My New Craftsy Class – “Improve Your Quilts – 37 Trouble-Shooting Techniques”

I am so happy to announce today that my new Craftsy class, “Improve Your Quilts – 37 Troubleshooting Techniques” is live. I am grateful to everyone who has supported me on this journey but especially to my very talented production team for making this dream a reality.

Here they are, my Dream Team! This photo was taken at the end of three long days of filming. The are such fun loving and positive troopers. I truly loved working with them. We called this “the wrap” What better way to wrap up a class then with the sampler quilt made in 1988 for my first book, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!!?

My Craftsy Dream Team: Lori, Laffrey & Max.
My Craftsy Dream Team: Lori, Laffrey & Max.

From the moment I entered the studio and was given my own dressing room, and

I was in heaven . . . the walls were covered with fabric!
I was in heaven . . . the walls were covered with fabric!

a makeup artist, my experience was nothing but positive! Thank you sweet Danica, for making me look my best!


Appearing natural in front of a room full of cameras can be a bit intimidating, so my thoughtful producer, Lori put a photo of my “special students” onto the teleprompter to help keep me calm and focused. How sweet is this?

“My Girls”

During this class, you’ll discover an array of tips and tricks no quilter should be without. We’ll dive in with the first step for every quilt project: the fabric! I’ll share helpful strategies for selecting harmonious color palettes, incorporating value and contrast, and even fixing fabric that bleeds. You’ll also learn how to improvise if you run out of fabric, and how to include seam allowances when fussy cutting. Plus, I’ll reveal my go–to sources for inspiration — they’re sure to spark your imagination, too!

Each Craftsy class includes video lessons that you can access anytime, anywhere. They include close-up instruction and I am always there to answer any questions.

Without further ado, please enjoy this class trailer.

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Of course, a BIG thanks to all of you for your continued support of my work. The lucky winner of this class,  selected by Craftsy, has been notified. To all of my other readers, here is a link for a discount on my new class. In case you missed it the first round, my Craftsy 2013 Free Block of the Month class is still available. You can access it by simply clicking on the image in the sidebar.

Hope to see you in the classroom!

Laura Signature

A Month to Remember – a wedding, a new Craftsy class and a Giveaway!

ALL good things going on here . . . just super busy. So much so, that I really have not had time to share with you all the exciting details of this past month. Here’s a quick recap, hoping you enjoy!

Last week, my dear Diana McClun and her two daughters hosted a beautiful bridal shower for my daughter, Sara. Diana knew that last year Sara put in her request for a blue and white Double Wedding Ring Quilt. Diana also knew that although my heart wanted to make this quilt for Sara, I was over-the-top busy with a new Craftsy class (more later) and wedding prep, and as a result, I put the quilt project on the back burner. Diana stepped in and with a lot of help from her friends, this is what Diana surprised ALL of us with at the shower! Yes, even I didn’t know this was being made.


Diana says they worked feverishly and completed the quilt in 15 hours!


While Diana and friends were busy making the quilt, I was happily making 16 table runners and 144 cupcakes for the upcoming big event.

Getting ready for a full day of baking!
Getting ready for a full day of baking!

Vanilla, chocolate, carrot and lemon.  My girls and I had a full day of baking and decorating. Not only was it so much fun, they were a huge hit.


The wedding took place last weekend at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, CA. It was truly a magical day, with the ceremony at the gazebo in front of the beautiful Victorian Patterson House Mansion. The elaborate Victorian gardens provided the setting for the reception. Way too much delicious food and lots of dancing kept everyone warm and happy.  We could not have asked for a better day and most importantly, it was everything Sara had dreamed it would be.


Now on to some more exciting news-

5159_300x250 My NEW Craftsy class will be available on May 22nd! I’m so excited about this one as it is packed with lots of helpful tips and hints for improving your quilt making skills. If you haven’t yet visited the Craftsy website, please be sure to do so. There are an abundance of classes for all levels and styles of quilt making. Once you have purchased a class, it is yours FOREVER . . . and you can access it anytime.

The Craftsy team is offering my class to one of our readers so please take a minute to follow this link for a chance to win my class for free! As soon as Craftsy selects the winner, I will announce it in a future post. Don’t miss this opportunity. I would love to have you join my classroom!

FYI – my first class on Craftsy is the 2013 FREE Block of the Month. It is still available if you missed it the first round.

That’s it for today everyone. Hoping this finds you all well and happy.

Laura Signature

One of Those Weeks. . .

It’s been one of those weeks. . . you know the kind. . . a whirlwind on events that fill every space of your calendar. I’m not complaining, though, because I find I am always more productive when I have to make every moment count.

The week began with a wonderful invitation from Wooden Gate Quilts. I was asked to share my quilts in a trunk show at their shop. Wow! What a surprise! Wooden Gate is such a lovely quilt shop filled with so much inspiration and creativity. I just love to hang out there, so to have my quilts on display in their shop is definitely an honor.

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So, my week began with gathering up a bunch of quilts to take out to them. I never realized how many of those buggers were hiding in every nook and cranny of my house. There are some that I totally forgot I even made! It’s kind of funny how my house looks now without quilts everywhere. There’s a bit of an echo going on.

If you live in the Northern California area, stop by for a visit next week.

Trunk Show

Next on the to do list was finishing up a project that needed to be mailed off for Quilt Market. Here is a sneak peak –

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It is part of a color story with the Michael Miller Cotton Couture collection. I promise to share more about this project in a week or so. I also shot a fun little video as I was working on it. I will share with you on how I made it.

My next few days were filled with lot’s of little details for some new quilt patterns to come out soon. I have been running around the city looking for the perfect location for photos of the quilts.

Shortcuts by Pati Fried


Winter Brrrd Houses by See How We Sew

Shortcuts by Pati Fried

Okay, I probably can’t use this, but it’s definitely my favorite photo. This is in a lovely park near my home. The sculpture is a Benny Bufano. You can see more of his work at Benny Bufano Sculptures of San Francisco.

The rest of the week was filled with meetings, some much needed shopping for my house and prepping for a group swap project. See? I told you it was a crazy week!

I ended my week by gathering with some incredibly, creative women for an opportunity to share ideas and work on hand projects. The home that we met in had the most gorgeous garden and everything was in full bloom. Strolling through the garden paths was such a lovely way to end my action packed week and reflect on how fortunate I am to fill my days being around creative people in such colorful surroundings.

I will share one last photo with you and wish all the mothers out there a very special Happy Mother’s Day!

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Have a fabulous weekend!



A Yoyo Lei for Rosalie

Looks like it’s my turn to wax nostalgic. Last week, my Friday class of 10 students met for brunch to bid our farewells to one of our dear friends, Rosalie. After spending the first 84 years of her life in California, she is now moving to Hawaii to be with her only daughter and family. Although we are delighted that she will be close to her family, we are saddened to see her leave. Wanting to gift her with something meaningful from all of us, we came up with the idea of making a yoyo lei; so perfect for her new home on the big island.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the yo-yos were placed into a small basket. During brunch, the basket was passed around and one by one we strung the yo-yos. It was such a lovely gathering of friends, remembering . . . .


the special moments we shared together over the past 10 years,


the many friendships that were formed,


Rosalie’s joyful spirit and contagious giggle,


her love of quilting and sharing stories of her dear grand dog, Finnegan,


and the day we named her our team captain. You see, we often took breaks during class to shoot baskets on the basketball court next door to our classroom. As hard as we tried, no one could complete with our Rosalie! Here’s a photo of her with her jersey. She says it’s time to pass the torch. However, we must come to Hawaii to claim the title and the jersey! I see a trip in my future.


Rosalie with her team jersey.
Rosalie with her team jersey.

When the final yoyo was attached, the ends were joined and then placed over the head of our special guest of honor. The expression on her face says it all.


Aloha, Sweet Rosalie.  You will be missed.

Laura Signature

My Friendships in Quilting

friendsI have spent a lot of quality time with quilting friends over the past few months. Retreats, outings, quilt shows, planning sessions for quilt events, and sew days have filled my calendar since the beginning of January. I feel quite blessed to have taken part in all of these events.

While driving home from the last gathering, I found myself thinking about how important these friendships have become in my life. They say we choose our friends, but not our relatives. Where do quilting friends fit into this saying? We don’t choose those who have an interest in the quilt craft, but we do choose who we socialize with in our quilting circles. The quilters I gather with are all over the map in terms of ages, styles of quilting and the interests they have outside of quilting. So what is the element of attraction?

The Quilting Party painted y an unknown artist circa 1840-1850.
The Quilting Party – Artist Unknown, circa 1840-1850.

The history of quilting bees may be part of the answer to this question. Women used to gather to help each other complete a quilt for various reasons – but it was a reason that bypassed age and personality. A common goal brought them together, such as helping a neighbor or teaching a young bride to quilt. In the time they spent creating something with their hands, quality moments were shared and friendships developed. The same could be said for a sew day or a quilt class. Quilters from all walks of life gather to create and in the process build friendships. It is a natural opportunity to share life stories, thoughts and ideas in the slow paced moments of stitching.

Looking at my huge circle of quilting friends, I can think of only three friends that I would still know if I hadn’t followed the path of quilting. Wow. My life would be so different if I would not have enrolled in that very first beginning quilting class – with Laura Nownes, by the way!

Perhaps if I golfed, played Mahjong, or belonged to a book club, I would have different circles of friends with just as much to offer as my quilt groups. But quilting found it’s way into my life and I feel blessed to have chosen the path I have, taking time to get to know each quilter individually and build friendships along the way. Would I have thought to strike up a conversation in a coffee shop with one of them? Probably not. But when sitting together, working with your hands and being creative, it is a natural process to share your thoughts and ideas, in to getting to know each other. We are  lucky to be able to do this. I am lucky to have this in my life.

Do you have a special friend or group that you found through quilting? I would love to hear your stories. I encourage you to share a comment with us.

Have a great week!



Drafting From Ceiling Inspiration

It never ceases to amaze and excite me when and where I find inspiration for quilt designs. Last week during the final Shivassana, resting pose of yoga class, I opened my eyes to look closely at the ceiling tiles in the new studio. I have probably looked at this ceiling more than a dozen times, so why today did I see it in a new light? I’ll probably never know the answer to this, but I didn’t waste a minute to pull out my phone and take this photo.

Ceiling tiles at Indigo Yoga.
Ceiling tiles at Indigo Yoga.

I like all three of the block designs but decided to start with the one on the left; with the melon shapes. Out came my pad of graph paper, ruler and pencil to draft the block.

drafted melon

It’s a pretty simple block and easy to construct. I could leave it as shown but the shadows in the photo inspired me to divide the shapes with more lines, allowing me to play with color and shading.


I’m excited with the many possibilities and already starting to pull fabrics. I think I will work in neutrals. What do you think? The print in the foreground is the inspiration fabric I used for developing the color scheme. I may or may not use it in the quilt, we’ll see.


I’ll share my new blocks later this week, or early next, so be sure to check back.

While I’m playing with fabrics and construction, please enjoy some photos of quilts from Quiltcon 2015, taken by our contributor, Carol van Zandt.

Piecing Category – Part 1 

Piecing Category – Part 2 

Would love to hear if you have recently “opened your eyes to any new and exciting quilt designs”. We always enjoy reading your stories.

Until next time, stay happy everyone!

Laura Signature



Inspiration from Denver

Hello dear readers. March was such a whirlwind of travel adventures. It began with a family trip to Omaha, NE, then on to teaching a workshop at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar, next to the Lakeview Quilters Guild in Texas and finally filming a new class for Craftsy in Denver. Whew! I am so very grateful for all the wonderful people I have met and worked with along the way but as Dorothy says, “there’s no place like home.”

While I was busy working, my husband was out enjoying the sites of Denver. There is a permanent quilt exhibit on display at the Denver Art Museum and when we returned home and I browsed through the many photos he took, I was delighted to see that he had taken some of the quilts. I must say I was a bit surprised but oh so happy that I can share them with you.

Here’s one I especially like.

"Silk Ties" by Sue Bulkeley, 1883-1970.
“Silk Ties” by Sue Bulkeley, 1883-1970.

The sign next to this quilt reads “Max M. Bulkeley (1883-1958), a lawyer in Wray, Colorado, served one term as U.S. Attorney and then lived in Denver. His wife, Sue, pieced together dozens of his neckties to create this kaleidoscopic pattern. Among the geometric designs in a nude woman wearing a floral lei – a risqué figure that would have been on the underside of the tie and only visible when the wearer picked up the end to reveal the island beauty beneath.”

Don’t you just love it when there are little surprises hidden with a quilt? Here’s a detail of the same quilt. Clearly it was tied but I’m wondering if it was foundation pieced?

Detail of Silk Ties by Sue Bulkeley.
Detail of Silk Ties by Sue Bulkeley.

Here’s another interesting quilt on display at the same exhibit.

'Labels" by Libbie Gottschalk.
‘Labels” by Libbie Gottschalk.

The sign next to this one reads “A mending project gone mad, Libbie Gottschalk’s label quilt started out as a way to preserve a beloved quilt that belonged to her grandfather. Over a thirty-year period she mended each new tear by applying labels from various articles of clothing and other possessions. Eventually, she decided to cover each side completely. This amazing assortment of logos and trademarks, many from Denver-area businesses, is a time capsule of retail-and produce-related graphic art.”

I wish I had been able to see this quilt in person, as there appears to be a real $1 bill stitched into the upper left-hand corner. Here’s a detail image of the same quilt.

Detail of Labels quilt by Libbie Gottschalk.
Detail of Labels quilt by Libbie Gottschalk.

We stayed at The Curtis Hotel, a uniquely fun downtown Denver Hotel. From the moment you walk through the front doors into the lobby you know you are in for a fun adventure, with cartoons playing and a five & dime offering treats from the past. Each of the guest room floors has a personality all its own. We stayed on the “Perfect Hair” floor where we were greeted with this wonderful carpeting. Please excuse the poor photo as the lighting in the hallway was terrible. Can’t you just imagine this as a quilt?


I just may have to give this a try. I’m anxious to share with you more details of my new class with Craftsy. The editors are busy making final tweeks then it should be ready to go live around the end of May. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, as the recording in the hotel elevator says when you return to the first floor, “Stay Happy!”.

Laura Signature





A Few Tips for Novice Garment Sewing

Wow! I have lots to share with you today!

It was so fun reading all the wonderful reader’s comments left on last Tuesday’s post, My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim. It became obvious to me that I am not alone in being apprehensive to make the jump from quilting to garment construction. Since I had such a successful run with my first project, I thought I would share a few tips I gathered from experienced sewists as I began my project.2015-03-16 09.32

1. Read through the direction thoroughly, until you totally understand the cutting and construction.

2. Prewash and press your fabric.

3. Transfer your tissue paper pattern onto a more permanent and manageable material such as Pellon. I used Red Dot Tracing Material and it worked great..

4. Make a muslin sample first. Ok, in reality, I made two, in two different sizes. Then combined the smaller top and larger bottom for my own personal, pear shaped pattern.

5. Find someone that understands garment construction to help tweak your sample for a perfect fit while you are wearing it. I was fortunate enough to have the incredibly talented Margaret Linderman pin and tweak, then cheer me on to the next step. Thank you Margaret!

6. You know the saying, measure twice, cut once? Well, here’s a new one for you – Gather the correct pattern pieces. Make sure you are following the correct cutting layout for the view or option you have chosen. Check it twice, then cut it once.

7. Take your time sewing. Read and follow directions carefully. Pin, yes pin, even if you think you don’t need to.

8. Take your time to press each seam neatly. Use steam or a pressing cloth when needed.

9. Practice any required topstitching on a scrap fabric first, before stitching onto your garment. You want it pretty and perfect the first time.

I am sure these tips would be obvious to someone that does a lot of garment sewing, but for me, it was definitely a learning process, so I needed all the help I could get!. Perhaps my list will save someone else a few steps on their first project!

Giveaway-GoldNow, as to our winner of the giveaway for the Urban Tunic Pattern by Indigo Junction. Congratulations to Jacqueline! You will be receiving your pattern in the mail soon!

Thank you to everyone else for all the wonderful comments. I wish I could send a pattern to each and every one of you.

If you live in the Northern California area, be sure to check out the East Bay Modern Quilters annual show, Stitch Modern 2015. Opening night is tonight, but there will be lectures, events and gallery hours throughout the month of April. Be sure to check out the calendar of events on their website: Stitch Modern 2015.

Shapes by Linda Hungerford. Check out her blog at Flourishing Palms.

Need a boost of inspiration? Hungry for some eye candy? – be sure to follow the links to Carol Van Zandt’s blog posts with more quilt photographs from Quiltcon 2015. They are spectacular!

Minimalist Design Quilts

Bias Tape Challenge

Handwork Category Quilts




I think that’s it for now! Have a wonderful weekend.


My Urban Tunic in Crossroads Denim and a Pattern Giveaway!