International Quilt Festival

With Gratitude: Book Giveaway for Pet Postcards Donated!


Winners for these books are:

Pauline Salzman

Debbie Williams

Laurie Russman

Please email me your address and you will each get one of these books!


Quilt Market and Quilt Festival are now over, and yes, I had every intention of blogging during the shows, but I was constantly on the go, running all over that massive George R. Brown convention center the entire time, and when not on my feet…I simply crashed.

We will have the final numbers for the Pet Postcard Project early next week, but in the mean time, I want to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who sent them in! At the last tally, we received more than 1200 postcards, but that was before so many people dropped off postcards at the show, too.  I can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time to create them and everyone who made a monetary donation!

In thanks, I thought to host a book giveaway, and give away three books to three different recipients.

100 Modern



I am giving away these books to three people who either created and sent in a postcard, made a donation, or purchased one (or more). If you did one or more of the above (and yes, this is on the honor system), then answer the following question and I will pick three winners on Monday.

Question:  We are now officially entering the holiday season, and Thanksgiving (my very favorite holiday) is just three weeks away! So what are you thankful for?

Me: I am thankful for my family, including my quilting family. That includes my coworkers (past and present), as well as all of the quilters who have been a part of my life over the years.


Fall 2013 Make It University! Schedule

Can you believe Fall Festival is only 20 days away? I certainly can’t! We are actually packing up our offices next week to move into the George R. Brown Convention Center, so wanted to be sure to share the Make It University! schedule before I pack up my prayer flags.

Prayer Flags 20 Days

A sampling of my prayer flags I will be trading at our Trading Post at Make It University!


Make It University!(TM) 2013

Want to take an hour-long workshop from one of today’s top quilters and fiber artists? Make It University!(TM) is back in Houston! Learn a new skill (or two) and make a whimsical project as a show keepsake or gift for someone. No pre-enrollment; just pay $10 at the door (first-come, first-served). Tickets available all day (for that day’s sessions only) until the class space is sold out. Schedule is subject to change.

Make It University!(TM) is located in the middle of the exhibitor section, right across from the Information Booth on “Main Street.”

Wednesday, October 30 (Preview Night)

5:30-6:30       Sweet Sakura Flower Brooch – Julie Creus

Make an Asian-inspired Sweet Sakura Fabric Flower Brooch to complete in just one hour and show off to all of your friends!

Creus low res

7:00-8:00       Text Messages – Enid Weichselbaum

Using scrapbooking letters and textile paint, learn to create small quilts that really communicate!

8:30-9:30       Get Pet-Ty! Playful Pet Postcards – Pokey Bolton

Have a frolicking good time in this workshop as we create, stitch, and stamp fabric postcards that have gone to the dogs (and cats).

duplicate pokey card

Thursday, October 31

10:30-11:30 Embellishing with Foiling – Barb Forrister

Add a little sparkle to your next project by embellishing with foil­­—a great way to add shine to your creations!

12:00-1:00    Label It! – Leslie Jenison and Michele Muska

Join this fun and hands-on labeling workshop where you’ll see examples of easy and creative quilt labels, and then with supplies provided, create your own unique label for your quilt!

1:30-2:30       Wool Needle Case with Hand Embroidery – Catherine Redford

Create a beautiful and handy needle case embellished with decorative embroidery stitches.

3:00-4:00       Burlap “Artscape” – Janelle Girod

Make a mini-art quilt using cheesecloth, hand stitching, beading, and more, then mount your “artscape” to complete your picture-perfect piece!

4:30- 5:30      Fun and Festive Fabric Beads – Trix Buhlmann-Epple

Create fashionable fabric beads that can be used in jewelry to dress up your daily couture.

6:00-7:00       Silk Fantasy – Ruth Chandler

Wear your art out by creating a small silk pin embellished with silk carrier rods, roving, and a few funky hand stitches.

Friday, November 1

10:30-11:30 Light Up Your ATCs! – Cheryl Sleboda

Learn to work with LED lights to create whimsical ATCs (artist trading cards) that will light up a recipient!

12:00-1:00    Playful Prayer Flags – Jamie Fingal

Play with pre-fused fabrics, wool felt, and embroidery thread to create a prayer flag in your own personal style.

1:30-2:30       Trim House Ornaments – Michele Muska

Create sweet little house ornaments using colorful trims and embellishments.

3:00-4:00       Batik Beauties ­­­– Judy Gula

Embroider a small batik panel, then mount it to a painted canvas to create a small fiber treasure.

4:30- 5:30      Mixed-media Ornaments – Kristin Rodriguez

Create a one-of-a-kind ornament learning to use unusual items such as cheesecloth, ephemera, yarns, lace, perle cotton, buttons and more!

6:00-7:00       Get Pet-Ty! Playful Pet Postcards – Pokey Bolton

Have a frolicking good time in this workshop as we create, stitch, and stamp fabric postcards that have gone to the dogs (and cats). 

Saturday, November 2

10:30-11:30 Yo-Yo Flower Pin – Catherine Redford

Learn to make a fabric yo-yo and turn it into a unique flower pin by embellishing with colorful buttons and beads.

12:00-1:00    Mixed-media Ornaments – Kristin Rodriguez

Use cheesecloth, ephemera, yarns, lace, perle cotton, buttons and more to create a one-of-a-kind ornament!

1:30-2:30       Felted Flower Pincushions – Jamie Fingal

Create a floral, funky pincushion from recycled tins and washed wool that is ideal for travel and your studio table!

3:00-4:00       Mighty Mug Rugs – Pokey Bolton

With pieced fabrics and decorative threads provided, create a sturdy (yet colorful) mug rug for your afternoon cuppa’ tea!

4:30- 5:30      Embellishing with Foiling – Barb Forrister

Add a little sparkle to your next project by embellishing with foil­­—a great way to add shine to your creations!

Barb Forrister low res

6:00-7:00       Burlap “Artscape” – Janelle Girod

Make a mini-art quilt using a variety of embellishments, then mount your “artscape” to finish your picture-perfect piece! 

Sunday, November 3

10:30-11:30  Mixed-media Ornaments – Kristin Rodriguez

Create a one-of-a-kind ornament learning to use unusual items such as cheesecloth, ephemera, yarns, lace, perle cotton, buttons and more!

12:00-1:00    Pentagon Fabric Bowls—English Paper Piecing ­– Kim DeCoste

Baste fabric to pre-cut pentagons, then whipstitch together to make these adorable little fabric bowls that will be the talk of your table

1:30-2:30       Mighty Mug Rugs – Pokey Bolton

With pieced fabrics and decorative threads provided, create a sturdy (yet colorful) mug rug for your afternoon cuppa’ tea!

The Trading Post at Make It University!(TM)

Don’t forget to stop by the Trading Post at Make It University!(TM) where you can trade your ATCs (artist trading cards), prayer flags, mug rugs, and inchies. Bring and trade as many items as you’d like. This is a very lively section of the show floor, and a great way to share new quilt, surface design, and embellishment ideas with other quilters!

For a full list of items to trade along with tutorials, see this particular blog post.

Happy Friday!

Hold Your Horses! Look What the Cat Dragged In!

Quilters and crafters, the receive-by deadline for pet postcards is just two weeks away and you would make me happy as a clam if you would engage in some (quilting) monkey business, let your (crafty) cat out of the bag, and stitch up some postcards!  And if you tell me you don’t have time, you are barking up the wrong tree!  Frankly, that’s hog wash! So don’t be the black sheep, be the cat’s meow and make some!

Ok, ok, enough with the cliches, but sometimes I can’t help but…unleash my love for them.

For all of the details for how to submit pet postcards to raise $40,000 at Quilt Festival for Friends For Life, Houston’s only no-kill shelter, just click this link. And if you are coming to the show, you can bring your postcards with you and drop them off at the Pet Postcard Wall in the Special Exhibits area. We welcome as many postcards as we can get, but we also want to make sure we have enough for our starting bank, so we really appreciate them coming in advance to our offices.

Now it’s time for a little pet-ty eye candy:

Diane Herbort

Cat high on catnip by Diane Herbort


Shannon Conley

Sweet set of postcards by Shannon Conley


Kind Kitty

Hand-embroidered kitty with mesmerizing eyes (made by anonymous)


Kathy York

Love how this pup is looking up (wistfully) at a home. Postcard by Kathy York


Friends Kathy York

Kathy York also shares her machine satin-stitching talents with these kitties.



Earlier this week I visited the Friends For Life shelter for an afternoon to stitch postcards with their volunteers. It was a fun few hours of convincing people who were nervous to stitch that they could stitch, and it was even more fun doing so in a rescue facility! I loved the sign they put out front:

FFL craft day sign


I encouraged everyone to use the Friends For Life logo as a template for the postcards. (And you are of course welcome to use it too.)



And when all was said and done, we made about 15 postcards! 

Pokey Bolton Meredith Wierick Melissa Taylor

From left to right: Meredith Wierick (Communications Manager), Me, and Melissa Chan Taylor (with baby), resident trainer who trained my Clarence. I had to laugh at the juxtaposition of cat traps and machine threads in this shot.


I also got to visit with Marie for a bit. She has had a very hard life, and has been in the Friends For Life program longer than any other animal. She is the sweetest dog, always so grateful for a little human touch; I hope she finds her forever family soon.


So on behalf of all of Houston’s animals in need, I hope you won’t let your (creative block) get your goat, and you’ll send some postcards in. :)

Here it is…OPEN STUDIOS Schedule for Fall Festival!

Open Studios presented by CRAFTSY is back!


Want to watch and learn quilting tips and tricks from today’s top fiber artists? Come to this specially constructed area located near the food court to watch artists work in real time! Four artists will be working simultaneously under the categories of “Quilt,” “Stitch,” “Embellish,” and “Paint.” Stop by to learn a new technique or two! Schedule is subject to change.

Open Studios 2013

Art from left to right by Barb Forrister, Maria Shell, and Diane Doran


Thursday, October 31

10:00 A.M-Noon

Paint Studio Pokey Bolton Everything but the Kitchen Sink: Printing with Found Objects

Embellish Studio Julie Creus Fabric Flower Brooch

Stitch Studio  Frieda Anderson Machine Quilting the “Home Sweet Home” Quilt

Quilt Studio Judy Coates Perez Machine Quilting for Art Quilts

Noon-2 P.M.

Paint Studio   Maria Shell Painting with Your Rotary Cutter

Embellish Studio  Sue Purdy Spray Painting with Stencils and Embellishing with Crystals

Stitch Studio  Marlene Glickman Creative Fabric Collage

Quilt Studio Susan Brubaker Knapp Thread Sketching

2:00-4:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Jamie Fingal Stencils, Fabric, Paint-GO!

Embellish Studio Cheryl Sleboda Cartooning for Quilters

Stitch Studio  Timna Tarr Paper Piecing

Quilt Studio Leslie Jenison Free-motion Quilting

4:00-6:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Ana Buzzalino Coloring Fabrics with Inktense Pencils

Embellish Studio Catherine Redford African Folklore Embroidery

Stitch Studio  Anita Grossman Solomon  Making It Simple® Cutting & Piecing Tips

Quilt Studio Sarah Ann Smith Free-motion Quilting

Cheryl Sleboda copy

Cartooning for Quilters with Cheryl Sleboda (Image of Lady Mary from “Downton Abbey”)

Friday, November 1

10:00 A.M-Noon

Paint Studio Enid Weichselbaum Simple Silk Screening

Embellish Studio Barb Forrister Creating 3-D Floral Patterns

Stitch Studio Debby Brown Blended Thread Free-motion Embroidery

Quilt Studio Catherine Redford Wrapped in Scraps

Noon-2 P.M.

Paint Studio  Victoria Findlay Wolfe  Painting With Scraps: Making Your Own Fabric

Embellish Studio  Sue Purdy Spray Painting with Stencils and Embellishing with Crystals

Stitch Studio  Andi Perejda Hand Quilting

Quilt Studio Maria Shell Artful Machine Quilting

2:00-4:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Leslie Jenison Monoprinting with Stencils

Embellish Studio Marlene Glickman Hand-dyed Silk Greeting Cards

Stitch Studio   Timna Tarr Appliquéd Circles

Quilt Studio Jamie Fingal Free-Motion Quilting

4:00-6:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Judi Hurwitt Monoprinting with Gelli Plates

Embellish Studio  Laura Wasilowski Hand Stitching Fused Art Quilts

Stitch Studio   Liz Kettle Free-form Embroidery

Quilt Studio Ebony Love Die-cut Foundation Piecing

Saturday, November 2

10:00 A.M-Noon

Paint Studio Judi Hurwitt Creating Your Own Stamps

Embellish Studio  Becky Navarro Using Found Objects and Everyday Tools for Embellishment

Stitch Studio Ebony Love Stitched & Painted Quilts

Quilt Studio Judith Trager Machine Quilting

Noon-2 P.M.

Paint Studio  Susie Monday Water-Soluble Crayons for Screen Printing

Embellish Studio  Ruth Chandler Modern Hand Stitching

Stitch Studio Maria Shell Piecing with Prints

Quilt Studio Diane Doran Layered Imagery & Stitch

2:00-4:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Susan Brubaker Knapp Whole Cloth Painting

Embellish Studio Maria Shell Artful Appliqué

Stitch Studio Kristin Rodriguez Photo Transfer to Stitched Art

Quilt Studio Wendy Butler Berns Embellished Postcard Quilts

4:00-6:00 P.M.

Paint Studio Cyndi Souder Block Printing with Wooden Blocks

Embellish Studio Cheryl Sleboda Light Up Your Quilts!

Stitch Studio Debby Brown Blended Thread Free-motion Embroidery

Quilt Studio Liz Kettle Using Specialty Threads in Quilting

Stitch dancing

Stitched art by Liz Kettle

Sunday, November 3

10:00 A.M-Noon

Paint Studio Pokey Bolton Layered Imagery

Embellish Studio  Linda Hardy Mixed Media Collage

Stitch Studio Catherine Redford YoYo Ma Ma!

Quilt Studio Cheryl Sleboda Experiments in Dimensional Sewing for Quilts

Noon-2 P.M.

Paint Studio Cyndi Souder Block Printing with Wooden Blocks

Embellish Studio Judi Hurwitt Make Your Own Beads

Stitch Studio Janelle Girod Silk Fiber Explorations

Quilt Studio Diane Doran Layered Imagery Meets Stitch

Hope to see lots of you at the show!

Trading Post Tutorials

Fall is officially upon us, which means Fall Festival is just around the corner! Who (besides me) is excited and counting down the days?

Prayer Flags

Two prayer flags I have made so far to ring in autumn, my favorite season. I dyed a vintage table runner, and cut it into several 5″-wide pieces to create individual flags.


If you are coming to the show, not only do I hope that you are making Pet Postcards for our Pet Postcard Project fundraiser, but we also have some fun opportunities for our Trading Post, where we invite you to trade your ATCs (artist trading cards), Inchies, Mug Rugs, and Prayer Flags. Sharing a bit of your art with other show attendees is a fantastic way to explore new techniques (without committing yourself to a large quilt), and also bring home some (free!) handmade mementos by other quilters. There is no limit as to how many items you can bring and trade. There are no rules for the Trading Post, except to trade like-items at the show (i.e. if you want to trade out your Inchie you brought to the show, you must trade it for another Inchie, not an ATC, prayer flag or mug rug).

All four of these small trading projects are a snap to make, and a great way to use up scraps and embellishments. We invite everyone to use all kinds of media and techniques–don’t feel you must stick entirely to fabric!

4 Simple Projects for Trading

Prayer Flags

Prayer flags can be as sturdy or delicate as you like, but keep in mind that it is quite possible the recipient will be placing your prayer flags outside, such as hanging off the railing of a front porch. Prayer flags are celebrated and cherished for their frayed, weathered look, so feel free to upcycle those vintage table lines too worn or stained for daily use.  The suggested size for this particular prayer flag trade at Fall Festival is in the range of 5″ w x 6″h, and make sure to stitch a sleeve across the top for a piece of cording or string to slip through. Some of my very favorite prayer flags are by Vivika Denegre, who challenged herself to make a prayer flag every day for the month of June a couple years ago. She recently told me that she spent just one hour each day making them, using materials she had on hand.

Vivika Denegre's prayer flags

A sampling of Vivika Denegre’s prayer flags she made in 2011.


Simple two-step construction instructions:

1. Cut your background fabric to size, about 5″ x 6″ for this trade, and fold over the top by about 1″ to the back. Machine stitch closed to create the sleeve at the top. Don’t worry about the fabric fraying along the sides, that’s part of the prayer flag’s charm!

2. Now the fun part: time to stitch and embellish! You are limited only by your imagination for materials and techniques. Feel free to combine paper and fabric, too!

For more prayer flag inspiration, visit Vivika’s prayer flag blog where you will find lots of inspiring examples.

ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) 


ATCs give you a good excuse to use up fabric scraps and share a bit of your art with someone else. Only guidelines are they are 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size, and are signed on the back with your name, date, and contact info (if you would like the recipient to contact you).

I find it easiest to make a batch of ATCs at once, creating and machine stitching on a larger piece of background fabric that I later cut up into individual ATCs.

Suggested materials to make a batch of ATCs:

• Fabrics for the front of your ATC

• Approx. 9″ x 12″ piece of craft felt or batting

• Fusible web or fabric glue

• Fabric scraps (cottons, laces, and sheers) in various colors
• One larger  piece of backing fabric the size of your top fabric to cover the back side of your batting
• Threads and embellishments
• Sewing machine
• Rotary cutter, quilting ruler and mat
• Iron and ironing board
• Embellishments (beads, buttons, trims)
• Fabric scissors

• Cardstock

My ATC Recipe:

1. Create your larger background fabric that you will later cut up into individual 2.5″ x 3.5″ pieces. You could wholecloth dye, paint, stamp or stencil, or piece the background. (This is also a good project to use up unfinished blocks that you don’t think will ever get into a quilt.)

2. Baste the top fabric to batting or felt, cut to same size. Before cutting into individual ATCs, I like to practice my machine stitching and free-motion the background at this point.

3. Cut the top fabric and batting into individual 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATCs.

4. Make them personal! Add motifs or designs using raw edge appliqué, hand stitching.

5. Cut the card stock to size, and glue to the back. Sign and date your ATC.


See the above instructions for creating ATCs, except the finished size is 1.5″ square. Inchies are perfect for wearables–they make terrific brooches as well as charms for bracelets and necklaces.

Mug Rugs

Mug rugs are small(ish) patchwork placemats approximately 6″-7″ in size for a cup of coffee or tea and a small snack to rest on while stitching in your studio. For a host of mug rug tutorials and styles, visit this mug rug page!

We hope you will be creating and bringing a lot of stitched art with you next month to Quilt Festival!

Quilt Festival/Long Beach: Some Of My Favorite Memories

I’ve attended the Long Beach show since its inception in 2008, both as an exhibitor and a member of the Quilts Inc. staff, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite memories from over the years. Warning: this is a people-centric (not quilt-centric) post!


• Editors on a Plane


This was an especially hilarious memory. After a long day of editing in the Quilting Arts/Interweave office, we scurried home, grabbed our luggage, and took a late night transcontinental flight from Logan to Long Beach…where the editing fun didn’t cease. As soon as we took off, out came the red pens!

Barbara Delaney Helen Gregory

Helen Gregory and Barbara Delaney opting to not watch the FREE Direct TV on Jet Blue but rather edit. Again.


• Touting an Extreme Manicure



Alisa Burke sporting an extreme manicure with her lime green hands.

Alisa Burke was one of our founding artists at Make It University!, and with her workshops, successfully convinced quilters that paper and paint can be just as fun and exhilarating as fabric and thread.


• Channeling My Inner “Chariots of Fire”


Last Run Long Beach

My morning solo runs in Long Beach, coupled with a music mix of Southern CA artists, made early mornings (typically dreaded at home) my favorite time of day.


Every year, I ran the length of the beach to the pier and back before the show opened, and although I chose a Doors playlist over Vangelis, that quiet time running on the beach made me feel like I could outrun anything or handle any (possible) quilt mishap.


• Getting By with the Help of My Friends



From left to right: Jamie Fingal, Judy Coates Perez, Leslie Jenison, Pokey Bolton, Melanie Testa, and Jane LaFazio

I’ve gotten to know this crew pretty well, and the beauty of these prolific art quilters(besides their talent) is they are not cliquish, but rather inclusive–of everyone, embodying the spirit of the greater quilting community. (And they are pretty darn fun, too, as anyone who witnessed “Surviving the Runway” can attest.)

I got to marvel at and hug other quilt friends, too, like Maggie Winfield, who always dressed to the 9’s for the show:




And I got to know other artists who have a rather beautiful spirit:



Sheila Frampton-Cooper

I also hung out with women who turned their love into a business (not to mention are hilarious):

Jaybird Quilts

Julie Herman (left) of Jaybird Quilts


• Show & Tell….I Got to Play, Too



“This Thing Of Ours” by Pokey Bolton. My sister-in-law, Sally Murray posing with me in The Silver Screen exhibit.

With the Silver Screen exhibit I finally had a reason to turn my obsession for “The Sopranos” into a quilt.

Upon reflection in reading my narrative for this quilt (below)–given the passing of James Gandolfini–I wont see my silver screen wish come true, but it will always be my favorite  TV series!

My Narrative:

Fans of HBO’s “The Sopranos” know it isn’t just a TV show about wise guys. There’s a bit of Tony in all of us: impulsive and selfish; concerned friends will rat us out; living with the guilt of whacking others (so to speak); distrustful of those supposed to have our backs; and deep down, a little panicked that—in the end, and despite our best efforts—the ones we love most will fly away.

 Not only were heavy issues and the ensuing plot lines handled masterfully by David Chase and his posse of writers and actors, but the show was also hands-down funny. It’s no wonder millions of people waited patiently during the long hiatus between seasons to find out what would happen to the Don and his crew next. I can only hope that the intensely disappointing, anticlimactic last minute of the series finale was conceived for one reason, and that is…the movie’s getting made! Here’s to “The Sopranos” making it to the silver screen.


• Witnessing A College Degree Put To Good Use

2010 (or 2011?)


My niece Lindsey Murray, a recent proud Boston College graduate in this shot, blowing hot air into a plastic dolphin. I think she passed out a couple seconds after I shot this.


However it was the Long Beach show where my Lindsey bought her first quilt kit, and made her very first (of many) quilts:



•  “Somebody Pinch Me: I Won! I Really Won!”


Colleen BERNINA winner

Colleen from Redondo Beach rendered speechless when she realized she had the winning ticket for a new 550 model.


Helping to host the Iron Quilter challenge was a total hoot (for full, in-depth coverage with LOTS of photos, visit this page). However, the best moment for me was watching a very lucky attendee win a new BERNINA. She was so shocked and grateful…I teared up.


• Coming Home With Loot!


Khaleesi protest doglandia fabric

My kitty, Khaleesi disapproves of my dog-themed fabric.


What quilter doesn’t love to come home with gobs of fabric?

• Being With One of My Greatest Mentors


Pokey Bolton Yvonne Porcella

Sittingwith Yvonne Porcella, Founder of SAQA, My Mentor, Cheerleader…and Friend.

Yvonne Porcella has been one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. Perfect example: years ago at a BERNINA retreat before a TV taping, she saw how stressed I was with segment preparation, cleared off a pool table in the hotel bar (and made it clear no one in the bar could play), assisted me in setting up my sewing machine, and helped me finish everything, all the while being careful not to slash the green pool table felt with her rotary cutter. It was wonderful to catch up with her at the Dinner@8 supper at the Hyatt.


Working alongside some of the best people I know.


Ruth Polanco Pokey Bolton Iron Quilter

With Ruth Polanco, Show Director



And with Lindsey Murray McLelland and Sally Murray of Interweave


With love to Long Beach! I know it’s not on the roster for next year, but you never know what will happen down the line. Until we meet again…

Gearing Up for Quilt Festival Long Beach!


Throwback Monday–shot from the Long Beach show in 2009. From left to right: Jamie Fingal, Judy Coates Perez, Leslie Jenison, me, Melanie Testa, and Jane LaFazio.


I adore the Long Beach show, and looking forward to another great time to be had this August 2-4th at the Long Beach Convention Center!

If you want to avoid the long lines for purchasing tickets at the show, you can by them in advance by clicking this link to the extremetix website and print them out in advance.



Machine-needflefelted ATCs I had made a couple years ago and found in my stash over the weekend.


What else can you do in advance? Make ATCs and mug rugs to trade with other quilters and mixed media artists! My mother is coming for a visit this weekend, and since we are both California girls, I am going to put her to work and have her help me make at least 30 ATCs that celebrate our home state!

ATC Tutorials online:

Mug Rug Tutorials:


If you didn’t sign up for classes yet, don’t fret. When you get to the show you can go to the enrollment desk to see what’s still available. And below is a listing of educational opportunities right on the show floor:


Thursday, August 1—Preview Night only

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Pokey Bolton                Monoprinting Fabrics with Everyday Items

Heather Jones            Modern Quilting

Christen Brown           Embroidered & Embellished

Kim DeCoste               Rubber Stamping & Stenciling on Fabric


7:00-9:00 p.m.

Judy Murrah                Collage Greeting Cards

Christen Brown           Ribbonwork Gardens

Kim DeCoste               English Paper Piecing

Esterita Austin           Layered Monoprinting with Sheers


Take just an hour, or less, to learn a quick new skill, and make a fun project. No pre-enrollment; just pay $10 at the door (first-come, first-served). Tickets available all day (for that day’s sessions only) until the class space is sold out.

Come to booths 1337/1436 off “Main Street” to see the project line up.

Friday, August 2

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           Marilyn Peterson        Pentagon Fabric Bowl—English Paper Piecing

12:30-1:30 p.m.                      Patti Culea                  Alice’s Flower Button

1:45-2:45 p.m.                         Jamie Fingal                Tin Box Pin Cushion

3:00-4:00 p.m.                      Pokey Bolton              Fun & Funky Fabric Postcards

Saturday, August 3

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           Diane Ricks                 Vintage Look Velvet Roses

12:30-1:30 p.m.                      Diane Ricks                 Silk Ribbon Poppies

1:45-2:45 p.m.                        Marilyn Peterson        Pentagon Fabric Bowl—English Paper Piecing

3:00-4:00 p.m.                       Patti Culea                  Baubles & Dangles

4:15-5:15 p.m.                         Dianne Springer          Fab-Fast Flowers

Sunday, August 4

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.             Kim DeCoste              No-Sew Wallhanging

12:30-1:30 p.m.                      Marilyn Peterson        Pentagon Fabric Bowl—English Paper Piecing

1:45-2:45 p.m.                         Leslie Tucker Jenison Wish You Were Here—A Postcard from Long Beach

Lastly, there will be a very festive and lively event held Saturday night, August 3, right at the Convention Center called The Iron Quilter. Join us for a lot of laughs, door prizes, and the chance to win a brand new BERNINA sewing machine!  If you want to participate, just go to the enrollment desk at the show and let them know you would like to join in on the fun.

See you soon!

Quilters, It’s Time To Get Busy…Quilt Festival’s Pet Postcard Project Is Back!

Fabric Postcard

My fabric postcard of Nellie and Clarence, my two adopted pooches from Friends For Life


We are thrilled to announce the second annual edition of Quilt Festival’s Pet Postcard Project!  Friends for Life, Houston’s fastest growing No-Kill animal adoption and rescue organization, will again be the beneficiary shelter!


Frieds for Life LogoSeveral of us at Quilts have adopted animals from Friends For Life, an organization I admire very much for the work, education, and outreach they do for Houston’s most vulnerable animals who would very likely be euthanized if they weren’t in their program.

Pokey Bolton Salise Shuttlesworth

Salise Shuttlesworth, Founder and Director of Friends For Life and I are each holding up a fabric postcard from last year’s benefit.


Some may remember that we raised more than $20,000 total last year at Quilt Festival for Friends For Life by selling hundreds of donated fabric postcards for $20 each, and this year I am hoping to far surpass that amount! We are inviting YOU for this fall’s show to make fabric postcards to help us achieve this goal.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Make as many 4″ x 6″ fabric postcards (that are no more than 1/8″ in thickness) as you would like to be featured and sold at International Quilt Festival this upcoming fall.

2. We want you to get pet-ty! We encourage animal-themed fabric postcards but we certainly welcome and would appreciate other themes as well, such as abstracts, landscapes, floral pieces, etc. The point is to raise as much funds as we can! On the back side of the fabric postcard, please sign your name and title your postcard. (Contact information is optional.)

3. We will sell the postcards for $20 each at Festival, and all of the proceeds will go to Houston-based animal shelters.

4. These postcards can be mailed to the Quilts, Inc. office no later than Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Please note: this is a receive-by date! We will of course accept postcards during Quilt Festival but want to have a large starting bank of postcards so would love it if you mailed them in advance!

5. You can mail as many fabric postcards as you would like, but please place them in a padded envelope. This way they will stay in pristine condition to be displayed at Festival.

Please mail them to:
Pet Postcards
Attn: Pokey Bolton
7660 Woodway
Suite 550
Houston, TX 77063

6. Come to Quilt Festival and buy as many postcards as you are able!

If you would like to see some examples of fabric postcards (of the feline variety) we received last year, click here.

The good news is the postcards are starting to come in, and we would love to sell hundreds (thousands?) of them to raise a record-breaking amount to save animals’ lives.

Postcard wall


I’ll be making lots of postcards over the summer months as I quilt poolside (while taking breaks with my little swimming buddie)!

Nellie swimmingWill you be taking the postcard pledge? I hope so!

More From Quilt Festival Cincinnati 2013!

We had such a great time at Quilt Festival Cincinnati this past weekend! Let the pictures do the talking…

special exhibits team

Meet the ladies from Special Exhibits who worked so hard to hang more than 500 quilts and textile works for the show! From left to right: Terri, Patti, Carol, Marie Christine, Trix, Annick, Ginny, Becky, Amanda, and Carmen

Ohio Star

Attendees dropped off more blocks throughout the weekend for our Ohio Star quilt challenge. It’s going to turn out to be a beautiful quilt, and we are really looking forward to showcasing it at next year’s Festival and donating it to a Cincinnati-based charity!

DelaneyMeet nine-year-old Delaney who shyly approached me to say she likes to watch Quilting Arts on Saturday mornings with her mom. Yes, my heart melted…



Create on the Spot (formerly Make It University!) was busy with lots of stitch activity, from learning surface design techniques and embellishing to making small projects, including fabric postcards.

postcard by Abbyx

But the highlight of this year’s show for many was our premier evening event, The Iron Quilter Challenge sponsored by BERNINA of America. Met the refs:

The Refs

Me alongside the resident joker at Quilts Inc, Bob Ruggiero


During this one hour and forty-five minute challenge, four teams of quilters each led by a celebratory quilter were tasked to create a “tasty, quilted masterpiece.” Armed with seven yards of fabric, two Berninas, irons provided by Oliso, rotary cutters, mats, and rulers courtesy of Prym Consumer, and a design wall, the pressure was on as the countdown clock let everyone know just how little time they had left to create a quilt top. The teams of four were led by Charlotte Angotti, John Flynn, Debbie Caffrey, and Wendy Butler Burns.

Bob Ruggiero interviewing

Here Bob is asking Wendy Butler Berns how confident she is that she and her teammates of “The Butler Berns Blasters” were going to win this challenge.

Angotti teamCharlotte Angotti and her team the “Angotti Avengers” demonstrated their confidence in winning by flexing some quilting muscle!


Show & TellWhile the teams were busy creating, attendees dazzled each other with their quilts during our show–and-tell portion of the evening.

bob ruggieroAnd at one point when I told everyone that I had door prizes for the first 20 people to go dance with Bob, he got a little stampeded. (He didn’t seem to mind, though.)


Debbie CaffreyDebbie Caffrey and her team, “Caffrey’s Cohorts” finished early and were so confident they were going to win, they bought all four teams a round of champagne.


4 finished quilts

And time is up!  The tasty creations from left to right: John Flynn, Charlotte Angotti, Wendy Butler Berns, and Debbie Caffrey.

Iron Quilter Winner

And after the votes were counted (in the form of marbles given to each attendee), Debbie Caffrey and Caffrey’s Cohorts took the gold in the form of a glittery spray-painted (non-functioning) iron.  (Special kudos to Allison Cooper for making this iron as gaudy as possible.)

Debbie and her team were not the only winners of the evening. BERNINA of America donated a BERNINA 550 sewing machine to be raffled off as the grand door prize to one of the lucky attendees that registered for our Iron Quilter event. At the end of the night, Jeanne Delpit of BERNINA drew the name of a very fortunate quilter who got to take home this…



Me with Jeanne Delpit

Looking forward to coming back next year, Cincinnati! (Show dates are April 3-5, 2014.)

We have some fun plans for our upcoming Chicago show in late June. More on those very soon…

Quilt Festival Cincinnati Has Commenced!

We are well into our first full day at Quilt Festival Cincinnati and I thought I’d share a few pictures of what’s happening in the heart of the Queen City…

Quilt Friends

Groups of friends are stylin’ for memorable photos in front of our colorful photo opportunity quilt by Scott Murkin.

Cincy star

Attendees have begun to drop off their Ohio Star quilt blocks at our Design Wall in our Special Exhibits area. We are experimenting with block placement, and at the end of the show, after all blocks have been received, we will quilt it, put it on display during next year’s Cincinnati show (April 3-5, 2014), and donate it to a Cincinnati-based charity.

Dresden quilt

“Reds-den Plate” by Janine Keeton of Liberty Township, Ohio. This quilt is part of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild exhibit, which challenged participants to reinterpret the Dresden plate. I adore this quilt (and the quilting in it)!


“Sunflower Exchange Project” by Barb Zapp. I thought this was pretty clever!


“Dance, Flowers, Dance!” by the very colorful (and color-loving) Frances Holliday Alford of Grafton, Vermont.

Ruth Powers

Uh oh, a cute pooch…with a guilty face. Be still my melting heart. Quilt is “Who, Me?” by Ruth Powers in our Celebrate Spring! exhibit.


“Tutti Fruitti Village” by Boston gal, Sue Bleiweiss. I love how she has clearly developed a signature style.


Sheila Frampton-Cooper created “In the Desert” inspired by the architecture of her favorite artist, Hundertwasser. (Hey Sheila, he’s my favorite artist, too!)

Pokey Bolton

And here is yours truly in Open Studios last night. This was the first time I have worked with thickened dyes in three years. My smile kind of says it all; I am so happy I finally have cracked them out again.

More soon!

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