Quilting in the Garden has turned into a two day event - both Saturday and Sunday - the 4th weekend of every September. Of all the events I get to attend, this has to be among my top favorites. It is time to enjoy nature at it's best along with hanging out in an relaxing atmosphere canopied with quilts. Color from the ground up! Be sure to mark your calendars for 2009 - featured guest is Laura Wasilowski, all the way from Chicago!



"Spring Mix" by Sue Garman

Berries, hearts, and flowers are sure to keep you busy this month.  But don't feel overwhelmed.  Sue Garman says to just stay focused and work on them a little bit at a time.  Pop in a favorite movie, grab your applique and before you know it, you will be well on your way to finishing this block. To download this Block of the Month pattern click here.  To learn how Sue saves time and energy by "setting-up" a block watch her excellent tips on Episode 304 here.


Story Submitted by: ajclapp

Around the mid '80s I started 2 identical quilts for my youngest son's trundle bed. They were simple quilts, alternating scrappy nine patch blocks with squares of a wildlife print. I finished the first quilt then put the basted second quilt aside to finish later. More than a decade went by and the first quilt was falling apart so I finally decided it was time to finish the second quilt. When I took it out of the box I discovered it had been basted with straight pins! I replaced the pins with safety pins and hand quilted it, probably with 1/4" stitches. This was a quilt to be used. It didn't have to be perfect. When I was ready to add the binding I thought I remembered how, so I stitched to 1/4" from one end, pivoted, stitched to the next end, and so on. I soon realized my mistake but wasn't about to take out all of those stitches. Besides I didn't think my teenage son would notice the rounded corners or even know that wasn't the way it was supposed to be. When I presented the finished quilt to him, the first thing he said was "Why are the corners rounded?!" He never did use this quilt, not because it wasn't perfect but because he didn't want it to become worn, and possibly because he preferred the comfort of the first quilt that he had used for so many years. He kept his first quilt through several moves until it was accidentally left in the attic during a recent move and damaged beyond repair. Now the seam ripper is my friend. I use it often and recently removed the binding from a quilt because it shrank after washing and distorted the quilt. And I will never again forget how to bind a quilt!


Story Submitted by: Alaskababyrn

A friend and co-worker of mine was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Breast Cancer about 5 years ago. We both worked at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska at the time. As a direct hire nurse, annual leave would only cover part of the leave needed to complete chemotherapy after surgery and recovery. Another of our nurse-friends asked me to help raise money. I decided to make a quilt to raise funds to help cover the extra leave needed. I designed a simple quilt, using fusible web with grids. This gridded fusible web was designed by Dina Pappas from Eagle River (Dina's Cozy Cabin Quilts). Dina is known for her watercolor quilts and has appeared on Simply Quilts (episode #628: Watercolor Quilts). She lives in Eagle River, Alaska. http://www.dinascozycabin.com/default.asp. Fabric was purchased at Joann Fabrics in Wasilla Alaska, where I live. After finishing the quilt top, I looked for someone to do the quilting. After much searching, I found Pam Darwin (http://www.pmquilting.com) in Palmer Alaska, who graciously donated her long arm quilting skills and time to finish the quilt. Pam and her husband Gary not only do long-arm quilting, but also hand-dye custom flannels and Kona Cottons. With help from other nursing friends we put out the word, made and sold raffle tickets for the quilt and other items that were donated. It was heart-warming to see the outpouring of love. As a result, we were able to raise $3,000 to help our friend through a troubling time.


Congratulations to "bostonterrierquilter" and "denzilnjudy".  They are the winners of the Name the Block Contest.

Thank you all for participating.  How many of you think I'm going to get a surprise "thank you" note from Barbara Brackman?



This year Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore Ca. was over the top. Featured artist was Joen Wolfrom and special guest Melinda Bula. There were also quilts submitted by local quilters. All in all, the over all effect was breathtaking. Prior to Saturday and Sunday, classes were held by all three of us including Cindy Needham, one of our favorite TQS friends (Watch Show  202).  Hand selected vendors were there, making this a must attend event in the Livermore Valley.  




You get to see the names of the blocks and our newest feature.  We are in our testing stages, but I think you will love this new "playground". Web Guru Bob has given us an "engine" that shows a lot of pictures on a page.

  1. Go to the purple bar and click on "Challenges". 
  2. Once you are in the Challenge area click on the "View Entries" Button.   
  3. Just move your mouse over the thumbnail to see a larger picture and to see the name of the block. 
  4. To make it even bigger, click on the picture.

How did you do in identifying blocks? 

The Winners will be announced in a few hours.


Photo by Gregory Case

From the artist who has intrigued us for years with her stunning Kaleidoscope quilts comes a new presentatin chock full of inspiration.  Join quilt artist Paula Nadelstern as she teaches us to design an intricate-looking quilt that "fools the eye" by combinig easy block design with "complext" fabric.  It's all about using simple tools...and fabrics that help to disguise seamlines.  To watch the show, click here or subscribe here.







Mountain Mist is sponsoring the latest exhibit at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln, NE.  "Crafting a Better Planet" required entrants to use all-natural materials in the construction of their quilts. Winners were selected by a panel of jurors.The exhibit features eleven contemporary quilts all with planet-friendly themes. A sneek peak of the quilts are shown above.  The top three quilts and artists are: "City Bikes Two" by Marta Amundson of Riverton, Wyoming; "Small Things Make a Difference" by Shelly Burge of Lincoln, Nebraska; and "Kirei" by Ginnie Hebert of Puyallup, Washington.  The exhibit runs from September 5, 2008 - November 9, 2008.

The International Quilt Study Center & Museum is an academic program of the Department of Textiles, Clothing, and Design in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Even their building is GREEN: The new home of the Center was designed to meet requirements for the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The Center's world-class collection features more than 2,300 quilts.  For information on the Center and their other programs, log on to www.quiltstudy.org.

Unlike recently used petroleum based polyester batting, Inego fiber--generically known as polylactide (PLA)--comes from fermented sugars found in plants. This revolutionary process in textiles and fibers is patented by Nature Works, LLC, and produced at their Ingeo plant in Blair, NE. For more information on Mountain Mist (a TQS sponsor!) and their EcoCraft line of batting, visit www.mountainmistlp.com.



"Whilst in La Veta in March 2008 with my 3 Sisters, in amongst our work and laughter creating our 2nd collaborative quilt, we had permission to dig through Ricky's scrap box and fossick (rummage) through the studio shelves amongst the odds and sods in case there was something we could use.  We found glue, a sponge to paint with, scrap paper for sketching...a few bits that were handy.  I dug a bit too deep and found a length of fabric that not only called to me...it yelled!

Originally a black and white commercial print, more black than white with a swirly fine dot pattern that had been over-dyed with tans, greens, golden yellows, burnt oranges and occasionally plums.  I put on my best puppy eyes and asked Ricky if I could purchase the 2 yard piece from him.

"No, you can't."  "But I need it...it's perfect...can we go halves on it?"  "No we can't." Etc.  Ricky then explained it was a gift from a friend and he could not give it away or sell it...it just was not right.  I kinda begged him...but, but, but...I have plans for it...I explained how inspired I had been from being so up close and personal with his Rhapsody book and the potential it had for people to create such a variety of their own pieces.  I then revealed all and started to describe my idea for an Australian Rhapsody quilt, using this particular over-dyed dot fabric to bring the Aboriginal dreamtime dot painting into the piece...he liked the sound of it and said..."you can have this fabric, but you gotta make the quilt and we gotta see it here first!"

As described in Ricky's book I started with my triangle.  I worked the design over about fifteen times...should not have been hard I know, but I was planning my shapes and predicting the areas that the lines would create.  Ricky's quilts usually have flowers, urns, flowing organic shapes, and other abstract eye pleasing shapes that are appliqued.  To make this an Australian Rhapsody I intended to have all things Aussie in the applique and quilted areas...specifically kangaroos, emus, snakes, lizards, koalas, cockatoos, etc.  So, with these animals and their shapes in mind, I designed the structure of my quilt with shaped areas that would lend themselves to these animals.

Original Seleton Sketch by Helen Godden

I had a stack of Ricky's beautiful hand dyed fabrics in all the earthy brown, tan, orange, gold, red, and dirty green that I love from my homeland.  I also had a piece of beautifully striped Indonesian batik in olive, mustard, and burnt orange.  I was ready to begin using my color palate and design.

Enlarging the design 300% using a photocopier made the areas big and workable for the animals.  Looking through Ricky's book I could not see him using a striped fabric, but, this is Aussie, we don't follow convention.  I rotated the striped fabric around so that the stripes radiates from the middle like the heat of our sun.  The dotty over-dyed fabric runs throughout the design as a ribbon, giving a hint of Aboriginal design origins, adding to the overall Aussie flavor.  All of the animals would be in black to stand out against the strong colored background and to give unity to the wide range of colors and textures I plan to use.

Ricky's book explains very well with photos and step by step how to piece the various shapes together for the base, curves and all.  Well again, this Aussie does not follow rules.  I decided to applique all the pieces together on a base fabric rather than piecing.  Iron-on webbing manufacturers love me a I seemingly eat the stuff.  So lots of iron-on webbing later, I have the pieces all ironed on the base, carefully overlapping and underlapping one shape to another, creating a 6-foot base. 

Photo by Helen Godden

I played with the the fancy stitches on my Husqvarna Sapphire 870 and found a stitch that created a solid satin stitched dot joined by five straight stitches.  I increased the size so the dots were about 1/4" in diameter every 1/2" along the stitch line.  This gave a wonderful neat edge to the applique and enhanced the Aussie Aboriginal dot painting idea.

I then put on a favorite movie and started cutting out the animals.  In total I cut twenty kangaroos in a variety of eight jumping positions.  I then cut out twenty emus, standing, sitting, pecking, but not flying...second biggest bird in the world with the tinniest, quite embarrassing excuse for wings actually...as the song goes, "Emu can't fly but I'm telling you, Emu ran the pants off a Kangaroo".  The design includes emu eggs and chicks which are actually born dark gray with white stripes that gradually then turn solid gray as they mature.  Did you know it is the male emu that sits and tends to the eggs for months without leaving his nest?  Woman's liberation at its finest.

Photo by Helen Godden

The kangaroo and emu are the animals depicted on Australia's Coat of Arms.  Do you know why these two animals represent Australia? Because neither of them can walk backwards due to their very long, big feet.  They represent our forward moving culture...so the theory goes.  I have very long, big feet...definitely Australian.
Photo by Helen Godden

My Aussie Rhap now has a snake in the middle.  I like the snake in the middle...then I know exactly where it is and I can keep my eye on him.  Not so keen on snakes but they are all a part of the big balance of nature I guess... still don't like them.   In Aboriginal dreamtime legends, the Rainbow Serpent, a huge snake is said to have moved across the land and shaped the mountains, valleys, rivers, etc.  I like having the snake there to acknowledge this ancient history of our land."  Helen Godden

Stay tuned for more as Helen begins adding more stitching details to the quilt.


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