Why an independent study class?

An independent study gives you time and space to work on your own thing in a creative environment. And, in my class, you get help if/when you want it. 

I had 11 women last week all working on something different. Some were more relaxed (it was a vacation, after all), others sewed relentlessly. It was great!

Jean honed her applique skills. 

And taught herself to sew a diamond block, with y-seams, using our Piecing book. 

Margaret focused on a quilt that she is making for a guild challenge. She nailed the mitered corners and the perle cotton applique stitches. 

Yolanda completed so many things that I sort of lost count. I especially liked this top that is the result of a log cabin block exchange. 

Susan was also knocking down the projects. She has a system for keeping up with her piecing that is very efficient. I was impressed. 

Marie sewed on a foundation paper piecing project and left with her arcs nearly finished. 

Louise made the foundation paper pieced blocks all week and worked right up to the last minute to get them ready to together. 

I kind of like the quilt turned sideways. 

I’ll post more tomorrow, promise :-). 

Seen on my morning walk…

You just can’t beat a morning walk that includes the ocean. That may be one of the most rejuvenating parts of taking part in an Empty Spools seminar. 

I would happily live in this house…

There were people snorkeling this morning, in wetsuits. And fishing, and taking photos. 

Someday I’ll master the art of the selfie. As it is, at least my nose isn’t huge :-). 

Lots of purple/pink/blue flowers are blooming. Wish these would grow for me in north Texas. 

The quilting fun starts later today. I am looking forward to spending the week with 13 happily sewing women!

Join me at Empty Spools…

I am teaching a 5-day Independent Study class, March 19-24, during Session III of the Empty Spools Seminar. Empty Spools Seminars are held at Asilomar, a wonderful facility on the Monterey Peninsula. There are a variety of classes taught during each session.

In my independent study class you are free to work on anything, not just appliqué. Your project can be art or traditional, hand or machine sewn, pieced or appliquéd. Draft a new quilt from scratch or work from a pattern. I am there to help you with any questions or problems you might have. Click here and here to see what students did in my 2016 and 2015 Independent Study classes.

This is one of my favorite classes. The room is always happy and full of energy. Asilomar is one of the prettiest places on the planet. There are still some openings in this year’s class and I encourage you to join me :-). Click here to go to Empty Spools.

Independent Study Class - 2016

Independent Study Class – 2016

This is what happens in my Independent Study class…

I spent 5 wonderful days with 23 wonderful women at Empty Spools. Some knew each other before they got to class, but everyone was a friend by the time the class was over. If you ever get a chance to come to an Empty Spools seminar, I’m pretty sure you’d love it!

We all headed home last Wednesday; I got home late Thursday. I meant to upload these photos then, but this was a very busy Easter weekend. (I hope your weekend was as nice as mine was.) Enjoy the slideshow!

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Empty Spools, 2015…

You might have noticed that I was too busy to write on the blog, but I did post to instagram and facebook. I hope you enjoyed the scenery and the waves.

Today, before class was totally over, I did take photos of my students. To be honest, I am always busy being the teacher and forget to stop and be a photographer. But I noticed that most everyone was taking pictures and realized that I should be too!

Penny had already gone and I am sorry I missed getting her photo. She worked, and conquered, the Everyday Best block before leaving to take in some sites on her way north. Penny, we missed you :-).

And I don’t know how I managed to miss Jane, but I did. She worked on a lovely applque quilt-in-progress in class. It ought to come together pretty quickly once she gets home.

Here’s a slideshow of my students and at least some of the work they did in this independent study class. I have to say that every person in the room was a delight and we all had a fabulous time!

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Catching up, leaving town…

I am sitting on a plane on my way to 2 classes that I have looked forward to for a year. Tomorrow I begin a 5-day class with Gwen Marston, only the 2nd class I have taken in the last 20 years. I have heard that Gwen has threatened to retire and I did not want to miss the experience of taking a class from her.

See the grin on Bear’s face? I am wearing that same grin right now.


I am teaching 5 days of independent study after Gwen’s class. I do love this class. It engages all of the parts of my brain. I get to work with quilters of all skill levels doing all sorts of things. It’s great fun!

I am using my 3-hour flight to write blog posts, this one included. I know that I won’t have time to post much over the next 2 weeks, so am writing now and scheduling them to post later. I will post to instagram pretty often, so if you want to see what I’m up to at Empty Spools, I hope you’ll follow me there.

And, because it’s pretty and (marginally) about flying, I’ll sign off with this…


After Gwen’s class I am teaching an independent study, one of my favorite things to do!