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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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Janet Messanelli Bozzone's fabric choices for tomorrow's class.

I begin teaching here in Houston Tuesday but first I'm taking a class taught by Linda Hahn to make her "Castleton Corner" quilt. My friend Janet Messanelli Bozzone from New York selected this class for the two of us to take together. You saw my fabric picks a few days ago. Here are Janet's. Check out the charming lady bugs. It will be fun to see how much our quilts look the same and how much they look different.

Janet enjoying dinner at Ninfa's on Navigation.

This will a short blog tonight. I'm tired after a day of catching up on email and binding a small quilt that's a class sample I use in my "Demystifying Design for Foundation Piecing" class before heading to the Houston airport to pick up Janet. We enjoyed dinner at Ninfa's on Navigation, a restaurant that figures in my lecture on the International Honor Quilt, a lecture I'll give later this week. I'll tell you more about Ninfa then. She was an amazing woman. Her legacy lives on with some of her original recipes and variations on them featured on the restaurant's menu.

Another Winning Quilt

"Blue Basket" by Roberta Lagomarsini

Roberta Lagomarsino's "Blue Basket" won the top Contemporary Artistry Award, sponsored by eQuilter of Boulder, Colorado. (Go Luana Rubin!) Roberta's original design was inspired by baskets in the book Scrape the Willow Until It Sings by Deborah Valoma. A description of the quilt says: "Inspired by California and Nevada Piute Tribes' winnowing baskets, this is a deconstructed version to allow viewing of the weaving. The vibrant colors show the beauty of the rituals involved in creating the baskets, and a hand-painted background fabric suggests the seeds, leaves and other debris that falls through the basket. Quilting is in the basketweave pattern."

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