Rockville Centre/Freeport, Long Island, NY and Book Review

September 25th, 2016

I love Long Island, New York…especially in the fall. This past week, I was so happy to return and spend three days with the Long Island Quilter’s Society. To learn more about the guild and their programs visit

Here are some of the happy members just before my lecture….


and then at a workshop.




Joyce Fischer stopped by to share her finished Kansas Rose project. I love, love, love the fabric choices. Joyce added a little, covered cording before her binding for some added fun.  Well done Joyce!



Many of the communities on Long Island have fabulous community centers.  The lecture and workshops were held in some of these community centers.  The Freeport Community Center had a great mural of some of its famous residents.





Jones Beach, located close by, is beautiful.  I am certain it is packed during the summer months.



There are large, beautifully designed and constructed bathhouses every mile.





Also, in the fall, the State of New York hires a bunch of Canadians to man the beach parking lot toll booths.


Many of you may remember my stories of Margaret and Frank Senft, the older couple who always helped keep all my class packets in order. As you may know, Margaret passed away at age 91 in 2015. Frank, now 97, is still going strong. Frank’s church will be honoring veterans for their service this November and asked for info on Frank. Frank was an original Boggie-Woogie Bugle Boy during World War Two, serving in the Army’s Concert Band. I had to share this great photo. Thank you, Frank, for your service.







Bullseye is James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s newest thriller and the latest entry in the Michael Bennett series. I like his character development and want to read more about the Bennett household. Bennett is a detective with the NYPD and helps foil an assassination attempt on the President. Bennett won’t stop until he can find the assassin but fails to see some strange happenings at home with his son.


I am off to Michigan Tuesday.  Until next week…..






Westminster, MD and Williamsport, PA

September 17th, 2016

This past week I lectured in Westminster, MD to the Everybody’s Quilt Guild.  Here we are right before the start of the lecture.



I’m going back in November to teach a workshop.  See you later ladies….

Then I went to the Williamsport, PA area to lecture and do a workshop for the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild. What a wonderful group of quilters. Learn more about them by visiting

Here are some of their happy faces during the applique workshop.


The guild meets at a church in the colonial town of Pennsdale, PA directly across the street from the Country Store/Post Office.






I loved the Church’s sign!



Here are just a few more of the many wonderful buildings and barns in the town.



The Quaker Meeting House was built in 1779.






It’s ancient, walled cemetery has many veterans interred there, including a revolutionary soldier.





As usual, while I was teaching, Joe was tasting the culinary delights of nearby Montoursville.





We were home for one day and headed back to Maryland: Gaithersburg to lecture for the Friendship Star Guild and on to Catonsville/Ellicott City for the Village Quilters Guild.

I enjoyed my time with both of these guilds. I have been their guest on  previous occasions. Always love to be asked back. I was so busy I forgot to take photos while at these guilds.

At Friendship Star Guild, I arrived a bit early so I could visit and spend the early evening before my lecture with some friends from the guild chatting and sharing stories. To learn more about this great guild visit

If you live closer to Baltimore and Catonsville, you must join the fabulously talented and sharing ladies of the Village Quilters.

Two members of the Village Quilters guild shared their finished “Garden Medley” projects.  These were started when I visited the guild a couple of years ago.  Great Job ladies!!

Barbara Austin



and Cindy McIntyre



Well done.

We returned home Thursday night and Saturday afternoon I am heading out to Long Island, NY.

Until next week….

Normal/Bloomington, Illinois

September 6th, 2016

I just returned from a delightful visit to teach for the Hands All Around Quilt Guild of Central, Illinois. Jenny, Linda and Debi were the program chairwomen and they were simply the best! To learn more about the guild and a great line up of programs visit

Here are the ladies waiting for my lecture….



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The guild is fortunate to have the minister’s wife of the Normal Mennonite Church among its members. The Church and all its staff are wonderful. The striking thing from my perspective were the many large quilt blocks adorning the walls of the church.

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After asking about the blocks, which were approximately 32 inches square, I learned that Susan Schrag and her husband, Pastor Tim Schrag, collaborated on the blocks. She would make a block and her husband would deliver a sermon on that topic. Amazing! Here are some close ups of a few blocks:


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There were 17 blocks in all and I am certain Susan and Pastor Tim are working on a new block/sermon.

While I was teaching, the guild members were diligently working.


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Joe was out touring Bloomington and chatting with new friends: Four score and seven quilts ago….


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The Normal/Bloomington Illinois area is home to two universities (Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan) and also boasts ten art galleries. Our favorite gallery is located at 300 East Grove Street in Bloomington. It is in a converted Studebaker car dealership with public displays on the first floor and individual artist studios on the second level. Represented in the gallery were the paintings of Ken Holder, the glass art of Michael Amis and  the sculpted furniture of Amanda Pierce and Melanie Hunter. Awesome!! If you are in the area it is a must visit.


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Arrived home late last evening and awoke this morning to the tapping at my back door.


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Yikes!!! The babies are now full grown! And, no you may not come in!!  The vultures have never come this close to the back door before this summer.  As soon as they see us move inside the house, they move out into the yard.


Visit to The Quilt Show Set and Book Review

August 26th, 2016

Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson host an online show called, “The Quilt Show”.  They’ve been doing it for a pretty long time.  For years, they have been asking me to be a guest. My schedule was either booked for the dates they requested or as some of you know…….I always take the month of August off from traveling to work on my own quilts….either sewing, designing, working on some new patterns, etc.  And, August is one of the months they tape for the show.  Well, since my time off started a little earlier than normal this year, 3rd week in July, I told Alex I would agree to give up three days to come tape a piece for their show.  It was fun.  Here are some photos from the day of the shoot.

Alex’s husband, John, entertains the live audience while things are getting set-up for each segment.


It’s a big production set.


Ricky, Alex and Justin discussing things for the next set.



After my quilts were hung, the audience was allowed to walk around the set and take some photos.


And a quick photo of Alex, me and Ricky after the shoot was finished.  Alex and Ricky shot two shows per day and I was the last shot at the end of six full days.  I think they must have been exhausted.


When I get an air time for the show, I’ll let you know.



On the flight to and from Denver, I read Harlan Coben’s newest book “Fool Me Once”.


No kidding, I was on the edge of my seat while on the plane reading this book.  When the drink cart came by and they reached in front of me I almost jumped out of my seat because I was so engrossed in this book.  Good thing I had my seat belt buckled!!!!

Main character, Maya, served in the military as a special ops pilot.  She has some issues from all she saw while in the military.  While Maya was shipped out her sister was killed.  When she got home her husband was killed.  Maya has some investigating to do.  This book took some great turns that I never saw coming.  If you read my blog you know I am a Harlan Coben fan and this book did not let me down.  Highly recommended.

Until next week……

Joe in Alaska and Quilt Shop

August 13th, 2016

The Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Every few years Joe and his fishing buddies head north to Alaska to fish for salmon and my favorite…..halibut.

He always returns with some great photos. Here are just a few.




Mountain goats


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I can not believe that even the little ones can jump across the rock face. What an awesome photo….in mid-air.  He had a perfect 10 landing.


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As their boat rounded a corner the guys notice several black spots on the shore and as the got a little closer they saw a group of black bears playing


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Whale spout.

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A bit of the whale.

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They came upon this group of a dozen sea otters.  How cool is that?


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Some of the moms had their kids on board


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And then the fish. Here is Joe with a Coho or silver salmon


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I always ask Joe and his buddy Harry to bring more halibut.


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This year they did. Joe and Harry have been fishing together for 30 years.  These fish weighed in at about 110 pounds.  Holy cow!


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This is a yellow eye rock fish and is over 100 years old. Its meat is one of the most sought after of all Alaskan fish.

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As Joe was driving through Cooper’s Landing, Alaska, Harry exclaimed “Just passed a quilt shop.” Joe made a U turn and visited: Bearly Threaded Quilting


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The shop was quaint and contained a large amount of fabric.  Joe said Jan Mitchell, employee, was charming, knowledge and very friendly.  So we can all go to Alaska to quilt shop and fish.


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Bye until next week


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Quilt Odyssey and Student’s Work

July 28th, 2016

I attended Quilt Odyssey in Hershey this past week.  I was so excited when I entered the lobby of the convention center to find the Brandywine Valley Quilters had made their version of my Majestic Mosaic quilt for their 2016 raffle quilt.  It is impressive.  This is a ton of work for a raffle quilt.  They had asked for my permission to use my pattern and I said yes but I had not yet seen the quilt.

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I hope they sell a truck load of tickets because that was a lot of work.


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Once in the show there were lots of great quilts.  Here are just a few.  I liked this miniature quilt by Masnobu Miyama from Japan.  The name of the quilt is “Focus”.  I wish you could see this up close.  It has lots of detailed thread work.

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And then “Consider the Lilies” by Audra Rasnake from Virginia won ‘Best Hand Quilting”.

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Check out this quilting.  I’ve attended Quilt Odyssey many times and I am always impressed with the amount of hand quilted quilts.

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“Joy Aviatrix” was made by Ellen Simmons and quilted by Jan Hauprich.

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Check out the machine quilting.

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And Claudia Pfiel from Germany won Best of Show for “Waven Journey”.

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Again, it’s about the quilting.  The letters are created by quilting heavily around the lettered areas.   Very interesting concept.

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“Weather the Storm” by Elizabeth Bauman was a very interesting quilt also.  I liked how she combined the Ocean Waves design in the background with the compass at the top and the wave design at the bottom.

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Dana Mason sent me this photo.  She took my Fiesta Mexico-Block Three workshop.  I love the way Dana’s pillow turned out.  Thanks for sharing Dana.



Until next week…..

More Colorado, Animals and Baby Vultures

July 23rd, 2016

Last weeek I promised some photos Joe and I took of the animals we saw in the Rocky Mountain National Park during our visit to Longmont, Colorado.


We saw Big Horn Sheep, Papa sheep


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and young son


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A Black Bear (Boo-boo)


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A momma Moose


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And her shy baby moose


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And so many Elk


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Some even wore earrings and sang for us


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And even some baby elk


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As we were driving down the mountain into Boulder we spotted this deer on the side of the road. It was so, so hot, she decided to dig a spot in the cool wet dirt and have a nap in the shade


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Here is a photo of Joe and me on our morning walk


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We drove up to Allen Park and came upon this amazing, little church built into the rock. St. Catherine’s was built in the late 1920s and is amazing from every side.

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Wow: “Upon this Rock I shall build a church”

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We returned home to Carlisle and discovered our two love bird vultures (see the May Blog) had not one but two babies! Mom was teaching them how to get a drink.


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I love their fuzzy little heads


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Off to the quilt show in Hershey, PA, the sweetest place on earth! Chocolate and quilts, life is good!

Colorado, Product Review and Book Review

July 18th, 2016

Rocky Mountain High, ah!!!!!!


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I Love, Love, Love Colorado.  I was in Longmont two years ago teaching for the Colorado State Guild and this past week I returned as the guest instructor for the Longmont Guild. To find out more or to join this fantastic group visit

I taught one hand and one machine applique class. Here are some of the ladies in the machine applique class.  The classes were held at a nice shop called The Presser Foot.  Isn’t this a great classroom area?  To find out more about Melanie and her shop visit

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When I was in Longmont,  Mary Ramsey  asked me if she would be able to attach two of the 3″ Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Adjustable Rulers to make a 48″ long ruler?  I said, “I  have not tried building one that long”.  So, Mary decided to be the tester and the results were great.  Mary said in her email…

“Successfully linked 2 pkgs of the 3″ rulers together, this will be the easiest time I’ve ever had making bias binding.”

Thank you Mary for being the tester and for sharing the info.


Here are the ladies and gentlemen of the Longmont Quilt Guild.  Big guild.


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Some students who had taken class with me two years ago brought their projects to my lecture for show and tell.

Here is Laurel Hoppes’ Fiesta Mexico Block Nice. Great applique!

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and Von Yetzer with her Fiesta Mexico Block Nine project totally finished. Great job ladies.

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It was quite warm in and around the Longmont/Boulder area (100 degrees every day). But, we did spend an afternoon visiting the many shops and eateries on Pearl Street.  Into the Wind, a kite shop, just brought a smile to my face.

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There were two evenings we headed into the mountains  and saw some amazing animals which I’ll share next week. I am home sewing for the next 7 weeks. Yaahoo!


Book Review


Shelly recommended “Mutant Message Down Under” as a book she really liked.  This is a fictional account of an American women’s journey with an Australian aboriginal tribe.  She is sort of kidnapped (you’ll understand when you read the book) but then happy to learn the customs and spiritual healing of this culture that is more than 50,000 years old.   I found the book to be interesting and very thought provoking.

Lots of Good News

July 4th, 2016

I had my one year exam with the heart surgeon this past week.  And, they said my heart looks…..terrific!!!!  Yippee.  That is great news.  I’ve been feeling really good but it feels even better to hear it from the surgeon after my echo-cardiogram results.  I don’t have to see them for another year when they will repeat all the tests again.


Our 35th wedding anniversary is today, July 4th.  Yes, we were married on the 4th of July. There were plenty of fireworks and lots of rain.  Everyone told me rain was good luck on your wedding day and they appear to have been correct.  I have some fond memories from our wedding day…….we decided to drive around and waste a little time to allow our friends and family to get to the reception hall.  We were on some back roads and yes, we got stuck in the mud.  Joe and me all dressed in white.  I, of course, stayed in the car while Joe and Scott got us out of the mud and to the reception just in time for the first dance.  We were able to get all the mud off of Joe’s nice white suit, too.

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For our anniversary this year, we talked about going some place. But, honestly, I travel so much with my job, which I love, that staying home seemed like more fun to me.  With two aging dogs….Sasha at 17 1/2 and Tillie almost 16….who knows how much longer we’ll have them.  So, we decided to stay home.  We also decided that it was crazy to purchase gifts……just to purchase gifts.  I think we made the best decision.  We really wanted to get back to doing some bicycle riding so….. we bought each other bikes!  Which bike do you think is mine?  I LOVE my new bike.  We already rode on the Rails to Trails between Newville and Shippensburg and it has been awesome.

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Here is a view of the trail.  So far, we’ve seen deer, a whole racoon family, lots of bunnies, hundreds of birds and a truckload of groundhogs.  It has been fabulous weather for riding and no hills!!

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I am so lucky to have married my best friend.  I am looking forward to lots of bike rides and many more memorable experiences.

By the way, I also received this beautiful bouquet of 35 white roses.  Oh, he’s a keeper.



I have to share two new additions to my studio which I found during my recent travels. I love bugs, under glass.  Just the ones under glass.  Did I mention….only under glass?  OK, and in the garden.  Just not in my house please.

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She is the world’s largest insect, about 10 inches long. She is a “jungle nymph” from Malaysia. If I were in charge of giving bugs names, I would call them what I think I’d say if I saw one in the jungle: “scaredapoopis outaus



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This little lady can be found in Guiana in South America. I’d name her “beautius hopperus”. These bugs are not alive, but professionally preserved in great display cases. Aren’t they beautiful?


Joe went out fishing in the mountains this week and here are a few things he saw:

Mountain Laurel in bloom (it’s Pennsylvania’s State Flower)


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A female Ruffed Grouse (it’s Pennsylvania’s State bird) and her chicks

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and, of course, a native Brook Trout (yes, you guessed it, Pennsylvania’s State fish)

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Happy Birthday America and happy quilting to all!!


Faithful Circle Quilters, Joan’s Version of Fiesta Mexico and Book Review

June 29th, 2016

This past week I visited Naperville, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. I gave a lecture and two workshops for the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild. What a great guild with fantastic quilters. To learn more about them visit their website at

This is a very active guild and they often bring in national teachers.

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My contact, Joan, was great. She provided Joe and I with guest passes to the Arboretum where we saw some glorious trees and flowers. Here are just a few photos I snapped.


Joe called this the Perfect Rose


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I love coneflowers and these colors were beyond beautiful


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More flowers


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Naperville has a small river running through it.  There is a nice River Walk and the downtown is bustling with hundreds of boutiques and restaurants. What a great place to live. There are some covered bridges with beautiful potted plants along the sides.  And, there were lots of potted plants along the walk.  A really beautiful area.


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Student’s Work

Joan Dupuis-Neal finished her quilt from my Fiesta Mexico pattern in late fall. Joan entered it in the Manitoba Prairie Quilters’ Quilt show in April. She won a first place in category and an Excellence in Hand-Applique! Joan, also, won a first in category and Best of Show in their provincial expo (fair). It looks great with the black borders/sashing!  Way to go, Joan! Good job.


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I finished John Grisham’s book “Rogue Lawyer” on the plane ride to Chicago.  I did like this book.  I am a John Grisham fan.

Sebastian Rudd is not your normal lawyer.  He works from his bulletproof van moving from place to place because the last building where he worked was bombed.  His driver is also his bodyguard.  He tends to work on some high profile cases so he attracts a lot of attention.  He takes the cases no one else wants.

At the end of the book I thought….I don’t like this ending…and then I started thinking…..why don’t I like this ending….and I think it is because I wanted more.  I liked the character and wanted the story to continue. Hey, John Grisham, is there a sequel in the works??