We stared at this quilt for quite a while trying to figure out how it went together. Cairn, by Teri Biglands, is a large quilt (98" x 108") with a curved design that doesn't seem to lend itself to regular piecing. Take a look and see what you think. It's a stunning quilt. (Check out Quilting Techniques below for the answer.)

Cairn, quilted by Shannon Couvillion, was on exhibit at AQS QuiltWeek Paducah Spring 2019.

Quilting Method: Movable Machine

Quilting Techniques: Hand Piecing




Alex catches up with Barbara to talk about the Sizzle BOM June/July Blocks. They both have appliqué tips, and Alex shares one of her favorite sewing machine features.


The Magical Work of Clodie Francois
by Lilo Bowman

In a time when so many things are made of plastic, it's refreshing to find an artist whose works are created using such seemingly basic and ordinary items as paper, cardboard, and twigs. Join us as we visit the studio of Clodie Francois of Mesdames Carton.

(image: Clodie Francois of Mesdames Carton)

In a time when so many things are made of plastic, it’s refreshing to find an artist whose works are created using such seemingly basic and ordinary items as paper, cardboard, and twigs.

Perched high on a mountain at 7,000 feet, near the village of Chamisal, New Mexico, is the home and studio of Clodie Francois (Mesdames Carton). The beautiful scenery provides a stunning backdrop for the whimsical furniture and lamps produced by this petite, self-taught artist.

In 1988, Clodie traveled with her two children from France to the town of Ojo Sarco, New Mexico, to join her husband, Maximilien. Clodie very quickly fell in love with the area and never returned to her native country. In 2002, the family moved to their current mountain-top location.

Born in Paris, Clodie graduated from La Sorbonne with a degree in literature and psychology. For a number of years, she taught high-school-level art classes to at-risk students, at the same time pursuing her love of the theater (both on stage and backstage). Eventually she combined her desire to write with her passion for the theater by becoming a journalist for the daily newspaper, Liberation, where she covered stories focusing on art and the theater. 

The move to New Mexico in 1988 forced Clodie to re-evaluate her skills. It was during this time that she remembered her friend Eric Guiomar, the creator of furniture designed using cardboard. She placed a call to Paris—a call that started her on a path that she now feels was destiny. Eric was very enthusiastic, and willingly shared his knowledge of his furniture-building process. Over time, with a combination of Eric’s help and her own creative spirit, Clodie became an expert in the artform, taking it to the next level by using recycled wood and introducing her own whimsical and theatrical touches.

An idea for a new piece can come at any time, so Clodie carries a little notebook for recording quick sketches. Once an idea has formed on paper, she begins the long process of producing it as a three-dimensional object using corrugated cardboard. This particular type of cardboard—used for transporting watermelons and other large produce—is very difficult to come by. Clodie collects boxes from local stores when they call to tell her that boxes are available.


First Clodie draws a full-sized pattern on sheets of this scavenged cardboard. She makes multiple copies, which serve as the “frame” of the piece. Using a special technique, she "weaves" the shapes together to form the structure. This weaving technique results in a finished piece that is lightweight, but very strong, which Clodie, less than 5' tall, demonstrated by effortlessly lifting a chaise lounge. She then asked me to sit on the piece, which was remarkably sturdy and comfortable because of the elasticity of the cardboard. 

Once the structure has been built, she adds another layer of cardboard. Some pieces are made exclusively from cardboard, others combine wood for added stability. Then the real magic begins. Clodie covers some of her pieces with lacquered sheets of handmade paper from Nepal. Others are lacquered with thousands of pieces of white tissue paper with pigment sandwiched between each layer. This soft, lacquered pigment provides an impenetrable, waterproof barrier, which at the same time adds an ethereal beauty.


As she focused on making furniture, Clodie realized that she needed light to showcase her creations.  This brought another idea: Why not make lamps? Clodie's lamps are made using willow that she cuts while on her daily walks along the Arroyo Seco (dry creek)—and which must cure for a year before it is used—and handmade paper from Thailand and Japan. She has formulated her own "secret recipe" that keeps the paper from fading or becoming brittle and is easy to clean with an air-spray canister. 


Clodie's studio, with its combination of whimsical furniture and organic lamp designs, transports one to a magical place.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

To visit Clodie's website click here.


I spent a whole morning tacking down binding on two quilts in anticipation of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The beautiful view, the wonderful temperature, and the sound of the creek made my mind wander as I stitched. I am blessed with a wandering and curious mind and so as I stitched I wondered...how is the art of quilting evolving? Having read a variety of articles about the challenges and changes in the quilting industry, it still seems so vague. Like a reporter on the street, I decided to go directly to you. My history in quilting has been a wild ride and there are definite changes in what I spend my money on now and why I keep quilting. I think the powers that be might like to hear about what we really like and don't like about the quilt world...So, I have developed a set of questions that I would like for you to take the time to answer. After all it is a way for our collective quilt voices to be heard...

1. What age group are you?
a.) under 40
b.) 40 - 60
c.) over 60

2. Do you take classes or like figuring out patterns on your own?

3. Are you mostly a small project person or do you like making bed size quilt?

4. Do you look forward to new techniques or are you comfortable just stitching away on what you know?

5. Roughly what percentage of handwork vs. machine sewing is happening in your sewing space?

6. Do you travel to workshops? How far are you willing to go?

7. Do you shop mortar and brick or mostly online?

8. Are you a kit person or like to create your own look?

9. Do you stitch mostly alone or do you belong to a stitch group or guild?

10. Do you quilt for the sheer joy of quilting or do you feel better when you know where each quilt is going?

Please e-mail your responses to wooliemammoth1@gmail.com.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and have a wonderful stitching week!

Stay tuned and travel along with us on Quilt Roadies.

Click here for Anna's blog.


The heat of summer is on its way. Now is the time to enjoy a little bit of Christmas cheer (or chill?) with this enchanting award-winner from Antonia Herring of the Netherlands. Featuring holiday motifs including Father Christmas, reindeer, and snow-covered trees, enjoy the hand-quilted and hand-appliquéd beauty of Jingle Bells.

Jingle Bells was the Judges' Recognition winner at AQS QuiltWeek Paducah Spring 2019.
65" x 52"
Quilting Method: Hand
Quilting Techniques: Hand Appliqué, Beading, Crystals, Decorative Stitching, Embellishments, Hand Embroidery, Hand Piecing


Laura from SewVeryEasy has a quick and easy tutorial for making a drawstring eyeglass case with a "surprise." Make them as gifts or make them to match your wardrobe. It's another great project for using up scraps.


This is just what you need to fix your yarn problem! No more tangled yarn or annoyed roommates. Please enjoy this video of the DAR Museum staff having WAY too much fun with their collection. 



A luscious border print makes this simple block shine. Do you know what it's called? Play the game and find out.



(Click here to learn more about the women in the banner.)

The Century of Womens' Progress Quilt Challenge - 1920-2020 is a story quilt challenge that honors the hundred-year anniversary of the 19th amendment and highlights progress toward equality over the century since women obtained the vote. While acknowledging that legal, social, economic and political impediments to equality remain, the period between 1920 and the present includes many milestones, achievements, and changes improving the quality of life for women in the United States today. This challenge focuses on celebrating these changes.

Entry into this challenge includes a quilt of original design and an accompanying written story, in the words of the maker, about the subject of that quilt.

Entries accepted 12/1/2019-1/4/2020.

For more information on how to enter, click Learn More.


Criminal Quilts is an art & heritage project inspired by photographs and documents relating to women held in Stafford Prison 1877-1916. It was created and developed by Ruth Singer in partnership with the Staffordshire Record Office.
This video has Ruth talking about the project and showing the multitude of techniques she used to create her pieces, including everything from silk screen and photo imaging to embroidery and machine piecing. She also discusses how these "criminals"  were real women just trying to live their lives.
The project will be on display at The Brampton Museum, Newcastle under Lyme, 25th May – 7th July 2019.


TQS BOM 2019 "SIZZLE" by Becky Goldsmith

SIZZLE Quilt - Warm

SIZZLE Quilt - Cool


Learn about Apliquick appliqué tools!
Watch Show 1912
with Rosa Rojas (free!)

Apliquick Rods

Apliquick - 3 Holes Microserrated Scissors

 Apliquick Ergonomic Tweezers