Smooth Sailing_RickyTims


Antique Quilt   

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Smooth Sailing by Ricky Tims

The antique quilt you see (above left), was given to me by my long-time friend, Susan. It was hand pieced by her grandmother. I loved how some of the sails went in different directions. I'm sure that was not intentional, but it created whimsy. When I recreated the pattern to make my own rendition of the quilt, I intentionally had various triangles of the sails going in the "the wrong" direction to mimic that whimsical feature in my quilt. I like the quirky element of ship sails gone wrong. Do you prefer this "purposeful wrong orientation" or would you make them all as they should be?


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!



Critique Group


Challenge: Long Exposure
Photo by Wendy Bennett

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Wendy says:

I set up my camera using timer mode to allow me enough time to get on my bike and start spinning. I varied my spin speeds to try to capture both my legs while showing the rotation of the pedals as a blur. I use my road bike on a trainer indoors in the winter. I had fun with sliders in LR and erased a lightswitch and outlet using PS.

52 Week Challenge Class


Challenge: Line
Photo by Allen Etheridge

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Allen says:

Winter weighed in this week. On Tuesday we had a clear day with many contrails which was what I wanted. Several cloudy days followed and finally another clear day with NO CONTRAILS. I decided to shoot a white car under a blue sky. This is the hood of my wife's Camry.


Smart Phone Class

Challenge: Morning Mood
Photo by Michelle Pearson

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Michelle says:

Peaceful early morning cuppa. It’s the gift I give myself every


Ricky's challenge photos:

Challenge: Long Exposure
Critique Group

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Ricky says:

I truly failed at this challenge. I tried several options including night sky. I futzed and edited my top three choices and didn't really like any of them. I disilke seeing the gate in this shot - (tunnel vision, not paying attention). I painted Cordelia with a flashlight and painted the walls with the light to create the streaks. In the end, I chose this,'s 30 seconds - yes! Shot in the dark with one red light bulb and a flashlight. Cordelia was very amused at what I was doing and essentially didn't budge for the entire exposure - that was my ultimate deciding factor.



Challenge: Morning Mood
Smart Phone Challenge

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Ricky says:

Recently I’ve been watching the light appear from outside the bedroom window. I am letting myself stay under the warm covers, snuggled with the pups and just watch the world wake up too. I love watching the color change as the minutes pass. This was edited in BeCasso app. It’s one of the oil painting filters. Then I use the regular phone adjustments to bring it to life.

 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.

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