Thursday, April 20, 2017


A highlight of our Unbroken Thread Quilt Show is the great speakers we present from 1:00 to 2:00 each afternoon, Tuesday through Sunday, April 25-30.  Here's a little bit of information about them:

Maren Beck      Hill Tribe Art, Hmong Appliqué and Traditions

For the opening day of the show, we have invited Maren Beck to speak on Hill Tribe Art, Hmong Appliqué and Traditions.  Maren is passionate about traditional textiles and the (mostly) women who weave, dye and design beautiful and often functional fabric art.  For the past decade, her focus has been to share traditional weavings and culture of Laotian and Vietnamese hill tribes.  The fibers used are hemp, cotton or silk--the dyes are natural, the patterns ancient from the tribal groups and from memory, the looms often made by craftsmen in the villages.  The results are stunning and more rare every day as modernity intrudes.

The artists come from diverse ethnicities--Hmong, Dzao, Akha, Lao Loum--but share a passion, talent and reputation for quality textiles using radiation materials.  Appliqué is a tradition in some of the cultures, as is cotton embroidery and silver ornamentation on clothing.

Maren will share examples of both cotton and silk pieces and appliquéd clothing.  Her business is Above the Fray, based in Eugene.

Kennette Blotzer      Trends in Quilting, Gadgets, Books, etc.

Kennette is the owner of Something to Crow About quilt shop at 42nd and Main Streets in Springfield.  Kennette's passion for quilting has had a profound effect on the quilting community in our area.  In addition to running a delightful full-service quilt shop, she was the force behind the founding of Emerald Valley Quilters, and its first president.  Kennette will tell us about trends in quilting, gadgets, books and more.

Viki West      Tips

Although Viki learned to sew from her mother and grandmother, she didn't become a quilter until a couple of decades ago.  After visiting a meeting of our local quilt guild, Emerald Valley Quilters, she not only learned to quilt, but became very active in the guild, holding several positions, including president.  Over the years, Viki has taken many workshops and classes, and said that if she has learned just one new thing, she feels the workshop was worth taking.  And when sewing with friends, she frequently picks up new tips, or learns a new block or technique.

At her presentation, Viki will share a variety of tips that she hopes will make your quilting a little easier, or make you look at everyday objects in a different way.  Even seasoned quilters may take away some new ideas.

Rachel Greco      Women and Quilting in The Great War      

Rachel Greco, the owner of Grandma's Attic Sewing Emporium in Dallas, Oregon will speak Friday about women and quilting during the Great War.  Rachel has spent nearly a lifetime working with and learning about the role of textiles in women's lives throughout history.  A self-taught quilt historian and an avid reader, Grandma Rachel is frequently asked to give lectures about quilts, quilt blocks and the role of women and their connection to fabric.  When not hard at work at Grandma's Attic, either on the sales floor or within the online store, Rachel spends much of her time researching the history of women, quilts and fabrics.

Ken Casey      Color Rules are Meant to be Broken

Ken Casey is a recent arrival to Eugene, but a long-time quilter.  He grew up making articles of clothing for himself and others, and worked in the fabric department of a Phoenix area department store in his youth.  Originally a stained-glass artist who complained about having to create in a hot garage in the Phoenix heat, Ken was encouraged by his sister to give quiltmaking a try.  He's never looked back.  

In his quilting journey, he has spent  a few summers at Quilt Camp in the Pines and Flagstaff, has taken classes from many internationally known teachers and further developed his skills, and has had quilts hung in shows across the country.  He is a certified instructor for AnglePlay Templates.  He currently works and teaches at Piece by Piece in Eugene.

Ken most likes to work with the design process, often creating his own patterns from images in nature or landscape.  A favorite challenge is to take a photograph, then create a quilt with the same colors and ratios of color.

Ken's topic on Saturday is Color Rules are Meant to be Broken and he will treat us to a trunk show. Ken also has one of his quilts, Men Quilters: Miscreants of the Quilt Shopentered in our show.

B.J. Titus      Machine Appliqué Method

For the quilt show finale, B.J. Titus will share her method for machine appliqué.  B.J. creates art quilts, often using an appliqué method of layering fabrics.  She also uses brilliant colors and extensive use of thread and bead embellishment.  Many of her quilt designs are inspired by nature and memories of her childhood summers in Florida.  She designs with a focal point that draws the viewer in for a closer view.

B.J. encourages quilters to reach beyond traditional norms and have fun with the design process . . . and most of all, to enjoy the process!

Want a sneak peek?  Photos of B.J.'s quilts can be found at  You can email her about purchasing her patterns at

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