TQS caught up with teacher, author, and blogger, Cheryl Arkison right after her class at QuiltCon 2015. Cheryl is the author of Sunday Morning Quilts and A Month of Sundays and shares her quilting journey on her blog Dining Room Empire.  This charming and very busy Canadian shares some insightful information about what new quilters might explore on their creative journey.



TQS 2015 BOM My Country House by Lynette Anderson

"My crazy heart is filled with happiness as I dream of long lazy days. I lie on my back with the warm earth beneath me, the blue sky above, and the sounds and smells of the countryside surrounding me. My hexagon flowers represent the pretty scabious flowers—sometimes known as butterfly blue or pincushion flowers—that like to grow on sheepgrazed fields. English paper piecing is the perfect technique for making these simple flowers."

It's time to work on the March border of Hearts and Flowers.


After reviewing hundreds of great comments regarding Lynn's show, Taking the Fear out of Math for Quilters, here are the eight we selected to win a Country Charmer pattern by Lynn Wilder (Episode 1604).

 1. peaceful "Great show. Math is no longer a 4 letter word. The way to adapt a quilt to change the size of the blocks always baffled me."

 2.BrendaGallik "The whole show was a WOW for me. After seeing how you make the math so easy for us I just love the road map. When you check each pc. that is sewn you will get the block perfect."

3. efrank "I loved the idea about using the colors in the center square to determine the other colors in the block. This will make choosing fabrics a lot easier for me."

4. franthequilter "As a quilting teacher, I love learning new techniques to share with my students. Lynn has really perfected

the idea of manageable units to design your own block and piece it with ease. I would love to make this quilt!"

5. materialbear "This was such a wonderful video. I loved the intricate piecing broken down and made into simple units."

6. patsyruth33 "So many bits of information to ensure accuracy. And most of all I will use the mapping to get my color placement just perfect in my eyes. Thank you so much for the tips. I'm not afraid anymore."

7. quiltingmatilda "I love the fact that Lynn is not afraid to mix straight and curvy designs. She mixes without fear wonderful colors that all go together. Such great creativity!"

8. quiltitPASSION "Wow - I love the traditional patchwork and the more pieces the better but the precision part has continued to elude me - until now!"

Thanks to all who entered our contest.  The winners will receive their pattern copy very soon! 

Be sure to check out Lynn's book Patchwork Math Using Quilting Design Components in the TQS Shop.


This whimsical quilt, Zoo Holiday, was created by Nancy S. Brown and the Bulbs, a group of 11 appliquérs.  It was quilted by Laura Lee Fritz and completed in 2014.  If you are from the Bay Area, you'll really love this quilt.

Design basis: Original Design by Nancy S. Brown.
Artist statement: The San Francisco Zoo animals have decided to take a holiday and visit the many tourist attractions in San Francisco.

Zoo Holiday won Most Humorous Quilt at Road to California 2015.

Star Members can watch Nancy create her animal appliqué in Episode 701: Animal Magnetism.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow



Jagged by Alissa Carlton was improvisationally pieced from start to finish.  "First long strips and then some cutting and sewing.  Dense straight line quilting fills in the whole top, to add to the graphic bold feel of the design." Alissa's quilt was exhibited in the Small Quilts category at QuiltCon 2015.

Click here to visit Alissa's website.

This is one of Alissa's books.

JaggedbyAlissaCarlton - 36 pieces non-rotating

JaggedbyAlissaCarlton - 100 pieces non-rotating

JaggedbyAlissaCarlton - 289 pieces non-rotating

JaggedbyAlissaCarlton - 100 pieces rotating

JaggedbyAlissaCarlton - 289 pieces rotating


While here in Northern California we are enjoying an unusually early spring, other parts of our country are still experiencing unbelievably cold weather. What is better in cold weather than a bowl of delicious chili? I recently had this recipe, and it is my favorite chili ever. When I checked the stats on it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the calorie count was quite reasonable. Of course, that's the thing about chili--its all the fixin's that can make it a more "luxurious" entree calorie-wise. Start with an extra lean cut of beef. Sometimes you can find "extra lean stew beef" already cut into bite-sized pieces for you.  Enjoy a steaming bowl of chili, guilt free. Then get back to your quilting! (P.S. This recipe is still delicious in our California spring weather!)

Here's a link to the recipe.


Alex opens this stimulating show with tips for quilting on Dupioni silk. This gorgeous fabric requires additional TLC, but the results can be stunning! Contemporary Fiber Artist Barbara Shapel then joins the show, to share her quilting odyssey. She too uses silk, spending as much time on piecing as she does on threadwork. Barbara works with themes of motherhood, nature and words, and her work reflects all of these elements.  She will share how she approaches her work, and will offer tips to improve your quilting and threadwork. She demonstrates a dense, free-motion stitch she calls “Herky Jerky,” which blends thread colors. While she discusses keeping your quilt stable and keeping your shoulders healthy, Ricky will show how Barbara creates an invisible sleeve, which she uses on her numerous two-sided quilts. To round out the show, Barbara discusses how her family’s stamp collection is like a miniature art gallery!

Barbara's Episode 1605: Contemporary Stitching Artistry debuts on Monday, March 2, 2015.


Inspiration from traditional quilts was the catalyst for this category, Modern Traditionalism, at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin.  This is Part 1, stay tuned for Part 2.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


As promised, here is Part 2 of  Modern Traditionalism, from QuiltCon 2015 in Austin. 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Watch Bernina Videos





Site Sponsors: