It's summer, and time to make a fun and fresh quilt while the days are long and sunny.  Blooms For Julie is a quilt we know you are going to love making AND having around for years to come.  As you know, TQS loves to share beautiful quilts with you, but we also want to increase your skills.  This quilt fills both bills, and then some! 


In this month's lesson, Jan Magee's version of Whirling Squares will teach you how to tackle those pesky partial seams.  So, get your things together and let's start sewing!



TQS visits with Daniela Stout as she talks about her three new lines of batik fabrics (lucky woman!).  Star Members can watch Daniela in Show 1110: Come to the Strip Club ... Rated G!

Click here to order Sunburst pattern.



Okan Arts visited with artist and designer Julie Paschkis in her home in Washington. Julie has a fascinating background, which includes the studying of folk arts and crafts in Norway and a BFA from the School for American Craftsmen at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology).  

Julie is a designer for In The Beginning Fabrics and she also produces greeting cards for Trader Joe's.

Click here to read the full article.

Click here to visit Julie's website.



It's almost the 4th of July.  Are you feeling patriotic?  Learn all about how you can honor a service man or woman by making Jen's Standing Strong Quilt. This quilt meets the standards for the Quilts of Valor Foundation and is created by easily piecing together 2.5" strips of fabric!  



Alex has put it all together in one place. From first step to last stitch, Alex's new book, All Things Quilting, covers everything for today's quilter. Expand your quilting experience and fatten your tool belt with Alex's newest baby.

Alex is pretty excited - watch what she has to say.  Click here learn more and to get your autographed copy.


Looking for something to do this summer? Don't miss this great opportunity to spend a weekend learning how to pass on your quilting legacy with the creative folks of Quilt AllianceThree winners will be chosen at random, and each will receive a pair of tickets* to attend the Quilt Alliance’s educational and inspirational conference, Not Fade Away: Sharing  Stories in the Digital Age, to be held on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia.
*Tickets do not include the Saturday night Fundraising Dinner.

Deadline to enter: Sunday, July 5 at 12:00 Midnight EDT. Winners will be drawn on Monday, July 6, and will be announced on the Quilt Alliance Facebook page by 5:00 pm EDT that day.

This fun and inspirational conference will include these activities and much, much more:

Hear 2015 Keynote Speaker: Marin Hanson –“One Hundred Good Wishes Quilts: Commemorating and Documenting Adoptions from China”
• Learn how to self-publish a book about your own quilts
• Listen to curators and historians discuss how family trees can provide clues to quilt history
• Make creative quilt labels with quilt artists Leslie Tucker Jenison & Michele Muska
• Meet the people doing cutting-edge oral history projects on today’s quilters
• Hear about the history and future of the Quilt Barn Trails project

To find out more about the event click here. 


Does your holiday look need a bit of fun and color?  Jen shows you how to make a fast and easy necklace using marbles and fabric.  This is a great idea for getting the kids involved in the celebration and in the fabric. 


(Hand woven linen with hand embroidery.  Student work at the Education Center, Sile, Turkey)

Not long ago, in a village in Anatolia, a young man seeks the hand of a young woman he would like to marry.  His answer comes in the form of a small handkerchief. 

Needlework skills were and still are highly regarded in Turkey.  Many years ago, when a girl was born, her mother would begin working on household items for the trousseau.  This work involved many thousands of hours of decorative needlework for household items such as tablecloths, bed linens, gowns, etc.  A mother took great pride in preparing these items.  As the girl grew older, she would add to this work with her own handmade items, taught to her by her mother.  As with any artform the value of the work increased if all of the elements (thread, color, composition, design) were in harmony, incuding the way the edge of a piece was finished. A trousseau was an important part of a rich tradition which allowed a young woman to express her creativity and individuality.  Not only did the handmade items prepare a bride for her new home, the skills required for this work often could become a way for the woman to earn money for her family, as well as passing down family traditions.  Needlework was seen as a confidence builder for the woman. 

When a marriage was planned, there would be a trousseau exhibition, wherein the entire collection of work would be laid out for visitors to admire.  Before the showing, the women would gather together to wash and iron all of the items.  A trousseau exhibition was a great opportunity for other young girls to copy designs that they admired for their own trousseau.

Traditional Anatolian society meant that a woman could not openly express her feelings or desires, so her embroidery became a way to impart messages.  Embroidery motifs, while being beautiful, also served as a secret language all their own, and if you knew the language, you could understand what was being said.

So, back to the handkerchief.  If a young woman was not interested in a young man, or if she wanted to break off a relationship with a sweetheart, she would send a plain handkerchief.  But if the handkerchief was sent with all four corners embroidered, it meant that she was his.  The Sile Education Center in Turkey is helping to foster these rich craft traditions by offering classes in a wide range of subjects.  We would like to especially thank the Director of the Sile Education Center, Mr. Ali Riza Sengul, and his freindly staff for so generously opening their doors to us.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Do you have any traditions in your family or culture that involve a handkerchief, or other such textile?  We would love for you to share your tradition with us in the comment section.


Julie shows you a quick method for making half-square triangles.

Click here to learn more from Julie in her TQS classroom.


It's hard to capture in an online picture the real life look of a quilt. When I (Capt'n John) saw the sun streaming in the extra bedroom I grabbed the camera. I think that this picture captures the shadings of the white and grey and the vibrancy of the colors in the "blooms" better. (It is a queen-size bed. Yes, learning to "stage" is on my to-do list.)

Be sure to join us as we start this fun summer project. It's a classic quilt with a strong modern feel. (This quilt will look great entered into your guild's next quilt show.)


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