Our friend, Patricia Belyea at Okan Arts has sent us a great prize package featuring her new book, "East-Meets-Quilts," an "East-Meets-West" Aurifil thread set with 10 spools of thread, and 1 yard of vintage Yukata cotton.

To enter, put your name and e-mail address into the gray box below.

Please DO NOT ENTER your information into the COMMENTS section.

We will be choosing a winner by random on November 1st, 2017. Good luck!

Domo Arigato Patricia!

Look below to see images from the book.


"Since my first visit to Japan, I've been in love with the playfulness of Japanese prints. Patricia Belyea assembles fabrics in fresh yet simple arrangements, some of them wonderfully quirky. The book is elegantly styled and should inspire reads to experiement with colour." - Kaffe Fassett



Patricia Belyea





Enjoy the Pacific International Quilt Festival BERNINA 1st Runner Up award winner 2017, Fractal, by Claudia Pfeil.

Claudia's quilt, Fractal, has 30,000 crystals and that's not all. It is painted, inked, machine appliquéd, fused, and enhanced by a myriad of quilting designs.


((Video: Mary Kay Davis)




Today I am heading out to a Quilt Retreat with a small group of women who I have stitched with for over 20 years!  Whether you are new to retreats or you have been going on them for years, they offer a chance for empowerment. I am not only talking about retreats...as in packing up and heading out to sew somewhere other than your home, but also a self imposed retreat at home. The noun retreat means to go to a place where you can be alone and get away from it all. The issue with a retreat at home in my case, is that the house tends to put up a racket...laundry is crying to be done and meals are waiting to be made. At a quilt retreat that is not in your home, you don't have to cook or clean...you can eat cereal for dinner, LOL.  But then, you may be more disciplined than me.

Having spent the last few days packing, prepping and going over lists for the retreat, what I realize is that when you designate a set amount of time for stitching, you want to be organized and productive...especially if the retreat is not at home. Over the years our retreats have evolved from traveling several hours and shop hopping along the way, to renting a house just down the road where you spend less money and get more done!  

My process for getting ready is to get my laundry basket out (aka project basket). Then I decide what the focus of the retreat is going to be...this means I have to really look around my Bee Hive and decide which projects are making the most racket. This retreat I decided to focus on the many tops I have done and plan on doing some quilting.  Which means getting the batting and backing ready!  I prep my handwork ahead of time so I only have the joy of stitching and relaxing.

Before you even leave home you start to feel the power of the retreat.  As you decide which projects to take you are reacquainted with projects you forgot about and slowly your sewing space starts looking a little more organized!!! Before getting ready I couldn't see any surface in the Bee Hive but as I slowly started prepping, digging and reorganizing retreats projects I found my cutting mat, LOL.

I will check in next week with a full accounting about how much power was released from retreat!!!

Click here for Anna's YouTube Channel.

Learn how to make these adorable Pumpkin Pin Cushions from Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt. It's a great way to use up scraps as they are all made with 4" squares.

There has been some confusion in Gina's Ruler Mastery Series about .pdf files and how to get help. We'd like to clear all that up for you.
Where are the .pdf files for the different classes?
There are only .pdf files for the first class featuring the Shirley ruler. At this time there are no other .pdf files required.
How do I get my questions about the class answered?
Gina asks that you send her an e-mail directly if you have a question about the class. We've put a link to Gina in each classroom or
The class is FREE and open to everyone. You can start from the beginning at anytime and work through the different lessons.
There will be 10 lessons.
Purchasing the rulers will help, but if you opt not to purchase, you can still come away with great tips and ideas for the rulers you have already.
Click here to go to Gina's Classroom.





Do you think this block is called "The Devil's Puzzle?" Play the game and find out.



With the Houston Quilt Festival just around the corner, many quilters will be visiting the show and, of course, looking at beautiful quilts. We thought this would be the perfect time to take a short pause from our year-long Design to Quilt program to share with you the fact that this is the first year the Masterpiece Award will be presented as a dual award to Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison. Gail's exceptional piecing along with Jan's extraordinary machine quilting skills elevate this stunning quilt, Cardinal Points, to new heights.

On November 2, TQS will be in Houston to attend the presentation and interview the recipients. Look for the award presentation and interview video in an upcoming newsletter.

Cardinal Points is the sixth quilt they have collaborated on together. The design for the quilt, which took a year to complete, was based on an antique quilt. Gail loved the original design, but decided to scale the blocks down to a much smaller size. The quilt top took an entire year to complete. The top was then handed off to Jan for quilting, which took three months due to the fact that each circle was stitched in a different design.

Cardinal Points has won several prizes, including First Place Large Quilts, Pieced AQS QuiltWeek Paducah Fall 2017, Third Place Traditional at Houston in 2016, and the Marie White Masterpiece Award at Road to California 2017. Let's look at some details of this masterpiece quilt.

(Images from The Secret Life of Mrs. Meatloaf & Telling Stories Through the Needle's Eye)

What is the Masterpiece Award, and what do the judges look for when selecting a recipient? NQA Certified Quilt Judge, Beverly Fine, shares some insight into the process. 

How does a NACQJ quilt judge designate a Masterpiece Quilt?
by Beverly Fine
NQA Certified Quilt Judge

In 1980, certified quilt judges created a special honor for quilts that surpass the highest expectations for development of design and exemplary workmanship.  As these judges travel the country while judging large and small quilt shows, they are on the lookout for quilts that could be evaluated as possible Masterpieces.  There are only a few absolute requirements for a quilt to be nominated for an evaluation: that the quilt be at least 25 sq. ft. in size, that the quilt must have been completed within the previous five years, and that the quiltmaker(s) be living. 


In considering a nomination, a judge is not looking for perfection, but they are looking for a quilt that will stand the test of time.  Colors can be subtly shaded, as in Diane Guadynski’s “Through a Glass Darkly”, or high chroma, as in the case of  Pat Holly’s “Saffron Splendor”.











Designs can be elegant and classically traditional, such as Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchinson’s “Cardinal Points”, or charming and whimsical such as Mary Buvia’s “The Loading Dock”.


Some characteristics are shared among the winners, such as intricate details, excellent contrast, a sense of proportion and harmony, and the freshness and creativity born of an experienced quiltmaker.

Shirley Kelley’s story of a series of quilts leading up to “Flowers of the Crown” bears this out. These are the quilts that cause a gasp upon first glance and demand a much longer viewing to take in all that is shown.






In all, 33 quilts have been designated Masterpieces.  These quiltmakers share the knowledge that they have achieved the very highest distinction among award winners.  Collectively, their names are a veritable “Who’s Who” in the quilting community.

A quiltmaker may also nominate their own quilt for evaluation as a Masterpiece for a small fee.  When a nomination is accepted, a team of five certified judges then evaluates the quilt.  The evaluation is highly structured and usually lasts almost two hours to complete.  A full evaluation is then written and sent to the quiltmaker, whether the quilt achieves a Masterpiece designation or not.  Quiltmakers appreciate the detailed and positive nature of the feedback.  Up to three quilts per year are accepted for evaluation.

For more information abot the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges www.NACQJ.com.

Next week, Beverly Fine will share what it takes to become a certified quilt judge.


Jin Dong of China won 3rd Place Art-Pictorial at Houston 2016. Her quilt, Spring of the Watery Place, honors the Chinese Ink painting skills without using inks. Her quilt also tells the tale of the Spring scenery of a watery place in southern China that is being lost to urban development. The quilt is very large. It didn't have the measurements, but the quilt is over 6' wide.

We loved the watercolor feel and the Chinese style quilting.



Marilyn's quilt, Supernova, won 1st Place Traditional at PIQF this year and it's not hard to see why. Marilyn paper-pieced, quilted, beaded, embroidered, and painted this stunning quilt.

(Photos: Mary Kay Davis)


Artist, author, and teacher, Deborah Boschert, explores the possibilities of surface design with commercial fabrics. In doing so, she creates fabulous collage quilts. Here she shares some of them with TQS.

Watch Deborah at work here at TQS in Show 2108: Surface Design Simplified & Vintage Quilt Bed Turning.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


NEW...Introducing our 2017 Halo Medallion Kit by Sue Garman  in Batiks!

Kits are now shipping! Order yours now as we have a limited quantity!

halo batik

Watch Show 1912: (Free) with Rosa Rojas

Apliquick Rods


Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors


 Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers

Watch Bernina Videos