Sandra writes, "Animals make wonderful subjects in raw edge fused art quilts. I bring them to life with eyes that are inked and colored with color pencils on fabric."

This quilt, The Mute Swan, is derived from a Ken Miracle photo.

Watch Sandra in Show 2609.

Original Photo: Sandra Mollon (From her website)



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 tenth quilt from the exhibition by Richard W. Howard, quilted by Dona Warnement.

Title of Quilt: Pyramids In The Sky

Quilter's Name: Richard W. Howard

Quilted by Dona Warnement


Audrey Esarey is NOT afraid of circular piecing. Her quilt, Red Hot Radial, is the 3rd in her series of high contrast, circular, paper-pieced designs, and it's an award-winner!

Red Hot Radial won Second Place, Piecing, sponsored by Aurifil, at QuiltCon 2020.

Photos by Mary Kay Davis


Alex talks with Sue Benner about Door County, Wisconsin, silk organza, freezer paper people, dye painting, mono printing, fabric storage, a quilt of Packers Football Stadium, landscapes, abstracts and more. All of this is topped off by a studio tour and a review of her art and work. Don't miss it!


Alex has a center of a block she wants to use as an example of how to do Foundation Paper Piecing. She was LIVE Friday, April 24, 2020 at 10am PST, 1pm EST, and 6pm London time. It's more fun live, but if you don't make it, just play the recording.

Watch the video to learn more about working with Roseberry Cottage Fat Quarter Bundle and the Sequoia Sampler Remix pattern.

Please (see I'm using that word!) try out our $19.95 6 month Stay in Place membership and start watching Quilt TV shows today.


Joanne Baeth's quilt, Sunset and Sandhill Cranes, has won a number of awards including: AQS Des Moines 2009, Best Machine Workmanship, Denver Quilt Festival 2010, Best of Show, IQA Houston 2010, Best Pictorial, Road to California 2011, Masterpiece and Pacific West Quilt Show 2011, Best of Show. Her quilts are influenced by her environment. Here is what she has to say:

"I am fortunate to live in an rural area in southeastern Oregon with wetlands, refuges, forests, and lakes nearby. This amazing area is the largest migration route in the Pacific Northwest for over 300 species of birds. I became inspired by the wildlife and nature surrounding me and started taking photographs and drawing birds, animals and landscapes. My husband and I are in the outdoors often which gives me the opportunity to observe wildlife in settings that are different with each season."

Click here to see the quilt.

To learn more, visit Joanne's website.

Sunset and Sandhill Cranes - 36 Pieces Non-Rotating

Sunset and Sandhill Cranes - 100 Pieces Non-Rotating

Sunset and Sandhill Cranes - 252 Pieces Non-Rotating

Sunset and Sandhill Cranes - 100 Pieces Rotating

Sunset and Sandhill Cranes - 300 Pieces Rotating



  African Jazz #10 by Michael CummingsSquare Turn by Gyleen Fitzgerald
   African Jazz #10 by Michael Cummings (Left) ; Square Turn by Gyleen Z. Fitzgerald (Right)

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Regardless of your preferred style (traditional, contemporary, art, etc.), working with shape can make your quilts visually dynamic. Let's look at two quilt examples that use shape with stunning results. African Jazz #10 by Michael Cummings (Show 711: Quilting - Where Imagination and Reality Meet) features flat, organic hand-cut shapes surrounded by a more geometric free-form half square triangle frame. The figures, plants and instruments are layered in an overlapping collage effect, while the selection of fabrics is kept to prints and solids of black, white, brown and olive to create an overall unifying effect.

Gyleen Fitzgerald's (Show 909: Techniques, Tips...and Turning "Trash" into "Treasure", Show 1403: Build Beautiful Quilts with Butterfly Seams, and Show 2012: Modern Scrappy Quilts) Square Turn presents a more controlled and mathematical approach. Using shot cottons that read as solids, each block is cut to a specific size and shape. It is through her careful use of subtle color change within a number of the blocks that the large square on point seems to float on the surface. The eye is tricked into thinking that the two-dimensional surface is not actually flat.

Alaska quilt artist Maria Shell (Show 2208: Improv Patchwork) shares how she uses basic shapes to create visually interesting and exciting quilts.  

by Maria Shell

(All images provided by Maria Shell unless otherwise noted)

According to basic design principles, shapes are two-dimensional areas with a recognizable boundary. Any contained space can be a shape. In the traditional nine-patch block each square of the nine-patch is a shape.







In the traditional Drunkard’s Path quilt block, the shape is the quarter circle patch of the block. One of the interesting things about shape is that when combined together, new shapes can emerge. For example if the Drunkard Path blocks are combined in an interesting fashion the other part of the quilt block can become shape too.

Shapes can be open or closed, angular or round, big or small. Shapes can be organic or inorganic. They can be free-form or geometric and ordered. I work with shape in several different ways—usually all at once—to create interest in my quilts.

First, I like to use line or pattern to create shape. Basically that means that I piece my shapes out of an assortment of fabrics instead of using just one piece of fabric. I will piece stripes, checks, polka dots. These different textures create visual interest inside of my shapes. Boulevard is essentially an elongated four patch, but I have used line and pattern to make the shapes interesting.

Boulevard by Marial Shell 
Boulevard by Marial Shell.

Second, I use color to create contrast between my shapes. I use all of the colors of the color wheel frequently in the same proportion. I consider brown, gray, black, white, turquoise, and pink to be primary colors, and I use them just as I would purple, blue, green, red, yellow, and orange. I create contrast between colors by selecting colors opposite each other on the color wheel or by using different values. Using an assortment of color in my shapes helps them to stand out in contrast to each other. Force Field features fabric of a similar color but highly contrasting value. This allows each shape to stand out.

Force Field by Maria Shell.

And finally, I cut many of my shapes without a ruler. The real trick to cutting without a ruler is to control your cut by placing yourself squarely in front of your fabric. As you move your rotary cutter, move your body as well. Keep yourself directly over your fabric. This will greatly improve the quality of your cut line which will in turn improve the quality of your shapes. I will, at certain points in my construction, use a ruler to keep things in line. I will also frequently cut one block with a ruler and then use that block as my ruler. This creates a bit of wonkiness, but things still fight together in the end. Cutting without rulers creates interest for the eye. Funky Monkey is a good example of improvisional cutting. The lines that form the shapes are interesting and fun to look at.

Funky Monkey by Maria Shell
Funky Monkey by Maria Shell.

I hope these pointers about how I use shape will help you create dynamic quilts. If you would like to see more of my work you can visit my website, my blog, or Instagram.

Practice Exercises: Select one or try them all
Geometric coloring using Lines and Circles

Supplies for Lines and Circles:

  • 1 sheet of white paper
  • Ruler
  • Circle templates, empty pill jars, small glasses, etc.
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils, markers, crayons

Using a piece of white paper, draw a straight line from one side to the opposite side. Repeat with two more lines.

Draw in circles of different sizes (use templates, thread spools, small jars, glasses, etc.). Add lines in several areas. Once you are happy with the number of lines and circles, color in the areas. Notice how the interplay of shapes create new and different shapes.

Positive/Negative Paper Cutting

Supplies for both paper cutting exercises: 

  • 2-3 large pieces of colored paper at least 8 1/2" x 13" (or tape two pieces together, like we did)
  • 1 piece of 3" x 7" colored paper (for apple exercise)
  • 1 piece of 6" x 6" white paper (for leaf exercise)
  • 1 piece of 7" x 7" white paper (for apple exercise)

1. Leaves - Using the (6" x 6") white piece of paper, carefully cut basic leaf shapes from around each side. Try to cut the leaf in one smooth cut. Position and glue in place the white paper on top of the pink paper. (our paper was not large enough, so we taped two pieces together). Glue your cut out (white) leaf shapes so that they continue the pattern into the pink area as in the example above.

2. Apple - Using the (3" x 7") colored piece of paper, draw 1/2 of an apple, stem, leaf and core. Cut out drawn elements. Position the colored cut 3" x 7" paper to the left top and bottom corner of the paper with the white and glue in place. Glue the cut out shapes to continue the pattern into the white area as in the example above.

Click here for more topics related to The Art of Quilt Design program.

All you have to do is listen to the chatter of quilters everywhere who are stash diving to make masks for front line workers, family, friends and all those others who are continuing to hold the economic fort down. My heart sings when I hear of a quilter who is making masks for hospitals, grocery store clerks, delivery personnel, and the people who are continuing to cook take out at their favorite restaurants. The history of quilting is all about sharing and taking care and this world event has shown me that quilters are angels. Many quilt shops, including my own local quilt shop the Stitchin' Post, have stepped up to support the local mask makers.
My DIL is an ER nurse and asked if I could try making scrub caps that would cover long hair. The mask making was only a small step from making a quilt, but a scrub cap was more like being a seamstress...and, I was worried about how they would turn out. Searching the internet I found a pattern by A Design by Angie. It was challenging, but when you see the need you remember that you were able to stitch a feathered star block, LOL. I wish every quilter who stitched something for a front line worker could see that there is a smile underneath that mask or scrub cap!
When I received this photo of the nurses in the scrub caps, it was better than any ribbon I have received for a quilt...and so, what did I do? Made several more! Thank you to all the quilting angels out there... I am blessed to be part of your tribe.
Stay tuned and travel along with us on Quilt Roadies.

Click here for Anna's blog.



Hillary Goodwin's quilt, Pick Up Sticks, brings us back to our childhood with her rendition of the traditional game. She experimented with the quilting in order to create a technique which made it look like painted brush strokes.

Pick Up Sticks by Hillary Goodwin won First Place, Piecing, sponsored by Aurifil, at QuiltCon 2020.

Photos by Mary Kay Davis


Alex is walking us through the paper piecing trails. She was forced to learn it and has become of fan of its precision. She is LIVE at 10am PST, 1pm EST, and 6pm London. It's more fun LIVE, but if you miss it the recording will play here. Please take advantage of our Stay in Place special membership - 6 months for $19.95 or lock in the price for a year at $39. Pleeeeze.



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