Announcing: More Coloring Quilt Classes Scheduled!


We have scheduled more sessions of my Coloring Quilts Tips and Techniques Class at The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego, OR.   You can currently sign up for a class on May 15th or June 22nd.  I know my last three class sessions sold out, so if you are wanting to get into one of these classes and they fill up too, be sure and get on the waiting list for another class.  We can always add more to meet demand!

Judith’s “Oregon Birdie Girl”



I feel so lucky that I have the chance to quilt for such talented clients.  This project was brought to me by one such super talented quilt artist, Judith Quinn Garnett.  She took a workshop from Ann Shaw and created this beauty.  I’m so impressed, because I also took one of Ann’s workshops – but my project is still “in progress” several months later.  Where I struggle with choosing the right fabrics, Judith excelled with her own version.  I was so happy when she asked me to quilt this for her! Continue reading “Judith’s “Oregon Birdie Girl””

Big Blooming Blossoms

Even though I am in the middle of the Christmas quilting rush, I just had to take a few moments out of my day and show you the photos from a recent finish.  This quilt top was brought to me by Kimberlee Hill.  I just love the fabrics and colors.  I was a little worried when I took the photos of this quilt because it wasn’t the ideal time of day, but when I uploaded the pictures to my computer today and got a look at them, I actually squealed. Continue reading “Big Blooming Blossoms”

It’s Been a Year Already?! (How I Became a Longarm Quilter)


Coleen fun
Coleen Barnhardt, Owner – The Quilted Thistle

Today marks the one year anniversary of the real beginning of my longarm journey – the day my Innova longarm quilting machine was delivered and set up by Jack and crew at Boersma’s in McMinniville, OR.  Previous to delivery, I had taken a one-day class with Capri after meeting her towards the end of September at the Northwest Quilt Expo in Portland.  All I really knew was that the machine was fun to drive, and apparently, I showed some talent.  Based upon that little information/experience, my amazing husband supported my wild idea of taking a break from my career as a special educator and following my new passion into the realm of professional quilting!  What a guy, right?! Continue reading “It’s Been a Year Already?! (How I Became a Longarm Quilter)”

A New Edge-to-Edge Motif: Dogwood Blossoms


As many of you already know, I specialize in hand-guided free-motion quilting.  I love driving my Innova Longarm from the front of the machine, where I can see what I’m doing and make decisions about design placement as I go.  A lot of the work I do for clients is custom quilting.  I love custom quilting.  Not every quilt needs custom quilting, though.  This leads me to one question that I get asked: “Do you do computerized/pantograph quilting?”  While the straight answer to that is “No,” I do offer what I refer to as edge-to-edge quilting.  So I thought I would share a recent project with you, and one of the ways I go about doing edge-to-edge quilting for my clients.

Continue reading “A New Edge-to-Edge Motif: Dogwood Blossoms”

Collaborative Quilting: Put a Bird on It!


When you are quilting for others, you get a wide range of input ranging from “just do what you want” to “I have this very specific thing I want quilted and don’t want it to vary from my idea even just a little bit.”  Between these two extremes, lies my favorite kind of quilting:  Collaborative Quilting.  I love it when clients come with some idea of what they want, but are open to me putting my spin on it.  That’s why I was super excited when one of my clients brought me a pieced top that was primarily negative space, with just a random mini charm square here and there.  She had this great idea that she wanted me to execute. She had also made a bird to applique for the top, and she wanted it to be in a quilted cage that I got to design and quilt for her.  In Portland style, we were going to collaborate to “Put a Bird on It!”

Continue reading “Collaborative Quilting: Put a Bird on It!”

My Newest Coloring Quilt: Color Me Quilted

I’m excited to share my most recent finish:


Many people express surprise when I reveal that it’s a painted quilt.
You see, this quilt started out as a wholecloth of white ready-to-dye cotton fabric which I freemotion quilted with black thread on my Innova Longarm Quilting Machine:

I was inspired to create this by all of the beautiful adult coloring books that have been hitting the market of late. After all, I’ve loved to color my whole life, and find it very meditative.  Why not make a coloring quilt? Continue reading “My Newest Coloring Quilt: Color Me Quilted”

Irish Chain Beauty

I’ve been so busy quilting that I have neglected posting pictures to my blog, but I took the time to download a couple of memory cards worth of photos to the computer today, and found a few shots I wanted to share of this beautifully pieced Irish Chain top by Linda that I had the opportunity to add my quilting to this spring.

The small piecing in the chained blocks needed a motif that would do a good job of stabilizing all of the tiny pieces.  I’ll admit that deciding what to quilt took me a while on this project, as I wanted to do something really unique.  One strategy I use when unsure of what to quilt is to utilize a clear acrylic design board, which I can lay on top of the patchwork and draw different motifs on until I find just the right one.  I didn’t get a picture of this part of the process, but I did catch a quick photo of the motif’s I settled on before using the tool on my next project.
My husband even took some video of me quilting out one of the chain blocks:
For those of you who don’t want to take the time to watch me quilt out the whole motif, here is a detail shot of the chain blocks:
When designing the motif for the lighter blocks, I wanted to repeat a feathered motif, and also create a secondary pattern for visual and textural interest on the finished quilt.  I also wanted to give the wool batting a place to shine, and really show off the loft you can get with this wonderful batting option. I would highly recommend wool batting for clients who are investing in custom quilting.
By utilizing a large circle template, I was able to create a secondary design of rings which can be seen as either large rings or wavy lines depending on what your viewing perspective is.  It was fun looking at it from different angles while it was loaded on the frame being quilted.  I wish I would have taken some shots of it in progress, but sometimes I get so involved in the process I forget little details like progress photos.
I used a light silver thread on the body of this quilt, as it went well with both the very light grey fabric and the purples and greens in the chains.  But I had also gotten this lovely variegated King Tut thread that I knew would really show itself off on those dark purple triangles around the edges of the top. This photo shows how I utilized continuous curve in the partial blocks, and how I divided up the larger purple triangles into different quilting motif’s that echoed some of the elements used throughout the body of the quilt.  Isn’t that variegated thread gorgeous and perfect for this quilt’s colorway?
I really like how all the different elements came together for a gorgeous quilt I would love to call my own.   I even feel inspired to make my own King Size quilt after seeing this beauty finished!