Welcome to the Quilter's Academy Journal

Harriet and I are glad you visited... we established this blog as a sort of question and answer forum for all of you who are working through the Quilter's Academy book series.
It is also a place to find a list of the errata from the books-
You can find those by looking back through the archived blogs.

So, welcome, and please post a comment if you have any questions or topics you would like us to discuss.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can you believe that September is already here? We don't feel that we got anything done but work all summer. Not one day in our majestic mountains or sitting on the porch. Now is canning season and this weekend will be very busy in the kitchen putting up this winters food. Yes, Carrie and I are very old fashioned and we still can - tomatoes, peaches, pears, beets, pickles, and corn, beans, and brussel sprouts in the freezer. Can't wait to till up the garden and be done with that job for the winter.

I do have two new kittens that have been fun. The lure of babies in a cage is dangerous. My enabler daughter didn't try to talk me out of it, so there are now three tabbies wandering around, walking on keyboards and hindering progress at the sewing machine. A lot of re-typing has been taking place, as their keyboard skills aren't up to speed yet.

We have been busy planning and writing Volume 4. Volume 3 is in the works, due to be released in April 2011. It is heavy on technique and lessons, every conceivable way to make half square triangles, quarter square and 3 piece triangles, four methods of flying geese and feathered stars. That being said, we are finding that those of you working through the books are having trouble keeping up.

I was in McKinney, Texas last week and taught a 2-day Volume 1 and a 2-day Volume 2 class, and found that most of the students that took the Volume 1 class last year had not worked through the entire book, and found it more difficult to work through Volume 2 than it should have been. So, I want to emphasize again that these are not project books. Each quilt and lesson build on the previous ones, and by skipping around you are likely to miss some very valuable hints and techniques that you will be using as you go forward. If you are keeping up with Lesley in Tasmania, she did every lesson in depth in Volume 1 and has quilted (she is new and learning this also) and finished every one of the quilts. The progress she has shown is awesome! If you haven't checked out her blog, please do, as it is truly inspirational for beginners and more experienced alike (patchnblock.blogspot.com). If any of the rest of you are blogging your way through the book, please post your address so we can keep up with your progress.

Volume 2 still uses blocks made of strips and squares, but things change a lot with diagonal sets - especially the math and figuring yardage. Please try the design work using the linking blocks and chain blocks in the worksheets. If you do not know how to use graph paper, this will give you a good start in designing your own original quilts.If you can't find our graph paper packet, call the store and we will get it to you. It will be on the new web site. 303-424-2742

So... with the things I have been hearing and seeing on the road, we have decided to have Volume 4 and on come out once a year instead of every 9 months. Many have told me that they weren't done with Volume 1, now 2 is out, and 3 is looming ahead of them and they know they can't keep up. C&T has agreed to go to every 12 months, with each book coming out in the spring. This give everyone more time to get through the books, and we also are going to need more time, as the more difficult the techniques, the longer it takes to make the quilts. We are having a lot of fun working on the set-in pieced lessons for Volume 4. 60 degree and 45 degree angles afford endless design possibilities.

We will have a new web site up and running the first of October. Our old one is 12 years old and limping along. We will be able to feature the books as well as the rulers and tools we use in each book and make supplies easy to get for those of you having trouble finding some of the items.

If you still haven't discovered the true joy of piecing with Presencia 60/3 thread, please let us know and we can supply you with it. We have about 98% success the first try on getting the perfect seam allowance with the Perkins Dry Goods ruler and 60/3 thread in a 70/10 needle. If you are having any problems with accuracy, seam allowances and pressing are most likely the culprit.

If you have never used the Reliable Digital Velocity iron, you don't know what you are missing. In every class I teach, we try to have at least one of these irons, and within a few hours, students are waiting in line for the "good" iron instead of the typical cheap irons. If you are a Rowenta owner, you need to look into these irons (page 39, Volume 1). They are not that much more expensive, but do not leak and last for years.

It seems that I like to post LONG messages instead of lots of short ones. Hopefully I will hear from you out there and get an update on how you are progressing. I'm here to help if anyone needs it. The long evenings of fall and winter are looking inviting to get lots of sewing done.

Looking forward to hearing from you.....


  1. Glad to hear a release date for book 3, though I'll hopefully be somewhere in book 2 by then. Gus's Dragon quilt came out well (Carrie's Cowboy Corral). He and I are going to go choose fabric for the backing and borders sometime next week. I've started on the triple rail fence and am planning the color scheme for the log cabin.

    Gus is getting into fabric shopping and has a pretty good eye for color combinations. I look forward to teaching him more. Of course the trips to the Popsicle shop around the corner help.

    Thanks for writing the books - I'm having a great time learning to piece (and eventually learning to quilt these creations).

    Cheers, K


  2. It sounds as if you are busier than ever and I sure hope you get to rest a bit this winter. And sew, of course! Please give my best to Carrie and enjoy the new kittens.

    In stitches - Sandy E. / Gypsy Quilter

  3. One book a year!!!!!!!!! Hmmmm...My first reaction was disappointment but I can see I'm going to need lots more time if I want to continue to make all the quilts in all the books. I'm barely into Book 2 right now with only until April to finish and quilt them all. And if I remember back to a previous post - there are about 30 quilts in Book 3? Now that's going to take some serious time! I suppose 5 years to do a Masters Degree is pretty reasonable!

    Nice to have 2 new kitties tramping all over your keyboard - such lovely company and a great source of entertainment.

  4. I love the idea of one book a year. I have both the first two, and I am working my way through the first. In the beginning, I thought I would just read it, maybe try a couple of the projects. I am a long-time hand quilter and wanted to learn to use my machine better. Then I decided that the best way to do that would be to work through each project and it doesn't go quickly! Especially with kids and job.

    I also think your new plan is great for the expenses of putting all these tops together. I have collected all the fabric I am going to use for the first book and can slowly collect fabrics for the coming books.

    Since I am right up the road from you, I am hoping to be able to do the Machine Quilting boot camp at some point, but I don't think October is going to work. I do hope you will plan one for the Spring!

  5. I am looking for a new iron. Which model of Reliable Iron do you recommend?

  6. We have both models in the store and many like the new orange one, and many like the digital velocity. I have the new V100 which is 1800 watt and has some nice programable features that makes it very user friendly. I really think you would like either one of them, but if at all possible, try them out before you buy.