Some of you may be familiar with the Kool Kaleidoscope that I´ve been teaching since 2001. Two years ago I began a DVD project that shows how to make these dynamic, easy-to-make, quilts. However, a little thing called The Quilt Show came along and the Kool Kaleidoscope project had to take a backseat for a while. Well, I´m happy to announce that the DVD is at the manufacturer and it will release in early August!

For the DVD I composed a new piece of music called Northern Lights - not to be confused with Pam Holland´s video on the Adelaide Northern Lights. I used my new music composition to create a music video featuring the quilts from the DVD gallery. The DVD and the printed insert for the DVD feature 21 Kool Kaleidoscope quilts. However, this music video version features them in a very unique way. Hope you will enjoy it. This video is also contained on the new upcoming DVD.

In addition to the piano and keyboards, I dug out my trumpet and violin for this piece. Turn up your speakers or put your headphones on. Not recommended to watch if using mind altering drugs.



The Dresden Plate was a very popular quilt in the early 1900´s.  This quilt dates to the 1930´s.  Alex´s Great Great Aunt Kate made the quilt.  Her first love was playing Bridge.  Alex´s mother, Dorothy, does not remember Kate being a big quilter, but she did make this one.  In her later life, she came to live with Dorothy´s mom and the quilt was handed down the generations.  Alex sent the quilt out to be repaired and realized 5 years later that it had not been returned.  She then tracked it down and found that it still hadn´t been fixed.

Do you have a Dresden Plate Quilt in the family?

(In order to see the fabrics, I slowed down the animation a little).




Here is a quilt Alex did for fun very early in her quilting journey.  Having seen the Airplane Quilt for her Dad, Alex decided to try the pattern herself.  She added pin wheel "propellers" all around and embellished exhaust using glass beads.  This quilt was made at Asilomar, when her teacher realized that rather than flunk her that Alex should be on independent study.  Good teacher (Margaret Miller).

Keep watching.  I found another closet.




This is a special quilt.  It was made for Alex´s Dad (Joe) by his 2nd grade teacher.  She was a new quilter and a friend of Joe´s mother.  Like many of the kids of his generation, Joe had an idol.  It was Charles Lindbergh the famous aviator.  When planes would fly over (which wasn´t often back then) the kids would run outside and wave to the plane yelling, "Hi, Lindy".

Based on the story, the quilt would have been made in about 1931-32.   This quilt has had a lot of "love".  It is faded in parts and has its share of stains, but I thought you would enjoy the fabrics of the period.  I don´t know if this pattern was popular back then.  Does anyone else out there have an airplane quilt from the 30´s?

Keep checking in this week for more from the Armoire.



I am currently in Kansas City Mo for BU. The official name is Bernina University - an annual gathering for all dealers. It is where Bernina stores and their employees come to learn about the latest and greatest Bernina has to offer us. As you probably know, there has been a lot of buzz about a new machine - And there is VERY good reason! Opening ceremonies just concluded and I can tell you first hand Bernina has knocked it out of the ball park! I can´t tell you the details - at least not today, but register and join us on the world wide web to watch the global unveiling this coming Monday.  To register go here - also, if you are coming to consumer BU this Monday - I look forward to meeting you!





Because of the “Northern Lights of Adelaide” video by Pam Holland (click on “Articles”) there have been questions about William Morris. I found a short history. Thank you to HistoricStlye.com for permission to reprint the history below. Historicstyle.com has a wonderful view of his styles in wallpaper click here.

"William Morris designed wallpaper, fabric and tile patterns, which have remained in production for over a century. Widely acknowledged as the father of the Arts & Crafts movement in England and North America, Morris worked to re-establish the value of hand crafted work in the industrial 19th century. His dictum: "Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" is as valid today as it was when he wrote it in 1880. [I hope Alex doesn´t read this quote! I´ve gotten used to living indoors.--Capt´n John]

A man of prodigious energy, Morris was also a painter, and a respected poet who was asked to be England´s poet laureate by Queen Victoria, an honour he declined. Morris´ other talents included designing and weaving tapestries and carpets, designing furniture and designing the typography for his own books.

His visionary writings in his book News from Nowhere described a future Britain where art, peace, decency and harmony with nature have triumphed. Morris also founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which continues Morris´ work today".

|For a more detailed history of William Morris go to Wikipedia.

Did you know about William Morris fabrics and designs before this?




What do Pottery Barn and Jane Sassaman have in common?  Large prints are in.  Whether for decorating or for quilting, beautiful large prints should be in your plans.  But how do you handle large prints in quilts?  Check out show 301 as quilter and fabric designer Jane Sassaman shows you how. Click here.



Capt´n John--I received an email from a member wondering about the quilt behind Nina in the Bernina banner in the left border. That red quilt is the quilt shown above. It is by Alex and is made from one of her fabric lines with P&B. The quilt is also featured in her book "Paper Piecing with Alex Anderson" but in different fabrics. Alex really feared doing the Paper Piecing book. I like how the quilts for this book turned out, in fact the pineapple quilt hangs in our front hall. Eleanor Roosevelt said "You must do the thing you think you cannot do". Usually it turns out much better than you ever thought.

Alex is going to Kansas City next week for the exciting Bernina launch. Maybe I can get a few more quilts out of the Armoire.


52" x 58". 72 6: Square in a Square blocks. Paper Pieced by Alex and quilted by Paula Reid.


Having our noses to the grind stone, we were delighted to hear of a free outdoor concert in neighboring town Pleasanton. The band, Tommy and the Four Speeds, has an excellent reputation for the ability to deliver "oldies" right on the money! John packed the cooler and we met up with a few friends. I did not take my video recorder,but realized that my little digital could capture the essence of the event. Rumor has it, the guys in the band were best friends in High School, and the friendships continue strong to this day. (BTW:Guess who took this picture of me - I received it via email in the morning - moral of that story - you never know who´s watching LOLWink)



My guess is that if you are reading this, you consider yourself an artist - that´s right! Even if you don´t feel confident to utter those words in public - somewhere inside of you a little smiley face just emerged.

As many of you know, John and I have a secret hide away that we get to visit periodically. It is nestled in the foothills of Ca. in the sleepy town of Groveland (to learn more about Groveland watch show 212). When we visit, one of our favorite things to do is take an early morning walk. This past time I took my camera (thank goodness) "just in case". That "just in case" scenario was the right decision. As we wandered down the trail, we couldn´t help but notice that art was emerging around us. Not mother nature art, but the human hand art. Here, in the middle of no where, people were compelled to create. So, today´s question is, where do you express your self beyond quilting? And as an aside, we did not create any of these pieces............


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