Programs and Workshops
The following programs and workshops have been given in towns and cities in the Southeast region of Texas, mostly at local quilt guilds, but also at a few schools and libraries.
A Brief History of Quilting – Designed for the non-quilter, this program takes a broad look at the history of quilting in America. Quilts, sample blocks and other visual aids help the audience connect to the experience
Bordering: on the Edge of Madness – This program takes a look at the various types of borders that can be used on quilts from the very simple to complex pieced, appliquéd or multiple borders. Through extensive show and tell of actual quilts, the idea of which type of border best suits which type of quilt is illustrated. Workshop available or combine with the Panel Discussion workshop.
Best of Both Worlds – In this program I take a look at combining piecing and appliqué to give quilts more complexity, or perhaps just the finishing touch they need. A show and tell of quilts from my work illustrates the principle.
Color in Quilting – Based on the book Color and Cloth by Mary Coyne Penders, this program explores the various aspects of fabric, i.e. hue, value, intensity, texture and scale. Quilts and fabric samples are used to illustrate these aspects and how they translate into the quilt making process. Workshop available.
Increasing Your Creativity – Part practical advice, part cheerleading session, this program encourages the quilter to give herself permission to grow as a quilter.
It’s My Panel (and I’ll Try if I Want to) – In this program we explore the various types of panels available such as single border prints, large panels and multiple block panels along with various ways to use them. Show and tell illustrates these elements and tips and tricks on working with these fabric works of art are shared. Workshop available.
My Life As A Quilter – From first try to experienced teacher, the audience follows the journey I have traveled as a quilter. Humorous anecdotes and many quilts help enliven the experience.
Five Ways to Cook a Goose – Based on my popular class by the same name, this program looks first at the many blocks that are constructed with the flying goose unit, then at several ways to construct the unit. Sample blocks, quilts and a flannel board are used to illustrate elements of the lecture. Workshop available.
Why Sew the Y Seam – Sometimes we can avoid the dreaded Y seam, sometimes we can’t. This program takes a look a blocks (and situations) that use the Y, or inset, seam as well as exploring ways to achieve the look without actually having to go down that path. Both quilts and sample blocks will be shown to illustrate the point. Workshop available.
The Line on Stripes – One of the most frequent comments I hear in fabric shops is “I love striped fabrics, but they scare me!” In this program I try to take the fear out of stripes by showing many different ways striped fabrics can be used in quilts – from “cheater” square-in-square blocks, to frames, to borders. Lots of quilts are used to illustrate various possibilities. Workshop available.
Things I Have Learned – Life lessons as the apply to quilting. Like Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, but with quilts.
Thinking Big – There are so many wonderful big print fabrics out there now. The only problem is deciding how to use them. In this program, with extensive use of show and tell of quilts, we explore the many ways to use large prints in your quilts and how they can add excitement and the unexpected to your projects. Workshop available.
Bone Structure: Designing by Baby Steps – Explore how to unleash your creative side by taking the basic structure of an existing quilt and, through small changes in structure or color and fabric choices, make a new creation that exemplifies the maker’s personality. It is learning how to design by baby steps. There is an extensive show and tell of quilts to illustrate points made.
Working Nine to Four –This program looks at the many ways the humble four patch and nine patch blocks can be manipulated to make quilts that range from the simple to the stunning. There will also be a few one-patch quilts in the program to show what happens when you really pare things down.
Out of My Blooming Mind – This is a program that shows the many ways to use the StringAlongs papers and the Blooming Templates which are wonderful products from Black Cat Creations. String piecing is a great way to use up all those odds and ends of fabrics that seem to multiply in our sewing rooms. It can give you a quilt with a wonderful old fashioned feel, or something fresh and modern, depending on the fabric used. The Blooming Templates can be used to create leaves, flower petals, wedding ring quilts and many, many other things. A workshop is available.
Rotary Cutting 101 – We all love our rotary cutters, but sometimes we aren’t always as accurate as we would like. This class teaches you how to avoid the dreaded V or W in your strips, how to cut basic squares, rectangles and triangles accurately. You also learn how to cut more unusual shapes such as diamonds, hexagons, octagons, kites, parallelograms, prisms and more. This is probably my most popular class, and the most useful!
You can also choose a workshop such as Sewing the Y seam or Making Flying Geese from a different program to go with a program that doesn’t have a workshop along with it.
Even Good Girls Like to Strip – Whether vertical or horizontal, or even diagonal, row quilts are a fun way to use leftover blocks, large prints, applique, complex or minimal piecing. As usual, extensive show and tell will illustrate the many forms of this style of quilting. And it is a great form for doing quilt as you go!
Center of Attention – We all love medallion quilts. Make one super block, then just add borders. Or start with a wonderful large print for the center and use your piecing skills for the borders. Simple or complex, pieced or applique these quilts always give a put on a good show. A workshop is planned to help you learn how to adapt for, shall we say, less than perfectly accurate piecing.
Some Other Stuff
In 1997, I was given a One-Woman Show at Great Expectations Quilt Shop. It was entitled Minay Sirois, A Legend in Her Own Sewing Room: Quilts, 1990 to 1997. A Psychiatric Perspective. No, really.
A few of my quilts have also won awards or been accepted into shows:
Everything Old is Nouveau Again, 1991, was entered in the Hoffman Challenge, was chosen for the Challenge Tour, and was displayed at the Houston Quilt Festival and other venues around the country for a year.
Mona Fuji, 1994, was also entered in the Hoffman Challenge, was chosen for the Challenge Tour in 1994, and also toured the country in 1994 and 1995.
Star Child, mid-1980s, was entered in the Hans Christian Andersen contest, was chosen as one of the top entrants, and was on display in Copenhagen for a year.
Feeling Chintzy, 2010, was displayed in the Traditional Quilts section of the 2010 Houston International Quilt Festival, and then toured for a year to other shows.
Bits and Ends, 2011, was also in the Traditional Quilts section of the 2011 Houston International Quilt Festival, and then toured to other shows.
Buttercream, 2006, was one of only 200 quilts to be included in a book, Lone Stars III: Texas Quilts Today, 1986-2011, which was published in September, 2011 by the University of Texas Press (also available at Amazon). Quilts from the book were displayed at various quilt shows and at the Texas Quilt Museum (the TQM), rotating from the museum to shows periodically. Buttercream was at the TQM during the Spring of 2012.