Promises and Possibilities for a New Year

2020 is coming to an end. It seems so appropriate to wrap up the last blog post for this year on the topic of Promises and Possibilities. This was the subject of the second part of last year’s exhibit, Quilting in the Garden. If you missed reading about the first part of the exhibit, scroll back one post or click here. As I mentioned in the last post, the exhibit was to celebrate the work that Laura and my quilt group had created under the instruction of one of our favorite people, Rosalie Dace. In this particular workshop, I think we pushed ourselves to a point of being a bit uncomfortable with our ideas and process. But that seemed to be where the magic happened. The final work is beautiful. Take a look!

Promises and Possibilities: Design in Action with Rosalie Dace

An in-depth study of the raw elements of design, namely line, mark, texture, shape, and color, and how to arrange and organize these elements into a successful composition or design.


Quilted by Kathy August

img_2340OUTSIDE THE LINES I By Karen McArdle

Paper collage, a tool used to quickly explore design ideas and compositional relationships, was used to generate these quilt block designs.  LINE, TEXTURE, NEGATIVE / POSITIVE SPACE & VALUE were the primary design elements explored in the circle-driven compositions.

img_2339OUTSIDE THE LINES II By Karen McArdle

Created initially as a small paper collage, the design was enlarged for graphic impact.


STRIPE QUILT By Tara Faughnan  

 img_2337IN AND OUT THE WINDOWS By Charlene Dakin

One window led to another and Rosalie was helpful in suggesting whether we were on the inside looking out or the outside looking in and encouraged me to keep making windows.  

IRONS By Pauline Pearsall

img_2415.jpgSTACKED VESSELS By Pati Fried

I spent the majority of this workshop pinning chunks of fabric to the wall, focusing more on the visual in my head and not the construction. It felt as if I was somewhere between painting and sculpting, not piecing and quilting. As the piece progressed, I became more and more open to possibilities and added whatever popped into my head at the moment.


COFFINS By Alethea Ballard 

SWIRLS AND KITES By Nikki Vilas   

The challenge was to play with design, lines and curves – No thinking, just playing and adding color to see what would happen.  

MORNING LIGHT by Dale Fleming
ANOTHER SUNSET By Denise Killingsworth

I hand painted the sky and then cut it into strips and flipped the pieces.

So there you have it. Another year, another memory and hopefully another flash of inspiration for all of our readers. I want to thank you for sticking with See How We Sew for these past 2 years, we truly do appreciate your dedication. We were not terribly prolific with our blog posts, but be assured, we are still here – and continue to love quilting and our quilting community just as much as you do. There are some exciting ideas percolating here at SHWS for next year, so stay tuned for some fun changes in our blog.

In another 8 days, we will begin anew with a fresh outlook on life, quilting and all the promises and possibilities in store for us at the beginning of a new year. Laura and I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Inspiring New Year. See you in January!

Hugs, Pati

Branching Out, A Year Later

I started this post a year ago, December 2019. Wow! That seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened to all of us in this past year. Some good, some bad, some just downright crazy. It is heartwarming for me to look back at these photos and remember how blessed I am to have so many wonderful friends in the quilting world.

These photos were taken at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA, on a beautiful fall day in 2019. The venue – Quilting in the Garden – celebrates quilts in a beautiful nursery setting, filled with autumn splendor and showcasing quilts from local artists, whose artwork is hung from majestic, old oak trees. It’s a weekend I never miss. Keeping fingers crossed that it will be on for 2021.

Our quilt group, which we so affectionately call, Opinions are Us, but as Grateful Threads for more serious gatherings, was invited to hold a special exhibit at last year’s Quilting in the Garden. The exhibit focused on celebrating the work that we had created with the mentorship of the amazing Rosalie Dace.

Charlene Dakin and Freddy Moran are also in our group, but were not able to make the opening of the exhibit. Left to Right: Diana McClun, Pauline Pearsal, Laura Nownes, Jennifer Sampou, Sujata Shah, Alex Anderson, Dale Flemming, Denise Killingsworth, Karen McArdle, Tara Faughnan, Alethea Ballard and Pati Fried. Carol Van Zandt joins us in the next photo.
I have linked to everyones websites in the caption under their work.

Gosh, I miss all of your smiling faces in person! This was a second photo taken with Carol Van Zandt joining us – she is in the middle in the blue blouse.

In a year’s time, Sujata’s hair has grown back into beautiful curls, Laura has welcomed a new grand baby and I took the trip of a lifetime to India (more on that later!). Other than that, we have been doing what most all of you have been doing – staying home, washing our hands, and quilting like maniacs! I get a bit sentimental looking back in time. Knowing that not long after this, our weekly group meetings would transform into zoom meetings, hugs would turn to heart emojis through text, and a rare meeting outside, would consist of two and not fifteen – masked and 6 feet apart.

So let’s go back in time, to read the post that almost never happened! The exhibit, featured two workshops we had taken over the past few years with Rosalie – Branch Out and Promises and Possibilities. I wanted to focus on the Branch Out exhibit today, and will post photos from Promises and Possibilities in the next blog post. 


Branch Out with Rosalie Dace 

Celebrating the beauty and diversity of trees, the largest life forms that ever existed.

by Jennifer SampouWHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS By Jennifer Sampou

With NATURE at the forefront of my mind everyday, I no longer behold it’s beauty and grandeur alone, as I once did. It’s BROKEN on the large scale, because of human impact. Worldwide deforestation is just one thing happening at an alarming rate, worse than we realize, especially when you dig in and look at the facts. I donate, make, educate, change habits, worry and speak up to increase awareness. “HOPE”, without “DOING”, means nothing. I am committed to action…What about you?

This quilt is for sale for $400.00, with proceeds contributed to the Sierra Club. Contact Jennifer Sampou at

img_2360RAINBOW EUCALYPTUS By Dale Fleming

img_2359-e1573100023791.jpgFIRST SNOW By Alex Anderson

img_2353.jpgFOREST LIGHT By Carol Van ZandtQuilted by Alethea Ballard

img_2352.jpgSETTING DOWN ROOTS By Karen McArdle

Images of my garden changing through the seasons symbolize shelter, home, family and the passage of time. 

img_2351PETALS AND TREES By Nikki Vilas

The assignment was to work with a color or colors you don’t typically utilize. Brown is not a color I am drawn to in quilts so I found a metallic brown I could live with and started playing.   

img_2350.jpgBARK By Tara Faughnan

img_2349.jpgCHRISTMAS TREE By Freddy Moran

img_2342.jpgRED RIDING HOOD By Freddy Moran

img_2348.jpgTREES, TREES, TREES By Diana McClun


A Tree with Many Branches By Diana McClun. Quilted by Alethea Ballard

img_2347.jpgI MISS YOU By Denise Killingsworth

My 300 year old oak had to come down two years ago. Imagine a 1.5 inch man in the branches and that will give you an idea how big it was.  I loved that tree and miss it. The sky is from a 20 year old hand dye from Dale Fleming.  I finally found the right place for it.  The tree is reverse appliqué.

img_2346POONAM (Full Moon) By Sujata Shah

I dream in colors, especially on a full moon night.

img_2343SHINRIN YOKU  (Forest bathing) By Charlene Dakin

My second class with Rosalie, Branching Out, was slow to start but after I pinned up tall trees and again Rosalie suggesting that I look into the forest I began to enjoy the journey. The rabbits dancing were on my list of future quilts and they seemed right at home dancing in the forest by starlight. 

img_2341.jpgILLUMINATION By Laura NownesQuilted by Sue Rasmussen

In class I worked on samples using Rosalie’s techniques. I was pleasantly surprised and liked the design that was created using the positive/negative shape of the tree. I used scraps for the small class sample. I didn’t have enough of each fabric to make into a larger quilt. I wanted to keep the original design but rather than change fabrics, I used the leftover pieces but had to fuse the tree shapes rather than use the original reverse applique technique. The end result was the same and the bonus was the unexpected inverted heart shape formed where the branches touch.

img_2416.jpgWELCOME HOME By Pati Fried

A beautiful, old oak graces part of a long driveway before you arrive at my house, with a warm welcoming hug. The branches of the Oak are gnarled and covered in moss and lichen. The background is a forest-like canyon filled with fractures of light that change colors depending on the time of the day. I am so fortunate to have this lovely friend to greet me each day. I wanted to share the joy this Oak tree gives to me.

The exhibit was called Branch Out, but when I look at this group of women, I can’t help but think of the roots of a tree, providing a strong base to support new growth, allowing us to flourish as we continue to Branch Out.

Love these women! I will be back next week with part two of the exhibit.

Pati Fried

Fall is here and so are we!

“Time flies when you’re multitasking.” ― Bert McCoy

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 11.20.21 AM

It has been a long time since we have posted on See How We Sew. Laura and I have definitely been multitasking, although in different aspects – Laura with her beautiful new grandchildren, and me with who knows what. Even though we have not been blogging, we still manage to meet each week or so to catch up and do a bit of stitching together with friends. We talk about the blog, and our loyal readers, and know that it is a blessing that you have all stuck with us through this lull in our writing.

And so..

It is time. It is time to get reacquainted with our wonderful See How We Sew followers. You have stayed with us through this long break, visited old posts and sent messages to us through Facebook and Instagram. Thank you for being such loyal friends! We have definitely felt your love at See How We Sew (SHWS).

The blog world has changed so much over the past two years. Laura and I have been discussing how to reshape our blog to not only stay current in this fast moving quilt and textile world, but to also give our readers what they are wanting from an online quilt source. We have ideas – new topics, guest bloggers, video tutorials and event calendars, but we would love to hear from you!


What would you like to see from SHWS?

What are topics or techniques that interest you?

Do you follow SHWS for ideas, inspiration or information? Or all?

Are you more drawn to short, eye candy posts, or in depth topics and resources?

I look forward to hearing from you and catching up!

Laura and I will be part of a special exhibit this coming weekend at Alden Lane Nursery, in Livermore, CA. If you would like to stop by to say hello, you can catch us on Saturday at Quilting in the Garden.

I will be posting a bit more about the exhibit on Thursday, so stay tuned!

Hugs and happy fall wishes to you!







Upcoming Classes

Just a quick note to let you know about some of my upcoming classes. I hope you will consider joining me, or passing along to someone that may be interested.

2017-08-11 13.23.55-2Modern Basics 

This is a series of classes for beginning to intermediate quilters on quilt basics and exploring new block design, by understanding grid formation and improvisation. Students may sign up for one class, or take all 3.
#1 Basics – Saturday, April 21
#2 Block Building – Sunday, April 22
#3 On to Improv – Sunday, April 29
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Quilt Labs
Bring your own project to work on, and enjoy the company of other quilters. I will be there to help, inspire and cheer you on to completing your project. Every 4th Wednesday of the month at Bay Quilts.
April 25
May 23
June 27
July 25
I know Laura and I have been a bit quiet lately with the blog. We have both been busy, but I promise to have lots of new things to share with you soon!
Hugs and good wishes,
Pati Signature

The Power of 12

12 women commit to creating 12 works of art in 12 months, each piece measuring 12“x12“. Multiply that by 3 different groups participating, and you have 26 amazing individuals with 26 different perspectives.


I am so excited (and proud) to be a part of this exhibit!

I spent today helping with the set up for this exhibition. It is a truly impressive collection of work. If you live in the Northern California area, this is one show you should make time to visit. The Opening Celebration will be this Sunday, Dec. 3, but the show will be up through the month of December.2017 12x12 Bay Quilts 5x7 email

So, exactly what is The Power of 12? In my case, it was an opportunity to explore a different technique or idea each month for a year. The commitment forced me to be accountable, to take it seriously, but most of all, to allow myself to “play” each month on a small, doable scale.

This year long project is sponsored by Textile Dream Studios. Sue Fox and Jo Magaraci have done an incredible job of curating this exhibit, and for that matter, sharing their creative energy and motivation over an entire year of motivational meetings! Those monthly meetings offer a great opportunity to develop a solid Art/Maker Practice. Participants have chosen to explore new materials or techniques, develop work in a series, and even delve into “uncharted territory”.

The philosophy behind the 12×12 Challenge is the belief that each of us has the inherent ability to create a vibrant and satisfying Art/Maker Life for ourselves. We believe that individuals have the power to uncover their own creative paths, and that by immersing oneself in an environment which promotes both self-reflection and personal determination, interesting results will follow.

And those interesting results are being celebrated this month. I hope you can join us. If you are not local, stay tuned to my Instagram account, patifried, and I will be sharing photos of the opening celebration and some of the amazing work on display.

Have a good week!

Pati Signature

Embroidery Workshop with Debby Schnabel

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Close up of Debbie Schnabel’s freeform embroidery.
The annual event, Quilting in the Garden, was held a few weeks back. Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA. hosts this wonderful quilt show. If you have followed our blog for a while, you know that we have covered many of the past shows. It is a gorgeous venue of quilts hanging in majestic oak trees at a beautiful nursery, filled with fall festivities.

2017-09-22 14.39.34
Quilting in The Garden, 2017.
Quilting in the Garden also hosts classes the week before the show, with some truly talented quilt teachers. This year, Laura and I (along with a few of our quilty friends), were fortunate enough to take a hand embroidery workshop with the very talented Debby Schnabel.

2017-09-22 14.31.32

Let’s just digest that for a moment. An embroidery class, with a talented teacher, filled with classmates that were our quilty friends, doing handwork, at a quilt show venue, in a beautiful nursery, that just happens to be filled with massive old oak trees – on a gorgeous fall day.

Got that? Needless to say it was wonderful.

2017-09-22 14.29.21
Debbie Schnabel’s creative threadwork.
Here is a peek at some of Debby’s intricate work. You can see more of her work on her website at 12.35.13

2017-09-22 12.35.13-2

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2017-09-22 14.30.19

2017-09-22 12.42.51-1_preview

And here are a few peeks of the student works.

terri embroidery sampleTerri Carpenter, longarm quilter of Hello Stitch,  played with some improvisational clamshells.

Karen M sample

My table mate and good friend, Karen McArdle, took her project on a plane ride the next week, finished it up, and gave it as a gift! Lucky recipient!

Linda Lambert embroidery

Laura’s table mate, Linda Lambert worked on this whimsical little project.Alex Anderson sample Here’s the cheery piece Alex Anderson was working on.

File Nov 01

I decided to play with paisley’s and background texture. My 1st paisley was a bit lopsided, but I figured it out on the second one!


Laura made this sweet vine and berries piece. She was so inspired that she pulled out some of her favorite embroidery books. Any of these look familiar?2017-10-12-15-35-03

Some times you just need a bit of inspiration to look at an old favorite craft in a new light. Something you did 10 years ago may take on a whole new look with what you are inclined to do today. I know it really got the ideas flowing for me! I can’t wait to incorporate this in a new project!

Hope this inspires you to pick up a needle and thread and do a bit of play yourself!


Getting Back on Track

I am sure you have noticed that we have not been posting on a regular basis for quite some time here at See How We Sew. Sometimes, life just has a way of taking you on a different course. Laura, Darci and I have all been experiencing this lately, each enjoying happy, new adventures, and simply taking a break on the social media platform for a bit. All is good, and the positive side is that this has allowed for a lot of interesting new topics to share with you this summer!

Laura and I attended a retreat a few weeks ago with a group of wonderful quilters. It was in a very peaceful, serene setting in the Sierra foothills. It was nice to have time to just sew. No deadlines, no stress, just 4 lovely days of sewing and creating. Laura took some beautiful photos of the property, while she was on her morning walks.

It would be hard to not be inspired while in this setting.

There was a beautiful quartet of quilts hanging in one of the conference rooms. A gift from the Foothill Quilters Guild, in Auburn, CA.  The design, concept and workmanship was just stunning. I wanted to share them with you.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water – Created by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr.

Adapted from an original card design by Sr. Paulette Kirchensteiner H.M.

Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr






Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Earth by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Earth, close-up

Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Air by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Air, close-up

Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Fire by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Fire, close-up

Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr

Water by Margarita Wilcox, Machine Quilted by Shari Bahr
Water, close-up

What a wonderful series of work, and the perfect location for them to be viewed in.

In our next post, Laura will share what she worked on during our retreat. It was so much fun watching this project go together!

Have a great week!


Uncommon Threads – Part II

As promised in my last post, Uncommon Threads – Part I

Here is part II of the art quilt exhibit, Uncommon Threads. Grab your cup of tea and get ready for your Wednesdayinspiration!

Yosemite Falls by Vicki DeMeter


White Daisy by Mary Beth Branca


Uehara Garden by Mary Anne Fitzgerald


Zen Bird by Suzi Dillinger


Turbulence by Margaret Winter


Sunset by Margaret Winter


Not Everything is Black and White by Mary Beth Branca


Of Space and Time by Mary Anne Fitzgerald


Portal of Yesterday by Virginia Standley


Sea Turtle by Suzi Dillinger


Stele Tears from Mardin by Ileana Soto


Double Delight by Margaret Winter


In the Garden by Mary Beth Branca


Ice Flower by Sue Harris


Heaven on Earth by Linda Pawlowicz


Habitat Under Fire by Ileana Soto


Grounded Angels by Linda Pawlowicz


Giant City in the Fall by Suzi Dillinger


Bliss by Pat Eyler


34 Pinecrest Ave. by Sue Harris



I hope you enjoyed these beauties as much as I did. Thank you, members of the The Creative Fiber Artists. Your work is beautiful!


Uncommon Threads – Finding Inspiration in a Recent Art Quilt Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I met friends for lunch and had the opportunity to see their wonderful works on display at the Village Theater & Art Gallery in Danville, Ca. They were part of an exhibition called Uncommon Thread,  whick featured unique art quilts created by a local quilting group, The Creative Fiber Artists. The quilts covered a wide range of topics and were interpreted in creative and imaginative ways. It was a great show.

I have become extremely interested in art quilting lately. This was an opportunity for me to enjoy a variety of mixed media and textile explorations which step out of the mainstream quilting style. I loved the show so much, that I took photos to share with our readers! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I, for one, am filing this under inspirational ideas!


Kadinsky in the Kitchen Study by Cyndy Rymer


Complimentary Colors by Pat Eyler


Aquatic Splendor by Vicki Demeter


Aquatic Splendor, close up by Vicki DeMeter


Asian Influence by Mary Beth Branca


Asian Influence close up by Mary Beth Branca


Circles, Circles, Circles by Sue Harris


Do Purple Cows Give Purple Milk? by Lynne Douglas


Enchanting Ella by Lynne Douglas


Global Alert, Artic Melt by Ileana Soto


Global Alert, Artic Melt close up by Ileana Soto


Gorgeous Gerty by Lynne Douglas


House of Whimsy by Pat Eyler


It’s 5 O’Clock by Virginia Standley


Lynne Douglas, The Great Escape


Lynne Douglas, The Great Escape, close up


Majestic Mt. Diable by Cyndy Rymer


Boundless Energy by Margaret Winter


Dancing in the Breeze by Margaret Winter


Dancing in the Breeze by Margaret Winter


Purple Haze by Cyndy Rymer


Rose Revisited by Vicki DeMeter


Rose Revisited, close up by Vicki DeMeter


Springtime in Vermont by Lynne Douglas


Thoughts of Japan, close up by Virginia Standley


Pretty awesome work, right? Stop in again on Wednesday and I will share the 2nd half of the quilts in this show.

Have a great week!