sheers

So I added strips of sheers over the sky and water to adjust the tint of my sky & water.   It also gave a cool and a bit of a shimmer/icy effect that I really liked.






Then I made the mountains separately on release paper and fused them on my piece when I liked the shape and color.

After fusing the mountains, I collaged the foreground.

When we got home, I quilted my piece.

Straight line quilting seemed to make sense for the water and the sky since they were already made of horizontal strips.   I did some free motion on the mountains and foreground with invisible “smoke” thread.   It did not seem enough, so I did some additional free motion quilting in the mountains, with colored threads, to add shading/highlights.

For the binding, I tried Sue’s layered thread blended satin stitching.

Here is my inspiration (again) and my finished piece.


Finished size: 18.25″ x 15.25″























After I took my pictures for this post, I noticed that I forgot to add the clouds.  Oops.     So I laid some rough cut sheers on my piece so you can get the feel of what adding cloud might do.

With a slight indication of rough clouds

So, what do you think… should I add some clouds?

It was a great class and Sue Benner is an outstanding instructor.   We all got lots of individual attention/help.   I loved the critiques  and her handouts and lectures were excellent.  I would definitely take another class from her.

I’m looking forward to doing some more Iceland landscapes.

Happy Stitchin,





Hudson River Valley Art Workshop in Greenville, NY

carriage house

Last week Mary and I took an art quilting class (Sewing the Land) from Sue Benner at the Hudson River Valley Art workshops in Greenville, NY.  The workshop is held at the Greenville Arms 1889 Inn in the carriage house. The workshop space was great – good lighting, enough power for everyone to use an iron, and a good workspace with design boards. Students stayed at the main house, carriage house or cottages.  The fall foliage was so beautiful at this time of year.  The class was 5 days with 18 students.  Sue Benner is an excellent teacher and we all learned about her techniques to make landscape quilts with fabric.

On day one, after learning some basics about her techniques, we each made 3 small studies using one of our photographs.

First small study

We had about 20 to 30 minutes to finish each small study.

Last small study – needs lots of work.

It was a fun first day.  More to come in the next post.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Looks more like a forest fire than fall foliage

Quilting workshop in Iceland with Gudrun Erla and Icelandic quilters

“Katie” quilt pattern

Gudrun teaching the quilting workshop

Mary and I with our quilting buddies, Carolyn and Barb, took a bus tour of Iceland with quilter Gudrun Erla as our tour guide.  Gudrun was born in Iceland so she was a great tour guide.  As part of our tour we stopped at a textile museum and gallery and a wool shop.  On our last day in Reykjavik, Gudrun gave a quilting workshop with about 28 women on our tour and 14 Icelandic quilters.  The Icelandic quilters brought their sewing machines and supplies to the class so that we could work together to make 2 different quilt blocks.  We used 2 of Gudrun’s patterns to make

“Kira” quilt pattern

the blocks: Kira quilt pattern and Katie quilt pattern.  Check out Gudrun’s website for more quilt patterns, books, and tools – GE Designs (   After the class, we had a show n tell with quilts made by our new Icelandic quilter friends and the American quilters on our trip.  I brought a small table runner for show n tell (one of Gudrun’s patterns – Peek a Boo).

Icelandic quilter shares her quilt

It was fun to hear the stories behind the quilts.  Fabric is very expensive in Iceland and there are very few places to buy fabric so they have to order through the internet.

Icelandic quilter (Anna) shares her quilt

Gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies (Anna and Steinunn)

The American quilters on our bus tour bought gifts of fabric to give the Icelandic quilters who we were paired with during the workshop. We received handmade gifts from our Icelandic quilter buddies.

Icelandic quilter (Steinunn) shares her quilt

At the end of the class we had a dinner with the Icelandic quilters.  Now we have some new quilting friends on Facebook.  We had a wonderful day meeting new friends and quilting together. Keep having fun sewing and quilting. Donna

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

I entered 2 of my quilts in the wall hanging competition.  I was excited that both quilts were accepted.  All About Birds was a collage quilt  which was lots of fun to make the individual blocks and then put them together.  Grandpa’s Garden was an original design with purple flowers on a trellis. I also took 2 classes at the show.  I took a half day class with Bobbie Bergquist using Tsukineko inks.  We played with the inks on small pieces of fabric – marbling using shaving cream, using stencils, and using aloe to paint with the inks.  The instructor gave us a CD with 20 ways to use Tsukineko inks and pens.  I am looking forward to trying some of those other techniques.  I also took a class with Mary using Dye-Na-Flow paints.  Ashley Nichols was a great instructor – very organized and a great hand out.  We didn’t have to use prepared for dye fabrics.  We used an iron to heat set the paint designs.  I look forward to paying with these techniques more in the future.  I really had fun using black thread to do free motion quilting designs.  Keep having fun sewing and quilting.  Donna

Back from Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival – Workshops

We had a GREAT time at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.   Donna and I took in the show, spent way too much money at the vendor booths and we both took two workshops.

I first took a 1/2 day workshop with Joyce Teng on Fabric Inking 101.


Tsukineko inks


We used Tsukineko inks played with various methods of applying them on fabric.   This included using dabbers, brushes, spray bottles and TSC stencils.


Here is the stenciled tree that I did with the inks.

I was a fun class but it was only 1/2 day and we all wanted more time.


I then took and All day workshop with Ashley Nickels: Watercolor Quilting: Colorful Explorations in Free motion Quilting.   Ashley Nickels is Sue Nickels daughter (some of you may know her work).

dye-na-flow-inksIn Ashley’s class we spent the morning painting on fabric squares with Dye-na-Flow fabric paint to make watercolor like images.

It was a blast!


My painted pieces.   Two of them in this pic have been thread sketched (free motion) with black thread.

After lunch we got out our machines and used black thread to free motion sketch our painted image.


My free form painted flower after it was thread sketched with black ink.


Close-up of my flower.

I’ve always loved watercolors and thread sketching.  This technique gave me both.

It was a GREAT class and we’ll definitely do more fabric painting.

Happy Stitchin’