Category: Classes and Programs (Page 2 of 2)

Image of Classes and ProgramsStep into the world of Karla’s group classes and programs.

Firstly, you’ll see features on quilt guilds and group classes. Karla shares her travels to different quilt guilds for program presentations. Throughout each guild meeting, Karla finds the personality of each quilt guild begins to show. Some guilds are very structured; others are less.

Guild Personalities

Interestingly, while the business meetings and reports from committee chairs dominate the time in some guild gatherings, “Show and Tell” really ranks for time in others. Community volunteerism, Block-of-the-Month programs, and retreats also vary significantly from guild to guild. However, regardless of how guilds differ, they have a common thread of friendliness and a passion for creating beautiful quilts.

Classes and Workshops

Secondly, in the Classes and Programs category, see the progress and stunning results of many quilters who’ve learned how to use both beautiful sides of their fabric. It’s interesting to see the vastly different results achieved by choosing different focus fabrics for the same pattern.

Featured Quilters

Additionally, in Classes and Programs, read about featured quilters. Some will be well-known names in the quilting industry. Others are novice quilters, just developing a life-long passion for this craft.

Classes and Programs

Learn more about Karla’s Classes and Programs.




Spooky Quilts A-Brewing

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Creativity abounds in these Halloween quilts made by workshops and by pattern customers!

View the variety of background and focus fabrics used in these Halloween quilts.

Creative Cauldrons

First, each quilter chose a focus fabric for their individual cauldrons, auditioning BOTH sides of the fabric.

There are lots of fun Halloween fabrics on the market every year. When choosing one for your cauldron, be sure to audition BOTH sides! You learn how in the Something’s Brewing quilt pattern.

Image of Cauldron QuiltsImage of Cauldron Quilt

These quilters use BOTH spooky sides to stir up trouble!

While the focus fabric is key, background fabrics play a key role in providing interest and sparkle to the quilts. Secondly, these cauldron creators auditioned their possible background fabrics. Variety of fabric genre adds interest to the background. The accent strips are used to pull your eye through the quilt.

If the value is right, use it in your Halloween quilts!

I encourage students to check their values when auditioning fabrics, but be bold with their choices!

If you like a fabric and the value is right, use it! Don’t worry if it’s a little wild or out of your norm.

Image of Halloween Quilt

As well as checking the values of the backgrounds fabrics, students watch how those fabrics work with their focus fabric. Notice that the lower half is a lighter value and the cauldron really stand out.

Black and White Image of Cauldron

Quilt-makers of these Halloween quilts evaluate the value of their background fabrics as they relate to the front AND back of their focus fabrics using black and white pictures.

image of show quilts
Something’s Brewing from Memory Makers class in their quilt show.

SHOP Something’s Brewing  Quilt Pattern.

Bubble-making is easy when you use Accuquilt or Scan N Cut to make them! Here is the sheet from bubbles made in record time – less than 7 minutes–on the Scan N Cut!

Image of Cut Fabric

Learn more about the Something’s Brewing Wall Hanging.

See Sweet Pumpkin Applique Pillow for another fun fall project!

Need a yummy meal for busy crafting days? See A Delicious Quilting-Day Soup for You!

A Colorful Quilt Class

There’s something really fun about watching eleven ladies take one pattern (Phoebee, Belle, or Lily) and make it their own. The trick to these patterns is auditioning the fabrics – which can actually take more time than putting the top together! They did a fantastic and creative job of fabric selection and color/value placement of all the elements (background pieces, accent strips, and both sides of the focus fabric).

In addition to making these beauties, we had tips, door prizes, a mini-trunk show and lunch.

To not reveal their quilts before completion, I’m just going to give you an “in-progress” peek at the variation in these winged-girl quilts:Image of Phoebee Quilt in Progress

Image of Belle Pattern in ProgressImage of Lily Pattern in ProgressImage of Belle Pattern in Progress Image of Lisa's Belle Pattern in Progress Image of Lynnore's Belle Pattern in Progress

Image of Marla's Belle Pattern in Progress Image of Nancy's Phoebee Pattern in Progress Image of Paige's Phoebee Pattern in ProgressImage of Mary's Belle Pattern in ProgressImage of Merle's Belle Pattern in ProgressGreat job, friends!

Now let’s get looking to #usebothsides of your focus fabric to make some beautiful bouquets!

Rose uses the reverse of her focus fabric for the vase and the front for the bouquet and binding.

Image of Flower Bouquet Quilt

Rose quilt pattern is available at

Check your stash-do you have any beautiful “wrong-sides” to use?

Sign up below to learn more about upcoming patterns and get quilting tips, musings and more right in your mailbox (about once a week).

Colorful Wings – Three New Quilt Patterns

Introducing three quilt designs using BOTH sides of your focus fabric.

It all started with Phoebee (See Designing Quilts by Chance) and yardage of a Hoffmann Digital Spectrum print named Crystalia Rainbow.

Classes starting in September. Patterns available now.

After being inspired at quilt market (See Six Favorites from Quilt Market), I knew I wanted to mix lots of different fabric types to make a bee quilt. While I thought the shape of the bee would be “in the mix”, the background is actually where I used a variety of styles of fabrics:

chicken wire fabric from the 90’s, inherited from my mother-in-law, Pat, (love)

modern word fabric,


and pieces of selvage…

with a few accent strips of color.

Patterns available in my Etsy shop:

My Crystalia fabric became my bee. Her flowers I made from the “wrong” (such a harsh word) side of the same fabric.

I guess you could call the flower technique a “modern broderie perse” (thank you, Kelly). They are made with simple, fusible applique and are cut without fussing about the edges – in fact, I encourage letting background show through as it ties the two sides of the fabric together in the quilt.

In my classes and in my patterns, I point out that all reverse sides of fabric are not alike — audition your front AND back sides with your background fabrics.

The best way for me to describe a good reverse side is to say that it should “sing” just as much as the front, just with lesser value.

Image of Bee Quilt


One thing I liked most about Phoebee was that she seemed to be getting her life and beauty from the flowers. Thanks to the hubby for her name–which in Greek actually is spelled with two “e’s” at the end and means “bright, pure”.

Image of Class FlyerNext came Belle. She’s a French butterfly. Belle means “beautiful” (I NEVER got that about Beauty and the Beast – blush).

I found Belle’s fabric, Estate Gardens by Andover at my local quilt shop, The Golden Needle. I used similar neutrals in her background, but stayed with different shades of gray (some reversed) for the accent strips. Her binding is made with the reverse side out.

Note: I like to mix all shades of neutrals – white whites, beiges, off-whites- and all types of fabrics like tiny prints with batiks and novelties.

Image of butterfly quilt

Last but not least, meet Lily.

Lily is a sweet dragonfly made from Tree of Life fabric by Chong A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, also found at my local quilt shop.  Her background accent strips are in aqua because a) that’s my favorite color and b) I wanted to connect her to the water locales dragonflies love.Image of dragonfly quilt

Visit my Etsy page or The Golden Needle for patterns. If you are interested in weekend or evening classes, let me know in the comments below.

Next up is a review of value, very helpful for auditioning fabrics for Colorful Wings quilts! Don’t miss a post – sign up below for email notification! Thanks so much for following.  Karla




It’ll Be Fun, They Said

Find out what happens when I join a quilt guild Round Robin challenge:

Let’s do a Round Robin! It’ll be fun…wait, that was ME saying that!

Now here I sit with the dreaded pizza box–which, by the way, makes me hungry for pizza every time I see it–and I have a feeling of dread.

What’s inside and why did I think this would be a good idea?

I’ve participated in a Round Robin before. You know how it goes, everyone starts with a certain size block and each block has borders added by a different quilter and at the next guild meeting the blocks with borders get passed on to the next quilter until you get a completed wall hanging quilt top made with your original block. It was lots of fun in 2008! So what’s the difference? Why am I so afraid of ruining each of my four other friend’s quilts?

Round Robin 2008 with Cindy Spaeth and Mary Lou Rutherford

Well, let’s see what’s different here? Nine years ago there were only three of us in our group. I didn’t know the other ladies too well, so maybe there was some safety in that.

I was fairly new in the guild. There it is…I was a newbie! I had no fear! I didn’t realize what could go wrong- I didn’t know all the “rules” and I certainly didn’t concern myself with design knowledge. If I liked it, I did it. That was it.  And even though I say I like to fight the establishment and throw the rules out the window, I do respect other people’s need for rules and order.

THAT’S what scares me! Can I do creative, yet disciplined work that will pass muster with these awesome quilters?

I guess that why they call it a challenge! Time will tell and you will know in about four months!

My block and fabric offerings for the Round Robin Challenge.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, I think I’ll call Dominoes.

Tell me what challenges you like to do. Sign up to follow my posts and I’ll send you an email when a new post goes live. Please share on Facebook and Twitter and pin on your Pinterest boards! Thanks for your friendship and for following me.

To Be or Not to Be Modern…

Defining modern quilting–that is the question!


My local quilt guild is adding a NEW CATEGORY for our quilt show: Modern!

First response: Yay! Exciting!

Second response: Hmmmm, what EXACTLY is that?

Frankly, this has my Lutheran roots saying,

“What Does This Mean?”

 (Martin Luther, Small Catechism)

This really is big news! We are, as a whole, fairly traditional quilters in this area, I think. That’s not to say that we don’t like new things or venture out into new techniques and fabrics…but now that it is an Official Category, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only quilter wondering, “What EXACTLY is Modern Quilting?”

The River Heritage Quilters’ Guild hosts a regional quilt show biennially (every two years). We take entries from residents in five-state area including Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Our next show is September 29 & 30, 2018. Click here to see the entry

information our next show.

So while researching the modern quilt world for my own information, I decided to make this information available to my guild members as well so that we can all learn more about this new-ish era (it’s actually been around a while) in quilting.

FAIR WARNING: while I will do my best to present my findings about “Defining Modern” as unbiased as I can, I feel I must remind everyone that:

  1. a) As in every quilt show, the judge is the ultimate decision-maker about who gets ribbons and what comments go on your entry sheet,
  2. b) Each judge has his or her own likes and dislikes, biases and prejudices against certain colors, styles, quilting methods–you name it, judges are people and, being people, no two are alike!
  3. c) You should take a judge’s decision with a grain of salt because even if one judge passes your quilt by at one show, it could be the next judge who awards one of your quilts BEST OF SHOW! …and

*You should ENTER, ENTER, ENTER! While you are deciding what quilts to make (or finish) and enter in the next two years, maybe one of those will fit BEST into the MODERN category!

Note: It is my understanding that if you have a quilt which can qualify in more than one category based on all criteria, you can still choose which category in which you enter it. (For example, if it could qualify as modern but you choose to put it in the wall hanging category because you think it will compete better there, you can. No quilt will be prejudged as too modern or too traditional and moved from a category–provided the entry meets size and all other requirements for that entry.)


Many modern quilt guilds have popped up all over the country—and the world! I was amazed at the numbers! Modern Quilt Guild  has over 170 member guilds worldwide. The MQG began in Los Angeles in 2009. Let’s start with their mission:

Our mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.

That’s easy enough. The MQG definition:

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

The Modern Quilt Guild has two regional member guilds in our area, one in Saint Louis (, Saint Louis MQG Blog, and Saint Louis MQG Facebook), and one in Southern Illinois (

Modern Quilting defines quilting as follows:

  • Fresh colors and fresh fun prints
  • Focus is more on fabric than on block design
  • There is infrequent use of borders
  • Not so concerned with “matching” fabrics
  • Frequent use of solids
  • Sometimes asymmetrical and minimal
  • Using traditional blocks with a modern flair

Basically, there are no rules!

Hmmm, I’m liking THAT!

Do you use Pinterest? There’s a community board (which means when you’ve been accepted, you can pin to that board and you will see other member’s pins as well) called “Fresh Modern Quilts” which has almost 8,000 members so you’re sure to see a variety of quilts just following that one board! Here’s what they say:

A community board for modern quilting projects, tutorials and patterns to inspire. Any patchwork or quilted projects including quilts, bags, pillows and techniques are welcome . . . join us!

Here are a few modern quilt pictures from their board:

by Jenelle Clark of Echinops & Aster:

by Jenelle Clark of Echinops & Aster

Pie, Sweet or Savory by Modern Quilt Relish, Sweet Throw:

Pie, Sweet or Savory by Modern Quilt Relish, Sweet Throw

Other modern quilt guilds say this about modern quilting:

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, a Chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild, is a non-profit organization formed to:

inspire and support our members in their enjoyment of and growth in quilt making;

promote an interest in and appreciation of the art of quilt making, especially in a no rules modern approach to fabric arts;

assist our community by creating quilts and other fabric projects for those in need.

 The Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild

  • The mission of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild is to provide an atmosphere of fellowship for persons interested in the art and craft of modern quilt making by sharing of skills and knowledge.
  • There are other quilt guilds and creative groups in the city; our guild focuses exclusively on modern quilting. That’s where we focus our education segments and that’s what we share at show and tell.
  • What is modern quilting? The Modern Quilt Guild site says, “Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. ‘Modern traditionalism’ or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.”
  • How do I know if my work is modern? If you made your piece with the intention of it being modern—using modern fabrics and/or the principles above—then we’d love to see it at one of our Guild meetings. If you’re interested in learning how to make a piece more modern, just ask! Our members will have a variety of opinions to share.

 My good friend, Deborah, who lives in Maryland, has belonged to a NOVA MQG and before that the Philadelphia MQG. I asked her to give me her thoughts on the subject:

My description of a “modern quilt” is broader than some of the definitions I’ve seen on various websites. Much of the time a quilted piece strikes me as modern because of something unexpected in its design. For instance, a basic 9-patch can easily take on a modern feel if the pieces are varied in size, allowing some to be rectangles rather than keeping perfect symmetry. Similarly, if one allows some negative space to shine through in a design a more modern arrangement can be achieved. I’m sure most of have seen blocks made with “wonky” stars—the choice to allow some whimsy in a design contributes to a more modern aesthetic. Other times, for me, simply using bold, geometric prints in an otherwise traditional layout does it for me. As soon as you think you’ve defined what a “modern quilt” is, someone manages to produce one you couldn’t possibly have expected and that’s part of the fun.

Blogger Leslie at The Seasoned Homemaker  tried to determine if one of her quilts is modern by asking the questions formed by the MQG’s definition:

  • Use of bold colors and prints – nope
  • High contrast – nope
  • Graphic areas of solid color – nope
  • Improvisational piecing – nope
  • Minimalism and negative space – nope
  • Modern traditionalism (would my modified Flying Geese count?)
  • Alternate grid work – Bingo!

In the world of quilting, modern quilts are the new kid on the block. Do you know what defines a modern quilt? It's not really that cut and dry. Find out a few ways to define modern quilts.

The Seasoned Homemaker

Leslie decided that her quilt DID qualify as modern because of the different grid-quilting she did on it.


In my quest to define modern quilting, I have learned that there are some very strong opinions about it and MOST (though, not all) of the opinions are (and I paraphrase),


MY THOUGHTS on modern are that anything that is a traditional pattern with traditional fabrics isn’t modern, but a traditional pattern with Kaffe fabrics…might BE?  Traditional blocks, off-centered? Landscapes certainly aren’t traditional in my mind.

While I tend to think Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett  define modern, I think even hand-embroidered quilts can be modern with the right style, fabric, and quilting.

Through the Chicken Wire

I am starting to embrace the “No Rules” idea of modern quilting—probably because I tend to break traditional rules anyway!

Also, I think many of the quilts already shown in our guild’s “Show and Tell” have a modern flair– we just haven’t defined them as such.


… the definition of modern depends somewhat on where you are living and what the norm is there.

…modern is as modern does…meaning, it’s all up to you–if YOU think it is modern, it probably is!

For me, I think the best way to decide if a quilt I make belongs in the Modern Quilting category, I will ask myself,

“Is it traditional?” If not, it must have some modern elements and can go in that category!*


I hope this short study on the definition of modern was helpful to you! I do think I have a better handle on what I define as modern.

*Remember to check for size and other category requirements for your quilt show entries.

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Please share this with your friends and encourage every quilter you know (members or not) in our region to start quilting for the River Heritage Quilters’ Guild Quilt Show . Please comment below if this post has been helpful to you!

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Sometimes You Gotta Look Up

Find a little heaven on earth with this heavenly quilt.

It’s such a human thing to do…

exhaust all other options,

do everything you can…

Storybook Challenge Quilt

Storybook Challenge Quilt

then drop to your knees and pray.

I don’t know why it is the last thing I think of. Every time it happens, I think I’m not going to wait until there is nothing left to do but pray, but every time, that’s what I do.

So today this is a simple reminder to let go of your troubles and worries, and let them float upward. Whether they are personal or even crazy-election related, remember to look up to heaven and realize these are only problems for here on earth. The battle is won, the victory is real. Like little Colton Burpo learned first-hand, Heaven is for Real

My local quilt guild, River Heritage Quilters Guild, handed out story books for each willing quilter to use as a challenge. I was expecting something like Good Night Moon or Are You My Mother?. Instead, I got this book, Heaven is for Real. I am ashamed to say, I actually complained about having to make a quilt about heaven because it was going to be so hard (what a problem to have)! I had read the adult version of this book and loved it. I was comforted by the “evidence” of promises it presented and I was able to look at the loss of my loved ones from their perspective–which is really unimaginable! I’m sure if my girls were younger, I would have known about the children’s storybook version.

Because little Colton Burpo described more about heaven than I would be able to display in 36 inches square, I chose to focus on the three most important elements: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You can see the Father’s large, gentle hands at the top of the quilt. He is reaching into heaven and presenting His one and only Son. The Holy Spirit is depicted by the rainbow colors of the city. The entire quilt is covered in a layer of organza to give it a softened and glistening look. Angel wings are quilted into the pearl pillars of the heavenly gate.

See the entire collection of challenge quilts in the community room during the month of December at the Cape Girardeau Arts Council.

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Creative Bee Studios

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