Quiltcon Yesterday and Today

I’m off to Austin for Quiltcon and I’m so excited!  This is the second Quiltcon to have happened and I went two years ago and can’t wait for this one to start.  I never even blogged about the last Quiltcon which is strange.  It was such a huge experience that I think it felt overwhelming even to write about.  I went to three workshops and met so many people and saw all the beautiful quilts that were displayed.  I had a quilt exhibited.

Michalik.Tina-Adrift-FULLme freaking outThis is me at the moment I found out that my quilt had been given the “Judge’s Choice” ribbon.  I really can’t put it into words, but I think you can see it in my face – disbelief, surprise… you name it.  What an honor and a thrill!  Picture was taken by my homegirl Emily Sardo @seventeenandem

This year at Quiltcon, I am a maker participant again.  My quilt reflects something that is very important to me and reflects my stance on equality.



My quilt depicts the symbol for marriage equality in our country.  For me personally, it’s important to stand up for anyone who doesn’t have the same privilege as I do in terms of who one can marry, and who one cannot.  I pieced this quilt in the days following the announcement in the news that the Supreme Court would be ruling on the Defense of Marriage act which prevented same sex marriage.  I literally put in the last stitches the day that DOMA was ruled as unconstitutional and I rejoiced in my heart and celebrated.

What I know to be true in life is that who you love and choose to spend your life with is a crucial part of who we are and that all love is good and beautiful.  This is my message.  Literally.  The quilting is text and it reads: Love is Love.

tina-closeupDo you see the words?  They are there in my quilt – every stitch filled with the intention of giving my support and the visibility of that sentiment.




Posted in quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amish: The Modern Muse

Around this time last year, the local chapters of the Modern Quilt Guild were contacted by Nancy Bevor  to ask if we might want to be a part of something exciting.  The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles was going to be having an exhibit of Antique Ohio Amish Quilts and she asked if our bay area guilds (would like to participate in a exhibit alongside, with our own show dedicated to modern interpretations of Amish quilts.  Of course we said YES!

As if the invitation wasn’t exciting enough, we asked  Joe Cunningham jury our exhibit and gladly, he accepted our request.  What started as an idea for our guilds, ended up as a two-part exhibit because there were so many incredible entries.  More photos and blog entries can be found here, also here, and here, here as well.

My entry, Diamond and Gems was the combination of a traditional Amish bars design and a diamond in square.


I finished with dense, organically straight quilting; not quite matchstick quilting because it might have done me in.

Photos by: Carole Van Zandt

Posted in quilting | 1 Comment

Improv work – Learning from Jacquie

The South Bay Area MQG had an incredible workshop with Jacquie Gering last year.  We had an incredible time taking her class titled: Scrappy Improvisation which focuses on manipulating the negative space in your quilt design.  I want to take a minute to say what an fantastic teacher Jacquie is.  She is patient and clear and makes the idea of improv, which is challenging and somewhat an individual way to design, and makes it approachable, fun and unintimidating.  Thanks Jacquie! I played and experimented with my scraps and at the end of the day, I had these blocks.

improv beginning

And they sat on my design wall for a long time.  Not knowing where to go from there and needing to finish other projects, I put the blocks away for a few months.  In December, a friend asked me to make a quilt for her mother and could it be finished in time for Christmas?  I remembered these blocks and thought to take them and make a very minimalist quilt.  Mostly negative space.  It quickly took shape and placed all the blocks in one long strip.

improv:lisa closeup


I sent pictures to my friend to make sure that she liked what she saw and she said to keep on going.

improv:lisa close up twoThe only way for this quilt to be done in time for Christmas was to take it to the longarm quilter who graciously quilted it with my frantic question- ‘Can you do it…NOW?’

improv on the longarm

She did it that night and I picked it up the next day, bound it and shipped it off to her in time.

imrpov lisa final layout

Her mother is really happy with the quilt and I love how it turned out too.

Thanks for visiting!




Posted in quilting | 3 Comments

Blue String Quilt and it Only Took Forever

iron1Over a year ago, I started sewing some of my very favorite strings together.  All blue, deep teal with scattered with tiny confetti-like punches of red, yellow and orange thanks to my favorite print from the original Flea Market Fancy.  And then….I hit a wall.  Literally.  Those strings stayed on my design wall for a really long time.


And then as quilters do, I started many more projects, went on with life, rearranged my sewing room, started a local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild in Santa Cruz  and moved up the street to a new house.

After looking through my many UFO baskets, I saw these lovely strings all sewn and waiting to be transformed into something big, I remembered one of my favorite quilts by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson

From the book Block Party:

elizabethI loved the interaction of off the warm colors, the improv coins and all that lovely negative space.  Right!  I knew what I wanted to do.

I took my pieces and went to work.  The waiting was worth it.

spare change 2I used Kona white as the background which is not my usual go-to, but I wanted that crisp brightness against the blue.

spare change1Flea Market Fancy – how do I love thee…

spare change 3Quilting was done on a longarm in a double circle that I let the quilter choose for me, and I’m really happy with it.  The solid orange binding finishes the whole thing off in just the right amount of contrast for me.

spare change 4Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and her finish it Up Friday.  Happy Weekend to you!

Posted in quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Quilt As You Go Weekender


A few months ago, a new spin on the Weekender Bag pattern by Amy Butler was started by Elizabeth from Oh Fransson.  This pattern has been sitting in my “To-Do” list of projects for at least a year, but somehow working up the nerve to do it hadn’t come yet.  I couldn’t choose a fabric that would be worthy of such a sewing milestone.  Should it be home dec?  A heavy Japanese canvas or linen/cotton?  I just let it go to the “undecided” part of my sewing brain and waited for inspiration to strike.  The quilt as you go Weekender revolution was just the nudge I needed!

With this approach to making the panels and pockets of the bag, you eliminate the need for the interfacing, and utilizing canvas and batting as a base, and then piecing your fabric treasures on top of them.  (This method is described in great detail on Elizabeth’s blog in the weekender post, as well as this post on making panels for bags.)  I started with one of the pockets and was immediately hooked!

sideviewweekenderThe biggest help in assembling and stitching together the large panels to the top/side panel, is to hand baste them before bringing them to the sewing machine.  I attempted sewing them together without basting and I will admit to much cursing and walking away in frustration.  A friend who had made a Weekender before suggested basting large stitches, about 2″ long, and it worked like a charm.

weekender pocketMy bag is lined with my favorite text print from Sweetwater’s “Mama Said Sew” fabric line.

I will make this bag again with this method – it’s already come with me on a couple of trips and it gets a lot of attention.  Go ahead!  You can do it!



Posted in quilting | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Oh Hello There! I’ve Missed You!


Re-emerging very very soon.  Happy Sunday😉

Posted in quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patchwork Prism Progress

Progress has been made and all pieces of the Patchwork Prism Quilt have been laid out on my design wall.  Mapping out the triangles and adjusting the color gradation was a fun exercise.  I have to say, this part took a lot longer than I thought it would.  Thoroughly enjoyable though, playing with all that beautiful color and print made me very happy.  I kept cutting into fabrics that I have long stared at and dared not cut into, and I am so glad I have.  I am really understanding that the best way to enjoy my fabric, is to play and experiment and to sew them up into something.  All of these prints look so beautiful together, all + 35 of them!  I started collecting Anna Maria Horner’s fabric around the time that her Good Folks collection came out.  I am drawn to her color palette with every print she designs.

I love the middle of this quilt and how it starts with the darkest prints I could find, and then it changes into ruby reds and plum, changing again to sparkling pinks and sorbet colors,melting into sunny orangey yellows which sit next to slightly more greenish yellows, and finally changing once more into soft greens and blues with go to dark at the edges, disappearing into an inky midnight blue.

A close-up of the center prism.

Gradually going from red to yellow to green to blue.

My design consultant was nearby for input and layout assistance.

Remember…the quilt along is happening right over here.

Posted in quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments