Jennifer Sampou Debuts “Shimmer” Fabric Today at SHWS—Fabric Giveaway Too!

Handsome Freddy (last name Reddy, yes, Reddy!) guards our secret project.

Handsome Freddy (last name Reddy, yes, Reddy!) guards our secret project.

Hello readers! Today’s a shimmery day because we’ve got a peek for you into Jennifer Sampou’s latest line from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Not only that, we’ve made a rather fabulous quilt with selected prints from Shimmer, and we are AGLOW with excitement! Keep on scrolling for all the exciting details . . .

Fabric-J:  Shimmer fabric

We count ourselves lucky that we can host today’s stop on the Shimmer blog hop—Jennifer Sampou is one of our locals and it’s a true pleasure to strut our “collective” creativity with such a pretty line of prints. She’s outdone herself with these pearlescent fabrics that gleam so wonderfully when light shines on them. Jennifer’s keyed in on a trend that’s making its way through interiors and fashion. We’ve certainly experienced our share of chintzy, glittery, metallic, and sparkly textiles at quilt/fabric shops, but these are altogether different fare: think of candlelight, not a slick sheen.

Jennifer’s Giveaway

Fabric-J:  Shimmer LookBook The color array and print variety are wonderful too. We’ve got a link to the Shimmer LookBook so you can take a gander at the collection. Don’t neglect to stop at Jennifer’s blog while you’re at it and Fabric-J:  Shimmer fabricsubscribe so you can qualify for the fabric giveaway (a fabric bundle!) she’s hosting right this very minute. Do not delay! We’re the tail-end of the blog hop, but there’s plenty more wonderful inspiration on the way–backtracking is a good idea too!

Shimmer Blog Hop Schedule

April 1- Robert Kaufman/Jennifer Sampou- announce blog

The SHWS Giveaway

As for our promotional events here, we have a giveaway as well. Jennifer has given us a Shimmer charm pack for one lucky reader. (Many thanks Jennifer!) You know the drill. Leave a comment by Tuesday, April 21 answering the following question: Would you rather shimmer, sparkle, or shine? We’ll announce the winner on Friday, April 25. Our Big Announcement! Now here’s our main event to celebrate the launch of Jennifer Sampou’s latest and greatest . . . we’ve designed our very first See How We Sew quilt pattern and are showcasing Shimmer in the sample quilt. As quilt designers, it’s a real pleasure to work with a unified collection of prints and color palette. We had such a blast collaborating on this quilt that we’ve sparked an ambition to make more! And we are, in fact, launching a See How We Sew pattern line.

AchooPromoPostcard     Achoo! started with fabric swatches.

Our selection of fabrics from the Shimmer array.

Our selection of fabrics from the Shimmer array.

Then, with a partial sketch; quilting tools; a Shimmer fabric delivery from Jennifer; and precious time carved from busy schedules, we set to work. We send our thanks to Cyndy Rymer who came along for the ride and sewed miles of strips on demand.

Quilt-J:  Achoo! in developmentHmm, this block reminds me of something . . . what is it? Ooh, you’re right Laura, we’ve built Kleenex boxes! Maybe we should name the quilt Achoo!

Quilt-J:  Close up of Achoo Kleenex boxes Turns out that if you repeat the Kleenex box motif enough and throw in accent panels, you can make a spectacular quilt.

Quilt-J:  Achoo test layout with Shimmer fabric Long-arm quilter Kathy August added mod flair to Achoo! by deploying a grid design across the surface. Her choice of thread was genius:  Kathy turned to Fil-Tec’s Glide™ for a soft metallic-look thread that blended in beautifully with the gleaming Shimmer prints.

Quilt-J:  Achoo! Here’s Achoo! photographed outdoors–yes, those are my hands (my usual quilt holder is off to graduate school).

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Thanks for checking out the Jennifer Sampou Shimmer Blog Hop! Don’t forget to enter the giveaways!

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An interview with Sandy Klop: The American Jane Story

Grab a cup of coffee, find a comfy spot and enjoy a visit with the ever-talented Sandy Klop of American Jane Patterns and fabric.


Sandy Klop of American Jane Patterns and Fabric

I started quilting in 1979 when I made my first quilt for my son . Quilting had gotten a big boost from the bicentennial in 1976. Prior to that time I was unaware of any quilt in my family or of anyone else I knew. But once I got hooked, I couldn’t stop! I was drawn to the many names and patterns of the old quilts and I still draw my inspiration from those.

- Sandy Klop


American-Jane red truck

American-Jane-quilts and patterns

Sandy, there is such a distinctive style to your work, how did the American Jane’s “signature look” come to be?

I started designing my own patterns in 2002, and went to my first Quilt Market in 2003. At that time I didn’t know I had a “look,” but I knew what I liked and kept doing that! Moda came to me at that first market and asked if I had thought about designing fabric. Of course I had! Now I do two lines a year and multiple patterns for each line, plus some just for fun!

What is a typical day for you?

I get to sew every day and its still not enough time! I also get to go to guilds all across the U.S. to show my quilts and teach workshops. Quilters across the world have the same passion and so it’s easy to connect with each one and hear their stories.


Sandy, you tell such wonderful stories in naming your patterns, designing your fabric lines, and writing your books. Would you share a story with our readers?

I’ve worked at quilt stores for almost 20 years and enjoying the contact with quilters. During that time I also machine quilted for many, and I still quilt for some. I have seen a lot of quilts. Not long ago, I was mailed a package with an old quilt from Alabama or Mississippi. I put it off for a while because the note said “not square.” Well, when I decided to get it done, I thought I’d add a border so I’d have some thing to work with. It started off okay, but somewhere toward the end something had gone amiss. The whole quilt veered off to one side and almost became a triangle! It actually came to a point. The pattern was a basket without handles. Lots of half square triangles with a large triangle on top and a small triangle at the base.  The whole time I’m thinking this quilt is not worth the money to quilt it. So I started thinking about what was she thinking when she made it. It looked like someone had given her some Thirties era half-square triangles. Then she needed the larger triangles,but she had to piece those. The sashing was four different color variations of the same print, but they were also pieced. The basket part had the two squares at the bottom and so she pieced two of the same color together! Then the light bulb lit! She did the best she could with what she had!

Now I thank my friend for honoring the maker by having her quilt quilted! So what if its not square? It’s not going to hang on a wall, it’s going to keep someone warm!

Thank you Sandy for sharing your experiences with us. I will close with a few photos from Quilting in the Garden, a beautiful quilt show in Livermore, California last fall featuring Sandy Klop as the guest artist. It was a beautiful day with hundreds of American Jane quilts hanging in the oak grove at Alden Lane Nursery. What a spectacular site!



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Sandy’s advice to all of us:


 Be kind to one another! Honor all people! And, keep quilting! – Sandy Klop

We will be part of the Jennifer Sampou Blog Hop next week on Wednesday, not Tuesday, you don’t want to miss it! We have a wonderful surprise for our readers!

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Sandy Klop of “American Jane”–A Signature Look

A few weeks ago, I visited the home of Sandy Klop, owner of American Jane Patterns and Fabric. Sandy was hosting an Open House in her Northern California home, selling some of her wonderful fabrics, patterns, and quilts. I have know Sandy for many years, so I was really excited to see what she was up to!


Welcome to American Jane

When I arrived, I was immediately taken with the creative array of color and whimsy that filled Sandy’s home. This was going to be fun!

American Jane Stairway


Sandy and Stan Klop of American Jane

Sandy and Stan Klop of American Jane

Sandy and her husband, Stan, welcomed me at the door.  I think I may have been standing there with my mouth wide open–I was so busy taking in the entire American Jane experience before me. Sandy’s home is a reflection of her cheerful personality–a quilter’s playhouse. There is a signature look to Sandy’s work that is immediately recognizable. Her home was staged to reflect this look in bright, happy colors that played together in a world of incredible quilts.

American-Jane chair

Quilts and fabric were everywhere. American Jane patterns were tucked in cute little baskets. A cozy upholstered chair wore her first line of fabric for Moda–still one of my favorites, by the way!

American-Jane-Fat Quarters

American Jane fat quarters and precuts by Moda

All those sunny fabrics were creatively displayed and calling my name.

American-Jane fabrics

ABC 123

Bolts of fabric lined up like a box of Crayolas. Uh-oh, this could be trouble . . .

American-Jane fabric

Pezzy Prints

Is it even possible to be grumpy when surrounded by all this Pezzy Print happiness?

American-Jane-Moda Layer Cakes

Moda Layer Cakes

For a snack, an offering of Layer Cakes in the kitchen – Yum!

American-Jane-Bakers Dozen

A Baker’s Dozen” by Sandy Klop

Books written by Sandy were stacked in the corner to peruse and enjoy.

American-Jane journal

American Jane’s “A Quilter’s Journal”

Every page of her latest publication, A Quilter’s Journal, was a delight to thumb through.


Each nook, cranny, and shelf told a story.


American-Jane shelf

Charming little wooden folk welcomed me as I passed.


Hmmm . . . which chair was my favorite?


Even the floor was cheery and bright!

American-Jane-quilts for sale

And, did I mention the quilts?

American-Jane Quilts

. . . the beautiful, colorful, whimsical quilts?

American-Jane-Down the Bay

American-Jane-Sails and Sequence

Sandy has a true talent for displaying her beautiful creations in a creative and unique style. It was a delight to spend time in this American Jane world. Thank you, Sandy!

American-Jane-Pink Suitcases

So how does one go about finding a signature look or style? It is a question I posed to Sandy and, in my next post, Sandy will share her thoughts on quilting and what life is like as our American Jane friend. Be sure to visit Friday for the interview and more of her amazing quilts.

If you missed Sandy’s Open House, you are in luck! There is another one coming soon!

American Jane Open House

Fabric, Kits, Patterns, and Books Featuring the Newest Line of Ducks in a Row!

And of Course – Quilts!!!

May 23 ,24 ,and 25

Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:pm

64 Sandy Lane, Walnut Creek, CA

Tell Your Friends!

Also, stop by my blog at Pati Fried to see what I am up to this week. I am looking forward to visiting my home state of Iowa and catching up with quilting friends. See you Friday!

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Easy Mitered Corner Napkins, a Tutorial

It’s no surprise that my daughters know the difference between good fabric and the not-so good stuff. When my daughter Molly was ordering linens for her upcoming wedding, the choices she had for napkins were not up to her high standards. She thought it might be better to make rather than rent them. Makes sense, right? This way they will be hers to keepall 120 of them, I can’t argue with that one.

photo 1

We were both inspired by some beautiful linens at Pottery Barn and felt they looked best with mitered corners. So, off we went to the store. We were lucky enough to find a bolt of 54″ wide linen. I cut 18″ squares, making six napkins per yard.

Here’s how I made the napkins:

1.  Start at the center point of one side and press the raw edge 1/4″ to the backside (if there is one).  The corners will fold and miter more easily if you work and press in a counter clockwise direction. Note that the top right hand edge is left unpressed at this time. It will be turned and pressed after working completely around the napkin.


2. Turn and press again. I turned these 1″ as I prefer a wide hem. You can adjust to your liking.


3. Rotate the napkin and repeat the process, turning and pressing first 1/4″ and then 1″ to form the hem.



4. Take the napkins to the sewing machine and starting on one side, stitch close to the folded edge. Before reaching the corner, stop and turn the top fold under itself to form a miter.  A pin, tip end of small scissors, stiletto or seam ripper is helpful for this step.


5. Continue stitching to the inside corner. With the needle in the down position, raise the presser foot and pivot the fabric. Continue stitching, repeating the mitering treatment at each corner.

That is it.  It doesn’t get much easier. Now to decide how to fold them. Check out these fun options here. I made a few demonstration napkins using some Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. They work up beautifully and I especially like that the fabric is the same on both sides. Think I’ll be making some of these for myself. I’m sure you will agree that I deserve them!

I hope to show you the bridesmaids robes next month. It’s been pretty fun and creative here–hoping the same is true for you.


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Bow Tie for a Little Guy, a Tutorial

As you might imagine, with less than four months to go before the first of two big weddings, I find myself knee deep in projects. Please don’t read this as a complaint because I am loving every minute of it. It simply means that, instead of working on new quilt patterns and tutorials to share with you, I am taking this time to share some of the many small projects that are happening here at “Wedding Central” (as my husband refers to it.)


Screen shot 2014-03-27 at 1.36.42 PM

We are chipping away at the list one day at a time. However, it seems that just as soon as I cross one item off the list, another one magically appears. How does this happen?

Yesterday I made a bow tie for the little ring bearer. It is so darn cute and super easy that I thought it would be fun to share my process with a tutorial. Perhaps you would like to make one for a special little guy in your life?

Bow Tie inst.

This is what the bow tie hardware looks like; hook, eye and slider.

This is what the bow tie hardware looks like; hook, eye and slider.

Cut pieces needed for one bow tie.

Cut pieces needed for one bow tie.


1. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the two 2-1/2″ x 12-1/2″ pieces of main fabric and interfacing together, leaving approximately 2″ open for turning. (Note: ignore those diagonal lines printed on the interfacing.) With right sides together, fold both the neckband and loop pieces in half lengthwise and stitch 1/4″ away from the raw edges, as shown.

Main fabric strips are placed right sides together then place interfacing on top. Stitch around edges.

Main fabric strips are placed right sides together then place interfacing on top. Stitch around edges.

2. Turn the bow piece right side facing out and carefully use a tool or pencil to gently push the corners to a point. Hand stitch the opening closed. Press firmly. Also turn both the neckband and loop pieces right sides facing out, and press.

3. Getting the hardware in the right position on the neckband was a bit tricky for me at first so I will try to make this as clear as possible. Run first the “slider” and then the “eye” onto one end of the neckband, as shown.

Bow Tie 8 4. Next, fold the end (shown on the left side above) to the backside and run it through the center bar of the slider. Turn and finger press approximately 1/2″ of the raw, short end of the neckband onto the backside to secure. It should look like this:

Bow Tie 10 5. Place the “hook” onto the opposite end of the neckband, turning the short end to the backside and hand stitch in place to keep the hook from slipping.

Bow Tie 9 6. Divide the bow piece into thirds (approximately every 4″) and fold back and forth, as shown.

Bow Tie 11 7. Pinch the folded bow together at the center point and then use some heavy thread to hold it secure.

Bow Tie 12 8. Position the completed neckband onto the wrong side of the bow, pin to secure. Then run the loop around the center point of the bow, covering the wrapped threads. Turn under the raw edges and hand stitch to secure.

Note: I did not stitch through to the neckband during this step. However, the neckband will slide and you may want to tack it in place once you have determined the exact needed size for your little guy.

Bow Tie 13With a few modifications, I think this design would also work well as a headband for a sweet little girl . . . just a thought! Friday I’ll share my easy mitered corner napkins. Then stay tuned as the next project will be robes for the bridesmaids. I just purchased this lovely new fabric from Verna Mosquera’s Rosewater line for Free Spirit Fabrics. I’m getting my serger tuned up and ready to roll. This will be fun!

Rosewater by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Rosewater by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.

Thanks for letting me share this special time with you. As always, sending you my best and hoping you are finding time to fill your souls with creative projects.


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Purple Haze: Ticking Off Quilt Projects

Hello See How We Sew Readers! We’ve been running hither and thither at the blog lately in our efforts to finish up blog projects as well as our own. April should be the harbinger of two special quilts from us; that is, if we manage to lasso our “ducks” and line them up in a row. I’m hoping we can smash a huge readership number in the next 30 days when we debut our Quilt-Along and a Jennifer Sampou special event:  500,000!

Inspiration-J:  Lupine

My purple haze begins in our backyard wildflower garden–lovely lupine is an early arrival.

For me, March closes with a completed quilt top. I’m waiting for my backing choice to arrive at my local quilting fabric depot,  Wooden Gate Quilts (their new website is in development), and then I can add the finishing touches and cross it off my To Do list.

You’ll recall this quilt from a past post: my love/hate perspective on a quilt-in-the-making. Dear readers, you went above and beyond with helpful ideas for my project in the comments and, again, I want to thank you for your exceedingly pertinent input. You’ll see I did incorporate suggestions.

Quilt J:  Purple HazeWhile I’m delighted my eldest is off to graduate school, I’ve lost my quilt holder and must resort to partial views for now.

Quilt-J:  Purple Haze DetailThe baby crosses are a fun element–there’s a pale pink version in the collection that delivers the barest hint of purple in the second row from the bottom.

Fabric-J:  Echino backing fabric

Here’s a glimpse at my favorite candidate for backing, a Japanese print by Echino. I do have a master plan in which all these elements will co-exist beautifully–at least that’s my hope. I do reserve the right to stuff the finished project in my linen closet if it doesn’t pass muster!




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Shell Themes & Variations: Finding Quilting Inspiration at the Shoreline

In my heart, I’m a beach girl who enjoys nothing more than the sound of the shore break and the feel of sea spray on my skin. Now that I’ve got tetchy, ballet-damaged feet, sand-walking is the only thing that soothes them in a truly satisfying way. Consequently, when I visit my parents in Florida, I make daily pilgrimages to the beach for a sand-and-saltwater therapy and to enjoy one of my very favorite places on the planet.

Dates & Places:  FL beach

One of upsides of my ritual is the opportunity to treasure hunt along the shore. Yeah, well, I’m really in search of errant doubloons washed ashore from sunken treasure fleets, but discoveries of “pieces of eight,” although not unheard of, are scarce.  Shelling is the reliable seaside treasure hunt.  Just a few weeks ago, as I walked along the shore, I spotted a very common shell with a striking white stripe.

Inspiration-J:  Shell 1

Isn’t Mother Nature interesting?

Inspiration-J:  Shell collection

Typically, I can’t stop at picking up one. Each exemplar of this basic shell had different bold patterns of white and rusted tan.

Inspiration-J:  Ombre shell

Look at that:  Mother Nature is on trend with an ombre shell!

After my first walk, I riffled through the shells my sister displays on a bookshelf in the guest room of our parent’s house. When we’re visiting at the same time, we get to share that room and sleep on the original twin beds from our childhood home. What a treat since we’ve both been known to snore–plus she’s a night owl and I’m not! Back to the narrative:  that’s when I spotted the elongated snail shell with ombre coloration in Laurie’s purchased collection.

Inspiration-J:  Shell arrangement

Then I just had to go all “quilty” with her purchased shells and my findings and compose a color, pattern, and texture story.

Inspiration-J:  Ombre shell 2

I couldn’t exactly run off with Laurie’s treasures and so I hit our favorite shell store TerMarsch Groves where they serve fresh-squeezed OJ to shoppers while they browse Florida treasures like key lime marmalade, shark-teeth necklaces, seasonal citrus, preserved gator heads–yup and yuck–and shells. I was in pursuit of my own ombre shell and found one with a smidge more visual drama.

Inspiration-J:  Shell ensemble

When I got back to California I composed a mini vignette in similar colors and textures with my shell stash–yes, I have shell and fabric stashes!

Inspiration-J:  Closer view of shell patternsThere’s something about this pairing that pleases me. Perhaps it’s the soothing neutrals and the markings that play with light and shadow.

Fabric-J:  Stash crash

I crashed my stash and pulled fabrics that keyed off the shell markings and colors–mid-range neutrals were scarce, but I’m sure I can find those middle notes without much trouble. I like these quasi-academic exercises; aside from sharpening color, pattern, and scale selection skills, it’s also a good way to refresh stash recall. Hey, fancy that:  a fabric treasure hunt–it’s not pirate treasure, but close. Happy hunting!


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Quilt Show Twofer: Bay Area Quilters Strut Their Stuff

Our peach and pear trees are blossoming; California golden poppies are in early bloom; the local birds with bright, fresh feathers are singing and searching for nesting spots; and the papers and catalogs are replete with full-color Spring fashions. Yes, it’s that time of year . . . time to shed winter wear and don lighter, brighter plumage.


Why stay at home when there is so much Spring energy and excitement beckoning us to get away and enjoy our sunny weekends? This weekend, March 22-23, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, and/or the wine country of the Napa and Sonoma valleys, consider browsing one or both of two spectacular quilt shows.

The East Bay Heritage Quilters are presenting Voices in Cloth 2014:  Extraordinary Quilts by the Bay. The show is being held at the Craneway Pavillion, 1414 Harbour Way South on the Richmond Waterfront. Click here for hours, ticket prices, and directions as well as a list of vendors, artists, and demonstrations. There will be over 200 exciting quilts and garments displayed. EBHQ always stages an inspiring show so be sure to allow enough time for shopping after taking in all the beautiful quilts.

Raffle quilts at the 2014 Voices in Cloth Quilt Show

Raffle quilts at the 2014 Voices in Cloth Quilt Show

For those who want to head northward from San Francisco, I will be the “Featured Artist” at the Sonoma Q.U.I.L.T. (Quilters United in Loose Threads) show. Started in 2003, by a group of local quilters who wanted to show off their work, this smaller show is a fun stop on the quilt show circuit. It’s early moniker, Sonoma’s 1st Occasional Funky Quilt Show and Sale, gives you a sense of its free-spirited style. Sonoma Q.U.I.L.T. takes place at The Vintage House, 264 First Street East in Sonoma, CA. There is so much to experience in Napa and Sonoma so why not combine the show visit with a bit of wine tasting, dining, or even taking a balloon tour?  Click here for a calendar of events taking place in the area. (And, stop by and say “hello,” I’d be so happy to visit with our SHWS readers!)

Grandmother's Flower Garden by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.

Grandmother’s Flower Garden by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.

Hope to see you at one of the shows! If not, enjoy a lovely weekend filled with fun and inspiration.


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Quilting Wisdom: Collected Thoughts from See How We Sew

Probably one of the nicest aspects of sewing arts is our tradition of sharing knowledge and expertise. As we absolutely love to spread quilt making, sewing, and crafting know-how, here’s a few lessons and insights picked up by your “quilting sisters” at See How We Sew:

Inspiration-J:  Thread

Best piece of quilting advice you ever got?

Darra: It was a quote I saw in American Quilter magazine, probably in the late ’80s, in an article written by Joen Wolfrom. In it she said: “A finished quilt which has no imperfections, artistically or technically, is one that was created within the quilter’s comfort zone. No significant learning will take place when we stay in this safe place.”

I had never met Joen, but this quote struck an enormous chord with me.  I copied it down and taped it on the wall of my sewing room. When I began to travel and teach, I carried the quote with me and read it at the beginning of almost every workshop.

In 1993, I found myself teaching at a quilting event in Northern Virginia. Joen was one of the other teachers. We connected almost immediately, and—over the past almost-20 (!) years—have become close personal, as well as professional, friends. To this day, I still continue to try something new—however small—with every quilt I make.

Jennifer:  My bit of gathered advice is really a visual lesson I picked up back in the days when I did Publicity at C&T Publishing.  I came across, to my mind, one of the most insanely compulsive quilting titles ever, Stripes in Quilts by Mary Mashuta. I was dumbfounded by the attention to striped detail she displayed:  every striped block or strip was fussy cut to the nth degree for perfect matches. The resulting quilts were masterful, but I seriously doubted I would go down that road with my own quilts. Ah well, the years pass, experience grows, and a sense of craftsmanship blooms. All told, that book delivered a serious lesson in respecting a fabric’s print design–I think, I look, and I plan before I cut!

Laura: I often find myself in a stuck spot with either color and/or design. Years ago I remember my co-author Diana McClun telling me that if I was not pleased with my design it was often a matter of value. I always keep this thought in the back of my mind and try to include a variety of light, medium, and dark-colored fabrics. When I remember to listen to this advice, I am always happier with the results.

Pati: The best advice I ever got came in the form of a question while I was stressing over perfect center points on very small Lemoyne Stars. “When you are finished, and it is quilted and sitting on your lap, will you really care if it doesn’t have perfect points?” I go back to this each time I am worrying over something–quilting-related or not!

Inspiration-J:  Thread still lifeFavorite quilt book(s) for inspiration?

Darra: Any of the Quilt National books. Other favorites include Fabric Gardens: An International Exhibition of Quilts at Expo ’90 (catalog for a Japanese exhibit that traveled to The Dairy Barn in Athens, OH), Patchwork Pictures (the work of British fiber artist Edrica Huws), Landscape in Contemporary Quilts by Ineke Berlyn, and Quilts in Bloom (Blumen der Mainau; catalog for an exhibit in Germany).

Jennifer: Anything by Ruth McDowell—she’s a genius after all. Kaffe Fassett’s early hardback books with the photography by Steve Lovi are among my favorites for eye candy, I like the newer ones as well, but the original ones set the standard.

Laura: I often start with either Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns or Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns. I enjoy tweeking and changing some of the traditional patterns to suit my needs.

Pati: The Ultimate Quilting Book by Maggi McCormick Gordon. I curl up on the couch on a regular basis with this book for historical inspiration. I also tend to go to Folk Art and Textile books for inspiration. One of my favorites is Ralli Quilts – Traditional Textiles from Pakistan and India by Patricia Ormsby Stoddard.

QQQ3 cover

Book that most influenced you as a new quilter?

Darra: Pieces of the Past by Marsha McCloskey and Nancy Martin was a big one for me. I collected antique quilts before I became a quilter, and have been very inspired by them right from the start . . . especially scrap quilts. I was also very drawn to The Scrap Look by Jinny Beyer, Calico and Beyond by Roberta Horton, and Threads of Time by Nancy Martin. There have been tons of books written on scrap quilts since, but I still go back to these classics, over and over. From the first day I started teaching, Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! has always been my #1 recommendation for new quilters.

Jennifer: An old McCall’s series (1980′s) on quilting—my starting point—and then Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! of course.  Imagine my surprise, the authors are now my friends!

Laura: Shortly after learning to quilt, I was fortunate enough to spend 5 days at a quilting seminar with Mary Ellen Hopkins. She taught out of her book It’s OK if You Sit on My Quilt. The book was chockfull of patterns and techniques. I wanted to make every one. The seminar and book inspired me to share my new found passion with others in the classroom.

Pati: Definitely, the first edition of Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by our own, Laura Nownes and Diana McClun. This was my first quilting book I had ever purchased. I referred to it so many times for myself or to teach others, that I wore it out!


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Looking to Nature for Inspiration

I spent the last few days with friends in Lake Tahoe, California at a little quilting getaway. As always, the views were breathtaking.

Lately, I have been looking to nature for interesting patterns and images for inspiration  While in Lake Tahoe,  I found myself fascinated by the color, light and texture around all around me.

Lake Tahoe 3

Layers of texture and patterns.

Lake Tahoe 4

Reflective light.

Lake Tahoe 6

Interesting color palette!

Lake Tahoe 2

A few really windy days took the lake from calm to rolling waves. The lapping waves on the shore began to sound more like the rolling waves of the ocean.

Lake Tahoe 1

Lake Tahoe 5

Bright blue sky, gray textured tree bark, and a bazillion shades of green in the pine needles.



Add the slightest touch of red from the spring buds for accent.

Lake Tahoe2

I’m inspired! If you would like to get a peek at the quilts that I worked on while in Tahoe, visit Pati Fried next week. I will be posting lots of eye candy.

Have a great weekend!

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