Classes & Events

Let’s not let COVID-19 prevent us from coming together and delighting in creativity! Since I first started making my giant gem portraits 20 years ago, I’ve explored lots of traditional quiltmaking techniques in search of the best method to capture the brilliance and fire of faceted gemstones.

I’m delighted to share these techniques in a series of live, online workshops (via Zoom) that will guide others as they seek to play with faceted light in their own work. For more information, fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear from you! Meanwhile, Enjoy the 3-minute video all about my classes & events.

Live Online Trunk Show for Guilds

Gems & Joy (60-90 minutes)

The most beautiful gemstone captures light and reflects it back to us with unique brilliance, revealing its fiery personality. These are the divas and the drama queens of the gem world. Every one of them has a story to tell…just like people. This slide lecture and trunk show chronicle my story – my 20-year adventure in learning how to create the biggest diamonds in the world in cloth.

In addition to showing the diamond quilts, I’ll talk about how I select gems that qualify as “divas and drama queens” and what they teach us about how to add sparkle to any art quilt. I’ll also talk about the techniques to create and assemble the hundreds of pieces in each diamond, materials I use to create the wash of color and light across a gem’s surface, and the quilting techniques that enhance a gem’s facets.

And, as so often happens with any artist’s decades-long journey, I’ll share what I’ve learned from my leap from the Corporate Life and into the Creative Life, starting with the startling message I received just after I made the leap, and its joyful deciphering years later.

Live Online Zoom Presentation:

Up to 99 people if using my Zoom account

Guild Pricing:

$450 (if we also book a class together, the Trunk Show is $400)

Live Online Zoom Presentation:

Max class size 20

    Guild Pricing:


Single-Session Live Online Class

Bite-size Gem Quilts (60-90 minutes)

Skill Level:

Confident Beginner to Advanced


Pattern-Making using Freezer Paper Piecing Techniques

Using the design and piecing techniques I rely on to create my diamond portraits, students will create their own singularly beautiful work of faceted light.

Over the course of a single day-long session, students will learn how to:

  • Create a freezer paper pattern based on a mock-up of a bite-size gem that I provide.
  • Understand how different types of fabrics impact the flow of light and color across their design.
  • Assemble the fabric facets to create their own 18”-square mini-quilt of faceted color.

Multi-Session Live Online Class

Treasure Hunting

Skill Level:

Confident Beginner (This class is perfect for makers who want to dive into the exciting world of art quilts by learning how to find inspiration, create a composition, and chart a pattern using a powerful technique.)


Elements of Design, Pattern-Making using Freezer Paper Piecing Techniques

Are you ready to learn more about a powerful technique that will give you the tools and confidence to bring your designs to life? My live, online Treasure Hunting class is for you. I’ll share all that I have learned in my 20+ years of making giant gem quilts so that you, too, can use these amazing freezer-paper piecing techniques to take your quiltmaking to the next level.

Regardless of whether you are new to quiltmaking or have been making quilts for decades, these techniques will give you the flexibility to transform your inspiration into remarkable works of art. My inspiration happens to be gemstones, but yours might be landscapes, flowers, animals, portraits, or abstractions. Freezer-paper piecing will help you create the quilts you’ve dreamed of, regardless of the subject matter.

Over the course of multiple sessions via Zoom (recommended 3-4 weekly sessions) I’ll show you how to…

  • Find amazing faceted abstract vistas within gemstones to make a marvelous art piece.
  • Learn how to transform your vista into a “piece-able” design.
  • Code your design in a way that provides visual clues to piecing it back together again.
  • Understand how to use different types of fabrics to convey light and color.
  • Assemble your design into a finished quilt.

Additional Info:

PDF Downloads – All the materials, instructions, and supply lists will be available via a PDF download. Consequently quiltmakers outside the US can participate just as easily as those within the US (no cross-border shipping issues to deal with).

Weekly Curriculum & Supplies – A full list of weekly activities, supplies, and between-class tasks will be provided to you upon registration and payment. You will know exactly what we’ll be covering and what you need for each class before the day of class.

Live Online Zoom Presentation:

Max class size 15

    Guild Pricing:


Holiday Jewel Box

A Gem A Week Starting 9/20/2020

Skill Level:

Let’s keep the gemstone momentum going!  I’ve created an online class during which I’ll help you sew a Birthstone block a week so you can have a sparkling quilt top completed by the holidays.

Holiday Jewel Box class launches September 20 and runs through December 12. I will email you 15 lessons over the course of 12 weeks, and at the end of the 12 weeks, you’ll have a sparkling, full-size quilt top featuring all my original Birthstone Series patterns. A perfect holiday gift!

I know many of you may have already purchased the Birthstone Series patterns but have been a bit apprehensive about starting.  Or you’ve been thinking about purchasing them but are daunted by the prospect of doing 12 whole blocks.

Guess what? Now is the perfect time to dive because we’re going to do it together. (Better give your long-arm quilter a call now and book your spot on the machine for the 2nd week of December!)

This class will give you the encouragement and confidence to know that YOU can make this quilt. (The quilt layout here was designed by Julia Graves, an amazing quilt teacher and one of my Gem Affiliates.)

You can register on my website for the class ($139 USD). Patterns and fabric kits are sold separately.  Read more below about how and where to source your patterns and fabric. All lessons and information are provided via email and will be stored on a private blog page where you will have access to it all for a full year.

Class Features:

Each week starting Sunday, September 20, I’ll send you weekly emails packed with links to instructional videos, guidance, and encouragement. I’ve provided the schedule below. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Sourcing & selecting fabric for the gems
  • Understanding the 2 codes you’ll find on each piece: one for color, and one for putting it back together in exactly the right place
  • Cutting out the facets and fabric
  • Assembly techniques and tips
  • Ways to transform your top into a finished quilt
  • Weekly insight, tips, and encouragement for every Birthstone in the series
  • Win prizes donated by our corporate sponsors, including Sulky of America, SCHMETZ Needles, C&T Publishing, Acorn Precision Piecing Products, and others.  
  • Listen in as I chat with insiders from both the quilting industry and the colored gemstone industry to find out what brings them joy.  
  • ·Share your progress by posting pictures on our special Facebook Group page, as well as on Instagram by using the hashtag #holidayjewelbox.

If you don’t already have the pattern and fabric, I’ll share more below about where you can purchase them depending where in the world you live. And for those of you who are eyeing your own stash of solids, hand-dyes, or gradients, I’ll provide guidance about how to use that gorgeous fabric you’ve been itching to use.

From The Blog