Asheville Quilt Show 2015!

The Asheville Quilt Show isn’t juried, but it always has some outstanding quilts. Here are a few of my favorites this year.  I was particularly struck by how many modern designs there were, even in the categories that weren’t designated “modern”.

Jean Larson

Jean Larson won second place in the Modern category with “Off Center”

Connie Brown

Connie Brown, who is a beekeeper as well as an outstanding quilter, made this lovely miniature, “The Hexagon Life”

modern quilt Asheville Quilt Guild

“Singing in the Rain”, by Elizabeth Allen, was one of many modern-style quilts entered in other categories. Love the rain-texture quilting!

Asheville Quilt Guild Show

“Sonoran Skies”, by Jolene Stratton, made striking use of some striped fabrics and effective use of quilting to reinforce the design

Asheville Quilt Show 2015

Phyllis Tarrant stated her “Geese in the Parking Lot” made use of principles taught by Joen Wolfrom. Wow!

Asheville Quilt Show 2015

Heat Wave, by Cathy Nieman, made striking use of shape and color

modern quilt Asheville

Amster-daze, by Terri Jarrett, was the most unusual quilt in the Modern Style category

modern quilt show

Tuesdays, by Lisa Heller, had fun colors and design

Asheville Quilt Guild show

Back in Time, by Linda Hallatt, isn’t modern but it is very striking and well done. I just had to take a picture for my husband!

Asheville Quilt Guild Show 2015

Purple Haze, by Connie Brown,. She says she made it many years ago, but I think it looks contemporary.

art quilt Asheville 2015

This clever art quilt, “Fit’ting-ly” by Dale Williams, was in the modern category

modern quilt

Drunkard’s Path the Modern Way, by Linda Fiedler, was an exceptionally beautiful quilt in the modern category

modern quilt

Cats for Jed, by Diana Kantor, a talented member of the Modern Quilt Guild of Asheville

traditional quilt

Though traditional, this quilt of 1700 Pyramids by Kathryn Weston certainly caught my eye

modern quilt

Geez Louise, by Connie Brown, was a fun quilt in the Modern category. I wondered about the background fabrics with their mottled look.

art quilt, modern quilt

Pathways & Passages, by Diana Ramsay, was in the art quilt category but looked very modern to me.

art quilt, modern quilt

Finally, Jocassee Sunrise by Lynne Harrill caught my eye. Not modern, but certainly beautiful.

There were many more wonderful quilts, but I limited myself to the modern ones and those I especially liked.

Narrow Accents!

Modern Quilts Unlimited just published my article on how to add narrow accents to your projects.  It’s a very easy method for sewing crisp, even accent strips from 1/8″ to 3/4″ wide.

Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

Notice the Narrow Accents article featured on the cover, along with the beautiful quilt by Bev Getschel

There are so many uses for narrow accents!  Here are a few of mine:

narrow accents, Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine

This is a corner of the piece I made to illustrate the MQU article

These blocks from my modern sampler all include narrow strips:

The samples I made for my improvised table runner class all include narrow strips, as well.  Here is one of them:

modern table runner

Here is one of the samples for my improvised table runner class

modern quilt design

Here’s a Mondrian-style block I made several years ago with narrow inserts

There are options too numerous to mention!  Go get the magazine and make some accent strips, then please send me pictures of your creations.

Sandi Suggs: Finding Her Way to Modern

Sandi’s work was featured in a special display at AQS-Chattanooga, and I was lucky enough to get to interview her. I took some pictures, and if you want to see more of her work, check the links at the bottom of this post.

modern quilt, Sandi Suggs

Sandi designed this nontraditional arrangement of split 9-patch blocks

While I was waiting to interview Sandi, I heard her tell someone, “Any time I make a quilt, I do it to learn something.” My sentiments exactly!

modern quilt, Sandi Suggs

Sandi made this quilt from a pattern, adding modern colors to the design

Sandi started quilting over 25 years ago, using cereal box templates because rotary cutters weren’t yet used for quilting. She still uses templates when appropriate, but a lot of things have changed!  For one thing, she now uses freezer paper when she needs templates so she can cut several layers of fabric at once.

Quilt as You Go quilt

Sandi designed and made this quilt using her own quilt-as-you-go technique

Sandi teaches several classes, including her own version of Quilt As You Go. (I’m going to keep an eye on her website because I’d like to take that class if she teaches it anywhere near me 🙂 )

The AQS exhibit included both quilts Sandi designed herself and quilts she has made from designs by others.  This was a round robin quilt; Sandi made the final arrangement of sections and did the quilting:

modern quilt

Round Robin quilt by Sandi Suggs and friends.  Look at Sandi’s quilting!

A couple of hints from Sandi: she likes to use the multi-stitch zigzag (stitch #4 on Bernina machines) in her quilting.  She starches all her fabrics before cutting to make them smoother and less likely to fray.  She says starching also equalizes the weight of the various fabrics.  She likes to wash her quilts after they are finished to achieve a crinkly look that emphasizes the quilting.

Sandi Suggs modern quilt

Sandi does her own quilting on her home machine. This quilt is called “Roy G. Biv”

Sandi also has her own way to successfully select fabrics for a mystery quilt!  I’ve only done one mystery quilt and was unhappy with the result, so I asked her about it.  She showed the quilt below, designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr as a mystery quilt, and told me how she selected her fabrics.

Sandy Suggs

Mystery quilt designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr demonstrates Sandi’s successful fabric selection

Sandi looked at the fabric requirements for the quilt and figured the largest fabric requirement was for the background.  Once she had chosen gray for the background, she decided she would need bright fabrics to contrast with it.  I think her decisions were very successful!

You can find Sandi’s blog at:

She has many more pictures of her quilts there, including these five posts that show all her quilts from the AQS exhibit:

Finding My Voice

Finding My Voice, Two

Finding My Voice, Three

Finding My Voice, Four

Finding My Voice, Final


New Class

I had the opportunity to teach my new class, “Try Improv!” recently for the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild in Franklin, NC. It was lots of fun and everybody made a successful table runner using techniques that were new to most of them. Here are a few pictures.

modern table runner

Here is one of the samples for class

Although I made 3 different samples for the class, there is no pattern. The goal is for each student to start with a few fabrics and improvise a table runner from them.  Of course, I provided some guidelines and lots of assistance as needed.

Improv-Susan-2Susan brought Christmas fabrics and made a  successful design by distributing several triangles on her template and then filling in with accent fabrics.






Susan's Christmas table runner in progress

Susan’s Christmas table runner in progress


Nancy’s runner started out as a fan, then she cut it up to improvise further and make it a rectangle



Nancy has been improvising for a long time, and said, “This is what I do all the time!”  She chose a beautiful collection of iris-themed fabrics for her runner.



MaryAnn made a halloween-themed runner and zipped it up by adding some purple!


MaryAnn's runner, in progress

MaryAnn’s runner, in progress

Maggie chose a fall theme; her fabrics had a nice variety of scale and coordinated well

Maggie’s runner




Maggie chose a collection of fall fabrics with a good variety of scale, then picked a coordinating green for her accent strips.









Chris had a nice bundle of blacks and grays as well as a stunning coral-pink fabric for accents.

Chris's runner in progress

Chris’s runner in progress

Pat made a lovely red and black table runner, but decided to model it rather than lay it on the table!Improv-PatAs you can see, a good time was had by all!