Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Miracle is this:

I LOVE Austin TX.
 I just returned from teaching at Quiltcon 2015 and I really don't think I can do a blog post without at least mentioning how much I LOVE the food in Austin.  I'm not here to wax poetic about my diet or health but I will say I follow a pretty restrictive AIP Paleo diet and I found more delicious farm to table food than any celiac could shake a stick at.  Just sayin'.  Apart from eating at Max's Wine Dive a total of 5 times (in 4 short days),  I also enjoyed seeing some of my favorite people in the world and meeting some of my new favorite people in the world.  I am a very visual person and I am guessing if you're reading this blog, you are too.
  So, thanks for reading and come enjoy some photos with me.

This quilt; Diving Geese, pieced by Katie Pedersen, won best machine quilting at the show!!
Here are some pictures I took while quilting it. The last picture is a beautiful full shot of the quilt taken by Katie.

The Back:

The subliminal Star Trek emblem:

 Leonard Nimoy passed away four days ago and I started researching his life and his quotes. This one hit me hard and has resonated with me since.
"The miracle is this, the more we share the more we have."
-Leonard Nimoy

photo courtesy Katie Pedersen

I was able to share some of the things I have learned over the past ten years with my students at Quiltcon and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. My students filled me with their energy and spirit. I made this as a sample for my zig zag sampler class, one of my students took it home as a door prize!

 I always love a rainbow.

 Speaking of teaching and sharing, have you gotten yourself a piece of plexiglass yet?
This is THE TOOL I could not live without. If you were in one of my classes you might want to shoot yourself in the foot rather than hear me say it again but if you don't have one yet,
I use a 20"x30" piece of plexiglass that you can source from your local home improvement store. TAPE the edges with painters tape......trust me, even though you think you won't,  you WILL draw off the edge. Mark on the tape "drawing side" so you only use one side.
Lay that bad boy down on your quilt and you can try out every design your heart desires to-scale. Deal with the density of quilting, play with different designs in different places.
 This is not a marking tool. 
This is a drawing tool to help you visually understand the space you are getting ready to quilt. 
You are also building muscle memory when you draw your designs.
 I'm not kidding, DO IT.

Now that I got all my design work sorted out I can start quilting without stressing about what I am going to quilt. If you're wondering about this awesome quilt it is a pattern called Modern Mountains designed by my namesake bestie Krista. You can find the free pattern here. This version was made by one of my awesome customers, Amanda.

Do I draw in a sketchbook? Yes, all the time. But the sketchbook does not give me the perspective to deal with density of quilting and other to-scale design issues.
I'm gonna say it again. PLEXIGLASS. DO IT.
Use your sketchbook too. Use it every day, bring it with you on the bus, train, airplane.
Don't be afraid to use anything/everything you see.  Designs belong to all of us. 

  I love moons. I love drawing them. I love quilting them.

Here is a sneak peak of a quilt my sweet friend Jen Carlton Bailly made for Cheryl Arkison's book, You Inspire Me to Quilt, coming out soon.  Of course I consulted my plexiglass first:

Collaborations are so awesome when you are on the same page with your friend/customer/collaborator. 
Plexiglass is a great way to visually communicate with your piecer, or yourself, if you're lucky enough to have the time to quilt your own work!

Plexiglass again? Are you sensing a theme here? I finally finished my value quilt and have been sleeping happily beneath it, even though it still remains unbound. Sorry for the blinding flourescent reflection.

And Voila:

 The last photos I am going to share are more WIP shots from a quilt that I quilted for 
Elizabeth Hartman for her book Patchwork City. I was so happy to see her sweet face in Austin and teach two doors down from her.  I am always in awe of Elizabeth's work. This quilt is badass and completely blew my mind. There are some of the coolest blocks in this quilt that I have ever seen. 

 I love the way the brilliant piecing in this quilt informed my design decisions to explore so many unexpected possibilities. I wish I had taken photographs of the plexiglass for this project. You can trust me though, I used it.

As always, thanks for stopping by. I expect you to have a sheet of Plexiglass before my next blog post which technically means you are off the hook for at least another 6-7 months, right? 


  1. Thanks for blogging this. I actually understand what you are saying and I'm not a machine quilter! You are awesome and I love you!

  2. You, my friend, inspire me. I love you and your work but especially you.

  3. Lovely to have a post from you! Your work is so great and I always enjoy seeing it.

    Question thought about Katie's quilt - if the award is for best machine quilting, why does she get the award? I know all the shows are still working out protocol and precedent but why?????

    1. Thanks for the nice comment Nicole. I think all of the shows are in the process of working out glitches when the quilt is not a "solo" quilt. It was a collaboration between Katie and I and we happily share this award. We have joked that we are going to have to rotary cut the ribbon in half!!

  4. All such lovely quilts ~ congratulations on the win ~ so exciting! Love the Star Trek emblem ~ so clever of you!

  5. Thanks again for a great Thursday class at QuiltCon. It was really awesome to spend the day learning with someone whose work I admire so much. I'm also with you on loving Austin, and the food. I am sad the conference is moving next year, but maybe Pasadena will hold some good surprises.

  6. You class at QuiltCon was one of the best there. I was not happy with a few of them, but I learned so much in yours. thank you for spending time with us.

    Unfortunately on the way back to my hotel that evening, I lost my mylar sheet! I was devastated. Where do you get the mylar?


  7. Dear Krista, I am so very long in telling you, again, how much I got from your class. I am so happy that you enjoyed Austin. I live just outside of Houston and do love Texas. But, I also want to get to your part of the country one of these days. You are a most generous and positive teacher. I am working on the techniques that you introduced. Take care of yourself and please keep teaching. I was in your Thursday class as well as your Sunday afternoon class. They were both wonderful. Hugs to you and yours, mona keegan

  8. I dont understand for sure how you are using the plexiglass. Is there a blog post somewhere about this?

  9. Such beautiful work. I'm trying small things on my pads and table toppers, but I don't have the nerve to try bigger things. I just have a Brother machine and use some of it's designs. Small but I try things with them. I'm in awe of your quilting, it's absolutely gorgeous.

  10. I've ordered my plexiglass - what pen do you use to draw on it ?? I'm down under so we probably have different brands !

  11. I have the same question as leeann... What thpe of pen do you use? Whiteboard marker? Permanent marker? Thanks

  12. Hi Leanne, I use EXPO water erase vis a vis, I find the dry erase stains the plexi

  13. Wow just ran into your blog.
    You are genius !!!! What a great idea...plexiglass...
    hmmmm I LOVE IT. THANKS

  14. Do you have a pattern for your value quilt?

  15. Thank you for posting. I have enjoyed your work so much, unusual, creative and so fun.