Featuring: Lessa SiegelePosts On: December 31, 2015
As the designer of the TQS BOM quilt for 2016, Lessa Siegele knows a lot about accurate piecing, and she shares many of her tips for piecing perfection. Lessa grew up in Australia and has always loved historic quilts. She was presented the Order of Australia Medal by Queen Elizabeth II for her work promoting quilting. She shares the story of the Rajah quilt, made by women convicts while on a boat journey in the 1840s, which is the basis for the BOM quilt. Lessa then offers many tips for accurate piecing, using her Rajah Quilt Revisited as a sample. She also has suggestions on how to personalize the BOM quilt, to make it your own. TQS then visits the VA Museum, which houses some magnificent quilts. Set in an 1856 historic home, it had been a hospital during the Civil War but now houses an enormous quilt collection.
Featuring: Kathy McNeil / Ann HarwellPosts On: January 17, 2016
Kathy McNeil is a fearless quilter (would you cut up your wedding dress?), and as a longtime critical care nurse, she is very aware of the health benefits of quilting. She uses a variety of techniques to create the effects she desires. Need a color that you don’t have? Kathy shows how to heat set crayons to create any fabric color you need. She achieves different looks depending on whether she sets them while wet or dry. She then shows how to build a landscape or pictorial quilt by creating collage units. This allows her to move around the elements before finalizing the design. Her choice and use of fabrics will change the way you look at them. Her unique style extends to elements of her home as well. Next, Ann Harwell creates precision cut and pieced masterworks, inspired by nature and images from the Hubble telescope. She shares her technique for piecing with pins directly in the seam.
Featuring: Janna ThomasPosts On: January 31, 2016
Alex and Ricky each have their favorite – and least favorite – tools for marking quilts. They debate the merits and drawbacks of various tools.
Janna Thomas finds much of her quilting inspiration in flowers and antique stitchery designs. Her specialty is borders, and she shares her ideas for transitioning a quilt from the center out to the border – or borders! She is a stickler for accuracy, and she shares basic tips on creating accurate blocks, as well as how to prepare and handle them during assembly, to keep them from losing their shape. She demonstrates how to make quick diamond-in-a-square and triangle-in-a-square blocks. Frustration with her cutting ruler prompted her husband Paul to design a new ruler for her, and they now have a quilting tool company. They share the sweet story of how they met, and why they named their company Courtship Quilts.
Featuring: Jenny Bowker / Anna BatesPosts On: February 14, 2016
Jenny Bowker creates incredible pieced landscapes, with exotic images from the Middle East and Malaysia, where she lived with her diplomat husband. She connected with the traditional tentmakers of Cairo (who have been crafting their elaborate appliqué fabric pieces since 2000 BC), and depicts them as the gentle people she came to know. Jenny shares her quilting style, which often extends the quilt’s interior design out into the borders. She saves the most complicated quilting for the outside edges, where it is easier to manipulate them. She also walks us through the process of dissecting a tiling design (whether simple or complex), and creating a vellum pattern for it. She demonstrates this technique with a challenging design featuring two overlapping vases. She also discusses why all quilters should enter their work into quilt shows.
Featuring: Charlotte HickmanPosts On: February 28, 2016
Ricky opens the show by sharing tips for constructing a Snowball block, which is used in his quilt, Sir Lancelot, the second in his Arthurian Legend Quilt Series. His method produces a bonus block to be utilized elsewhere.
Charlotte Hickman is a storyteller and quilter, with a long career in school administration, and a creative background in knitting, spinning and playing the organ. She took up quilting after retirement and has been going non-stop ever since. Her charming personality is always present as she shares stories about her life and her work. Charlotte incorporates her roving yarns (fuzzy-textured wool fibers) into many of her quilts, and she demonstrates how she creates tree trunks using the needle punch attachment on her BERNINA. She also shares her method for thread painting leaves, which she creates in units, using a wooden hoop and a water-soluble stabilizer.
Featuring: Mary & Garry Olson / Barbara Groves & Mary JacobsonPosts On: March 13, 2016
Mary & Garry Olson are a quilting couple. Garry designs the quilts (he majored in art) and Mary sews them. Many of Garry’s designs are based on a combination of Jacobean, Persian and Celtic influences. He demos how a design takes shape, from an initial sketch to a finalized drawing. Mary takes Garry’s designs and makes a pattern, often adding appliqué elements. She shares how she uses trapunto to increase interest. Mary claims she sews at the speed of a turtle, but she and Garry are winning top prizes with their quilts. Mary uses blue painter’s tape to create her crosshatch designs.
Next, sister team Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs have quilter cred: they have owned a quilt shop together, written books and patterns, and designed fabric lines for Moda. They share a clever four-patch technique that will impress you!
Featuring: Katie Fowler / Joe CunninghamPosts On: March 27, 2016
Katie Fowler’s work was influenced heavily by negative remarks she received from her college art professor. It caused her to change her major from Art to Education, but it stuck with her, and returned later, forming her resolve to fight fear and negativity. Katie shows her quilts, and refers to Alice in Wonderland, and the need to face fears, jump down the rabbit hole, and enjoy the ride. Katie shares her paint, layer, stitch method of quilting, using PFD fabric and some amazing “play tools.” She walks Alex through the process, noting that mishaps can turn into new and wonderful discoveries. She coaches quilters to explore their creativity and move past external factors that may hold them back. To prove her point, she does something startling to one of her quilts in progress, saying “it’s about the process, not the product.” She also shares the wisdom she gained from a devastating fire that destroyed her studio. Later, Joe Cunningham gives a tour of his San Francisco studio and shares his design process.
Featuring: Sue Nickels & Ashley Nickels / Roderick KiracofePosts On: April 10, 2016
Sue Nickels is a longtime quilter, who often finds inspiration from quilts of the 1800s. Her daughter, Ashley Nickels, is new to quilting, and found her niche after attending QuiltCon and viewing the modern quilts. Together they cover the spectrum of quilting eras In addition, Sue and her sister, Pat Holly, run the annual Holly Girls Quilt Retreat, so it’s all in the family! Sue demonstrates how she designs and lays out an old-fashioned appliqué flower border, often starting with an inspiring focal fabric. She uses simple tools, working from a rough sketch and then refining it. She also demos how she makes a complex little bird, and then later embellishes its eye. Ashley loves grid work, and has found inspiration in the front gates she sees in her San Francisco neighborhood. After photographing them and designing the quilt tops, she uses a sketch program to audition a quilting design on top of the photo.
We also visit Roderick Kiracofe who invites us to see some of the unique quilts in his collection.
Featuring: Lola JenkinsPosts On: April 24, 2016
Ricky opens the show with a very clever method of adding piping to a seam, which works on both straight seams and curves! Piping looks great and adds interest and a tiny shot of color to a project. Lola Jenkins then shares her new interest in collage portrait quilts. She starts with a photo, looking for intriguing facial expressions and gestures. She demos how to use photo editing software, choosing the right fabric (including some unusual color choices) and quilting without prior planning. She talks about finding the best way to manipulate a large quilt under a domestic sewing machine. Lola has also devised some cunning finishing techniques that don’t require a lot of stitching. Check out her ideas for binding with ribbons, buttons and canvas backing.
Featuring: Marci BakerPosts On: May 8, 2016
Alex leads off the show with some great tips for turning T-shirts into a quilt. Master the tricks that make "strechy" fabric easier to work with. You will be surprised at how easy it is to use a stabilizer to achieve a needle turn applique look.
Quilting Engineer Marci Baker then shares her passion for simplifying quilt making, whether through tools or techniques. Learn a clever triangular log cabin block using 1½” strips. You will love her tips for improving accuracy when chain piecing. Then see great organizational ideas that allow you to ”seamlessly” return to old projects without making errors. Know the secrets for creating both the Tumbling and Hollow block designs, including fabric selection and creating units and strips. Marci shows a variety of quilts and also talks about her penchant for taking photos of state and provincial capitals.
Featuring: Janet LutzPosts On: May 22, 2016
If you haven’t yet experienced the Row by Row phenomenon, it’s time to get on board! Quilt shop owner Janet Lutz started it all with a free horizontal row pattern in a summer vacation theme, which could then be combined with similar row patterns from other shops. Like a Shop Hop, you gather free patterns and then personalize your quilt with creative row placement, fabric combinations and embellishments. Janet demos both the use of fabric plates, and creating appliqué letters with freezer paper. TQS then visits Eileen Williams, who has challenged herself to make a small quilt each day for an entire year. Known for her beach and seascape quilts, Eileen shows how to add shimmer and sand, using Angelina fibers.
Featuring: Gina PerkesPosts On: June 5, 2016
Gina Perkes is one busy woman! While creating many complex and modern quilts in a variety of styles, she also sells Innova longarm machines, and has developed ingenious methods to utilize rulers while quilting on both longarm and domestic machines. Hear tips on how you can use different rulers on a domestic machine, including best practices for maintaining control and keeping track of your place on the quilt. She shows how just one ruler can create a wide variety of designs. Watch as Gina shows how to get the grid lines on your fabric to help keep your quilting accurate. Learn how to build borders and create additional interest through your quilting.
Featuring: Mark LipinskiPosts On: June 19, 2016
Alex shows you how to turn a 9” Ohio Star block into a quilt pattern she calls “In Honor Of”. Even a beginning quilter can use this easy approach to make a Quilt of Valor (QOV) for a service member touched by war.
Mark Lipinski tells you about his Quilts of Valor experience, and recounts how he met the Vietnam Vet whose remembrance bracelet he wore in the ‘70s. How many jobs are there in quilting? Mark has done almost all of them. Listen as he tells about some special ones. He candidly talks about his loss of enthusiasm for quilting, and how he (and so can you) gained back the joy via a more mindful perspective that he learned from….(watch and see). Mark shows you a fun way to label your quilts in the form of a letter. You will want to hear about his current WIP—legacy quilt blocks.