Barbara and Ernie holding Big Blue in Burleson, Texas after teaching a class at the Russel Farm Art Center.

Program Information: Barbara Ann McCraw retired Medical Technologist and pathology supervisor has worked as a fiber artist for over 15 years. Her pieces have been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe, celebrating such figures as Nelson Mandela, Bishop Tutu, and former President Obama. Her quilts can be found in numerous private collections, universities, and museums. Barbara and her husband Ernie of over 40 years, who also has begun to quilt, present a lecture called, “Life Stories Told through Quilts”. From simple starter quilts to the detailed artistry that she shows in her award-winning pieces. This testimonial from Thayne Rooney, Program Director for the Fort Worth Quilt Guild, sums it up: “What a joy it was to have Barbara and Ernie McCraw present the story of their amazing adventures in quilting. The relaxed banter between the two of them contributed so much to the evening; it felt like we were in their living room as they shared stories of the wonderful and unusual quilts, they brought to us. Barbara shared her technique for the way she uses her domestic machine to quilt her quilts (quilting in thirds). This was a revelation to us. We appreciate it so much when we learn something in addition to being dazzled by fabulous quilts. It was encouraging to see the quilts that Ernie has begun making as a novice quilter and to learn that a beginner’s quilts don’t have to look like a beginner’s work. All in all, this was one of the most fascinating and instructive presentations we have ever had. The applause at the end was truly genuine!” Bio & Program Information Thank you, Thane!

Another Way to Appliqué

This hand appliqué class is open to beginners, intermediate and advanced. There are many ways to do appliqué. The secret is to find the one that works for you. I’ve been teaching this method for nearly 20 years, and many have found success with it. This class includes sections on Broderie Perse, fabric selection, ideas for motifs, needle threading, knots, and the basic appliqué stitch.

Dimensional Flowers

This class was developed by Teresa and me when we were teaching Baltimore Album quilts. The Daisy, the Origami Flower and two varieties of the Ruched Flower will be among the techniques you will learn with this method.

Easy-Peasy Paper-Piecing

This simplified method of paper piecing first uses a four-step guide to complete each unit of the pattern. These steps are repeated for every unit in this “House of Love” quilt with directions on how to sew the units together. Second, when larger cut pieces of fabric are used, the results are usually very successful. You will receive a Four Step Guide, a customized Cutting Guide, and the Pattern

Summer Sewing Program 2013


I had the privilege of teaching six wonderful girls how to sew this summer. I had this idea after teaching quilting in Africa last year. I gave a lecture at a local church in February, and afterwards, one little girl came up to me and asked if I would teach her how to sew. I promised her that I would.

Peggy Fox, my friend from the church, graciously agreed to provide transportation.  My friend, Debbie Coates, a very talented quilter, and Katherine, a lady from the church who was an accomplished seamstress, helped me teach the 6-week class. We met all day on Fridays, and the girls learned how to sew by hand, make a pillow with a sewing machine, and make a pictorial quilt.

Africa Experience 2012


Our purpose in going to Africa was to provide young women and men with a skill they could use to earn a living. Africa is known for its beautiful fabrics, but they only use these fabrics to make garments or sell as is. Most tourists don’t sew, or wear African garments at home, so we felt that if we could teach how to make quilted items from their fabrics, they would be able to sell them to the tourists that visit their country each year.

I was the lead teacher for this adventure that took us to Tanzania. There were seven of us, including four teachers, Hope Edwards, Vicky Mulkey, Elizabeth Kruger, and myself; two husbands, Ernie McCraw and James Mulkey, and Nell Matthews, the coordinator of the trip who had lived in Tanzania.

Africa ExperienceWe first visited the Angaza Women’s Center which provides an education for rural girls and women in a number of different areas–nutrition, food services and sewing to name a few.

Our second visit was to the Usa River Rehabilitation Center. The young people who lived here all struggled with some form of physical handicap. We taught 3rd year sewing students here, so they had a great deal more experience. They produced some amazing work, and our team was later able to provide a one year salary for one of these students to go back to the Angaza center to teach further lessons in quilting.

We also were able to obtain space in one of the largest tourist centers for them to sell their completed items.

Growing A New America (Obama quilt)


Selected for inclusion into Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi’s book, “Journey of Hope-Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama”.

Was on exhibit at the National African American Museum in 2010.

Quilt Expo en Beaujolais

Selected for inclusion into Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi’s book, “Journey of Hope-Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama”.

Was on exhibit at the National African American Museum in 2010.

Chosen as one of three in the collection to go into the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. An opening reception in Ohio was held on April 17th 2010 with Dr. Mazloomi author and historian.

Texas Fiber Arts Exhibit

May 1st  was the Texas Fiber Arts Exhibit at the Mexican Cultural Center  Center in Austin, Texas.  This was a juried show where only 50  pieces  were selected from hundreds of entrys.  Barbara was excited that two of her unique coats were chosen..  “The Gospel Truth” and “Piano Dancing” were both shown in a glass atrium where the overhead full natural light brought out the detail of their exceptional stitching.  The colors in the Gospel Truth were highlighted by the exceptional installation which allowed the coat to rotate freely with any air movement within the atrium and the 360 degree spin showed off the viewing of both front and back panels.

In 2009 the Texas Fiber Arts Exhibit in Austin featured “Big Blue” on the cover of the show catalog and shortly thereafter the piece was sold to a native Texas admirer.