Author Archives: Diane

Spring Things

Spring!! I do believe it’s finally here. I don’t know about you, but we’ve certainly had a rocky start to spring here in Maryland. First unseasonably warm weather, then a period of freezing temperatures and snow that wreaked havoc on many plants that were blooming a little too early. Things are more normal now, and I’m happy to report that our biggest cherry tree seems to be blooming unscathed.

This season of rebirth and warmer temperatures is a cause for celebration. Here are just a few examples of quilts we’ve featured over the years that have been inspired by spring.

Kate Themel truly captured the essence of a gorgeous Tulip Magnolia in her lovely Fresh Magnolias.

 Fresh Magnolias ©Kate Themel Machine Quilting Unlimited July August 2013
Fresh Magnolias ©Kate Themel shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited July/August 2013
 Fresh Magnolias ©Kate Themel Machine Quilting Unlimited July August 2013
Detail Fresh Magnolias ©Kate Themel shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited July/August 2013

Here’s another magnolia quilt, aptly named Magnolia. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of my all time favorite quilts. It was made by Sylvia Gegaregian of Portola Valley, California.

Magnolia ©Sylvia Gegaregian Machine Quilting Unlimited January Feb 2014
Magnolia ©Sylvia Gegaregian shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited January/February 2014
Detail Magnolia ©Sylvia Gegaregian Machine Quilting Unlimited January Feb 2014
Detail Magnolia ©Sylvia Gegaregian Machine Quilting Unlimited January/February 2014

And how about Margaret Solomon Gunn’s masterful Springtime in the Geisha’s Garden? I love the variety of pink blossoms and, of course, the incredible quilting.

Springtime in the Geisha's Garden ©Margaret Solomon Gunn shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited July/August 2014
Springtime in the Geisha’s Garden ©Margaret Solomon Gunn shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited July/August 2014

This small piece by Neroli Henderson, Cherry Blossom, has such a wonderful sense of movement and great composition.

Cherry Blossom ©Neroli Henderson shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited November/December 2016
Cherry Blossom ©Neroli Henderson shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited November/December 2016

Finally, here’s one of my quilts, inspired by the cherry tree I mentioned in the beginning of the post. I love to stand beneath the branches and admire the back lit blossoms.

Blossoming ©Diane Rusin Doran shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited September/October 2016
Blossoming ©Diane Rusin Doran shown in Machine Quilting Unlimited September/October 2016

Wishing you a season full of inspiration!

Ready to start using rulers?

Last May I mentioned the wonderful three part series that Patsy Thompson was writing about ruler work on a domestic machine for MQU. Since then I’ve taken the plunge and am loving working with rulers on my own machine. It’s really fun! I am in no way as expert as Patsy is, but, as a relative… Continue Reading

Happy National Quilting Day!

Today is National Quilting Day, and it’s not too late to celebrate! I haven’t managed to actually quilt yet today, but have spent a bit of time reading and reviewing books for our May/June 2017 issue. (Spoiler alert: there’s quite a crop of good quilting books out there just now.) I’m hoping to get a… Continue Reading

Batting Basics

Batting is often an afterthought, especially for newer quilters. But since batting can dramatically change the look and feel of your work it’s really quite important. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the right batting for your project. How will you use the finished quilt? Will it hang on the wall, be… Continue Reading

Fusible Appliqué

Appliqué is such an incredibly versatile technique. Quilters of all levels can successfully incorporate it into their work whether they prefer traditional, modern, art, or innovative styles. We’ve frequently featured artists who use fusible appliqué since it’s fast, easy, and precise. In our January/February 2017 issue Jane Zillmer shared some great information on how she uses raw… Continue Reading

It’s Electric!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with hand cutting appliqué shapes or stencils for quilting. Hand cutting designs with scissors (or an Exacto knife) has its benefits, but sometimes you might want more speed or accuracy, especially when cutting multiples of the same shape. Electronic cutters to the rescue!… Continue Reading

Walking Foot Quilting

A walking foot has long been a staple of many quilters’ toolboxes. The beauty of a walking foot is that it helps to feed the fabric evenly through a domestic sewing machine by working in concert with the feed dogs. This makes them extremely useful for accomplishing long rows of stitches to stabilize your quilt sandwich when you… Continue Reading

Piece Out

Stressed out? I sure am! Last week was a real doozy so I grabbed some fat quarters, sliced them up, then started piecing. It’s one of the things that relaxes me the most and yet I haven’t done it in a long while. With no real plan in mind, I just tried to pair a slightly… Continue Reading

Detail Oriented

Our March/April 2017 cover artist, Bethanne Nemesh, is well know for her attention to detail and expert workmanship. Combine that with her beautiful design sense and you end up with a winning combination! In fact, her cover quilt, Into the Westward Sun, has only been exhibited in the last few months and  has already won… Continue Reading

Stitching Ground Foliage

Kit Robinson continues her popular series on landscape quilts in our March/April 2017 issue. It features a variety of lovely quilts including REGENERATION – Halls Gap (Australia) by Linden Lancaster, shown below. Kit found herself in the enviable position of having more quilts to share than would fit in the article, so she wrote a… Continue Reading