AQS Quiltweek in Paducah

April 29th, 2016

The quilts at AQS Quiltweek Paducah were really impressive this year.  Here are just a couple to fest your eyes on.


“Kan Oh Chi Rai-Prediction Study of the Past” was made by Yoshiyuki Ishizaki from Japan.  Love the color gradation.

” Celestial Sedona” was made by Norma Ippolito from Vermont.  Norma said it took her three years to make this quilt.  Glad she stuck with it.




“Oscillation” was made by Margaret McDonald and Susan Campbell from Australia.  Another quilt with great color gradation.



“In the Spring” was made by Rumiko Ooiwa from Japan.






“My Garden  Among The Roses” was made by Ayako Takaku from Japan.




“Judgement Of Osiris” was made by Georgia Spalding Pierce from Seattle, WA.  Georgia received first place in the Large Wall Quilts, Longarm Machine Quilted category.




“Kalocsa” was made by Chieko Shiraishi from Japan.  Chieko won first place in the Hand Quilted Quilts category.



The hand embroidery work was incredible.




Until next week…..





Recent Trips, Students Work and Book Review

April 11th, 2016

I’ve been on the road a lot recently.  I started this journey with a guild outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I am doing I forget to take photos.  That does not mean I did not have an excellent time while I was there.  As a matter of fact, just the opposite.  I loved working with Charlotte and Ona at the Cabarrus Quilt Guild.  To find out more about the guild visit 

Absolutely loved my time with these ladies.

Two ladies from the guild volunteered to drive me from their location to my next destination…Calla Lily Quilt Shop in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The employees in the shop were awesome and a big help to me when setting up, etc.

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While at the shop, Anne came by to share her in-progress “Circular Garden” quilt top. She started in my class this past summer.  Looking good Anne.

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I went home for a very short time….less than 24 hours…then drove to the Lebanon Quilters Guild in Lebanon, PA.    To find out more about the guild visit their website If this guild was just a little closer to me I would definitely join this group.

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While I was there, three different members shared projects.  First was Myrna Todd.  She took my Majestic Mosaic class this past summer and she beautifully hand quilted her piece.

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Pauline shared her “Garden Medley” project which she very nicely hand quilted.  Check out her ribbon!!

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And then, Jolynn shared her “Ocean Sunrise” project which she had nicely machine quilted.

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During my short time home…just 2 days….I was sick and in bed most of the time.  Good thing I was mostly sick during my down days.  Next up, we drove to Schenectady, New York.  If you live in this area, you can obtain more information about the guild by visiting

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The views were heavenly from the First Reformed Church of Scotia where they held their meeting.

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It rained very hard all day, hence the rain drops on the windows.  The sun came out and the views were fabulous early evening.  How nice of the weather to cooperate while we had to unload the car to bring quilts and goodies into the guild meeting.

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I’m off again this week to State College, Wind Gap and then Paducah.  Maybe I will see you some place along the way.





I just finished reading “Find Her” by Lisa Gardner.  I could not put this book down.  I was sucked in from page one.  This is, I think, the 8th in the series with Detective D. D. Warren as the lead character.  You do not need to read the previous books to get into this one.  The book starts with Flora, a fun loving college student who was on spring break, locked in a pine wood box.  She explains how it feels to be left inside the box where she cannot move her arms over her head, bend her legs, how hard the wood is on the back of her head… the pine box was built just for her…….  After 472 days Flora escapes.  And the story begins.  Do I have your attention?

Spring, Joe in Thailand and Book Review

April 1st, 2016

What a glorious spring we are having in Pennsylvania. Here is a photo of our weeping cherry tree in full bloom.

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The tree only holds it’s flowers for about three days. I was home to actually see it this year.

I am traveling to North Carolina today so thought I’d share some photos from Joe’s recent trip to Thailand. A few miles from Joe’s brother’s home is Thailand’s King’s Wat. It is a thousand acre park with beautiful buildings, monuments and temples.


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Visitors from around the world visit to this temple which houses the bones of Buddah.

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Our nephew, Roy, in his teenage mutant ninja clothes. Can you say kowabunga dude?

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Joe traveled to Elephant Island for a few days and saw great sun sets


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Lots of monkeys…..


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Do they have a monkey Mary Kay’s in Thailand?

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What a cute baby!


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And, of course, Joe had to take a ride on an elephant.


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Joe captured great photos of some birds.

A Siamese Fireback, the national bird of Thailand….


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A Great Hornbill….


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An Indian Roller….


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an Eagle……

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And my favorite, the Hoopoe…..


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While sitting outside, Joe saw this little guy crawling up the bush.


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We saw this little book at a book store in Bloomington, Indiana. Craig Yo is the author and although it was a short read, as I turned the pages it just grew on me.


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Which reminds me of my favorite Latin phrase : Res Firma Mitescere Nescit

Until next week ……

Quilting by the Bay in Panama City, Florida

March 25th, 2016

I get to travel to some pretty cool places and Quilting by the Bay quilt shop has to be one of the nicest quilt shops of all time.  The owners, Sandy and Al, are super nice people and very, very organized.  You know how I like to work with organized people.



The shop had a gazillion supplies.



A table with my products and supplies needed for the workshops was right inside the door.



There were 2 gazillion bolts of fabric.  (I don’t know how much a gazillion amounts to…..but it was a lot.)



Sandy and Al purchased the building next to them and renovated it for office use and the most incredible classroom I have ever seen at a quilt shop.  Two sides of the room had windows for excellent natural lighting. Then, lots of overhead lights, outlets on the floor under each table and each student gets their own table!!



I was able to spend time with some old friends and make some new friends.  What is not to like about that.  Below is Sharryn hard at work.



If you live any where in the area, you are very lucky to have such an excellent quilt shop.  And, if you live any where in the state or surrounding states, you should make the trip.   If you plan to visit Florida, you should make this one of your stops.  And, if you enjoy block of the month projects, you need to check out their website listed above.  Enough said.


Until next week….


Student’s Work, Illinois and Book Review

March 21st, 2016

I received a nice email this week  from two students who took my “Circular Garden” hand applique workshop.  They took the workshop together and are entering their pieces in their local guild shop.  The first one was made by Janette Tarr.

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And, this one was made by Sheva Farkas.

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Then, I got another email from Marlene McInturff.  She took my “Kansas Rose” workshop in February at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. Her project is completely finished!  And, it looks amazing.

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Thanks for ladies for sharing.  I love it when my students share.



During my recent trip to Indiana and Illinois, I taught at the Threads of Time Quilt Shop and Retreat Center in Danville, IL.

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This is a fantastic shop and owners Missi and Bill were great. This is Missi. What a sweetheart!

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The retreat can house over 30 quilters.  They have huge classrooms, comfy sleeping quarters and four different work areas.

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Pack up your machines and head on out to Quilt Camp! To learn More about this great place visit


One of the ladies attending my lecture, L. Jeanne Krwin of Ivesdale, Illinois brought her finished

Magical Medallion quilt. Simply amazing. Great job Jeanne!

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As we drove around the area, we saw fields with hundreds of wind mills

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Then, as we turned down a country road, we came upon the best named town in all of Illinois, maybe in the United States.

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and my favorite

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To bad we don’t own it!!! As it turned out, the town maybe named for one of Joe’s ancestors. According to the local historian, the town was named for the founder’s favorite cousin, one  Theodorius Buckley of Philadelphia.




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Joe and I listened to Nichols Sparks’ new book “See Me” on our drive home. It is definitely a must read or must hear.

Maria Sanchez, a young lawyer, is driving home one night and has a flat tire during a downpour. Colin, a tattooed young man with cuts and bruises on his face and hands stops to help. Maria reluctantly agrees and both are happy to leave the others’ company. The star crossed couple are later reunited by Maria’s sister and the two strive to find common ground on which to build a relationship. Maria, the daughter of immigrants who have built a large family restaurant and Colin, the spoiled child of a wealthy family with a criminal past.

Read it now or watch the movie when it is produced. Nicholas Sparks books are often turned into movies.


Until next week……




Bloomington, Indiana, the Indiana Heritage Quilt Festival, Book Review and Spring

March 12th, 2016

Joe and I just returned from a 10 day road trip to Indiana and Illinois. Great to be home even just for a day. I must apologize for not posting my blog from Virginia, but forgot to hit the Publish button before we left. If you read below you will see it. Virginia is for Quilters.

I am very lucky to travel to so many great places, explore interesting locales, eat great food, but most importantly, spend time with the best people in the world: quilters.

This grand sculpture, “Red, Blonde, Black and Olive” by a local sculptor, Jean Paul Darriau, greeted Joe and I as we drove into Bloomington, Indiana.

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I gave a lecture for the Bloomington Quilters Guild whose program coordinator, Becky, was a blessing. I love organization and Becky, her guild members and officers were the best. To learn more about the guild visit

The members of the guild volunteer and donate to the community and to the efforts of the Indiana Heritage Quilt Festival. This wonderful show was celebrating it’s Silver Anniversary and it had been 16 years since I had last taught at the festival. I worked with Paulette who had organized the teaching staff and she was amazing. The show  is a must visit for many reasons: the workshops, the fabulous quilts and special displays, the great staff and board members and the diverse, culturally rich Bloomington area. If you have not visited, next year put it on your list. Really, get your calendar out and mark the dates!! You can view all the winning quilts by visiting their website

Here were some of my favorite quilts:

Jan Hutchinson of Sedgwick, Kansas  won First Place in the Art Innovative Category for “Sunflower Deco”

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The Show had a category for the 25th Anniversary of the Festival. Annie Gianaris of Fishers, Indiana won Third Place for “The Journey Continues – Hope Springs Eternal”


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Annie used 25 shades of gray fabric to create this wonderful piece.


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My bad. The name of this quilter was a blur on the photo taken of the label. If anyone recognizes the quilt and has the quilter’s name and info please email me. Thanks. I loved, loved this quilt and the color palate used. The border was exceptional!! Great job!!


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Look it’s raining on the quilt or is that in the quilt?


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“Everything” from Jackie Spenser of Bedford, Indiana has phenomenal applique. The batiks she used gave such a great texture to the quilt.


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Now that Joe is traveling more with me, I get to venture out more. Each morning, whether we are home or away, we rise early and walk for an hour. I love Indiana University’s campus and the use of the local stone for it’s hundreds of buildings. It was so peaceful walking early in the morning as we had the place to ourselves.



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The sculpture of a war correspondent sits outside the Media School.


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The Chapel is small but ever so quaint.


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The City of Bloomington has more of a small town feeling and hosts so many great restaurants. There are Indian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Tibetan, French, Greek, Italian, Mexican, North African, Irish, English, German, Organic, Vegan, American, …  fine dining to casual to fast food and some very, very, very…


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The Up Town Cafe was our favorite: three times for breakfast and once for lunch. Their dinners looked amazing, but Joe would grab some take out so I could relax.


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On our walks, we found evidence that the winters in Bloomington are much colder than when I last visited 16 years ago: the locals are forced to knit sweaters for the trees!


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Here in Carlisle, we had a taste of spring this week. And, the snow has all melted.


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Even Kitty Carlisle got to bask in the Spring’s warmth among the growing flowers. Yes, she happily survived in her heated cat house this winter and I think she is never leaving!


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On our drive from Virginia to Indiana, we listened to James Patterson’s new Alex Cross novel: “Cross Justice”. Dr. Alex Cross, the world re-known Washington D.C. detective and former FBI agent, returns to his boyhood North Carolina home after 25 years. Dr. Cross’s cousin, a local teacher, has been accused of the sex related murder of a student. The Cross family, including Alex’s grandmother, drive south for the trial to lend moral support. Dr. Cross can not stand by as the local judge, prosecutor and police department attempt to railroad the case and also accuse his family of other wrongdoings. They messed with the wrong man. Dr. Cross begins to delve into the matter, contacts his buddies at the FBI and assists his niece who is defending her cousin. During his private investigation which takes him from North Carolina to Florida and back, he learns hidden details of his past and assists the Palms Springs police in finding a serial killer. He is out for justice and this hometown will never forget his family’s fight for the truth. A must read.


I am off today for Panama City, Florida to teach. Joe asked if I was going on Spring Break and I said heck no, it’s Spring Work! Until next week  ……………….

The Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA

March 12th, 2016

I just returned from Hampton, Virginia and the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. I had not taught at this event for many years and it was nice to return to the area. Great students, great classroom space and a great show. Here are some of the ladies working hard in my Hand Applique class.

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I was thrilled to meet and teach three generations of the Mitchell-Alveraz family: from left to right: Cydnee, Dee and Barbara. What a fabulous family outing.

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Here are a few of the many wonderful quilts hanging in the show:

“Just Ruffling Some Feathers” by Gina Boone of Advance, North Carolina was awarded First Place for Best Longarm Machine Workmanship

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A close up

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Becky Brown of Montpelier, VA won First Place for Best Hand Workmanship for “Quental Vases”

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What I loved about Becky’s quilt was her stems. If you look closely she used not one, but two fabrics in the stems to give them more depth and dimension.

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“The Blood Remembers” created by Sandy Curran of Newport News, VA was awarded 3rd Place in the Innovative category.

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A close-up:

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Molly Y. Hamilton-McNally won First Place in the Innovative category for her quilt: “Moonflower”

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Got home last night and off this afternoon for Indiana. Until the week after next …  Karen on the Road Again!

Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska

February 20th, 2016

This past week I visited the Cottonwood Quilt Guild in Omaha, Nebraska. My contact, Nel, was wonderful. She and all of the guild members gave me a great Nebraska welcome! To learn more about this guild visit their website at

Here are some of the members who attended the evening….

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and then the morning lecture.  A very large guild and the meetings were well attended.

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Judy brought her finished “Garden Medley” project to share.  Judy took this workshop with me a while ago and thought I would like to see it finished.  She is right.  I love knowing they get finished.  Thanks for sharing Judy.

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Nel said if we had time we should visit the University of Nebraska’s International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Lincoln. It was worth the hour drive north of Omaha.







There was a very nice exhibit of antique quilts.  Many of them were from Pennsylvania.  Here are just a few.









There was a fantastic exhibit of Michael James’ new work entitled: Ambiguity & Enigma.  I love his new work.

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Some of the ladies from the guild said that while we were in Lincoln we should stop and visit one of their favorite quilt shops, the Cosmic Cow.  All I can say is “Holy Cow!” I did not think one could fit and tastefully display over 5,000 bolts of fabric in such a compact area. It was heavenly.

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Under or over each grouping of bolts are smaller shelves with corresponding fat quarters.  I say, “Wow to the Cosmic Cow”!

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Until next week……..

The Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique and a Book Review

February 7th, 2016

This past week I was back for the second year of The Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique.  To find out more visit the website

I taught “Spring Time”, a machine applique project,  as a three day workshop.


Here are some of my most excellent students working very hard on their version of my project.









Hopefully each of my students will be sending me a photo of their finished project so I can share it with you.

Working with Kathy and her mother is a real treat.  If you love applique consider checking out the schedule for next year when it is posted.  I’ll be returning next year….not sure what I’ll be teaching just yet but possibly one hand and one machine applique project….each for three days.




Book Review Grafton

Just finished listening to Sue Grafton’s book “X”.  Kinsey Milhone is a PI living in California.  For those of you who are unfamiliar…the series started with “A is for Alibi” and we’re all the way to “X” now.  That’ a lot of writing on the part of Sue Grafton.  Kinsey always gets herself into some interesting predicaments and has some strange clients which makes for some fascinating story lines.  I thought the book was a little slow in the middle…sorry Sue…but I did enjoy the book.


Naples Florida, Snow and Book Review

January 30th, 2016

I had the pleasure of working with the guild in Naples, Florida this past week.  Great group…so appreciative.  I taught one hand and one machine applique workshop.  Here are some of the ladies hard at work in the hand applique workshop.

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The classes were held at a really nice quilt shop called “Flash. Sew and Quilt”.   It was a great classroom.

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After the first day of classes we rushed to the beach to see the sunset.

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There were several wind surfers on the beach.  There was strong wind and these guys and girls were flying across the waves.  Fascinating.

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Directly behind us, on the beach, was this amazingly beautiful full moon.

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While we were enjoying some sun in Florida our part of the world was getting hit with a very, very big snow storm.  Here is what Joe’s car looked like in the parking lot at the airport when we returned.  It took him 30 minutes to shovel enough snow to move the car out of the spot.  Crazy.

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Joe keeps a heater in the bird bath during the winter and our vulture buddy came to visit.  We don’t normally see the vultures during the winter.  He was having a good old time.

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I am a Linwood Barclay fan and I did enjoy his new book “Broken Promise”.


David Harwood and his young son have moved back in with his parents after his wife passed away.  David lost his job at the newspaper.  David’s cousin, Marla, lost a child at birth and has had issues adjusting.  Someone drops a baby off at Marla’s house and David finds his cousin and baby at her home when he stops to check on her.  The story line has some good twists and the book definitely kept my interest.


I’m off to the Dallas area this week to teach at The Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique.