Amazing Quilts by Grace

Quilts and Workshops by Grace Errea

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September 2015

September is here, Fall cannot be far!

Hope every one have a terrific July and August.  It is hard to believe that Fall is almost upon us.  The above picture is the real thing! taken on my day off in Kona, Hawaii on one of  the Black Sand Beaches.  It almost looks like a post card picture but it is the real thing!
Not much time for quilting in the last two month so no new quilts to share!  So sorry!

A few of my students’ quilts

This month I am showing a few student quilts that been shared with me and are completed and ready to be hung!

Thank you Pat, Yone, and Monica.  Quilts beautifully done!
Every one else, happy quilting and bring them on!  I will PUBLISH YOU AND YOUR QUILT.

Art classes in Costa Mesa

 Starting September, I will have one class on a Thursday and one on a Sunday each month.  This will hopefully enable a number of you who work during the week to still attend and learn, meet friends, do some textile work, and enjoy the time together.  Come spend 4 hours with me per session.
All my classes at Costa Mesa are ala Carte.  Choose one from the list list below or just come with some project and let’s work on it for 4 hours in a nice and quiet environment, with assistance if you need it.  Finish some of those UFO’s.
I only ask that you tell me ahead so I can bring any materials that I need to bring for the session.  Below is a list what I have taught and/or could teach again.

1) The Value of Value (see my 9/27/15 class, below)
2) The ever popular “Heat-Set” Machine appliqué (my goto technique)
3) Trapunto (stuffed technique) Thursday 10/8/15. Calendar update TBD
4) 3-Dimensional appliqué Sunday 10/25/15. Calendar update TBD
5)”Free Edge” machine appliqué (learn how to create wonderful 3-dimensional birds with Free-edge feathers)
6) Quilting your textile
7) Randomly Pieced Backgrounds (create your own background by using an easy piecing technique)
8) “Bordings” and Facings (make borders and other edge-ings that are unique and make your textile piece shine)
9) Envelope technique (if your piece does not need a binding, border or anything at all, this is the technique to know now to execute.
Note:  For classes 7, 8 and 9, above, if you cannot attend the class but want to learn the technique, order my CDs or the PDF files for each. No shipping for the PDF downloads.

September 10th  we continue what was started in the first session on August 27th.  However, you are invited to come and catch up even if you missed the first class.  I can easily bring you up to what the 2nd session is all about. Today we will continue to make the pattern from the favorite photo you chose so that you can make a terrific quilt.

On September 27 I will start one class a month on Sundays form 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. By popular request we will focus on Value and I will bring back my Value of Value class.  Come on over and bring a friend.

Spend 4 hours with me and choose what you want to do.  See my calendar for class description and supplies.  September has been posted.

RSVP me to sign up by emailing me with the class date you are interested, and join me at these classes.  Send me an email ( or reach me through my contract page (

Walk-ins are also welcome. Each session if only $20.00, well worth the information you will get.  I start 10 am sharp and we end at 2:00pm, with a lunch break at noon.  On Sundays I will start at 1:00 pm sharp and end at 4:30 pm.

Other upcoming workshops and classes

September is Nebraska time.  Visiting the Lincoln NE Quilt Guild on 9/14 and 9/15.
October is Wine Country in California visiting the Napa Valley Quilt Guild and the Foothill Quilt Guild in Auburn, CA on 10/10 – 10/13.  Then off to Beaumont, CA to visit the Pass Patchers on 10/21 and 22.
November is back to San Diego to visit the Seaside Quilters of San Diego on November 3-4, 2015

Answering your questions

If you have a question send it over!  I will be happy to think about it and figure out what I would do with it and then reply. Let me answer your questions and maybe I will learn something in the process.  I will do the research if needed and we will both benefit!

July 2015 Newsletter

July 2015 Newsletter

Hope every one have a terrific 4th of July celebration. It is hard to believe that half of 2015 is gone.

Above is my newest quilt.  Not like my usual thing, you say!!??  It was made for an office that gets a lot of kids and currently has similar decorations with fish and coral reefs interpreted using blown glass.  I do not do glass but seeing what the customer likes, this is my textile interpretation of similar topic.

A few of my students’ quilts
This month I am sharing a few student quilts that were done AFTER they took my “From Photo to Art Quilt” Class.  These are not my patterns but the owners’ own photo translated into a wonderful quilts.

You can do this too!  I will be teaching this same class at Betty’s fabrics in San Luis Obispo in August 22-23 (Saturday and Sunday).  It is a 2-Day Class.  So sign up!!!

Thank you Diane Beaman, Delores Dorland, Cyndi Zoller, Lynn Wolaver, and Laura Gottlieb.

Plumeria pattern on sale!
Summer brings flowers and my plumeria is flowering like mad.  My back yard has that wonderful perfume. 

To celebrate my travel to Hawaii in a couple of week I am making this a real good sale for you. $5.00 plus shipping/tax. You save $10.00! What a deal! 

Get one pattern for you and one for someone you like.  And remember that with my patterns you do not have to make it as a Ruby Plumeria because the patterns are “value-lized” so any color is possible! My Plumeria is not ruby red!

Art classes in Costa Mesa
July 16th – We will focus on a couple of edge-ings to finish quilts with professional looks but no standard bindings.  This class will show you how to do what I call “Bordings” and we will learn how to do them two ways.  Description and Supply list posted on the calendar.
For August 6 It has been requested by a number of people to bring back Grace’s “Heat Set” Machine Applique technique. We will make a simple cute little bird quilt and learn the technique.  Or, if you already attended my class you can  bring any of your unfinished work and we can FINISH it.
By the way, if you took this class a year or more, COME!  I have changed and improved the process even better than it was before. If you liked it then, you will LOVE it now!

Spend 4 hours with me and walk out knowing how to do this revolutionary technique!

See my calendar for class description and supplies for these two sessions.

The other dates have been posted on my calendar and are:

  • August 27
  • September 10 & 24
  • October 8 & 29

The topics for these sessions are TBD as I am waiting for ideas from YOU as to what topics are you looking for.  Here are some of my ideas:

I am urging you to sign up by emailing me with the class date you are interested, and join me at these classes. Send me an email ( or reach me through my contact page.

Walk-ins are also welcome. Each session if only $20.00, well worth the information you will get.  I start 10 am sharp and we break at 2:00-2:30pm.

Use my contact page to reserve your spot. You need not pay up front.

Other upcoming workshops and classes
August 20 – 21:Cotton Patch Quilters of Kern County in Bakersfield, CA, Lecture and Workshop.  The workshop will be “Introduction to the Heat-Set Machine Appliqué“.

August 22-23 – workshop at Betty’s Fabrics in San Luis Obispo.  2-Day Class in From Inspiration to Amazing Quilt Top .September 14-15 – Lecture and Workshop at the Lincoln Quilt Guild in Lincoln, NE.  So all of your wonderful quilters that I was lucky to meet in Nebraska and Iowa when I visited you in March, come and visit, or attend the lecture and class or just come!!!!!

Hawaii – Date is next week!! And I am packed!!!

July 19-24th I will be teaching a 5-Day seminar in Kona, Hawaii at the Summer Quilting on the Beach Retreat. There will be three classes and lost of fun. More information on both my website and theirs. See the July 2015 entry:

How to section: Questions from Students

A few of you have written to me looking for suggestions on technique, ideas or whatever.  So today I will answer one of those questions:

Question: I am in a rut.  It appears that every project I do I seem to pick the same color (green) and I am getting bored.  But, I just cannot break away!

Here is my answer: Focus on VALUE! Instead of color.  Make a small quilt in values of gray!  This will allow you to focus on shapes, textures, and lines in the pattern. This will take you away from making “color” decisions and get more familiar with all the other art elements that are there at our disposal.

If you have a question sent it over!  I will be happy to think about it and figure out what I would do with it and then reply.  Hopefully the above will work for the person that sent it and many others!

May 2015 Newsletter

May 2015 Newsletter

Hello all! Wishing you a Happy Month of May!

You are seeing my recently finished new quilt designed with Hoffman fabrics and for the Spring Market Hoffman collection.  This is "Purple Royale".  It is 18" x 28" and the pattern will be available on my For Sale page very soon.  


Grace’s Aviary

I just added my new "American Warbler" to the Aviary.  

Grace’s Aviary Album

A few of my students’ quilts
Thank you Lynn, Jean, Delores, and Cyndi.  More students’ next month.
Art classes in Costa Mesa
May 21st will focus Grace’s “Heat Set” Machine Applique technique. So, if you want to learn it or, if you took this class a year or more, COME!  I have changed and improved the process even better than it was before.
Spend 4 hours with me and walk out knowing how to do this revolutionary technique!

Description/Supply list and image of the project is on my website. Follow this link to the May 21st entry on my calendar.

May 21st in Costa Mesa
June 4th will focus on learning Grace’s “Randomly Pieced Backgrounds” to create amazing and beautiful backgrounds.  Description and Supply list for this class will be posted in 1 week.

The other dates have been posted on my calendar and are:
June 18, July 2 & 16, August 6 & 27, September 10 & 24 and October 8 & 29. 
The topics for these  sessions are TBD as I am waiting for ideas from YOU! as to what topics are you looking for.  Here are some of my ideas:

  • From Photo to Quilt Pattern
  • Quilting techniques
  • Finishing the quilt techniques
  • Choosing the proper edge for the quilt
  • Designing an art piece

I am urging you to sign up and join me at these classes.  Send me an email ( or reach me through my contact page.

Walk-ins are also welcome. Each session if only $20.00, well worth the information you will get.  I start 10 am sharp and we end at 2:00-2:30pm. 

Use my contact page to reserve your spot.

Other upcoming workshops and classes
May 13th and 16thGlendale Quilt Guild Lecture and Workshop.  The workshop will be “Introduction to the Heat-Set Machine Appliqué".
May 26 – workshop at the Sierra Gold Quilt Guild in Pine Grove, CA

May 28 and 30 – Lecture and Workshop at the Manteca Quilt Guild in Manteca, Ca.


Hawaii – Date is getting close!!!!

July 19-24th I will be teaching a 5-Day seminar in Kona, Hawaii at the Summer Quilting on the Beach Retreat.  There will be three classes and lost of fun.  More information on both my website and theirs.  See the July 2015 entry:

How to section: Using Painter’s Vinyl in Quilting

Use 1: As all of you who took any of my machine appliqué classes and/or have my book know, I use the 2 mil weight painter’s vinyl to trace my pattern onto.  Then I layer this vinyl onto the board or the background I am working with and pin the vinyl on the top only.  This way I can raise it and insert my fabric shapes under it, using the tracing on the vinyl as a map to locate my shapes in the design.
Use 2: Here is another important use of the vinyl.  Suppose you have a quilt that you are now getting ready to quilt (art or traditional) but, you are not sure what quilting patterns will work best.  Then cover the quilt totally with a clean vinyl of a size slightly larger than the quilt. 

Remember to cover the entire quilt extending the vinyl by 1-2” on all sides.  Pin to prevent movement.
Using a water soluble marker draw the design you are thinking about on the vinyl.  If you like it, you are all set to quilt.  If you do not like it, you will not have to seam-rip the stitches.  All you will need to do is to wash the design or areas of the design you do not like and start all over.

April 2015 Newsletter

April 2015 Newsletter

Hello all!  April already??? Just came back from a wonderful visit to a few guilds in Iowa and Nebraska.  Lots of new friends, lots of teaching but not much time for quilting.  Maybe this month!Above you are seeing my recently finished tulip quilts.  One on the left is dark and dramatic with a low value action.  The orange on the right has a high value effect and the challenge in this quilt was depicting the clear vase with the stems moving into the water and the vase.

Solution:  layers of tulle to change the value of the stem and leaf and give the appearance of seeing them through water and glass.  As usual, it is “All About the Value!!!”

4-Block Peacock” quilt

Inspiration came from peacock feather pictures I took at the Omaha, Nebraska Zoo. A little more traditional than I usually would make, but I loved the challenge! Pattern will be available very soon.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Art classes in Costa Mesa continue, however April 9th and 23rd topics will be rescheduled.

April 9th and April 23rd will be rescheduled.  The Fabric manufacturer that I was planning to have all of you visit and see and learn fabric making, is totally swamped with the upcoming Quilt Market and has no available slots for us.  This will be rescheduled probably to June 2015.  More information will be forthcoming.

April 23rd has been cancelled.  However May we begin again.  May 7th and 21st sessions are on the calendar.  These classes will focus on techniques using fabrics.  I will introduce you to piecing and appliqué.  You will complete a small project in each technique that will tell you what is your favorite one.

There will be more classes after May and I will announce them shortly.


Walk-ins are also welcome but best is if you and I can plan them together to make the most of each class.  Each session if only $20.00, well worth the information you will get.

My calendar has links to class description and supply lists.

Use my contact page to reserve your spot and let me know you are coming.

Other upcoming workshops and classes

April 14th and 19th– Lecture and Workshop at the Sunshine Quilters of San Diego.  The workshop will be the “Exploring Value” workshop.

April 25th  _ Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds Meet the Teachers meeting in Carson, CA.  I will see you there.


May 13th and 16th– Glendale Quilt Guild Lecture and Workshop.  The workshop will be “Introduction to the Heat-Set Machine Appliqué.

Hawaii – here WE come!!!!

July 19-24th I will be teaching a 5-Day seminar in Kona, Hawaii at the Summer Quilting on the Beach Retreat.  There will be three classes and lost of fun.  More information on both my website and theirs.  See the July 2015 entry:’t forget to book your travel tickets now!

How to section: Ironing, pressing and irons in general

a) Temporary Pressing Surface/StationAll you need is a surface area that is covered with a layer of commercial felt table padding or even several terry towels.  Optionally you can cover the towels and/or the padding with commercial silver heat-reflective fabric, which is available in most quilt shops.  I got my last yards at Joann’s.


b) Press, do not Iron

When pressing seams or working with fusible areas, NEVER iron, PRESS instead.  Move the iron up and down, not side to side.  The latter pushes the fabric out of shape and distorts it.

Press as you go rather than wait until the end when there are hundreds of seams.  This is a great advice when you are creating a background using piecing including my “Randomly Pieced Background” technique.

c) Stuck on Freezer paper

Some piecing, machine appliqué and, some hand appliqué techniques use freezer paper as templates.  When applying the freezer paper use a dry iron and a setting on high side.  Press long enough so that the paper will adhere to the fabric.

If some of the paper get stuck and are hard to remove later, use an iron placed just about 1” above the fabric and hit it with a shot or two of steam.  This should free those bits easily while they are still a bit moist from the steam.  Help can also be obtained from a pair of sharp pointed tweezers or a stiletto. When all else fails, spray the area lightly with water.

d) How to clean your iron – advise from my quilting friend Lenore Crawford of Fabric Art by Lenore

I have talked about this before but it is always a great thing to be reminded of again. I use a lot of fusible web and it gets everywhere! Specks stay on your design even after you have finished stitching it and completely put it together. The best way I have found to clean your iron is if it has fresh fusible on it (like you laid the iron right on the fusible web – this does happen) use one of the Iron Clean sheets which I guess are fabric softener sheets. Rub your hot iron on the sheet. This will clean fresh fusible right off.

If it’s baked on and caked on, you will need a more aggressive technique to clean it. I use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser wet with my hot iron and scrub the iron on the eraser. If this doesn’t clean it, add a few drops of the Iron Off hot iron cleaner by Rowenta or Dritz right on top of your Magic Eraser and scrub your hot iron. This will clean practically everything off you can get on your iron. I’m sure there are exceptions to this!

February 2015 Newsletter

"Life at Sunset” my App Challenge

Road to California Quilters’ Conference and Showcase invited me to participate in a challenge to create a quilt that represented me – Grace’s App.
I decided to go in the direction of representing my work.  Where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I am planning to go. 

The foreground represents my present.  It is designed using what I love the most – fauna and flora.  For the bird I chose the Heron. It is extremely popular where I live and I get my daily dose of these birds on my morning walks.  I used my “Heat-Set” machine appliqué technique that I developed and currently use and teach.  The heron’s feather are done with the “Free Edge” technique described in my book.  The design is in the contemporary, representational manner of most of my current work. 

The future is represented by the background.  A less realistic, and rather more abstract and impressionistic representation of a sky and sun at sunset.


Shelly’s "Children" portraits

My friend Shelly commissioned me to do portraits of all her babies. She and her partner have 5 (or maybe more?).  She is such a good mom that she is being adopted constantly.  I think 7 now.  I suppose I have my work cutout.
 As of last year there were two quilts:  "William" and the bunny "Darlin".
I just completed Jack, so there are three quilts done now.  Jack is the center and the heart of Shelly and her partner’s family.  He is the lover boy and the purr-er.  So I included hearts in each of the background blocks and quilted “Purr” in each as well.

Here is Jack and a close up of one of the background blocks.

Now I have to choose the next one and there are plenty to choose from.


Art Classes in the Gallery by Biel
2666 Harbor Boulevard, Costa Mesa, Ca
(upstairs inside ACE Hardware)

Starting March 12th and every Thursday thereafter, from 10:00 to 3:00 pm I am starting to teach Textile Art Classes in the Gallery by Biel in Costa Mesa.

 – March 12th and 26th we will concentrate on Exploring Value.  Even though this is intended to be the cornerstone for the textile classes coming up, THIS class is beneficial to anyone that is interested in doing art, be it painting, photography, etc. So join me.
 – April 9th and 23rd the class will focus on Fabric and Thread.  I am planning to have a field trip to a local fabric manufacturer on one of those days as well
 – May 5th and 21st the class will focus on techniques using fabrics.  I will introduce you to piecing and appliqué.  You will complete a small project in each technique that will tell you which is your favorite one.
There will be more after May but at this time I am urging you to sign up and join me for these classes.  Walk-ins are also welcome. Each session if only $20.00, well worth the information you will get.
My calendar has links to class descriptions and supply lists

Use my contact page to reserve your spot:


Upcoming Lectures and Workshops

February – 2/14-2/16 Canyon Quilters of San Diego lecture and 2-day workshop on Portraiture using my “Heat-Set” machine appliqué technique
March – I will be visiting quilt guilds in Iowa and Nebraska
April – 4/14 and 4/19 – Lecture and Workshop at the Sunshine Quilters of San Diego

Hawaii in the Summer – Are you coming??!!

July 19-24 I will be holding a 3-classes/5-day seminar in Kona, Hawaii at the Summer Quilting on the Beach Retreat.  Currently the owners are holding the winter retreat so this one has not landed on their website as yet but, I thought you should plan for summer in Kona with me starting NOW!

I am giving you an excuse to break away and enjoy the water, the sand and some classes.  I will have three classes that will get you to start a project and finish it before you come back.

Check out my July Calendar entry:


How to section:  Small Quilt "Hanging Corners"
or  How to easily hang a small quilt

Small quilts do not need to have an elaborate hanging sleeve sewn on the back.  For these I do the very easy “hanging corners” I like so much.  Here is what you do:                

  1. Cut two 5” x 5” squares of same fabric as the binding or the backing.  Fold in half along the diagonal to form a triangle and press.
  2. Pin each to each top corner of the quilt on the back, aligning them with the top and side edges.
  3. That is it! They will be stitched along with the binding.

Notice that the hanging triangles have been stitched into the top and side binding strips.
For the hanging “hardware” use a dowel or 1” lathe of wood.  I used a ruler here to show you how they look.

January 2015 Newsletter

And here we are, 2015 has arrived!

And the holidays are over and life is back to normal.
In this Issue:
  1. Two “Cardinal Bird Quilts”
  2. Two new CDs to choose from
  3. Quilt Show at Vivante in Costa Mesa
  4. Quilting is making in-roads into the Art World
  5. How to section-Students’ quilt for your inspiration

Newest quilts joining Grace’s Aviary:

“He is Red!” and “The Couple on the Dogwood Tree”

Cardinals are in the family Carinalidae. They are birds found in North and South America. Unfortunately, they do not live in California. They are also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings.The male Northern Cardinal is perhaps the perfect combo of familiarity, conspicuousness, and style: a shade of red you can’t take your eyes off. Even the brow females sort a red crest and warm red accents. Cardinals do not migrate and they do not molt into a dull plumage, so they are still breathtaking in winter’s snowy backyards. In summer, their sweet songs are one of the first sounds in the morning.I remember looking for them and feeding them in winter when I lived in New York. You certainly cannot miss them, hopping in the snow and on snow covered bushes.
I completed the single male cardinal quilt first.  And then, inspired by a particular painting by may dad – see below (he loved birds as much as I do and painted many of them in his spare time), I completed the “The Cardinal Couple”
Two new CD’s are officially offered on my website.
As promised, the CD on directions on how to edge quilts with a binding-less finishis out and on my website.  This edge-ing is also known as the Envelope or the Pillow-case.It contains step by step directions and explanation of two techniques that will give you the ability to create professional looking binding-LESS “envelope” edged quilts.
The second CDwas an after-effect of “The Couple on the Dogwood Tree” quilt.I had finished quilting, blocking to perfection and squaring the quilt precisely.  I was planning to edge it with just a small red binding.I hung it on my design wall  and was choosing the fabrics when, I suddenly realized, to my HORROR that this quilt needed more than a binding.

It cried for a healthy border!

But the problem is that there was no backing and batting allowances to add borders!  I had chopped them all in the squaring step.  Oh what to do?  I am sure many of you had that problem and either solved it somehow!

This CD tells you, step by step my solution to how to extend the quilt and create bordersof any size.The solution is generic and the 3-D flange can be omitted and the borders can be any size you want.  So here it is!
Quilt Show at Vivante in Costa Mesa, CA.
Lee Anna Yater, the Art Director at Vivante on the Coast, in Costa Mesa, CA. is putting a quilt show.   The artist reception will on the 9th of January at 3:30pm in the Melange Lobby. Vivante on the Coast is at 1640 Monrovia Ave, Costa Mesa, CA I will be there at the reception so please, come and visit and enjoy the day.  If you cannot make it to the reception, then just go see the show!  Pictures I take will be posted next month.

Quilting is making in-roads into the Art World

Many time in the past, I submitted my quilts to Art Centers or for publication in Art books that showcase painting, jewelry, sculpture, etc.  So far I have been totally unsuccessful.Last year however, two of my quilts (Sunset on the Beach and Women of Color)
Many time in the past, I submitted my quilts to Art Centers or for publication in Art books that showcase painting, jewelry, sculpture, etc.  So far I have been totally unsuccessful.Last year however, two of my quilts (Sunset on the Beach and Women of Color)
were accepted for publication in an Art Book published by North Light Books!  The book is called “Incite 2 – Color Passions”.  I am thrilled to see the quilts along with watercolor, acrylic, oil paintings, chalk drawings, and many other art media.
You can get this book from or let me know and I can get it for you at a 20% discounted price.  I believe the book sells for $29.99 so that would be $6 less.
Additionally, last month I was invited to submit again for next year’s edition of “Incite 3 – The Art of Storytelling” and again my “Rainbow Canyon” was accepted for publication. This book will publish in 2015.
I am doubly pleased to be included.  It is such a pleasure to be among so many other media artist and feel that textile art is becoming recognized as art!Secondly because “Rainbow Canyon” is one of the quilts that I never got back from the solo gallery show I had last year in Homer Alaska.  Lost in transit! so they said.   It is nice to see this quilt continues to be successful and, maybe someone will recognize it somewhere and find it for me.

How to section: Inspiration time!

I would like to start the year by sharing with you the students’ quilts that were shared with me.  There are no names here but I am sure you will recognize your quilt.  If I missed someone, please forgive me and just let me know.  I will joyfully include it next month.
Click here to view pictures of my student’s quilts.

December 2014 Newsletter

OMG, 2014 is almost over!!!!?

Where did it go? The Holidays and a New Year is upon us.

Free Pattern for Christmas: Partridge in a Pear Tree

To celebrate the Holiday Giving Season, I want to share this Holiday quilt pattern with you. It is an extremely simple pattern that uses only six (6) fabrics and it will take you very little time to create. You can use your favorite machine appliqué technique (raw edge, turned edge, fuse, etc). Additional instructions are included. Click here to download.Please enjoy and send pictures of the completed quilt!

Newest quilt joining Grace’s Aviary: The “Kingfisher”

The beautiful iridescent plumage of the Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) makes it one of the most colorful and instantly recognizable birds; despite this it is rarely seen due to its shy nature. The upperparts are bright blue, although if seen in flight this may not be very obvious. The bill is very long and dagger-like. Although the sexes are generally similar, in breeding pairs they can be distinguished by the bill; in females it has a red base, whereas in males it is completely black.
Ah! So we have a girl here! Better named: “Queenfisher” perhaps???

Other simple Christmas Patterns and Note Cards for Christmas

Two other simple Christmas patterns are offered on my website.Cool Blue Christmas and Deck the Palms”.and I also have some Christmas Note Cards:

Vendor Fair at Vivante in Costa Mesa, Ca.

December 10th from 10am to 2 pm there will be a Holiday Vendor Fair at Vivante – (1640 Monrovia Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627), with all types of vendors, many of them artists. I will be there too. Please come and visit and enjoy the day. Last time I was there in October (picture below) it was so much fun! Please join me December 11!
January 2015 will be a “Quilt Events Month” at Vivante. It will include exhibits and a quilt show. More information to come when I receive it from the Art Director at Vivante. But, if you happen to be in Costa Mesa this Wednesday, or in January, plan to visit.

How to section-Learn and Share

In my last newsletter I had a section on “Blocking your quilts”. Now that your quilts are beautifully blocked they are ready to be properly squaredand then bound.Today: Squaring your quiltsSquaring –Once your quilt has been blocked it is time to square it. Perfect 90° corners and straight edges will help when you display and hang your quilt.

So here are the few simple generic steps:

1) Place your quilt on a cutting mat.

2) Smooth the quilt on the mat. Using a straight edge ruler and rotary cutter, trim one side of your quilt, top corner to bottom corner, so it is straight.

3) Using an “L” square or a large square quilt ruler against the trimmed edge, trim the top edge of your quilt. If the ruler you have is not long enough, butt a second one to the edge of your square and use them both as one (see picture below).
4) Measure your quilt in several locations, horizontally and vertically. Trim to square the quilt. Re-measure and trim as necessary. Always check the squaring to make sure that nothing has distorted the quilt.If the quilt was blocked as described in November 2014 newsletter this will be a very easy step.5) If your quilt is a landscape that includes a horizontal line, such as a place where water and the sky meet, make sure it is parallel to the top and bottom edges of your quilt. In this case I start my squaring process on either the top or bottom, keeping it parallel to the horizon. Then I follow step 3 with sides instead.
Important Note: To follow on the very sound advice of “measure twice and cut once”, when I start squaring any quilt, large or small, my first tool is NOT the rotary cutter but the “Blue Water Soluble Pen”.
For dark fabrics where this pen does not show, I use a white chalk pencil that brushes off easily.The advantage of the pen is that if you make a mistake, you can take a moist sponge and erase the line. Dry the area with a hair dryer before you use the water-soluble pen again.I follow exactly the same steps above, but at the end, I have only the Blue Lines showing and I can then measure and re-measure again…”measure twice???” probably as many times as needed until the measurement is exactly what I want on all four sides.

When all looks well then I rotary cut. Believe me when I say that I saved many quilts that way!

6) Now you are ready for the traditional binding or some other edge-ing technique. Be it a “Bording”, Envelope,” Free Edge” binding or whatever you decide.

Want more? I have 2 CD that will show you, step by step how to do:

CD1: A trio of edge-ings such as the 2 ways to do” Bordings” (border and binding in one), and a Free-edge” binding CD2: Randomly pieced backgroundsAnd a new CD3 on “How to do the borderless Envelope Edge” is coming out next month!

Preview for Summer 2015

How would you like to visit Hawaii in July 2015?Come and join me in Hawaii and take some classes with me. Quilt Passions’ sponsored “Quilting on the Beach” July17-24,2015. More to come in the next Newsletter!Thank you so much for your support, your friendship and for listening. With Christmas coming, I want to wish you:

Happy Holidays and Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2015 !!!

Enjoy every moment with family and friends.

November 2014 Newsletter

Newest quilt, hot out of the oven:

“A Blue Butterfly just Landed”

“A Blue Butterfly just Landed” is (27” wide x 41” high). The design is a simple flower with a butterfly. The Karner Butterflies intrigued me when I researched them for a previous quilt: “Cerulean Butterfly” so I decided to use that butterfly again.
Karner blue adults are nectar-feeders, aiding in the pollination of a variety of wildflowers. The larvae, however, are highly specialized, feeding exclusively on the wild blue lupine leaves. Without blue lupine, the Karner blue would not survive. These Butterflies are more common on the East Coast but I have found that, due to urbanization, much of the lupine fields have been destroyed and this beautiful butterfly is on the endangered list. Time to grow some lupines?
This is a very simple pattern, it was created for Hoffman fabrics so it is not only “valuelized” as I usually do, but it also has all the Hoffman fabrics identified for easy identification.Pattern is available right now at:

New venue for classes in the Costa Mesa, CA area



For those interested in learning and practicing any and all aspects of textile art, AND local to the Costa Mesa, California area, I will start ongoing ½ day classes about 2 times monthly at the Art Studios in Costa Mesa, CA on Harbor Blvd. This will be early next year (date to be determined but it should be March – April 2015).

These will be ongoing, and designed to take you from beginning to end covering as many techniques as I can teach, and even some that I cannot. The latter is by bringing guest teachers. The plan at this time is to have two half-day classes/month. Perhaps every other week. Will keep you posted, as I know the schedule better.

So here is YOUR chance to tell me what you want to learn and what classes you were looking for. Please let me know your ideas and thoughts. Send you comments, requests and suggestions to:

All the classes and workshops I have on my workshop page and other suggestions are fair game.

New planned classes in the making



One class that I announced last month, and will debut in February is the “Portrait Class” am putting together three new classes/workshops. All will focus on a specific process or technique.One is a landscape design class. There is so much to learn and enjoy in making landscapes correctly that is so very different from any other design, that this will be a tremendous class. This one will be done using my “Heat-Set” Machine Appliqué technique and will focus on landscapes. My designed patterns and/or photos that you will bring.

A second class will focus on my “free edge” machine appliqué so popular for bird feathers, tree bark, etc.

And finally the third one will be my Negative-Appliqué” or Stained Glass effect class done with the “Heat-Set” product and technique.

I am very excited about making quilts for all three and developing easy and foolproof directions that you can learn in all three.

Workshops and Exhibits:



My 2014 Calendar is complete! No more classes, no more books, no more students querying looks! Will start up again in February 2015 but, for now, I will be concentrating on quilting, designing both quilts and classes and writing articles and another book. And, of course enjoying the holidays with family and friends.
Last week I had workshops in Manchester, NH. What a wonderful venue and what wonderful students. The classes very full and I had no time to think about pictures no less, take them. So unfortunately I have no class pictures, just very fond memories.Here is a picture from the Quilt Show, which was part of the venue at the hotel. This is the “Amazing Flamingo” completed by one of my students from the area. This quilt was started in a previous class in Phoenix, AZ!!! Thank you Nancy Wasserman for entering the quilt AND winning a ribbon!

How to section-Learn and Share



In my last newsletter I had a section on “storing your quilts”. Many or you sent rave reviews! So, I will have a “learning/sharing” section in every newsletter. Keep an eye as you might find something new and interesting for you. AND, in this section you may have an opportunity to share something YOU discovered. So send me an email with your goodie and I will be super happy to publish. Attach pictures as well.Today: How to Block your quilts before the final edging.

Two important steps: Pressing and Blocking the just quilted Quilt

1) Pressing

Press from the back of the quilt. Press, do not iron! without steam. I usually use a dry iron and spritz lightly with a little water if it is necessary to “steam” out a pucker.

2) Blocking

This is an extremely important step in ensuring that your art quilt will hang straight without buckling, puckering, and pulling.

For this step you need a foam-core board the size of the quilt or larger, to pin your quilt to. If you have two of these foam core boards, you can optionally layer them together for more height. What I would suggest you cover the board with a sheet of plastic, so that the board does not get wet as the water deforms it.

1) Starting at the top center edge of your quilt and using T-pins, pin the top edge of your quilt to the board. As you pin, stretch sideways. Pin every 1-2” going back and forth – left side, right side. Ensure that the quilt is taut and lies flat against the board.Note: In the pictures below, I used the colored flower pins so that they stand out in the photo and you can see them easily.
2) Once the top edge is completely pinned, repeat the process for the bottom edge stretching the quilt down as you go. Again, start in the middle and fan out, stretching down and out towards the sides, getting the quilt as taut as you can.
3) When the bottom is completed, pin one side of the quilt starting from the middle going up to the top edge. Repeat on the same side from the middle to the bottom edge. Pull and gently stretch the side as you work.
4) Repeat the process on the opposite side.5) Fix and re-stretch and re-pin any areas that do not seem taut enough.

6) With cool water in a spray bottle, spray the quilt until you feel the top, batting and backing are moist all the way through.
7) Let the quilt dry thoroughly before removing it from the board. It may take 1-3 days depending on the size of the quilt, the heat and humidity. So let it dry well and get it ready for next month’s Hoe To Section:The next step- Proper squaring of the perfectly blocked quilt. This will be something to look for in December.Want more? There are currently 2 CD’s I have that will show you step by step how to do:CD1: Randomly pieced backgrounds

Cd2: A trio of edge-ings such as the 2 ways to do Bordings (border and binding in one), and a Free-edge binding

Thank you so much for your support, your friendship and for listening. With Thanksgiving coming, I want to wish you:

Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family!!!

October 2014 Newsletter

Newest quilt, hot out of the oven:
“Ruby Plumeria and Guest”

“Ruby Plumeria and Guest”  (31” wide x 21” high) was inspired by my potted flowering Plumeria. Only difference is that I colorized it using my Value technique, as my potted Plumeria is white/yellow.
I love the beautiful flowers against the dark green leaves, regardless of hue.  And the perfume!!!!!!!!! Oh, and look close… there is a guest among the leaves!!! Look for the pattern on my Patterns for Sale Page by mid October.

New Class for all interested in “Portrait” Quilts

September was a quiet month.  A number of small portrait quilts, most from the same original photo, are now complete.  This will now be the basis of my new Portrait class due to debut in February 2015 with the Canyon Quilters Workshop.
For this 2-Day class , you will bring some favorite photos and using my quilts and your photos, you will learn what to look for in portraiture, what to expect, many of the tricks I learned from my portrait drawing class.  This will enable your quilt to look like the person in your photo.Then you will create a pattern from that favorite photo.

Description and supply will be posted on my website within a week.

If interested, let me know as I am planning to sign up to teach this class next year in a couple of local quilt shops.  But the class will be available to Guilds, private classes or whenever you want me.

Workshops and Exhibits: 

Grace’s Calendar for 2014 – Come and visit!October will be nicely located at the local South Bay Quilters Guild in Redondo Beach, CA.  I will be lecturing my “Value of Value” lecture on the 21st and then will have a workshop on the 22nd.  Stop by and/or sign up for the workshop if you are local and/or interested.  Would love to see and meet you.

November will see me traveling to New Hampshire to teach at the Quilters’ Gathering! for multiple workshops:

So, sign up! experience a change in scenery.  It will be exciting, inspirational and lots of fun!

Also in October 2-31,2014 there is a quilt show at the Poway Art Center in Poway, CA. called “Shades of Passion”. I urge you to visit the show, you will enjoy it tremendously.  Two of my pieces are part of that exhibit. They are, “Very Aloe” and “Birds in Paradise”.  

My instructional CDs: “Trio of Quilt Edge-Finishes” and “Randomly Pieced Backgrounds”

My latest CD: A Trio of Quilt Edge-Finishes came out last month!! This month you will find that I have included a downloadable PDF option for both this CD and the Randomly Pieced Backgrounds as well.  They not only cost less but you will not need to pay shipping charges.  What a deal!

Quilt Designs in Stone!!

Are you re-decorating your house, or you know someone who is?Check out the “Flekman Arts” website.  Many of my quilts will be converted into tiles and ceramic decorations for your home.

TIP OF THE MONTH: Storing and Shipping your Quilts

I do not like the creases that develop on quilts when they are stored folded.  The creases can remain there permanently especially in quilts that have any fusing. I store my quilts rolled on children’s foam swimming noodles. I cover the noodle with batting and then I roll my quilt front facing out, starting from the top down. When you roll the quilt facing out and from top to bottom, they will hang properly when they are unrolled and hung for display.
Otherwise, the quilt tends to curl up from the bottom or in from the edges when it is hung.I may roll a few quilts together one on top of the other.  I then cover this roll with a fabric pillowcase made to fit and tie the top end.

If rolling is not an option, then I do fold the quilt but I place a lot of acid free paper in the fold lines.  I never fold the quilt in the middle.  I usually try to fold in thirds and then thirds again.

Hope this helps and makes your beautiful quilts look gorgeous!! Off and on the wall!

And finally a question that only you can answer!

I would very much like to hear from you.  Do you have any suggestions for classes, workshops, information that you would like to learn????  What would you like to hear about, or discuss.  Any thing that you would like to hear in the next TIP OF THE MONTH?Do YOU have something that you would like to share?  Have an idea?  I would love to include it in the next Newsletter or my blog!  So please share with me!

Any suggestions for improving this Newsletter?  Anything goes!!!

Please talk to me either through my website:,

or directly to my email:

September 2014 Newsletter

Hello to everyone and hope summer is treating you well!

Fall is just around the corner. Welcome to September.

My newest quilt: Alaskan Summer

This quilt (29″ wide x 21″ high) and it was inspired by my visit to Alaska last summer. It appears the lupines grow everywhere there in the summer. I love the beautiful flowers against the backdrop of the icy mountains. The technique use is my “Heat-Set” machine applique. In addition I tried an appliqued foreground using 2″ squares, randomly placed to look like a field of lupines. I also used my “Heat-Set” product to applique the squares before I quilted them.

August Visits

Spent a wonderful week in the great state of Texas visiting 3 guilds the Greater Houston Guild, the West Houston Guild and the Island Quilters in historic Galveston, Texas. Met many wonderful quilters and hopefully made some lasting friendships.Here are some pics I gathered for you to enjoy.
While there I had a chance to visit the Houston Aquarium and fell in love with the lion fish-es. This large tank had 6 of them.
While in Galveston, I was taken on a tour of this historic island. Here are a couple of pictures I took from a car while my hostess drove me around town.
Stopped at the beach and I had the pleasure to meet with a bunch of very friendly grackles.

Future Workshops and travel

You can check out my whole calendar.October will be nicely located at the local South Bay Quilters Guild in Redondo Beach, CA. I will be lecturing my “Value of Value” lecture on the 21st and then will have a workshop on the 22nd. Stop by and/or sign up for the workshop if you are local and/or interested. Would love to see and meet you.Also in October (10/24/14) I will be back to the Crazy Quilters in Laguna Wood for a Workshop, this time. I will be teaching my “Introduction to the Heat-Set Machine Applique technique”. Perhaps if you are local to this area, contact Jeanne Stone at She may find a spot for you in the class.

November I will be in New Hampshire at A Quilters Gathering 2014! for multiple workshops:

So, sign up! experience a change in scenery. It will be exciting, inspirational and lots of fun!

Friday 11/7 I was invited to give my “The Value of Value” lecture after dinner. Many have enjoyed that lecture so, if you are around, please do come and attend.

Ongoing Work

I continue to work on developing my new class using my “Heat-Set” Machine Applique technique but focusing of portraits.What I would like to do is show how to do a portrait in a number of different ways, from very detailed, to extremely simple and fast. I am trying different approaches and making small samples for comparison.The participants will bring a photo of someone and we will create a pattern and start the quilt top using my “Heat-Set” technique. This will be a 2-day class with a lot to be learned.

Here are two that I am currently doing. There will be a few more before the class is ready to go live. I intentionally did both of these in the similar hue scheme so that we can compare the look.

The first one is quite complex with as much detail as the photograph contained. The pattern was created using Photoshop. The second one’s pattern was created my old-fashioned way, i.e., by hand. Still there is some complexity to the finished portrait but much less than portrait 1.They are not edge-ed (bordered and bound) as yet.

“Trio of Edge-ings” “Bording” and “Free-edge” Binding” CD is out!

Speaking of edge-ings, as promised, my CD on “Bordings” is here!! The CD contains three different and unusual quilt finished.With these “Bordings” I like to add 3-D flanges, so I also demonstrate how to do these.
What I call a “Boarding” is a very easy binding technique that looks just like a border/binding but is done in one simple step, very similar to a binding. I show you how to do it with the usual “miter” corners that a binding would have. I used this method in the below quilt of the Cone Flower and the Monarch.
or, fold-over corners “Bording”, as shown on the “Midnight Cone Flower” above.
Finally, I discovered this very easy binding that I like to use for more casual quilts. I call it “Free Edge” binding as the edge appearing on the front of the quilt is not stitched down as you usually would have in a binding.