Another Successful Class

Last Tuesday was the last of 3 sessions of the Free Motion Machine Sketching class I taught at the Redlands Sewing Center. I had 7 students, all of whom had taken at least one of my Free Motion Quilting classes previously. All of these women were confident quilters and it was truly a pleasure to teach them! I remembered to snap a few pictures the last night:







I am always TRULY amazed at how each quilter’s lines are their own; just like handwriting, I can teach them how to form a particular shape, but each person stitches it in their own way. Look at those smiles!

(I’ve got 3 Free Motion Quilting classes coming up, click here for details!)


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One Moment | Liam’s Off to NAfME

I’ve been recording my older son Liam’s journey as he grows as a musician here on the blog, mostly for me to help remember these occasions, but also I know that at least of few readers find this interesting…not everybody raises a classical trombonist, it is an interesting road for sure! ;-) He is a Senior now, so this is THE YEAR! All his hard work and practice is leading up to a series of college auditions that start this December and end next March. There’s a ton of work to do before then: applications, recommendations, sending transcripts, recording and uploading pre-screening videos, with every school having their own requirements and deadlines. Literally the day he came home from the NYO-USA tour in August we all sat down with a spreadsheet and calendar to start to map out what was due when.

These auditions have to be done live, so there’s going to be a lot of travelling this year, as only 1 is within driving distance. Some of the schools he’s auditioning for (9 in all) have multiple audition weekends, while the others audition all trombones on one day only. (Thankfully they coordinate this, I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to audition for Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music and Curtis in one trip. Of course, these dates haven’t even been posted yet so we’ve got our fingers crossed!)

With carefully juggling and planning, Liam is also going to be able to attend all the different honor groups he’s been in many times before; these groups were the early inspiration for him to work harder way back in 7th grade, and those kids are “his people” so to speak. Of course, I’m knocking on wood since he still has to audition for the 3 different California honor groups. But the audition for the NAfME (National Association for Music Educators) All National Honor Ensembles happened way back in June, and Hooray! He made Principal Trombone of the orchestra again! So yesterday he set out for Nashville at dark o’clock in the morning:


Last year, he and I travelled to Nashville together for this conference, and that trip was the start of getting into college for him. Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, has a pretty darn good school of music, and they hired a new trombone prof a couple years ago, Jeremy Wilson. We spent the day before the NAfME rehearsals started last year touring the campus and having a lesson with Jeremy. We also got to see Jeremy perform with the Nashville Symphony and then in a solo recital the next night, meeting some of his students after the performance. It was a great introduction to the school of music and Jeremy’s teaching, (which was awesome!) and set the bar high for the other visit’s/lessons that Liam took with other teachers at other convervatories/schools of music around the country last year.

September and October for Liam (and us!) has been full of learning a lot of music, making some videos to audition for a couple of (actually 4) different competitions, making some pre-screening audition videos for a couple of schools, filling out the Common App (which isn’t so common, as only 4 of the 9 schools he’s applying to actually use it), the supplements to the Common App, and getting in another application that had a Nov. 1 deadline. Everything that needed to be done before Liam left got done, hooray! When he comes back, there’s more to do, but for a couple of days he gets to just enjoy making music with an orchestra full of top musicians in Nashville!


There he goes!

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Show Report | Art for Heaven’s Sake 2014

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Well, I’ve been busy!!! Writing a book, teaching full time at the University of Redlands, and teaching a Free Motion Machine Sketching class every Tuesday night has had me hopping! I most definitely didn’t have time to make as much new stuff to sell at my booth, and I decided that it was OK, that…

New E-book | 8 Spooky and Sweet Halloween Projects


I got an email the other day from Vivika DeNegre, the Editorial Director of the quilting group of F&W Media the other day that my Treat Buckets pattern from last year’s Quilting Arts Gifts magazine was included in a fun e-book they’ve put together with 8 Spooky and Sweet Halloween Projects: I’m in good company here,…

Art for Heaven’s Sake is This Weekend


I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather for the past couple weeks. We’ve had some super hot, over 100 days in the past couple weeks, but it looks like we’re in for some gorgeous weather this weekend! Fingers crossed, offerings made to the weather gods, etc… etc…!!! Here’s the info on the show. They…

October Goals Check-in


Ok, lets see where the goals are: October Goals Sateen clutches for Fall Shows October 15 100% Mail out giveaway Prizes October 15 100% Work on Book February 20! 25% Art for Heaven’s Sake! October 17-19 0% Teach FMMS at Redalnds Sewing Center October 21 66% calendar email to students October 31 0% Custom Tablet cover for…

5 more Hand Dyed Cotton Sateen Zip Clutches Complete!


I finished another 5 Hand Dyed Cotton Sateen Zip Clutches for my upcoming show! Now I’ve got to switch into show prep: printing off labels, pricing, etc… Stirling was a great help with the picture taking!

Studio Snapshot | A Need for More Zip Clutches

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The zip clutches I made last week have proved very popular with my local friends – I sold three and have orders for two more. I took this as a sign that these may be popular at the show this weekend. I had enough of my hand dyed cotton sateen to cut out 5 more…

8 Zip Clutches from Hand Dyed Cotton Sateen DONE!


Yipee! I got the clutches I was working on last week done Saturday morning! 3 of them were made with fabric I dyed in this lovely green/blue color palette: This one is for Mary the harpist, who loves blue and hydrangeas (I made her an ipad sleeve last spring with the same motif). This one…

Meetup | October Goals

clutch outsides

Oh October! You are so hot here in So Cal, it in no way feels like Fall here, but it is! OK, this list, where are we on it? September Goals Sateen clutches for Fall Shows October 15 50% Work on Book February 20! 14% Run Handmade Gifts Blog Hop Sept 30 100% New iPad cover for…

Studio Snapshot | Free Motion Machine Sketches on my Zip Clutches


It’s such a treat to be making something that isn’t for the book so I can share it here! I had some time yesterday to free motion machine sketch some fun botanical motifs on the fronts of the Zip Clutches I’m making. Here’s an Agapanthus: Some Blueberries: A short, plump Black-capped Chickadee with attitude: Here’s…

Studio Snapshots | Working on Some Zip Clutches

clutch pieces

I dyed some luscious cotton sateen last weekend, and now I’m making a bunch of zippered clutches for my upcoming show. (Plus a few commissions, 3 folks who saw the fabrics on Facebook and asked me to make them one in a color that had caught their eye). The toughest part is cutting out all…

Winners from My Handmade Gifts E-book Blog Hop


Well my goodness, it’s time to announce the winners from my Handmade Gifts E-book Blog Hop! First up is the commenter on my stop to win the Quilting Arts Gifts 2013: Congrats to Kathy! And then the commenter entered in the grand prize drawing: Congratulations to Laine! Then I listed all the folks  sent to me…

Don’t Forget! Last Chance to Enter my Giveaway

Handmade Gifts Cover

My giveaway celebrating the release of my e-book is winding up, you’ve got one last chance to enter! Comment on this post by Sunday, September 28th at 9 am PST. The first person they draw will receive a hard copy of last year’s Quilting Arts Gifts 2013/14: The second name will be included in the grand prize drawing!  I’ll draw…

Studio Snapshots | Freshly Dyed Cotton Sateen


I’ve got to make some new zippered clutches for Fall shows, I was able to get some cotton sateen dyed last weekend, now it’s on to sewing!

September Goals Check-in


The opening of this school year has been BRUTAL! Adding on the additional duties I have this year with committee/faculty senate duties and it’s been crazy busy! Add to that writing up all the posts and trying to spread the word on social media for my blog hop and woo nellie!!! September Goals Sateen clutches for…

Create Handmade Gifts for All Blog Hop day 9

Handmade Gifts Cover

Hooray, today is the last day of the blog hop for my new E-Book “Create Handmade Gifts for All“:   I’m so lucky to have so many talented friends, most of whom I’ve only met through the internet, to share a bit of what’s inside this e-book! I hope you found them interesting as well! I’m quite…

Create Handmade Gifts for All Blog Hop day 8 | Vicki Christensen


Today is the 8th day of the blog hop for my new E-Book “Create Handmade Gifts for All“: Vicki Christensen, who blogs over at Sew Inspired, makes quilts that I wish I had time to make!!! Seriously, just about every time she blogs a finished quilt, I just sigh and say “I want to make one of…

Create Handmade Gifts for All Blog Hop day 6 | Natalia Bonner


Today is the 6th (well actually 7th, as  there were some technical difficulties…) day of the blog hop for my new E-Book “Create Handmade Gifts for All“: and the amazing Natalia Bonner is the next stop! She is an incredibly prolific long arm quilter who does amazing work on quilts for her clients:   who has also…

Create Handmade Gifts for All Blog Hop day 7 | Diane Doran


Today is the 7th day of the blog hop for my new E-Book “Create Handmade Gifts for All“: and the lovely Diane Doran is talking a bit about the e-book on her blog Ooh, Pretty Colors. She’s got 2 Quilting Arts Workshops on how to use a computer to create one of a kind art quilts. In this…