These ferris wheels might not be what you'd find at the amusement park, but their bright and cheerful colors will bring you joy.

Learn more about Amy McClellan and her work in Show 2004: Into the Woods We Go - Embroidery with Whimsy in Stitches.

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 36 Pieces Non-Rotating

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 100 Pieces Non-Rotating

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 289 Pieces Non-Rotating

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 36 Pieces Rotating

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 100 Pieces Rotating

FerrisWheelbyAmyMcClellan - 289 Pieces Rotating

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis


These ferris wheels might not be what you'd find at the amusement park, but their bright and cheerful colors will bring you joy.

Learn more about Amy McClellan and her work in Show 2004: Into the Woods We Go - Embroidery with Whimsy in Stitches.

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis

Alex talks to Karlee Porter about two surprises. One is Karlee's Shimmering Symphony Master Class (which she is discounting for TQS Members), but what's her other big surprise?
Link to register for the class:

or go to:

www.KarleePorter.com - then to the shop / education

Coupon code for TQS Members: tqs25off
Karlee's Tools:
Apple iPad Pro 12.9"
Apple Pencil
Procreate for iPad ($5.99 in App Store)


The Japanese word Sashiko means "little stabs" and the stitching was originally used to reinforce clothing. In contrast to the beautiful Japanese silks, Sashiko is considered a folk textile because it was created and used by the peasant class.  

Traditionally it is done with white Egyptian cotton on indigo fabrics. But, as with all things involving stitchers, it has evolved and you can now find Sashiko embroidery using a variety of thread colors and it is mostly for purely decorative purposes. If you are not a purist, you could use Pearl cotton or embroidery thread, but I love the feel and look of the Egyptian cotton.  

There are hundreds of Sashiko designs inspired by nature, and as with modern quilting, the negative space is an important aspect of the overall design. The symmetry of the designs are very soothing and stitching can be very relaxing. Using a Sashiko needle (about 2 inches long) you make a series of equally spaced stabs until you fill the needle, then pull it all the way through without tugging or causing puckers.

I find Sashiko very relaxing and a wonderful addition to my stitching life. My area does not have shops which carry products for Sashiko which means I internet shop. My two favorite places are http://sylvia-pippen.com/ and https://shiboridragon.com/ They both carry fabric, thread, needles and kits! There are also many instructional books available which will help you learn the Sashiko stitching technique. I encourage you to try this stitching art form which will add a bit of peace to your life :)

Elizabeth at Simple Simon & Company is sharing her 10 Tips for Photographing Quilts (and sewing projects). She accumulated them over a period of about four years and found that they have worked well to get the job done.
(photo: Simple Simon & Company)

Have you ever wanted to create a landscape without the fuss of complicated pattern pieces? Laura Fogg's method of fast, free-form collage will open your eyes to the possibilities of creating stunning impressionistic designs.
Ann Horton shares her technique for creating a stunningly realistic three-dimensional butterfly using machine embroidery. Ann's free-form embroidery adds another layer of texture when it comes to making her award-winning quilts.
Watch the video to get a glimpse of what went on behind the scenes of Show 2005.

Star Members can watch Show 2005: Free-Form Collage and Embroidery, when it debuts February 26, 2017.



Let these famous quilters show you the way to make your next quilt amaze everyone.


It is easier than you think if you follow their lead.




Eleanor Burns (Show 305 and Show 913) and Quilt in a Day could not figure out what kind of basket to put together for the Celebration. So, you get to choose from their entire catalog. Five lucky winners will get a $100 quilting spree at Quilt in a Day. You choose your own gift basket. With their selection and prices you will get an wonderful prize. Now we are sure you will get what you really want!

Just added: Eleanor will sign 5 of her latest book "GO! Qube" to go along with the gift cards. 



This looks like it might be Tumbling Blocks.  What do you think?


Texture Poster

Texture in art engages our sense of touch and sight. It captures the way something should feel when you reach out to touch it. As quilters we are naturally apt to want to reach out and touch a beautiful fabric or quilt. This week we begin studying how you as a quilter can draw viewers in with the use of texture.

Have you ever walked through a fabric store and not actually touched any of the fabrics you are attracted to? Try it sometime, it is harder than you think. Lucy Lamp from Sophia explains texture this way:

"You wake up in the morning, toss back the crisp cotton sheets. Your bare feet move across the polished wood floor. You get into the shower and feel the warm water spalsh against your skin, the soap slide over your arms. You wrap yourself in a soft terry towel. Your clothes provide you with a whole array of textures: silky, starched, velvety, coarse, elastic. Breakfast provides even more: fluffy scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, melted butter dripping off crunchy toast.

You look out the window, and even though you can't touch it, you can see the layers of texture in the leaves of the old oak tree and its gnarly bark, the multicolored aging brick on the building across the street, the gleaming polished surface of a car.

Imagine the world without texture.

Touch is one of our senses. Our hands and skin are equipped with sensitive nerves that distinguish texture. In addition to giving us information about the world around us, our sense of touch gives us pleasure. We find sensual joy in the tactile experience of different surfaces.  It is an essential aspect of visual art for the same reason."

Consider the Sparrows-Matthew 10:29-31 by Randi Swindler

Let's use Consider the Sparrows-Matthew 10:29-31 by Randi Swindler, to find her use of texture to tell a story, while holding the viewers attention.

Consider the Sparrows-Matthew 10:29-31 by Randi Swindler detail

The window frame and ledge are made of wood. Your eyes confirm that it is wood because the stitch lines mimick grain lines we recognize to be found in wood. Notice how the spaces between the lines allow the fabric to puff up slightly making the wood appear to be a bit rough. This is not a smooth window ledge. Maybe this window is on a cabin in the woods?




Consider the Sparrows-Matthew 10:29-31 by Randi Swindler detail


Speaking of window, did you notice that, with the addition of a few smears of paint on a sheer fabric, your eyes tell you that the surfaces are two smooth panes of glass.





Last but not least, each of the birds wears a coat of soft feathers, created using a combination of paint and thread sketching.
The thread sketching gives the suggestion of individual feathers without actually outlining each and every one individually. The birds feel soft and real.
Consider the Sparrows-Matthew 10:29-31 by Randi Swindler detail 

Award winning quilt artist Susan Cleveland (shows 109 & 1001) shares her apporach to texture when it comes to capturing a viewers interest in a quilt.

Flowers & Feathered Frenzy by Susan Cleveland

Susan K Cleveland 

I might approach design a bit differently than others since my degree is not in art or design. I started with very little confidence and very little talent, but a great deal of passion. In grade school and high school, my grades in art classes were based on my enthusiasm and effort and I was fortunate that my little art ego wasn't squashed! My design knowledge has developed as my confidence in quilting has grown.

Oh, I love a variety of textures in quilting! Quilts loaded with texture cause me to pause and take a long look. It seems there are three ways I like to vary textures in my quilts: with fabric, with quilting, and with embellishments.

While commercial solid fabrics look smooth, my favorite hand-dyed solid fabrics have depth. Solid fabrics will show off fine workmanship and allow quilting lines to be more important. Commercial prints are available in any texture you like and can be a simple way to add variety to your quilts. Busy prints hide quilting lines so keep that in mind.

One texture I do not appreciate in quilts is raised seam lines. Yikes! When seams are not ditch quilted, they will seem to float and often don't stay straight as they should. I'm a big promoter of ditch quilting! Quilting in background areas can completely change the look of a quilt.

Flowered & Feathered Frenzy by Susan Cleveland-detail

Background quilting can create a rich, elegant texture or something wild and crazy. While machine quilting creates a flat line and contours between the lines, hand quilting creates texture within its broken line.










Ah, embellishments! Today there is tremendous variety in threads, ribbons, beads, buttons, and baubles of all sorts. I like mixing smooth, shiny threads with more loosely twisted matte threads for contrast in texture. Felted wool balls are among my favorite embellishments. They can be cut and stitched upon or they can simply dangle from a prairie point.

Psychedelic Big Bang by Susan Cleveland  

Of course, for every rule or guideline that exists in design, there are many fantastic examples that break all the rules, so … go figure. Design something and if it pleases you, it's a big success!


Practice Exercise: Finding Texture Around You

(From Sophia)

Go for a walk around your neigborhood, a local park, or a place of interest to you. Be sure to take a camera or cell phone with you. See how many forms of texture you can find. Don't hurry, take your time and look closely around. Remember, you are training yourself to be more observant. Take your photos and upload them to a file or print on a page for your notebook.  These images can later be used for inspiration. Below are examples of texture to get you started.

(All images by Lilo Bowman)

Click here for more topics related to the Design to Quilt program.


Alex spoke with Connie Potter. Connie was responsible for quilting the TQS BOM 2016, "Rajah Revisited" quilt. They discussed how she decided to quilt it knowing there was not much quilting "real estate." They also talked about the fundamentals of longarm quilting when working with a client.

Have you seen the latest, greatest EverSewn Sparrow20 for $279.99?

Check out all the EverSewn Sewing Machine Models here!



Take your EverSewn Sewing Machine to class with you, as these are only 16lbs!


Show #1912 - Rosa Rojas 

Apliquick Rods



Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors



 Apliquick Egonomic Tweezers 

Watch Bernina Videos