A Log Cabin class at Bear’s Paw Ranch

December 3rd, 2013

With the holidays right around the corner, and so much to do, I decided to teach a class right in my home at the Bear’s Paw Ranch. We started our day off with freshly baked pumpkin bread and coffee then went on up to the Koala Studio. The ladies just absolutely love the Koala Studio, it’s such a splendid place to spend the day!




Most of the group had already been introduced to the famous Log Cabin pattern but we did have a “log cabin virgin” among us. After showing a handful of possibilities with the log cabin pattern, we pulled out the AccuQuilt cutters and got to cutting!




The AccuQuilt cutter makes cutting and piecing your projects so much easier: Just place your fabric on the die, crank it through your cutter and you’re ready to sew!

Brenda and Karen pay close attention on how to sew their centers for their blocks; Remember to always press AWAY from the center.

Diana, our “log cabin virgin”, got the hang of chain piecing very quickly! Here’s to introducing quilting to the new generation!

Here was Brenda with her scraps, she likes to make little wallhangings and projects with scraps! Never throw your scraps away, ladies!


As noon came around, the smell of lunch lured us all to the dining room. We had a delicious, filling meal to give us the strength to sew some more!


It wouldn’t be a day at Bear’s Paw Ranch if we didn’t interact with nature. We took a little hike through the yard and fed my neighbors’ donkeys. Some of the ladies were so excited to feed a donkey for the first time!

We took our shoes off and shifted into gear with our log cabin wall hangings!



What a fun day spent making, none other than my favorite, Log Cabins with these lovely ladies! What do you think of their wall hangings?


Saturday with El and Julian Women’s Club

February 1st, 2012

Every year the Julian Women’s Club make an Opportunity Quilt at my home, Bear’s Paw Ranch. Each July the  winning ticket is drawn at their annual quilt show. Proceeds support the youth of Julian. Planning starts in January with a group discussing the opportunity quilt and making items for the country store.

The group decided to make a patriotic quilt, similar to Teresa Varnes’s First Ladies quilt from my new Tales of First Ladies book.

In the Koala studio, ladies divided into teams to work on each pair of blocks.

Oh  no! We skipped a whole page in the book! Time to unsew.

Jan and Diane pressed everything perfectly.

What do you say, thumbs up or thumbs down??

We used this method to vote for our favorite fabric for the Eagle’s shield.

Can you pick out the gals that voted with both hands? Shame!


Stocking Stuffers

December 9th, 2011

Stacked and ready, these handmade caps……

get stuffed into these handmade stockings,

for a good cause of course!

On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, the QIAD Charity Quilters teamed up with students from Community Christian School of San Marcos to stuff Christmas stockings for donation to the Women’s Resource Center in Oceanside.

The Charity Quilters that made this possible: Jan Thompson (photographer), Marlys Baye, Helen Dember, Nan Hallbick, Rosie McCoy, Claire McKarns, Shirely Riley, Marsha Terhall, and Betty Wagner.

Charity Quilters with a table full of goodies to fill each stocking.

The students started their stocking project in October of this year and were required to make two stockings each for donation. Their teacher, Suzanne Law, provided instruction and help as they worked on their projects. There were a total of 32 festive stockings the students made. The Charity Quilters and students donated lotions and potions, combs and candy for stuffing. The stockings were brimming over when they were finished. It is a wonderful time of giving support to an organization that provides so much for women in the north county area.

“Elves” filling up their creations with a jolly attitude.

Just a little more, it will fit!

Thanks to the students who participated:

Brett, Sean, Dante, Kylie, Kimberly, Bella, Emily, Olivia, and Naomi.

The mission of the Women’s Resource believes that all people should be free from the crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault. Those who are victims of these crimes should have access to services that assist them in recovering from their trauma and moving forward in their lives. Women’s Resource Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality supportive services, counseling, shelter and education to women, men and children involved in or threatened by domestic violence or sexual assault. Our goals are to inform, educate, support, advocate, heighten public awareness, provide short-term shelter, provide long-term residential shelter, and reinforce the fact that domestic violence is a crime. To learn more about the Women’s Resource, see their web site at: http://www.wrcsd.org/

Kylee was the youngest member of the delivery team….a little elf helper!


San Diego Here I Come!

August 29th, 2011

San Diego here I come…nearly where I started from, in my quilting career that is! San Marcos is about 35 miles north of San Diego so it is just a jaunt down the freeway to get to the San Diego Quilt Show September 8-10 at the San Diego Convention Center.  http://www.sandiegoquiltshow.com/

One reason I am extra excited is that I’ll be featured as the guest of honor.  I AM HONORED! This is an opportunity to meet many of you who live locally and have the same passion for making quilts that I do. Much has changed in the thirty three years since I started my quilting career. To make a quilt, we tore our strips, now a rotary cutter gets the job done in no time. Gone are the days of puffy batting, simple quilting, limited fabric choices and few designs. I am happy to work with new technology, both as a design tool and putting a quilt together…still “in a day”.

Please, if you attend the San Diego Quilt Show, stop by, I’d love to meet you.

This is a quilt from our newest book, Radiant Star Quilts.

A little surprise arrived last week so I could meet her before I go on the road in September. My new granddaughter Becca Burns made an appearance two years EXACTLY since her brother Jonas was added to the family. They share the same birthday, August 24! Isn’t that fun? Has this happened in your family? I read once that within a certain group of people you will find common things, birthdays, anniversaries, people in common. I find it to be so true and now our family is proof that it happens. I will get a picture of little Becca soon to share with you.


On the Air Today!

April 18th, 2011

Listen live at 1:35 pacific daylight time as I am interviewed by Pat Sloan today, April 18th.

Use this link  http://toginet.com/shows/creativetalkradio

She has some questions to ask me, and I’ll happily give her answers….hope you’ll join us.



Quilting for Charity

March 31st, 2011

March 19th brought many volunteers to Quilt in a Day for a day long Quiltathon. From 7am to 5pm seamstresses filtered in and out making quilt tops for charity. Quilt in a Day provided kits to get them started and the Baby Lock machines many of them used.

A pile of Log Cabin blocks “hot” off the sewing machine!

Brenda continues to add rounds.

A little pressing and a huge smile.

It didn’t take long to finish the rounds and lay out the Log Cabin

blocks into the All Sevens pattern.

Great job by all the participants. There were between 12 to 15 tops made that day. Quilts are donated to the Women’s Resource Center and needy families at Camp Pendleton.

Bed Turning

March 17th, 2011

Last week I held an old fashion Bed Turning at my home in Carlsbad – it was my first,  and such a fun event. Our local Quilt Study Group as well as my “Bucket List” club were on hand to view the 25 quilts layered on a twin bed. The bed was in the corner of the living room allowing seating  for all to see the medley of Garden Quilts I selected to show.

As each quilt was shown, I was able to tell the story of the designer, the year the quilt was made, and even share a magazine article from the time period the quilt was introduced. A Marie Webster French Basket design was the featured top quilt. Marie was the inspiration to many quilters in the early 1900’s. Many quilts on the bed featured flower motifs, a sure sign that winter is over and warmer “garden weather” is ahead.

The assembled group exclaimed, “That is the biggest hunk of “That Green” fabric from the 1930’s that I have ever seen, — and not faded!”

A lovely Grandmother’s Garden Quilt was inspired by Florence LaGanke in 1928 and 1929. Originally the patterns were published once a week by Publisher’s Syndicate under the name “Nancy Page Quilt Club.” Quilt in a Day published a Grandmother’s Garden Quilt book in 1999…you can make your own!

So soft and feminine, this quilt combines applique and stitching for a sunny spring look. The patterns were printed on fabric in blue ink, it saved the consumer the tedious job of marking.

Tulips spring up in this antique quilt inspired by Ruby McKim. To make your own updated version, we have a kit available from our Easy Strip Tulip book. Visit our website and search for kit #7074.

What is an event without some delicious goodies?

This was a wonderful way to share my quilts, I plan to do it again at the Quilter’s Hall of Fame in July. Hope to see you there.

Happy faces

February 24th, 2011

A fun group of 24 smiling ladies  took the Teacher Training course in Paducah, KY last week. Here we posed for the traditional group picture. Should you get the chance to visit our Paducah store, you will be greeted by Jeannie. She IS the front row (circled) and is the store manager.

It was time to begin with a little instruction…

and then a lot of sewing. Its pedal to the metal.

They happily concentrate on Demo in a Bag for Tossed Nine Patch.

Eight pointed Stars go up on their “bulletin boards”. The Stars will be used as a sample in their own teaching experiences.

It was special to have Ingrid Wirebjer in class. She designed the Orion’s Star Quilt…we’re proud it is such a successful book.

Classes take place above the Paducah store. It is fabulous space sectioned off for sewing, lectures and meals. Perhaps you will join us for a future Teacher Training class at either our San Marcos, CA location, or in Paducah.
Sew Cal Gal recently attended our San Marcos Teacher Training and wrote about it on her blog.   http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/

Delectable Mountain On a Delectable Mountain

February 3rd, 2011

Often in winter Julian, Ca, a mountain town, gets it’s share of snow. Recently though, on a bright and sunny day, ladies from the Julian Women’s Club gathered  in my Koala Studio to make their Opportunity Quilt for the July 4th drawing.

The pattern selected for 2011 is the Delectable Mountain, so fitting of our own “delectable” mountain.

We began by making some important fabric decisions.

In no time at all, it was show and tell time. Several mountains were sewn with charming results using my new fabric line “Perennials”.

Janet is perplexed. Does that ever happen to you?

In just four hours time, we had three rounds done. Wow!

Watch for our finished quilt.


Merry Merry!

December 15th, 2010

Santa isn’t the only one keeping elves busy…we don’t make toys, we sew blocks and make QUILTS. Teresa and Sue are all dolled up  hanging blocks from my newest pattern Diamond Studded Courthouse presented at our final Strip Tzz Block Party of 2010.

Last month we featured In the Pines pattern. A month later, many gals showed up with clever versions. Two friends shared a plastic ornament, prying it in half to hang above their trees. Embellishments, swags, and lights were added as decorations making sparkly, clever holiday wall hangings.

After class, we had our traditional end of the year potluck.
This year we surprised everyone and held it at the clubhouse where Orion lives.

Not only can they quilt, look at the food they brought. Everything from fabulous salads, to interesting and yummy main dishes….and dessert,  too much.

Smiles told the story of a fun afternoon.

Kylee was a doll, just the best present under my tree.

I wish for you the happiest of holidays
with your friends and family.

See you next year!!