Quilt Odyssey, Student’s Works and Book Review

July 31st, 2015

This past week I taught at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey. PA.  https://server7.pacecomputing.com/quiltodysseycom/www/

Several students brought projects to share and you will see those below.

Here are just a couple of quilts from the show.

“Modern Love” was made by Megan Farkas.  She won 1st place in the miniature category.

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“A Labor of Art” won 2nd place in the miniature category.  It was made by Sharon Schlotzhauer from Colorado.


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Barbara Korengold from Maryland made “Ben’s Midnight Garden”.  She won 2nd place in the applique category.

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Claudia Pfeil from Germany won Best of Show with her quilt “Paradox”

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Terry Kramer from Pennsylvania won 2nd place in Mixed Techniques for her quilt called “Sweetwater Gap Bloodroot”.

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This is Shirley Griesinger.  She brought her finished Fiesta Mexico Block Nine to show me.  Great job Shirley.

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Anne Flynn brought her finished Majestic Mosaic quilt which she started in my class two years ago at Quilt Odyssey.  Very nice.

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And I hate it when this happens but I took this photo of Fiesta Mexico Block Three which a student shared with me and I forgot to get the student’s name.  If you know who this block belongs to please email me so I can add her name.

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I just finished listening to “Radiant Angel” by Nelson DeMille.  I love his books based on his character John Corey.  The character has a very dry, witty sense of humor which makes me laugh out loud sometimes. Joe laughs so hard sometimes that Joe’s laughing makes me laugh.  It is one of those things where you really need to be paying attention or you could miss the wit of it.  Most of the story is serious. John is trying to find out about a group of Russians in New York…why they are in New York, what they are planning….He is a rule breaker which makes him a far more interesting character.  He is the all American hero.  The kind of guy who risks his life to protect his country and the people in it.  Love this character and Nelson DeMille.




July 27th, 2015


Margaret Coleen Senft       November 25, 1923 – July 21, 2015

Today we said goodbye to one of my favorite people ever, our dear friend, Margaret.  Margaret was 91 and she lived a very good life.  Margaret was diagnosed with cancer about 3 months ago.  She died in her favorite chair where she was comfortable sleeping these past few weeks.  She did not linger long and was not in any pain. For this, I am thankful.

For those of you who took classes with me, I often talked about Margaret and her husband, Frank, who is now 96 years old.  Margaret and Frank have been packing all of my class packets for the past twenty some years.  It was a job Margaret loved doing as she told me it gave her a sense of purpose.  It was a very, very big help to me.

Margaret was able to celebrate their 69th wedding anniversary in June.  They were known to have a single drink at 3pm every afternoon.  I have a great Uncle and his wife, who passed away this past year at age 100….and they too, had a drink in the afternoon.  I keep telling Joe maybe we should start having a drink in the afternoon…..they all made it to 90 plus years.  Maybe there is something to this afternoon drink thing!!

We’ve celebrated Christmas with Frank and Margaret for the past…I don’t know 20 some years.  They have no children, except of course, for us!!  Margaret loved cats and so she modeled this cat bath robe we got for her, along with her drink of the day, while celebrating with us one Christmas.



Did I mention Margaret loved cats?  She loved cats.  After she lost her last cat of old age, about 9 years ago, she said she did not want to have another cat because she would out live the cat.  About 4 days later this little kitten stumbled onto our property.  Of course Margaret took him into her home but only if we would sign a legal document stating that we would take care of the cat after she and Frank passed.  Of course we signed the paper because we really wanted Margaret to have another kitty.  Below is Margaret the first day she held Lucky, as she named him.  She introduced Lucky to my girls, Sasha and Tillie.


It was rare to see Margaret without a smile on her face.  RIP Margaret.  I’m gonna miss you and your smile.

Cow, Delaware and Student’s Work

July 18th, 2015

As many of you know I had open heart surgery in April and now I have a cow valve.  Some of you will think I am weird and others of you already know I am weird!  But, I seem to have this odd connection that I want to pay homage to the cow.  I just purchased this amazing painting by Emily Garces.  I love it.  It is now hanging right inside the door so everyone who enters the back door will see it.  I loved the design and the colors.  It makes me happy.  It has to be the most adorable cow painting of all time.  It was great working with Emily.  She was very prompt with her emails and shipping.  I had the cow hanging within in about five days of when I first emailed her!  To see more of Emily’s work visit her Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/emilygarcesart 

Thank you Emily for sharing your artistic talent and thank you to the cow who gave me your valve.



I traveled to Delaware this week.  I was in Georgetown, a small, historic town located not too far from the beach.

We stayed at the Brick Hotel right on the square.  The rooms were very large and nice. The evening desserts were even better!

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This is the square, or should I say circle, in downtown Georgetown.

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Check out the old court house. It was constructed in 1791 and housed all the court and county workers.

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And then of course the newer, but still historic court house located within a short distance of the old court house.

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The gardens surrounding the Brick were wonderful.

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Here are some of my happy students.

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This is where I wished I was…on the beach in nearby Lewes.

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Student’s Work

I received another great email from a student this week.  Von Yetzer took my Fiesta Mexico-Block Nine workshop when I taught in Longmont, CO.  This is her first hand applique project.  Can you believe this is her first project?  My first applique project did not look any where near this good.  You did a great job Von.  Thanks for sharing.




This week I am off to Quilt Odyssey in Hershey, PA….a nice short drive from home.  Hope to see you at the show.


More From Shipshewana and Surrounding Area

July 11th, 2015

The country side around the Shipshewana area is so peaceful and pristine.

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More great cow faces……

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A little outside of Shipshewana…….. Topeka, Indiana, was also holding a quilt show, its 43rd annual show.

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The difference……these quilts were for sale.  That’s a lot of quilts.

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This young girl was riding her pony to the show.

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The next two photos show my students smiling and enjoying class.

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Thanks for reading my blog.  I love being able to share some of my experiences.

Seize the day.  Until next week…….

More From Shipshewana

July 3rd, 2015

Yoder’s in Shipshewana (La Grange County) Indiana is a very, very large department store: hardware, clothing, shoes, restaurant……..and most important in the back left corner, a large, nice quilt shop area.

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Side view at Yoder’s Department Store.

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As a result of my open heart surgery in April, I have a cow valve.  So, now I feel a closeness to the cows.  Look at that face.  Adorable.

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One day we spotted this philly and her mom.


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Think mom may have had some Italian blood.


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Next to Yoder’s shopping area is another shopping area and the Visitor Center.


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Psssst: Babe, I think you have a fly on your nose!


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More photos from Shipshewana and the surrounding area in next week’s blog.  See you then……..


Shipshewana, Student’s Work, Book Review

June 28th, 2015

I just got back from teaching at the Shipshewana Quilt Festival.  What a beautiful area and great people.  There is a large Amish and Mennonite presence.  Pristine farm land for miles and miles.  To find out more about the show visit their website http://www.shipshewanaquiltfest.com/

I worked with Kim throughout the planning stages and while at the show.  Talk about one very organized and hard working person.  I loved working with Kim.  I don’t know how much she gets paid but I’m voting for her to get a raise!  If you have never been to the show, you need to check it out.  They have lots of fun events and shopping!  There are workshops, shop hops, flea markets, lectures, quilt show with lots of vendors and a fun event called “Schoolhouse” which is actually held in the school.  At the Schoolhouse, each participant signs up for the day, 9-4, and then every 30 minutes moves to another room to listen to a 30 minute demonstration or discussion related to quilting.  The comments I heard from the participants were excellent.  It was a great idea.

In this blog, I am going to focus more on the show. In upcoming blogs, I’ll share photos from the area.  Here are some of my favorite quilts/cars from the show.

When you walked into the show, there was an exhibit of old Hudson cars.  The cars were pristine….spotless…..shiny…    At first I thought….quilts on cars, I’m not so sure about this. But, the cars were so clean and it did draw me into the room  As many people said, it gave the husbands and significant others something to do.  The quilt on the car below is named “Let Your Light Shine”.  The top was made in 1915 and recently quilted by Deb Levy from Louisiana.

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“Miss Sally” is from the 1930’s and was recently quilted by M&M Quilting in Virginia.

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And here is the car I most wanted to bring home.  Love this car.  I think I am in my pink/salmon phase.

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The quilt below, “Ewe Are My Sunshine” was made by Janet Stone from Kansas.  I am a Janet Stone fan.  Love her quilts.

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The attention to detail is impressive.

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I did not get the name of this quilt but it was made by Claudia Clark Myers and quilted by Marilyn Badger.  I am also big fans of their work.

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“The Challenge” was made by Cathy Benke from Michigan.

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And I loved this quilt called “The Pink Lady”.  It was pieced by Russ Schmidt and quilted by Jan Hutchinson.

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Jan’s quilting was impressive and very complimentary to the quilt.

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This quilt was made from tiny little squares.  Seriously crazy.  The quilt was adapted from a cross stitch pattern with permission from the designer.

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I received a great email from Roxann this past week.  She took my class in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida this March.  The workshop was Block Three from Fiesta Mexico.  She admitted to not being an applique person.  She took the workshop with her daughter.  I think she may be a convert…..    Roxann added Block Five and she used the gecko from Block Four in her center block design.  I like the added touch, using the butterflies.   It is just the top but Roxann plans to quilt it soon.  It is so fun and cheery looking.

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On the drive home from Shipshewana, Joe and I listened to “The Girl On The Train” by Paula Hawkins.  The book starts off by introducing you to all these characters and you have no idea where the story line is going.  But, in the end it all comes together.  Rachel takes the same train back and forth to work every day.  One day, she sees something that causes her to share it with the police.  It is a “who done it” kind of thriller.  Good read.

Until next week…….

Pittsburgh,PA and Book Review

June 19th, 2015

Earlier this week, I had a fairly short teaching trip to the Pittsburgh area.  Nice to be in Steelers’ territory!!

My first stop was a quilt shop, Quilter’s Corner, located in Finleyville, PA.  http://www.quilterscorner-pa.com/


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The owner, Mary Beth, is truly one of the nicest, giving shop owners I have ever met.  When the students arrived (and the teacher), we found an apple, chocolate bar and a fat quarter on our table.  How nice was that?  Mary Beth and her daughter made lunch for everyone!  Seriously……awesome.  Awesome applies to the fact that they took the time to do it and also to the food itself.

Mary Beth’s shop was so bright and cheery and her fabric selection – fabulous!


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The ladies who worked with Mary Beth at Quilter’s Corner, Barb, Cathe and Deb, were warm and welcoming. Deb teaches a class on creating caricatures using fabric. Here’s Deb:

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Here is her creation:

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What fun and I love, love, love the pin fabric Deb used for her forehead!

My second stop was the Three Rivers Quilt guild located in Pittsburgh http://www.threeriversquilters.org/  Great group of ladies!  If you live anywhere around that area, check it out.

And, of course, as I was working hard (or should I say having fun teaching) Joe was out goofing off, as usual.  Here are some of the photos he took around the Pittsburgh area. A nice shot  of the city and the confluence of the Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers to form the Ohio River taken from atop Mt. Washington.  It had rained like crazy the night before so the rivers were really muddy.


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The capital of Steeler Nation: Heinz Field.        Go Steelers!!!!  Less than 90 days until kickoff.

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As Joe and I drove around Finleyville, surrounding townships and boroughs, we noticed that attached to the telephone poles were large vinyl, weather proof  photographs honoring local veterans. How wonderful. It made us both tearful. My father was a veteran as were Joe’s father and brothers, Also, Joe is a veteran. We slowed and stopped to read the names, branches of service and the wars they fought for us. Not one person in the cars behind us beeped their horns to hurry us along. What a special tribute these small towns in southwestern Pennsylvania pay to honor those who serve.

John A. Allridge

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Paul Lacko

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John Calvin Parry, Jr.


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Donn R. Kegel


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Arnold H. Kegel


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Lance R. Lawrence


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and Louise M. Desmond


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In case you are interested, here is a link with the names of all the veterans in Finleyville/Union Co.

We are so thankful and grateful to those who have served and those currently serving.




I just finished listening to “Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon, the second in the “Outlander” series.  It is following the story of Jamie and Claire as she has traveled back in time.  Here are some words I read in a review to describe this series of books…

Historical Fiction




I’ll be starting the third book in the series very soon.  So, two down and six to go.

This week I am off to Shipshawana to teach, lecture and demo…..sounds like fun.  My friend Nancy went two years ago and recommended I take pants with an elastic waist band as the food is apparently very, very good!

On The Road Again and Book Review

June 12th, 2015

We just returned from visiting the Cal-Co Quilters, http://www.calcoquiltersguild.com/, in Battle Creek, Michigan.  What a fabulous guild.  Natalie had everything organized quite nicely.  I do appreciate a good program chair because it makes my life a lot easier.

It was my first trip out since surgery and things went very well.  I am so happy that Joe went with me.  I don’t think I could have lifted all the luggage, boxes, etc. on my own.  And, it’s good to have someone keeping an eye on me so that I don’t over do it.  While I was teaching, Joe went exploring. He’s sharing some of the wonderful sights around the area in this blog.

On the long drive across the Ohio Turnpike, I made Joe slow down so I could take a photo of the Cheez-It car/truck.  So, there were ten cars backed-up behind us……Hey, I had to get my picture!

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Battle Creek Michigan is known as “Cereal City, USA” and what a wonderful town. Upon entering the town is a great monument to one of its residents and  great American hero: Sojourners Truth.

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The town is so pristine and inviting

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Fantastic downtown

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Amazing fountain and relief sculptures in its central park

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and great bike and walking paths

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While I was teaching for the guild, Joe said he had to visit Kalamazoo about 20 miles west. He said the city was great and its Institute of the Arts and central park a must see.

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In the city’s square Joe found dozens of plantings with topieries. Here are a few.

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On our drive home many of the guild members suggested we visit Marshall, the county seat of Calhoun County and I am so happy we stopped.

They have a “dancing waters” fountain which is lighted in the evenings

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The Old Stone Barn, now the City Hall

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A quaint downtown with the National Museum of Magic and a preserved and operating turn of the century United States Post Office

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and the Honolulu House

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If you you have the opportunity to visit South Central Michigan, don’t hesitate and go visit some wonderful people and memorable places.



16158542Thank you so much to those of you who recommended reading “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.  I had a hard time putting this book down….loved the style of writing and the content.  The story follows one of the rowers, Joe Rantz.  There is background information about the other rowers as well as the coaches and the boat builder.  It is amazing what these boys went through in their personal and rowing lives.  The odds they had to overcome seemed insurmountable.  Impressive accomplishments.  Thanks for taking me on the journey.  I felt like I was there with them.

Health Status, Vultures, Book Review and Student’s Work

June 5th, 2015

The surgeon and cardiologist both gave me good reports this past week.  They keep reminding me that the recovery for this surgery is 6 months to a year.  And, I have been reminded of this by numerous people who have had open heart surgery, as well.  Rest assured….I am taking it easy.  I have nurse Joe to deal with if I try to do too much!


Every summer, I post an update on the vultures in our bird bath.  They are back again.  Every time I see these large birds in the little bird bath it makes me smile.

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I usually review novels. This time, I am actually reviewing a quilt book.

book reviewWe went to Virginia yesterday to meet some friends for lunch.  Since Joe was driving, I had some time to read.  I had just purchased Becky Goldsmith’s book called, “A Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color”.  Great job Becky.  I love the page layouts.  They are a feast to the eye.  I will look at it over and over again! Not only because the photography and illustrations make me happy, but also because Becky has explained color in a way that is very understandable and applicable for quilters.  I highly recommend this book.  Visit Becky’s website listed below to order your copy.  While you are on the site, check out all of Becky and Linda’s other books and notions.  Get out your charge card now and have fun shopping!




I got a great email from Hazel Mark from High River in Alberta, Canada.  She took a class from me a while ago.  Let’s not say just how long because Hazel had some health issues and flood issues which kept her from quilting for a while.  But, her Magical Medallions-Block Three is now finished and it looks great.  Thanks for sharing Hazel.


Until next week……

Beach and Drive Home

May 29th, 2015

One of my favorite things to do while walking on the beach is to collect sea glass.  This is but a small portion of what we collected during our week at the beach.  Clear, frosted, green and brown are fairly common.  I get so excited when we find blue because it is more rare.  Finding the glass on the beach makes me really happy.  I don’t know why…..I just know it does.

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On our way out of the Outer Banks, I took this photo on the bay side.  Mr. and Mrs. Duck were out for a stroll.

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As we entered West Virginia on our drive home, we stopped at the Visitors Center.  It had just stopped raining.  Their gardens were wonderful.

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Until next week……