Sunday, September 24, 2017


When sewing without a pattern, a theme is one way to get started----

A curiosity about mark making originated when I took a nonrepresentational drawing class. Mark making is practiced usually in the context of drawing, painting or marking other objects. I think marks can also be seen in quilts as we consider lines, squares, triangles, circles. Explore these links and see what you think.

Rothko to Richter

In reference to the mark, "...a one to one correspondence between every stroke of paint and every movement of the artist's hand." When something is made by hand, it is nice to see evidence of the work by the hand. 

Marks can be made by scraps of fabric. Here are marks in leaves offered by my favorite historic quilter.  Vine quilt by Susan McCord

Multiple little abstractions, many marks and I find it hard to stop thinking about Erin's work.   Erin Wilson Quilts 

Amish quilts were some of the first to gain attention from the art world. Here are some of my favorite Amish quilts showing off their graphic style. Marks can be on a grand scale as well as small. Note the simple Chinese Coins Quilt near the end. There is even one "small study". 

Darwin D. Bearley Antique Ohio Amish Quilts

After all the piecing, the quilting stitches present tiny marks sculpting the surface, but that is a subject for another day----and another class.  

Monday, September 18, 2017


MENDED---That moth was no match for a few marks

Sewing little things together to get little things per Gwen Marston's notes. Plus there are big things to pack for the gathering at Madeline Island School of the Arts where I know students will be doing big things. In two weeks, class will be underway. A reunion with returning students and meeting new students adds to the excitement of all the quilt making that will follow. The last minute preparation will fill my two weeks. 

Today my quilt greeted me from the pages of the QuiltArt engagement calendar, marking time, reminding me of what a fine year it has been in my quilt world, and of the fine time to come in just two weeks!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

QUILT EXPO September 7-9, 2017

DOG WALKS GIRL 49" x 54"
 original design, liberated piecing and hand quilting
by Pam Beal
vintage kimono silk & yukata cotton; Kona & hand dyed cotton plus a little batik
and published in the QUILTART engagement calendar 2017 
Dog Walks Girl is checking out the scene at Quilt Expo in Madison, WI sponsored by Wisconsin Public Television with Nancy Zieman---September 7-9, 2017

UPDATE:  Dog Walks Girl was awarded 1st. Place in the Wall Quilts, Hand Quilted Category at Quilt Expo. Thank you QUILT EXPO! Dog Walks----away with a blue ribbon

ps---if you like my quilt maybe you would like to join me for a workshop! Two classes in Wisconsin are coming right up, Madeline Island School of the Arts in October; Woodland Ridge Retreat in June, 2018----Visit the workshop page for details and I'll see you in class.

And here is a photo from Quilt Expo---courtesy Terry S.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


detail of CRAYONS 45" x 44"

In a few short weeks class will be in session! Make Your Mark with Pam Beal, October 2-6.

I think of Mark Making quilts as a style of abstract quilt resulting from improvisation, liberated thinking, and construction adapted from Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking methods. Consider lines, squares, triangles and circles as the vocabulary of mark making. Little pieces and parts coming out of nowhere, seemingly going nowhere. The very curiosity of it interests the maker and the viewer.

The Madeline Island "magic" is legendary. It feels magical when you experience your creativity. Five days offers immersion in discovery. 

I hope to mark you present in class!

Follow the link from my Workshop page, or the post on the upper right side for registration information, or wander to the MISA page Madeline Island School of the Arts