November 2014

Art Quilt Tahoe – Day Four/Five

I can’t believe this week is over. It just flew by. I can highly recommend this workshop. What fun.

Day four was spent cutting, fusing and sewing our flora. At 3:30 on Thursday afternoon, everything was tidied up, our work was hung on the wall in whatever state it was, and we spent a couple of hours visiting the other classrooms to see what everyone else had been doing during the week.

It was astonishing to me how much work was accomplished in this class. With a day and a half spent drawing and practicing abstraction, these pieces were cut and sewn in a little over two days. This is the work completed by our class. The first one is mine, which I am going to use as a study for a much larger quilt. I am excited to get started on it.













My photo of these gorgeous succulents does this piece a serious injustice! It is gorgeous.


 The one above is my absolute favorite. Her colors and fabric choices were stunning……




You can see that some amazing work was done this week. I can highly recommend Jane Sassaman as a teacher. She is patient, kind, and not afraid to tell you if something is looking like it is from outer space.

Today we packed up, said goodbye and made our way home. Tomorrow I will share some photos taken from the visits to the other classrooms.

Until next time,


Art Quilt Tahoe – Day Three

It was another busy day at Art Quilt Tahoe. Our assignment for today was to do a number of studies of the flower we intend to abstract. I am doing a Stargazer Lily because it’s one of my favorite flowers and I think it will make an interesting subject. We had to draw the flower from all angles, as well as make it fit into a square, a circle and a triangle. This forced an abstraction of the flower.


After that, we abstracted it even more. Once we were finished with that, we chose our favorite view and enlarged it to about 24 inches square. This is my enlarged drawing (sorry, it is pencil on tracing paper and it’s hard to see).


After that, we traced the pattern into parts on to tracing paper and cut out patterns for the various parts of the flower.

This was followed by trying out a number of fabrics to find the best color and print for each part. I thought the black background would be dramatic with the pink flower, but it is too harsh and will need to be changed.


By the end of the day, I had finished with this. (Sorry for the Reader’s Digest version of this process, but this has been a long day!)



Tonight, I have to sit down and draw some abstract leaves to put on this in the morning.

As far as quilts exhibited today, there was a Challenge for this week which was an optional activity. We were invited to bring a quilt celebrating the number 16, as this is Art Quilt Tahoe’s 16th anniversary. Here are some of the Challenge quilts:


By Peg Pennell, Celebrating her 16th Birthday and her first Car


By Eileen Searcy, 16 Petals


By Carol Ann Frocillo, One to Grown On – the candle flames are beautiful spiral glass buttons


There was no identification on this tiny quilt, depicting a toddler stacking 16 spools of thread.

That’s all for tonight!

Until next time,




Art Quilt Tahoe – Days 1 and 2

I have been looking forward to this week of immersion in art quilting since I signed up last March. It has not disappointed.

I drove to Lake Tahoe on Sunday and was pleased to see snow on the ground at the higher elevations. This is a blessing for drought-ravaged California and Nevada, although there isn’t enough to put a dent in our drought. It is supposed to warm up this week, so this won’t be here long (although it was 17 degrees this morning).



This conference is held at the Zephyr Cove Presbyterian Conference Center. It is a combination of small mountain cabins which are very quaint, and a new, modern conference center. We are housed in the conference center with rooms, cafeteria and classrooms centrally located. These are the main classrooms:





There are approximately 200 attendees, we all eat meals together and enjoy lectures given by the faculty after each lunch and dinner. Some of their work is on display each day.


Today was the first day of class. Here is Jane Sassaman, the instructor, giving some personal attention regarding the drawing we were doing today. The classes are relatively small (10-15 people), so there is lots of opportunity for personal attention. We worked on abstracting flower shapes today which is not as easy as it sounds!

FullSizeRender (2)

I am sitting at the first table at the front of the room and this is the view six feet away. I am having some trouble not being distracted by the beautiful view!

Here are some of the quilts on display today:

BirdsThis quilt was made by David Taylor. It is difficult to see the quality of the quilting on the birds and the amazing background quilting, which is hundreds of tiny leaves, but it is amazing!


This quilt was made by Cat Larrea. It reminds me of a painting that has been done with a palette knife. Carefully applied dabs of color. This photo doesn’t do it justice.


These pies were made by Velda Newman, who has a particular obsession with food right now. These are amazing. There are three dimensional blackberries spilling out of the pie. The meringue on the pie on the left is made of folded white cotton fabric that has obviously been burned by flame.

Red Mummy

This last quilt is quite large. It has been pieced and then over-dyed with a number of graphic designs. Again, this photo doesn’t do justice to the colors and work in this piece.

I have a couple of hours of drawing homework to do tonight, and I am wondering how I am going to stay awake to get it done! Stay tuned for more updates from Art Quilt Tahoe.

Until next time,


Art Quilt Tahoe and Other News

It has been very quiet here on the CaliQuilter blog. For the last several months I have been concentrating on learning the Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, In Design and Photoshop in particular) to improve my pattern writing, layout and design skills. It has been a steep learning curve because these programs are filled with unbelievable tools. As a result of this effort, I can report that I have started designing my own fabrics! I will share more about this soon.


Meanwhile, I am very excited to be traveling to Incline Village at Lake Tahoe tomorrow to participate in Art Quilt Tahoe. I am going to be studying with Jane Sassaman about abstracting from nature, particularly flora. The class syllabus says we will be abstracting and exaggerating floral forms, and the footnote says “This class is especially beneficial for the drawing impaired and the tragically literal.” Perfect!

Here is some of Jane work:



Can’t wait to get started! Stay tuned as I will be posting daily updates on this exciting workshop and how these amazing abstracts are done!