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I'm making a second plaid for my "I'm Not From Ohio" quilt.

I'm afraid I'm a bit addicted to creating "fabric" for quilt blocks through piecing. I just spent a day and a half making my second plaid, and it's not quite finished. I needed a smaller repeat than with my first plaid. In case you didn't see it a few days ago, here is my first plaid in a finished block.

I have another color to add to the plaid at the top so I'll likely spend most of tomorrow on that. Some folks here at Quilt Surface Design Symposium think I'm crazy to do this work, some don't get it and some do similar detail work. The beauty of quilting is the range of what each of us enjoys and makes.

Meet Some of My Classmates

I had hoped to show you what my classmates have worked on here in Columbus this week but I really can't do so. Many are working on pieces they hope to enter into contests. If preliminary photos get out, that can destroy those opportunities. So I'm sharing their past work and links to their websites so you can see more. Most sell their work so if you are a collector, don't miss their shops.

Patty Kennedy-Zafred (Patty K-Z) has worked at the table next to mine this week. She is a delight. She makes the most amazing quilts working with archival photos, shibori dyeing and screen printing. Her work has been exhibited at Quilt National and in art galleries across the country. In fact, we had a chance to see one of her pieces at the Ohio Craft Museum yesterday. She is hatching some new ideas so watching her work into the future should be exciting. Check out her website.

Cindy Grisdela is not only an incredible quilt maker, she's also a gifted teacher and author. She shares some of the new directions she's going with her work on her website. While you're enjoying her work, check out her classes. You're likely to find one you want to sign up for. If you enjoy improv or want to try it, her books are must haves.

Kevin Womack worked at the table just across from me so I got to watch his process of putting his dyed and surfaced designed fabrics on his design wall as he looked for just the right combinations for his aesthetic. I especially liked his fabrics that include writing that only he can read though you are sure you should be able to decipher it. Kevin is not only taking classes here at QSDS, he's also teaching. Check out his website and don't miss his shop.

Art Gallery solids from Sew to Speak sewing shop in the Old Worthington neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio.

A Longer Lunch Break

I took a bit longer lunch break today so I could mail several copies of my book — thank you to all who have ordered them recently — then visited Sew to Speak sewing shop, where talented quilt artist and friend Rachel Wallis teaches and works. I couldn't pass up the shop's wall of Art Gallery solids. The hand of these fabrics is smooth and sleek, making this my new favorite brand of solids.

I picked up reds and oranges to round out my stash. Ditto for several rich browns. I had to toss in the turquoise just because. I got 1/2 yard cuts but met a woman who is enrolled in a two-week class with Nancy Crow who was buying 3 yards of just as many colors, maybe even more.

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Polka dots ala Maria Shell technique

I'm working on blocks for the quilt I started last summer in Maria Shell's "Riffing on Tradition" workshop during my independent study class at Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, this week. I completed the pieces for the block above this morning. I just need to stitch them together, and I'll have one more block done.

Pieced plaid, also by Maria Shell technique

I spent the rest of the day making plaid. What looks black here is actually a deep purple.

This "made" fabric is for a block I still need to piece.

All the blocks I've completed so far.

Making the blocks for this quilt, which I've named "I'm Not From Ohio," isn't quick. It's a slow and steady process. I've sketched the block designs but I find that once I'm constructing them, I make lots of tweaks and even some major changes. I enjoy the detail work required. I think some of the folks in the class think I'm a bit nuts doing this time-consuming work but then the beauty of quilting is there are so many variations on what you can create. My title for this quilt turns out to be a bit ironic since I'm sitting in Ohio stitching it.

I'm working with Cherrywood Fabric, uscious hand-dyed fabrics that look a bit like suede. The colors are vibrant as you can see.

At left, "Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima" ©by Dana Jones. Above, "Bird on a Branch" ©by Dana Jones.

Enrollment Under Way for June and July Classes

I'm accepting registrations for upcoming open enrollment classes:

  • "Demystifying Design for Foundation Piecing" 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT Thursdays, June 23 and 30. Register now.

  • "Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima" 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT Wednesdays, July 6 and 13. Register now.

  • "Demystifying Design for Foundation Piecing" 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT Thursdays, July 14 and 21. Register now.

"Circle of Friends" ©by Dana Jones

Now You Can Inset Circles Fast and Easy

Have you always wanted to add circles to your quilts but didn't know an easy way to do so? This four-hour class will teach you how using just eight pins and a foolproof method developed by Cheryl Phillips using her amazing Cut A Round tool. You can buy this special ruler through Cheryl (Phillips Fiber Art) or from me when you enroll in this class.

The class will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 via Zoom. Book now.

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Quilt Surface Design Symposium is held at Columbus College of Art and Design where visitors have no question that ART is front and center on campus. Photo by Dana Jones.

The first day of class at QSDS was fun, inspiring, exhausting. Through Sunday, I'm enrolled in an independent study class with Michael James. I'm surrounded by amazing quilters, each with a unique focus for the week. Beyond the joy of having seven full days to focus on stitching, I hope to get more clarity on where I want my quilting to go next and how to juggle making art with teaching and speaking. Stay tuned for where this week takes me.

My work space in the independent study classroom

Deciding what to work on is the first challenge in this class. I'm hoping to complete more of the blocks in the quilt I began in Maria Shell's "Riffing on Tradition" class last summer. It's been almost a year since that class so it really is time to complete this.

Today, I finished the smallest block on the right side design wall. (Every participant has two work tables and two design walls.) I also completed the center of another block. That's the long, narrow strip on the right design wall. I hope to complete that block and get most if not all of the work done on another block tomorrow.

This quilt, a riff on the Ohio Star block, will be called, "I'm Not From Ohio." That title printed on the post-its in my fabric bins threw one of the other members of the class a bit. She is from Ohio so wondered what in the world I meant with those labels. Once she saw the blocks, she enjoyed the twist on the blocks' name.

I have several other projects with me so I'm not sure if all my attention will be on this or I'll work on one or both of the other projects too.

My class this week is on the third floor of the building above. The campus was lovely this morning with art and wildlife to enjoy before digging into the day's work/fun. Photos by Dana Jones.

I'm looking forward to Day 2. I hope some of my classmates will let me take photos of their works in progress to share. Watch for those soon.

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