Nurturing curiosity

Katie Way gets curious about cut-and-replace on

This work-in-progress shot from Alaska’s Katie Way makes my heart sing.

Spot-on colors, straightforward technique. Cut and replace meets updated quilt pattern meets polymer.

It’s an updated of several old ways of working.

That’s what we’ll be talking about on StudioMojo this Saturday. As we become more expert at what we do, we tend to lose our curiosity. We start coloring within the lines of what we know.

The Bonnie Bishoff class I hosted last weekend put a bunch of us back in touch with something new and made us feel full of possibility again. Come on over and learn how to stay curious.

Muse in polymer

Angela Barenholtz recreates Matisse portrait in polymer veneers on

Israel’s Angela Barenholtz recreates Matisse’s Green Stripe painting in polymer using an assortment of veneers. Angela’s version measures  6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.

You can find her methods for creating these marvelous scrap quilt veneers in her Etsy shop.

The simple geometric structure of the portrait of Matisse’s wife translates perfectly into our medium. It’s a good day to feature a portrait of a woman.

If you need a break from the news and political hubbub, come on over to StudioMojo for a deep dive into the polymer world where everything is colorful and full of creative promise. It’s your Saturday morning dose of enthusiasm and sanity. 

What’s your color story?

Lindly Haunani debuts a new class and techniques on

Maryland’s Lindly Haunani debuted her new class Telling Your Color Story: Harmonious Color Schemes at Creative Journey Studio’s new facility in Georgia over the weekend.

Students’ undulating patterns wave you gently into the week. Lindly taught techniques for a series of veneers that serve as fabric for polymer Half Square quilts.

This design is new and mouthwatering. You can see more class work on Lindly’s Facebook and on Creative Journey’s site

Pieced polymer

Pieced polymer quilt from Kathy Koontz on

South Carolina’s Kathy Koontz (flowertown_originals) found that polymer was a great way to translate her affinity for embroidery into another art form.

It’s very soothing to zoom in and examine the complex canes and textures that she assembles into quilt squares. The outline of extruded blue thread makes a perfect border and contains the designs.

“I love it when people say, “Just looking at your work makes me happy,” Kathy admits. “I couldn’t think of a better compliment.” She’s on Instagram here. And the biggest stash of her current work is on Facebook.

Tumbling blocks of polymer


Three shades of each color make up this faux dimensional cuff from Petra Nemravova of the Czech Republic. Such happy colors! Petra shows her step-by-step color-mixing and assembly process free on her website.

Of course you’ll want to spend some time in her tutorials and tools departments! There are a couple tutorials in her Etsy shop too.

Converging polymer

“For this pendant I used a convergence pattern inspired by a quilting template,” says Switzerland’s Sandra Trachsel. The colors buzz against each other as the stripes alternately grow thinner and fatter.

What draws you further in  are the chunky areas of color outside the center square. There’s much to deconstruct and reassemble as you study how the pattern works. Sandra must have been a quilter in another life.

Pieced polymer 2

I was on Gera Scott Chandler’s wavelength last week as I prepared a big sheet of polymer for inlay into a walnut bowl turned by my husband. Gera imagines stained glass while I gravitate to quilts and textiles. We took two very different paths and both ended up with an efficient way to cover a lot of ground.

I prepared enough polymer to have inlay for two bowls from one sheet. My starting point is a patchwork of solid polymer colors at random angles. These backgrounds are loaded up with small cane slices, faux stitching, and pieces of hex glitter.

The strips of pattern cut from the sheet are layed into the bowl, textured and fired with a heat gun.

Learn to quilt with polymer

These new polymer quilt canes from Minnesota’s Jennifer Patterson are built from extrusions (with more on Facebook here). It’s fun to look closely and see how she assembles the shapes using marbilized clay that simulates fabric. The squares are further textured and shaped into beads and brooches.

The one on the far left above is a custom design commissioned by the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild. The piece at the right is a famous Underground Railroad sampler design.

Click here to see how she stacks the long extruded strands of polymer. She sells extruder disks made specifically for quilt patterns. There’s a free Ohio Star Quilt tutorial on her site if you’d like to give it a try.

Studying shapes

There’s something endlessly fascinating about triangles and the way they fit together in so many ways. The triangle-obsessed artwork from Greece’s Eva (NoMilkToday) explores the shape’s variations in polymer. There are more on her Flickr pages and her blog.

As a child Eva remembers shopping for beads in the Athens markets with her mother and collecting shells and trinkets with her best friend to sell in their own kids shop. She tells us that, “Polymer is my favourite material to work with even now because it reminds me of my childhood and gives me new ways to express my ideas in the most playful way!”

Genevieve Williamson sent in the link saying that Eva, “…is quite hip and it’s interesting to go back to her first sales and trace how her style is emerging. I like the lined textured on some of the newest pieces.”

You’ll see echoes of origami and quilts in Eva’s artwork. Of course I see extrusion ideas as I countdown to my Wednesday night Craftcast class. Join us!

Learning about color…and patience


Since I’ll be getting to the hotel too late to find some polymer bauble in Judy Belcher’s luggage to show you, enjoy this soothing, sensuous polymer clay two-inch-square tile that Kim Cavender made for a Synergy2 collaborative project.

No one but Laurie Mika knows what the entire project looks like but she says it’s fabulous and you can see her clay quilt in Baltimore.

My flight to Minneapolis has turned into one of those tarmac-sitting experiences which allowed me to watch all the videos I’d brought along. Take a look at this one on color and have a very colorful weekend. I hope I get to the conference sometime today.