Gudrun Erla, Christa Watson, and Jessica Alexandrakis chat with host Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork & Quilting podcast.

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Guest: Gudrun Erla of GE Designs

Topics: fabric selection

She says: "They have all these fun strip packets available in stores...they're just so pretty. But once you start pulling through it and you're putting together your selection for a quilt, sometimes it's just way more interesting to pull other things into it, because sometimes things get a little flat or you need more variety. So I will always, even if I start with a jelly roll, I always pull out my drawers and start picking and throwing things around just to make things more interesting. We want to have a variety of textures, and we want to have a variety of scale of your textures, and we want a little bit of variety in the tones of whatever colors you are working with because that just makes your quilt much more interesting."

Visit gequiltdesigns.com.

Guest: Christa Watson of Christa Quilts

Topics: machine quilting tips

She says: "By drawing out on paper, what that does is that allows you to make that connection so you can figure out how to trace it. It's one thing to think, 'Oh, I'm going to do a circle or a loop or spirals or pebbles.' But it's another thing to figure out, 'Well, wait. How do I draw that? Do I do clockwise? Do I do counter-clockwise? Do I make them oval, round?' So by drawing on paper first you work those things out without having invested in anything that's going to go to waste."

Visit christaquilts.com.

Guest: Jessica Alexandrakis of Life Under Quilts

Topics: teaching quilting

She says: "I like to start by showing them pictures in books or if we have an opportunity to be at a show and actually see quilts, I try to figure out what they are interested in. Do they like squares? Are they more of a strip/string kind of person? Or is curves something that speaks to them? Then find a shape that you really like, then try to figure out how to start out from that angle. When I started working with my quilting mentor in Japan, she did the same thing. She let me look over the samplers, go through her fabrics and quilting magazines, and I started hand-piecing Drunkard's Path blocks. It is not really a beginner's block at all, but I fell in love with it."

Visit lifeunderquilts.blogspot.com.

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