Oct 11, 2020

a circle in the sun

Here's a crazy clash of prints and saturated colors basking in the sun.

This idea for quilt started when I was researching old quilt blocks. I was inspired by the points and circular shapes in these old blocks and decided to design a quilt with these ideas in mind. I am not skilled in using a computer in making a quilt pattern... so I constructed my design the old fashioned way --- on paper. 

I laid out paper on the floor and taped them together, and taped edges to the floor. Then I drew a grid on the paper, and then started designing from there. I cut the paper pieces to use for the pattern, adding quarter-inch seams on all sides of course. 

Finished size: about 65 x 65 inches. Machine quilted on my longarm using only free motion and rulers.

Fabric: (horses) Melody Miller / Cotton & Steel; Keiko Goke (circles); center flower Kaffe Fassett; outside border Marcia Derse.

Hanging in my studio where the bright colors and crazy prints make me happy.

Oct 7, 2020

for the love of orange

I have always loved orange! And this colorful wall in my neighborhood seemed a great backdrop. 

I made this quilt back in 2019. I started piecing scraps of orange prints and just kept going. I ended up cutting them into small squares and creating these 9 large blocks. Super happy with how it all turned out.

Aug 21, 2020

donation quilt for Social Justice Sewing Academy

It was an honor to be asked to make a donation quilt for the family of Taylor McAllister on behalf of the Social Justice Sewing Academy. 

Taylor was murdered in 2016 when she was just 22 years old, and her brutal and senseless murder is still unsolved. She has a mother and father who loved her and miss her, as well as two young twin daughters. The names of her girls are appliqued on the quilt. She lived in Florida and her parents continue to fight for justice

Here is a news article related to her death.

Taylor loved the color purple, and she also loved dolphins. So I chose this beautiful Hoffman Dream Big panel in rich purple and blue hues, as well as a dolphin batik fabric in two colors.

All of the quilting is hand-guided, free motion. No computers.

This was a labor of love and as I worked on this quilt, I felt so grateful for the health and safety of my own family and I tried to imagine the pain that Taylor's parents must feel each and everyday. I hope that in some small way, this quilt will bring comfort to the family.

Please consider volunteering for the Social Justice Sewing Academy. There are lots of ways to get involved and they are doing great work to help raise awareness for victims of violent crime, as well as police brutality and other racial and gender motivated crimes.


Jul 18, 2020

two new online lectures for quilters - open to the public

I'm excited to announce that I am presenting two new online lectures. These are open to the public through the Port Townsend School of the Arts. And you can listen and see my presentation from your own home. I hope you'll join in!

Thursday, July 30, 2020 5:00 - 6:30 pm PST - $20

Register here

Modern Minimalism: Lessons

From Art & Architecture

Minimalism is a foundation of modern quilting, but the line      between minimalism and boring is razor thin. By studying      masterpieces from contemporary art and architecture, this lecture will dissect what makes one piece of decluttered art amazing and another ho hum. Frank Stella, Sol Lewit and Agnes Martin, plus architects Maya Lin and Japan’s Tadao Ando, will inspire and instruct as we transfer their best concepts into both quilt design and the quilted line. Five ‘Minimalism Done Well’ tips help avoid the boring.


 Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:00 - 6:30 pm PST - $20

Register here

Japan 2.0: The Next Gen Quilters

Meet the Next Gen of  Japanese quilt artists. Japan’s history and cultural norms set very clear rules for who is and who is not considered a Master and this lecture will explain why, and how, that happens. But in the Japan 2.0 universe, there is a community of quilters for the 21st century who are operating outside the rigid cultural lines of the traditional Master/Student relationship. They are turning creating original, modern quilts with a global eye while still managing to reference the Japanese aesthetic.


May 31, 2020

finished and photographed

Super excited about this one. It was a monster to piece. There are 9 blocks and each block is huge. The overall size is 93 x 93 inches. I made this quilt after seeing an antique quilt from the collection of Joanna Rose. The original was red and white. I wanted modern colors, so chose these two Kona cotton solids - Flame and Malibu.

The quilting is very dense! I quilted it on my longarm, free motion with a straight ruler. 

There is also a ton of thread in here. I used Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread, about 90% of one spool for the piecing, two matching colors for the quilting - and the blue sections required 1 1/2 spools! And an emergency trip to the quilt store for that second spool.

The binding is faced (turned to the back with a clean front). I love the back of the quilt too. I decided to use all the fabric I bought and ended up using every usable inch of it!

My quarantine quilt. Photographed in Houston's Memorial Park, May 31, 2020.

May 24, 2020

a whole lot of pieces

This quilt top has been in the works for quite a while. I started it last year when I made one block and it turned out beautiful. Then I made a second block, and it turned out horrible. It seemed like, all of a sudden after 20 years of quiltmaking, I could not piece a block properly anymore. I was frustrated and put it away.

Recently I drug it all back out and decided to make it work. My piecing is still not perfect, but its done! And now its on the longarm and I have started quilting it!

My version of this quilt is based on an antique quilt from the collection of Joanna Rose. When I saw the old quilt, I knew I wanted to make one like it one day, but I didn't know how to do it. So I searched online and found a pattern from Minick and Simpson, called Mrs. Rose's Best. The pattern is for 4 blocks, but I made mine with 9 blocks just like the original.

My quilt is 93 in x 93 in! The finished pieces in the checkerboard are 1 inch each.

Antique quilt from collection of Joanna Rose.

I used almost an entire spool of 50 wt Aurifil thread just on the piecing! Crazy.

I wanted to use a fabric combo that was fun and modern. I tested at least a half dozen combos and ended up with Kona cotton Flame (reddish orange) and Malibu. The quilting will be straight lines, ruler work, in thread that matches.

May 21, 2020

will there be a 46th Festival in Houston?

When my new book "Magic & Memories: 45 Years of International Quilt Festival" was published last October, never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed there might not be a 46th!

I would love to hear from you! What are your plans and thoughts for large gatherings? Do you plan to attend any large group events this summer, or later in the fall? If Houston Festival is held, would you attend?

Comment below or email me at  teresa @  thirdfloorquilts .com

These are painful times in so many ways. I spent several years of my life documenting the first 45 years of the International Quilt Festival and the lives of the two women who founded it. Who knows what will happen next, but its not looking too good.

This week Quilts, Inc. announced they would cancel the Long Beach version of the International Quilt Festival - originally scheduled for July. No surprise there. We've already seen a long list of cancellations, from Quiltcon 2021 in Atlanta, to Quilt Time Festival in Yokohama, Japan to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England.

Two of the world's biggest annual quilt events are still a ways off  - so their status is unknown - the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival (January) and the International Quilt Festival Houston (Oct/Nov).

For the past 20 years, I've attended every International Quilt Festival in Houston. And as I explained in my book's introduction, wild horses could not keep me away. But sadly, a damn pandemic might!

Before I go much further, I must say that I am not an employee of Quilts, Inc. and I am not a contractor. I wrote this book as an independent author. During the research phase, I spent a lot of time with the founders Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes, as well as Bob Ruggerio. But since the book was published, we all exchange friendly emails from time to time, but in no way am I privy to any inside information from their company.

So my guess about what will happen next is as good as yours!

My guess is, the 46th event will be canceled, and this makes me incredibly sad. But the idea of tens of thousands of people being together in one space is just not likely to happen for a long time, maybe a year or more. Also, the idea of flying on an airplane for something that is not an emergency is also unthinkable for a lot of people. And on top of all that, millions of job losses have caused a lot of economic uncertainty.

So what's next? I think there will be a tremendous reshuffling of the quilt industry. First of all, the supply chain is disrupted with textile mills and shipping lanes closed, or delayed, all over the world. Case in point, I recently ventured out - wearing my mask - to my local Walmart. The craft aisles shelves were bare. This is only one example, but we are likely to see delays and cancellations of new fabric collections from quilt shops, especially brick and mortar shops who have suffered with the shutdown in retail. Not only have the closed shops hurt, but consumers, including quilters, have cut way back on their spending. Just look at social media to see how many quilters are using up their stash! Some quilt shops will not survive.

For those shops that have the cash to sustain this disruption, I wonder whether they will be able to go on the road as vendors at major quilt events. The costs are high, but so is the reward - in normal times at least. But without a large selection of quality quilt vendors, that is yet one more reason for attendees to ponder their decisions. Its an endless loop.

On the bright side, we are all becoming better adept at technology. I myself have taught several of my quilt friends how to use Zoom and Facetime so we can see each other and chat regularly.

I'm also converting my quilt lectures to Zoom, and this is great for quilt guilds who cannot meet in person right now.

And Quiltcon 2021 will be completely online. And while it is never the same not to see friends and quilts in person, the online option will allow thousands of people to participate who could not afford to travel to the event in person.

"Magic & Memories" by Teresa Duryea Wong.