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  • improvisational piecing
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June 6, 2019
Turning Corners and Stash Jazz Pattern Launch from Carol Lyles Shaw

I am happy to announce the launch of TURNING CORNERS and STASH JAZZ,  two new modern quilt patterns available in my Etsy shop.

And, yes, I will also be teaching these patterns as workshops!  Contact me if your Guild or Shop would like to book 2020 or 2021 dates.

Turning Corners Pattern

Turning Corners is a fun quilt that you can piece in a day.  Each block is made from 10” squares.  It’s a great quilt for a coordinated precut packet or you can use leftover precuts from one designer’s line.  You can also use large print scraps ...

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May 30, 2019
Striped Landscape from Art Gallery Fabrics-The Creative Blog

Hello my friends,

Do you love to show off complex looking projects that are truly easy to make? If so, me too! For the romantic and delicate Everlasting collection, we will be making an 18" pillow top combining the improvisational and the strip piecing techniques.

Just so you know, the reason this tutorial is called "Striped Landscape" is because once I finished it, it reminded me of the vacation I want to take in a quiet beach with beautiful sunsets! ;)

The featured fabrics are Something Blue (Fabric A), Creme de la Creme (Fabric B), Snow (Fabric C), and Cherished Wishes ...

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May 3, 2019
Break time with improv piecing from Quilting & Learning

It's DrEAMi! (Drop Everything And Make It!) or Squirrel time again with Sandra at mmm quilts.

Policeman and black squirrel in High Park, [Toronto, Ont.], 10 Nov., 1917
Photographer: Boyd, John, 1865-1941
Library and Archives Canada (see Related links below)
Improv piecing

When I'm up against a deadline, I usually need some serious procrastination time! Maybe it's to let my brain peculate while I distract myself, but what ever the reason, it happens almost every time.

To procrastinate, I've read 3 books in a series (I suspect that they were short but who knows when it ...

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March 25, 2019
Upcoming Classes, A Prize, A GiveAway and More! from Carol Lyles Shaw

Hello Everyone, I am excited to share some great news with you. A lot of good stuff is happening in my quilt life these days and I’m celebrating. In fact, be sure to read to the bottom of this post to find out about a GiveAway!!

I WON AN AWARD!

My quilt, MidCentury Modern: Black and White won a Prize at MidAtlantic Quilt Festival Competition for Best Use of Negative Space in the MidCentury Modern Category. The award included a Ribbon and a Cash Prize that I am sharing with my Long Arm quilter because her work really complemented ...

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February 15, 2019
Improv Challenge from Quilting & Learning

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the One Week Improv Challenge Amy Ellis #improvwithamy. I meant to post this as a Squirrel DrEAMi! with MMM! quilts but managed to miss the deadline. No worries, here's the post

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February 12, 2019
3 Quilts & the Journey Continues from Where Art & Life Meet

I think about art all the time: the process, the way life impacts it…  Wondering about how other people will see it, whether they will approve, like or dislike it, is the biggest buzz kill to creativity that I know of.  But, I find, silencing those worries often difficult.  The best steps I know to… Continue reading 3 Quilts & the Journey Continues

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January 21, 2019
Mini Art Quilts and Slow Stitching from Quilting & Learning

Mini Art Quilts
✔Two minis done, and two more to go!

Blooming Yellow


The yellow mini art quilt is finished.

My original intention was to wrap the mini over the canvas. I had a difficult time because the seams in the background made the corners bulky. When I trimmed on of  the seams to reduce the bulk in the corners, I ended up ripping it. It was a pretty frustrating mess!
Blooming Yellow Mini Art Quilt
I ended up finishing the art quilt like a pillow case. I then added a background using one of the fabrics on the mini ...

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January 19, 2019
Get Away – Storm at Sea from Carol Lyles Shaw

Get Away is the Island Batik Blog Hop theme for January 2019. And, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make Storm at Sea, a traditional block–but I ended up altering it in a modern way.

First…the Fabrics! My fabrics are from the Soul Song Collection by Island Batik.

This collection goes from brights to muted black/cream.

I decided to use these fabrics shown below in the project–you’ll see why in a moment.

I used these Island Batik Soul Song fabrics and added an Island Batik neutral called Whip Cream.
I love the words ...

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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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December 18, 2018
QuiltCon 2019 Acceptances from Carol Lyles Shaw

Yesterday was a busy day on Instagram.  And although I signed off for the holidays, I will have to do one more post.  The Modern Quilt Guild sent out the decision emails for QuiltCon 2019.

I am quietly celebrating three acceptances.

MidCentury Modern Curve #1.  I KNOW that I’ve been promising a pattern…and I am seriously delayed on this one.  However, in the meantime, I’m scheduled to teach this workshop in 2019.  Contact me if your guild is interested in booking this workshop in 2019 (a few dates are open) and 2020.

MidCentury Modern Curve #1 was ...

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December 3, 2018
Island Batik Improv Log Cabin Tutorial from Carol Lyles Shaw

Making an improv log cabin quilt was a fun challenge.  In my newest Island Batik challenge, I combined two themes to create an improv log cabin wall hanging–here’s the tutorial showing how I did it.

Cozy Log Cabins is the first challenge theme that I used!  Log cabins are a great traditional pattern and I remember making many versions when I first learned to quilt many, many years ago.   It’s also a traditional pattern that you can easily make modern and I will show you how I did that.

The second theme is Whimsical and Wonky!  I ...

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November 19, 2018
Island Batik Star Struck Quilt Tutorial from Carol Lyles Shaw

This month’s challenge for Island Batik is Star Struck and this is my quilt tutorial and free pattern for my modern version of a star.

I had a difficult time getting the color match on the full quilt photos! This looks a bit yellow–background fabric is actually white. See the close up of the star point below for the true colors.

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month was to create a Star Quilt.  I decided to take a modern approach and create an oversized wonky star using a limited color palette.  The modern design principles I played ...

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November 13, 2018
A White History of Art - Art with Fabric Blog Hop from Quilting & Learning

Welcome to the fall 2018 edition of the Art with Fabric blog hop. I'm thrilled to be participating again and would like to thank Alida for all of her hard work :-)

A White History of Art

A White History of Art
When Alida said that the theme would be colour, I'm not sure that I saw the "favourite" in front of it. For me colour is everything! I had a few ideas and when I mentioned them to my daughter, she suggested that I watch the BBC documentaries, History of Art in Three Colours. It was a great ...

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October 28, 2018
Teaching at NC Quilt Symposium from Carol Lyles Shaw

I am thrilled to announce that I will be teaching two quilt workshops at the 2019 North Carolina Quilt Symposium on May 2-5, 2019.  I’m super excited to be in such wonderful company with some of the best quilters around!

My Quilt Workshops

I’ve created a short video about both workshops with tips for choosing your fabrics.

Parisian Curves Quilt Workshop

modern quilt

One possible layout for this technique using simple curved blocks.

My Batik Modern version using a rich yellow as the negative space. Complex multi-layer curved blocks created using Parisian Curves technique.

In this one-day workshop, you will ...

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October 23, 2018
I Am Teaching at AQS QuiltWeek 2019 from Carol Lyles Shaw

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching at AQS QuiltWeek in Daytona FL held February 27–March 2, 2019.  AQS Members registration start Oc. 23, 2018 and registration for the general public starts Nov. 7, 2018     Click HERE for registration information. 

My AQS QuiltWeek Workshops

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 ...

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September 29, 2018
Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2018 from Quilting & Learning

Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2018 hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.

Connections & Intersections

I've been working on this art quilt for months now, mostly a little bit at a time, until the deadline started looming over me! As much as I dislike that 8 letter word, it does help with motivation.

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August 29, 2018
Island Batik Great Outdoors Quilt and Giveaway from Carol Lyles Shaw

August is a fabulous month: It’s the Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop and I am sponsoring a Giveaway for my dear readers. [Fabrics used in the project and the items for the giveaway were all provided to me by Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs who are sponsors for the Island Batik 2018 Ambassadors.)

My Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post!

Throughout the month of August, my fellow Ambassadors have been featuring Island Batik’s newest lines of fabrics and many have great Giveaways going on!  Be sure to visit all of the Ambassadors to enter ...

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July 30, 2018
Island Batik Modern Pattern Play from Carol Lyles Shaw

This month, the Island Batik challenge was secondary pattern play.  So, of course, I made it Island Batik Modern Pattern Play!

I returned to one of my favorite techniques–improvisational curved blocks that I call Parisian Curves. (Pattern and detailed tutorial is in my book, Madly Modern Quilts available online and at local quilt shops).  This post is a tutorial showing one way that I approach improvisational design. It’s an improvisational design process that I teach in my workshops to help students move away from the layout that I provide.

Island Batik Fabrics

[Fabrics used in the project were ...

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July 24, 2018
Submitting to Quilt Shows from Carol Lyles Shaw

Submitting to quilt shows–many of us love doing it and others hate the thought of competition.  Submitting to quilt shows can be fun or scary. In this post, I’ll share my thoughts on some of the factors to consider.

I’ve been focused on designing and writing patterns and haven’t submitted to many shows for the past few years.  I’ve had quilts accepted in many shows over the years–and even won a prize for an artquilt that was entered into an all media ART show.  I’ve also had lots of quilts rejected from national ...

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July 17, 2018
LMQG Swap: What is it? from The Cozy Quilter

Members of the London Modern Quilt Guild are swapping small quilts with members of the Ancaster Modern Quilt Guild.  Christine and I both decided to participate in the swap. We received the name and preferences of our swap partners in February and the quilts were due at our July meeting this past Saturday.  Now that my quilt is handed in, I can show it to you on my blog!


I started by making some random sized building blocks with some brightly coloured scraps.


I was on a roll and did not take any more process pictures as I put it ...

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  • improvisational piecing
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