Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Quilts!

I wish to thank everyone who commented on what you would like to see in a blog. I heard you loud and clear: pictures, techniques, and tips! With that in mind, I am sharing several things I have been working on and have completed in the last few weeks. November has been a wonderful month for quiltmaking -- and I have been working on being focused on completing things. I have way too many unfinished projects.

First of all, I am nearly finished with a quilt for a dear friend who has hosted a dinner for our book club for the past 5 years. In appreciation for her generosity, we are surprising her with a quilt that has 1) a favorite quote of each club member inked in the tiny outer border, 2) a list of each book we've read since our inception in 2004, and 3) quotes from The Thought Gang, which was the first book we read as a group -- it was painful to read but had some of the funniest quotes in it -- the story involves a professor and a one-armed crook who team up to rob banks. The recipient is not a quilter, but three of us teamed to make the quilt; here is the front of "The Thought Gang" quilt.

"The Thought Gang Quilt"67 by 67"

Here are several close-ups of the quilt - first the border. I am tickled at how it turned out - I quilted a piano key border (1" parallel lines), but inserted a feathered vine in each corner. It adds a softness, which I like, to an otherwise very geometrical quilt. Here is a closeup of the quilting in the interior of the quilt. Notice that in the 2" wide border, I did "ribbon candy" quilting. Sometimes it is hard to design something to fit into those narrow little borders, but this works well and is fairly easy to do. The double feathered wreaths in the "open" block areas also soften the look of this quilt. I love double feathered wreaths and do them quite often when I quilt open areas. Note that I ran the geometric echoing lines around those wreaths -- I've seen too many wreaths where the "triangles" at each corner are left unquilted and bubble up. I like filling that area with something.

And here is the back of this quilt. The quilting shows through very clearly. I pieced the back from leftover fabrics from the front. My friend Jerrianne E made the blocks for the front, and when she gave them to me for the quilt, she also gave me a lot of leftover fabrics. Interspersed inbetween all of the rectangles are some "open" rectangles, where I inked a list of all the books we have read -- along with some of the funniest quotes in the world from The Thought Gang book. This quilt will certainly carry memories for Dot, our glorious dinner hostess.

And here is a close-up of one of those rectangles on the back of the quilt. There are a lot of great things about being in a book club: seeing friends every month, having very interesting exchanges about the book we've read, and "upgrading" the level of reading that I would otherwise do. Without a push, I tend to read nothing but thriller detective novels.

Next: I am a strong believer in supporting community events and activities. And so when a friend called me and asked if I would mind "hemming up some sort of puzzle piece" that would then fly on the next NASA Space Shuttle mission, I jumped and said yes. You see, their son was diagnosed with autism, and they have struggled with appropriate therapies that give him the best chances for an improved quality of life. Autism is a mysterious disorder, and as with so many disorders, research funding is critical. Funding for the Autism Research Institute is being aided through "The Million Dollar Puzzle" initiative. By selling puzzle pieces, researchers can continue their work in solving the puzzle of autism. While I was only asked to "sew something that looks like a puzzle piece," I replicated the logo of the Autism Research Institute; after it flies on the Space Shuttle, it will be gifted to the institute.
Autism Research Institute logo(
Next are two quilts that I made for Ricky Tims' and Alex Anderson's The Quilt Show. They are the featured block-of-the-month quilts that are being offered online, at no cost other than "joining" The Quilt Show ( It's a bargain -- a $42.95 one-year membership brings you featured artist videos every 2 weeks, two block-of-the-month projects, free classes, an online quilt guild with blogs and forums, and lots of additional show-and-tell, articles, and information. And the very best part of all of this is... you can do it all in your jammies! So here are the quilts. The first one is an applique quilt called "Hugs and Kisses." I named it that because of the X's and O's that traditionally represent hugs and kisses.

"Hugs and Kisses"71 by 87"

Here is a close-up photo of the quilting on this quilt -- each of the "X" leaf sprays have a feathered wreath quilted behind them. The "O" shaped wreaths are quilted with diagonal cross-hatching. There is also a 4-inch sashing strip between all of the blocks; you can see it in the above photo. It is quilted with a meandering feathered vine. The ruffled swag border is quilted with feathers, while the background behind it is quilted with "bead-board" slats (Yes... I listened to all of you when you said you wanted more information on techniques, quilting, etcetera. Let me know if you want more (or less or different) information!).
The next Quilt Show block-of-the-month is called "Star Crazy" - because it is filled with stars. This quilt is a fairly simple one to make -- with the exception of only a few star-interiors, all of the blocks use either 1-1/2" or 2" (finished size) units. I wanted to give everyone a break from making my usual 1" (finished size) units. Or maybe I was just giving myself a break from the complaints (just kidding!). I have long believed that you don't improve if you don't push yourself to do more difficult things. I wear a bracelet that my friend Cynthia gave me that says "Always do the hardest thing." It's become my mantra - it keeps me focused on learning and growing.

"Star Crazy"84 by 84"

And here is a picture of the quilting in this quilt -- again, I used double feathered wreaths in the border, and inserted a feathered wreath "behind" each of the star blocks in the central part of the quilt. The area around the border of smaller stars is quilted with just fill-feathers, while the outer border has a meandering feathered vine.

I hope you're still with me - I still have more quilt photos to post. My latest quilt is a Coxcomb and Currants quilt. Below is a photo of my rendition of the traditional coxcomb and currants block. Many of the older versions of the block are a bit too "chunky" for my likes. My version strikes me as being almost being "lacy."

And here is the quilt; it still needs to be quilted. My friend Margo has suggested that I "echo" the coxcomb design in the open areas through quilting. I'm not sure that I am skilled enough to tackle that, but wouldn't it be wonderful? I'll give it some thought. I am using this quilt to teach applique at a retreat in Utah in January 2010. Yes, I do quite a few lectures and workshops across the country. If I ever get my act together, I'll rebuild my website (which currently just points to this blog) and list all of the workshops that I teach, along with dates and sites. Teaching is FUN for me! But I digress... here's the quilt:

Phew -- I'm worn out! I hope you all still have plenty of energy to quilt some more today and all of your tomorrows. Until we meet again...

Happy sewing -

(c)2009 Susan H. Garman
All Rights Reserved
"Coxcomb and Currants"56 by 56"
Last, but certainly not least, is a Princess Feather block from an antique quilt I saw last month. This really is a chunky version of the block -- but that's what makes it so delightful! I have had a red and green Princess Feather quilt in process for over two years -- it has all the ins and outs in each feathery plume - which means that it has a lot of perimeter that needs to be appliqued. I have only about an eighth of a final feather to be appliqued, so there is a chance that you will be seeing my own version of a Princess Feather quilt in the near future (I can only hope!). In the meantime, I plan on drafting this chunky princess feather design into a new pattern - I just love how chunky it is -- and that it is done in an unusual color; I've never seen a navy princess feather!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Quilts and New Blocks!

Keep on reading.... I'll tell you about this block in a minute. First of all, though...

I love seeing what other people have done with my patterns - I marvel at their creativity and often wonder, "why didn't I think of that?!" Several years ago, I designed a "monster" quilt -- it has nine not-too-scary monsters on the face of it, and a poem is hand-stitched in the border. The poem says that monsters love to eat fabric... and unless you want to be their dinner... keep buying more fabric! It's a fun, whimsical quilt; here it is:

The Monster Quilt
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Close-up of block from The Monster Quilt

And now back to the first picture of today's blog. I was invited to design an original block for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers -- a collector's edition magazine hitting store shelves now. While I am the least among the 100, I am still tickled to have been asked to create a block. Ta-dum! Here is "Star Checks."

You can check out Quiltmaker and follow the 100 Blocks Blog Tour daily, November 9-13 at for inspiration, ideas, and giveaways galore! Look for 100 Blocks from Today's Top Designers in your local quilt shop, or purchase it at Each day, a different set of quiltmakers in 100 Blocks will be featured. Check out Quiltmaker's website and blog -- you can find some awesome things there!

Now here is a SPECIAL BONUS. I welcome feedback; it helps me understand what you do and don't like. So... feel free to comment on my blog by November 11 -- share what you'd like to see more of, anything you'd like me to address, etcetera. ONE person will be chosen, via lottery, from those who comment -- and that person will receive a free copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. Please don't post your address -- I will email the winner and ask for it later this week.

Until then...
Happy sewing!
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman
UPDATE: Billie K. won the copy of "Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks." Congratulations, Billie! And thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful inputs. I appreciate your time!

I recently received an email from Carolanne B, who shared her experience in making The Monster Quilt. Each month, as a volunteer story-teller in the local elementary school, she took a block with her and showed it to the students. After the first couple of months, she began taking only partially appliqued blocks with her to story-telling time, and she asked the students to choose the fabric for various elements. In the following month, the students got to see the results of their choices. For Carolanne, it was a lot of fun -- who else would have chosen orange lips with a lime green mouth on a purple monster? The additional note of amazement for me was that Carolanne did all of this while fighting breast cancer. Women are amazing: we can be incredibly strong, resilient, generous... you name it! Below is her quilt -- it won a ribbon in the Larimer County Fair in July of this year -- and there is also a close-up of two of the blocks that the students of Putnam Elementary School helped her choose fabric for.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Old Quilts

At the recent big International Quilting Association quilt show in Houston, I saw many antique quilts. I even bought one; it has crossed sprays of red and green laurel leaves and was made in Annapolis, Maryland, in the last quarter of the 1800s. Old quilts are often the inspiration of my "new" quilts. Right now, I'm working on several reproduction quilts -- but rather than post pictures of half-finished quilts, I decided to begin by posting pictures of what has inspired me lately. You'll eventually see these quilts, "made new again" by me. The first one is a quilt in the Sturbridge Village collection. I have always loved the main block in this quilt -- it is complex and elegant at the same time.

While the Sturbridge Village quilt inspires me... so does a similar one from the Winedale Collection housed at the University of Texas in Austin. This particular quilt uses nearly the same design - who knows which one came first? This quilt has a beautiful quilted feathered vine in the border, rather than appliqued sprays of flowers and berries. And notice: the bouquets do not include any small birds roosting on the flowers. Aren't all these old quilts just grand?In the same collection of quilts, there is a magnificent quilt that includes several different blocks in it -- one of them is a coxcomb and currants block. I love this block and am currently designing a quilt that uses a set of them; I am making the quilt for a workshop that I will be teaching in Utah in January, 2010. Look at how closely these quilts are all quilted -- today's quilters do not always have the patience (or time) to apply themselves so diligently to their work.

Last, but not least, I am reviving several old UFOs. I have way, way too many. This one has been sitting in a trunk in my sewing room for over ten years. I have not finished it - aside from the fact that I lost interest in it, I could not decide if I wanted to stop at nine blocks or make twelve. And then I could not decide what sort of border it needed. I have now solved the second question of a border... so now it's just a matter of squeezing it into the queue.

I am still under a limitation on several quilts that have not been "published" by others yet, so I can't show them. Hopefully that limitation will be lifted and you'll see more of what I've been working on lately. In the meantime, I'm still sewing like crazy and criss-crossing the highways and airways doing lectures and workshops.

Happy sewing, everyone!
Sue Garman
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Shhhh! It's a Secret!

It seems as though there are never enough hours in the day. This past month I spent an incredible amount of time working on quilts and quilt blocks and I have almost nothing to show for those hours. That does not mean that I failed to make progress. It just means that I cannot SHOW you what I've been working on... yet! Okay, okay - so I'm terrible at keeping these kinds of secrets. Tonight, I tip-toed into my sewing room (shhhhh!!!) and took the picture (below) of a quilt I'm in the process of quilting. There are more photos to come in a couple of weeks, but this is a sneak-peak of one of two quilts that will debut at the big quilt International Quilting Association (IQA) show in Houston this month. Please don't tell anybody, okay?!!! It's supposed to be a surprise!

Sneak-peak picture of "Hugs and Kisses"

Stay tuned - I'll post more photos soon.
Happy sewing, everyone!

Sue Garman
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Monday, August 31, 2009

On the Road Again

Hi there - it's me again... back with more quilts to show!

"Heart and Lyre" block

I'm still "on the road" to Baltimore. Here is the finished heart and lyre block -- and the fourth block of my new Baltimore pattern, the glorious eagle. While I have always loved Baltimore quilts, I have not been a huge fan of bulky beaked, thick-tongued eagles, which are often found in old Baltimore album quilts and the replica patterns. Part of what drove me to design my own patterns - albeit, my designs are inspired by the old Baltimore quilts - was creating reproduction blocks that are more "my" style. Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love the old quilts - but I like to move the designs beyond the mid-1800s.

The Eagle block

Last month I said I was too busy to photo and post everything I have been working on. But here are two of the quilts that I did earlier this year. The first one, "Autumn Dreams," was made when Quiltmaker magazine invited me to design a Fall-oriented pattern for their August issue. I love Quiltmaker -- their quilts are never the overdone slash-and-slap-together quilts. I finished the quilt for Quiltmaker earlier this year - but could not post pictures of it until after the magazine issue was published. Now that the magazine is out on the stands... here is my quilt!

"Autumn Dreams"

The next quilt is "Dream." A story goes with this quilt. Carol Schillios is an energetic woman who develops projects aimed at improving the quality of life for women and their families around the world. Her self-help programs take incredibly destitute women and teach them life skills that build self-esteem and independence. For example, the Here Je Cooperative Center in Mali, West Africa, teaches women to earn a living by working with textiles and making jewelry. These programs are life-saving in scope.

Alex Anderson, Carol Schillios, Sue Garman, and Ricky Tims

So what does that have to do with my wall hanging? I was invited by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims of The Quilt Show to be part of a challenge group; we were all given two fat quarters of the Fabric for Life textiles designed by the young women of Mali. The challenge was to make a wall-hanging with a perimeter no larger than 100 inches and a theme of "helping hands." Here was my challenge quilt:

Dream: Side A
(24" square)

My wall hanging started with a compass: you can't help someone if you don't know where you're headed. And the center of the compass has a heart: you can't succeed if you aren't led by your own heart, your own passion. "Helping hands" that address systemic problems such as hunger and poverty involves crossing many boundaries: geographic, political, educational, etc. And so my quilt has many borders in it. I believe that helping requires me to reach as far as I can, so my outer border is a border of stars: I believe in reaching for them. And finally, it is too easy to throw simple solutions at complex problems and think that will solve them: send money, feed people, provide education, send soldiers... but complex problems have a thousand dimensions. And so my little 24" square quilt has over a thousand pieces in it. Okay - so you thought that was all I had to say about this quilt? Actually... no! The front of the quilt addresses the complexity of helping others. But it fails to capture the imagination, the dreams, the creativity that the girls in Mali need.

The Here Je bead doll

When I received my challenge fabric, it was accompanied by a tiny little bead doll that one of the Mali girls had made; it represented the "spirit" of success that the girls felt. You have to understand: these young women are so poor that they do not sense that they can even dream. And so the back of my quilt is a totally separate quilt -- which captures the doll in pictoral fashion and represents the girls dancing on their dreams.

Dream - Side B

The front and the back of the quilt were separately made and separately hand-quilted; the front is outline quilted, while the back is quilted, appropriately, with the "dinner plate" pattern. The two quilts were invisibly tacked and bound as a single quilt. Nifty, eh?! If you want to see more about these challenge quilts, you will have to join Alex and Ricky's "The Quilt Show" ( The Quilt Show is an online web community with thousands of members. It is literally an online quilt guild - and it's a bargain. Joining gets you a lot of topnotch quilters demonstrating their techniques and processes, regular information on what's new in the quilting world, a world of quilting tips, online quilt shows, a helpful forum, a gallery of thousands of quilts, and plenty of inspiration from Alex and Ricky. You can't beat it!

Last but not least, below is a quilt that I just loved when I saw it. I bought the quilt top on eBay for a song - and then quilted it and donated it to my guild's annual auction. For me, giving brings a thousand-fold return - and although keeping the guild finances healthy is one of my missions, it's totally selfish: I want to be inspired by great speakers each month! Take a look at the quilt: don't you just love the sashing in it? Who, today, would take the time to make 1-inch double half-square triangle sashings on a 100" square quilt?! Gotta love it!

I need to answer a few questions that have come to me via comments on this blog. Here are some short answers:

  • How do I hand applique on Kona? I needle turn all of my applique - practice, practice, practice makes all the difference when it comes to applique.
  • Do I prewash fabrics or use fabric softener? I ALWAYS prewash - to remove excess dyes and processing chemicals, and to preshrink my fabrics. I NEVER use fabric softener, starch, fabric finish, washout markers, or disappearing ink markers on my fabric; they can be quick recipes for disaster if not handled right - so I choose to avoid the issue.
  • Did I jump into applique or start by practicing something? I learned to applique back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. But seriously... when I decided to really "learn" applique, I started by making 23 of 25 Baltimore Album Quilt blocks from Elly Sienkiewicz's "Baltimore Beauties and Beyond" book (1989). The book is out of print but it can be found on Amazon for $40-50, and is well worth the money -- it contains a set of lessons that taught me, step-by-step, the ins and outs of applique. What ever happened to those 23 blocks? They were for learning - and so when I was done with them, I put them in my guild's annual auction and I no longer own them.
  • Do I prep my applique? I assume that means: do I pre-turn the seam allowances under on the individual pieces (using glue, freezer paper, starch, stitching, back-stitching, or whatever...). And the answer is... I don't have time to do double duty. I am a hard core needle-turn fan; I can dive right into any project and start appliqueing pieces down in short order if I don't have to do all the mish-mash of gluing, pressing, turning, etc. involved in pre-basting applique. Once you learn to do needle turn, it's hard to leave it! Having said that... not everyone finds needle turn to be easy. Ah... but I never said it was all easy... it's just more efficient once the technique is mastered!
Okay - it's time for me to get back to sewing. Time is flying and my Baltimore border awaits!

Sue Garman
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman
All rights reserved

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Going to Baltimore... Continued

I am trying to faithfully post at least once a month - usually by the first of the month. I'm a little late in August because I've been so BUSY! I have not even had time to take pictures of the things I've been working on -- but here are a couple to look at. First, I designed another block for my Baltimore quilt: a lyre with a rose intertwined in it, surrounded by a heart-shaped wreath. I still have a little left to do on this block -- the centers of a couple flowers are missing, and there is a bit of embroidery that remains to be done.

Heart and Lyre Block

I have also made a Flag and Eagle block; I'll post a picture of that block as soon as I take one. As I make this Baltimore quilt, I am designing a set of killer borders reminiscent of my Ladies of the Sea quilt's borders. These Baltimore borders will be ten inches wide and 85 inches long. Each border will have a center vase with flowers issuing forth, as well as corner vases with vines and flowers. I have half of the first border basted; below is a drawing of the finished product. Yes, I think I'm nuts when it comes to quilting, but sometimes a quilt just whispers in my ear that it wants to be special. This one has been screaming at me.

A quilt I made earlier this year, Autumn Dreams, was just published in the latest issue of Quiltmaker magazine. I will post a photo of it, too - as soon as I find a hole in my schedule so that I can take pictures. Until then...

Happy quilting!

(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm on the Way to Baltimore!!!

Actually, I'm not really going to Baltimore, although I would certainly love to go back. The last time I was there, I was privileged to view several old Baltimore Album quilts. I particularly love those that are almost obsessively filled with flowers, cornucopias, eagles, baskets, epergnes, and so on. I am designing my own "Beyond Baltimore" quilt, filled with flowers and a border reminiscent of that found in my Ladies of the Sea quilt. For now... here's a sneak peek at two of the blocks in the quilt. I will be teaching a workshop with these blocks at Elly Sienkiewicz's Applique Academy in Williamsburg next February (

This block showcases an ornate floral basket block like those found in many of the Baltimore Album quilts made in the 1840s and 1850s; the choice of flowers in that era was symbolic -- to the extent that the Baltimore ladies read dictionaries of flowers to ensure that their bouquets communicated the appropriate message. My, how times have changed!

And every Baltimore Album quilt needs to have a Baltimore Clipper ship on it, right?! Baltimore was a thriving seaport during the era of album quilts - which allowed for the newest textiles to be delivered to the women who needed them for their quilts. More blocks and more history are to come... along with more quilts.

Until then, happy sewing!

Sue Garman
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Been a While...

Most of the projects that I have been working on lately have been made under the condition that they not be shown anywhere until after they are published. So... Look for a challenge quilt in late summer. Look for an autumn wall hanging in Quiltmaker in the Fall. Look for two new quilts on The Quilt Show in the Fall. I will post pictures of each of them when the restrictions are removed! In the meantime, I have been working steadily on a new quilt. It will be an old-style Baltimore Album quilt, full of elegant floral arrangements. I cannot begin to express how excited I am about this quilt! The design work is more difficult than I imagined: there are a lot of challenges involved in balancing flowers amidst harps, clipper ships, baskets, vases, epergnes, fruit, while keeping the colors, symbolism, fabrics, and sizes in harmony. I will post photos of the first two blocks soon -- and then stay tuned for another border like that on Ladies of the Sea: it will be an eye-catcher in terms of fullness, color, and density of applique!

In the meantime, someone asked me about quilting - and how to decide what type of quilt design to use on a quilt top. I don't have all the answers, but here are some photos and some thoughts about quilt designs.

Echo quilting -- following the border of each appliqued unit -- is an easy way to "fill" a block. I like it when I want the applique to stand out but don't want to have a lot of "starts and stops" in the quilting line.

The quilt design with the most stops and starts in it is cross-hatching. Cross hatching can be very attractive in a quilt where you want a "formal" look. The photo to the right has cross-hatching behind all of the flowers. Half of the blocks incorporate horizontal/vertical cross-hatching, while the other half of the blocks use diagonal cross-hatching in the blocks. This adds dimension to the quilt without making it look busy.

What about those instances where you want some quilting "filler" in your quilt but are tired of the tried and true (or, as some might say, the "tired and true") stippling? I
like using geometric shapes -- chevrons in triangles -- or feathered wreaths or vines across geometric blocks or borders. In this photo, both of these techniques are used: there are geometric chevrons across the setting triangles; these emphasize the geometric shape over the floral fabric on this quilt, while the feathered wreath across the star block softens the geometric shape of the block.

Another great quilting design is the classic "baptist fan" or "dinner plate" pattern. It is a wonderful overall edge-to-edge pattern, and I believe it looks best on multi-pieced traditional block or sampler block quilts. The dinner plate motifs can be cropped such that they can sit inside of borders, if one wants to use a different quilting design within a border.
My favorite quilting design involves the use of feathers. They can be in a shape such as a feathered wreath or a feathered vine -- or they can randomly flow across a quilt top or an open portion of a quilt top. The first photo shows feathers used as fill around a "French Braid Quilt" strip. Feathers are flexible -- they can be adjusted to fill almost any size or shape.

This picture shows a feathered vine with a double spine that sits within a 4" sashing strip -- I love making wide sashing strips if only so that I can insert quilting in the sashing.

This picture shows feathered wreaths sitting in the alternate "empty" or "open" blocks of a basket quilt. What I like about the quilting in this quilt is that the feathers are repeated in "half-wreaths" within the baskets. The baskets are each quilted with a few geometric lines, and the half-wreath sits under the basket handle. Repeating a motif (the feathered wreath in the open blocks) is always a good option to consider when quilting a top; motifs can be repeated in borders, blocks, or parts of blocks.

Because I love feathers, taking a "plain" quilt top and covering it with random feathers, for me, is absolutely a heavenly way to spend an afternoon or two. Lately, I have been filling such quilt tops, which are given to me to quilt for my guild's community service quilt projects, with feathers, strings of pearls, and puddles of pearls. These motifs, when combined with spirals, can turn a simple quilt top into an elegant quilt. Take a look - and think about how your quilting choices can change the look of your quilts.

Until we meet again (Baltimore blocks in hand, on my part!), happy sewing --
Sue Garman
(c)2009 Susan H. Garman

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Feathered Stars, Hearts, and Quilting

Finally, I found my camera. It was hiding on top of the freezer; I can't imagine how it climbed up there all by itself! I have been a quilting fool for the past two months. I've finished several quilts; here are photos of the two latest ones.

My Green Feathered Star
I am going to teach this Feathered Star quilt at the Colorado Quilt Council in a couple of weeks; I love lecturing and teaching, and this will be a fun workshop.

Hearts in Bloom
This quilt is a new Saturday Sampler/block-of-the-month quilt that I designed for Quakertown Quilts. To me, it is one of the "happiest" quilts I've done in a while; it just sings of joy to me. Is that what hearts do to a quilt? or is it just the rich reds and greens?

Take a look at the quilting on Hearts in Bloom. When I designed this quilt, I intentionally put in large sashing strips and left a lot of "open" areas on the quilt for machine quilting. Sometimes we forget to "plan" for the quilting designs when we make quilts. My advice: consider the quilting, just as you consider color, contrast, etc. - quilting is like adding a fine Easter hat to an outfit; it really dresses it up (not that I ever wear Easter hats, of course!).

Below is another example of how "quilting makes the quilt." My Green Feathered Star quilt benefitted from an ample addition of feathers - surrounded by calming "piano key" quilting in the outer border.
Until next time... happy quilting!

(c)2009 Susan H. Garman