Exciting Beginnings with Artistic Alchemy

A few weeks ago I was very pleasantly surprised to be asked to join Artistic Alchemy. You may be asking what is Artistic Alchemy or AA for short? Its a group of four ladies who hold an annual retreat at Zephyr Point Retreat Center at Lake Tahoe. When Christine Barnes felt it was time to step down and enjoy a less hectic retirement I was asked to replace her. Quite an honor I assure you.

Lake Tahoe, CA

Recently I taught my Pet Portrait class as a 2-day class with a 2 week break in between.  It was suggested to me how nice it would be to be able to keep working on this project for longer in a continuous stretch, "You should do a retreat." So the idea was floating around in my mind and when Sandra Bruce invited me to join this fit perfectly.

Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Me, Heidi Emmett

Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Me, Heidi Emmett

The class I'll be offering for this 3 1/2 day retreat I called Fabric Collage Addiction. I'm encouraging students to find a photo that they love and make it in fabric collage. Pet Portraits will be perfect but other animals, faces, fish, flowers will also work. I seem to go through phases of working on different subject matter and right now I am exploring pets especially dogs. People are always surprised when I say I don't own any pets but still find many great subjects to work from.


Please contact me or spread the news to anyone who you think might be interested in taking my class. Lake Tahoe is beautiful in September and such an inspiring backdrop to get away for a creativity boost. 

Boston WIP

Boston WIP

So check out the workshop page on the Artistic Alchemy blog to read about all the classes that are available or even come to work on your own projects.



Starting the Year attending Craft Napa

January 11-13th I attended Craft Napa In Napa.CA. Its Northern California's premiere crafting retreat for sewists, crafters and quilters and I'm so lucky to live just an hour and a half away. Its a  4 day extravaganza for sewing, quilting, surface design and inspiration organized perfectly by Pokey Bolton.


Squeezing in two six hour classes to my new years schedule I took Sherri Lynn Wood's Round Robin class. Working on improve quilting we added to the quilt top that was passed around every 30 mins. This was quite an intense class as you only had a short time to "continue the conversation" on the quilt top. The fabrics were chosen by the maker and rotated around the class but the personal touch was to add a little of your own "signature" fabric.

The second class was Using Symbols in Art Quilts with Deborah Boschert. In this class we had six 5 x 7" art quilts to work on using designs and symbols that were meaningful to each person. We had pre-fused fabrics to work with. The aim was finish one piece with free-motion quilting, hand embroidery, mounted and finished.


My themes or symbols were mountains, hiking, family and ocean. The last piece I worked on was a single glorious flower growing out of a plant pot, not sure of the significance of this symbol!


Friday night at Craft Napa is Crafters Market. This year we were lucky enough to sell raffle tickets for the quilt, Rainbow Fish, that I designed and helped make with Foothill Quilt Guild. The response from all the people that spent the time looking at it was great and we sold a lot of raffle tickets too. The quilt will be raffled at our quilt show on April 7th 2018 in Auburn , CA.

Rainbow Fish Quilt 92" x 104"

Rainbow Fish Quilt 92" x 104"

Look out for Craft Napa 2019.  Its a fun, inspiring event when you can surround yourself with like-minded crafty people at the perfect location, Embassy Suites in Napa. 

Look for some exciting news that I will be revealing next week, Feb 7th.

Love of Pets New Quilt Class for 2018

I started 2018 by promoting my new 1 Day class "Love of Pets" at NCQC, the Northern California Quilt Council, in Pleasant Hill. I was presenting my class at the All-Star Review or Teach a Technique meeting. This event is arranged for quilt teachers to present a hands-on demonstration of their classes to quilt shop owners and quilt guilds in preparation for making bookings for 2018 and 2019.

Zeke 24" x 27"

Zeke 24" x 27"

 "Love of Pets" is a 1 Day class that allows students to work on creating a one-of-a-kind portrait from a photo of their pet. The finished quilt is about  16" x 20" in size. Students just need to bring along a black and white enlargement of their pet, a color photo about 8" x 11" size, fabrics they wish to use, good scissors, fabric glue and some stabilizer. I will give instructions and demonstrations on how to make fabric collage using my raw edge technique

Zeke in progress.JPG

To choose a great image to recreate in fabric it is best to work with a close-up of the face which can be front or side view or in between. You may need to cut down or crop your photo to remove the dogs body to focus on the face. This is then printed or enlarged to a 8 x 10" size. At your local  copy shop have them enlarge this color photo by 200% and print out in black and white. This is then the pattern for your project.

In this class I will talk about fabric choices, how best to use value and contrast to best effect and also demonstrate free motion quilting to finish the quilt. The class is nice as students don't need to bring a sewing machine and will just be working on completing their collage.

Arthur in progress.JPG

For more details about pricing and my availability look an my teaching and calendar pages here on my website. Its so fun making a quilt that is personal and unique. What better gift could you make to give a spouse or relative. They will appreciate that you have put time, love and your hand into making something so special. 

Emma's pug.JPG