Quilter’s Affair 2017

I could also call this post–Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.  

Here is what happened. I was invited to teach at Quilter’s Affair in Sisters, Oregon. I have long known about the Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show that is held every year on the second Saturday of July. It was on my bucket list as it should be on yours.


The week prior to the Outdoor Quilt Show, Jean Wells and her daughter Valerie Wells and the staff of the The Stitching Post create a rooster of approximately 30 teachers from all corners of the quilting globe to teach at Quilter’s Affair. Students can sign up for a wide variety of workshops from shibori to surface design to improv stitching and traditional handwork. This means you and your friends can all take workshops together even if your interests are varied.

All year long, I heard the EXACT same thing about Quilter’s Affair—“You are going to LOVE teaching there” And you know what, everyone was right. I LOVED teaching there. Everything was awesome–from the wraps I had for lunch to the student’s attitudes towards learning new things.

I taught three workshops. On Monday and Tuesday, I taught BLOW IT UP!

Students select a framework from which to build their quilt. It can be a traditional quilt block—rail fence, log cabin, or nine- patch—or a structure that resonates with them personally—a bridge, a building, a skyline. They blow that structure up–make it big.

Using blue painters tape, the students draw the lines that will compose the foundation of their quilt. From there, they build in the bits that make the quilt.


This is the first time I have taught this workshop nationally.


I was super happy with what happened over the course of two day class.


Students were fearless. 


On Wednesday, I taught Authentic Patchwork—AKA as Kitchen Sink Quilting.


Students bring leftover blocks, fabric, strip sets—whatever they’ve got. We sort through these quilt remains and begin to build new original compositions based on the bits they bring.


Because the students are working with pre-pieced components, compositions begin to emerge very quickly.


Narrowing the focus to using what you already have creates a clear path to original designs.


I found that the students were very loose—no one was being super precious about their work—and this made for some truly wild and dynamic quilts.


One of the keys to success with this type of composing, is to edit your leftover blocks–not EVERY bit gets to be in the new composition.


I had a celebrity in my class. Can you spot her? Freddie Moran! Who is totally awesome by the way.


I am still thinking about the name of this class. I have currently changed the name to Kitchen Sink Quilting—the ART of Making Do. What do you think? And for that matter maybe BLOW IT UP! needs to be changed too. 


On Thursday and Friday, I taught Making Prints out of Solids—Lines & Shapes.


This is my most frequently taught class. If you think this might be fun. You might like my new book. You can preorder on the C&T website on Amazon . I know. I just did a little bit of shameless advertising. Feels weird, but hey, maybe you didn’t know that I have a book coming out, and now you do.


Students learn an assortment of methods for creating stripes, polka dots, herringbones, and more.


Once they’ve made a bunch of bits (fabric) they move their work to the design wall and begin composing.


Some of my students were in more than one class, so they had the option of combining information and continuing to more forward on their original compositions.



It is very satisfying to see my students work hard and stay focused.


I believe that my job as a teacher is to conjur an environment where students feel creative and safe—comfortable with putting their ideas on the wall for everyone to see.


The environment I was given at Quilter’s Affair—a very cool science lab—made this easy.


I am hoping that all my students complete their compositions and then share them with me.

On Saturday, I helped hang quilts and enjoyed the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.


What a week. I am honored to have had the experience. 

LOVE the weather!


Next week, I am off to Quilting by the Lake to teach—I hear there are still spots available in my workshops AND there is still time to sign up! 

From there, I head south to Memphis, Tennessee to work with the Uncommon Threads Quilt Guild < http://www.ucquilts.com/>.

I hope to blog while I am on the road, but it is difficult. If you want to keep up with the daily adventures of this road trip—like me on Facebook

I hope you are all having lovely bug and cloud free summers.

This entry was published on July 15, 2017 at 9:45 AM. It’s filed under About Teaching, News And Events, TEACHING and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Quilter’s Affair 2017

  1. I would love to join you next July – can you tell us what you will be teaching?

  2. Is there a way to get an autographed copy of your book?????

  3. debby on said:

    I’m so glad you liked Sisters. Sisters is one of my favorite places to visit–I love it in the fall. And I love the new name of the class–Kitchen Sink,etc.

  4. Looks like a wonderful place to teach! Hope to get to Sisters sometime.

  5. Thank you for a fun and inspirational week. I am looking forward to continuing with the work that was started in Sisters, and also discovering how my experiences there will influence my future work.

  6. Kristi Willard on said:

    I loved your class. It must be so difficult to manage students of all skills and backgrounds, but you did a great job steering all of us in positive directions. I feel more confident in making successful color combinations. Hope to get you to La Conner!

  7. liz hinze on said:

    I’m so excited that you are coming make to Sister’s in 2018. We’ve already booked a room, I’m praying I get in all your classes : )

  8. What a wonderfully exciting week you had. Thanks for sharing so many photos of your workshops in progress and letting us know about your new book. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

  9. Kathleen on said:

    Hi. I had the pleasure of taking your 2-day class called Improvisation Piecing at QBL last week. I will never look at a photograph the same way again. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration and patience during my long leap to abstraction.

  10. Woohoo for shameless advertising! Hey, you wrote a BOOK! That’s a big deal!

    Those Sisters classes look like they were fantastic and a whole lot of fun. I kind of like the name BLOW IT UP! because a) it’s all caps, and b) it always makes me think of Blow-Up and that you all are making Italian art films. Maybe my sense of humor is too surreal for its own good.

    Have a good time on the road!

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