Java House Lectures

Uncommon designs for inspired quilters

Book a lecture with Karen for your guild or event.

Note: Lectures are now available for virtual presentations to your guild via Zoom!

Please go through our Contact page to request information on pricing & availability.

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The SMUGGLE Principles

Six design elements which make a quilt “sing!”

-S slight asymmetry
-M movement
-U unexpected technique
-G gentle humor
-G graceful disruption of edges/borders
-L something lovable
-E elegant details

I’d love to share with you techniques which have become a signature of my patterns and their distinct and joyful style. I have some slightly irreverent methods for creating memorable quilts with uniqueness, gentle humor, and movement, and I’ll show you how to incorporate them into your next project. This lectures and slide show is rich with colorful photography of examples and explanations of design elements I’ve honed in over 20 years of pattern writing and joyful quilting.

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Capturing Animal Personalities

Are your quilts alive?

Every animal has a distinct silhouette, a recognizable visual signature that uniquely distinguishes it from all others. By including just one animal block you can add joyful personality to your next project. So how do we capture that? Can I just use my favorite pet photo? How do I make it look like my own dog, cat, or much-loved pet? Are there less complicated ways to add color, shading, and piecing? And how can technology assist us? (Hint: in so many ways!) This lecture presents examples of animals with personality and liveliness and the methods and ideas used to create them. From finding the right image to using your computer or copier to enhance it, you’ll get new ideas & techniques for your next project.

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The Science of Exceptional Quilts

Beauty, creativity & innovation

What makes a quilt truly exceptional? Do we even agree on what beauty is? This lecture is about creativity, inspiration, and motivation. Where do good ideas come from? (I’ve done some of my best quilting in the shower. . . ) How do our emotions affect creativity? Does room color, time of day, or fabric limitation change how we create? Viewed through the lens and experiences of a quilter, we shed new light on science’s findings on how we create, solve quilting problems, and ultimately do our best work.

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Movin' On

The magic of movement in quilts

Why should we worry about creating movement in our compositions? Interest. While color, pattern, and workmanship create beauty, movement creates interest. It’s a guaranteed “wow factor” and adds a certain sophistication. We can create it using appliqué, adjusting a composition, incorporating asymmetrical shapes, and unique border treatments. In writing patterns for over 20 years I’ve seen how movement in a composition absolutely draws people in. I’ll show you lots of unique ways to create it often with a bit of humor that seems to just delight.

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Workshops

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Lectures

Book a lecture with Karen for your guild or event.
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