Jenny Lyon’s book: Free Motion Quilting

(update – comment #12 is our lucky book winner! Enjoy some serious quilting time Sue!)
Welcome blog hoppers – skipping along through various blogs and reading all about
The Quilt Skipper’s (aka the fabulous Jenny Lyon)
new book

I know Jenny’s work, and her teaching too. We’ll both be teaching at Craft NAPA next month – can’t wait to see her again! She has a beautifully spare design esthetic that really speaks to me. Some of her designs are so simple, so stark, that not only do they have a great visual impact from far away, but they leave room for some spectacular quilting to be the star of the show. By that I don’t mean that you fill in a million motifs through every square millimeter of the surface. I mean that the quilting stitches become an integral part of the design – like the piece wouldn’t be the same without them.

Jenny Lyon, Stip Gigantea, detail front and back

You might find it useful to hear why Jenny wrote this book. There are a million books out there for Free Motion Quilters after all. “My book was written for the experienced beginner and I think that is an underserved portion of the market. There are a lot of “experienced beginners” who have completed a few projects and can do a few motifs fairly well, but they are afraid to quilt their “real” quilts and they’re not having fun. It is my hope that my book will inspire and encourage them to push forward, “plactice” and enjoy quilting their own work.”

Can you see why I might be attracted to her style? PLAY = PRACTICE!!! 

I have to admit that free-motion quilting is NOT my favorite part of my process. It’s difficult for me to work out designs that complement the work and I don’t actually enjoy the doing of it….. until I’m in the flow. Then time kind of stops and it becomes very meditative. So – I always have something to learn. One fabulous idea that I think I’ll take into my own practice is to write a “mission statement”  for each quilt. That’s really a fancy way of saying – “I’m going to write down what I think this quilt is trying to accomplish so I don’t forget my end goal and veer of track design-wise.” I think it’s brilliant.

Another thing I love about Jenny’s book, besides her gorgeous quilting, is that right there at the beginning she talks about basic design elements and principles – consciously including ideas like scale and unity to create the best design possible for your quilting stitches. Hooray! She’s singing my favorite song!

Jenny sets out a structured program of 21 days of “PLACTICE” (play + practice) to help you up your free motion quilting game. I love that she includes step-by-step preparation with all the basics covered. (You DO use a new needle for every project, right!?) But she also delves into methods for coming up with your own designs and various ways to practice. If you can’t stand just making throw-away practice sandwiches (my favorite) she suggests using a panel, or making charity quilts or placemats as the perfect practice pieces. I have to admit that when I saw this quilting motif I immediately grabbed a pencil and set to work figuring it out on the nearest piece of paper.

So – you ready? I recommend you add Free Motion Quilting to your book list! Me? I’m going to dig out a quilt top I finished years and years and years ago and just play around with it… for 20 minutes a day. Because I know the only way to improve is to actually DO the thing. Jenny’s got me inspired to get off my rear and DO the thing.

If you’d like to win a copy of Jenny’s book leave a comment here answering these questions:
What is the hardest thing about free-motion quilting for you?
How can you make it easier?

I’ll pick a winner on December 11th. Make sure to leave me a way to contact you.
You can also leave comments on each of these blogs for more chances to win.

Dec 1     Jenny K. Lyon
Dec 2     Lisa Chin 
Dec 3     Catherine Redford
Dec 4     Lyric Kinard
Dec 5     Heidi Proffetty
Dec 6     Debby Ritenbaugh Brown
Dec 7     Libby Williamson
Dec 8     Barbara Black
Dec 9     Cindy Grisdela
Dec 10   Teri Lucas


A few notes about the hop:
– You can enter each day but can only win once.
– Each blogger will leave the comments open for 8 days and then will choose a winner using a random method.
– I will send winners a signed copy of my book.
– If you find a blog along the way that you find interesting, sign up to receive notices of each future posting. This is a talented group!
– International winners will receive a digital copy.

The more the merrier-feel free to pass my post on to others so that we can all play along.

Thermofax 101 according to Melanie and Jane

The things Melanie Testa does with freezer paper resist and layering images…. IMG_0401

Well, she makes my heart beat faster whenever I take a peek. She goes into detail about what she likes on the Thermofax 101 DVD as well, which I greatly appreciate. You can read her review here.

Jane Davila has been a favorite artist of mine for ages as well and I was so happy when she agreed to review a copy of the DVD. You can read her review here.PC-bee

Did you know Judy Gula and Jane will both be teaching in a few weeks at the Quilters Unlimited show, the biggest and best show in the DC area. You can see a complete list of the classes that they are teaching on the QU website. 

So head over and see what Melly and Jane have to say. Leave comments on their blogs for chances to win.

Next up in the giveaway line up are:

May 7  Liz Kettle
May 8  Carol Sloan
May 9  Kathy York


Scroll down to check out the previous reviews and to see if they still have giveaways open. And if you can’t wait and are dying to play with some custom made screens of your own, or want to check out the ready made screens I offer – just follow the links.

Around the World Blog Hop

So – welcome to all you wonderful quilters out there jumping around from blog to blog, adventuring all around the world via the blogoshpere. This is a fun little exercise – just a peek at what I do and why.
A big thanks to Mary J Puckett of who invited me onto this lovely little ride of a blog hop. By all means, please do go check her out.lyric_kinard_design_wall_art
IMG_52731. What am I working on? Well – after finishing up filming three new DVD workshops last month, I’ve sort of just been trying to catch up with my kids. And trying to remember how to breathe. And maybe sew something just for the fun of it. It feels like I never have time to do that any more so I am making time for it now.
But there is always something up on the design wall. I had pulled out several screen printed bits that were either left-overs or tests from other projects and also one in-process piece that was waiting for some hand dyed cloth. They all got the dyed cloth and are currently being ignored while I play around making a pirate vest for hubby’s Halloween costume. Nope. Didn’t get to it before Halloween, but I had pulled out the cloth and pattern and decided to work on it a bit now. He and I just wear the same costume every year – but it steadily gets a little better.
I’m also working out the final details of the Once in a Blue Moon Retreat that the wonderfully talented Susan Brubaker Knapp and I will be putting on the first week of next October. If you want more information please sign up for my newsletter where I will announce whatever amazing ideas we come up with!
IMG_84262. How does my work differ from others of its genre? That’s always a tricky question. I always kind of think pretty much everything has been done before. I’m sure there is someone out there that does work very similar to mine. I don’t worry about it and just do what interests me the most at the moment. Currently – that is screen printing cloth. Layers of imagery begin with white cloth, dyed, discharged, and printed. Lots of fun creating goes on in the process. Hunting through my photos, digitally editing them, sketching, making screens to print with, choosing scale and color – all fun stuff!
Kinard.L.Zen.det3. Why do I write/create what I do? Because the creative process keeps me alive and sane. I love to create order from chaos and beauty from a pile of nothingness. (At least I do in my studio – don’t look at my housekeeping!!!) Because it’s fun!
4. How does my creative process work? Well – it’s pretty haphazard if I don’t have a deadline coming up. If I do – I’m all about lists and getting the next thing done. Art has to fit into the spaces between my life as a mother and wife. I choose it that way. Those things are more important to me than anything else. But if I don’t have a deadline I am completely scattered. Whatever interests me and is in front of me at the moment gets done… or not. A few of those pieces on the design wall have been either up there or tucked away for a very long time. Years. I like to explore different imagery or styles which means often I’m jumping from one thing to the next. Through time, however, I keep coming back to some images that really interest me. This turns into de-facto series work… just stretched over a longer period of time than other artists work in. the XOX imagery has been something that keeps popping up. Usually as a playful and improvisational creation right after a serious and thoughtful and painstakingly detailed artwork.
I’d love it if you left me a quick comment letting me know what you think.
Next week please continue the hop and check out these two blogs:
Deborah Boschert is an art quilter that I love to follow. Her work has a delicacy and layered depth to it’s imagery that I find soooo appealing. That – and we both have kids in marching band right now. I always find it fun to peek in and know at least one other person in the world is probably going as crazy as I am.deborah-boschert-350x350
Roxane Lessa is one of my local quilt buddies – I have always really loved her large scale landscape and botanical pieces. She also teaches and coaches art quilters. (And I love her hair cut!)Roxane-Web-Images-007-200x300

Quilting Arts Holiday Magazine Blog Hop


Many of the contributors to the QA Holiday magazine are participating in a celebratory blog hop. Visit each blog on the day specified and join in the fun! 
QAHol14 cover

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre,

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard,

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson,

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin, and Kathy Kerstetter,

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller,

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa,, and Liz Kettle,

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp,

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin,

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith,

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford,

quilting arts TV blog hop

Welcome to the Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop! We are celebrating the start of series 1400 with a little bit of fun from most of the guests for the season. I hope you’ve had the chance to stop by lots of the other blogs to see what everyone is up to.


This wasn’t my first time filming for the show so it was much more relaxed, knowing what to expect before I got there. The exciting part was to come in at the end of a long week of filming and watch the shows new hostess, my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp, just soaring. It’s an incredibly difficult job and she was a natural at it! (Yes, I miss Pokey, but she has other exciting things up her sleeve my friends – just you wait!!!) Don’t you love how Susan and I could be sisters? We kind of feel like we are… oh and here is some great news. We will be teaching a retreat together again next year! If you want to know more as information becomes available sign up for my newsletter. (There is a sign-up box up there on the right.)


IMG_8492Another wonderfully fun thing is to walk into the studio and see FRIENDS! Sarah Ann Smith and Jane Sassaman filmed on the same day I did.

They film the entire season (plus a few episodes for series 15) in one week. That’s a lot of people in and out of the studio. That’s also a LOT of wardrobe changes for the hostess. They film according to when the guests can get there, not linearly, so Susan actually has a chart with pictures and notes (make sure you have the right jewelry with the right blouse) and she has to run and change between most segments. 


Do I look a little shell shocked here? Who knows what I was doing…. probably listening to the producer, or talking. My hands are never still when I’m talking. If you want a little peek at what I’ll be showing look for Episode 1402, Groovy Gifts. I’ll be constructing a sweet little sketchbook cover. What you don’t see in this picture is that I had a stack of “step-outs.” Those are the same project repeated in various stages of completion so that you can do that magic oven thing. You know where they put the ingredients in the pan in the oven and immediately pull out the finished product?


It’s a good thing I really like the project as I have about 8 of the finished covers now.
(you know you do!)
I’m going to give away one of the finished sketchbooks to one of YOU!

You need to leave a comment HERE telling me what and who you want to see on QATV.

I’ll pick a winner on Saturday morning – so please make sure to leave me a way to contact you.

Lyric_Art_SketchbooksAnd in case you just can’t wait
I’ve listed three of the other finished sketchbooks in my Etsy shop
available for you to purchase. 

And make sure to check out the following links for the blog hop!

July 18: Vivika DeNegre at

July 19: Luana Rubin ( Friedman (

July 20: Sarah Ann Smith ( Gloeggler (

July 21: Carrie Bloomston ( Cath
erine Redford (

July 22: Sue Reno ( Rebekah Meier (

July 23: Lyric Kinard ( / Margie Ullery (

July 24: Cheryl Sleboda ( / Jane Sassaman ( Julie Creus (

July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (

You can buy the DVD set here if you just can’t wait for every episode to air!

Quilting Arts TV Blog Hop

In celebration of QUILTING ARTS TV new season with a brand new hostess, the lovely and talented Susan Brubaker Knapp, we are having a blog hop.

1509989_10202438954394093_1484492068_nFind your inner artist and creativity as you pop on over to each link and get a preview of what is coming up this season.

July 18: Vivika DeNegre at

July 19: Luana Rubin ( Friedman (

July 20: Sarah Ann Smith ( Gloeggler (

July 21: Carrie Bloomston ( Catherine Redford (

July 22: Sue Reno ( Rebekah Meier (

July 23: Lyric Kinard ( / Margie Ullery (

July 24: Cheryl Sleboda ( / Jane Sassaman (

July 25: Susan Brubaker Knapp (

(I’ll be giving away something FUN on my day, so make sure to stop by on the 23rd!)

The Sketchbook Challenge Blog Tour

If you’ve been with me a while you know that I’ve been working with
The Sketchbook Challenge
We are a varied group of artists challenging our readers to get out their sketchbooks and draw. Skill level and confidence have nothing to do with it – the joy of putting pencil to paper is something I highly encourage everyone to experience.

Our fearless leader is Sue Bleiweiss and she’s taken us one step further and has written a book titled (what else!?)

 The Sketchbook Challenge

Each of the guests involved in this project are going to introduce you to a wonderful bit of the book. I think you’re going to love it! So stop by each blog on it’s given day to read about all the fun stuff you’ll find in this book and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize.

June 26:
Jill Berry
Sue Bleiweiss

June 27:
Kathyanne White

June 28:
Kathy Sperino
Leslie Tucker Jenison

June 29:
Jamie Fingal
Lynn Krawczyk

July 2:
Jackie Bowcutt
Lyric Kinard

July 3:
Jane Davies
Kim Rae Nugent

July 5:
Carla Sonheim
Carol Sloan

July 6:
Susan Brubaker Knapp
Diana Trout

July 9:
Tracie Lyn Huskamp
Judi Hurwitt

July 10:
Jane LaFazio
Kelli Nina Perkins:

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