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August 11, 2019
What EXCITES you about quilting? from Nestlings By Robin

Is it piecing a new quilt top or the enjoyment of slow stitching while watching a good movie?
Is it making new friends in guild or taking a class at a big show and learning a new technique?
Or, is it the FABRIC that comes out in new colors and designs every season and we just can't seem to have enough of it on our shelves (in drawers, under desks, stuffed into every nook and cranny)!!

Most quilters have a color palette they are drawn to and maybe a style of design ...

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May 30, 2019
Floors, Ceilings and Unintentional Quilt Blocks at the Louvre from Gefilte Quilt

Recently I was at the Louvre, where I saw celebrities:

Ms. Lisa wasn't crooked - I was, after fighting my way to the front of an aggressive backwards-facing selfie-snapping crowd.

Along with famous people and enthralling paintings (especially blue-and-gold ones), I took time to photograph some of the floors, which, for a French palace, were surprisingly American-quilty. Like this one, littered with blocks: 
A drain was well disguised. 
This floor wasn't interesting in the middle...
..but I was impressed by the improvisational edges.
In American quilting, this next design is called a Mariner's Compass....
I like the ...

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May 12, 2019
Lifted from the Louvre: My New Favorite Color Scheme from Gefilte Quilt

I was lucky enough to be a tourist in Paris a couple of weeks ago,  (where I visited fabric storesflea markets and Notre Dame, days before the fire). Of course, one afternoon, DH and I went to the Louvre. 

We headed first to the 16th-19th century French painting galleries There I found myself unexpectedly fixated on a heavenly color combination:

That's Eustache Le Sueur's "St Bruno Being Carried Up to Heaven," painted circa 1650. And it's how I felt looking at it. Similarly,  Le Sueur's "Dream of St. Bruno."

And here's "Imaginary Landscape" by ...

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January 2, 2019
Teaching at 2019 Minnesota Quilters Conference from Carol Lyles Shaw

I’m traveling to the Midwest to teach at the 2019 Minnesota Quilters Conference.

Traditional,  contemporary and modern quilters who attend my workshops say that they have loads of fun making these projects.   My workshops are a ‘no judgement/stress-free zone’.

You’ll walk away with a solid start on your project and confidence to quickly complete it at home.  In addition, every workshop attendee will receive:

  • Individualized attention–including help with fabric placement
  • Full color pattern with options for customizing your quilt
  • Easy to follow piecing instructions during the workshop
  • Practice using improvisational cutting and piecing techniques–it’s ...

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October 5, 2018
Patriotic Modern Quilt Pattern Update 3 from Carol Lyles Shaw

Hello Everyone!  In this post, I’ll show you the different modern looks you can achieve with the Patriotic Diamonds Modern Quilt pattern  (on page 80) when you use a variety of modern quilt fabrics.  I’ve also added a tutorial on adding an inner border –see the bottom of this post.

And go HERE and HERE for earlier posts showing how to choose fabrics in other colorways for the patterns in this book.

You can purchase the book from local quilt shops and online here.

Here’s the original quilt.

Quilt designed in EQ7 from my book, Patriotic Modern ...

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June 10, 2018
Parisian Curves Modern Batik Quilt from Carol Lyles Shaw

Hello everyone,  My explorations as an Island Batik Ambassador continues and wow, I had fun this month!

The Island Batik challenge for June was to make a modern batik quilt. Of course, this was music to my ears!

I decided to make a modern batik quilt using the Parisian Curves technique from my book, Madly Modern Quilts, available at local quilt shops, bookstores and online. Parisian Curves is also one of my most popular workshops–even very traditional quilters have a lot of fun learning to piece these improvisational curves.  If you have the book, you’ll find the process ...

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April 19, 2018
Batik Modern Traditionalism Quilt Challenge from Carol Lyles Shaw

Modern traditionalism is one of the key principles in modern quilt design and it is one of my favorite jumping off points as well.  So I was very happy to see that the Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for April 2018 is to use a traditional quilt block or design as inspiration.

I chose the traditional 9 patch as my inspiration and used the Fractured Disappearing Nine Patch pattern from my first book, Madly Modern Quilts available online and at local quilt shops. This is also one of my most popular workshops.

Madly Modern Quilts, quilt pattern

The Island Batik Fabrics


These fabrics are from the ...

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April 5, 2018
Tips for Finding Your SewJo from Carol Lyles Shaw

Finding your sewjoWe probably all have those days or weeks when our quilting inspiration, motivation and energy just disappears.  It could be burnout (too much deadline sewing) or we might have lost our confidence (no one wants my quilts and, anyway, my quilts aren’t good, perfect or pretty  enough).  We have the time, we have the fabric, we have a pattern—-what we are missing is the energy to get in our sewing space and make something. What we need are easy ways for finding our SewJo. When our energy and motivation are back to healthy levels, we can tackle our ...

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March 28, 2018
Improvising Triangle Mini Quilts from Carol Lyles Shaw

This month, I decided to enter the Curated Triangle Mini Quilt Challenge.  I decided to give myself some restrictions to further spur my approach to improvising one or more triangle mini quilts.

My restrictions were:

  • No curves! Straight lines only.
  • Improvising design and quilting
  • Machine quilting only (no hand quilting)
  • Stash fabrics and leftover batting (use it all up!)
  • Minimalism!  Limit color palette and pieced design [See this blog post for more on my thoughts on  minimalism.]
  • Time!  I started on Sunday March 25th and the due date is April 1, 2018.

This is the required palette:


I decided to ...

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January 18, 2018
Sew My Stash Quilt Tutorial from Carol Lyles Shaw

Sew My Stash Commitment and Quilt Tutorial

I think that one of the reasons we don’t use our stash is that we over think and over plan how to make a quilt from stash.  This month, I quickly made the 3rd in a series of quilts all made from stash.  Keep reading to see the story of the 3 quilts and a tutorial on how I made the 3rd one.

And, no, my stash isn’t always this neat looking!  And, there’s lots more of it…..

modern fabric

I am really committed to sew my stash this year. 

I did ...

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November 16, 2017
Maximalism in Modern Quilts from Carol Lyles Shaw

I love Maximalism in Modern Quilts!

modern quilts

improv block in progress

Since I began quilting over 25 years ago, I have always loved making tops with lots of vibrant color.

However, when I moved deeply into modern quilt design about 5 years ago, I started by learning about the minimalism and simplicity design principles.  That was fun and I learned a lot. See some of the minimalist quilts that I made in posts here and here and here.

Then, I decided to start moving back towards the use of color that I have always loved.  Where did my inspiration come from ...

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October 31, 2017
Modern Jelly Roll Race Quilt Tutorial from Carol Lyles Shaw

My Modern Jelly Roll Race Quilt Tutorial

Jelly Roll Race quilts are a favorite fast & easy quilt to make.  I decided to make a jelly roll quilt as a gift for a dear friend.  I started by reviewing the tutorials on Youtube by the Missouri Quilt Company because it had been awhile since I made one of these quilts. [See link at very end of this post].

Then, when I was ready to make my quilt I realized I had a design decision to make.  Nearly all of the jelly roll race quilts that I see on social media are ...

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  • color palette
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