Student Work - Empty Spools Workshop

What an incredible time I had teaching at Asilomar last month! The students blew my socks off with what they accomplished in such a short time. Most of them have not done this time of improv work before, but they dove in and went for it. 

Here is a sampling their work...


I have to say that Lynne impressed me so much. She's not piecer - she has always prefered to fuse in the past, but she took to it so naturally and is creating a very dynamic piece.

What I really enjoyed was seeing how different each person's work was. I loved what (the other) Sheila was creating. 

Elaine and Judy took to this like fish to water...

Lydia dreamt about her piece and had a vision of the direction she wanted to go - that's a really good sign!  :)

Heidi chose a palette that I would have never considered, and it's really lovely...


It's so wonderful to watch individual styles starting to take shape. Lynn and Tina have a very delicate feel to their work. 

This was the very first exercise we did, using a limited palette with the focus on value. This is a very soothing piece by Jenny - the movement and the colors are lovely. 

Diane blew me away with her sheer enthusiasm. (Which is pretty obvious in this photo) What's really cool is that she is not a quilter and had only sew "curtains" in the past. I can say there wasn't a quarter inch seem to be seen, but it didn't matter, she's on her way to making her first quilt top! 


And wow, did I love the colors and the whole vibe of Cristin's piece. (She and Diane are friends, obviously)

When you are doing improv work, you can go simple or super complicated, and Shelley went the complicated route. That's why I love to piece - to create complex challenges that I have figure out somehow. This is a great piece.

Cinda was one of five friends that were the wild and crazy bunch in class. Each one of them had a little (what looked like Mr. Potatohead to me) face on their design wall! Cinda's work is intense and I could clearly see a point of view right away. 

It was so exciting to walk around the room and see all the wonderful colors and patterns that were emerging. 

Pam was creating some exciting work!


I managed to get to the beach at least one day. This is a truly amazing place to take a workshop. 

I could go on and on showing the work, it was really wonderful to witness each student's point of view unfolding. 

This was a really large class, 24 students, and I was told by a few ladies that is should be listed as a "Master Class" because it's super intense and challenging. The reason I disagree is that a person could have been a quilter for 30 years, but really struggle when it comes to letting go. My workshop is all about letting go, and that can be very uncomfortable for some. 

As a teacher, you have do deal with many things, including expectations of what students think they "should" be able to do after taking your workshop. What I hope to do is lead students down a road, and they can decide if they want to continue the journey. 




Save on my MISA Workshop!

I’m so excited to be teaching a 5 day quilting workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts, June 16-20, 2014.  I’ve heard nothing but the best about this magical Island, MISA’s state of the art studios, lodging, and delicious meals.  

So, I wanted to let you know of a special program just for anyone who follows my blog, called “The Red Barn Special.” This is specifically for my workshop at MISA.  

Save $85 on your on-site lodging reservation when you register for my workshop by April 30, 2013.  

Now is your chance to get first pick at their comfortable and cozy on-campus rooms in their Mission Cottages. 

A 25% deposit is all you need to hold your place in my workshop.  To read more about my class and to register, click here, or call the Registrar, Anne Leafblad, at 715.747.2054, or email 

I'm on the Cover of American Quilter Magazine!

"The Lair of the Amethyst Deva" 

The experience of working with the wonderful Michele Duffy, Editor in Chief and the lovely Marjie Russell, who wrote a great story about me, was enjoyable to say the least. Michele possesses a sensitivity and intuitive nature that makes interacting with her a total joy. 

I've also written a "process piece" about how I approach my work. 

I don't think it's hit the newsstands yet, but it's available via digital download. CLICK HERE

This is a HUGE honor - what more could an artist hope for. 

Equality Exhibit at Visions Art Museum in San Diego

I'm thrilled to announce that I am curating an invitational exhibit that will premier at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, California, January 17, 2015. (I actually turn 50 on that day!)

The title is Expressions in Equality and it opens in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

The artists have been asked to make a piece specifically for this exhibit, and each piece will be the same size, in keeping with the theme of equality.

Summary of the exhibit:

Expressions in Equality

What drives people to undermine whole populations that they deem different and therefore unacceptable? From racial, gender and sexual inequality to ageism and classism, progress has been made, yet discrimination still abounds. This show begs the questions: What are the issues we’re challenged with, and what would a perfect society look like that’s sustained by pure, unconditional love?

I'm super thrilled with the artists who will be making a piece for this special exhibit:  

Alice Beasley

Carol Beck

Jenny Bowker

Dawn Williams Boyd

Blake Chamberlain

Hollis Chatelain

Shin-Hee Chin

Marion Coleman

Randall Cook

Ife Felix

Sheila Frampton-Cooper

Laura Gadson

Valerie Goodwin

Jerry Granata

Deborah Grayson

Sandra Hankins

Pam Holland

Sherry Davis Kleinman

Pauline Karasch Salzman

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

Judy Zoelzer Levine

Kathy Nida

Mary Pal

Pam RuBert

Susan Shie

Susan Wessels


There will be an opening reception and I will provide more info at a later date.  


One day workshops in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Recently I taught one day workshops at the Westside Quilters in Los Angeles, and the Coastal Quilters in Santa Barbara. I'm always amazed at what students do in just one day. Many of them have never done improv work, but they dive in and just do it! 

I'm really looking forward to my next workshop, which is 5 days at Empty Spools in Asilomar. It's very exciting to see what flows out of each student. 

I was so honored to have Maureen in my class. As some of you may know, I started quilting in January 2009 when I discoved Project Linus on the first MLK Day of Service. Maureen also discoved PL on that day and we'd see each other at Blanket Days. This was the very first workshop she'd ever taken! It was very special for me and she was getting off to an amazing start. 

Everyone was having fun! We had a full house of 20 students.

Brenda was really going to town...

The next day I gave my lecture and during the show and tell, before I went on, Brenda shared her finished top! She had gone home that night and completed it! Several of the students in my class showed what they had done the prior day in class. Brenda was not the only one who went home and continued working her piece. It put a big smile on my face, that's for sure. 


After my lecture, some of the guild members took me to lunch, and little did they know, it was my favorite restaurant, The Westside Tavern. 


Now on to Santa Barbara...

Before my Thursday evening lecture, some of the guild members took me to a lovely restaurant with a great view. 

The next day was the workshop, and it was full. We had 23 students and they produced some great work.

Lou Ann is in a art group called Abstraked and all of the members were in the workshop. They do wonderful work and have an exhibit at Sisters in Oregon every year. 

Maren, also in Abstrakted, hosted me in her beautiful home. She's a gourmet cook and she prepared a delicious breakfast and an amazing dinner me! She's a wonderful artist and she has a super cool husband!

I loved the palette Suzy was using. 

Each person was doing something unique. I was really loving the direction this one was headed.

It turns out that I absolutely love teaching. It's fun and the students are having fun! I could ask for nothing more...  :)



Soul of the Quilter Cruise

Well, it looks like I'm back to my delayed blogging. What can I say, I'm working so hard that it takes a lot for me to take the time out and do this. So many fun and exciting things have happened in the past few months that I'm excited to share with you. 

As some of you may know, I was asked to teach on The Soul of a Quilter Cruise to benefit Libby Lehman's Medical Fund. We were on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas, and good grief, was that fun!!!!! I've never cruised before and to be honest, I now know why people do this. When you set sail, you leave all of your troubles behind and you are just floating around in a blissful state. At least that was the case for me.   :)

We raised over 12,000 dollars for Libby's fund, and had a great time doing it. 

I can't say enough about the other artists who were teaching - Dana Lynch, Pam Holland and Carol Moellers. It was so much fun to hang out with them.

I had a spacious, comfortable room...

...with a balcony. Each night when I returned to my room, I'd sit out here and gaze at the stars, smell the warm Caribbean air and enjoy every moment. 

What can I say about the students... they were wonderful! 

Considering I only had 3 hours with each group, I was amazed at what they did!

Lorraine traveled from New Zealand to go on the cruise...  

I really challenged myself and signed up for a bunch of excursions the first day. One of them was zip lining. This is my view as I'm about to take off in Labadee Haiti, which was absolutely beautiful. I should mention that I have a terrrible fear of heights, but I found this experience life changing. I look forward to doing it again

Carol and her husband John (in the red hat) were waiting for me and shot some video, as I glided in.

In Jamaica, which I LOVED by the way, I swam with the dolphins...

I enjoyed interacting with nature...

And goodness knows, I love reptiles!

The 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman was wonderful.

I also went on a submarine ride in Grand Cayman.

Labadee, Haiti... 

I was following the reggae band around the ship, they were awesome...

Each night I had dinner with Carol Moellers and her wonderul husband John. We had a great time together we spent the day together in Jamaica. 

Honestly, I can't say enough about Jim West and what a super guy he is in so many ways. If you've ever thought on going on one of his trips, I HIGHLY reccomend it. On the last night, he threw a wonderful cocktail party and we had this large cozy space to ourselves. 

I'm a happy camper right now!

This is a historical event. I'm actually doing a blog post right when something happens, and not one or two months later! 

Anyway, I can't show the whole quilt (because we were asked not to), but I've been working on my piece to celebrate SAQA's 25th Anniversary, and I just finished the quilting a little while ago. The exhibit is called "Celebrate Silver" and it will debut in Houston this November. Now I'm in the process of blocking it and that will go on for a few days. It is due at the end of this month, but since I'm leaving for the "Soul of the Quilter Cruise" on the 24th, the pressure was on. 

I have one or two more small pieces to quilt by the 16th so wish me luck...  :)

Another big piece of news is that I'm having a gallery show in the South of France in May. That's the main reason I've been putting in so many hours. I've literally been working 12-14 hour days in the studio for a while now. All of my creative (tops) is done, and now I'll be quilting until late April. 

The show will be in a small village in Provence and I'm very excited to have a reason go there. Seriously. 

For more info click here

IQA Show Houston 2013

This is an extremely late post, but I've been sooooooo busy! I'm working 12-14 hours a day in my studio right now preparing for a show in France in May. (More on that to come) 

My husband and I had a blast in Houston, as always. Every year it gets better. This year I was more focused on the people than the quilts. I was fortunate enough to have three quilts on display at the show, and a some of my friends won awards and I was so happy! 

Me with "Venus in the Garden."

The awards ceremony is quite awesome. All of the first prize and big prize winners are behind a curtain and it raises when the winner is announced. 


Jane Sassaman is an artist I greatly admire, and she's a lovely person! She won one of the big awards this year.


Another big winner!


Another big winner...

Photographer Darling 

I really loved Heather Pregger's pieces, really beautiful! This won first place in Art Abstract. 

Tuning Fork #11 

Heather Pregger 

Paulette Landers

Jenny Bowker

My sweet friend, Hollis Chatelain... "Parched"


My lovely friend Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry had an amazing display of her work. All the work was new but referenced her evolution as a quilt artist for 30 years. 

Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry


Gul Laporte, Philippa Naylor, me, David Taylor.


My buddy Jerry Granata


Libby Lehman's sisters, Cathy and Ellen. There was an wonderful display of Libby's work in Houston. 


The amazing artist Pam Holland.


With the lovely Gail Thomas...  


With Carol Moellers and Alex Anderson.


I was seriously diggin' Ricky Tims' beard! 


One of the very best parts of going to Houston is seeing friends you never see anywhere else. However, Carol and I will be hanging out in January on the cruise "Soul of the Quilter" to benefit Libby's medical fund. 


Sophie Rubin, Luana Rubin, me, and Bonnie McCaffery.


My friend Sherry Kleinman with her award winning quilt Alone/Together.


I met these sweet ladies (daughter and mother) on my first trip to Houston in 2011.

The ladies that make this all possible, Karey Bresenhen and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes. 


It was so warm and nice in Houston - this year I brought my bathing suit! I was in the pool nearly every night (except when it was raining). 


 Here's a video by Bonnie McCaffery with wonderful interviews and a highlight of the quilts in the show. I'm at 1:30 talking about two of my pieces. Bonnie is so sweet and I look forward to seeing her every year in Houston.  :) 

Schweinfurth Art Center: Quilts=Art=Quilts Exhibit in Auburn NY

It was so honor to be part of this wonderful exhibit at a beautiful Schweinfurth in Auburn NY. The opening was October 27th, 2013.

"Red Dragon" 2012

 There was some really awesome work in this show. Here are just a few of my fav's...

Kate Stiassni


Betty Busby


Pat Pauly


Judy Kirpich - Best of Show


Diane Siebels


Kit Vincent


Karen Shulz



Connie Carrington


I also spent some time being a tourist and visiting the Harriet Tubman Museum and the William Seward Museum. 

Harriet Tubman's home

Seward Home


And I bought a piece of art at the Seward Museum! The artist is Blake Chamberlain.




New Work - The Ray, the Roses and the Portal

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis was my favorite book as a child. The title of this quilt is inspired by that book. A ray of sun kisses the rosebuds and I'm transported to another dimension via the effortless beauty of nature. Improvisational design can take you on a trip into a secret world and I always enjoy going along for the ride.

32 L x 30 W 

This was pieced using my hand dyed fabrics, and free motion quilted.

See me on Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday's"


My Family Quilt Blog Hop

This week I'm participating in my first Blog Hop. It was organized by Cheryl Sleboda so we can share our quilts made by other members of our family. We were supposed to share one but I actually have three that are very special to me. 

The first two were made by my mother, Rochelle. 

My mom gave this to me for Christmas a few years ago, and I was in tears. I had long wished for a quilt like this because my sister received one for her wedding and I was so jealous. It features fabrics from my childhood and includes scraps from clothing my mom made for my sister, brother and myself. There are fabrics from childhood bedroom curtains and from my grandmothers clothing; it's an incredibly special quilt. My mom is a pretty traditional quilter and she typically doesn't use bright colors, but she knows what I love so I was so blown away by her color choices!  :)

There was one block in particular that really got me! The plaid one in the center. I remembered that fabric.

My mom used that fabric to make my dress for picture day when I was 5 years old. I could not believe she saved it.

This was an earlier quilt my mom made for me. It's all hand quilted, and to be honest, I really didn't appreciate that when I first received this. Of course, I was totally clueless. I will admit to being a challenging child with a strong will, and even though my parents probably wanted to pull their hair out quite often, they loved me for me and supported my love for painting.

I love the label! 


And last but not least, this was made by my amazing husband Matt and his mother Gayle. (Who is the best mother-in-law one could hope for)

All of the blocks were drawn by my husband when he was 5 years old. His mom gave him squares of paper and crayons and asked him to draw whatever he wanted. She then traced his drawings and painted them on fabric. This quilt won a ribbon at the Los Angeles Country fair!


Matt has named this quilt "The Cloak of Solitude". Up until recently, I mean really recently, my husband was using this quilt! It actually looks like an antique from the 1800's. My mom has already repaired it once and I suggested that it be given a rest for a while. ;)  Not to mention, I've made him several quilts which he stacks on top of himself at night. They are literally folded and only on his side. It's not uncommon for him to have two additional quilts on top of our queen sized quilt that I also made. It's quite hilarious. 


Please make sure you check out the other quilt artists participating this week: 

The "My Family Quilt" Blog Hop!

Oct 1. - Sylvia Lewis 
Oct 2. - Judi Hurwitt 
Oct 3. - Deborah Massie Boschert 
Oct 5. - Pokey Bolton 
Oct 6. - Frieda Anderson 
Oct 7. - Lisa Chin 
Oct 8. - Cheryl Sleboda 

New Workshop in June 2014

I will be teaching Express Your True Self: One Piece at a Time at the Madeline Island School of the Arts, June 16 - 20, 2014. 

Madeline Island has been described as "one of the great undiscovered treasures of the Midwest."  It is located in Northern Wisconsin in the Chequamegon Bay - approximately 90 miles east of Duluth, Minnesota along the southern shoreline of Lake Superior. 

Madeline is the largest of the twenty-two islands that comprise the Apostle Islands.  Board the car ferry in Bayfield, Wisconsin for a twenty minute, (2.6 mile) scenic crossing.


New Work - Venus in the Garden

"Venus in the Garden" will be on display at the Internation Quilt Festival in Houston Oct/Nov 2013. 

63" x 63"

Pieced and appliqued using my hand dyed fabrics, free motion quilted.

This piece was created from one of my small drawings. It feels like a tropical garden to me and when my sister saw it, all she could see was Venus Flytraps. So there you have it! 

This was a really challenging one to quilt! I was so relieved when I finished it. It was quilted on my new Bernina 710 (which I love by the way!) but due to the large scale of my design, and the density of my quilting, it was pretty exhausting. Sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself, and then I do it again.  :)

I played around with the thread color on this one and didn't go for an exact match like I've done before. I wanted the quilting to be visable.

Mid way through the quilting, I could feel that I was straining my body, so I had my husband install this hanging system I had seen in Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's studio in Paducah KY.

My "quilting" life has been transformed!!!

It was really easy to make, and you can move the pvc pipes around needed. 

It's best to have a variety of sizes, long, medium and short. These clips actually suck, so I need to get better ones. 

By taking the weight off, you can move the quilt around with total ease, and I could feel an immediate improvement! 

Now here's the really silly thing, I have a machine with an 18" throat, and I've only used it twice. 

It's a Innova, and I really love it. There's no stitch regulation, because I don't like that, but this baby can go! You might find it strange that I rarely use it. 

This is my foot pedal system. You can't even get this anymore, so I'm kind of lucky. The pedal on the far right makes it go, the one on the left slows it down and the middle one speeds it up. When I quilt my pieced work, it's easier for me to use my one of my Bernina's. I quilted the background of Nan's Whale and From a Seed on this machine.  


"Lair of the Amethyst Deva" will also be in Houston. This is one of my favorite pieces. I really love her so much. 

27" x 32"  Improv pieced using my hand dyed fabrics, free motion quilted. 


Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" 

Watch me on "The Quilt Show" with Alex and Ricky!

Last August I taped an episode of The Quilt Show and tomorrow, September 9th, it will air. Also featured is the very lovely and extremely talented Angela Walters! 

To watch the show, you'll need to be a Star Member. If you are interested you will receive a discount of 20% when joining by using this code: 238724887511

Also, my show will be available to watch for free from September 15, - September 22, 2013. Click here during that time frame and check it out. 

Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims bring you the friendliest, Interactive Online Community for Quilters Worldwide!  Join today to learn, share, create, connect and watch Alex and Ricky in brand new episodes of "The Quilt Show"!

Two weeks of Dyeing

I just finished up a couple of weeks of intense production in my studio. When I'm dyeing fabric, it looks like a storm has blown through here and then I have to deal with the aftermath. However, I was very productive as my supply was in serious need of replenishment. 

To save money this time around, I supplemented my usual tightly woven PFD with Joann's Premium Legacy Muslin. I was very happy with the results. I scoured the crap out of it, and that's why I was able to get great color. It has a smoother hand and a denser weave then Kona, so it's a great way to save a buck when you consider the coupons. 

However, when I'm doing something like this, I only use the best PFD, and my favorites are Hoffman and Pimatex. When I dye my gradations, I start with the lightest color, and make sure the whole piece is very wet. I then start from the crease and move up in stages, wtih the more saturated color. I wear rubber or vinyl gloves and I blend by hand, rubbing in a circular motion. I've found this method gives me the best results.

By the way, I dye all of my fabric on plastic sheets like this as apposed to immersion. I do that sometimes, but I prefer to have control over my texture.

The finished product. 

See me on Nina-Marie's Blog Off the Wall Friday's

Long Beach and "Ode to Lavandula"

I will admit, I'm SUPER behind updating my blog. I'm definitely one of those artists who prefers to make art as apposed to writing about it, so this is the first of several posts that are long overdue. 

My piece "Ode to Lavandula" premiered in Long Beach last month as part of the Dinner@8 Artists exhibit "An Exquisite Moment." Every year in Long Beach, my husband joins me for dinner at the hotel Friday night, and we see the Jamie, Leslie and the other artists having a lively dinner party. This year it was nice to be a part of that.  

"Ode to Lavandula" is inspired by my love of Lavender.

"I am obsessed with Lavender, and every evening after my shower, I slather myself with various intoxicating oils. I even go as far as rolling it on my pj's and pulling it over my nose just to breath it in. At that moment, there is nothing else but this enchanting and relaxing aroma, and that is very precious to me."

24" x 60" Whole cloth, monoprinted and painted with thickened fiber reactive dye, free motion quilted. 

The quilting on the piece was intense.


Yvonne Porcella, what a lovely lady and amazing artist! She gave me a precious gift and the wrapping was coordinated with her adorable "black and white stripes and dots" look. 


This was the last year Quilts Inc. will be in Long Beach. I first attended this show July 2009, six months after I started quilting. My head exploded when I saw the art quilts on display. The following year, I met Pokey Bolton, and having been a huge fan of Quilting Arts Magazine by that time, I was excited to meet her. I remember showing her a photos of my first art quilt "Life in the City" on my phone. It was still on my design wall at that time. The following year I had the great fortune of being featured in Quilting Arts Magazine, and that was really a big deal for me. 


A few of my "Project Linus" buddies taking a break!

"The Soul of a Quilter" Cruise to Benefit Libby Lehman

I am beyond honored to be a part of this amazing cruise to benefit the Libby Lehman Medical fund! We are going to have a blast, and for a really great price, you'll enjoy a 7-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s extraordinary Independence of the Seas and take workshops from four different teachers

Please join us! 

In my workshop, you'll be making a small quilt top. I will guide students through the process of improvisational piecing and sewing curved seams, as well as color and value choices. 


My "Quilt National" Experience

I was quite honored, to say the least, to have my piece "From a Seed" juried into Quilt National 2013. My husband Matt and I traveled to Athens Ohio to experience the opening weekend festivities. It was cool to actually be able to photograph the quilts. 

"From a Seed" ©Sheila Frampton-Cooper 2012  55" x 41"  Whole cloth painted with thickened fiber reactive dyes. I used paintsticks for additional details.

I wanted to create the feeling of rain falling with my quilting.

This is the original watercolor piece that inspired it. When I paint these, I use a very tiny brush and it's a "very precious" process for me. The other two paintings I've brought into quilt form were done with that same "exacting hand", but for this one, I wanted to let it fly out and be free and loose. 


This is an iconic place, so of course, I had to take the shot that everyone takes!


Here's a snapshot of the dynamic artwork on display.  I wanted to share a lot of work, but I ran out of steam. I'll be adding more to this gallery little by little. 


This sweet little lady was making the rounds to get her book signed... 

I was thrilled to meet two artists that I greatly admire - Elizabeth Barton and Pamela Allen.

We took a little time off to check out the town... 

We met a few students from Saudi...  

A double dose of "ticket magnet" rental cars. And yes, we did get a ticket, but I wasn't driving! 

Athens is quite tranquil, and very green.

There is a lot of land surrounding the Dairy Barn. It's a really lovely venue!