Inspirational Photos to Begin the New Year


As I mentioned in a previous post, the San Jose Quilt Museum has been hosting a wonderful exhibit, Antique Amish Quilts from Ohio. Accompanying this is another exhibit, Amish – The Modern Muse, which is a selection of Amish inspired modern quilts. Modern Muse is a 2 part show, with the 2nd installation  to be opening soon. If you were not able to view the 1st installation, Carol Van Zandt of The Plaid Portico has posted a wonderful photo selection of the quilts on her blog. I thought it would be nice to share them with you.

So grab a cup of tea, get comfy and enjoy these Amish inspired beauties.

Read Carol’s post here: The Plaid Portico   cropped-tpp-header-4

Stop by on Friday to get a peek at what I have been up to since the crazy holiday season has ended.

Pati Signature

Margaret Linderman Shares Her Frida Kahlo Inspired Projects

Here she is, all decked out in her Frida Kahlo inspired vest. With a passion for color and design, quilt artist Margaret Linderman finds inspiration in the works of painter, Frida Kahlo. From quilts, to wearable arts and collage works, it’s evident that this talented woman just oozes creativity. It’s who she is and what she does.

Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.
Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.


Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.
Frida Kahlo Vest #1 designed and made by Margaret Linderman.


This beautiful mola is the lining of the Frida Kahlo vest.
This beautiful mola is the lining of the Frida Kahlo vest.

If you missed my last post about Margaret’s recent surprise birthday party and beautiful Frida Kahlo quilt, simply click here to read about this special day. As promised, here are just a few of the many projects Margaret has made over the years. Enjoy!

Frida Kahlo jacket by Margaret Linderman based on a pattern by Marci Tilton.
Frida Kahlo jacket by Margaret Linderman based on a pattern by Marci Tilton.


Folkloric wallhanging. Our Lady of Guadalupe made with Guatemalan and Indian fabrics for All Souls Day.
Folkloric wallhanging. Our Lady of Guadalupe made with Guatemalan and Indian fabrics for All Souls Day.


Margaret with her Square in an Square quilt.
Margaret with her Square in an Square quilt.

Margaret joined the hexagons with marigold as she tells me that this color is the custom used on graves for All Souls Day.

Day of the Dead/All Souls Day quilt made for Margaret's granddaughter.
Day of the Dead/All Souls Day quilt made for Margaret’s granddaughter.


A beautiful example of Margaret's collage work used to border her silk jacket.
A beautiful example of Margaret’s collage work used to border her silk jacket.


A 1960s mola is added to the back of this jacket.
A 1960s mola is added to the back of this jacket.




Couldn’t resist sharing with you some of the beautiful silver bracelets Margaret is known for wearing.

A sampling of Margaret's collection of silver bracelets.
A sampling of Margaret’s collection of silver bracelets.

Here’s the cover of one of Margaret’s favorite books on Frida . . . obviously chock full of inspiration.



Thanks for stopping in today and wishing  you all a week filled with inspiration. Until next time…

Laura Signature



Quilter, Margaret Linderman Inspired by the Works of Frida Kahlo

Margaret wears a beautiful Frida Kahlo inspired headpiece made by Erica Cronin.
Margaret wears a beautiful Frida Kahlo inspired headpiece made by Erica Cronin.

Classy, kind, generous, talented, and gracious are just a few of the many adjectives one could use to describe one of our beloved local quilters, Margaret Linderman. Although Margaret has been the subject of a past post, her recent surprise birthday party inspired me to share with you the magic of that special day and  Frida Kahlo, the woman whose  paintings inspire much of Margaret’s beautiful work.

If you are not familiar with Frida Kahlo, you can visit this website which contains a wealth of biographical information along with images of her work.

Margaret has many interests, among them being quiltmaking and  wearable arts. Her work has been featured at both local quilt quild shows as well as the Pacific International Quilt Festival. In a recent interview, here’s what Margaret has to say about her interest in Frida Kahlo.

1.When did you first become interested in the work of Frida Kahlo?

In grade school (I was a student at the lab school at SDState) we studied murals. The school had a wonderful one in a hallway, so I became familiar with Diego Rivera, Mexico’s preeminent muralist. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in late 70s, I was invited to view a documentary about Frida Kahlo at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. I only knew that she was the wife of Diego Rivera. My eyes were opened and I was curious to find out more about her. I particularly loved her costumes, her passion for animals and native plants that were evident in many of her paintings. I had always loved folkloric colors, costumes, and fabrics. At that time I was primarily interested in Art-to-Wear and small fiber constructions. When Alexander Henry issued their first Frida Kahlo fabric, I knew a Frida vest and jacket were about to emerge using techniques I had just learned at Empty Spools Seminars, a fabric collage class taught by Rosemary Eichorn.

Frida Kahlo fabric by Alexander Henry.
Frida Kahlo fabric by Alexander Henry.

2. What is it about Frida’s work that inspires you?

I saw the fabulous exhibit at SFMoMa of Frida’s work. I also saw the photographic exhibit in San Jose. Frida’s use of bold colors, dark subjects, and native flora and fauna inspired me to incorporate them into my work.

Magnolias by Frida Kahlo
Magnolias by Frida Kahlo
Fruits of the Earth by Frida Kahlo
Fruits of the Earth by Frida Kahlo

3. How do you use her designs, colors, etc. in your own work?

After taking Alethea Ballard’s  wonderful dream chair class, I knew I wanted to create a piece that was inspired by one of Frida’s paintings. The Frida and Diego Dream chair was that piece. I have continued to use images that were reminiscent of her work–but perhaps a little brighter. I am also a huge fan of the Day of the Dead or All Souls Day customs. Those images play well with Frida themes.

Margaret Linderman's "Dream Chair". Pattern by Alethea Ballard.
Margaret Linderman’s “Dream Chair”. Pattern by Alethea Ballard.


4.What types of projects have you made that reflect this inspiration?

Several quilts, vests, coats, and wall pieces dance with folkloric themes that are already completed.
I have a couple in the design process that incorporate floral tributes, skulls, and images of Frida.

It was no surprise that Margaret arrived at the party wearing one of her Frida inspired jackets.
It was no surprise that Margaret arrived at the party wearing one of her Frida inspired jackets.

In addition, I was lucky enough to have been gifted a lovely book about Frida Kahlo with commentary by Judy Chicago:  turning pages brings me information and images. And now I have my very own Frida quilt made for me by my friends and organized by my daughter, Janis and friends.

Margaret shares a special moment with her beautiful daughter, Janis Stob and dear friend, Alethea Ballard.
Margaret shares a special moment with her beautiful daughter, Janis Stob and dear friend, Alethea Ballard.
Friday Kahlo inspired birthday quilt for Margaaret.
Friday Kahlo inspired birthday quilt for Margaaret.
Detail showing center of quilt.
Detail showing center of quilt.

Be sure to check back on Friday as we share a gallery of Margaret’s work.

Until then, Happy January everyone!

Laura Signature



A See How We Sew Tradition: Our Top 10 Posts for 2014

Inspiration-J:  Xmas Tree

Hello dear readers! Hope the holiday season is  treating you well. We’re enjoying the closing days of 2014, and looking forward to all sorts of crafting and sewing adventures in 2015. You’ll remember that last year we shared our Top 10 Posts for 2013 and we’re establishing a New Year’s tradition by looking at our results for 2014 and sharing them with you.

Like last year, you favor learning about techniques, notable textile artists, and products:

  1. Patterns
  2. Walk Your Stitches Out of the Ditch
  3. 10 Things I’ve Learned From Hanging Out with Candace Kling
  4. Drafting Part 2:  Making an 8-Pointed or Lemoyne Star
  5. Candace Kling, Masterful Manipulator of Fabric & Ribbon
  6. Prewash or Not? Quilting’s Perennial Question
  7. Feeling Frantic?  Check Out These Last-Minute Goodies
  8. Gallery
  9. Soft & Stable:  An Alternative to Batting
  10. Creating Curved Pieced Blocks and Landscapes with Sue Rasmussen

Enjoy the waning days of our Winter holidays and do check back to see what we have in store for 2015!

Signature 1 line



Scrap Wool Felt + a Button = Super Quick Xmas Gift

As I mentioned in my last post, this holiday season has me on the run. I don’t have much time to take on big projects with my gift giving. I love a good sewn project as much as anyone, but my quick go-to is always jewelry making. Bead stores have the best stuff for impromptu inspiration. And, if I still feel the need to add a stitch, well, I opt to make a jewelry pouch to hold my handmade gift. You’ve heard my schtick before and you’ve seen samples of my passion for pouches here and here.

This year I’ve been a bit obsessed with natural stone jewelry that I can dangle from a “universal” earring base.

Projects-J:  Earrings for 2014 gifts

The top row sports the universal base. All I need to do is slip off the dangling jewel and slip on another one. Very cool!

In honor of Christmas, I decided to make red wool felt jewelry pouches for my handiwork. I repurposed the wool from a tree skirt that I made a couple of years ago. The sad tale was that my pretty red skirt with  glued on felt snowflakes was taken out by a flood when the Christmas tree toppled and spewed water from the reservoir across the floor. That was also the celebration when my some of my votive candleholders shattered on the hearth. After all that I think the felt scraps should be directed to projects with inherently better karma, like gift giving.

Project-J:  Jewelry pouches for gifts

These pouches are 4 x 9 inches folded to 3.5 inches and machine blanket stitched along the edges. Super simple to make and very nice for stowing in suitcases for travel. The fun part is adding sparkle with a jeweled button or beads.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Jennifer Signature


It’s a “Hazy Shade of Winter” at SHWS, but I Will Conquer Xmas!

Despite not having to tackle my traditional major family party on the 24th, I have a feeling that Christmas is running away from me this year. We’re already in double digits on the December calendar?!? Where did the time go between that last bite of pumpkin pie and today? [soundtrack:  primal, panicked scream!] Keep it together, woman!

Okay, enough with the hysteria, here’s one of my accomplishments from this week:  a completed quilt. You might recall my posts on a quilt of crosses called Purple Haze (here’s the first post). I was on the fence about the finished quilt top. The good news is that I am a fan now! That attitude switch comes courtesy of Kathy August, the long arm quilter who took my quilt from slightly odd to FAB-U-LOUS!

Quilt-J:  Detail of reverse side of Jennifer's Purple Haze
Long-arm quilter Kathy August outlined each bird and then quilted the top in unevenly spaced horizontal lines.
Quilt-J:  Detail of Jennifer's Purple Haze
Front side of Purple Haze–can you see the bird outlines?

Kathy actually finished the quilting in October, along with my son’s birthday quilt, but I pretty much ignored the purple monster until last Thursday night when I picked up the folded quilt from the corner of the floor of my husband’s empty office-in-the-making, where it had languished for many weeks.

Quilt-J:  Auditioning binding for Jennifer's Purple Haze
Auditioning the Kaffe Fasset stripe from Westminster Fabric.

A striped fabric was my top choice for binding, although my stash was a bit thin on color/quantity candidates. I found about a half-yard of a Kaffe Fassett Westminister stripe with a sizable bias-sliced chunk removed. No way sufficient for a queen-size quilt. Ah well. I gathered the candidates and, the next day, took them to my friend Cyndy Rymer’s for an impromptu lunch with my quilt/dining group. Turns out they were in unanimous support of the stripe, which put an annoying internet fabric search for more yardage on my agenda. Until, that is, Cynderella went stash diving in her collection and found a complete set of 3-inch strips of that very fabric in her Kaffe box. (She’s got some wonders locked away in that fabric treasure trove!) Christmas lesson:  Seek and ye shall find.

Quilt-J:  Detail view of binding, Jennifer's Purple Haze
Detail view of finished binding

It’s truly amazing how well-planned and executed quilting (Kathy August’s amazing spin on my original minimal idea) plus a perfect binding candidate can win over a doubting quilt maker. I am enchanted by the result. I love it! That’s very good because I’ve got bedrooms to furnish for the return of my fellas for the holidays . . . they’ll have to flip a coin for the bed with the fancy new quilt.

Quilt-J:  Jennifer's Purple Haze
I had the B Team holding the quilt today, my A Team has grown up and launched. Looks like I’ve got to train the new guys on quilt holding techniques cuz, among other things, I just realized the quilt needs a flip to the right.

See ya Friday here at SHWS . . . perhaps I’ll reach holiday zen by then, but I’m not optimistic. In the meantime, though, take a gander at my stress-relieving effort for the Christmas season–month-long Ballet Conditioning classes led by Katarina Wester, a former soloist at the Royal Opera Ballet in Stockholm, Sweden and an incomparable teacher. (Jennifer was not harmed as a result of Katarina squishing her straddle split because she weighs nothing, but J. may be very sore tomorrow!)

Inspiration-J:  Katarina Wester's hard-core conditioning class

p.s.  Hazy Shade of Winter–Paul Simon!


Jennifer Signature

St. Nick Stockings

While I was visiting my home town in Iowa a few weeks ago, I was part of a 2 day “Quilt Fest” fundraiser. I shared a project with the quilters called St. Nick Stockings. I can’t take too much credit for this pattern, because it started with a freebie pattern from Moda called Secret Santa Stocking. You can get a Moda’s free downloadable pattern here: Secret Santa Stocking.

Moda Secret Santa Stocking

If you know anything about me, you know that I can’t ever leave well enough alone. I decided to enlarge it, make a few different sizes, then add a lining and a contrasting cuff. Here are my 3 sizes that I used for class samples.St. Nick's Stockings
It was so fun to watch the quilters at Quilt Fest come up with different fabric combinations. Here are a few of the stockings created that day.

 Iowa stocking 1     Iowa stocking 3

Iowa stocking 2   Iowa stocking 4

Iowa stocking 7   Iowa stocking 8

Iowa stocking 5   Iowa stocking 6

 Aren’t they fun?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Pati Fried Signature

Amish Muse

On Sunday, I attended an opening reception for the two current shows at the San Jose Quilt Museum .

Zig Zag Nine Patch Variation, dated 1890-1930 Cotton Photo Credit: Darwin D. Bearley

 November 15, 2014 – March 1, 2015
Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin D. Bearley Collection

Antique Ohio Amish Quilts from the Darwin D. Bearley Collection includes over forty bed, crib and doll quilts, illustrating the breadth of the Ohio Amish quilt making tradition between 1880 and 1940. The strong graphics and vivid color combinations of these quilts have inspired artists and quilt makers since they were first seen outside the Amish community. Each quilt in the Bearley Collection also contains a story about its maker, recipient, or the dealer/collector who found these objects, brought them out of Amish homes and into the market place. Together, these stories reveal much about the culture that made the quilts and the one that collected them.

Center Diamond, Up Close, 2014 Michelle Boyd

November 15, 2014 – January 3, 2015
Amish: The Modern Muse

Come see what Amish made Modern looks like! Three Bay Area Modern Quilt Guilds–East Bay Modern, Bay Area Modern and South Bay Area Modern–present a juried exhibition of quilts made by MQG members who were inspired by Amish quilt makers.

Juror San Francisco artist Joe Cunningham has chosen almost twenty quilts that best represent a 21st century interpretation of late 19th and early 20th century Amish quilt making traditions.

 The antique quilts were incredible.What a wonderful collection.  If you live in Northern California, be sure to visit the museum. If not, I am excited to announce that our dear friend, and a past guest blogger, Carol Van Zandt has offered to share her photos of the exhibit with us in a later post. Thank you Carol! We look forward to it!

In the mean time, I thought I would show a few shots of the artists reception for the The Modern Muse exhibit. You will recognize a few of the artists from being past guest bloggers for See How We Sew. They are also all members of the East Bay Modern Quilters.

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Modern Log Cabin Quilt by Tara Faughnan 2013.
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What I Had by Kim Andersson 2014
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Amish Lightning by Claire Sherman 2014
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X by Stacey Sharman 2014
Circus Improv by Carol van Zandt 2014
Circus Improv by Carol van Zandt 2014

I guess I missed getting of photo of Carol, since she was busy photographing everyone else!

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Tribute by yours truly!

And to hold you over until Carol’s photos, I thought I would share a few close up photos of my personal favorites of the antique quilts. Aren’t they amazing?

2014-12-07 15.04.12     2014-12-07 15.02.26-1

2014-12-07 15.00.33     2014-12-07 15.00.13

2014-12-07 14.59.14     2014-12-07 14.57.30

2014-12-07 15.00.05     2014-12-07 14.56.14

Have a good week and be sure to visit the museum before January 3rd.

Pati Fried Signature