Single Sashing Quilt-As-You-Go Tutorial

Just posted a free tutorial about an unusual quilt-as-you-go method for making 3/8″ narrow sashing to join quilted sections. This method would probably work well on curved cuts if we cut the sashing on bias – I’ll have to try that sometime!

Find the tutorial in QuiltEd Online’s News and while you’re there have a look at our online quilt class offerings. New online quilt classes are under construction even as I write!

Sign up for the QuiltEd Online weekly newsletter to learn about all our online quilt class news!


Single sashing quilt-as-you-go tutorial

3/8″ sashing for quilt-as-you-go


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Filed under Online Quilt Classes, Quilt Tips & Tutorials



SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates, of which I am a member, sponsors a program that promotes their Juried Artist Members. Each month, a new “I am SAQA” advertisement appears, and for the month of October, that advertisement features me!

I’m thrilled to receive this benefit, only one among many of Studio Art Quilt Associates membership. Being a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates has helped me terrifically over the years, given me a better perspective on my role as an artist in a global community, and made me many wonderful friends – people like Pat Pauly, Mary Pal, Gillian Cooper, Martha Sielman (our Executive Director), Vikki Pignatelli, Sandra Sider – the list goes on and on.

If you are a member of SAQA, please get more involved in the organization and its activities. We need your help, we want you to share the benefits of membership, and there’s always some small way you can contribute. Doing so benefits you as much as it does the organization.

If you are an aspiring art quilter, regardless of your skill levels, reputation or experience, you should be a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates. It is THE professional organization for our artwork.

Don’t miss out another minute! Go now to Studio Art Quilt Associates and join up. Use the coupon code DCW for a 10% discount on the first year’s membership!! See you at SAQA!


Filed under Art, Art in Kenya, Networking

Quilter’s UFO Solution

Some months ago, I started making a new quilt in the series called Redefinitions. This piece, made entirely from silk fabrics and a little synthetic lamé, had a title right from the beginning: Liquid Gold!

As the work progressed, I quickly fell OUT of love with this piece. In sheer desperation, I took it to a QuArKe (Quilt Artists of Kenya) meeting and shared with my quilt artist friends in Nairobi. Most of them were, of course, tactfully supportive, telling me it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, that maybe with a little tweak here or there I could salvage it. I received their great supportive vibes as well as I could and returned home with the quilt, never to touch it again!

That is, until today! This afternoon I went into my studio with an intention to make a small quilt top for the same series, something that would be fun and easy for me to do. The fabrics I reached for first were – guess what! – the same fabrics as those that were in Liquid Gold!

Well, I thought it rather silly to make a second quilt from the same fabrics, so I set those aside and reached for the original work. Suddenly, after months of percolating in the back of my brain, I had come up with a solution for what to do with this work in progress gone astray! I had to work through a technical solution, a method for sewing two sections of finished quilt together with a contrasting strip of fabric. That took me about 15 minutes to think it through and make sketches to illustrate the idea so I would not forget it.

Then I turned back to the quilt, by then hanging on the wall, finally understanding what was bothering me.

LIquid Gold, Redefinitions quilt by Dena Dale Crain

Original quilt gone bad


See all those lines that are not straight between the colored sections and the white silk? Curved seam lines between colored patches of fabric did not bother me because the patches blended and the curves gave a bit of added life to the piece.

What really bothered me was when a seam line between a colored section and a white patch was not straight. The high contrast showed very clearly that I had no control over the patches when I sewed them, and that read to me as generally sloppy construction, something I do not like.

My solution was simple: to cut apart the original quilt along all those curved lines where white met color, and to straighten those seams! Big difference!!

LIquid Gold, Redefinitions quilt by Dena Dale Crain

First mock-up


So, now all I have to do is to develop a final composition, knowing that each section will be bounded by an outline about 3/8″ wide, said outline to be made from a printed silk charmeuse, shades and tints of turquoise on a black ground.

LIquid Gold, Redefinitions quilt by Dena Dale Crain

Second mock-up


LIquid Gold, Redefinitions quilt by Dena Dale Crain

Third mock-up

Now all you have to do is to sign up for my newsletter or subscribe to this blog, so you get to see the finished piece when I’m done with it!!


Filed under Quilt Tips & Tutorials, Quilting Technology, Quilts

On the Subject of Solid Waste

Hemp plants

Concerned about the increase in solid waste in my community, I have a similar concern about the production, sale and use of ecologically damaging textiles. Textiles and apparel are a huge business, at one point touted to be the third largest industry in the world, beginning at the producer level and following through to the rubbish collection and disposal services that see textiles to their end, employing millions of people either directly or in related businesses.

Recent discussions in the Quilt Enthusiasts Group on LinkedIn (don’t know if that link will work, but you can find them if you want to) have focused on choices of batting (wadding) for patchwork quilts. The question that launched this discussion had to do with each member’s preferences, whether for cotton, polyester, silk, wool, bamboo or other fibers for the filler between patchwork top and the quilt backing.

Of course, several members reported a preference for bamboo fiber batts. This is a relatively new product, one which admittedly has desirable qualities, but is touted to be extremely toxic in its processing. Other fibers involve the use of child labor, heavy use of pesticides and other toxic chemicals, synthetic and dangerous dyes and masses of water. Who knows if the water gets cleaned up afterwards, but I doubt it.

There are some interesting articles and reports online about the hazards of textile production. You can take a quick look at these two, and do some more googling on your own:

What I’ve learned so far, and with only minimal effort, is that of all the options, hemp is the fiber that is the most eco-friendly to produce. It also looks pretty and wonderful to wear! See, for example:

So come on, quilters!

Let’s make the jump to hemp!!

It seems a solid waste of a good plant not to!!!


Filed under Patchwork Quilting, Plants, Quilting Technology

Solid Waste – Simple Solution

Road from Marigat

Yesterday, I drove home from Nairobi. The trip passes over what surely must be some of the worst roads in Kenya. There’s not much worse for cars than broken tarmac, and that’s what the road is like between Marigat and home.

Suddenly, I knew what we could do with the solid waste in Kampi ya Samaki! We can use it to build new roads!

Now, the challenge is to find out how to do that. Later, we can work on how to get people in the area to participate in solid waste collection, compaction and use. Very poor, many people in this area will not do anything unless they get paid for doing it.

Gee, maybe I should have that attitude!


Filed under People, Tourism, Travel