UPDATE: The Blog Tour Starts Today!!

We're so excited at TQS that one of our very own has written her first book. You'll definitely want to get your hands on this one! Congratulations to Lilo, here's what she has to say:

"Hello everyone! This is Lilo. Let me help you discover a new way of working in your creative space that doesn’t involve:

  • Endlessly shifting clutter from one area to another before 'playtime' can actually begin.
  • Thinking of and using your precious space as a storage unit.
  • Spending time hunting for project supplies.
  • Feeling frustrated that you can't see, reach or play the way you used to.

I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about, promote and…share my new book (with C&T Publishing), Love Your Creative Space: A Visual Guide to Creating an Inspiring & Organized Studio Without Breaking the Bank. Look for it in the TQS Shop."

To learn more about how the book came to be, click here.

Want to know about the Blog Tour, check below.

I’m so pleased to have a number of fabulous artists join in to help celebrate the book launch blog tour later this week. Starting TODAY, June 26 and for each of the next 4 days, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the book through the eyes of 8 very diverse makers (including me). I hope you’ll follow along each stop to check out what they find.

Oh, and did I forget to mention, that you’ll also have the opportunity to snag yourself an ecopy of the book from C&T! And, Lilo is giving away a signed copy of the book to two lucky individuals! Be sure to visit each host; comment, share and play along so you can be entered in the chance to win.

Want to know who’s hosting? Here is the complete schedule:

Friday June 26, 2020:

Saturday June 27, 2020:

Sunday June 28, 2020:

Monday June 29, 2020:

Tuesday June 30, 2020:


Cheeky, the local cockatoo up the road from Michelle de Groot's house, is the featured bird in her quilt, The Pirate.

Learn how Michelle makes her quilts in Show 2613.

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis

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As a quiltmaker, you are the one who determines the color, fabrics, and design of a project. Then why is it that sometimes a group of fabrics you think look fantastic together on the work table, just don't work when the block is pieced? Let's say you were making the star block below. Did your selected fabrics for the points of the star read too similar in value, resulting in a star that appeared muddled?

Along with the subject, the color and fabrics we choose for a quilt can help to set a mood, tone, or emphasize a message. Like the layers of an interesting and delicious sandwich, layers of color help to play a role when it comes to creating a successful and interesting quilt. Whether the design is a landscape or a traditional block arrangement, Joen Wolfrom (Show 103 and Show 2101) shows how layers can help to create the illusion of depth.


Working in Layers

by Joen Wolfrom

(Show 103 and Show 2101)

I recommend working in layers when making traditional block quilts. Layers not only provide you with a logical way to work with color, but they give you the opportunity to create the illusion of depth in your blocks. I am using five variations of the historic traditional block Mexican Cross to illustrate the concept of layers. Look at each of these block variations to see how their subtle differences change the design.    





Sample A: In this example, the Mexican Cross block is shown in its basic three-layers: (1) the diagonal lattice; (2) the star; (3) and the background.















Sample B: By adding lines between the diagonal lattices that line-up at the star’s intersecting points, a large square is formed. This creates another layer. This variation’s four layers are (1) the diagonal lattice; (2) the large square; (3) the star points; and (4) the background.













Sample C: A different four-layer variation can be made by taking a ruler and lining it up with the star’s intersecting points and then drawing lines that create an on-point square. This variation’s four layers are (1) the diagonal lattice; (2) the on-point square; (3) the star-points; and (4) the background.












Sample D: If the large square and the on-point square are combined, the design changes once again. These two additions create a variation with five layers: (1) the diagonal lattice; (2) the on-point square; (3) the large square; (4) the star points; and (5) the background.












Sample E: Besides adding lines and shapes, you can also eliminate lines, shapes, and layers from the block. In this variation, the diagonal lattices have been removed. This results in a variation with only two layers: (1) the star and (2) the background.

Feel free to create or eliminate lines, shapes, and/or layers in your selected block. Once the block is arranged to your satisfaction, determine how you will work with your layers. But, don't just stop with the basics. How about creating depth using fabrics in your traditional block?




Creating the Illusion of Depth

by Joen Wolfrom (Show 103 and Show 2101)

(all images courtesy of Joen Wolfrom unless otherwise noted)

Let’s Be Realistic…..

When you look at the hills in the distance, notice these phenomena: The front hill is the darkest in value; the strongest in coloring, and the most detailed and textured of all. As each hill recedes into the distance, it gets lighter in value, grayer in its coloring, and less distinct in its detail and texture. The less difference there is between value, clarity, and texture from one hill to the other in the landscape, the closer the two hills are. The greater the difference in value, clarity, and texture, the farther away they are from each other. This visual phenomena is called atmospheric perspective. It takes place from sunrise through sunset. You can see an example of atmospheric perspective in the mountain photo.

You can duplicate the illusion of depth in your own designs by following the guidelines for atmospheric perspective―Simply remember that as things recede into the distance they become lighter in value, more toned in their coloring, and less distinct in their detail. It’s like magic!



Roots and Branches by Christina McCann (image by AQS)


Putting Atmospheric Perspective to Work in Your Block Quilts

Using our Mexican Cross Block Sample D again as a reference for the following depth and layer hints.

Layer 1 (diagonal lattice): The fabric(s) will be the most pronounced and/or the most eye-catching of all. If you have a featured fabric, Layer 1 is usually where it resides.

Layer 2 (on-point square): The fabric(s) for this layer will be less pronounced than Layer 1’s fabric(s). The fabric(s) are lighter in value, grayer in coloring, and less distinct in detail than the top layer fabric(s).

Layer 3 (large square): The fabric(s) are lighter, grayer, and less distinct than the fabric(s) in Layer 2. If you want Layer 2 and 3 to appear close in distance, make the differences between the two fabric layers fairly slight. If you want these two layers to appear far apart, make Layer 3 fabrics pronouncedly lighter, grayer, and less distinct than Layer 2 fabrics.

Layer 4 (star-points): If you want the star-points to appear as if they are far in the distance, make sure the fabric differences are quite noticeable between Layers 3 and 4. (I often use backsides of fabrics in this fourth layer because a fabric’s back color is often lighter, more toned, and less distinct than its front (if it doesn’t look right, don’t use it).

Layer 5 (background): An atmospheric perspective background is the lightest of all layers. You can make it appear close to the previous layer by using fabrics that are close in value, tonality, and detail to it. If the background is to appear far in the distance, the fabrics will be considerably lighter, grayer, and less detailed than the layer before it. Again, I use a lot of backsides of fabrics for this layer. Blurred fabrics and other fabrics that have subtle textures work well in the background, as long as they are more toned and lighter than the layer above.


Memories of Monet (below) is an example of using atmospheric perspective to create the illusion of depth in a 3-layer block design.










More Layer Hints
  • If I have a featured fabric, I almost always use it in Layer 1. If I don’t have a featured fabric, I use as many fabrics as I have on hand for each layer. I like to have at least 5 fabrics for any one layer.
  • I select a color plan for my quilt using my color tool or visual coloring. The color plan is used throughout all layers. Once I select the plan, I pull fabrics from my stash and then place them in layer piles. Some fabrics that are in the color plan won’t end up in the quilt. They are either too light or too dark, too bright or too toned, and/or too detailed or too textured to be in one of the layers. These fabrics go back to my stash. If I need more fabrics, I go on a fabric hunt.
  • After I have sorted fabrics into layers, I begin cutting and piecing my blocks. I can’t really “see” the layers evolve while cutting and sewing, as I’m too close to the blocks. When I put the blocks on the wall and stand back 8-10 feet away, I see the layers bring about the makes of visual depth. The design becomes alive with dimensionality.
  • I resist sewing the blocks together until I finish all blocks. This allows me to add new fabrics to the mix as I work and then blend the blocks seamlessly.





Practice Exercise: Creating Depth, Layers, and Perspective

Click to Download the Garden Maze block from Jinny Beyer's website (Show 313 and Show 601)

  1. Print 4 (or more) Garden Maze blocks for the best results.
  2. Select 3 fabrics (1 background, 1 light, 1 medium or dark), colored pencils, crayons, or colored paper to build the block.
  3. Notice how the blocks, when placed together create an overlapping trellis design.



We continue our feature on quilts from the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) exhibit, Layered & Stitched: Fifty Years of Innovation, as featured at the Texas Quilt Museum. The exhibit is described as:

Studio Art Quilt Associates presents Layered & Stitched: Fifty Years of Innovation at the Texas Quilt Museum in Galleries I and III. These studio art quilts, dating from 1968 to 2016, represent the extraordinary range of talented artists working in contemporary quilt art. Featuring a balance of abstract and representational styles, Layered & Stitched includes several foreign artists, with a wide geographic distribution of makers in general. The curatorial vision of this exhibition embraces diversity and excellence, including three-dimensional works. Juried by Nancy Bavor, Director of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles; Martha Sielman, Executive Director of SAQA; and Dr. Sandra Sider, Curator of the Texas Quilt Museum, who says, "Jurying this spectacular exhibition was one of the highlights of my career! It is an amazing show of historic significance."

The exhibit has also been collected in a companion book as well, titled Art Quilts Unfolding: 50 Years of Innovation by Nancy Bavor, Lisa Ellis, Martha Sielman, and edited by Sandra Sider. The book is described as:

Published by Schiffer Books, Art Quilts Unfolding offers full-color images of 400 masterpieces along with engaging interviews and profiles of 58 influential artists, key leaders, important events, and significant collections. Organized by decade, an additional 182 international artists' works are featured.
An introduction by Janet Koplos, former senior editor of Art in America, and a conclusion by Ulysses Grant Dietz, emeritus chief curator of the Newark Museum, help us to understand the impact and the future of the art.
The exhibit will be on display at:
(Due to the current situation around the country, dates for the exhibit have changed.)
Ross Art Museum, Delaware, Ohio: May 14, 2021 - July 2, 2021
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles: October 10, 2021 - January 9, 2022

Please enjoy the fourteenth quilt from the exhibition by John Lefelhocz.

Title of Quilt: Light Waves

Quilter's Name: John Lefelhocz

Photos by Mary Kay Davis


Bernadette Houghton has always been fascinated by Jacobean design and wanted to create something that reflected those motifs. She found the perfect fabric and then reached out to Barbara Persing to create a quilting design that accentuated the beauty of her appliqué. Highclere Castle for example, AKA Downton Abbey, was created in the Jacobean style.

Jacobean Flora and Fauna by Bernadette Houghton of Columbia, South Carolina, with Barbara Persing, was featured in the Appliqué, Large category, sponsored by EZ Quilting, at Houston 2019.


Okay, Alex, you've talked about it. Now let's see you do it! Alex shows how she does straight line quilting on her domestic machine and shares her "experiences" with the process. Alex is LIVE Friday June 19, 2020 at 10am PST, 1pm EST, and 6pm London time.


From trash to treasure, Michelle de Groot's quilt, Tiny Dancer, was almost made into a dog bed because Michelle thought it was unsalvageable after too much thread work. That is, until she had the epiphany to trapunto it.

Learn how Michelle makes her quilts in Show 2613.

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis


We continue our selection of quilts exhibited in 2019 at the Houston International Quilt Festival as part of their 45th Anniversary, the Sapphire Anniversary. The Sapphire Celebration exhibit is described as:

"Quilters have long used the color blue to symbolize trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Sapphire is also the chosen gem to celebrate 45th anniversaries—which International Quilt Festival is doing this year (2019)! These new and antique blue and white quilts will be suspended from the ceiling in a spectacular and unforgettable display."

To be a part of the exhibit, quilts had to fit the following criteria:

  • Entries may be Traditional, Modern or Art.
  • Entries must have been made between 1974 and 2019.
  • The minimum size is 50” x 50”

Please enjoy the eighteenth quilt from the exhibition by Marie-Christine Flocard.

Title of Quilt: Jouy in Blue

Quilter's Name: Marie-Christine Flocard



Nobuyo Suto couldn't imagine a better view than that from her room in Paris. So, she decided to recreate it in her quilt, La Tour Eiffel. If there was a better view, we're sure that Nobuyo would have made that an excellent quilt as well.

La Tour Eiffel by Nobuyo Suto of Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan was featured in the Appliqué, Large category, sponsored by EZ Quilting, at Houston 2019.


Are you looking for a simple project to practice straight-line quilting and edgestitching? How about these cute kitchen towels with a quilted holder from Denise Jones at WeAllSew?


Click here for full tutorial and supply list.

Click here for pattern download.





Top 10 Reasons to Join the Quilt Show!

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Learn about
Apliquick appliqué tools!

Watch Show 1912
with Rosa Rojas (free!)

Apliquick Rods


Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors


Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers