Going to Quilt Market

I’m going to Quilt Market in Salt Lake City in a couple of weeks and will report back on what I find there that’s new and exciting. What you would like to know about? Tell me — and I’ll post pictures and do some short interviews to get all the news from Market.

Leave a comment below, or send me an email at NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: annie@anniesmith.net

it’s baaaack… Mendocino

I’m a regular InstaGrammer. (find me there at anniesmithqs)

This morning, one of my favorite quilt shops in L.A., Sew Modern posted this lovely picture:

Heather Ross‘s Mendocino fabric line.

One of the coolest collections of fabric ever — and it sold out like crazy. It’s very rare for a collection to ever be reprinted, but it is becoming a wonderful thing. Each of the manufacturers is trotting out an old collection — slowly, very slowly — to reprint. Five years ago, three years ago, this never would have happened. But, I think the manufacturers have gotten the idea that it’s a good idea. A great idea even.

So — seven years ago, I was in Maryland teaching (if you remember) and got the news that we were going to be gifted with our first grandchild. A little girl. Her mommy did not want anything pink. I found the Mendocino collection on my trip and made this quilt for the little girl who would be Cambria:

here’s a closeup:

I love the mermaids and the seahorses, and everything about this gorgeous fabric. I’m so glad that it’s back in print. Maybe I’ll make a quilt for myself out of it…

 Heather has a class on CreativeBug. Check out her website by clicking on her name, just below the pic of the Mendocino collection. I really love the colors of the collection. I would have gone for the deep pink and chocolate, but since Karen didn’t want any pink, I demurred to her request. I went with the orange — and I think that started to trend — no, obsession — that I have with orange.

P. S. Cambria’s favorite color is Pink ; )

 Happy Quilting!

©2016    Annie Smith     All Rights Reserved


Podcast 230 — Demystifying Quilting Terms

Podcast 230 — Demystifying Quilting Terms

(Right-Click or Ctrl-Click on the icon below and select “save link as…” to download the podcast to your computer) podcast Running time: 00:55:32 Size: 26.7 MB


Pinch me!

 Filming for iquilt was pretty surreal. ; )

At the White Chocolate Grill in Denver with Terri Thayer and Mary Kay Davis.

1. What is a Basic Sewing Kit? If you’ve seen this on a supply list for class you are taking, here is the straight story of what you should have in your kit.


I found my bag at a Beauty Supply store.

Roly-poly bag

Open bag measures 18 1/2″ x 11″. Each of the compartments is 4″ wide.

Marking tools

Hand sewing tools

3rd compartment, along with shears and magnetic pin bed. I prefer the Grabbit over the Zirkel, but I’m trying to get used to it.

All of the things I need for a sewing machine, including presser feet and bobbins for different sewing machines. If you need information about threads, listen to podcast 227.

My granddad’s shoe polishing kit. It’s so cool — it still smells like shoe polish, after all these years.

Rollie Pollie Sewing Organizer

2. “Quilt as Desired”. Every quilt is different. I explain why the pattern designer doesn’t tell you how to quilt the quilt you’re making. For some really great machine quilting classes, check out the teachers and classes offered at iquilt.com. If you buy a class by 3/17/16, you can use the coupon code IQ1995 and get classes for $19.95.

3. Focus Fabric. What it is and what it’s not.

A beautiful print that has the colors in it that you want to use as your color palette for your quilt. Like this:

or like this:

It is not this:

 this is a solid fabric.

nor this:

This is a monochromatic (one color) print, which is a supporting fabric.

4. 1/4″ seam allowance — exact or consistent?

What Quilting Terms would you like to have demystified? Let me know by commenting below.

If you send me an email, and it bounces back to you, asking you to click on the phrase below — please do it, or I won’t get your email!

Will you be at Paducah in April or in Syracuse in July for the American Quilter’s Society shows? Let me know! I’ll be doing demos in the AQS booth at both shows. I’d love to meet you!

Happy Quilting!

©2016  Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved

Podcast 229 – Thoughts On Quilt Con, Modern Quilting, and “The Bedspread Set”

Podcast 229 — Thoughts On Quilt Con, Modern Quilting, and “The Bedspread Set”
(Right-Click or Ctrl-Click on the icon below and select “save link as…” to download the podcast to your computer) podcast Running time: 00:41:41 Size: 20.0 MB

Hi Quilters –

Yes — there is an all new podcast! I’m still traveling and my silly ipad won’t let me post pictures. So, when I get home, I will add all of the pictures and links that I referred to in the ‘cast.
In the meantime, enjoy the podcast.


Here’s what I promised you:

The link to Cheryl Arkison’s Blog post on her QuiltCon judging experience.

The quilts that I liked the best at QuiltCon. If the photo doesn’t have a ribbon in it, they didn’t get a ribbon — which the majority of these quilts I’m showing you, did not. I think they’re amazing, and inspiring. I wish I had the maker’s names and the quilt’s title, but I didn’t catch those.

My badges collected. Score!

My dear friend, Lizzy House, who will be married in June. Congrats, Lizzy!

Love the bees.

This is probably my favorite quilt of the whole show. Look at the picture below and you’ll find out why.

Each of the dots was painted, dividing the dots – and then hand-stitched with chunky thread to separate them further. This is so expressive, so arty. I just love it!

I love grayscale quilts — so profoundly stating VALUE.

Okay — this is the ultimate “modern” Modern quilt. The designs remind me so much of the 60′s Beatnik era, and I.G.Y. (the International Geophysical Year). I love this one too.

I also love the design of this quilt. Clean, sharp, simple.

And this one — so similar to the one above.

I love the translucence of this quilt – the barely there design of the circle that flows out from the center circle. So cool.

And finally, Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s “Mr. Swirly Bones”, which won a Judge’s choice award, and the Viewer’s Choice award. Victoria won the Best of Show at the very first QuiltCon.

©2016   Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved

Podcast 228 — QuiltCon and a visit with Christa Watson

Podcast 228 — QuiltCon West and an Interview with Christa Watson
(Right-Click or Ctrl-Click on the icon below and select “save link as…” to download the podcast to your computer) podcast Running time: 00:53:47 Size: 25.8 MB

My pal, Holly and I went to Pasadena this last week to check out QuiltCon West. I mean, how exciting is it to have QuiltCon be, basically, in your backyard?!
and as usual, we did have fun!
We met Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilting Co.
and, of course, I met up with my friend, Christa Watson — ChristaQuilts:
for a nice interview. We got to talk about how she started as a modern quilter, got into teaching and book writing:
created a company The Precut Store, and the little bit of controversy surrounding the Best of Show quilt at QuiltCon.
Here’s Melissa Averinos‘ quilt “My Brother’s Jeans”:
and close-ups of what we discussed:
and here’s the statement for the background of the quilt:
“The denim in this quilt is from my brother Michael’s work jeans, which I rescued from the dumpster after his suicide in 2009. I improvisationally pieced the crosses, which resemble a variation on the traditional nine patch. The pale ground includes subtle gold and white crosses. Grid quilting creates echoes of the cross motif, as well as references my brother’s work as a tile installer. I tucked vintage gold ribbon behind some of the tears in the denim. This quilt was a joy to work on, as I love worn materials and find beauty in forgotten and discarded things.”
If you haven’t listened to the podcast yet, please do so — I will explain in the podcast about the evocative nature of the quilt.
Congratulations to Melissa and all of the winners at QuiltCon. (Click on this link to see a list and pictures of all of the winning quilts.) All of the quilts were amazing. Here’s a pic of my favorite from the show:
Mickey Beebe, a friend from Santa Cruz made this beautiful quilt, immortalizing the Eichler Home neighborhoods of the San Francisco Bay Area. The quilt won First Place in the Use of Triangles challenge. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
My trip to QuiltCon came exactly three days after returning home from a trip to Louisiana to help my daughter, Kirsten, with the birth and events of baby #2. I spent 4 weeks at her home, being the designated playmate of my grandson, Seth, and being “chief cook and bottle washer” — a job I love. Here’s a pic of Mom with baby:
 and then, Miss Brooklyn Emery:
I saw a quilt at QuiltCon that reminded me of poor Kirsten, trying to juggle a toddler, and newborn and a severe lack of sleep:
And I sent her a pic of it, with the message: “No Sleep since…”
I’ll share more about my impressions of QuiltCon in a upcoming podcast.
Until next time, Happy Quilting!
©2016    Annie Smith    All Rights Reserved

Prayers for my friend

Hi Quilters –

Please remember our friend Mark Lipinski in your prayers. He’s been in the hospital for an extended stay and is in need of kind thoughts and prayers sent his way.

He is my friend. He was so kind to call me when I first started my podcast and feature me in an article called “The Podcast Queens” in the first issue of Quilters Home magazine. He has been my friend ever since, and is a friend to many, many quilters.

Just in case you haven’t heard it for a while, here’s the link to my first podcast interview with Mark, when we met at Spring Quilt Market in 2006.


Teaching in Southern California

Hi Quilters in Southern California!

In ten days, I’ll be teaching in San Diego, El Cajon and Tustin.

I’m doing a lecture (Help! My Fabric Stash is Growing and I Can’t Make It Stop!) and workshop for the Village Quilters Guild in San Diego at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Branch Library, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive, San Diego CA 92131 beginning at 10:00 a.m. My workshop is Essential Machine Applique and will be on Sunday beginning at 10:00 a.m. in Poway at Quilter’s Paradise.

On November 10th, I’ll be doing a lecture (Color Sense) at Cozy Creative Center in El Cajon:

And a two-day Machine Applique workshop — The Midnight in the Garden quilt:

Then, the following week, I will teach a two-day Color Sense workshop at Mel’s Sewing Center in Tustin.

Come see me!! Or better yet, come and take one of the workshops ; )


©2015   Annie Smith  All Rights Reserved

This just happened.

Good Morning!

This is what I found when I woke up today:

My Quilt Bag tutorial …

On BERNINA’S We All Sew Blog!

I made the bag when I discovered that I had a leftover block from this quilt:

So, if you’d like make your own quilt bag, hop on over to the We All Sew Blog.

The instructions have step-by-step photos to follow along.

Happy Quilting!!

©2015   Annie Smith   All Rights Reserved

Pacific International Quilt Festival — opens today!

Follow me on Instagram to see LIVE photos of the whole event!

Here’s a sneak peek:

Liz Angus’s Sunflower Fields Pattern Co. — darling wool pieces!

So — keep an eye on me on Instagram — I can’t post pictures here from my iPhone ; )

Anniesmithqs   at Instagram.


To Stash or not to stash, that is the question…

Hi Quilters –

I’m finally back from a month long trip to Utah — partially to participate in the Utah Quilt Guild’s QuiltFest, which happens every September. More about that in an upcoming podcast.

It occurs to me that I think about quilts and quilting all day long, almost every day of the week. It just dawned on me that I really need to share what I’m thinking about, even if I don’t have a microphone coming out of my mouth.

I’ve had this little dilemma –

I’m teaching the West of Baltimore quilt as a block of the month at my local quilt shop. You know the one:

(you know, the one that was featured in the Keepsake Quilting catalog for 2 1/2 years?)

Okay, traditionally on a black background, although the prototypes for the quilt are this:

(for real)

Anyway, I created an online class for the West of Baltimore – making a traditional one, as close to the original quilt as possible. So it looks like this:

(this is a hard trend to buck. I’ll tell you why.)

For the current class, I wanted to do something “different” — a new look, a new style. I love the new trend of using newsprint fabric and I’ve been collecting them wherever I go. The newsprint and Kona solids would look fantastic together, wouldn’t they?

Here’s a glimpse:

(Cute — but not quite right)

There’s something about that newsprint block that is just a little “off”. Maybe a couple of things. The main consensus I got back on Facebook told me that the light blue and pink blended into the background and got lost, the newsprint was too bold a value, the traditional look of the baltimore appliqué and the modern look of the newsprint doesn’t blend well, and trends (newsprint) will go out of style. That’s a lot of feedback! That, and, did I mention that WebGuy *hated* it? Yeah.

So, today, I’m switching gears.

I had this little idea pop into my head that I have a whooooooooooole stash of beautiful fabrics in my studio, just begging to be used. This stash:

Popped into my head.

Why these colors? I have no idea, but they are really perfect in keeping with the Baltimore applique style. Probably moreso than the black background has ever been.

If you notice at the bottom left of the above picture, is a binder with a pattern from Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine from 2004. I collected every issue – even sending away for the one issue that I missed, so I could have the whole thing. The quilt, Jubilee Album, was designed by my favorite appliquers – Sue Nickels and Pat Holly.

I collected each fabric I needed for the quilt, and it has been lovingly folded and kept together in my stash for the last… well… eleven years. ELEVEN years.

I’m not sure why I was inspired to use these fabrics for the quilt — but I love them! Especially this one:

(Red feather. This photo does this fabric no justice whatsoever!)

Just wait til you see it in the quilt. I think it will be lovely. I bought three yards of it, in 2004 ; )

Tell me what you think.

Do you like the newsprint? Would you go back to your stash, or even buy new fabric, to start a project over again that you’ve already begun?

Everyone overwhelmingly loves the black. Understandable. It’s just not a new idea. West of Baltimore was first shown in 2006. Most quilters, when they see it for the first time, think it’s done in wool. That’s the nature of the Cherrywood hand-dyes that were used for the appliqué. My friend, Kaye Moore, has offered the West of Baltimore in wool for several years.

Think about it, and then leave me a comment below or send me an email at annie@simplearts.com. I really love to hear from you – especially if you have an opinion. And you do — don’t you?

Hey — if you haven’t been following me on Instagram, you can! My handle is anniesmithqs.

Also, if you haven’t heard of Periscope yet, it’s all the new hotness as far as social apps go. Follow me there too, (anniesmithqs) because — I’m going to start broadcasting there. Soon. I’ll shoot an announcement out here, and on Facebook (Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash fan page, if you’re not following me there, you might want to “like” me : ), and on Twitter: also anniesmithqs

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

©2015   Annie Smith    All Rights Reserved