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The photo on the left is after Sue, the makeup artist, had her way with me. She even put a little lift in my hair and a little makeup over the blotches on my neck and chest!

Photo on right is me with Susan Brubaker Knapp, the host of the show, just before the filming of my first segment. It was purely accidental that my blouse matched my backdrop garments and quilt!

It took me weeks to prepare my two segments due to the fact that I needed to show every step completed to a certain point. In making a 9″ x 11″ reverse appliqué quilt, I needed to make 5 completely embellished appliqués. A lot of extra work!

The filming itself was easy, as long as the sewing went well! I couldn’t get the self- threaded to work on my BERNINA – no ones fault but my nerves kicked in. Hard to make anything work when your hand is shaking.

All the women at KS Productions and all those from Quilting Arts magazine were wonderful and supportive. Nice to get to chat with them each a bit – super sweet and helpful no matter what question we asked about!

Hope you will all watch their 10th Season, 2000.



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Quilting Arts TV


The photo above is on our way to the QA TV shoot! That is Martha Wolfe (Davis, CA), then Jenny Lyon (Granite Bay, CA), and I (looking very tired from lack of sleep!).

Wow! Finally recovered from my trip to Solon, Ohio where I filmed 2 segments for Quilting Arts TV!

I flew in on Southwest Airlines with Jenny Lyon of Granite Bay (CA) and Martha Wolfe of Davis (CA). We were greeted with 40 – 50 mile an hour wind gusts, snow, and 20 degree temperatures! Brr – very cold for 3 quilters from the Golden State!

We had a wonderful time! All the women at KS Productions and the QNN staff were so sweet and supportive! We had been informed on what to wear and avoid during the filming. And, that there would be a professional makeup artist to do our “faces” the day we filmed. (I haven’t looked so good in 30 years!)

Anyway, our segments will air in July 2017. Hope you’ll all take the opportunity to watch us!






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Today I am sharing this original 3-dimensional flower with you.catalonia-berninaI used many of these silk flowers on my BERNINA fashion show garment, “Cacophony of Catalonia Colors,” shown above. It was the result of my trip to Barcelona for Quilt Expo with Yvonne Porcella.

I realize the flower looks smashed in this photo. Sorry, but that’s what happens when you try to scan a 3-dimensional flower on a flat bed scanner! (I also chose not to stuff the flower’s center to keep it somewhat flatter than ideal for an embellishment.)

The paper is 8 – 1/2″ x 11″. Just print the directions on standard-size (US) paper, and you will be good to go.


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My entry is TILES, fabric hexagon tiles. I started with cutting fabric into the size hexagons that would fill a 40″ x 40″ quilt, a requirement from the Dinner@8 ladies.

I moved the hexies around and around, substituting one color and texture for another. Hand dyed and woven silks (Dupioni and Charmeuse satin), hand dyed batiks, and a few beautiful pieces from Mickey Lawler’s SkyDyes, and one piece from Yvonne Porcella’s first fabric line with P & B fabrics.

My iPhone was my “color placement evaluation” tool. My iPhone is filled with many, many different arrangements! Finally I had to choose one of them. This photo is not the winning layout.


My next step was to determine what threads and stitches I would use to embellish the perimeter of each hexagon, and test threads for machine quilting.Thread_stitching

This test stitch-out is what I do for every project. It allows me to eliminate stitches and threads that are not compatible with the fabrics/batting/backing of a project. There were 3 or 4 stitch out “quilt sandwiches”, each composed of the fabrics, batting, and backing to be used in the quilt.  Note that brand, fiber, and color of thread are noted with a Sharpie permanent pen. The stitch chosen, #4 (Bernina), tension, stitch length and width settled on.

Version 2

A detail shot of my failure painting metallic gold on the edges of a fused shape. This was subsequently and laboriously removed and replaced!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post!

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I am lucky enough to have been listed to speak at the Northern California Council of Quilt Guild’s July “Meet the Teacher Program.”

I will be introducing two new workshops in 2016:

  1. “Wild for Machine Embellishments,” featuring techniques of: bobbin work with metallic and heavy threads; techniques for couching of fancy yarns; super accurate stitching of ribbons and soutache; simple stitching of rickrack and other braids, and more. All the fabric (including batiks, interfacing, batik backing, and speciality threads plus all trims for this four-block project  are provided in a kit at $15/student.
  2. “Beginning Machine Applique Techniques From an Expert.” While learning the techniques of machine satin stitch, blanket stitch, my precise “Reverse Appliqué by Machine, Mock Hand appliqué by machine, each student will complete a charming quilt of “The Cow Jumping Over the Moon – and Beyond.” Additionally, students will learn three methods of making exacting circles for the three planets featured in the sky. All the fabrics: for the cow, moon, planets and the  backing, batting, and binding are provided in a kit priced at $15/student. 

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Here is my Affinity quilt,

Here is my Affinity quilt, “Napa Valley Vineyard with Red Barn.” It was a challenge, but well worth the effort. The hardest part was to find just the right fabric to interpret the verdant green of this vineyard in new spring growth. I used colored pencils and Pro Chem’s Transparent Paint  get the tree and the mountain range just the right color for the composition. (Thank you Susan Brubaker Knapp for instructions on using these paints. Check out her work at: www.bluemoonriver.com)

To borrow the word “Huge” from Donald Trump may turn off some of you, my blog followers, but you must admit, Quilt Festival was HUGE! However, I did spend a little more time shopping and chatting with old friends and new friends and probably didn’t use my 3 days in Houston to my best advantage! There were so, so many fabulous quilts displayed. I don’t think I have ever seen such an amazing bunch of interesting and complex quilts ever – anywhere!

A big “thank you” to Lisa Ellis for allowing Claudia Sammis and I to invade her half of a king suite at the Hilton Hotel of the Americas with a connecting “hallway” directly into the convention center and right at the Starbucks store. Thank you to Claudia for buying our Starbucks oatmeal in California that enabled us to eat in our hotel room! It was a grand time at the grandest quilt show in the US!

Of course, I was on hand to view my quilt, “Napa Valley Vineyard with Red Barn,” that had been juried into the Dinner@8’s (Jamine Fingal and Leslie) special exhibit “Affinity” of forty, 40″ x 40″ quilts.

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This quilt was juried into the special exhibit,

This quilt was juried into the special exhibit, “New Quilts From Northern California” and was displayed at Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center in October 2015.

Detail shot of this quilt.

Detail shot of this quilt.

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Our work after 4.5 days!

Our work after 4.5 days! (I’m 4th from the left.)

Just finally caught my breath after two “Meet the Teachers” events – one in Pleasant Hill and the other in Carson, SoCal. Got home and packed my bags for my week at Asilomar California State Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, with Empty Spools Seminars where I roomed with BFF Claudia Sammis.

We spent the week with Susan Brubaker Knapp where she taught us her painting technique with transparent paints and her “Thread Stitching.” What a great teacher! Susan is down to earth and giving of all her stitching and painting knowledge. She worked with us while treating a toothache with Motrin and antibiotics! What a gal! What a trooper! Some of you may know that my husband is a retired general dentist. Being a dental wife, I have heard many different dental issues discussed and diagnoses made, so I feel almost as if I have been through at least one year of dental school (ha ha). Of course I texted my husband about Susan’s condition and he wanted her to go to an endodontist (root canal specialist) immediately. Susan hung in, however, and made it home to where she had her root canal several days ago. Bravo Susan!

Anyway, I believe we had 13 students in her workshop in Acacia, one of the small classroom in what I affectionately called “the bunker buildings.” I’ve even taught in this room for Empty Spools! My class with Nancy Crow was in this room the year my husband turned 40! (Hmm, that was 28 years ago!)

We had the best teacher (Susan B-Knapp), with the best students (no whiners, or teacher hogs) and the best output after our 4.5 days (except for me).

So, do give Empty Spools Seminars a shot if you haven’t ever been, or haven’t been in years. 2016 will be your year to brag!

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My new website is up and running!

I would love to hear your reaction to it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.36.06 PM

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As I type this post, my new website is being created. My son, Matt of Matt Hoover Design, created my original website years ago. My sister, Tammy Norton, (bless her soul) has updated and maintained the original version for years – without pay! (Now I did try to pay her, but she would always refuse!) She also desperately wanted me to replace the old website and frequently reminded me of the need to do so; however, I was too busy with teaching and couldn’t really imagine coming up with new ideas for a new site!

Well, finally I came to realize I needed to do something, and I was in the right place at the right time. It just so happened that my good friend and computer expert, Lisa Ellis (of Giving Back Technology, LLC) asked about my website. We discussed changes that I should have my sister make. Lisa made a few formating suggestions for the existing website, and with my permission, made them in the blink of an eye!

After a day or two of talking of needed updates and critical issues, I chose to ask my sister if she would like to be let out of her non-existent contract of unpaid webmaster. I couldn’t continue our arrangement without paying her. She agreed.

It has been tons of work for me and even more for Lisa to create the new site. It features polka dot wallpaper and rickrack embellishments. The banner for this blog was Tammy’s creation and is perfect as the banner at the top of each webpage.

Thank you Tammy, for all your hard work and creative input over the years.Tami:Maddy2012Sister Tammy with niece Maddy! I love you both! (more…)

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