52 Week Challenge Class 


Challenge: Selective Focus
photo by Thomas Bradley

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Thomas says:
I choose the red clothes peg and other pegs, as to demonstrate shallow depth field.

Critique Group


Challenge: Year Word
photo by Marion Seasholtz

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Marion says: 

Breathe - it could have been relax, enjoy, chill, joy, create, have fun....This is more than a word for our challenge, it's what I need to do this year. 2020 was a year full of stress and worry. We moved my parents, we became at least temporary care givers to help protect my folks, we had to re-imagine how to make a living without the traditional shows where we usually show our work, and I made a LOT of masks. My husband cut A LOT of elastic. I'm glad I didn't know in March that I would be making over 6,000 masks. Sigh. I took 10 days over the holidays for our stay-cation to do something creative, just for fun, to breathe a little. A safe, healthy and happy New Year to you all.

Smartphone Class


Challenge: Year Word
photo by Debbie Lomas

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Debbie says:

Strength. My year word is strength. Strength of mind. Strength of heart. Strength of soul. Strength of family and friends.

This week's featured quilt, Rhapsody in Totem, was pieced by Julie Bodford and and quilted by award-winning quilter, Gina Boone. Read her story about the long process to finish the quilt.
Julie Bodford_Rhapsody in Totem


Rhapsody in Totem Sketch   

Click to view quilt detail. 

Rhapsody in Totem by Julie Bodford

In 2013, I headed to La Veta, Colorado for my long-awaited retreat. I packed only two items: a box of freezer paper and No. 2 pencils - no fabric, no sewing machine, and no notions. I just wanted to create a design that might eventually become a quilt. At the start of the retreat, Ricky spent ‘one on one’ time with each of us to discuss our projects. I got very nervous the closer my turn came, because I had no real plan for how to spend my time at the retreat. I had just come with the desire to create, but with the belief that I had no creative talent. Ricky was encouraging and had assured me that I just need to destroy that belief with the desire to do so. So he left me with the assignment to think of things that inspire me. To help that along, he said to get out the freezer paper and draw anything that came to my mind.

My mind was a blank. Voices said, “Think! No, don’t think - just draw!” I sat and just doodled for three and a half days, less than pleased with my creativity. I felt like Ricky, although encouraging, was less than impressed as well. What I now know is that he was patiently waiting for me to throw off the mental block that was hiding something creative.

Finally, a memorable vacation popped into my head. I recalled being mesmerized by the totem poles in the Pacific Northwest. I was now inspired to doodle what my mind and heart remembered. After buying more pencils, I couldn’t doodle fast enough. I loved the mysteriousness of the totems and the people’s connection to nature. With Ricky’s encouragement, “Rhapsody in Totem” was drafted before the retreat ended. Although it took five more years to put the design to fabric, it is now complete and I am happy that I have an original quilt with my name on it.

The moral of this story:
When COVID-19 is behind us, get to a La Veta retreat. You never know what will be unleashed as you decompress and release your inner creativity!

Have you ever had a quilt that took you a long time to finish?  Share your story in the comments! We want to hear about it!


Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!


Photo Challenge Class

Sue Vite 'Favorite'

Challenge: Favorite of 2020
photo by Sue Vite

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Sue says:

This is one of my favorites. Iconic Half Dome taken this November in Yosemite Valley with my sister, Cindy Bridges also in this class. My sister and I have gone in the past and she has always been more into the photography than me. However, this year, I enjoyed it more and had a much better understanding of my camera and possible enhancements. I turned up the reds and oranges. It was a cold day. I love the reflection in the water.



Critique Group

Challenge: Favorite of 2020 
photo by Linda Bennett

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Linda says:

I took this photo of flamingos at ZooTampa a couple of months ago. I cropped to accent the necks, adjusted sliders in LR and darkened the background.  I love everything about this, the composition, the sharpness and the subject. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



Click to view larger images. 

Cyndi Johnson used my Ricky Tims hand-dyed fabrics to make the Lizzy Albright Sampler Quilt, which gave it a completely different presentation. As the quilt is based on a 1930's quilt, the Lizzy Albright fabrics by Benartex are a little more muted to reflect the style of the times. She is currently getting it quilted as you can see with the picture on the right. We will update here when it is finished! She said she had a lot of fun working with traditional blocks to make the quilt! 

Has anyone else experimented with different fabrics for this quilt? We would love to see your work!  Please feel free to upload them to the Lizzy Albright Fan Page on Facebook. 




Deadwood Quilting 1

Deadwood Quilting 2 Deadwook Back

Deadwood by Ricky Tims
Click any image for larger view.

In 1993, as an novice quilter with less that 2 years experience, I accepted the position as quilt show chairman for the Circle in the Square Quilt Guild in University City (St. Louis). As a thank you, the members created for me these cowboy boot blocks. They also provided a bit of the theme fabric so I could use it if necessary in creating the quilt. The boots sat in the UFO pile, tucked away (as we do). When i moved from St Louis to Denver, the box somehow got buried amidst other boxes and didn't opened. Then I made a move from Denver to La Veta, and boxes were moved, and stored, but left unopened.

I remember the day when I finally got around to sorting through many unopened boxes and finding these boot blocks was like Christmas morning! I was so excited and I set my mind to get this quilt made. The best thing to come from this is that all those years I was growing as a quilter and designer. Although it took about 21 years to finally join these blocks into a quilt, the result is much better because of my growth. 

You'll see sketches of the quilting designs I used on the boots, and the fun Alexander Henry bare-chested cowboys I used on the back. I should also add, the panel of the 'sheriff' and stage coaches was a piece that someone added. However, the top of the sheriff was at the bottom of the piece fabric and the legs of the sheriff were at the top. There was no full repetition of the design. So I cut the fabric and joined it to make the complete sheriff as the center focus of this quilt.

Here one final tip. I purposefully chose to put these boots into an attic window. As is the case of many group projects, none of the boots were the exact/correct size. By putting the attic window on two sides, I could trim THAT away if necessary rather then trimming any part of the boots - so that each block was the exact size and assembly would be clean and flat.



Choose your own difficulty. Click the 9-patch grid to change number of pieces. Click the circle arrow to make the puzzle pieces rotating instead of stable orientation. Also, there are tips under the "?" on the upper right of the puzzle. If you'd like a full screen version, click the button below. Have fun!



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