"Stars for a New Day" 2009 BOM by Sue Garman

We are so glad that everyone is so excited to begin working on the upcoming 2009 Block of the Month (BOM).  Many of you are wondering about the finished size and amount of fabric needed.  Not to keep you in the dark, we would like to share the particulars with you here. The finished quilt measures approximately 85" x 85".  It will take about 22 yards of assorted fabrics to complete this project.  Stay tuned for the introduction and first block pattern on January 1, 2009.  It's our New Year's present to you! 

PS:  Yes you can do this. Sue's instructions will guide you through.

Use your own fabric or check out the kit in the Shoppe.




Set your alarm clock! The Bernina St. Nicholas Day Celebration is tomorrow December 6th.  For one day only, Bernina is offering "No Interest Financing until 2012"!  That's right...now you can make all of your Holiday wishes come true this season with a new Bernina!   St. Nicholas knows who has been nice this season...it's YOU!!!  Be sure to visit your Bernina dealer on Saturday for this extra special offer.  Click here to learn more or to find the Bernina Dealer nearest you!


I NEED your good advice! I LOVE this quilt - it has spoken to my heart. So you know what that means? I want to hand quilt it. SO.......now I need to think about the possibilities. First I considered concentric feathered wreaths, then a meandering wreath came to mind (we have learned how to draw feathers in the classroom). But, not 100% convinced of either, I called Ricky and chatted about my ideas, then asked for his 10 cents worth. He suggested the last option. He reminded me that I suggest to look at the quilt for the clues when it comes to determining quilting design - and I think he nailed it. How do you vote? And Ricky, How would a person go about pre marking it? Also, now - what about thread color? I think I need to go to Superior Threads and surf around.............I am liking the King Tut variegated neutral.





Capt'n John--Many times boys do not get trained in the names of colors. Sure we know the primary colors and sometimes can get as descriptive as "dark blue", but the more advanced names escape us. I know the word "puce", but would be graded down on a test if I had to say it was blue, green or red. So when I went out this morning and saw the final leaves on the tree, I was impressed with the color. However, I have no name for it. Here are two leaves. If you were to describe them on the phone to someone, what color would you say they were?

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Photo by Gregory Case

Do you want to learn more about improving your quilting skills?  Join us today, Dec. 3, 2008 at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Eastern (01:00 GMT/ 12:00noon in Australia on December 4) when our special guest Liuxin Newman  (Episode 310) will share tips and tricks to perfecting your work in chat room "Featured Guest".  Liuxin, a master in applique and hand quilting is eager to help you become a  better quilter.  Learn how fabric selection, thread, and needles, can effect your work. It's a chat not to be missed.  To join us in the chat room click here


Story Submitted by: PamiD

Carmen is a 15 year old girl in our town with cancer. I have never met her but I felt I wanted to make her a memory quilt. I also have stage 4 cancer myself that went to my bones. The quilt was given to Carmen at a benefit and she quickly wrapped herself in it. It didn't take me that long but the feeling of joy, knowing you made somebody smile is all worth it. I finally met Carmen after I made the quilt and I knew I did the right thing. She is the sweetest courageous 15 year old I've ever met. Pami DeFraia Marlboro, NY



Well - it's done! At least for now. My goal over the past few days was to get all the applique done and then get it all pieced. Well, it is! It's in one piece - a completed quilt top! I must say that this particular quilt has been a thorn in my side. Not that I don't love it - it's just another quilt that had a deadline. It is the cover of my next Rhapsody companion book with C&T. Just like many of you, my plate gets full. Also, my inspiration changes - doesn't yours? Like right now I'm all jazzed about the upcoming Christmas concert and I WANT to be arranging and producing music - but this quilt HAD to get done. So.... I bucked up and dove in head first.

Now, as you can see the quilt has a very "Southwestern" influence. It is called Raven and the Wind (I'll let you make up the story). I'm sure you saw the raven (and the wind) but did you also see the Kokopelli and the thunder birds?

Nitey nite all - It's up at cock-a-doodle -doo for a drive to Arizona for our Super Quilt Seminar this weekend in Mesa. - but at least this quilt is not hanging over my head now. Don't you love that feeling?



Hey everyone! Our good friends Chris Hudson and his wife Julie are HUGE fans of TQS. They were at our taping on pirate day during the upcoming Series 4 shows. Chris and Julie have not been in La Veta long, but they are making a big hit with their La Veta Coffee Company. At the last La Veta quilt retreat Chris treated us to exotic coffees each day. My favorites were the La Veta Main Vein and the Guatemala Huehuetenango Rio Azul. Justin was partial to the Tanzania Peaberry Mbinga and the Mexico Altura Chiapas Fair Trade Organic.

You'll see the La Veta Coffee Company on the MyAds on the lower right column of our website. We just had to tell you about it because not every friend you have is a quilter and a gift of very special coffee might just be the trick for the holidays. Even if you aren't interested now, please go here, and sign up for the La Veta Coffee Company e-newsletter.



Quilting in Haiti
by Jo Van Loo

When was the last time you walked into your studio to work and had to remember to fire up the charcoal stove in order to have the iron ready to press fabric for your project?  Many of us may remember our mother or grandmother working in this time consuming and dangerous fashion.  But, most of us today have the luxury of electric irons, sewing machines and other handy tools to create our quilting projects.

While at the Houston Quilt Festival TQS met Jo Van Loo as she was preparing for a teaching trip to Haiti with Peacequilts, a development project that provides work with dignity to impoverished women.  We asked her to share with you her journal of the trip and the women she met while in Haiti.

Day One:

Although I've traveled to many third world countries, arriving in Haiti yesterday was an experience unlike any other I've had.  There was a crush of porters and beggars who swarmed about us the moment we stepped out of the airport terminal.  Here in the poorest country in our hemisphere, it's abundantly clear that life is an achingly difficult struggle.



After a hot, dusty, noisy 45-minute drive through the capitol of Port-au-Prince, our group of seven Americans arrived at a little oasis of green just outside the city in the town of Lilavois.  This is the location of Artisanat Patchwork de Paix (Peacequilts Cooperative).  It is situated within a school compound run by a teaching order of indigenous Haitian Sisters, the Daughters of Mary Queen Immaculate.  They have nine other schools located throughout Haiti.  Each location has a training school for young women, teaching them sewing and cooking skills in addition to academics.  The Peacequilts Cooperative is a model program which will be replicated at the other schools, and provides an incentive for students to aspire to membership after graduation.

Upon our arrival, the women of the cooperative greeted us enthusiastically, eage to show us what they had been working on.  A welcome sign and streamers decorated the workspace, giving us a warm welcome.  They soon began to pull out a colorful array of quilts they were in the process of completing, each one unique and beautifully decorated with Haitian imagery.



We will waste no time in getting started with the workshop first thing tomorrow morning.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Day Two:

I'm here with the project's director, Jeanne Staples, and the quilting coordinator, Maureen Matthews McClintock.  My role is to present a workshop teaching the fundamentals of crazy quilting, an approach which will allow them to utilize every scrap of fabric available.  Fabric is scarce and expensive.  Haitians wear their clothing until there's virtually nothing left, so all of the materials and most of their equipment must be brought from the United States (see before and after "stash" photos)


"Stash before group arrival"

"Stash after group arrival"


Since there is no electricity, treadle machines and charcoal irons are used.  The women arrive each day at 8 AM and work until about 1 PM.  There is a very professional atmosphere with established procedures for sign-in, set-up, organization and clean-up.  As the women began to work, I noticed that they chatted amiably, and didn't hesitate to help each other.


Charcoal used to heat the irons


Day Three:

On the third day we were in Haiti, I taught the women how to make a crazy quilt block.  We attached the pieces by hand on a foundation of muslin.  The women selected their palette and learned quickly hot to create a crazy quilt block.  They then very proudly showed off their handiwork.


"Crazy Patch" Workshop




Showing off handiwork



Jo Van Loo

To learn more about the Peacequilt project and how you can help visit their website here.







Join Alex January 17th at Thimble Creek in Concord CA. for a fun filled class making Baskets and Blossoms. In this class you will learn efficient piecing skills as well as machine applique basics. This darling quilt is the perfect way to by pass the winter doldrums and get ready to usher in spring! For more information and to register go here.


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