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Dana in Cherrywood — the hand-dyed fabric to die for — booth at International Quilt Festival in Houston. Photo by Janet Messanelli Bozzone.

I love Cherrywood fabric, the luscious hand-dyed fabric made by Karla Overland and crew at their base in Minnesota. I buy most of mine at Wooden Spools, my crush quilt shop in Englewood, Colorado, though I have been known to pick up some yardage at quilt shows. I first met Cherrywood at International Quilt Festival in Chicago more than 15 years ago. It looks bit like suede but handles like other quilting cottons. The saturation of the colors is amazing.

Last year at Wooden Spools when Karla was visiting the shop, I noticed the quilt you see me standing next to in the above photo. It looked familiar. Then I realized it was a full-sized quilt based on a block I'd designed and made in Cherrywood fabrics for Quilters Newsletter. Karla said when she saw the block in the magazine, she thought it was a full quilt. She was surprised to learn it was just a block that's about 14" x 14". I love her version. She gifted me with the pattern. It was fun to see it hanging in Houston.

Block designed and pieced by Dana Jones

Delivering on a Promise

Angela Petrocelli with her Best of Show quilt at International Quilt Festival in Houston. Photo by Dana Jones.

What a joy to meet and talk with Angela Petrocelli, this year's top winner at International Quilt Festival in Houston. One of the best parts of festival is Wednesday night when the winning quiltmakers stand with their quilts and explain their designs and processes toward making stunning quilts. It must be exhausting for them but so great for attendees to meet these talented designers and makers.

When I posted a photo of Angela's quilt, "Beyond Reason," a few days ago, I promised I'd try to get an in-focus photo of the detail of her foundation paper piecing. She made that easy by bringing a sample of her 1" x 1" blocks for all to see up close. Blown away is all I can say about her exquisite work. She said it took about an hour to piece each block and something around 6,000 hours to make the quilt.

Wow! Just Wow!

The First of Two Lectures

A handful of the 500+ triangular quilts that make up the International Honor Quilt. Photo by Dana Jones.

I presented my lecture, "The International Honor Quilt: Women Remembering Women," this afternoon. It was a joy to meet several women who knew quite a bit about Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party" art installation but had not heard of the International Honor Quilt. There were so many good questions. I was honored to have fellow teachers Helen Frost and Carol Wilhoit attend the lectures. If you don't know their work and teaching, it's time for you to check them out.

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Dana teaching "Demystifying Design for Foundation Paper Piecing" at International Quilt Festival in Houston November 1, 2022. Photo by Janet Messanelli Bozzone.

Thank you to the 12 women who signed up for the first of the three classes I'm teaching here in Houston. They were so much fun, and they were a talented group.

There's a lot to learn in the first few hours of this class. It can overwhelming. I try to let folks know they may be confused for an hour, an hour and a half, even two hours but then they are likely to have a light-bulb moment. My day was made today when one of the students, Carolyn, about two hours in said, "I'm clicking with this now." Nothing feels better to a teacher than knowing those who paid their money and showed up are learning what they came for.

I enjoy teaching, and teaching drains my energy. So this will be another short blog post. I will teach two more classes here in Houston. If you're in the area, there are still openings.

I'll teach "Geese Over Manhattan" from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, 3, 2022.

I'll teach "Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima" from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, November 4, 2022. (See picture at top of blog.)

"Geese Over Manhattan" designed and pieced

by Dana Jones. Quilted by ZJ Humbach.

Tomorrow I'll deliver the first of two lectures here at Quilt Festival: "The International Honor Quilt: Women Remembering Women." This community art project, which includes more than 500 2' x 2' x 2' triangles honoring individual women, women's groups and women's issues, was created in conjunction with exhibitions of Judy Chicago's iconic feminist art installation, "The Dinner Party." It is a wonderful story of women across political, religious and national divides coming together to celebrate women, known and unknown.

Kuroha Shizuko works with vintage indigos. Yoko Saito designs taupe fabrics.

I'll present my lecture "Indigo, Taupe and More: Japanese Fabrics from Vintage to Contemporary" from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, November 5.

Another Winning Quilt

"Born to Be Wild" by Susan de Vanny of Australia

"Born to Be Wild" by Susan de Vanny won the top award for Innovative Artistry sponsored by Janome. She says of the piece: "Wild dogs or painted wolves are my favorite animals out of Africa. Here, three young pups are walking ahead of the adult dog in the background in a landscape of a changing enviroment. Diminishing in numbers rapidly from disease, it is crucial to look after the numbers before they reach a crisis point, like so many African animals. The webbed holes represent climate change and the effects it has on nature's wonderful creatures."

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From left, Linda Hahn, teacher extraordinaire, and Dana Jones with Linda's "Castleton Corner" quilt full size and in a mini version that can be made from scraps from the full size quilt. No waste here. Photo by Janet Messanelli Bozzone.

Stitching heaven is the best way I can describe today. Linda Hahn's "Castleton Corner" class was the perfect mix of a learning new techniques while creating a charming quilt. You'll have to take a class with Linda to learn her "stomach" approach to foundation piecing. It works, and you'll be richer as a quilter for getting this idea in your toolbox. For those of you who know my usual snail's pace in class, I'm happy to say I kept up today even as I enjoyed Linda' unique, slightly raucous sense of human and storytelling.

I found I was happy with my fabric choices, which are subtle but working because of the value contrasts. This afternoon, Linda did a mini trunk show through which I learned our versatile this block is. You'll find examples on her website and in any of her many books.

Her company is Frog Hollow Designs. Her quilts that incorporate her brand — frogs, lily pads and such — were cute and her many spins on this block inspiring as they provided ideas for going further with it.

My New York Beauty block from class.

It's so interesting to see how different the same block can look when you change up the fabric. My friend Janet Messanelli Bozzone chose a lady bug fabric (see below) as her focus fabric then built her color palette around that fabric. So while my color palette is limited to blues, mauves/purples and white — a rather calm and narrow range — Janet's palette is teaming with energy. Others in the class had a variety of approaches making each block beautiful in its own way.

Block by Janet Messanelli Bozzone, White Plains, NY

Check out the lady bugs on Janet's focus fabric, which will appear in other parts of her quilt.

Before I Sleep

Half-done binding on "Out on a Limb" designed and pieced by Dana Jones and quilted by Rita Meyerhoff.

Finding the right fabric to bind "Out on a Limb" proved challenging. When I finally settled on one of Moda's Grunge fabrics, I was surprised. It is often the last place you look that proves the best choice. In this case, the touch of blue throughout the otherwise dark brown fabric complements the blues and browns of the design. A bit of fussy cutting ensured there was enough of the blue showing. I've not used Grunge much but am learning why so many quilters keep multiple cuts of this fabric line in a range of colors in their stashes. Now to finish binding this quilt tonight.

Detail of the binding on "Out on a Limb."

Yet Another Winning Quilt

From Houston Show

"Soul of the Southwest" by Debbie Corbett with Mike Corbett

"Soul of the Southwest" by Debbie Corbett with Mike Corbett won the top award for Machine Artistry sponsored by Gammill. The makers said of this quilt: "Our love of Native American artwork inspired us to recreate an authentic serape quilt. The process began with selecting the correct quilt pattern, fabric colors, quilting designs and thread colors. The quilt consists of 2,426 one-inch pieces, 12 thread colors, and over one million quilting stitches. The 28 custom quilting designs were created from traditional vintage pottery artwork from the Acoma, Zuni, Hopi and Navajo (Dine) People."

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