Irena Swanson
May 2019 Speaker/Instructor

About Irena


I was introduced to quilts as a high school exchange student in Tooele, Utah. I made my first quilt then, under a lot of guidance from my exchange family. I still have and treasure that quilt.  I resumed quilting about seven years later in graduate school when I decided that I needed a hobby. To fit it into my schedule I was on the lookout for streamlined shortcuts.  I learned much from others, and in the ensuing years I also developed my own fast and accurate methods.  

I like to make quilts with fewer seams for many reasons:

  1. it takes less time,

  2. it increases accuracy because of fewer seam starts and seam ends,

  3. it allows me to stop a quilt at beautiful large intermediate steps,

  4. it prevents boredom,

  5. it omits keeping track of small pieces, and most importantly,

  6. it has led me to fun shortcuts and designs.

My presentation will cover many streamlined projects, and I will show many resulting finished quilts.

Simple Herringbone Quilt Workshop

Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019, 10:00am-2:00pm
Location: Aloha Sewing and Vacuum, 7550 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Cost: $45

Go HERE to Purchase this Workshop

Class description: 


These quilts have a planned woven look. In the first example, the strips of each yellow fabric cross the blue swaths in one line, and simultaneously the strips of each blue fabric cross the yellow swaths in one line.

Photos above are of additional simple herringbone quilts: the quilts are large (66” x 88”, 58” x 80”, 65” x 88”, 66” x 88”). They were made from scraps. The larger quilts required more seams not only because of their larger size but also because I was after a scrappy look. They were all quilted by Jolene Knight of PMQG.


  • Sewing machine with quarter-inch foot (alternative seam allowances are fine too)

  • Pencil/pens that will show on your fabrics (or else pins)

  • Rotary cutter

  • A wide 24-inch long ruler if you have it (I'll bring two of mine for sharing)

  • A large 45-degree ruler if you have it (I'll bring mine for sharing, or we can improvise)

  • For the final step: large scissors (I'll bring mine for sharing)

  • 16 strips of color A and 16 strips of color B (yellow and blue in the photo), all cut from selvedge to selvedge at the same width. I cut all mine at width 2.25 inches, you can use width 2.5 inches

The height of the quilts will be 39 inches or 45 inches, respectively.