Is your group looking for workshop instructors?

Under the header photo above you will see several tabs.  If you click on the one that says Workshops, Lectures you will come to a list of possible classes.  Let me know if you have questions or suggestions!

A few of my previous engagements:

  • National Quilting Association, Washington, D.C.
  • AQS, Paducah, KY
  • Houston Quilt Festival
  • Mackinac island Quilters Retreat
  • Flying Geese Quilt Show and Quilt Conference, Fort Worth, TX
  • Quilt Conference, Carlinville, IL
  • New Mexico Quilter’s Association, Albuquerque, NM
  • Hands All Around Quilt Guild of Central Illinois


I’d love to come visit your group!


Baby N’ Grammy

It's a Fischer and Grammy weekend… 

four days of cozy snuggling and playing, and quilting during nap time.  

What could be more fun?  

Nothing I can think of…

Push Yourself to Learn Something New

As quilters, we often get  stuck doing the same things with the same fabrics and colors, using the same methods we have always used.  We have our own preferences for colors, and can’t possibly imagine creating a quilt out of THAT color!  I’m amazed whenever I hear someone say, “I don’t applique!!!”  When I ask them why, they’ll tell me something like, “Oh, I tried it once, and it was hard.”  We are afraid to step out of our comfort zone!  It’s scary!  It makes our head hurt!


wrongPerforming brain surgery is hard, but somehow we have surgeons in the world who have put in the time and effort to master the skill.  And that’s what it’s all about: putting in the time and effort.  You know, the whole




But there’s a flaw in that logic.  It’s not really Practice Makes Perfect.  It’s more


Practice makes permanent, but not necessarily perfect.




I’m going to dust off my Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree for a minute and give you a mini lesson in learning theory.

In 1967, two educators named Fitts and Posner wrote about their theory of  three progressive phases in learning a new skill. Their three progressive phases suggested that the learning process is sequential and orderly, and that we move through these phases as we learn. Here are their three stages to learning a new skill in black font.  Along with each stage, I have inserted a translation of the skill into language quilters understand (red font). Stick with me here… you’ll get this.

  • Cognitive phase – Identification and development of the component parts of the skill – involves formation of a mental picture of the skill.  (Take the quilt class even if it scares you.  Pay attention to the teacher, don’t argue with his or her methods, just soak them up. Do what you’re told and take good notes.)

  • Associative phase – Linking the component parts into a smooth action – involves practicing the skill and using feedback to perfect the skill.  (Take the quilt project that you started in the class home with you.  Do not stick it in the back of the closet! You have too many other things back there anyway! Finish the darn project exactly the way you were shown.  Do not put it aside to work on another project. Do not let it become a UFO (UnFinished Object).  Show it to your quilt friends or guild.  Put it on your blog if you have one.  Let people know you completed the project!


  • Autonomous phase – Developing the learned skill so that it becomes automatic – involves little or no conscious thought or attention while performing the skill.  (Plan and begin your next quilting project using your newly learned skill.   Yes, actually USE the new skill, understanding that practice makes permanent.  The more time you spend on it, the easier it will become.  Your goal here is to get to the point where you don’t have to think about it anymore, it just comes naturally. Think about it… at one time in your life, you were potty trained.  When was the last time you had to be reminded HOW to go to the bathroom?)



Ok now, what skill haven’t you learned? 

     Crawl out of that deep rut you’re in. 

          Push yourself to learn something new! 

              Take a class. 


Get going…Go… NOW!

I had an itch I had to scratch

Somebody asked me this week why I hadn’t posted any quilting updates.  Here’s why.


I had to knit something.  Anything.  Just had to knit.  I get chilly sometimes around the neck when we are out riding our motorcycle, so I’m knitting myself a cowl scarf.  Simple, needs no counting, you just do it.  Over and over.  33 stitches across in K, do it again in P, a million times over and eventually you’re done.

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth.  Just had to scratch that itch and get it out of my system.  I’m sure you understand.

I Love Scrappy Quilts

I love scrappy quilts… any kind of scrappy quilt, and in any kind of color combination.  However, this one is in MY colors…

Here’s a close up… it’s hand quilted, with a cotton batting.


Ocean Waves, below, is also a scrappy quilt… and hand quilted.OceanWaves1985

I’ve started a scrappy basket quilt, but haven’t touched it in a year or more.  Maybe it’s time?

DSC02705DSC02662     DSC02658

I need to think on that…

What scrappy quilts have you made?

Blogging Etiquette for Quilters

From time to time it’s always a good idea to review or get back to the basics. Whether it’s math, gardening, driving safety – whatever the topic, take time to refresh your knowledge from time to time!

Let’s think about blogging etiquette for a minute. There are some big basics that we can all benefit from.

Commenting on someone else’s blog:

1) It is not necessary to leave a comment on every post that someone makes.  Even if it’s your best friend’s blog, don’t comment every single time they write and article.  It comes across as if you’re stalking them.  Keep your comments for important issues, or when you REALLY have something worthwhile to say that relates to the post.

2) Your comment should RELATE TO THE POST under which you are leaving a comment.

3) Think twice before you leave a comment to advertise yourself, a product or service you are selling, or to publicize your own blog or website.  That is extremely tacky and never appreciated. 

4) Don’t argue with the writer.  A blogger has the right to post his or her own opinion on his/her blog.  It is their blog.  If you disagree, you have two options.  1)  Email the person privately and explain how you feel in a nice, polite manner.  2) Leave a comment, but be especially gracious in your wording. Example: “Thanks for sharing your methods for marking your quilts for hand quilting.  It’s always nice to see how other quilters work.  When I mark my quilts, I usually do… (your method), but I’ll give yours a try.  Who knows?  I might like it better! 

Give credit where credit is due:
1) Whenever you cite another website, provide a link to that site
2) Always get permission to include someone else’s photo on your blog, and provide a link to their site
3) Nobody likes a know-it-all.  Be humble.  Do unto others… let others shine. 
4) Don’t be pushy.  If your blog is all about selling yourself or your product to others, it will become annoying very quickly.  Be genuine.  
4) Beware of blogs that constantly ask you to share a link on their site with Linky or some other such tool.  Linking tools have a purpose, but when they are used regularly on a site, I am always skeptical.  When used regularly by a blogger, their purpose is to drive traffic to that blog.

Be a friendly blogger!

Yes We Can, Jane quilt update number 12


Another update of the quilting progress on the Obama quilt:


Visit to Town by Susan Sweeten

Hannah Lou’s Hearts by Ruth Gregg


Trooper Green’s Badge by Caroline Van Maele

Melissa’s Cross by Elizabeth Brandt


Proof Through The Night by Nancee Marchinowski

Remembering Columbine
Patti Baymiller


Bear’s Paw by Linda Boyle

I think the hardest part of a project like this – one in which people from all around the world contribute blocks – is in the gathering of information.  I still don’t have names for many of the blocks that were submitted, though we have determined the maker of each block. 

Photos are being taken as I finish quilting each block, and while the block is still in my quilting hoop. At times, it’s difficult to photograph the block so it comes out square.  All blocks ARE square in the quilt, but the photo sometimes skews the photo.  It is especially difficult to photograph when there is a heavy weight on part of the quilt that will not move.


Official Quilt Inspector, Sleeping on Duty

Yes We Can, Jane quilt update number 11

I’ve been a little busy with little blocks!  Check out these adorable little blocks from the Yes We Can, Jane quilt for President Obama!

E2 Colorado Beauty by  Cheryl Camp

F5 Point Star by Kathy Timmons

F1 Star Struck by Jeannine Hanner

American Chain by Kathy Timmons

A4 Land of Lincoln by Susan Mina

Voter’s Choice by Susan Mina

B2 Ladies Aid by Kathy Timmons

Brandon’s Star by Ferande Authuys


Stay tuned for more updates!