A class full of independent quilters…

I am home from my session at Empty Spools where I had 18 women, each doing her own thing for 5 days. Everyone, including me, had a wonderful time! As is typically the case, I did not have time to blog during this time, but I did take some pictures during the walk-around time. That happens after class on the 4th day, when students can walk around and see what’s going on in other classes.

The walls in our classroom were all glass; the light was good. There was a rock fireplace (which we could have used, but didn’t) and wood on one wall and the floor. A rustic setting, in a nice way.

Barb’s was the first design wall you would see as you walked in the door. She spent the her time sewing together the wheels (from Spring Wheels) that she had sewn at home. As she will tell you, this is not a hard quilt to make, but it is slow. She email me that she sewed the two halves of the quilt together soon after she got home.


April worked on a variation of Flowering Vines, from our book Flowering Favorites. She is using the vine patterns from The Best-Ever Applique Sampler for the flower panels.


V’Lou, April’s sister, is working on Tree O’ Life. She got the background just right and then worked on the applique toward the end of class. It’s very cheerful!


Next up is Peggie who designed and did most of the applique on this cute quilt from our book, Applique With Attitude. She stayed at it and happily stitched the days away.


Peggie didn’t use it much, but she did pull out the cutest sewing machine ever…Image

Tami was one of three brand new quilters in the room. She came with a pattern and the urge to learn how to piece better. She left class knowing how to read a pattern, cut and sew more accurately, how to sew triangles, and more!


There were a few work areas in the room that I missed taking pictures of and I could kick myself. I was focusing on the design walls, and visiting with the folks from other classes who were walking through.

  • Kim pieced a lone star in solids that is going to be amazing. She also set together a bunch of little shapes for a table runner that is going to be great anywhere she puts it.
  • Glenda made her first quilt! The top is from the cover of Skip The Borders by Julie Herman, Jaybird Quilts. Glenda made the top, basted it, machine quilted it with her walking foot, and made and sewed on the binding. The rest of us were impressed!
  • Sue quietly worked on a large cross stitch piece in the mornings and then on a pieced quilt in the afternoon. She was enjoying the peace/piece and quiet.

Sandy brought several projects to work on. One was a bunch of two-sided quilted squares that she was setting together with sashing strips for a bed quilt. She also had some applique blocks that she was hand quilting that she will set together the same way. Sandy also worked on a tessellating block of her own design that I failed to take a picture of. Sigh.


  • Diana worked on a huge number of half square triangles for a project that will come together at home. I’m not sure that I could have stuck with it as well as she did :-).
  • Janet #1 spent time working on a very cute sock monkey for a grandchild. Again, where was my camera when I needed it!

Karynn made a very nice quilt top from a pattern from a magazine featuring Kaffe Fassett fabrics…

ImageSharon was also working on a pieced quilt made with Kaffe fabrics. The two design walls were next to each other and the two quilts were really good together! I’m pretty sure we all wanted to go home and make something with these yummy fabrics!


  • Janet #2, another beginner, worked on a pieced pattern with a seasonal theme. She even tackled curved seams and they worked like a charm! I really wish I had taken a photo before the blocks came off the wall because she did a great job on them.

Polly brought UFOs from long ago. The first is a medallion block that features her very own house! I suggested the 1/2″ checkerboard inner border and she gamely went along with idea. It took time but everyone who saw it agreed that it was worth the effort. I can truthfully say that the scariest part of the whole class for me was when we trimmed her applique block to size… and the borders did fit!


Polly also pulled out a UFO with teacup blocks. It took a while to decide how to perk it up and she got a good start on it before the class was over.


  • Carolyn worked on an Alex Anderson pieced Christmas Tree pattern and it was looking really good. Each tree was cut from an interesting fabric. Lots to look at and I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture!

Kathy had a never-ending box of things to work on. She got the border and the wiggly bias strip on a UFO from the Whirlygig class I’d taught before…


She also worked on borders for these wonky stars from a Gwen Marston class. Kathy had more projects that came and went throughout the class. She stayed busy.


Jan made tops for quilts for grandchildren. She stayed at it and got a lot done!




The beauty of this class is that you really can work on anything you like. It is lovely for me as a teacher to be able to be helpful to quilters who are doing so many different things!



2 thoughts on “A class full of independent quilters…

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