Sunday, December 30, 2012

Student Work

I want to show some students work from this year. These are from some of the workshops I've taught and books I've written. I'm so proud of the wonderful work  they have done!

Daniela Tiger made this wall hanging from my book Fat Quarter Frenzy. The project is called Empress Tiles and uses 4 1/2" strips in a "stack, slash, shuffle and sew" technique.

Janice Hebert made these two quilts using my Shattered Angles technique. This project is so versatile for Jelly Rolls, strips, and scraps, most quilters can't make just one! You can find it in my Accent on Angles book at
Louise Hardy from PEI made this Shattered Angles quilt when I visited the island last May as part of the Agnes Boal Bursary from the Canadian Quilters Society. We had a wonderful time!
I teach the Shattered Angles technique to many groups and guilds, maybe you would like to learn? Just email me and we can plan a workshop!

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Plans for a New Year

Last year about this time, I was in the midst of selling my half of a pattern design business and all the paperwork, boxing up and reorganization that a sale such as that produces. I was also working at building up parts of my business that needed work. I made time for planning what I wanted to accomplish for the year and I also spend many hours redesigning and planning my studio renovation. My goodness, it was  busy year! I did achieve many of my goals, some I chose not to pursue, and others remain to be fulfilled!

I admit that I do love making plans and lists. For me, there is something calming about getting thoughts, dreams and ideas in sequence and on paper. But I'm also a realist (mostly) and accept that not everything on that list will be checked off by the end of the year. And that's OK, its partly about easing up on myself and remembering to build health and wellness time too! I truly believe that when I plan well, I work well and spend less time frittering away.
How do you manage with your plans? Do you plan daily, weekly, monthly and yearly? Do you write it down, keep track or hold yourself accountable in some way?
Do you have resources that you use such as planners? Calendars? Other things? Why not share some of those with us?
Here's a couple websites that I've used, though I "cherry pick" what I want from those places:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Old World Map Stencils

Maybe a little late for Christmas giving (or getting) but I've added great new stencils to my store! What a great way to get started on some new art projects for the new year....only 11 more days :)
These are the Old World Maps series from Artist Cellar...think of the many ways you can be creative with paintsticks, powders and more!




You can order them individually or in a full set pack of all four stencils. Check them out here:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Tips to End Your Year Right

I enjoy reading and participating (when I can) with Morna at the Professional Quilters - here's what her email mentioned and I have checked off 4 of the 5 tips. Read it over and see what you can do before the end of year!

We have less than two weeks before the year ends and we start 2013. You can still take positive actions to end your year right and get a head start on 2013. Here are five tips:

1. Don't wait until Dec 31 to check your financials. Do you need to follow up on any late invoices if you want the income to be in 2012? Do you need to make any expenditures by year end? If you listened to my call with CPA Maggie Mayer, we discussed some of the changes you could make by year end to make a difference in your tax situation for the year.

2. Look back over the year to see what your successes were. I think as entrepreneurs we often do not take the time to celebrate what we have accomplished. We are always onto the next big thing. Go back and list what your accomplishments were. I bet you can come up with 100 if you try.

3. As you looked over your successes, did you see places for growth? Spend some time over the next two weeks getting clear on what's possible for you. Consider who you'll need for support, whether that's private coaching or your own personal networking group.

4. Have you started planning for next year? Have you purchased your calendar or created one that works for you? Have you entered dates for big events and those appointments with yourself? That way you can start the year on the right track. You'll see where you need to fill in to build your business.

5. Have you thought about what Your Big Why is? What's the reason you get up each day and work in and on your creative arts business. If you are unclear, set aside some time over the holidays to consider it. That will make a difference as you begin the New Year.

Please share your thoughts on the blog.
Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below.
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Professional Quilters, an association to help quilters, fiber artists and other creative arts entrepreneurs build business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at


See the IAPQ blog at

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Quilters Calendar - for Teachers and Students

The Quilter’s Calendar - Connecting Quilters, Quilt Guilds and Quilting Teachers

Quilting teachers Maggie Ball and Marguerita McManus became friends when they met at a trade show in 2007 where they were both promoting their new quilt books. Rather than seeing each other as competition, they shared marketing tips, teaching experiences, and a common frustration.

Many quilting teachers rely on guilds hiring them to teach classes to their members for a significant portion of their income. With a quilt guild in almost every town in the USA and over 21 million quilters in the USA, the challenge for teachers is how to reach guilds and how to make it easy for quilters and guilds to learn about available teachers: their classes, specialties, talents, styles and schedules. Most teachers rely on a combination of word of mouth, random connections made at trade shows, websites, emails, mailed media and hope.

A central location of easily accessible data would help tremendously. Somewhere that guild members could see who’s teaching nearby (and when) that would also provide information and links to the teachers.

The Quilter’s Calendar is a searchable online calendar that presents teaching engagements by location and date, making it easy for guilds to share the expenses of hiring a traveling teacher, thereby reducing expenses to each guild. Listing a teaching gig is free to the teacher or guild and so is the Teacher’s Profile, which includes a link to the teacher’s website. Guilds can save money and teachers have the opportunity to be hired more often without additional effort or expense.

Additionally, many quilters love to travel to quilting related events. Quilt shows, retreats, even when visiting family, quilters will often find a way to attend a quilting related event. By using the calendar and searching by their destination location, quilters will easily find classes and events that would otherwise have taken hours to search out.

Created by Marguerita McManus, co-author of the best selling “Crazy Shortcut Quilts” book and YouTube Partner with over 1 million views to her videos, the site debuts with over 80 Teacher Profiles and more than 850 Teaching Engagements, throughout the USA and Canada, into 2015. Marguerita created the Quilt Designers Blog Ring in 2007 and continues to share marketing information with entrepreneurs on a YouTube channel.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Learn Give & Take Applique - the No Waste Technique

Registration has opened for my new class at Quilt University! Starting January 4th you can learn about designing with positive and negative shapes for unique layout and value combinations.
In this class you will begin with simple paper and glue stick exercises and then move onto creating your own unique blocks with endless layout combinations. Join the fun at Quilt University

Learn how to use shape and value to create interesting layout combinations.

Discover what positive and negative shapes can do when placed together.

Combine applique and pieced blocks for many design options.
Why don't you join me in class!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Soy Wax Film Set - Day Two

Just as we've been known to change our clothes to suit the occasion, so does the film set need to change based on what I might be demonstrating for the DVD.

In the course of one day, we had three 'wardrobe changes". This was for the Thickened Dyes segment, lots of rich colour and texture!

The next set was Soy Wax with DeColorant Plus, coloured discharge paste!

And the finally, Soy wax with Dye Na Flow and Setacolor paints and sunprinting!

More excitment coming tomorrow, stay tuned! Same Soy Wax time, same Soy Wax channel!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Soy Wax film Set - Day One

I'm am now totally in awe of film crews and their enormous amount of knowledge and experience! I'm sure I wouldn't know the difference between a blue or green shadow being cast onto a wall! I didn't know there were memory card specifically for film cameras! Wow, there is so much to learn and I'm having a blast.
If you didn't know already, Andrew Galli of is in Victoria to film a DVD with me on Soy Wax Resists. Here's a sneak preview of the cover:

Isn't it beautiful?
My studio now resembles a movie set, cameras (two, one for the overall pictures and one for close-ups), computers, three large lights, wires and more wires, a green screen (actually, the back side of the green screen) and best of all: a clapper - more about that later!
Here's one shot of my studio and equipment:
Here's the set from another angle:

Here's the set, ready for one of the segments:
Now, here's the most fun of all:
Me, with the clapper! Scene One, Take One!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Monday, November 26, 2012

Quilters Calendar - For Teachers and Students

I just listed my teaching schedule on The Quilter’s Calendar - a brand new site for quilters and guilds to find traveling quilt teachers on. By sharing my schedule on the searchable calendar increases my opportunities to receive “piggy back” bookings to my engagements. While you are there, submit your photo, bio and tags (free!) to make it easier for guilds and students to find you. Get Listed at  


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Books on Sunday

Following along with my Books on Sunday theme of colour, I pulled The Painted Quilt by Laura and Linda Kemshall from my book shelf. The Kemshalls are known for the online courses at Design Matters and a popular sereis of instructional DVD's.

The Painted Quilt is a blend of practical instruction and expert guidance to help the reader explore their creativity do design and produce unique painted quilts with confidence. We often think the quilting part to be a the last layer that we add to our work. Consider instead that colour and texture can be combined with paints, pens, pastels, dyes and more to produce intricate effects on the surface. these ideas give us much to think and experiment with.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Monday, November 12, 2012

New Thermofax Screens

I've just uploaded two new Thermofax designs to my shop. I think they're just plain fun designs and would make awesome backgrounds for additional designs overlaid on top.
You can buy them in three sizes HERE

This one is called Circle Grid - you can guess why!

And this one is ET Script - where I imagined what ET's handwriting may have looked like if he had to write a letter home instead of phoning!
Don't forget that every screen also comes with its own little scraper. Ready for you to have fun!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Three More Great Blogs

Well, I moved my computer into my quilting studio and this may or may not be a good thing. sometimes it gives me a 'come thither' look and I just have to break away and check my email for the 12th time. But sometimes I find some really great things and if I'd waited another 10 minutes they might have disappeared!
So in no particular order I discovered three blogs that I'm sure you'll want to check out! 
Gerrie Congdon and I are Facebook friends and I find her posts to be light an fun, just a little peek into her life and how her day is going. You'll want to check her blog out and then see where else her links might lead you!
This blog has some amazing historical information on textiles, embroidery and more. Its a rich resource and I am going to be ordering some of the ebooks for download. They are a bargain, especially since shipping from Britian can be a bit pricey! Have a look and tell me what you think.
Terry Grant is another well known textile and quilt artist, currently living in Oregon. You've got to check out the pictures of her purpose built studio, its amazing and if I hadn't just done renovations of my own, I'd be borrowing some of ter ideas!

So thats it for another little while, I hope you ahve fun with these blogs, send me some links of others you've enjoyed......

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Shattered Angles

Last week I spent two lovely days on Mayne Island with the Quilt Guild. The weather was typical west coast (meaning it was raining with brief interruptions of raining really hard)! But there was lots of action in the Agriculture Hall when 16 dedicated quilters took my Shattered Angles class one day and my Give & Take Applique class the following day.
Great fun was had by all, especially me!

Quilters are gathered around the Shattered Angles blocks they made. Such a bright assortment of colours!

Creativity abounds when the quilters learn how to make Give & Take Applique blocks.
Thanks for such a wonderful trip!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free Ruler with My "Accent on Angles" Book

Just for the next two weeks, if you order my Accent on Angles, you can get a free 6 1/2" square ruler! That 6 1/2" size is perfect for making the Shattered Angles blocks in my book. Order now and get the ruler included in your order! Just mention the ruler when you place your order. How cool is that?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Plans for the Week

My daughter came to visit yesterday to help me move my computer into the studio. That is almost the last task before I can call the studio reno finally completed! On the way to the ferry (we live on an island, a large island but ferry travel is a way of life for us!) she stopped and picked up my order of 10 yards of Essex cloth.
If you are a fan of surface design/dyeing/ soy wax you may be familiar with Essex, but if not, its a wonderful blend of 55% linen and 45% cotton. I have found that this blend takes colour beautifully, linen has the wonderful ability of holding texture and depth when dyed. Perhaps you have noticed it was well?

So I'll be layering wax and dye onto my Essex cloth over the next few days. I'll be doing some colour trials to get one or two-colour solids on small (fat quarter) samples and then work towards a couple of larger pieces.

I don't have a large dye room so work mainly with 1/2 - 3/4 yard pieces at a time.
Here's a piece that I worked on over the last two days. I think I am very happy with it!

I figure if I set out the plan for the week, then I've committed in public what I'm going to do. That's the plan anyway.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Books on Sunday

About 5 years ago I was fortunate to take part in a two year textile design programme with Ruth Issett at the Gail Harker Creative Studies Centre. I was in the last group that Ruth taught and for me it was a life changing experience. Ruth is the author of a number of books, mostly focused on colour and fabric. This book, Glorious Papers, is more about techniques for applying colour to paper. I'm not sure why, but Batsford Books, the publisher, always manages to put out books that are so rich in colour and photographs, that they truly become a visual feast!

The book begins with "Paper, Materials and Equipment" and then explores chapters such as "Painting Papers", "Resists and Inks", Texture Gels", and "Metallic Effects" The final section focuses on what one can do with all the papers that are created..... collage, cutting, layering and more.
If you like using colour (who doesn't) and want to explore all that you can do with paint and paper, then this book is for you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Two Artists

I subscribe to Robert Genn's twice weekly newsletter and thought this lates issue would give you some thoughts about your work. Ask yourself: are you a Jack or a Jill??

"Jack" got a BFA and then an MFA from a Midwestern University. He's visited many of the major contemporary art museums and follows the work of several "important" contemporary painters. He's written articles on Philip Guston and others. He subscribes to several art magazines and is "the most knowledgeable art-guy in any discussion." After university he worked for a while in a commercial art gallery. He sometimes writes me long, well-informed letters. He's painted eleven large paintings (two unfinished) since leaving school. He's not represented by any gallery. He thinks you need to move to New York and "get lucky" with a dealer who "really represents you."
"Jill" took two years of art school and then quit. She pays little attention to other artists. She subscribes to no art magazines but has taken several workshops. Her hobbies include bowling and travelling. At one time she also worked in a commercial art gallery. On two or three occasions she's written to me. She's painted "approximately two thousand paintings" since leaving school. She's represented by four commercial galleries in four, well-separated mid-sized cities.

There's a great story in David Bayles and Ted Orland's Art and Fear. Here it is: 

"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work in the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B" and so on. Those being graded on "quality," however, needed to produce only one pot--albeit a perfect one--to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busy turning out piles of work--and learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

Best regards,


PS: "Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work." (David Bayles and Ted Orland)
Esoterica: Both subscribers Jack and Jill are thoughtful and enthusiastic artists. Art is central to their lives. And while success and "being able to function as a full time artist" may not be important to some of us, their current situations are quite different. Jack rents an apartment and makes $2150 per month (plus tips and benefits) as an airport porter. Jill works daily in her converted garage in a home she now owns. These days she's averaging $18,000 per month. She has "no benefits."

You can see more written by Robert Genn here:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Books on Sunday

Since I've been working on soy wax resists lately and choosing designs I would like to use on my fabrics, I pulled out a favourite title to look through.
1000 Patterns - Design through the Centuries edited by Drusilla Cole has been in my library for a few years and has proven to be an excellent reference book.

Divided into two sections of pre-industrial and post-industrial, the book is then further divided into geographical regions such as Caspian, Japan, Celtic and such for the pre-industrial whereas the post-industrial section is divided by time periods and style.
Image content ranges from textiles, ceramic tiles and other decorative surfaces, every colour and combination imaginable is shown and further enhanced by historical and ethnographic explanations.
I would recommend this book for any serious designer or artist interested in pattern design.
ISBN 9780811839792

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meet Vikki Pignatelli - Author and Quilter

I've seen Vikki's name in the quilting world for many years and recently heard that she had written a book that sounds like it should be a 'must read' for all quilters....and non-quilters too! Read about Vikki's fascinating story:

Tell us a bit about how you began quilting:

I never dreamed I'd have a career in any field involving sewing. I almost failed Home Economics in seventh grade because of sewing. In 1991, my sister, Augustine Ellis, asked me to take a beginning quilting class with her. The woman who planned to accompany her had to cancel. I promptly said “No” to my sister because of my dislike of sewing. However she coaxed and coaxed and I finally agreed to go. From the moment I started my beginning class, I quickly became excited and enamored with quiltmaking. Quilting is not just sewing…it is an exquisite art form and wonderfully therapeutic for the mind, body and spirit.

In 1994 my husband, Den, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Worried about his health and other family issues at the time, I felt I was at my breaking point. Inspired by a tree in our front yard blowing violently in a spring storm, I became determined to create a healing quilt and drafted a pattern full of curved patches. I could relate to the tree as we both were fighting one of life's storms. With no experience in constructing curved seams, I experimented by trial and error to come up with the top surface technique I now teach today. I titled the finished quilt Breaking Point. I began to teach my new technique locally, then regionally. In 1994 Quilter's Newsletter published an article about my technique and my new "career" took flight. My husband is doing fine and now accompanies me on the road when I teach.

Engulfed by Vikki Pignatelli
Your emotions appear, often loud and clear, in your artwork and you may not even be aware it happens. It wasn’t until after I finished Engulfed I realized the quilt was symbolic of my current emotional state. I was feeling weary, overburdened and burned out. The hectic schedules and the constant busyness in my life were taking their toll. This quilt provided a sudden insight for me. It was a startling wake-up call to take more time to relax.
Your new book, Nurture the Creative Spirit seems to come from a different place. Can you tell us about your journey?

Anxious and stressed about Den, my deepest emotions and spirituality began to appear in my work with the creation of my healing quilt Breaking Point and continued with subsequent work. It's true when you work from the heart and soul in any art form, whatever is in you, everything that is in you, emerges. Your emotional state of mind affects your choice of colors and fabrics…even the progression and development of a pattern. Your feelings are reflected in your work.

Though unintentional, the quilts I created after Breaking Point revolved around spiritual themes or had a moral or story. Creating these quilts was very therapeutic and healing for me.


Over the years, my students have expressed an interest in my life, the symbolism behind my quilts and the personal stories discussed in my lectures. They urged me to write my thoughts and experiences on paper. Because of their encouragement, Nurture Your Creative Spirit was born.  As with my quilts, some of my most personal thoughts and spiritual feelings surface in the book.
To order Vikki's book, visit her website at:

How do you stay passionate about your work?

That is an easy question. I absolutely LOVE what I do!  I enjoy teaching, meeting and working with people…especially quilters. Art is…and has always been…a major part of my life. I live to travel. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to merge all my loves and share my work, techniques and stories with others. I feel it is my mission in life to help inspire and encourage others to use their artistic self-expression.

Do you have suggestions for building a good support network?

As I say in my new book, Nurture Your Creative Spirit, it is not only necessary, but crucial for us to have a good support system. A support system is a group of people who are your advocates. They believe in you. They encourage you. They advise you with constructive feedback and help you work through problems. They do not criticize, hinder or compete with you.

The persons in your support network can be family, friends, other artists or someone with whom you share a common ground. Above all, the one adjective that should describe your supporter is positive, positive, POSITIVE! An affirmative attitude inspires not only you, but your creativity and motivation. Your advocate should be honest and upbeat, a person you look forward to seeing and enjoy being around. Someone whose opinion you trust.

Your advocate should be someone you hold in high esteem, and one who respects you, your work, your ideas and your purpose. Your supporter should enhance you. By the same token, you must return the favor. Be his or her champion as well. Sources of support, comfort and camaraderie include family, friends, guilds, bees or gatherings of like-minded artists.

In the book I have a section titled "Critique and Criticism". All artists need critique to help them. Critique is positive. But no one needs negative criticism, which hurts and destroys self-esteem and creativity. Limit or avoid any contact with negative, critical people and do not ask their help or opinion about your creative endeavors.

You are the founder of Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibition as well. What is that exhibition about?

Founded in 1999, Sacred Threads is a two-week national biennial exhibit focusing on the emotional and spiritual aspects of quiltmaking. The categories are joy, spirituality, inspiration, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. As important as the quilt is the artist's statement: the story behind the quilt …the reason for the quilt's existence. We were the first show of its kind at the time. Other shows were based on workmanship or artistic elements.
Sacred Threads is open to all quilters in the USA and Canada whether professional or novice. The show is juried only for space and category relevance…it is not judged….as these types of quilts depicting one's emotions should never be judged. There is no time limit for the age of the quilts as they are timeless. What IS required is passion….quilting with one's heart and soul. Our artists put themselves into their work…thus the show is a deeply powerful and intense exhibition, reflecting human conditions and situations. Visitors to the exhibit spend hours reading the statements and viewing the quilts. They are encouraged. Comforted. Filled with enthusiasm. The quilts symbolize triumph of the human spirit.

Although Wendy Bynner (my co-chair, then chairwoman) and I both retired after the 2009 show, another committee member, Lisa Ellis, took the reins. Lisa, who lives in the Washington DC area, moved Sacred Threads to Herndon, VA, where the show is quickly growing and gaining wonderful support. Lisa is infusing Sacred Threads with new life and passion and merging her love of Sacred Threads with her personal mission of putting quilt exhibits into hospitals.

The next Sacred Threads will be in Herndon, VA from July 10-28, 2013. For more information, and to signup for the newsletter, you can check out the website at:

 I hope you will consider submitting quilts (call for entry is January 9 to March 9, 2013) and visiting the show. It's an amazing show to see and one you'll never forget.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Using L Frames

Many of you may be familiar with using L Frames when designing art or quilts. They are used to isolate areas of interest and cut down on the distraction of the surrounding picture or design. You can see from the pictures below how important that can be:

If you have a large area and want to crop out or trial different areas, these simple frames are indispensable! They are simple to make from matt board or construction paper. You can make them in several sizes and you will definitely need several of them. Use an art knife and straight ruler for best results. Be sure to use black as it will further help to isolate the areas.
I've also heard of buying inexpensive matt frames and cutting them in half diagonally on two corners, how clever is that!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Gift of Time

For the past four months I've been working, almost exclusively, to prepare to film a DVD on soy wax resists. I've sent many, many hours experimenting with different techniques and applications, rinsed and wash endless yards of fabric and had so much fun, angst and downright joy exploring all the different ways to use soy wax and colour on fabric.
I was all set to begin filming tomorrow. My producer was waiting for an important piece of equipment to arrive from Europe, and waiting and waiting....
So we decided after a few phone conversations yesterday to delay the filming for a month. We've re-booked flights and hotels and made new plans.

What has this meant to me? Well, its given me an unexpected gift of time to use. I had cleared the week of any commitments so we could devote it to the filming. Now I have a few days that I can use for other things....
What shall I do? Well, already I've said I'll baby sit my grandson for a morning and afternoon, cuddles and playtime is fun and we can go outside for walks together. My studio is clean, in preparation for filming, I had cleaned the carpets upstairs in anticipation and I even had a manicure, since you have to have "pretty hands" for the close-ups!

Now I can work on some projects that had been put aside, some paperwork that needs serious attention, a few blog posts to catch up on, I've promised to get some curtains hemmed and maybe prepare for a couple new quilts I'd like to work on......
But I don't want to overfill this unexpected gift with all work so I'm going to enjoy the sunshine (when it shows up) get outside, maybe into the garden, go for a couple of walks and be thankful for all I have, even the unexpected!