“Improv Patchwork” by Maria Shell, The Blog Tour!
Oct 21st, 2017 by Wendy

Improv Patchwork by Maria Shell







It’s Here!!!  Improv Patchwork, Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape by Maria Shell.

This is the C&T Blog Tour, Day 7, with me, Wendy Hill. But first, some housekeeping:

• You may purchase the book at C&T Publishing <ctpub.com/improv-patchwork/>, or at your local quilt shop or bookstore, or Amazon.

• Post a comment at the end of my blog post, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the book (hard copy for USA, digital for all other countries).  The winner will be selected by midnight Alaska time on October 26, with notification to follow soon after.


October 16—C&T Publishing < http://www.ctpub.com/blog/>

October 18—Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting JetGirl <https://quiltingjetgirl.com>

October 19—Amy Ellis at Amy’s Creative Side <http://amyscreativeside.com>

October 20—Deborah Boschert at Deborah’s Journal <http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com?>

October 21—Kathy Doughty at Material Obsession < http://www.materialobsession.com.au/>

October 21 Terri Lucas at Generation Q Magazine < http://generationqmagazine.com/>

October 22— Wendy Hill at Wendy Hill’s Blog—Fun Quilts Stuff & More <http://wendyhill.net/blog>

October 23—Cindy Grisdela at Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts <https://cindygrisdela.com>

October 24—Heather Pregger at Heather <Heather’s Blog <http://heatherquilts.blogspot.com>

October 25—Maria Shell at Tales of a Stitcher <https://talesofastitcher.com>


Maria Shell describes her new book, Improv, Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape, as a reference & technique book that the reader can use to create original patchwork designs, and, if we aren’t already, become fearless.

If intuitive or improv designing feels intimidating or if you’ve ever asked how does the magic happen, then this is a good book for you.

Here is my Top 5 List of things I love about Maria Shell’s book, plus One Final Thought.

1. Maria describes herself as a maker with a compulsion to make things with stitch and thread. I relate to this and I bet you do too.

2. “Start Where You Are, Creativity Is Good For You”: This chapter is a must read if you’ve ever thought about how the head, heart and hands join forces in your own or others’ creative process.

3. The Tips: Each chapter has a diagonal column of advice given in carefully edited bullet points. In addition to the specific advice in each chapter, Maria emphasizes these points: 1) we need to practice-practice-practice; 2) pay attention to detail; 3) learn from all of our experiences (successes and failures); and 4) let one quilt lead to the next.

4. “Color, Pattern and Repetition, The Quiltmaker’s Building Blocks”: This chapter is not the usual parade of color and design theories. Maria shows & tells these underlying concepts with real compositions and quilts that you can start applying immediately, as in right now!

5. Six technique chapters- stuffed with step-by-step photography and clear text- show how to make prints out of solids. Although each chapter builds on the previous ones, Maria says you can go through them in order or jump around. The final chapter, “Putting It All Together” ties the whole book together with pages and pages of layout and composition examples.

One Final Thought: I repeat, this is a reference and technique book, not a “make one like mine” project book, and for me, this is a Very Good Thing. Creating a pleasing composition with stitch and cloth is not magic, but it IS magical. Find your own magical creative process with the support and encouragement found in the images and words of Maria Shell.

Please leave a comment and get entered into a random drawing to win a copy of Improv for yourself!

Big Rad PlaidLR

Neon Zig ZagLR




It’s a Mystery
Oct 11th, 2017 by Wendy







It’s a mystery: I won Art Fair bucks, then this wonderful Kate Spade acrylic ampersand, but not the lottery. Okay, not so much of a mystery- I forgot to buy any lottery tickets. But you know what I mean.



IMG_2658 LR






It’s a mystery: In the same month, the sky is blue with giant sunflowers in the garden over In The Valley, but here at home, on the eastern side of the mountains, the bird bath is frozen every morning.








It’s a Mystery: I went to this restaurant, BibIM BAP House twice, before I realized my other fave spot, Ike’s Box Cafe, was across the street. In my defense, across and DOWN the street. Both are on Chemeketa Street in Salem, downtown. The Korean restaurant has Korean, Japanese, and other food options, and they close Monday nights to feed homeless people under the Marion Street Bridge.  Ike’s Box is in a beautiful old building, with large and small rooms, where you can almost always find a quiet spot.


This is 66- 1LR

This is 66- 2LR






It’s a Mystery: When did 66 happen? I’m wearing my Pendleton Wool coat, made in 1986, with old fashioned tailoring and complete with underlining, lining, and horse hair interfacing. I had some Mad Sewing Skills back in the day! Then there is my Eileen Fisher outlet store purchases from last year (cashmere sweater, very lightweight merino wool t-neck), and black stretch pants that I did not get to wear in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Studio Art Quilt Associates National Conference because I was in bed with Influenza B coughing my guts out. And my black lace up Born Boots.


Improv Patchwork by Maria Shell






It’s a Mystery: But not for long- Maria Shell’s new book, Improv Patchwork, with C&T Publishing, can be preordered now. Beginning on October 16, at www.ctpub.com/blog, you can follow the Improv Blog Tour. Get the full schedule at ctpub.com/blog, or on any of the blog tour websites along the way. Return right here October 22, for my contribution.


making units #4LR

making units #2LR







It’s a Mystery: Even though I’m busy cutting & sewing, and this is my original idea, I don’t know what will become of the hundreds of units. I’m hoping that by showing snippet photographs, you’ll experience the mystery with me. Like anything else, there is always a balance between having a plan and being flexible. Or between letting things happen and evaluating the choices. It’s not magic, but with effort, the result can be magical. I must sign off and start laying the pieces…..



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