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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


What a week it was! A Quilt Study Workshop from the Liberated School of Design was convened. Our pleasant location was the Woodland Ridge Retreat in Downsville, WI.

Having a theme is one way to invite the imagination to the quiltmaking process, particularly when working in a free form, liberated manner. My small studies illustrate minimalism in quilts, our working theme for the week. I choose to interpret a couple of Amish quilts, sometimes thought of as "minimal" and plain from the quilt tradition. 

This group turned out to be as adventurous as I hoped they would be! May I add that we got along right from the start making for many good times which will go undisclosed here! 
Sharing a few photos of the quilts will illustrate a free interpretation of minimalism expressed in palette, composition and considered use of elements. Traditional quilt forms were explored and simplified. Small quilts offering uninhibited discovery invited larger compositions in some cases.

Making parts, auditioning and allowing the quilt to change throughout the process is the way we cut and sew in the Liberated School of Design.

Woodland Ridge Retreat and Chris Daly offered the excellent accommodations and I thank you, the students who recommended me, and everyone who joined me! 

"Her quilts are simple and to the point. They contain no foolish chattering." ___from the forward: Quilt Artistry, Inspired Designs From The East, Yoshiko Jinzenji

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!