Celebrating Christmas the English Way

Christmas Dinner

This is Jane. In the UK Christmas is not over in a day. We start celebrating on Christmas Eve all the way through to the New Year. We have lived in California for 20 years now but still like to keep our English traditions especially around the Christmas holidays. Christmas dinner is eaten around 1-2pm, so you are done by 3pm ready for The Queen’s Speech and then a chance to nap while Wizard of Oz plays in the background. Dinner includes turkey, Paxo stuffing, bread sauce and not forgetting the crackers on the table. December 26th or Boxing Day is another public holiday and is the day to celebrate Christmas with friends or relatives. Its the time to serve leftovers; cold turkey and ham, take a walk, open more presents and chill out watching Christmas specials on the telly.

Boxing Day walk

With friends we took our Boxing Day walk, just a stroll down the local canal, before our early afternoon dinner, then games and a little celebratory glass of sherry.

Family time

Family photo time. When our kids and friends kids grow older together its fun for them and us to see them change. And of course as parents we never grow older or change!!

Perfect location Juki 2010Q

Its been 5 days now and I haven’t powered up my Juki 2010Q, “Julie”. I am actually itching to get back to finishing some projects but am giving myself a break. Recently we have had some wonderful sunsets and the location of my sewing machine in my new studio/workspace is perfect. No longer am I tucked away in the bedroom in the back of the house but at the front in the “formal lounge”


I continue to teach my monthly Kids Sewing Class at Howells in Auburn. I have some very charming and enthusiastic girls that embrace all of the projects that I give them. November we made pajama pants and December Christmas stockings. I love the way they bring their own personalities into their projects.

Fabulous Fish Fabric Collage Jane Haworth

I have been working on planning and making samples for a couple of new classes I will teach in 2019. This one Fabulous Fish is a wall hanging version of Rainbow Fish, the king size raffle quilt I made in 2017 with the Foothill Quilt Guild. As a Pisces I feel these fish are something I fall back on and have been doodling and painting for 30+ years so its only natural I plan a workshop around them.

2018 was my busiest year so far for teaching and presenting at Quilt Guilds. I also taught my Love of Pets workshop at In-between Stitches in Livermore and am scheduled to teach it again in 2019. Look up my calendar to check up on dates for upcoming classes. These photos are from Livermore, students at work and students work! I’d also like to thank the following guilds for hosting me this year: Folsom Quilt and Fibre Guild, Country Crossroads Quilters of Modesto, Marin Needle Arts Guild, River City Quilt Guild, Foothill Quilt Guild, Santa Clara Valley Quilt, Diablo Valley Quilt Guild, Oroville Piecemakers Guild and In-between Stitches Livermore.


My next engagement is one I am very excited about and that is to be on the faculty for Craft Napa 2019. I have attended this fun, creative retreat over the past 3 years taking classes from some incredible teachers. I am teaching Pet Portraits Fabric Collage and Succulent Love, draw, paint and collage succulents. These little dog collages are fabric postcards that will be auctioned off as a Stay Pawsitive fundraiser for Wags and Whiskers in Chico, CA

A couple of the highlights from 2018 was filming tv segments for the Quilting Arts TV show that will be coming out sometime in 2019 and meeting Susan Brubaker Knapp, the staff of Quilting Arts TV and the other quilt artists that recorded for that series. Then in November being part of the faculty at the International Quilt Festival and teaching 4 classes was tiring but wonderful.

Quilters L. Tahoe 2018 _6

And of course not forgetting my first experience of  joining Artistic Alchemy. Teaching and generally having a great time with staff and students at the 5th annual retreat at Zephyr Point was another highlight. With the New Year right around the corner I am putting plans together for my workshop for 2019 and encourage anyone interested to watch out as as we will be announcing workshops and sign-ups early in February.

Finally I like to make a summary of the work I have created over the year and some of my other achievements. I made 21 T-shirt quilts and 4 necktie quilts for my Etsy shop customers, 19 art quilts, won Best of Show with Bullseye x Nine at the Foothill Quilt Guild show, exhibited Melman, the Vulnerable Giraffe quilt at Sisters, Oregon and sold it, and also exhibited quilts juried into Road to California, PIQF and IQF Houston.

Thanks to all the students who have attended my classes and I plan to very soon start a newsletter for my website janehaworth.com.

Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, Heidi Emmett and I want thank all you supporters of Artistic Alchemy and wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2019. May it bring peace and creativity to you all.


There’s A Whole Lot of Piecing Going On

My fall sewing retreat took place in October. The autumn group is called The Hauties. The spring group is called Sew Sistas. Many of us attend both. It always amazes me how many new ideas spring up from twenty women who have taken classes or tried something new in the previous six months. We come together to share these marvelous fiber adventures, new patterns, purchased treasures and unconventional ideas in this safe environment with others of like mind.

This year seemed to be the year for piecing fabric together. Some random. Some planned. All embellished! Most of it made and layered with raw edges and meandering stitches. A delightfully freeing exercise for using up those precious scraps and seeing them come to life in a new way. Hang on for the barrage of pictures….50 of them!

I’m going to begin with Helen because, well, Helen is awesome! A diminutive dynamo of creative energy. She can and will use everything and anything to express herself. She can take a man’s suit vest and give it nine lives. We love her.

A bounty of buttons and a boa on her blouse.

Do you have some old gloves you’ve inherited? Want to give yourself one continuous hug?

Now let’s head on over to the hardware store for some cables and flexible tubing.

And now one last piece from Helen. It’s still in the “pinned” stage in these pictures. What a great way to use up those precious pieces of ribbons and trim.

Sharon always brings good examples of her workshop projects. This simple pullover vest is a creative way to contain disparate pieces from your stash. Here is the front.

Here is the back.

And here are some close ups. It made me wonder how many sample and practice pieces of screen printing do we have tucked away? A logo from a beloved t-shirt? Or what if you screen printed over a t-shirt logo?

And there’s cardiac stitching everywhere to hold it all in place.

Heidi’s Terrific Tabard would be the ideal pattern for this surface design. Here’s another super creative vest featured in an older Threads magazine. It’s a Vogue pattern, 8430, without the sleeves. It’s been raw edged pieced and it’s reversible.

Gayle is our cashmere queen. She eco dyes recycled cashmere sweaters, cuts them up and pieces them back together with hand stitching. They are gorgeous to look at and even better to touch. Here she displays a large throw. Can you imagine cuddling up under that?!?

This darling little vest is from Diane Ericson’s Faultline pattern.

Don’t you love that running stitch throughout the whole piece? The little squares of cashmere are sewn onto a backing of netting. It was so soft and drapey.Gayle’s next top is a dream for any of us who like black and white and red. There were so many clever little places to look on this piece, I had to share them all.Front


Tiny running stitches!Cardiac stitching!Striped piping!All three! Be still my heart!

Here’s Sarah making easy work of embellishing. Buy printed fabric and just take a black marker to it with random abandon. Why didn’t I think of this?

Daniella modeling her kantha jacket.

A true artist, Daniella brought some silk she had “embellished” at home by BURNING it! Yup, those are burned holes. Cool, eh? Can’t wait to see what she makes with it and what she chooses for lining.

Gwen quietly sits and hand stitches many of her projects. They are absolutely gorgeous and thoughtful. She chose to work on a tea cozy pieced together with random fabrics, mostly decorator pieces. Then she began embroidery embellishments to tie them together. 

Some more of her work with leaves.

Using duct tape and plastic, Gwen created this rain coat and shared it with us. I know this is a Marcy Tilton pattern. I’m guessing Vogue 9287. If someone knows differently please let me know.

She also brought another rain coat made from a taffeta type polka dot. Embellished with simple tulle donuts, I must put this on my list of things to try.

Jenny attended a wool bead jewelry class in Mendocino. They made the beads themselves, beaded the balls, threaded them and built the necklaces. These are just so cute and colorful.

Vicky looked so put together with her purchased necklace and her repurposed men’s shirt top. Excellent creative vision.

 If you want to try this piecing idea on a small scale, this journal cover is perfect. Cute and clever.

Wynne, Helen’s daughter, spent her time embellishing onesies. We affectionately called them Wynnesies as she gave each one a new and different personality.Another small but effective detail that I want to try are these tiny tiny strips sewn on in a series of stripes. 

And this fabric necklace reminded me of Heidi’s necklaces. Cute! These could be made with scrapbooking paper too.

And finally, a nod to the freebie table. No one had any idea what this was but I thought it was amazing. I felt I had won the jackpot. Just look at all those treasures on it! Who knows what could be done with those! Dice, mah jhang tiles, scrabble letters and pieces of yard sticks. 

Outside of sewing machines and sergers, these tools get plenty of use.

Keep creating!

Autumn has Begun…

This is Jane Haworth and although it is now Autumn or Fall, the weather is just beginning to cooperate and it feels like its been some time since I was enjoying late summer at the retreat at Zephyr Point. It was my first year to visit and to be one of the teachers at this wonderful place. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t ever attended. The surroundings are beautiful, the weather perfect, the food wonderful as you don’t have to think about it, and being surrounded by all those creatives is very inspiring. I loved it and will be back next year, September 2-6 2019 with my fellow teachers; Heidi Emmett, Sandra Bruce and Mary Boalt.


These are some of the projects my students worked on whilst attending my Fabric Collage Addiction workshop. I love the variety of images they chose to work on and didn’t they do a great job.

My busy autumn began shortly after the retreat as I was heading to Ohio to tape my three segments for QATV, then off to visit family in England, I was teaching in Auburn and visited the PIQF quilt show in Santa Clara. I have now been preparing for my upcoming classes at IQF in Houston in just a few days time.  Not to mention keeping up with my Christmas orders for T-shirt and memory quilts for my Etsy shop. It is so hard to say no to customers who want a quilt made for a Christmas gift!

Quilting Arts TV recording series 2300

Susan Brusker Knapp host of QATV, Zeke and I

My time spent in Ohio was an amazing experience and taping went pretty smoothly and I’m happy to report I didn’t feel that nervous. I traveled out from Sacramento with Kris Sazaki and Deb Cashatt, the Pixeladies, what a laugh we had! From the variety of Uber drivers we met, the ribbing I got for scoring an upgrade on our flight and then exploring  and eating in Little Italy, Cleveland.

QATV series 2300

Before the taping at Quilting Arts TV

As I said I recorded three segments. This one is for my upcycled tote bags I make using left over food wrappers/bags and denim from old jeans for handles. Its funny I took 2 dresses I made over 10 years ago from plastic carrier bags that fitted the theme perfectly and so we put them on these 2 manikins as props for the background.


I also got to work with Jeanine the Bernina rep who was lovely and helped me familiarize myself with the Bernini sewing machine. I don’t use one at home and here I used it in all three of my projects. I think this next series 2300 is out in the new year. QATV can be watched on PBS2 or if not you’ll have to buy or borrow the DVD set.


I did get back to England for a week and was lucky to take my eldest daughter, Lucy who was between jobs! We traveled to Tiverton, Devon which is in the Westcountry, almost Poldark country, to stay with my family. It was also a girls weekend as I booked an Airbnb on a small deer farm, just a few miles from my mums house, where my daughter, sister-in-law, best friend and my niece all stayed together. We couldn’t avoid the rain so in this photo we are standing outside Exeter Cathedral on our shopping trip. Heres a few more shots of Devon and London.


I also got to do a presentation and teach my workshop, Love of Pets, to my own local guild, Foothill Quilters Guild here in Auburn. The first lecture I ever did was in 2014 and that was to the aforementioned guild and I must say this time I was far less nervous. It was a lot of fun sharing the progress of my work with friends. And here are some of the portraits they made in class.

Love of Pets workshop Jane Haworth

A sampler of some of the “works in progress” from Foothill Quilt Guild

This next photo is a quilt I recently made and is to be a special gift to someone.

Love of Pets Jane Haworth

A special Golden Labrador

In preparation for Houston my bags are not packed but my quilts are! I’m still working on some samples to take that I can demo on and then a bit more prep for my ‘Meet the Teachers’ presentation and Demo and then I will say I’m ready. I am very excited to meet all the new quilters and teachers but I know my schedule is going to be grueling especially with class start times of 8am ET!


Finally I still having openings in my Succulent class at Craft Napa in January 2019 so click on the link to read more details. This is a retreat I have attended for the last three years and again highly recommend. If you are interested in seeing where I am teaching before next years retreat look at my website and even read my blog to see what I’ve been up to.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy our wonderful Autumnal weather.


The four of us, Sandra, Heidi, Jane and myself all belong to extra groups outside of Artistic Alchemy. These groups continue to teach us new techniques and keep our creative juices flowing. My local wearable art group, Sierra Wearable Art Group is once again joining with the wearable art group in Lincoln to hold another pop-up sale. The spring event was a huge success and we are grateful to everyone who came to visit and shop with us.

If you live in the area, my apologies to those of you who do not, we would love to see you this Saturday at the Lincoln public library. There will be 15-20 artists selling their treasures, both for personal use and for gifts. Hope to see you there.


Year 5 at Zephyr with Material Matrix

by Sandra Bruce

Our retreat this September was our 5th, in which we welcomed Jane Haworth into our group. Every year seems to get better than the last, and for me this year was no exception. I have never had a more hard-working group of students. I’ll show you in this post some of their work and you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s a shot of the beautiful “Inspiration Point”, set up before anyone arrived. A gorgeous classroom….….but much better filled with enthusiastic ladies! We shared this room with the Open Studio ladies who were delightful.

Returning for another Matrix experience was Canadian Rejeanne, who brought her Matrix quilt top from her time with me at Zephyr 2 years ago, of her photographer husband Gene. She shared it at Show and Tell, and brought it for me to take to my longarm studio to quilt….a pleasure, I can assure you! Photo to come!

Rejeanne sat in class next to France, also a Canadian, and a friendship began. France worked on an image of her beloved dog, while Rejeanne worked on an image of her grandson.

Ellen, who had taken my Matrix workshop at her guild, brought her “Wake Up Cup” to show, completed.

At Zephyr they have added a coffee bar. A latte in the early morning with a lake view could not be beat.

Here’s a great overhead shot.

Trish Morris-Plise was our helper extraordinaire this year. She was a big help and found a few spare moments to work on her Hawaiian quilt project.

As mentioned, there was an incredible amount of work and concentration in the classroom which was so gratifying to witness. Below, Hazel, Marion and Ellen, intently working.

Some magical moments included finding the perfect fabric among scraps…yay Rejeanne !!

So much was accomplished! Below Beth, and Pam.

Sophia, with her piece so far, of her grandson. A terrific start!

Sue brought a beautiful photo of a landscape that meant a lot to her. It’s a great way to memorialize a favorite photo. I’ve seen Sue since the retreat and she tells me it’s coming along nicely!

Ann worked on a photo of an egret in a very ballet-like position, and was pleased with her progress.

The lake is always calming, and it’s such a pleasure to have this view all week.

We always do a group shot before departing, thanks to Gene for the photo!

Thanks to Heidi, Mary, and Jane, for being the best group-mates. We mesh in a wonderful way, and it’s an honor to spend a week with these talented ladies at Zephyr.

Before I stop, I’ll mention that I have been working on other projects since Zephyr, but will be starting a new Matrix quilt in the next few days. My subject? Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

There’s plenty of time before we start thinking about next year, but I hope you will consider taking my Matrix workshop if you have not taken it before. I already have a few interested people. As we roll into Fall, stay well and happy creating!

Time to Breathe


Heidi, Mary, Sandra and Jane want to say a huge “Thank You” to all the students who attended our 5th annual retreat at Zephyr Point. We all had an amazing, creative and inspiring time and we will be back with our usual blog posts come October. Now we are taking a well deserved break.

Looks like all our attendees had wonderful fun time too!


Sign up or keep looking up the blog for details of when to sign up for the retreat 2019