A New Direction

Welcome 2020!

The last time I made an entry in my blog was right before my solo exhibit; I’ll share more about that in the future. 2019 was a year filled with boundless activity. I had the awesome privilege of experiencing several enriching classes. The first was in May taught by Susan Lenz. Then came Lisa Binkley and Kevin Womack at the Columbus, Ohio College of Arts. In August I attended a two day class at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton; the instructor was Sherri Lynn Wood. September gave me the opportunity to not only learn from Sue Benner but also Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Both of those adventures were at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. My year of learning then drew to a close with Susan Carlson, which was also at the Woodland Ridge Retreat.

All of the classes touched me in ways I won’t soon forget. My exposure to the world of fiber arts was expanded and as a result so too was my enthusiasm. The friendships I made through the interactions with my fellow students will be with me for the rest of my life. I was awed by their amazing talents.

With 2019 behind me it is time to look ahead to this years excursions. Once again l I will return to Woodland Ridge Retreat to learn from Kathy Doughty in April and Sherri Lynn Wood in July. Both classes will stretch me in ways I have yet to experience.

As you may have noticed the title of today’s post is A New Direction. The new direction I am referring to is the decision I made in 2019 regarding the substance of my business. In 2012 I bought a long-arm quilting machine and began using it to provide professional long-arm quilting services to my many loyal customers. Late last year I decided to terminate my long-arm quilting business and utilize my machine for my own purposes. The closing of that door did not mean In A Stitch Quilting would cease to exist, however. Rather than pack everything up and call it quits I decided to focus my attention on selling my art to the public.

My studio has been a flurry of activity preparing, creating and finalizing the items I hope to market. As of now my plans are to offer mainly small works of art (8” x 10”) along with a line of greeting cards. Potentially included will be items from my existing portfolio. I hope to begin offering them sometime in February. The location(s) will be announced when the details have been finalized.

One never knows what tomorrow or even today will bring. Let’s hope my new direction will be a smashing success.

With warm regards,

Solo Art Exhibit

Late in 2018 I received an invitation from Gael, the owner of Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin, to display my art quilts in a solo exhibit. My response, after overcoming the shock, was absolutely! September of this year was set aside for my event. Yesterday the two of us sorted through, organized and put on display 64 of my art pieces. The experience was exhilarating!

I am overjoyed to proudly announce the official opening of my solo art exhibit titled Transformation. The event will run from September 1, 2019, until September 30, 2019. A reception with refreshments will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Please stop by on the 14th to say hello and share in my excitement. I would love to see you. If you are able to stop by during the exhibit, please don’t forget to sign my guest book and leave a few comments.

Before departing I must say thank you to the individuals that have had an impact on my art. First on my list is Gael from Blue Bar Quilts. Thank you Gael for giving me this awesome opportunity! Your interest in my art has brought me so much joy! Next I would like to extend appreciation to the individuals that have had a profound impact on my journey. They are Rayna Gillman, Lisa Binkley, Judy Coates Perez, Pam Beal, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Susan Carlson, Cindy Grisdela, Heidi Parkes, and Maday Delgado. Your amazing talent has helped me to expand my horizons and become the artist I am today. The last and most important person is my husband Gary. Without his unconditional encouragement and financial backing I never would have had this opportunity.

Now, make plans to visit Blue Bar Quilts some time between September 1 – September 30, 2019, to observe my solo art show and of course do a little shopping.

Plans for 2019

I like to sew.

A lot!

Sewing brings me joy and keeps my creative mind engaged and happy.

Being a multitasker, I often have more than one project going. My design wall is currently home to my unfinished VFW Double Wedding Ring

My Double Wedding Ring Quilt


a Storm Star Quilt.

My Star Storm Quilt

Both are awaiting quilting.

My smaller design board displays the building blocks for one my latest improv quilts.

Red and Teal, A Challenge, AP # 95

This is another in-progress art piece. This one was started during a Heidi Parkes class I took at Blue Bar Quilts. Here’s a sneak peek.

Central Park, AP # 96

In multiple plastic storage tubs are other items waiting for my attention. Some have been started while others look the same way they did when I brought them home.

During 2019 I’ve made a personal goal to work-on and finish as many projects as possible. Many of my unfinished items have been gathered into tubs. Those tubs will be taken to a February quilting retreat. I know that I have packed way more projects than I could ever dream of completing but that doesn’t upset me. Having more than necessary gives me the opportunity to adjust my focus if I get bored.

Even though I have a very long list of items to complete it didn’t stop me from adding several more. So far this year I have added:

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Off the Cuff Block of the Month

A Different Box of Crayons Bricolage Block of the Month

An EPP project

and, last but not least a block of the month challenge (see my Red and Teal photo above) with one of my friends.

2019, like all other years, will be an amazing adventure!

The Mystery is Over


Now that the end of our second Mystery QAL is just around the bend I decided it was time to share my own project. Over the last three months I have been busy designing, and creating my masterpiece. This wonderful little art quilt originated while exploring the Five-Sided Made-Fabric technique taught by Victoria Findlay Wolfe in her book 15 Minutes of Play.

Late in 2017 I challenged myself to create each of the 32 projects listed in the book. Although my progress has been slow, I have enjoyed and learned a lot from each of the sections.

Creating my own fabric from scraps is a technique I have used many times. I have not, however, tried Victoria’s version. On pages 40-41 she provides directions for a Five-Sided Made-Fabric. As the name suggests, each of the blocks begins with a five-sided center.

Using the QAL designated fabric,

English Tea
Collection: English Tea Pattern: Tea Flowers Color: Tomato Item #: 91329 Vendor: Connecting Threads

along with scraps from my overflowing bins, I fashioned together nine blocks. All nine were then combined to create an art piece I have called Five-Sided Center. Art Piece # 45 measures 23 1/4” x 23 1/4”.

My new art piece was sandwiched with a layer of Warm & Natural batting and a cotton fabric backing. I quilted my piece on my conventional sewing machine using a variegated thread and a geometric straight-line pattern. The raw edges of Five Sided Center are protected by a facing. A hanging sleeve and label were added to the back.

This is my Mystery QAL art piece.

Five Sided Center, AP # 45
Five-Sided Center, AP # 45

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope that you have enjoyed reading about and seeing my latest art piece.