These look like tree leaves. What do you think this block might be called? Play the game and find out.



In honor of Great American Eclipse Day, Monday, August 21, we want to show you inspiration from the stars....the actual stars.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow



This week in our Design to Quilt Program, we begin our transition from Elements of Design to Principles of Design. Principles of Design include balance, contrast, movement, rhythm, emphasis, pattern/repetition as well as unity/variety.

Let's use the example of you have a special celebration coming up and would like to make a special dessert for the event. The cake you have selected is an Italian Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Berries and Marscapone. The Elements are the ingredients that you will need (i.e. flour, olive oil, eggs, marscapone, lemon curd) to make this decadent delight. This cake is quite involved as it requires that you do a number of additional steps before the cake is actually assembled (i.e. making blueberry sauce, the lemon curd and marscapone filling).

The Principles are the instructions that you will follow so that the resulting spectacular cake has depth, interesting flavor combinations which is something your guests will find attractive, tasty and very memorable. These same principle holds true for your quilt work. You as the designer should be striving to create a piece that holds the viewers interest by incorporating all, if not most, of the elements.







Let's begin with Balance, which is a visual arrangement of elements (color, texture, space, etc.) to create a sense of stability and calm. As in the example above balance can be horizontal, vertical, symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. Let's look at some examples when it comes to quilts:


This formal arrangement creates a sense of calm and stability


This arrangement creates a sense of strength power, dignity, grandeur, authority.


This arrangement expresses a sense of calm, relaxed, balanced, stability and constancy.


Designs radiate out from the center. All of the elements lead your eye towards the center. The quilt on the right is a combination of radial and symmetrical.



This informal arrangement involves the use of several smaller elements to balance out the one larger. While it may appear easy, it requires the artist pay close attention so that some elements don't look as though they are falling off the page. In Coleus 2 the small squares along the side and bottom balance out the large Coleus leaf. In Ojo de Dios quilt (on the right) notice how she included two sizes of quilted blocks to balance out the three actual pieced blocks. 

Award winning quilt artist Susan Cleveland Shows (109 & 1001) shares her approach to balance when it comes to capturing a viewers interest in a quilt.


by Susan K Cleveland | www.PiecesBeWithYou.com

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 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.

I like certain elements of my quilts to be noticed from a distance and other elements to be discovered from up close. As I design, I start with major elements (stars or flowers) and place them so that they are distributed somewhat evenly. I don't want one part of the quilt to be visually heavier than another. If a quilt has rows of blocks, I distribute color so the zinger(s) are sprinkled throughout the quilt … but not too evenly spaced. Elements do not need to be perfectly spaced or symmetrical to have balance. It’s all about appealing to the eye. Placing attention-getting pieces diagonally from one another adds movement to a design and causes the eye to travel. After major elements are in place, I scatter details that will only be noticed from up close.

I think it's wise to design with your talent and preferences in mind. Background quilting is my nemesis so I design with little background space. I’m particularly fond of borders, so I plan to have multiple. Mixing applique and piecing makes for an interesting design balance of curves and linear elements. Maybe that's why pieced blocks surrounded by curvy applique appeals to so many!


I like a balance of wacky and "buttoned up" so often if the center of my quilt is wackadoodle, I design a geometric border of stripes and/or triangles. The reverse is also true.


As my design sense grows, I'm finding I really love adding surprises after I think the base of my design is set. These surprises have helped balance areas where a little something is needed and have added a tremendous.



Don't have a lot of room to baste your quilt? Here's a quick method we found on the web for spray basting your quilt that we hadn't seen before.

The demonstrator writes, "I used pool noodles with dowel sticks inside to make them stiffer to use. You can extend the size of your noodle by having a longer dowel and putting on more noodles. If noodles are not available, black insulation piping and PVC piping can be used."



Artists in Oregon were very inspired by the Great American Eclipse, maybe because they are in the path of totality. Here are a few of the quilts that were on display in the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus a few days before the big event.


You have seen how Ximo Navarro Sirera won 1st and 3rd Place in the Merit Quilting - Stationary Sponsored by BERNINA at Houston 2016. So who won 2nd Place? Rachelle Denneny from Australia. She has won a number of awards for her excellent quilts and quilting. Take a look below at A Touch of Blue.

Did you miss Ximo's 2 winners?

 "A Touch of Blue" by Rachelle Denneny



Nysha writes, "Sometimes we must step outside of what we know -- and our comfort zone in order to finish a project.This was one of those times for me. The quilting of this composition led to a whole new mindset in quilting."

Star Members can watch Nysha in Show 2104: Zentangle Quilting and Totally Tuffets.

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis


~A Sketchbook Page from Start to Finish~

A sketchbook is a repository of ideas. Nysha keeps his as reference for tangles and to inspire him when he is quilting. Here is how he created a page in his 2015 Sketchbook -- from beginning to end.

Star Members can watch Nysha in Show 2104: Zentangle Quilting & Totally Tuffets.


After all the Jinny Beyer Memory Match games you should get most of these right away. Did you? Just play the slideshow and you get the answers right away. (Yes, sometimes there is more than one answer.) You will first be shown the block in black and white. It will then appear in color with the proper name below it.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


This isn't the first time a solar eclipse has provided inspiration, but who knew a quilt would find it's way to the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. Doesn't it it remind you of a Ricky Tims Convergence quilt?
A Solar Eclipse Quilt 
Credit & Copyright: Sherry Winkelman (CXC)




Show 2101: Joen Wolfrom on Understanding Color in Quilts

We have packaged the Combo Kit for you, which includes -  Essential Color Wheel along with the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool


Have you seen the latest "HOT" new EverSewn Sparrow30 sewing machine? The Sparrow30 is not just "pink" it comes with an extension table!

All this for only $399.00


Watch Show#1912 (Free) with Rosa Rojas

Apliquick Rods



Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors



 Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers 

Watch Bernina Videos