Wedding Chuppah Quilt....

Mazal Tov to Hannah and Joe!

Thanks for sending us a picture of the wedding chuppah quilt you made for this very special day.  

Chuppah literally means a canopy or covering—but it’s much more than that because it symbolizes the home the couple will build together.

Hannah and Joe got engaged in Hawaii which inspired the use of the vintage Hawaiian fabrics for the centers of each quilt block.  She carefully fussy cut each of these funky retro 50s prints to showcase the big tropical blooms and then framed them with a glorious palette of colorful tone-on-tone prints.  The pop comes from yellow—her wedding color—which matches Joe’s tie.  Nice!

Posted on Monday, September 21, 2009 at 09:03PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Hello Yellow!

Welcome to 2009--the year of yellow!

According to the color people at PANTONE, the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, Mimosa, a warm, engaging yellow, is the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow.

"The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."

Beth used yellow to pop her black and white patchwork last year when she made her "Traveling Theta Quilt" to share with her sorority sisters from Kappa Alpah Theta. 

Each year this quilt will pass from one member to the next so that they all have a chance to live with it and enjoy it personally.  Beth said, "putting the pieces of fabric together to create one quilt symbolizes the sacred chain that binds this group of woman together."   

And it looks like Theresa is the lucky lady who gets to live with the quilt first--perfect in this year of yellow!

It's no easy task to work with yellow in patchwork.  This is a strong color that goes a long way.  But if you use other strong colors to balance it out, like Beth did here, you'll have a wonderful quilt that just screams sunshine! 

And who among us doesn't need a little bit of that now and again?


Happy new year everybody...! 

Posted on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 05:49PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

A little bit of quilters magic...

dormitory.jpgOkay, I know it doesn’t look like much—this old barn located in the middle of nowhere—but trust me—it’s a magical place. You believe in magic, don’t you? I know I do—I believe in the making of magic—and this is the place to do it.

Far away on an island in Door County, floating between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, is a magical place called Sievers—a school for fiber artists of all ilk—quilters, weavers, knitters, Lighths.jpgjewelry and basket makers. Pick your medium or sample the lot—this is the place to take classes, exchange ideas, meet kindred spirits and practice your magic!

How does a week of uninterrupted quilting bliss sound to you? Magical—right? Then you must go—this year, next, five years from now. Check it out, save a week’s vacation, recruit a friend—and go!

And when you are lucky enough to go—follow these directions carefully—leave the bathing suit and sunscreen at home—you won’t need them—you’re going to be inside sewing all day, remember? Instead, load up your stash—yes all of it, you don’t want to wish you had brought that crazy batik or whacky neon paisley when the creative muse comes knocking at your door—sewing machine, shorts, tees, flip flops and sweatshirt for the cool nights. Now, gas up the car and head north—drive through the flat lands and past the dairy cows—pass up the saloons, fish boils, t-shirt shops and ice cream parlors—you don’t need that stuff—keep your eyes on the prize—a week’s worth of time making magic!

Take Highway 42 through all the way to the tip of the “lower Door” and you’ll reach Northport Pier where you’ll pick up the car ferry to Washington Island—and in no time you’ll be there!

Alright, I hear you saying, cut to the chase—enough with the flowery prose about this magical place—after all, this is about as interesting as reading the latest on Britney’s custody hearings—you want to see quilts! I get it.

MarianneFansQuilt.jpgSievers was the place where I really fell in love with quilting, met my first quilting friends and made some of my favorite quilts.

In Marianne Fons’ Fancy Fans class (circa 1995) I made my first real quilt—here’s Marianne’s inspiration quilt—beautiful 1930s fabrics in colorful fan blocks set on point and bordered with scalloped piano keys! Folks—that fabulous border is no easy task—this is precision my friends. Would you expect anything less from Marianne?


BeijingFans.JPGAnd now—here’s my version—Beijing Fans.

Same block—but set in spiral pattern just like a dragon's tail!

I’m always amazed at how different the same block can look in various fabrics, colors and settings.  And this proves it.

I wonder...could it be magic?


Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 01:27AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Lights, Camera, ACTION

CUtuscannights.jpg190North reporter Lou Canellis and his all girl crew stopped by Quiltology last week to tape a segment for their show. Lou’s yia yia must have taught him right—yaya is Greek for grandma btw—he nailed the quarter inch patchwork seams and sewed them straight! I put him to work on sewing strip sets for our beginner Urban Amish quilt—but I think this guy may be ready to tackle stars! Lou, think you can handle a little bias?

Sorry to say, I forgot my camera so no preview pics for you this week. You’ll have to tune into the show this coming Sunday April 20th @ 10:35pm on ABC7 to see the fun.

A few notes—the next machine quilting workshop is scheduled for Saturday April 26th from 10a to 3p. We’ve got a brand new Bernina 440QE in the shop—this is the big girl machine with BSR—that’s the Bernina Stitch Regulator—a real dream quilting machine. We’ve still got two open spaces—call soon to reserve a spot.

And for all of you who’ve been paying us all that money (not that we’re complaining) to finish off your binding—here’s your chance to learn how to do it for yourself—a binding class scheduled for Tuesday night April 29th @ 6:30p to8:30p. This is $30 that will be well spent my friends!

Now…we’re ready for close-up…thank goodness TV doesn’t add pounds to the quilts!



Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 05:14PM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment

Process over product....


Sometimes I need to just sit and read so that’s what I did last night. I pulled out my old copy of “Zen and the Art of Quilting” and reread it for the umpteenth time. The quote on the back cover pretty much says it all…”a Zen quilt is one begun out of a desire to make it rather than to have it.” Process over product—that’s really the key, isn’t it?



Quilting is more than just a means to an end—it is a process that’s often fueled by a desire to create meaningful memories. Many of the quilters I know are sentimentalists driven by the need to commemorate special events and honor loved ones. For these quilters the process of making quilts is truly a labor of love. Making a quilt for someone is a very special gift that demonstrates how much we care about other people in our lives.

But the actual process of making a quilt is also a gift we can give ourselves. It’s a time to let our creativity flow. We get to play with fabric, colors, textures and design. We can sew in self-imposed silence and just chill out—or we can join in a community of like-minded souls and sew in a group.


Taking the plunge and starting a quilt is a leap of faith—first believing that this is something that is really worth doing—and then faith in one’s ability to actually do it! I’ve seen students do some amazing things—many had little faith in their ability to get it done—they doubted how it would look—and they feared the worst. Of course I can totally relate. But as I always say—patchwork has a magic to it. Small sewing mistakes get lost in the overall collage of color and texture. The whole of a patchwork top is greater than the individual parts—and the creative act of making things is just important and satisfying as the final product.

Next week we’ll start our October classes. On Thursday nights we’re going to offer a new studio class. This is the class I’ve wanted to do since designing the concept for my workshop space. I learned to quilt in workshop type classes and I love the group dynamic of these classes. We can all learn from one another, get inspired by different ideas and share a sense of community.


I’m always getting asked when I’m going to schedule a particular project class—like the popular Blooming 9-Patch, Dreaming in Color or one of the Blue Underground Studio patterns—so I thought it might be a good idea to let students select their own project and then work on it with some help from us. You can use our workshop space, tap into our knowledge, learn some new techniques and just hang out with other quilters!

Here’s how this works—Jan Aaron and I will be team teaching—we’ll each take on a maximum of 4 students so we have the time to focus on you and your project. Each month we’ll also feature a new technique that Jan will demonstrate—like paper-piecing, curved seams, appliqué or precision cutting with a coordinating quilt project like the New York Beauty, Drunkard’s Path or Charm quilt. Use the technique and tackle the month’s project quilt—or just do your own thing.


In October Jan will be repeating the Stack-n-Whack project—a precision cutting technique that produces a real wow of a quilt. I’ve posted some of the blocks Mario made in a previous class—here’s a picture of the finished top. Mario used Kaffe Fassett’s graphic beach ball fabric against a solid black setting fabric for a pop art effect. Color and big prints are the key here so if you’ve got some big crazy print that’s been calling your name—this is the project for you!

For all you beginners—we’re offering the Intro to Patchwork class on Tuesday nights and beginning sewing classes on Wednesdays. Start at the very beginning with sewing machine basics, move on to an easy sewing project in the beginning sewing class and then tackle Amy Butler’s Lounge Pants as your first garment project.

The days are growing shorter—time to come inside and sew at night!

See you soon,


Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at 10:54AM by Registered CommenterQuiltology | CommentsPost a Comment