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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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En route to the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, I stopped to visit my sister. We spent the day in her amazing garden. I hope you'll enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them and spending the day among these gorgeous blooms.

A bit of wisdom among the flowers

The lawn at Tin Cup RV Park

Tin Cup RV Park near Lake in the Woods Forest Preserve:

A Great Place to Stay

I stayed two nights at Tin Cup RV Park, which is a privately-owned local campground with lots of space between sites, full hookups, helpful staff, and a lush green lawn that was a delight to walk on barefoot. Lawns aren't a thing in Colorado where I live so it's nice to enjoy the morning dew between my toes from time to time.

Rain the day before I arrived meant lots of mushrooms/toadstools had popped up and the clover was everywhere just ready to be picked and tied into necklaces and bracelets, a favorite past time of mine as a child growing up in the Midwest.

A Flash From the Not-Too-Distant Past

I recently taught and spoke for the League of Northern Colorado Quilters who meet in Loveland, Colorado. Outside, it a was a gray, rainy day – rare in Colorado though we always welcome the rain. Inside was a different story. It was a warm, fun group that got into making Fabulous Freeform table runners. A few folks even expanded theirs to bed-sized quilts.

I really enjoy teaching for guilds, and being in-person with a great group quilters was a treat. A shout out to program chair Carla Lucas for all the hard work she did to set up the day. Thanks, Carla!

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