Archive for April, 2009

Saturday at Nipomo

Last Friday I mentioned that I was off on another adventure.  Along with my friends Pam and Eleanor, I went to a bracelet class given by Kaari Meng of French General (www.frenchgeneral.com).  The class was given at the Remnants of the Past (www.remnantsofthepast.com)  antique show given in Nipomo which is in Central California. 

If you don’t know about Kaari Meng, then you are in for a treat.  She’s about to release her first fabric line through Moda Fabrics based on her vintage french textiles.  But, besides being an avid franco-textile-o’phile, Kaari is an amazing designer of jewelry that incorporates vintage and new beads to make items that look like you inherited them from your French Aunt, Suzette.  She markets these jewelry items as kits that you can put together yourself.  (Yes, even you can do this it’s so simple!)

Kaari Meng at her Book Signing

Kaari Meng at her Book Signing

So, here’s the bracelet I made in class, along with a picture of two additional kits I purchased from Kaari.  Isn’t it pretty….I’m wearing it as I type this entry.  It jingles.


Seaside Bracelet from French General

French General Bracelet Kits
French General Bracelet Kits

Add in some Toffee Crunch Cake from the Madonna Inn, and a quick trip to the Wine Country Quilt Store in Paso Robles, and you have quite the fun day out.


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IMQA 2010 Calendar

I’m thrilled to announce that a quilt that Ronda Beyer and I colloraborated on, My 6th Grade Shoes, will appear in the 2010 calendar put out by the International Machine Quilter’s Association.  I see that they have it posted on their website (http://www.imqa.org/Newsletter3.htm)  that they will be available at the upcoming Machine Quilter’s Showcase show, but I’m still unclear how one could obtain a copy otherwise.  At any rate, the quilt included in the calendar (and I have no idea what month..could it be August?!) is shown below. 


My 6th Grade Shoes

The charming block designs are from the pattern Fairmeadow by Jeana Kimball.   (http://www.jeanakimballquilter.com)

And, speaking of Ronda…take a look at her blog (http://rondabeyer.wordpress.com) to see her latest creation, Gypsy Rosalie!  It’s winging it’s way to the upcoming MQS show, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for her.  She deserves nothing but praise and ribbons for her work.  (I consider myself so fortunate to be collaborating with her, as well as her friend.)

Addition…..Ronda said I could post a picture of Gypsy.  🙂  Isn’t she pretty.

Gypsy Rosalie by Ronda Beyer

Gypsy Rosalie by Ronda K Beyer


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Since I’ve gained permission from Cindy (and I know Pam will give her OK), I’m posting pictures of three of the quilts from the challenge I discussed last post.  These are pictures that Barbara Brackman took during the unveiling last October.  

 First, is the big kahuna…Cindy’s Quilt.  If memory serves me, it’s at least 100 inches along a side.  And, let’s not forget that Cindy hand pieced, appliqued and quilted this beauty.


Next,  is what Pam Crooks did with the same fabric.  I love the use of pink in her quilt.


And, finally, mine.  It’s was the ugliest of the group based on a quilt that I saw for sale on Ebay years ago.  But, it was a lot of fun because it used so many different early reproductions.  In fact, I asked for donations of fabrics.  Jeana Kimball and others sent me pieces to include.


I should also mention that several of us are also doing a new challenge for 2009.  Similar idea in that everyone in the group contributes some ideas and then we select about five rules that seem to go together.  We’re also using another beautiful Yuwa fabric as part of the challenge; I’ll take a picture of it and upload it later on. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  Pam and I are off onto another adventure tomorrow that I’ll tell you all about next week.


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I’ve just learned today that my dear friend Cindy Vermillion Hamilton won a first place at the 2009 AQS show in Paducah which opened earlier today.  For a list of all the winners go here–


 Cindy’s quilt, From England and Back, is very near and dear to my heart.  The quilt was part of a challenge that I organized with a small group of friends — Bobbi Finley, Judy Severson, Pam Crooks, Cindy and myself.  We were each given 2-1/2 yards from a bolt of Yuwa fabric that I purchased earlier that year.   Here’s a small snippet of the fabric we used.


To make it fun, each participant contributed three rule ideas, which we narrowed down to a final group of restrictions.  The rules were (as I remember them) 1) the quilt was to be a medallion quilt; 2) the quilt had to be larger than 60 inches along all four sides; 3) it had to include one-patch blocks (hexagons, triangles, etc.); 4) at least 2 yards of the challenge fabric had to be used; 5) the challenge fabric had to appear in more than one part of the quilt (it couldn’t appear just in the final border); 6) and we couldn’t talk about what we were doing.  Our goal was to show the quilts to each other at the (then) upcoming American Quilt Study Group meeting that was held in Columbus, Ohio in October 2008 (www.americanquiltstudygroup.org).

Anyway, back to Cindy…just in case you aren’t familiar with her work, Cindy has graced the cover of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine (among other magazine articles and pictures), won at several major quilt exhibits, and wrote a wonderful book titled Medallion Quilts:  Inspiration and Patterns.  And, if that wasn’t enough…she hand pieces, hand appliques, and hand quilts!  I’ve never witnessed anyone hand piece with the speed she does; actually, she can hand piece quicker than I can piece by machine.  But, best of all…Cindy is an amazing person who I am very fortunate to know.  Congrats Cindy!

— Penny

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I was talking to Ronda yesterday only to find out that she’s won herself two more ribbons at the MQX show!  Way to go Ronda!    She has won the Founders Award as well as a Teachers Award.  That makes for an outstanding FIVE ribbons…. I don’t know all the particulars, but I’m certain if you go to Ronda’s blog she’ll tell us all about it!  (http://rondabeyer.wordpress.com).   You can see a lineup of all the winners at http://www.mqxshow.com/2009_winners/.

Now, I’ve been giving out my blog address to lots of people…so, if you have come to view at least post a comment!   Pretty please! 


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Great News from MQX

I received a telephone call very early this morning from my good friend and partner-in-crime, Ronda Beyer, telling me that together we had won three ribbons at the Machine Quilters Expo being held right now in New Hamphire!  Ronda won first place for Best Solo Artist…and if you want to see her beautiful quilt you can by going to her blog at http://rondabeyer.wordpress.com.

Ronda and I have been collaborating on quilts (I do the piecing and applique….she the amazing machine quilting) for a couple of years now.  And, what a delight it was to find out that we had won two more ribbons for the quilts we collaborate on.  WOW 

Our quilt My 6th Grade Shoes won 2nd place for Best Custom Innovative Quilt/Wall.  You may recognize the block I’ve posted from the quilt.  The design is from Jeana Kimball’s pattern called Fairmeadow (www.jeanakimballquilter.com).  It’s a real classic in the world of applique…Jeana thank you so much for your designs. 


The second quilt that won is the more recent Birdsong which I designed for a class I taught a couple of years ago.  It’s a take-off on a blended quilt that I made using a number of Yuwa fabrics that I’ve been collecting for quite some time.   We won another 2nd place, only this time for Creative Use of Templates.  Ronda is such a champ…she curve crosshatched much of the quilt!  Here’s some not-so-great detail photos…but, you get the idea.


Congratulations to all the winners at MQX (http://www.mqxshow.com/).  This is a terrific show organized by some terrific ladies.  Thanks to Janet-Lee for all her hard work.  I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this lineup of quilts.

— Penny

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Joining the Fray….

In the coming months, I hope to build this blog as a resource to others interested in quilting, applique, travel to the English countryside, Yuwa fabrics, and other bits of whimsy.  I also plan on including tidbits useful to my students regarding upcoming classes and other information that may be helpful as they expand their knowledge of quilting.

I anticipate that my blogging learning curve will be steep, my spelling awful, and unexplained absences will occur.  But, in the end I hope to build a bog where those with similar interests can find and share inspiration.

Those of you who know me personally, know my love of the Japanese fabrics made by the company Yuwa Shoten.   I will freely admit that my pursuit of this fabric has taken me far and wide…and could be described as an obsession by some (maybe all).  But, I doubt there is one in the bunch who wouldn’t jump at the chance to raid my stash if given the opportunity.  (Admit it…you know it’s true!)   Since this fabric is difficult to find, I hope to spread the word so that other can find it, use it, love it.  I do have an alliterative motive…I want to make sure that it continues to be available.

More to come…


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