Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

2012 – Commission Quilt – 4 – continue adding fabric

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Months 4-5:¬† As the larger composition takes shape, I am challenged to find ‚Äď or create ‚ąí the ideal bridge fabrics. I spend as much time searching for fabrics, cutting single pieces from specific fabrics, or painting, stamping, or shopping for the missing pieces.¬† I am still teaching, traveling, packing and shipping my teaching equipment from place to place. This process takes a while because I am also teaching others how to make quilts!


Months 6-7:¬† When working high on the wall, my step stool and I get a workout! I eventually shift from a step stool to a ladder, and add another 18″ to the top of the design wall. The loose pieces are currently overlapped,¬†and I know that¬†sewing the¬†seams will cause shrinkage. (This photo was taken later in the project ‚Äď this was a tall project with lots of¬† “ladder time”!)


Month 8: Once I am happy with all of the fabrics, then I begin sewing diagonal rows of fabric diamonds. I keep the rows in manageable sizes, working one row at a time. Climb the ladder, secure all the loose pieces edge-to-edge, climb down, sew the seams, press, climb the ladder and re-position the pieced row. Continue to the next row. An audio book can be my best friend during this process! 



ÔĽŅÔĽŅ2012 – Commission Quilt – 3 – Begin design layout

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

After cutting a palette of diamonds in various colors and values, I begin composing the design on my flannel-covered wall. This wall surface is “pinnable”, and I want to secure the pieces when I am satisfied with the results. This design wall is 8 feet tall, 9 feet wide. I am also arranging fabric on the left adjacent wall, too.

I arrange a batch of color, creating regions of dark (for the base) or blue-grey (for the water) or lighter values (blue, pink, peach, lavendar) for the sky. Then I search through my fabrics to find the perfect “transition” or “bridge” fabrics, which contain bits of the colors on either side of it.¬† Note the change in the sky between photos 4 and 5 – as I completed changed the fabrics in that area, seeking a smoother, sunnier color.






2012 – Commission Quilt – 2 – Diamond Cutting Tutorial

Monday, November 5th, 2012

After selecting a wide range of fabrics as my initial palette, I decided the scale of my pieces. Since it was to be a large quilt, I cut 4-inch diamond shapes (as if you were cutting a strip 4″ wide, then sub-cutting it on a 45-degree angle¬†into 4″ diamonds). I positioned my diamond tool in one corner of the fabric, so my strips were cut at an angle to the outer edges of the fabric. The resulting diamonds have slightly bias edges, and the grainline is straight through the body of the diamond shape.

Place a diamond tool at the edge of the fabric.

1. Place a diamond tool at the edge of the fabric. 2. Place a long ruler next to the smaller diamond tool.








Cut at this established angle from edge to edge.

3. Cut at this newly-established angle from edge to edge. [1/2 of a 45-degree angle = 22.5 degrees.]








Align the longer ruler with the freshly-cut edge.  Cut an angled strip, the desired width (3" in this photo).

4.¬†Align the longer ruler with the freshly-cut edge. 5. Cut an angled strip, the desired width (3″ in this photo).








Re-position the smaller tool on the strip. The woven grainline should bisect the shape in the center.

6. Re-position the smaller tool on the strip. The woven grainline should bisect the shape in the center.








Cut one or several diamonds from the angled strip(s).

7. Cut one or several diamonds from the angled strip(s).


2012 – Commission quilt – 1 – Select fabric

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

¬† Early in 2012 I accepted a commission for a private client. The request was for a king-sized diamond quilt, reminiscent of Monet’s famous water lily paintings.

I first searched through my fabrics, arranging the stacks and photographing them for the client to see the range of colors and textures I was considering for their quilt. This became a monumental landslide of textural fabrics in all colorways.





The Winner of Simply Triangles

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

click to order Simply Triangles

Thank you, all who participated with your comments for Barbara Cline’s newest book! Drum roll please! I called my impartial judge (my mother, who had just awakened) and had her pick a number from the 89 comments yesterday……..

Lucky number 56 is our winner!

Now, I am looking through the names and see that our winner is: JUDY FORKNER!

I will contact Judy to tell her the good news; C&T Publishing will ship a book to her. On behalf of Barbara Cline, thank you for following the blog tour and commenting here. Remember, by going to today’s blog on the tour, leaving a comment, you have another opportunity to win Barbara’s book!

Visit other bloggers in the tour to read additional reviews:

Sept. 3  Polly the Patch Worker
Sept. 4  Cherry House Quilts
Sept. 5  Jan Krentz
Sept. 6  Connecting Threads
Sept. 7  Coleen Sr. Xanga

My Secret Summer activity …… Commission Quilt

My day today will be busy. I have not shared with anyone on the blog…. that I have been working on a commission quilt all summer!

I rarely have the opportunity to create a quilt for hire due to my teaching, writing and travel schedule. Thanks to the economy slowing down in the past couple of years, I accept a quilt commission request. Not just any quilt. Noooooo.

(THE TEASER):  This project is a California King sized Diamond Landscape bed quilt. Oh-my-goodness. It is looking beautiful!  I am posting some work-in-progress photos in the next post!

Please add my blog to your RSS feed, and you won’t miss any of my <infrequent> posts! Have a great day, and CONGRATULATIONS, Judy Forkner!

Simply Triangles – newest book by Barbara H. Cline

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

click to order Simply Triangles

I am participating in a Book Review Blog Tour! This week I am reviewing Barbara Cline’s newest book, Simply Triangles. There is nothing “simple” in these beautiful quilt designs! They are eye candy for the machine piecing aficionado! Many of you are familiar with Barbara’s first book, Star Struck Quilts¬†‚Ästa beautiful collection of Lone Star designs with an elegant twist.

Star Struck Quilts book by Barbara Cline

My favorite new designs are shown below. Barbara’s clear instructions and unique shadowing technique will guarantee¬†you will successfully create one of her beautiful masterpieces! In addition to eleven quilt design patterns, I enjoyed reading personal anecdotes featured throughout the book by Barbara and her family members.


Read Simply Triangles¬†book in several ways: ¬†follow Barbara’s introductory method instructions and understand her step-by-step techniques; read through the patterns themselves to see a variety of designs incorporating the techniques; read the personal stories and life lessons to glimpse Barbara’s personal life and wisdom.

Please leave a comment below, I will draw from the participating visitors today, and one lucky person will win a copy of Barbara’s new book. Follow Barbara at her blog,¬† or on her website: ¬†¬† This book is a great addition to your personal library! International winners will receive an e-book version rather than a printed copy.

Visit other bloggers in the tour to read additional reviews:

Sept. 3  Polly the Patch Worker
Sept. 4  Cherry House Quilts
Sept. 5  Jan Krentz
Sept. 6  Connecting Threads
Sept. 7  Coleen Sr. Xanga

Happy Stitching!

2012 – Commission Quilt 3 – Diamond palette

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

After cutting, I created my “palette” of fabrics – quite a range, from lights through medium and dark, in a range of colors. I don’t cut too many pieces at this point, because I will likely need to fine-tune the number of fabrics I use. I can always cut a few more as needed during the design phase.

light to medium spring green

light to medium spring green








teal, brown, green

teal, brown, green








a range of blue colors from dark to light

a range of blue and purple colors from dark to light








detail - you can see some of the textures

detail – you can see some of the textures

Podcast with Jan and Anita Solomon

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Jan & Anita - "loot" purchased at the quilt showWhile in Houston for quilt Market & Festival recently, Anita Grossman Solomon (of Make it Simpler) and I met with Jackie Kunkel for a podcast interview. Please join us!

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Visit¬†Jackie’s Quilting Chronicles¬†for more great interviews!

Location: International Quilt Festival, Houston


Jan & Anita at Schoolhouse with Starburst quilt

Jan with Anita Solomon, Schoolhouse - Starburst quilt

Cherri House displaying I Do, Too quilt
Cherri House &¬†Hollyhock Garden “I Do, Too” quilt

Anita Grossman Solomon with her Old Italian Quilt

New quilt design – Expanded Broken Star

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

What a great sewing time at home in my studio! During the Quick Star workshops, students request additional designs.

   Fussy Cutter 45 degree diamond ruler set

Pushing the envelope by¬†adding more layers, I am developing expanded designs that will become workshops in the near future. I would love to know your thoughts about this design¬†‚ąí please comment below, or send an e-mail to me at [remove spaces] jan @

This design was created using left-over 3″ diamonds cut from undersea fish and ocean fabrics (from a Mexican Riviera cruise workshop). I arranged the loose diamonds in a fairly symmetric setting, and drafted the smaller diamonds to create a more complex outside row.¬† There is currently no published pattern for this variation, and it will be offered in the near future as a workshop.

 Jan Krentz Expanded Broken Star, cut with the 3" diamond


Harajuku Lady Millifiori One Block Wonder

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Wow, that title is quite a mouth-full! I think you’ll agree, the quilt looks great!

I added a narrow black & white striped border around the outer edges of the triangles to create a visual separation between the pieced hexagons and the lovely water-color printed & embroidered background fabric.

Jan Krentz - Add narrow trim, detail

Jan Krentz add narrow trim full section

Jan Krentz Harajuku Lady Millifiori detail

Jan Krentz Harajuku Lady Millifiori One Block Wonder