How to Get Unstuck (when you don’t know how to quilt something)

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Hi Everyone!

We’ve all been there. You finish a quilt top, and layer it up and then you gulp.  How should I quilt this?

This week I went to visit my friend Cathy Hedberg, to see if I could help her get unstuck. You see, she is making a wall hanging for her son as a wedding present. I know- no pressure!

She got off to a great start. She used colors the bride and groom would like, but really paid attention to value contrast for depth.

And she started off putting in some straight lines and deciding which areas to puff out, and which areas to flatten with quilting.  So that is a great first step!

She wondered if the little dark diamonds should have been quilted with lighter thread so the quilting would show.  The thread she used was very dark and so the quilting lines blended right in. Well, I said, do you want those dark diamonds to stay dark or get lightened up with lighter thread?  We both agreed that they needed to stay dark to create the value contrast she needed to make the design pop. So the dark thread stayed. The quilting doesn’t always need to show- sometimes it needs to blend in to support the overall design.  So next decide where you want your threads to blend, and where they should show off more either by a contrasting color, thicker lines, or shinier threads.

Next we both agreed that the neutral colors and matt textures could use a little pop of shine. Enter Glitter thread by Superior threads. Cathy has already worked with this thread, so it poses no threat to her!  Here we are laying the thread down on top of the fabric to audition it.  We decided to glitz up the white areas, including the little white points in the middle to increase the drama.  She decided to keep the straight echo lines and continue them in Glitter thread.

I counseled her to complete those areas first and then put it back on the wall to evaluate her next move.  It’s always a good idea to pause and look at your work often. Don’t try to figure the whole thing out in advance. One choice will often inform the next choice and so on. She will possibly add a  few silver Glitter lines to the grey points, but not if it’s too much shine overall.  Here are some of the Glitter lines added in:

Finally we discussed what to do with the borders. Since the fabric is busy, I suggested keeping it simple with a matching grey or black thread, maybe outlining a few leaves and meandering between areas. After all, we don’t want to call too much attention away from the center by doing too much with the border. (A good rule of thumb anyway).

Now she has a plan!  Such a beautifully precise piece doesn’t need a ton of fancy feathers or crazy colors added to it. I think her son and daughter-in-law are lucky to get such a lovely piece!  And I was happy to add my 2 cents…


Have you seen this???

Click on the orange link for more info:

Private Design Intensive for Art Quilters

This is my new Private Intensive for Art Quilters- a 7 week adventure to learn how you can make great art quilts. Whatever your plans for Fall, I hope you include some studio time for yourself.  Make art, make it often, and enjoy it!  And if you want some help, click on the link to get some support!

And if you still have questions, doubts, fears…. please feel free to email me at

Love to all, peace out!



Coming up soon….


If you want to take a class with me- CALL ME at 919-602-2260.   I can teach for a small group of your friends, like I did a while back for my friend Joyce Marks and her quilting buddies.  We had a blast and I tailored the classes to her group’s interests.

And you can always take an online class with me- see below!


For all you online class junkies, I am offering a new class online.


Have you ever wanted to learn how to paint details for depth and realism on your quilts?


If the answer is yes, read on.  My popular Painted & Fused Morning Glory class is going to be offered online  to the general public for the first time.  I have taught this class many times and each time I’m awed at the fabulous results everyone gets, with each flower being slightly different.

This class is open for registration  now and starts January 1 and is only $39.00!

And you can do it at your own pace in your own house, in your jammies, without running around.  All lessons will be available to you at the same time, in case you get inspired and want to work fast.

Here is the linky thingy to register:

I hope you will enjoy this fun class, it will remind you of Spring in the middle of Winter!

And, you will learn all the techniques I used to paint my latest landscape art quilt….

Would you like to work with me one on one? Maybe you would like to make original work, show it and perhaps sell it?

This has actually happened for my client Susan!

 Susan has just let me know, she sold this quilt! Congratulations, Susan!

One of my private clients, Susan, has had her quilt, “Nature Takes Back Her Own”,  that was accepted into the prestigious Houston IQA World of Beauty Show.

NatureTakesBackHerOwn 72

As part of our work together, I coached her on the making of this quilt.  She was able to realize her vision to design, make and get her art quilt into one of the best shows in the world!  How about you, are you ready???


Look into my 6 month Private Coaching Masterclass!

 I have extended my private coaching program, from 3 months to 6 months.  I believe the transformation my students are looking for must take place over a longer period of time to have a lasting impact.

I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 17+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top.



Here’s what one guild VP had to say recently:

I’m usually Johnny on the Spot but missed the boat last week re these BIG THANKS.  Loved your presentation. Heard very positive and supportive remarks from the guests…thank you again for the well-defined and creative presentation.  Look forward to seeing you again. 


Here’s a link to my contract with current lecture and class rates:  Contract


Don’t forget to get yours:  Quilting Arts TV has the new 1500 Series available for download-  YES this is the one I am in (squee!!) Click HERE to get yours.


Susan and I on set

My Pinterest: You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.

About RoxaneRoxane-Web-Images-007

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist, teacher, and author, with two girls, who are both growing up too fast!  She recently appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has taught at the Houston quilt show.  She is also a BERNINA ambassador. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to

Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)


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