Empty Spools Seminar

Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA

This lion is so detailed and colorful and uses foundation paper piecing, a skill that I had let become rusty. Verushka Zarate, of Pride and Joy Quilting, is the designer and teacher. She is an amazing individual! I’m so glad I decided to attend her session!

Empty Spools offers many 5 day sessions from February through May every year. Each 5 day session has 10 or 12 well known quilting instructors who come to teach a project using their specific skill. Each evening a 3 or 4 of them speak about their inspiration and quilting journey and also about the class they are teaching. There is also time for student show and tell. Many students live in California and are able to drive, but many others fly in and rent sewing machines. There is also a quilt shop set up in case you need to purchase fabric or supplies for your class – or for your stash.

Asilomar Conference Grounds are within the Aramark Park System and has simple, rustic sleeping rooms, but wonderful facilities, including classrooms, a dining hall, a cafe, and a large social hall, among many other amenities.

This is the lodging building I was assigned!
Another view of the living area
Asilomar is right on the coast and such a beautiful place for artists to create.
This is a quilt that the maker made as a fundraiser for a charity.

This was the first quilt shared as part of the students’ show and tell the first night. Here are some others…

This is a class Sandra Bruce is teaching next year.
This is one of Melinda Bula’s class samples. I’ve always wanted to take her class.
This is the progress I made on my Heart of a Lion in Verushka Zarate’s class.
The youngest student in our class finished the entire lion! Verushka is on the left.
One of the beautiful sunsets

Before I arrived at Asilomar this year, I thought it would probably be my last, but after this year, I’m not so sure. It’s such an inspirational experience…

April Quilt Retreat

Nashville, IN

The last week of April, I flew back to Indiana for a quilt retreat I began when I lived there. It was just wonderful visiting with golden friends!! I missed them so much! It highlighted the difficulties of moving across the country during a pandemic. Meeting people and making friends has been challenging here in Washington state due to masking and meetings being via ZOOM. SO being with friends I’ve known for several years was very comforting and enjoyable.

We (eleven friends) have been meeting annually in the same place for 7 years. Nashville, IN is a great locale for our retreat because we don’t have to drive anywhere once we move in. Many places to shop and eat within walking distance. Fabulous sharing and good times!!

Enjoy viewing some quilts that were completed or projects that were worked on during the 4 1/2 days together.

Cheryl’s quilt
Another of Chery’s quilts
Chery’s blocks

The two Lindas. One quilts, the other knits.
Elaine’s quilt – made from her late sister’s fabric collection for her sister’s sons
My table runner
Kathy’s embroidered shirt
Kathy’s machine embroidered tree skirt.
Each panel of Kathy’s tree skirt is detailed and amazing!
Denise’s quilt blocks
Three Posh Santa’s – two of Bev’s, one of Lynn’s
Bev also worked on these blocks for a Christmas quilt
Casey’s machine embroidery project
Casey’s machine embroidered block
More of Casey’s beautiful blocks
Lore’s beautiful quilt for a special charity. She makes and quilts around 20 quilts for charity every year!!
Lore’s work on this Christmas Tree quilt from Missouri Star Quilts
Lynn’s baseball quilt for a nephew
My Strip Twist pieces for GE Designs’ Sew A Long
These are what the Strip Twist blocks look like

Our last breakfast. We failed to get a picture of everyone. A few had to leave early.
Til next year, Cornerstone Inn!

May Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Featuring Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 tools

This month Island Batik challenged each its 25 ambassadors to use a Studio 180 tool that they had received, but not used previously, to make a quilt or a runner with the surprise bundle of the Winter 22 collection each of us received. (Remember the wrapped fabric bundle I couldn’t show you in my unboxing video? ) It is revealed below.

The tools I received were the Wing Clipper Tool and the Quilters Magic Wand. You can find details and directions for how to use the Wing Clipper tool from Deb Tucker herself here and the Magic Wand here.

Studio 180 Wing Clipper
Studio 180 Magic Wand

To use the Wing Clipper Tool, first position your block with the long edge of the center triangle at the top, as shown above. Line up the diagonal lines on the ruler with your seam. So, in the sample above, I moved the tool down so the diagonal lines on the tool matched up with the diagonal lines on my pieced rectangle block. Then trimmed the right side and top of the block.

Then turn the block upside down, line it up with the desired size of your block ( in this case, 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ and trim the right side and the top of the block.

This is the Quilter’s Magic Wand. It is used to mark the lines on either side of this tool to indicate sewing lines. I lined it up on the center line where I want to cut the block in two after sewing 1/4″on either side . I found this to be a helpful tool, because I can’t tell you how many times I have sewn right down the middle instead of 1/4″ on either side of the middle of the block.

I used the Magic Wand here to mark these sewing lines. I used a new Schmetz 80/ 12 microtex needle for piecing, supplied by Schmetz. Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. thread.

And this is Sandalwood, my winter ’22 surprise bundle that was wrapped and tied with bows when I received my box of fabrics and supplies from Island Batik. It’s so beautiful, I had a hard time cutting into it! Sandalwood is shipping soon, so check these shops or ask your LQS.

A Quilter’s Place, Oakdale, CA

Cotton and Chocolate, Simi Valley, CA

Creative Union Fabric, Port Townsend, WA

Creekside Quilts, Gales Creek, OR

KIKI’s Quilt Shack, Fresno, CA

Ocean Wave Quilts, Eureka, CA

Quilt Passions, Mission Viejo, CA

Sew Smart Supply, Los Molinos, CA

Village Sewing Center, Santa Rosa, CA

Will n Beez, Salem, OR

This is the Star Shadows pattern from Studio 180 that was provided to me to make this challenge quilt. Once I decided this is what I wanted to make with the Sandalwood fabric and the Wing Clipper and Quilter’s Magic Wand tools I received, I reached out to Studio 180 and they graciously supplied it to me for this challenge.

This is Island Batik Yellow Amber I used for the back of my quilt and Island Batik solid grey was used for the star shadows. Did you know Island Batik has solids? We were provided with white, grey, and black solids and the grey was perfect for this.

Here is the quilt on my Handi Quilter Forte (now named Amara 24) longarm. I used Hobbs 80/20 batting provided by Hobbs.

Here is the digital quilting pattern I used to quilt it. It’s Mod Petals by Quiltable.

My finished Star Shadows quilt

Check out all the other Ambassadors to see how they handled the challenge:

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Renee Atkinson ~ Pink Tulip Quilting
Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Susan Deshensky ~ Lady Blue Quilts
Brittany Fisher ~ Bobbin with Brittany

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts
Victoria Johnson ~ Forever Quilting for You
Randi Jones ~ Randi’s Roost

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ Quiltery – For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine

Anorina Morris ~ sameliasmum.com
Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
Sarah Pitcher ~ Pitcher’s Boutique
Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia
Lana Russel ~ Lana Quilts

Elita Sharpe ~ Busy Needle
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt

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