Selected Upcoming National Workshops

Booking Inquiries:  Workshops@MakeItSimpler'dot'com  
I book Guild events no further than 20 months in advance

A presentation to the ebullient Connecticut Piecemakers
Photograph by Sally Rogers                
Luncheon lecture to the Utah State Guild (the oldest state guild in the US) October 2014
Photograph by Anny Opfar              

Classroom Pictures

Teacher bio

With a degree in fine art, Anita Grossman Solomon moved to lower Manhattan in 1975 to paint. Within 3 years she put down her brushes to work with contemporary art collections. In 1990 she took up quiltmaking becoming a full-time quilt teacher and author.

She makes artful bed quilts from classic blocks using her signature non-traditional methods. Her “Why didn’t I think of that?” innovations make quiltmaking faster and easier. She has been a guest on HGTV’s “Simply Quilts” twice, “The Quilt Show”, “Quilt Out Loud” and authored three books for C&T Publishing: Make It Simpler Paper Piecing, Perfect Blocks in Minutes, and Rotary Cutting Revolution.

Her original techniques, efficient construction shortcuts and no-waste methods have been featured in magazine and books including Quiltmaker, Experts’ Guide to Foundation Piecing, 100 Tips from Award Winning Quilters and Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Quiltmaking. Anita’s Simple Foundations vellum and her Make It Simpler® Interfacing product are distributed internationally.

Her Workshop Blog is an indication of what you might expect in her classes. Follow her quilt exploits in her occasional blog Pages from the Make It Simpler Notebook She posts her quilt news and events on Facebook

Watch me teach

What you see is what you get

January 2003                          January 2005
Six HGTV Simply Quilts segments serve as an example of what you might expect of my abilities as a teacher. The episodes were taped in January 2003 and January 2005 in Burbank, California. Look for Anita as a guest on #905 of The Quilt Show  2011

About Supply Lists

Be Up-to-Date
Before packing up for a workshop,  be sure you have the current version of the supply list.  Please check the date at the bottom of any previously downloaded supply list against the current online version. The supply list may have been updated.

The First Pancake
Don't plan your quilt in advance of the class. That's what these workshop are for. Come to class, learn the block and explore its possibilities.

Enjoy the opportunities of working among other quilters and sharing information with them. You will be unpressured to make a few sample blocks. Learn from your the workshop samples; you needn't incorporate them into your quilt. They are the first pancakes, not necessarily keepers. The workshops are concerned with design and a multitude of techniques that can be applied beyond the particular workshop

Be Prepared
You'll find preparation for one day classes is minimal. Beginners are always welcomed. Sewing machine and rotary cutting experience required.

If a supply list doesn't print well from the link please try to download the document and then print it.

My Supply Lists are 'general.' A Guild will often supply an ironing set-up. A national venue may limit   irons because of electrical limitations. Sometimes students and the teacher can't manage to bring everything when traveling by air.  We share. We make do. We enjoy ourselves. 

About Anita's Classes

The workshops are six hours with generally a one-hour break for lunch.  If  we begin at 9:00 a.m. we'd conclude at 4:00 p.m.

I prefer to spend my time arranging fabric patches rather than cutting them out. If I can't make a quilt simpler, from start-to-finish, I don't offer it. My techniques are invisible; your quilt looks like you. It won't be recognizable as a Make It Simpler quilt. Only your rotary cutter will know for sure.

What's in your collection of fabric? What is your palette? Please imagine the quilts below in your fabric. Your blocks should reflect you.

The Scrappy Pineapple: Working Your Fabrics

A Multiple Day Quilt Workshop
Supply List one day Scrappy Pineapple Block Workshop
Supply List multiple day (for Empty Spools Seminar CA  and for Quilters Paradise Retreats GA) 
Set On-Point
Set Horizontal
This classic Pineapple on-point quilt is conventionally sewn, not foundation pieced. Mesmerizing circles appear by happenstance from square blocks.

Anita teaches her “why didn't I think of that?” techniques including how to cut 64 trapezoids and triangles to size, in only 14 rotary strokes, without using a ruler to measure and without wasting any fabric.In other words, in minutes the fabric is cut to shape in size, ready for you to orchestrate into blocks.

This quilt is made from square blocks; there is no need to piece corner or side triangle blocks. Every aspect of this quilt is absolutely made Simpler.
In addition to the many tricks up her sleeve she’ll show how fabric selections can elicit an artful quilt from a traditional pattern. This workshop embraces those who can’t say no to fabric.  The multiple day workshop is packed with individualized design and sewing techniques.
This clever girl chose Christmas fabric

Monkeying Around

New Workshop
My newest Workshop takes advantage of the clever Make It Simpler Grecian Wrench Cutting Lines patttern

Make Perfect 9" square Monkey Wrench or Grecian  Blocks. Just sew and cut through my pre-printed guidelines. You find two fat quarters of fabric yield four blocks but that all you need are pairs of squares to get started. Someone who has never sewn on a machine can effortlessly make these blocks.
By Tina Craig
My method premiered in Quiltmaker Magazine

The Old Italian Block

Old Italian Block
“Old Italian Blocks” are a whiz to cut and sew. In 2004 I devised a way to cut 4 triangles, 4 rectangles and one square with only four rotary cuts and without wasting any fabric. This is such a remarkably simple technique that you’ll wonder why it hadn't been done previously. Make 2 blocks in 10 minutes.
The blocks can be paper pieced for perfectly matched intersections, practically with your eyes closed, using my simplified method of paper piecing. Paper piecing experience is not necessary but sewing machine and rotary cutting experience is required. These blocks are so incredibly easy it's almost cheating.
Though the surprising cutting and paper piecing of this block elicit murmurs of "Wow" during class, you may elect to sew the block conventionally (not on paper) and Anita will gladly contribute specific pointers for that as well.
Quilt Festival  Cincinnati 2012

Road to California Festival   Ontario California 2013
Japanese INDIGO Fabric Kits for this quilt are available from The Cotton Club

2005 Simply Quilts video featuring Anita's Old Italian Block
ReneĆ© Kane Fields' "My Father's Legacy" 2009 48½ x 60½ inches

Make It Simpler Paper Piecing

Supply List  Make It Simpler Paper Piecing
The Key West Beauty and The Old Italian block have been combined into a one-day paper piecing workshop.

There is no paper piecing like Anita's paper piecing.

Both block patterns are in  Make It Simpler Paper Piecing This out-of-print block book includes paper piecing foundations, rotary cutting dimensions and templates for over 40 blocks. It MUST measure 9" x 11" (not 8.5" x 11"); it is not required for the workshop.
Both the simple block and the average block are taught together with tips and techniques useful for all the blocks in the book.

What makes the Old Italian Block block simple?
1. Its Cutting.
Nine patches (enough for 2 blocks) are cut with only 4 rotary cuts and no measuring. These patches are positioned onto the uncut foundation pattern with a re-positional glue stick. No pinning and nothing to cut up and pin back together again.

2. What make a block less simple?
More patches, not less,  in a block
My little Key West Beauty  Times Square, New York

The Old Italian Block Quilt

The Xcentric

Stripe City
The Make It Simpler Xcentric block is available as a day-long or half-day* workshop
  The City Quilter, Manhattan  
How many triangles were cut to make these blocks? None
How many seams were used to make this 40" square REVERSIBLE quilt the children are holding?

How much fabric was required? 
Two and one half yards

How many triangles needed to be cut? 
Not one. Just cut two identical (large) squares of fabric. 
This fun quilt is actually a Super-sized Reversible Xcentric block

Additional images are in this Picasa album

Below- The Quilt Show trailer

*Half-Day workshop:
This will be a special short class, under three hours, so not much fabric needed. It’s process oriented. Following the workshop, having learned the method, you’ll be in a better position to select fabrics for a future project. Everyone will benefit by example – seeing what happens with the variety of fabrics used by everyone else.

Follow the supply list.  Bring enough yardage of one stripe fabric from which you will cut, in class, FOUR identical 8.5" squares of fabric. If you have other stripe fabric at home bring that as a back up or if you are undecided. Best to not launder the fabric.

It’s a quick and unusual class, suited for a group. Part technique, part design and always interesting.

The Two-Color Pineapple: A Classic Set Anew

This is the easiest Pineapple Quilt ever to complete. Patches for conventionally sewn, not foundation pieced, blocks are constructed using streamlined methods. This is an easy lesson to prepare for because you need choose only  two different fabrics, one-half yard of each.  
You’ll be astonished to rotary cut 64 trapezoids and triangles to shape, enough for 2 blocks, in only 14 strokes without measuring or wasting any fabric. Place a photocopy of Anita's CuttingLines pattern on top of the fabric and... cut on the lines. It's that simple and inexpensive.
Rotary Cutting Revolution back cover
Working with only 2 fabrics, there will be time for relaxed piecing and honing your machine skills. The “points” needn't match in this unique setting. After one day you'll understand how to make   two-color and scrappy blocks and the three different settings.  After 2 days an effortless two-color 70” square heirloom quilt will be well underway.  Sewing machine and rotary cutting experience required.

The Quilt Show Episode #905. Ordinary Pineapple blocks,
not paper pieced, will form Anita's unique Two-Color Pineapple Quilt


Supply List Square on Point
Cut It, Sew It, Love It.
I demonstrated my original Square-on-Point method for the very first time on Simply Quilts in 2005. From two different equal sized squares of fabric I made two square on point blocks without wasting any fabric. A surprising NEW version debuted in my 2010 book Rotary Cutting Revolution. It uses my versatile Cutting Lines™ pattern, which is also a top-piecing foundation. There is no need to mark a rotary mat as done in the original version.

You do not need to measure anything. You do not need to read the measurements on a ruler.

Simply put, constructing this basic block is effortless and a fabric lover’s pleasure. The Anita dictum is “Two  squares of fabric yield the equivalent of two blocks.” You needn't look at the lines on a ruler when following Anita’s unique Cutting Lines™ pattern. This one pattern, a line drawing, is used in three different steps to cut, sew and true up blocks.

Streamlined piecing is Zen-like allowing workshop participants the luxury of time for color (selecting fabrics from stash), design (arranging the blocks into interesting layouts if in a two day class) and sewing under Anita’s tutelage. The finished 6” blocks can be made up into any size quilt which may be started in class.

This blog post of mine from spring 2011 has two videos, that happened to be created six years apart, about the Square-on-Point.

Beginners are welcome. All Participants must have sewing machine and rotary cutting experience.

The Self-Mitered Log Cabin

Self-Mitered Log Cabin, 2008

Reality Check, 1997

The unique Make It Simpler® Self-Mitered Log Cabin Quilt below is a fabric lover’s jewel box. Anita developed a streamlined technique based on her prizewinning entry in Jinny Beyer’s 1997 “Basic Realities” contest. The 6" finished blocks are simple to sew and the quilt construction is straightforward.  Without using pins, 1 1/2" strips of fabric intersect on their own to form a precise miter.  Expect Anita to have a trick up her sleeve.

This is both a design (color)  and process  workshop. The class begins by focusing as a group on 'reading' and  selecting fabric. You'll leave the workshop seeing  fabric in new ways.

The Self-Mitered Log Cabin, Boulder 2010  "The Quilt Show" episode #905

Huntington Quilters Workshop Post: Self-Mitered Log Cabin Picture Album

No-Waste Windmill

The No-Waste Windmill:  Ease, Economy & Exuberance 
Technique class or multiple day Quilt Workshop  All levels
General Supply List No Waste Windmill Correction

The No-Waste Windmill. Harmony with Thrift

You may have seen a WINDMILL quilt before, but it wouldn’t have been made with Anita’s streamlined steps:
Four identical patches are cut out with only 2 rotary strokes using a disposable Cutting Lines™ pattern; there is no measuring and no wasted fabric. The 6” tessellating blocks are assembled from those patches.
Intentionally made slightly oversize, the block is accurately squared because the cutting pattern doubles as a true-up guide. There are no corners or points to match when sewing the blocks together. The construction is easier than an ordinary four-patch and the block angles contribute to the dynamic layout.

Since it’s possible to cut and sew a perfect block in 2 - 3 minutes there will be ample time to focus on the arrangement and composition of the quilt top. However, ALL the patches must be arranged prior to sewing the top.

The Windmill is usually a two-day minimum workshop because a person can't begin sewing the top together until all of the blocks are sewn and not one block can be sewn until all the pieces are laid out. Make the quilt any size you wish.
Alternatively, a brief technique class is available as seen below with Daughter and Mother getting down in Cincinnati at Quilt Festival 2013. The technique class calls for only five different fabrics :
Four 8.5" squares of different fabrics for Windmills and five 8.5" squares of same fabric for Background

The No Patience Block

This timesaving pattern was the first class Anita offered. Her Square Cut Method is a new cutting technique that saves time without wasting fabric. Work entirely and efficiently from 11" squares of fabric. Participants must have sewing machine and rotary cutting experience.

Anita's Arrowhead: Three Strokes and You're Done

1 day Block Class or multiple day Quilt Workshop
Supply List Anita's Arrowhead

Believe it or not, each traditional 9" unfinished Arrowhead block is made entirely from a pair of different 8" squares of fabric. Each block has 10 subunits which Anita's method creates with just 2 seams and 3 rotary strokes.
  • There are no templates
  • There is no wasted yardage 
The fast and radical technique allows for the time and opportunity to combine  fabrics and compose the quilt. The ease of the block construction belies the sophistication of the quilt’s appearance. Make the quilt any size you wish. Sewing machine and rotary cutting experience required. Suitable for all levels of experience.
Made entirely of Liberty of London brand fabrics

Christmas fabric Kits for this quilt are currently available from QUILTMAKER Magazine

Huntington (NY Quilters)
As seen a Monday meeting of the Friendship Knot Quilters Guild in Sarasota, FL following  the Saturday workshop,  two days earlier.
by Molly R of Berks (PA) Quilters Guild. She chose Cherrywood fabrics