Keeping the Sand Contained

If you’re making pincushions and you’re using sand and you need something to hold the sand in order to pour into the pincushions, use a clean salad dressing container if you’ve got one. Any small empty carafe type jar will work really well, but the salad dressing ones have those neat little tops that you can flip open and closed. If you happen to knock the whole thing over you don’t end up with sand all over everything!


Rock, Paper, Leaf

Jill Buckley brings new meaning to the word “embellishment” with her textile art pieces. Jill challenges herself frequently and steps outside the box of even contemporary embellishment techniques when she designs. She has actually used rocks and paper in her textile art pieces with great success. Her latest piece, entitled Reality Show, contains preserved maple leaves that have been thread painted and then attached to the surface of the quilt.

Jill’s work was recently published in an article in The Canadian Quilter, the newsletter of the Canadian Quilters’ Association. You can visit with Jill at her blog, The Quilt Rat.

Photo: Reality Show (detail), courtesy of and © Jill Buckley

Quilting on a Larger Scale

Scott Hagan may not think of himself as a quilter, but he knows quite a bit about how quilt blocks and patterns go together. A painter by trade, he sometimes works with quilt blocks on a very large scale, transferring traditional quilt block patterns to his chosen canvas, and painting in the patchwork pieces. And the canvas? Old wood barns! These quilt blocks can be 20 feet tall! To see Scott’s unusually large quilt blocks, check out his website. You’ll see his work on the Monroe County, Ohio Quilt Square Project, and some of his more recent projects such as the John Deere Barn and the Belmont County Bicentennial Barn. Better yet, visit the area in person to see these works of art!

Photo: Ohio Star Barn Quilt, courtesy of and © Scott Hagan

Not Just Your Average Quilt

At first glance, Fraser Smith’s quilts are finely quilted, richly colored textile art pieces that beg to be touched. They hang in graceful folds from casually strung rope lines. You look both ways to make sure no one’s watching, and against all quilt-show etiquette, you reach out to touch the quilt and unexpectedly encounter not soft folds of fabric, but hard painted wood!

Unlike most fabric artists, Fraser makes his quilts from giant blocks of bass wood with power tools, grinders, scalpels, dental tools, sanding tools and silk dyes and stains. Each quilt can take six months to a year to complete, and finished quilts can weigh between 80 and 130 pounds! His work entitled “Floating” is on permanent display at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. You can see more of his quilts and other carved wood objects, and even download desktop wallpaper on Fraser’s website,

Photo: Jewel Pool (detail), courtesy of and © Fraser Smith

It’s our Little Secret

Welcome Spring and join the Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties with Ami Simms! Ami hand-dyes her panties with beautiful colors every spring, and now she’s offered to do it for all of us. Check out Ami’s blog and website for the “full scoop” (pun intended!), and get your panties in the mail to her ASAP so they arrive before the big dye day, March 20. Become a Sister and be “delighted” with colorful panties when you dress in the morning! It’s fun, it’s funny, it’s so Ami!

Dyeing for Snow

How can you integrate snow into your fabric art? Use it to dye fabric! Seriously! There’s a lot of it going on out there right now, at least in the northern hemisphere. Check out a great tutorial with step by step pictures and great shots of the finished products at Bunk’s Blog. Other great snow dyed eye candy can be found at Dippy Dyeing and Quilting, My Life Adventure, and Sweet Leaf Notebook. Try it yourself while the snow’s still cold!