Carlisle Ice Sculpture Festival, More Thailand and Book Review

February 19th, 2018

This past weekend, the town of Carlisle had 74 ice sculptures placed throughout the town. It was great to see them with all of the people walking, shopping and enjoying the day. They were created by a company in Hatboro, PA. Here are a few of the many.


Darth Vader, presented by Sterling Realty Management, in front of one of it’s rental properties.



The Carlisle Chamber of Commerce displayed shaking hands.



Carlisle’s Finest Brewery, Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. (for non-historians, Molly “Pitcher” was a water bearer in the battle of Mammoth, NJ during the Revolutionary War. When her husband was injured, Molly took up his position and acted as the ramrod for the his canon. After the war, she moved to Carlisle and in 1791 while then President Washington visited Carlisle, he honored her.  The Brewery’s IPAs are great! (That’s coming from Joe as I am not a beer drinker.)




Great sculpture outside a local gallery,



Dia del Muertas “Day of the Dead” sculpture outside the Mexican Restaurant.




The Bosler library had it’s own ice-cold book.



But, because Joe had recently visited his brother, this was our favorite. It was outside one of our favorite restaurants.



Signs you only see in Thailand….





Just a few more of my favorite photos from Joe’s Trip!


A local man up early and hoping to get something good for dinner.



A monument to King Rama V who was tutored by Anna, from the “King and I”





A Close up of this magnificent bush



“See you next year, Joe. We’ll just hang out until you return!”






Ron Rash is a new author to me.  The book was recommended by an online reading group.  The story follows two brothers, Bill and Eugene, from their teen years in 1969.  Their lives were forever changed by some events during that summer.  Ligeia comes to their small town in North Carolina.  She’s from Daytona, Florida.  She’s a free spirit.  She’s been banished to this little town to live with her relatives because her parents were having a hard time controlling her.  After the events of this summer, each brother took very different paths.  Very good read.


Until next week………..

I’m Back, Joe’s Trip to Thailand and Book Review

February 12th, 2018

I am so, so happy. For the past seven weeks, since my last blog, I have been working on a new project and spending hours in the studio sewing. Also, I have been taking long walks with my new rescue dog, Eve, and bonding with Sweet Eve. She is getting better every day and even starting to play. She had a ruff first two years of her life.  But it will be ruff no more.  We plan to spoil her rotten.



Guess what? Eve’s favorite color is green, mine too!


I love her.


While Eve and I were bonding, Joe traveled to Thailand to visit his brother and nephew. They said the 3 Bees (the Buckley Boys) were having a reunion. Here is the first photo he sent home, three bees in a lotus flower. How fitting.



Here are some of Joe’s photos from his trip. Just say Ahhhh!!



Something you didn’t think you would see walking down the beach……………..



But, maybe on a side street where you can stop and feed them.




Something you might not expect to see while riding down a back road.



Hey, hey we’re the Monkeys! I am diggin’ the Mohawk.



A young female getting ready for a date, make-up not required.



A young mother and baby.





Smile for the camera!



The boys hiked to some secluded waterfalls and took a dip in the cool pool.



They found some very neat lizards, in Thai called “Na Kong” or river dragons.






They witnessed the migration of thousands of fish running up stream to spawn.




And, visited some beautiful Watts (Buddhist Temples).



They are so colorful and intricately designed.






Here’s what it looked like in Carlisle, PA as Carlisle Carla, our resident groundhog saw her shadow………. again. I hate her because based on her prediction we are in for another 6 weeks of winter.  Not diggin’ the groundhog.




This coming week, I am headed back out on the road. First stop – Las Cruces, New Mexico. Can’t wait to visit the warmth of Las Cruces, eat some great Mexican food and meet some wonderful quilters!






I just finished listening to this book.  I am going to give it five stars.  Good reader and good book.  It is based on a true story of a young Italian teenager,  Pino Lella, who just wants to be a kid and fall in love……but, it’s during the 1940’s and the war is just beginning.  Pino ends up leading refugees over the mountains to safety.  His parents call him home and make him enlist, thinking it’s better to enlist and have a choice of where you will go. If he is drafted, Pino could end up on the front lines.  Pino ends up being a driver for a General.  I would highly recommend this book.


Until next week, I promise, …       .

Happy New Year, More From Mexico, New Products and Book Review

December 26th, 2017

The Holidays are upon us. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy a happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year!


Love, love, love visiting Mexico. I showed some of my favorite photos is last weeks blog and here are some more of my favorites.



A snowy egret with the coolest feet!



But I also love the lizards and iguanas.



Look at the texture in his body.




These next two giants were so beautiful.



Scary smile!



And his cousin.







We were walking on the board walk when this tiny little fellow popped up and and gave us a wave “Thanks for not stepping in my toes!”






This past week I introduced my “New” Perfect Scissors – Multipurpose. They have a razor edge (not micro serrated) and are wonderful for cutting templates, paper, fusible and even fabric.  They are included in the sale which ends December 29th.




After 5 years working with our manufacturing plant we were able to find a method to produce Perfect Leaves. I had received hundreds of requests for leaf shapes and now we have them. There are 15 different leaf shapes ranging from very small (less than 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch) to medium/large (2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches).  They are also included in the current sale.



I posted a free video on the website, “Free Tutorials”, showing how to use the Perfect Leaves.  When you have a minute check it out.

Enjoy.  And thanks to everyone who supports and encourages me.  I really do appreciate it.




I recently read “Best Day Ever” by Kaira Rouda.  Another new author for me.

Paul Strom is planning the best day ever for his wife.  They have a sitter for their two sons so they can enjoy the weekend at their beach house.  The best comment I can give on this story….you think you know someone, but maybe you don’t.  This was a crazy story/weekend.  I really enjoyed it.  It kept me guessing.



I am in my studio for the next six weeks working on a new project and bonding with Eve. I love her!! Look at that face.


Relaxing in Mexico, Eve and Book Review

December 14th, 2017

Following Thanksgiving, we traveled with some dear friends to a wonderful resort near Playa del Carmen, Mexico.



We laid on the beach, visited markets, but most exciting were our morning walks through the hundreds of acres on the property. Here are some of the things we saw on the ground and in the air:



I had never seen flamingos up this close!



The colorful birds were amazing but I don’t know what kind they were.



Look at his tiny feet!



A male oriole



and his mate.



Another great bird….. I think it was a yellow-bellied whatsucallit.



One early morning we spied these four in a tree top. Glad we had the camera with us.



I know this was a red bird. We have blue birds in PA, in Mexico they have red birds. Makes sense to me.



Caught this guy just buzzing around.



Check out his cool wings!



And then, there were the coatis ( pronounced “what the heck was that?”).



How cute.





Many of you know we lost our sweet little Sasha in January at 18 and our sweet potato pie, Tillie, this past month. To fill the hole in our lives, the day after we returned from Mexico, Joe and I drove 1100 miles to Kansas to rescue EVE.


Eve is a two year old Miniature Australian Shepherd, blue merle, and is absolutely wonderful.  Eve weighs 17 pounds and loves to come with me up to the studio. She is very, very shy and we plan on giving her lots and lots of love and attention. She’s had a ruff start in life but rest assured….we will do all we can to make her forget the bad times.  If we are coming to your guild and we are in driving distance, you will most likely be meeting her.  Our dear friends, Donna and Debbie, sent Eve her first toy.  Thanks ladies.






While on vacation, I read Diane Chamberlain’s book “Necessary Lies”.  Great book.  I loved the character development in this book.  Time period is 1944 and the story takes place in the rural area of North Carolina.

Jane Forrester, newly married, takes a job as a social worker in the rural area of North Carolina against her husband’s wishes.  Jane’s husband thinks that her working sets a bad example because none of his friends’ wives from the country club work.  (Oh, I don’t like him)  Jane is shocked at what she sees and becomes emotionally attached to several of her clients….in particular Ivy Hart and her family.  Ivy’s father passed away and her mother was taken some place due to mental illness.  Fifteen year old Ivy is a tenant on a large tobacco farm.  She is in charge of working on the farm, taking care of her grandmother, her sister with special needs and her sister’s baby.

Very good read.  The story is fiction but based on true events.  Shocking things about which I did not know.

Next week……. more cool animals and sites from Mexico and more of Eve as we are home until February. Yippie!!

East Aurora and Kenmore New York, Niagara Falls, Students’ Work and Francis Senft

November 27th, 2017

We just returned from a fantastic visit to East Aurora and Kenmore, New York where I spent time with three wonderful guilds.

Here are the ladies from the Morning Star Quilt Guild in East Aurora at my morning lecture.



The Southtowns Piecemakers Quilt Guild hosted the Saturday hand applique workshop.



And, here are some of the ladies from the Kenmore Quilters Guild during their machine applique class.



Pat was so excited she went home, finished her project and brought it in the next day. I love it when students share, but I think this was the quickest ever!!


Great job, Pat!!!


East Aurora is such a quaint town. It is the home of Fisher-Price Toys.


It is also the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement and the Roycroft Campus based on the ideals of John Ruskin and William Morris which was brought to life by the Sage of East Aurora,  Elbert Hubbard.






East Aurora has such a vibrant Main Street with great shops.



A small yet grand quilt shop where Susie, Linda and Samantha (call me Sammi) are eager to help guide you.


A classic movie theater



and the best 5 and dime ever : Vidlers.



Kenmore is a few minutes south of Niagara Falls. I could visit the Falls every week and would never tire of seeing their brute power. Horseshoe Falls



and the American Falls and Rainbow Bridge. Wonder how it got its name??





Karla Vernon had a lot of fun making and changing my Circles Squared pattern.  I love to see people think outside the box…..




I am home for the next two months and I plan on sewing almost every day. This is what I am thankful for.

Our dear friend Frank, who will turn 99 in January, could not make it out for Thanksgiving, so we took dinner to his home. For Frank still being with us, we are so very thankful. We love you, Frank!


Houston Quilt Festival, World Series Champs and Tillie, My Little Sweet Potato

November 14th, 2017

While spending October 29th through November 5th at the Houston Quilt Festival, we got to witness some fabulous quilts and a town celebrating in the streets following the Astros win in the World Series.



Houston was proud, happy and jubilant and its fans deserved some joy after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.




The quilts at the IQA Show were amazing. Here are a few of the winners and a few of my favorites:


Keiko Morichero of Sanda City, Japan hand appliqued 4,500 identical circles into a double wedding ring pattern . She added applique and exquisite hand quilting to create “For the Wedding of My Beloved Daughter.” She was awarded the Robert S. Cohan Master Award for Traditional Artistry.



A close up:



“Captivated by Nature” is a work in only black and white using  three different sizes of circles each machine fused applique. It garnered Olga Gonzales – Angulo of Saint Feliu De Guixols, Spain the Koala Studios Master Award for Innovative Artistry. Wow!!




“Kirara’s Garden Party” by Ayako Kawahami of Funabashi-shi, Japan won the World of Beauty Award. Amazing.





The Founders’ Award was presented to Junko Fujiwara of Narashino, Japan for her  incredible Baltimore Album quilt entitled “Fantastic.”




I loved Karen K. Stone’s new quilt, Lotus.  Karen is from Southlake, Texas.  She described her technique as “glue applique, machine quilting”.  It combines both cotton and silk fabrics.




One of my favorite quilts was “Do Dragon’s Like Cookies?” Tanya Brown of Sunnyvale, California created this quilt using digital printing, fabric painting and 3-D/CGI rendering. Magical!




The dimensional applique used in “Receiving Grace” was inspiring. Elizabeth McDowell Heagy of St. Clements, Ontario received a well deserved Honorable Mention for her extraordinary work.




First Place in the Innovative Pieced category was awarded to Frieda Anderson of Elgin. Illinois. Freida used her own hand dyed silk and cotton to create “Unfurling.”





“Turkish Treasures” was inspired by a trip Pat Holly of Ann Arbor, Michigan took to Turkey. This quilt is amazing. Pat used silk fabric and machine appliqued and machine quilted this masterpiece. Look at the border! She even handmade the Oya needle lace and topped each point with a bead!! Pat was awarded the blue ribbon in the Innovative Applique category.






More quilts and exhibits from Quilt Festival next week.


Sad day at the Buckley Home.

Our sweet Tillie had been ill for awhile and she passed away this week. We were blessed to have had her for 17 years.








Rest in Peace you sweet girl.

September 28, 2000 – November 9, 2017



Fall at Home, Bee Bee and Hazard Distillery

October 30th, 2017

Fall has arrived in Central Pennsylvania and as the leaves fall, Tillie and Kitty Carlisle seek the warm sunshine.



The apple trees in the back are drawing the deer.



They are so beautiful.



Thanks for the apples!!



A few more signs of fall: turkeys on the run



and rainbows, that is rainbow trout from Joe fishing.





Our dear friend, Wanda, stopped by with her new puppy “Bee Bee” – the cutest little chihuahua I have ever met. She weighs about 20 ounces. She is just adorable!




Last week while in Juniata County, we found a great new business between Mifflintown and Port Royal, Pennsylvania.



Bob Hazard was injured at work and was not certain where his life would lead. With the help and support of his wife Tina, they began researching the distillery business. They visited over 30 distilleries, spoke with owners and took classes. After purchasing a former gas station/auto repair facility, this summer they started their new venture. If you get a chance, visit Hazard Distillery. I love when people follow their dreams and make them realities. Thanks Bob and Tina and only good things are headed your way.



The store/sample area is so charming. As is Bob who greets you with a great smile and loves to talk about his products.



Such a delightful display of Hazard’s quality moonshine and whiskey. I loved that it came in jars!



Hazard Distillery spared no expense in their distillery equipment. Their state of the art machinery will carry them for many years into the future. It is simply beautiful, so bright and shiny and the finished product will make you shine!! Unbelievably smooth and soothing.




You know our local Vultures: Victor, Velma and Val? Well, they invited the whole family, all 17 of them, to visit for Halloween. Yikes. Glad I am heading out. Spooky, spooky. Happy Halloween from my haunted house to yours.



I am heading out early this morning for Houston and Quilt Festival.  Go Astros… Houston Strong.


Until Next week  …     .

Juniata Valley Quilt Guild and Book Review

October 23rd, 2017

This Saturday I taught for one of my favorite guilds, the Juniata Valley Quilt Guild, which meets in Mifflintown, PA.  This quaint county seat houses one of the cutest courthouses in all of Pennsylvania.



Many of the Juniata Valley Quilters are some of my favorite quilters and friends. They have always treated me so very well.

Here are just a few of the attendees for my machine applique workshop. We had some guests from Altoona and from as far away as Bucks County.  And, almost everyone in the room sewed on a BERNINA. Yippee!  I have never walked into a guild workshop and had so many students sewing on the same brand of machine.  It says a lot about the BERNINA dealer in the area.



The guild meets about an hour north of my home in Carlisle, PA. It was a nice day so we drove the back roads. I had forgotten how beautiful the drive it is. There are so many interesting barns, homes and sites along the way. Here are a few.

PA’s longest covered bridge, the Pomery/Academia bridge, is a two span Burr arch bridge and is 270 feet long.





Right down the road is the Tuscarora Academy, built in 1816, now a museum.



We saw so many wonderful stone houses and barns. Here are a few of our favorites:









Also, found a few barns and buildings adorned with quilt blocks.











Next week, we’ll visit Hazard’s Distillery, Pennsylvania’s newest distillery.

Have to rest up as Houston’s International Quilt Festival is right around the corner …



Having some long driving trips makes for some good audio book time.  I just finished listening to Diane Chamberlain’s book “The Midwife’s Confession”.  This is the write-up I saw online which covered it perfectly…….”The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn’t know.
With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives – and the life of a desperate stranger – with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.”  Good read.

Charlevoix, MI, The Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild, Mushroom Houses and Book Review

October 17th, 2017

We just returned from heaven on earth, Charlevoix, Michigan,  as we visited with the Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild.



Charlevoix has Lake Michigan to its north, Lake Charlevoix to its south and the White River which joins the two. AHHHHH!!!!!



To learn more about the Little Traverse Bay Quilt Guild, its giving ways and its truly amazing members visit   My contact was Jeanette Kling who I first met in Naples, Florida a few years ago. She is so lucky to winter in Naples, summer in Charlevoix and doubly lucky to be a member of two great guilds. Photo below was taken during my lecture.



Here are some ladies hard at work during the hand applique workshop.


This is day two of the machine applique workshop. Both workshops were held at one of the nicest libraries I have ever visited. It is the old high school renovated and now a fantastic library with great rooms.



Charlevoix’s favorite son, Earl A. Young, was a local real estate developer and self taught architect. During the 1950s, he designed and constructed a number of commercial and residential buildings using local stone which are commonly known as the “Mushroom Houses.” Amazing!!

Some are tiny



and some are HUGE!


Here is the front of one home that looks not so large



until you see the rear of the home. Incredible!



There were about thirty of his homes in the area.  Here are some more of my favorites.









The following two could only be seen from the water.



Truly magical! Thank you, Mr. Young, for gracing this world with such beauty and thank you citizens of Charlevoix for preserving his vision.







With all my recent driving trips, I’ve had time to listen to more audio books.  I have read many Michael Connelly books over the years.  If I am reading (listening to)  numerous books from an author, you know I must like them.  I’m excited because in this book Michael Connelly introduces us to his newest character, Detective Renee Ballard.  A female detective.  Yippee.  Detective Ballard was on the fast track up in the ranks until she filed a sexual harassment complaint against a superior and now finds herself working the “late show”.  Generally, while on this graveyard shift, she never gets to see her investigations to the end because her work gets handed over to the day shift.  But, she gets two assignments that she wants to see through, against the wishes of her partner and her bosses.  Thanks, Michael Connelly, for this new character and a great read.


Until next week, …  .

New England in the Fall, the Quilt Cookies of Pepperell, Purple Moose Design Quilt Retreat and Book Review

October 11th, 2017

We just returned from Northern Massachusetts and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The air is so fresh, crisp and clean and the hills look like a bowl of Trix. AHHHHHH !!!





First stop was Pepperell, Massachusetts  and the Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild. To learn more about this active group who call themselves the “Cookies”, visit their website.

Here are some of the “Cookies” prior to my lecture



and later at our workshop.



On our drive between the two groups, we were not far from one of my all-time favorite quilt shops:



Love their displays



and fabric selections.


Carmen, Lytle and Barb….I have VERY fond memories of our trip to Keepsake many, many years ago.

I thought I should get a few new additions for my fabric library/collection.



Next stop was Mirror Lake at Waterville Valley Center, New Hampshire and The Purple Moose Design Annual Fall Quilt Retreat. The setting is breath taking.

A photo during my early morning walk before the sun rose



and after sun rose on the walk back to the lodge. Wow!



What a great group of ladies. We had such a wonderful time. To learn more about the annual retreat visit

and make plans for next year. Here are some of the great quilters hard at work during our workshop.




We listened to the new James Patterson book on our recent road trip.  I like this reoccurring character, Alex Cross.  The book starts with Alex investigating what first looks like a road rage accident but then appears to be more.  While at the scene, Alex is notified to immediately come to another crime scene to investigate the death of one of their own.  The reader of this book was new to me.  I was used to the previous reader and it took me awhile to adjust to this reader.