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.

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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 http://www.longmontquiltguild.org

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 http://www.thepresserfoot.com/

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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.

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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!

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Book Review

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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 http://www.fcquilters.com

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??

Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild and Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild

June 17th, 2016

Just returned from one of my favorite states: TEXAS! I flew into Austin and was hosted by the the Chisholm Trail Quilt Guild of Georgetown. What a great guild.  To learn more about them visit  http://www.ctquiltguild.org. Leslie, my contact and the program chair, was so very wonderful.  Here is a photo of the group.

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Joe and I then drove to San Antonio and had a day to explore along the way. Here are a few things we saw:

Goat Sculpture in Gruene, TX (pronounced “green”)  Loved these goats but they would not fit in my luggage.

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Mission Bells

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The Little Flower Basilica, San Antonio

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and when in Texas you must Remember the

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ALAMO!

 

We had dinner on the River Walk. We did not know but we were seated under a two hundred year old tree which was growing out of the wall. It was a point of interest for the many, many boats which cruised by us. We were constantly waving at the photo snapping tourists.

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San Antonio has many great quilt shops but I was only able to visit Sew Creative Quilts while in San Antonio. Fabulous shop, great owner, Laurie, and fantastic employees. Visit the shop or their website http://www.sewspecialsa.com

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Look at all the thread choices! And there were more on the opposite side of this display!

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First day with the Greater San Antonio Quilt Guild, I taught my Ocean Sunrise Class and the students learned paper-piecing and machine applique. The next day prior to my lecture, many of them were featured at the guild’s show and tell. Great job ladies! Glad I had my camera ready.

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Another great guild and Janet, the program director, was wonderful. To find more about the guild visit their website: http://www.sanantonioquilt.org

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The best thing about traveling is returning home to my girls:

“Silly” Tillie, my Sweet Potato Pie, soon to be 16. She is so hug-able.

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and “Princess” Sasha, my Sweet Pea, 17 1/2 years old.

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Until next week  …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letort Quilters Biannual Quilt Show

June 10th, 2016

I am very proud to be a founding guild member of the Letort Quilters of Carlisle, PA.  For more information about them, check out www.letortquilters.com. This group has never ceased to amaze me with their work ethic and charity efforts.  They meet twice a month which means they have a lot of programs throughout the year.  And, yet again, they have produced one fantastic quilt show with such a wonderfully diverse selection of quilts.  Here are just a few photos of some of the quilts that hung in the show.

 

“Laurie’s Wedding Quilt” was pieced by Sandy Moore and quilted by Cathy Franks. It was hanging as a surprise at Laurie’s wedding reception.

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“Confetti in the Corner” was pieced by Cathy Irwin and quilted by Laurel Cook.

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Susan Rynex pieced “Birdsong” and Jeanne Lowe quilted it.

 

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I always like to see a student’s finished work from my classes. Here is a finished work from my “Ocean Sunrise” class that I  taught in April 2015.  It was pieced by Carmen Eiserman and quilted by Laurel Cook.

 

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“Red Letter Day” was pieced by Cathy Irwin and quilted by Laurel Cook.

 

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Donna and Debra Lohman worked together on “August Lily”. They chose the name of this quilt in honor of the flower that blooms for both of their birthdays.

 

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I, also,  taught “Ocean Sunrise” in 1996. Here is the finished project from that class. This quilt was pieced by Winni Flynn and quilted by Tina Snyder-Black.

 

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“Fire Stacks” was pieced by Donna Lohman and pieced by Debra Lohman.

 

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“Flowers & Vines” was pieced by Lorna Beacher and quilted by Laurel Cook.

 

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Lorna Beacher both pieced and quilted “Too Many Yo Yo’s”.

 

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“Blue Passion” was pieced by Rhoda Collins and quilted by Tammy Long.

 

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“Ruched Roses” was pieced by Carol Brown and quilted by Maria O’Haver.

 

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What a great show!

 

Until next week……..

 

 

 

Lake Arrowhead, CA, Students Work and Book Review

June 4th, 2016

Over the Memorial Day weekend  Joe and I traveled to our dear friends’ lake house in Lake Arrowhead, CA. The community of Lake Arrowhead sits at an elevation of 5,500 feet in the mountains northeast of the Los Angeles basin. It was crisp and clear all week with lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s. Perfect. We had a marvelous time relaxing and were so excited to see new and beautiful birds, trees and flowers.

Here is what we saw…..

The road up the mountain to “paradise”

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On top of the mountain on this amazing tree we spied a bird.

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We had never seen a golden eagle. What an amazing bird.  We tired but could not get any great photos of him in flight.  He just drifted gently in the currents.  Ahhhhh

 

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On our morning walks we were introduced to many Steller Jays.  What a beautiful sister to the bluejays in our back yard.

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On our morning walks we also saw California quails: both the male one day and the female quail the next day.  Beautiful.

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But the best place for bird watching was our friends’ deck. Our friends put out lots of peanuts and the Stellar Jays entertained us all weekend.

 

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Also the acorn woodpecker

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the black-headed grosbeak and many more.

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Down at the lake we saw lots of ducks.  Maybe it is because people can purchase duck food right along the beach.  Momma was taking good care of her little ones.

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It was a colorful duck fest (love the bright heads and orange feet)!

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We drove through the mountains to Big Bear Lake and saw some great flowers like the Coulter’s lupines

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Here is a closeup and they were so fragrant.

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Here are some other plants

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They call these pine cones Widowmakers.  Because they are very large and if one falls on you……..you get the idea.

They are from the Coulter’s pine and weigh eight pounds. Yikes!!

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As if we had not already had a fabulous time with our friends.  On the first leg of our flight home Nyle DiMarco, who just won Dancing With the Stars, was on our flight.  And of course I requested that he join me in a photo and he graciously agreed.  What a wonderful man. I still have goose bumps from meeting him. Thanks Nyle. Very exciting……..  He’s even better looking in person than on TV!!

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I just love getting photos from students of their finished work.  It makes me very happy.  This is from my Kansas Rose machine applique class.  It was made by Maryann McDermott from the guild in Schenectady, New York.  Job very well done Maryann.

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BOOK REVIEW

 

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On the flight to and from California, I read a book recommended by Grace.  Grace knows I like Lisa Gardner and I had not read this one…..”Love You More”.  It was another “on the edge of your seat” read.  I think it was the 5th in the Detective D. D. Warren series.  I have read several of the books in this series…..not necessarily in order.   The book starts with one of the main characters, Tessa Leoni, a state police trooper, being accused of killing her husband.  The book takes some good twists.  I could not put it down.  I like a good murder mystery.

 

Until next week

York Quilt Guild Show and Book Review

May 27th, 2016

I taught for a great group of ladies from the York Quilters Guild of York, Pennsylvania this past weekend. It was nice to be so close to home. It was a new venue for the guild show held on the campus of York College at the Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center. It was a fabulous location for classes and for the show. Job very well done ladies. Great location.

Here are some students hard at work!

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Barbara Colvin took a class from me a long time ago. We’re not telling how long. And, she made two of the blocks into the nice holiday table runner.

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Paul Hallinger made this fun quilt called, “Rhonda Ruth Challenge”.

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“It Takes Two” was made by Elaine Marshall.

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Cathi Paszkiewicz made, “Big as a Thumb”.

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Nice work, everyone!

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BOOK REVIEW

 

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I just finished reading another student recommended book called “The Same Sky”.  There are two story lines that merge.  Alice and her husband cannot have children.  They desperately want children.  They own a successful BBQ in Texas.  They try adoption but it just seems it’s not meant to be.  The second story line is about 13 year old Carla who lives is a very bad part of Honduras.  Carla is living with her grandmother and when her grandmother passes away she makes her way to Texas where her mother lives.  I really liked the character development in this book.

Mountain Heritage Quilters Guild in Fairview, WV and Book Review

May 19th, 2016

I recently worked with a really nice quilt guild, the Mountain Heritage Quilter’s Guild in Fairmont, West Virginia. To find out more about this truly amazing guild of just 44 members visit https://sites.google.com/site/mountainheritagequiltersguild. 

They held their classes at a fabulous quilt shop, Country Roads Quilt Shop, http://www.countryroadsquilts.com in Morgantown, West Virginia. If you are in the area, this shop is a must stop! And, there are lots of other really interesting stores in the same plaza.

Here are just a few photos from the shop…..

 

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Lynda, in pink, is the president of the guild. Peggy, standing behind the table, is the shop owner. They were both so wonderfully organized.

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Great group of students. I constantly have to pinch myself because I am so lucky to do something I love so much.

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Book Review

I just finished the 4th book in the “Outlander” series, “Drums of Autumn”.  (The first book in the series is titled “Outlander”)  The saga continues with Claire, the time traveler, and Jamie.  In this installment their daughter, Brianna, makes the trip through the stones, back in time, to find her mother and the father she has never met.  Brianna has found some disturbing information and she must make the terrifying trip through time to share this information with her parents.  This book was 39 discs in length.  Just know it is going to take some time to read this series.  Diana Gabaldon does not know how to write a short book……..so get ready.

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