Monday, August 11, 2014


I've taught my last class and given my last lecture!  Now to stay home and work on the quilts I want to make and see if I can get bored.

I loved teaching people about Tile Quilts and how to make them our way as well as trying to encourage quilters to look at old quilts and be inspired to reinvent them in their own way.

I'm not sure how much I'll be posting here now but perhaps I will occasionally be inspired to do so.

Thanks!  It's really been fun but it's time to say I'm done!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gone to Paradise!

Last Tuesday and Wednesday I had the pleasure of giving my lecture and teaching my tile quilt workshop for the Ridge Quilters in Paradise, a lovely town in the hills above Chico, with lots of pine trees.  I arrived on Monday evening and shortly thereafter was treated to a lively thunderstorm which was exciting, since they don't happen often nearer the coast where I live in San Jose.  And I was inside and safe!  It did knock out the power briefly and rattle the windows in the restaurant where I was eating dinner!

At the meeting on Tuesday morning, the Ridge Quilters were visited by the local television station and some filming took place while I was speaking but I think the main subject was their philanthropy work so I suspect and hope that I was left on the proverbial cutting room floor!  It's nice to know they got the publicity.  They are a great bunch of quilters and deserve the attention.

Thanks for the great hospitality you extended to me.

The workshop was small with eight participants who all seemed happy to be learning about making tile quilts.

One participant had already purchased our book, Tile Quilt Revival, and had started making two blocks before she came to class from the patterns in the book.  She started a new block in class.  The first two pictures are the blocks she had already started and the third is her class project.  All these blocks are from the Starry Orange Peel quilt.  I love the hummingbird fabric in the shooting star block.  Nice fabric choices and great applique. Look at the points on that star! 

I hope she and the rest of the class send me pictures when they complete their projects.

Here are the rest of the works in progress from the class.  First the Starry Orange Peel blocks in a nice variety of fabrics with the applique underway, revealing the background and creating the "grout" lines.

And, three  nice "Lotus" blocks in progress.

Nice work everyone!  I hope even those who were reluctant to do needle-turn applique have happily all become great fans of the process.  Thanks for a great day, including the great potluck! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coastal Quilters of Santa Barbara

I had a wonderful time a week or so ago when I visited the Coastal Quilters of Santa Barbara and Goleta.  As I told them, I spent a lot of time in Santa Barbara as a child visiting my cousin (appropriately named Barbara) and had suffered the worst sunburn of my life on the beach there one summer!  My family is all gone from the area now but Santa Barbara still holds a soft spot in my heart.  And, of course, it is a beautiful spot so what's not to like?  The ocean, the palm trees, with those wonderful mountains standing guard over the city, and what's considered the queen of the California Missions. 

My workshop was on Friday, April 11, following the lecture the night before.  I hope the lecture might have inspired a few people to be interested in looking at antique quilts and reinterpreting them in contemporary ways, especially tile quilts.

We had 18 in the workshop, a very nice and talented group.  To start with, one participant already had our book, Tile Quilt Revival, and had made the Starry Orange Peel quilt and did a fabulous job.  Very nice fabric choices with a double inner border and great fabric choice for the outer border.

From this experience, she went on and designed her own tile quilt which she was working on in class but it wasn't far enough along to photograph.  I've asked her to send along a photo later so I hope that she does.

Another participant had also designed her own tile quilt which featured lilies but it too was not far enough along to photograph. Again, I hope she sends along a photo when finished.

And a third participant fell in love with the Macintosh Rose quilt in the gallery section of the book that Georgann Eglinski made.  Actually I think she already loved the Charles Rennie Macintosh Rose and was inspired to draw her own pattern from seeing Georgann's version. She had begun to applique her block in class, revealing the black background lines (or grout).

Also, Patty decided to use my pattern "Birds in a Cherry Tree" which is not in the book but which I sell in class and at my lectures.  I have made it up in both William Morris fabrics and in batiks and wrote about it previously on this blog on March 10, 2011.  Patty changed it to still other types of fabrics.  She was still trying to decide what kind (color) of fruit tree her birds were sitting in as well as the leaves, so her grey background is showing in those areas.  She hadn't started to applique yet.

I love it and I hope she sends me a picture when it is finished.

Of the two patterns I offer in class, Lotus was the hands down favorite with only two selecting the Starry Orange Peel block with very nice results.  The applique was begun in both blocks, on the orange peel shapes. 

 And now for the Lotus blocks.  As usual, a wonderful variety of fabrics were utilized.  It never ceases to amaze me how any kind of fabric choices seem to work with these tile quilts.

I always ask my students to send me pictures of their completed work and occasionally that happens which I love.  One student, Reyna Lorele, finished her block and has already posted it on her blog as well as sending me a picture.  Check out her blog at to see what she has to say about making tile quilts.  I'm pleased to say that I think she is hooked!  Besides talking about how much fun the class is, she also made this comment, "Bobbi's teaching style is down-to-earth, clear, and helpful, btw.....".  Thanks, Reyna!  So glad that you enjoyed it, including the applique!

Here is her block in class.

And here is her completed block.  She decided to leave off the corner pieces.

Nice job and she's already working on her next block. 

Here are the rest of the Lotus blocks.  So fun!  The applique turning under the seam allowances to reveal the grout lines has begun in most of the blocks.  Also some of the blocks include the outside corners while others have left them off so that the circles tend to float on the background.

First is another innovator.  She used indigo fabrics for the outside pieces and will insert a circle later of her own design which includes sashiko stitching where the white space is in the center.

Note the piece of cake in the corner to go with the coffee block!

Fish, birds, flowers, indigo, coffee, abstract -- it all works!

I've included two of the students names and my apologies to those I haven't mentioned by name.  I usually don't use any student names but if you want me to add your names to your blocks, just send me an email and I'll edit the blog to add your names.

Thanks for a great time in Goleta and for being such a fun class!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two New Tile Quilts

I've recently come across two new tile quilts that were inspired from our book, Tile Quilt Revival.

The first was spotted at the recent Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival (MAQF) by two of my friends from Williamsburg, Virginia who recognized its source and were nice enough to send along photos.  Thanks, Barbara and Nan!

Misty Cole of Maryland made this quilt and entered it in the Baltimore Applique Society's exhibit at MAQF.  Misty used blocks from both Lotus and Starry Orange Peel and added her own block and border designs.  It appears she included some of the original Lotus fabric by Amy Butler, the large daisies, and similar fabric motifs in the quilt. Nice, work, Misty!
Misty has a blog:

And a plug for the Baltimore Applique Society.  I'm a member of this organization because I want to support the work they do in promoting applique but mostly their work to support museum quilt collections.  Even though I've never attended a meeting, they have a terrific newsletter with detailed reports of their meetings including the speakers with lots of photos.  Here's a link to their website.

Another tile quilt was spotted at a recent quilt show in Palm Springs, California and the photo made it's way to Carol and to me.  The maker's name is on the label but I can't make it out.  My apologies!  It is quite a nice example of the Lotus quilt.

I've just learned the maker's name, Karen Howes of the Cactus Sew-Ables in Yucca Valley, CA.  Thanks Sharleen for passing along the information.

I love seeing how quilters have been inspired by our book!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Finally! Something to post!

Or, perhaps I should say "Finally getting around to posting!"

First is a wonderful tile quilt from the recent Road to California quilt show.  This quilt won first place in the Innovative, Wall, Applique category.  "Blast from the Past" was made by Kim Bruny and it consists of all the blocks from my "Lotus" quilt on the cover of Tile Quilt Revival, with an added border.  Kim made her version by using machine applique and covering it with over 3500 crystal embellishments. That is not something I would have done but I love it when people take my designs and run with them and make them their own.

On Valentine's Day I was in the west end of the San Fernando at the Valley Quiltmakers Guild
teaching my workshop on making a tile quilt block. We had fun and had some fun results.  As usual, the blocks are in various states of progress, with some students having started turning under the seam allowances and others in the basting stage.  Also as usual, was the nice variety of fabric choices.

And this week found me in Roseville, near Sacramento, at the Roseville Quilt Guild . First I want to thank Michelle Peerson for her fine hospitality and everyone for putting up with me as I was coming down with a cold.  Hopefully I only passed on an infection for tile quilts and not a cold!

We had a variety of results in the workshop, as always, and a variety of techniques being used and prepared for besides needle-turn applique. First are the "Lotus" blocks.

 I have to say that, being a cat person, I loved this block.  Cats at the movies eating popcorn.  She was going to call it Girls Night Out!

And this student modified the main circle by inserting a smaller circle so that she could use her fairy fabric to focus on just one fairy.

 This student managed to design two blocks with more in mind.

And one more.  Two students were working with the same group of fabrics and both planned to do machine applique.  

 Here's the other one in the Orange Peel pattern.

And here are the rest of the Orange Peel blocks.

Two Orange Peel shapes already appliqued in place on this one.

And the final block in which the student was rethinking her fabric choices but planned on using these.  She also planned to do machine applique so her seam allowances were turned under and pinned in place.