Saturday, January 5, 2019


OPENINGS REMAIN----Thank you to all who have registered for the 10th Annual Spring Needle Art Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island : May 5-10, 2019


I welcome you to one, or more, or my three classes -- Improv in Cloth-Small Studies; 
Abstract Design in Quilts; Studio Hand Quilting.  In each of these classes, I share the process of working without a pattern. Your imagination takes the lead, and you experience the pleasure of making an original quilt. For those of you who really like to be immersed, Small Studies and Abstract Design can be companion classes, one building on the other. 

See you at the Grand!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


We are just a few days away from the start of winter, but I'm thinking about October 2019 for a return to MADELINE ISLAND SCHOOL OF THE ARTS.

details here
 A Quilt Study Workshop with an emphasis on color and composition

Breaking illustration of the topic, not a project. You will be following your muse!

A five day workshop is ideal when the focus is on process. Dedicated time allows focus and full exploration of the topic, plus you get to know your classmates! The studio space is really fine at the MISA Island facility. Staying on campus allows you to be minutes away from all the action. The early birds and the night owls are welcome in the 24 hour studio, and I can't get enough of a week together. The old saying, once a camp counselor always a camp counselor...ok maybe there in no old saying like that. I mean to say that I like to pop-in before hours and after hours to really get a feel for what is going on. Plus, I like to consult with you before we arrive on campus to consider optional evening activities. Previous classes have been interested in group dinners, book reviews and recommendations, and show and tell of previous quilts students have made. Use the link above for more information and to register. I hope you can join me!

Saturday, December 1, 2018



It is my pleasure to offer workshops at the 10th Annual Needle Art Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island --- Sunday May 5 through Friday May 10, 2019 

Registration opens Monday December 3rd, 2018

This will be a memorable event at a historic location! I am one of several instructors, and
here is my schedule of classes:

Improv in Cloth - Small Studies / Sun. 1-4 pm, Mon. 9-4
Abstract Design in Quilts / T & W 9-4
Studio Hand Quilting / Th. 9-4 & Fri. 9-12

Details are in the brochure in the above link. We hope you can join us! (forgive me for taking the liberty to speak for the other instructors)

ps----the Small Studies followed by the Abstract Design in Quilts can be considered companion classes. If taking both classes, you might find you want to use a small study as the starting place for the larger quilt. 

hand quilting in process - embrace the doodle
getting started by making a few parts

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Here I am starting another quilt with just a little thing. This scrap of printed linen had an irresistible black circle that is about two thread widths wide. Adorable! An accent was called for and I found a smart pink scrap, about 3/4 inch wide.  A few stitches later, it is all sewn down and keeping company with "spot". It is so small it will not be real visible at a distance, but I will know it is there! The strip is about 2 1/2 inches wide and it will adorn the sewing table as I begin to piece and see what develops. I like to include little bits in a larger quilt. A tentative palette is in mind. I plan to experiment with low contrast, muddy color as a starting place. Add a left-over from my previous work that will most likely make it's way into this quilt, and a thought about some parts using a liberated log cabin format...I'm on my way!

Another view of the linen strip. The background in the photo is the back of a small whole cloth quilt that debuted as inspiration for a studio hand quilting workshop.
That quilt was handy for the photo because I just put a wide binding on it. How about that! Starting and finishing in one day. 

Take a look at me now!

quilt in progress
pieces and parts are well on the way to larger ensembles

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A STITCH IN TIME-workshop news

October inspires me! Taking a workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts is a fine way to welcome the autumn quilting season.

Sail across Lake Superior from Bayfield, Wisconsin to reach your destination for a superior creative experience. The trip is about 15 minutes from shore to shore. 

Explore free form hand quilting   ---------  OCTOBER 1-5, 2018  ------

Expressive stitching, experimentation is the idea. 

Time is short yet it's not too late to register for this 5 day workshop.
link to details    ---   STUDIO HAND QUILTING

My workshop is for everyone. You who loves to hand quilt and you who would like to learn. In a small group, your individual needs will be attended. With multiple days to focus, you will discover your individual stitching style.

I approach hand quilting as I do piecing.  With no pattern or marking, my imagination is free to play and improvise. It is liberating!

Here I might be liberating some embroidery stitches. Traditional quilting stitches are enhanced with a variety of threads and random stitching. Abstraction and texture is the result. Or you could say I'm playing around!

You are cordially invited to join me! Madeline Island School of the Arts-October 1-5, 2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Crayons 45" x 44" is in the American Quilter July 2018 issue, First Place Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted----AQS QUILTWEEK Spring Paducah.

This is the second year in a row AQS has awarded my quilts this honor. I blush with appreciation. Some of my colleagues have said they never thought of hand quilting an "improv" quilt, and I'm here to urge you to do just that. Liberate your imagination, thread that needle and be adventurous! still have time to register for my October workshop at the Madeline Island School of the Arts  STUDIO HAND QUILTING  Everyone is welcome. No one is too much of a novice.

Monday, June 18, 2018


by pam beal

It was summer when the United Auto Workers voted to strike. Dad had picket line duty, and strike pay to cover the most basic needs. Our neighbors invited us to join them in the blueberry fields and the four of us became field hands. From my youthful point of view, we were about to have an adventure. 

Our new co-workers welcomed us with warmth and lots of help and advice. Quickly and correctly removing blueberries from the bush requires skill and just the right moves. We were paid cents per bucket, and our days were long, hot and dirty. But there you were! I experienced the music of your language, your kindness, and your work ethic. 

While I stitched this quilt, troubling circumstances called me back to my berry patch days, and the neighbors I loved. They were of Mexican heritage. Our family was....what? According to my dad, we were "mutts" from a mixed background of long ago, and not so long ago immigrants. And there was that story about how a neighbor spoke unkindly to my grandfather (a Swedish immigrant who served America in World War I) making fun of his English, and how my grandmother set that woman straight in no uncertain terms.

The quilt is now completed but significant trouble persists. It is dangerous for a society to turn away from empathy. Immoral immigration policies now culminate in the forceful removal of children from their parents. Some of the children are confined to a tent city in the heat of Texas. Subjecting vulnerable human beings to this violence is an atrocity. 

In my idea of America we stand Indivisible with her, Lady Liberty, and practice hospitality, diversity and inclusion. 

We are stitched together.

Papa and buttons from his uniform which I found in Nana's button box