Sunday, April 29, 2018


CRAYONS in process
Liberated methods drive my quiltmaking process. I choose a little fabric and color I want to work with, just enough to get started because I am free to add and subtract as I go along. I begin to piece parts. Here you see a few parts and initial ideas for an arrangement on the design wall. I think about this as an audition. 

I first met Gwen Marston after looking into quilters from Michigan, and Gwen is the mastermind behind Liberated Quiltmaking. Another student of Gwen's, Fern Royce once said that a Liberated Quiltmaker is someone who has an idea for a quilt and she figures out how to sew it together. For this quilt, I had a general intention to make "marks", lines, squares and triangles marching around and about.  

I like a mix of free cut and straight seams, or lines. Frequently asking "what if" is sometimes followed by "what was I thinking"?!! A balance of spontaneous sewing and more deliberate moments is a nice routine. Patches of wide open space offers a stage for the quilting.

Looking back on a few notes I made during this process, I can share that I had a jolly good time from start to finish. 

CRAYONS 45" x 44"
The award was icing on the cake. Crayons, First Place Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted at AQS QuiltWEEK Spring Paducah, April 2018

photo taken in the studio at MADELINE ISLAND SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Thank You AQS for the honor of First Place, Small Wall Quilts-Hand Quilted. Congratulations to the other Semi-finalists and Award Winners. You keep me inspired!

Crayons 45" x 44"

The sponsor of the category: Martelli Enterprises

The judges: Hollis Chatelain, Ricky Tims, Donna Wilder

34th Annual QuiltWEEK Paducah with 405 quilts representing 44 states and 14 countries

Friday, April 13, 2018


Your invitation has arrived! Join me for a 5 day workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts. 

STUDIO HAND QUILTING---Discover, experiment and develop your individual stitching style.
class information and registration 

All are welcome, including machine quilters who would like to embellish with hand quilting and stitching. 

random stitching with linen thread

A short ferry ride across Lake Superior carries you to Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands, and it is lovely in October!

MISA offers 24 hour deluxe studio space, fine accommodations and excellent meals. Our needs are well tended! Did I say that the meals are excellent? And there are cookies and beverages in the studio for those needed breaks.  There are walking trails through the campus prairie for active breaks.  

Everyone looks so studious and busy---staged! This was a lively group.

I hope to see you in October!  ps....Sue Spargo is holding a workshop in the next room, so the campus will be filled with stitchers! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


sometimes there is serendipity

Just like making a quilt, I enjoy all steps of the workshop process. The prep for class finds me gathering thoughts and quilts to illustrate the theme and inspire you. I make new work to share. From my library, I'll share some of the books of quilt collections and history that keep me coming back for more. 

I was a camp counselor and it's still how I see things. My task is to mark the path to adventure, then support your discovery. Let's go campers! See you at Woodland Ridge. Maybe we will even have S'Mores, or something comparable. 

* in the small study 8" x 11" in the photo, I wanted to work with larger pieces of color in an uncluttered manner

Workshop info. Woodland Ridge   Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact  June 5-9, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I mean to say that I don't use a pattern or template.

The start of the quilting

Somewhere along the way I played with some random stitches using silk thread

The end of the quilting

All this color was used just because thread comes in so many colors

My grandmother told me that a quilter's stitch was unique to the individual as is a signature. That perspective frees me to be expressive and satisfied by the process. I appreciate the organic, random and imperfect. I once read that the occasional large stitch was a "toe hooker". Utility quilts used on beds were probably not a venue for fussiness, but a toe getting caught in a stitch? Quilters have to have their humor too!   

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


You keep me inspired. I see what you do in class. Some of you sew so elegantly. I have noticed the beauty of straight seams in solid cloth. Someone, and you know who you are, pieced a string of 3/4 inch black squares. Why would anyone do that when a stip would have worked just as well? The seams offered subtle straight lines, just the texture and detail that was called for. 

Notice the lines and the way the light is active in the above blue block. Nice, isn't it? I'll observe that this strategy of piecing is a way to express minimalism. 

Consider the painting Forest Architecture by Paul Klee here . I thought of piecing. Lines created with seams. Seems like I have something to explore. Complex or simple images created with solid color.

I will get right to work and have another sample for class at Woodland Ridge. Three month countdown--- details here 

Sunday, February 25, 2018


CRAYONS 45" x 44" by Pam Beal---juried into the Lancaster and Spring Paducah show

Mark making in drawing, abstract art and on objects influenced the piecing. Now doesn't it look like a box of crayons? 

Machine pieced---hand quilted---that's how I roll.