Frederick, Maryland, Rochester NY, Bears, Bears, Bears and Student’s Work

April 25th, 2017

The beginning of April I was invited to lecture and teach for the Clustered Spires Quilt Guild of Frederick Maryland. They are a small but very active and advanced group of quilters. To join or learn more about the group, visit their website

Here are some of the ladies in my hand applique class.

Frederick is a fabulous town with great parks, churches, shops and restaurants.



And, the home of Barbara Fritchie, “Shoot if you must this old gray head …”



This past week, I drove north to Rochester, NY to lecture and teach for the Genesee Valley Quilt Guild. Another fantastic group of quilters. To learn more about them, visit their website


Here are some of the members awaiting my lecture…


and here are some in my machine applique class.



One of Rochester’s most famous citizens was George Eastman, who in the late 1800s, started a little company called Kodak. His home is now a museum and it is stunning.



I loved, loved, loved the dinning room.



I especially loved this purple chandelier with the fringes.  Nice.  I want one of these.


Another famous and, thankfully, out-spoken resident of Rochester at about the same time was Susan B. Anthony. She lived in a modest part of the city.



There is a wonderful life-sized sculpture by artist Pepsy M. Kettavong, “Let’s Have Tea”, depicting Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas sipping tea and talking politics in the park located just down the street.




One of the side benefits to traveling is that I now have my own Roadie: Roadie Joe. While driving home Saturday evening from Rochester to Carlisle in the mountains north of Williamsport, PA, I saw something down in a hollow off to the side of the interstate. I asked, “was that a bear?” Joe replied, “Yes, would you like me to turn around?” I told him to keep going as the bear probably would not be there, but Joe got off at the next exit and doubled back. The bear was about 200-300 yards away, but thankfully, Joe had a pair of binoculars and his good camera.

Here is what we saw…….




We watched her for about five minutes and then


two cubs and Momma. Look at the little guy hanging on.


Wait for it


Three cubs and proud Momma! Wow!!!

My trip to and from Rochester will forever be etched in my memory.



Two weeks ago, I taught my “Circles Squared” machine-applique workshop for my local guild, the Letort Quilters  Laurel Cook sent me this photo of her finished piece.  Love it, Laurel!!  Laurel is well-known in our guild as she longarm quilts for many of our members.


While in Frederick, Maryland, Peggy Haser is working on my Magical Medallions pattern and had four blocks appliqued. Great job Peggy!!




Until next week   …     .

WOW (World of Wearable Art), Book Review and Student’s Work

April 17th, 2017

When in Massachusetts teaching, I had some down time.  My guild contact, Barbara, highly recommended I see the WOW (World of Wearable Art) exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.  Thank you so much Barbara. Had it not been for you, I would have missed what I think ranks as one of the most impressive exhibits I had ever seen….and I’ve seen many exhibits in my life.  My eyes were bulging and I had goose bumps while walking through this exhibit.  The attention to detail blew me away.  The museum itself was impressive as was their museum shop.  I’d like to share just a bit of my journey through the exhibit.

A little background…..this is an annual design competition that has been going on for nearly 30 years in New Zealand.  (And, I had never heard of it until now.)  Quote: “… WOW is a feast for the eyes, where fashion, art and theatre collide.  For the designers, it’s an opportunity to create work free from commercial restriction, to compete with their peers and to have their talent recognized.”  From the book, “World of WearableArt: 30 designers tell their stories”.  (Fabulous book with very detailed photography and stories from the designers.)

“SKIN” was made by Marjolein Dallinga from Canada using wool, felt and silk.





“Hermecea” was made by Jan Kerr from New Zealand using hand made fabric, papier-mache and wire.







“Lady Curiosity” was made by Fifi Colston from New Zealand using foam, laminate, paint, velvet and acrylic mirrors.




It was totally unexpected to find this in the back.



“Loops” was made by Manas Barve and Yohesh Chaudlhary from India using Merino wool felt.  There is no stitching on this garment…the loops they created from the wool felt hold the piece together.





“Le Tatau” was made by Lindah Lepau from New Zealand using fabric, sequins and beads.





“Hylonome” was made by Mary Wing To from the United Kingdom using leather, horsehair and pony shoes.


I’ll be sharing more from this exhibit in upcoming blogs.  Stay tuned……




Several students recommended reading Preston and Child’s books.  I’m so happy when I get book recommendations on new authors I would have otherwise missed reading.

Gideon Crew witnessed his father being shot when he was twelve years old.  His father was accused of treason.  Gideon was in his twenties and at his dying mothers bed side when she told him the truth….his father was framed.  She begged her son to find the truth.  Gideon works for years to find out more and avenge his fathers death.  Good read.


Wakefield/Reading Massachusettes, Nimble Thimblers and Student’s Work

April 11th, 2017

After leaving Cape Cod, I headed north of Boston to the Wakefield and Reading area to teach for the Nimble Thimblers. To learn more about this guild, visit

Here are the ladies during a our applique class.

This guild was small but such a great group thanks, in part, to it’s program co-ordinator,  Barbara.  Besides the wonderful ladies, there are two things I will never forget about the guild: They had the best, largest hospitality table EVER! And, that Janet Columbus had finished my Fiesta Mexico pattern.


Fantastic job, Janet.

The ladies sent me to “Quilters Common”, a wonderful quilt shop in downtown Wakefield.


The shop is owned and operated by sisters. The shop has over 6,000 bolts of fabric. Check out their website at

Here I am with the girls and some of the staff.


We visited Newburyport, a quaint, colonial seaport with great shops.




We stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as well. Another colonial town with even better shops.



We visited Salem and it’s House of the Seven Gables and museums.


I counted five gables and assumed the other two were on opposite side of the house.


In every town we visited in New England, we stopped for lunch or dinner and started each meal with a “Cup of Chowda”




Barbara Jackson took my three day Majestic Mosaic class at The Kathy Dunigan Applique Academy held in Rockwall, Texas in February.  Here is Barbara’s finished block.  Good job Barbara.  I am proud of you for sharing and for finishing.

Until next week  ….  .

Cape Cod, Massachusetts and the Bayberry Quilt Guild

April 3rd, 2017

We just returned from our swing through New England and it was a great trip. Our first stop was on Cape Cod to teach for the Bayberry Quilt Guild. To learn more about this guild and their upcoming quilt show visit


Here are some of the ladies during one of our workshops –


We had never been on Cape Cod. Because we had a few days off, we visited every town. He are some of the things we saw.

The sunrise on a cove in Orleans.  This took my breath away. It was such an incredible sunrise.



A cranberry bog in Dennis.



A 1700s windmill.



A 1700s watermill.



Scores of fishing boats…..



and a few lighthouses.






We saw about 10 lighthouses on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. What a great and relaxing area, especially in March, April and May. We heard it gets crazy busy in July and August.


We did have time to visit a quaint quilt shop in West Dennis and spent time chatting with owner Pat Murphy.




Pat had a fantastic collection of “beach” and nautical themed fabrics, a cozy class room and a nice display of local quilts. Visit the shop or her site





Jeannette Kling sent me her finished project from a recent class. Great job and Perfect Circles!!





On our drive to New England, we listened to Daniel Silva’s “The Heist.” This is Daniel Silva at his best.

Gabriel Allon, artist, art historian and future head of Moussad, is asked by the Italian authorities to help with  locating a long, lost masterpiece. The book takes twists and turns throughout Europe and the Middle East as Gabrielle calls in favors from Rome to Corsica to Amsterdam to Israel. Always a great listen or read.

Can’t wait for the next thriller from Daniel Silva.


Until next week

Mt. Dora, Florida and the Lake County Quilt Guild

March 20th, 2017

I was welcomed by the Lake County Quilt Guild of Mt. Dora, Florida this past week. What a wonderful group of quilters! My contact was Peggy Conklin and she was fabulous! If you live in and around the Mt. Dora area, joining the guild is a must. To learn more about this tremendous group that meets every Tuesday, visit their website at

Here is a photo of some of the members…


Several of the ladies who had taken classes with me in the past brought their finished projects:

From my Folk Art Fantasy: Sarah Schlagetter



Joan Zeller



and Audrey Prahl.



Each different, yet each so, so beautiful. Good job!


From the Garden Medley Class: Award winner, Olive Gobin



and Suzanne Sabiel.



I love, love, love when students share their work. Again, great job ladies.


When we arrived at the groups’ meeting facility each day, we were met by an interesting fellow.



We named him”Sandy” the Sandhill crane. He would just walk right up to the car.



Mt. Dora is such a quaint community with a great downtown, nice shops and restaurants.




There are some magnificent homes on the lake. I think I will ask Joe to repaint our house this color….



and, a roving party bus. I think it stops at all the quilt shops!



On the day we left Florida, we had sunny skies.  Check out the beautiful orange trees.



When we returned to Carlisle, PA we had…….



I am booking the next flight back to Florida. Until next week  ….

Newburgh/Evansville and Wabash, Indiana and Book Review

March 13th, 2017

Just arrived back from a very enjoyable trip to Indiana.  It started with the Raintree Quilters Guild in Evansville, Indiana.  To find out more about the guild go to  What prompted this trip? My guild contact, Irene, had taken my “Borders By Design” workshop in Houston and really wanted me to come to her guild to teach that workshop, lecture and some additional workshops.  Thanks to Irene for being so very well organized.

Here are some of the ladies hard at work in this great space.

This library had a wonderful children’s section. It is no wonder I saw hundreds of children visiting. What a great place to read and learn.



A close-up of the stained glass.



The ladies suggested I stop by one of the local quilt shops.



And, I am so glad I did. Not only did they have a great selection of fabric



but they also had buttons






and more buttons!



Over 20,000 buttons. Wow! They also had “Washington” as the shop mascot.



Newburgh is the oldest town in Indiana and sits on the Ohio River. We spent one evening there and watched the barges as the sun was setting.




On a walk, we met “Baxter”, a miniature Australian Shepherd puppy




Morning walks showed that spring was in the air and the local male geese and ducks were trying to show their prospective mates who was best in their field.


Who had the greatest wingspan…


Who was the fastest….



Who had the best hair cut….



Who had the best buns…..



and who had the longest tongue?!?



The next stop was Wabash, Indiana with the Sew Pieceful Quilt Guild.  Another fabulous group of ladies.  Modena was my guild contact and she was also very, very well organized.  The guild met on the lower level of the Honeywell Center in the 1940s roller skating rink room.  It was my first time to teach on a skating rink and it really was a great room for the workshops.






Here is Modena with her Majestic Mosaic block. Good job!


Wabash is a very historical town: home to the first electrified courthouse; home to Mark Honeywell, inventor of the thermostat and the founder of the Honeywell Corporation; and hometown favorite Brenda Gail Webb, better know as Crystal Gale. And, rest assured, the town and all the great people we met did not “turn my brown eyes blue.”



At both groups, the ladies in my classes were enthusiastic about learning.  I love being around positive, enthusiastic quilters.  It makes my heart sing. Thank you so much ladies.



On the long road trip to Indiana, we listened to “Buried Prey” by John Sandford.  It has been quite some time since I read a John Sandford book.  The story takes place in Minnesota.  A section of the city is being torn down for some new development.  Two bodies are found.  Lucas Davenport knows just how long those bodies have been there….he remembers it well.  Lucas needs to find the truth this time.  Good plot twists and enjoyed the reader, Richard Ferrone.

Virginia Beach, The Mancuso Show , Williamsburg and Book Review

March 6th, 2017

There is so much to do in the Hampton/Virginia Beach/Williamsburg area. Yes, there was a wonderful Quilt Show. But, there is the beach.


AH!!!  And, the boardwalk which stretches for miles and miles along the beach.



Then, there is Colonial Williamsburg.



Where history truly comes alive.


The people, the architecture, the costumes, the animals, … it is all so wonderful.


Taking a guided tour in a coach is the way to see the town.


Around each corner is another great site…


and such a nice, winter day. Best winter ever!!


I will be on the road for the next few weeks: Evansville and Wabash, Indiana,  Orlando, Florida and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.



Since I love quilting, it’s fun to read books that have a connection to quilting.

Mary Dell and her son, Howard, host a TV quilting show.  Howard has Down Syndrome.  Mary Dell has raised him by herself as her husband walked out on them shortly after Howard was born.  The story weaves lots of friends and family members into Mary Dell’s life.  A light-hearted and enjoyable read.

Mountain Top Quilt Guild, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA and Book Review

February 28th, 2017

The Mountain Top Quilters in Prescott, Arizona made my pattern, “Fiesta Mexico”, for their opportunity quilt.  I am very impressed ladies.  I hope you sell lots and lots of tickets.


Here are just a few of my favorite quilts from the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival.

Barbara Korengold from Maryland made “Threads of Friendship”.  She won Best Hand Workmanship in the Traditional category.






Nikki Hill from Florida won the Best Machine Sewing award in the Innovative category for her quilt, “Moonswept”.





Gail Smith from Illinois won 3rd place in the traditional category for “Sarah’s Revival in Blue”.



“Hana” was made by Michiko Yonemaru from Virginia.





Linda Thielfoldt from Michigan made “Midnight in Baltimore”.





“Wisteria Wonder” was made by Roxane Lessa from North Carolina.  She won Best Pictorial Wall Quilt.



Vicki Ruebel from Nevada made “The Big Pickle”.  She won 2nd place in the Modern category.




Here are some of the lovely ladies in my classes hard at work:




Book Review

While driving to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, Joe and I listened to David Baldacci’s book “The Guilty”.  Will Robi works for the government as an assassin.  He is highly trained to eliminate threats to the US before they reach our shores.  He has an unsuccessful mission and is second guessing himself.  His father, who he has not seen since he departed the small town where he was raised twenty years earlier, is charged with murder.  Robi goes back to his home town and has lots of issues to resolve.  While trying to find the truth about the murder for which his father is charged, he stumbles unto several challenging issues.  Good read.


Until next week…..

Best Winter Ever and Book Review

February 21st, 2017

This past week, we awoke to five inches of snow and it was beautiful.

Our bluebirds were not real happy.


Their puffed out blue and orange feathers looked great against the white snow.


Tillie was so happy to get to play in the snow.  She loves the snow.



Within two days, the snow disappeared.

We heard a local newscast mention a massive flock of snow geese near us and it just happened to be within two miles from my favorite fabric store, so off we went. Here is what we saw….




With a whoosh, they rose and took off, all 75,000 of them.


See you next year!!



Then, this weekend, temperatures hit 70 degrees in Carlisle. See what bloomed this morning!?! Best winter ever!!  We are having some record breaking warm temperatures.  What is not to like?



The Kathy Dunigan Applique Academy

I was so happy to teach at Kathy Dunigan’s Applique Academy in Texas for the third year in a row. My students were great.

They had too much fun.


If you get a chance, sign up for next year’s classes at the academy. Visit the website to find out more.




I am still working on preparing edges for a new applique project and listened to this Michael Connelly book, “The Wrong Side of Goodbye”.  I like the reoccurring character Harry Bosch.  Harry worked with the LAPD for 30 years but is now doing some private investigating work.  A billionaire needs Harry’s help finding a possible heir.  Harry also volunteers as an investigator for a small, under staffed, police department and gets involved in serial rape case.  This audio book kept my interest throughout and I would add it to your reading list for sure.

Thailand and Book Review

February 15th, 2017

Joe returned this past week from his annual trip to visit his brother and nephew in Thailand. He spent a week on Koh Chang (Elephant Island) and, as always, took some great photos. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of them.

View from his deck.

View from the dive boat.


This tree is over 1000 years old and over 200 feet tall!


Each town has a Wat or temple,  similar to our churches. Their exteriors are marvelous.



Here is one dedicated to elephants.  Remember, he was on Elephant Island (named because it is shaped like an elephant’s head).

Incredible sculptures and colors.






Upon seeing guys ride baby elephants down the street, Joe had to follow.



They were going to get a shower.



What a great face.



Also, some other locals: monkeys. Thanks for the grub, Joe.




One day, Joe visited some waterfalls and saw this little guy along his journey.  He might look good in one of my quilt designs…….


Beautiful waterfalls.

Check out this school of fish.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of Joe’s photos.



Again, as I am working on a new hand applique project, I am listening to audio books.  I love doing this.  There are so many books I want to read. Honestly, there are not enough hours in the day because when I have some open time on my schedule, I really like to sew/quilt.  Sewing and listening to audio books…..perfect combination.

In 2008, Samantha Kofer is working at a very large Wall Street law firm putting in 80+ hour work weeks.  (Does not sound like fun to me.)  When the recession hits, many employees of the firm, including Samantha, are furloughed.  It is suggested that they work for a non-profit without pay for a year and then they could possibly get their jobs back.  Samantha ends up with a non-profit in Brady, Virginia. Samantha goes from New York City to a town of around 2,000 residents to work at a legal aid clinic.  Many of the cases have to do with coal mining and Samantha has a lot to learn.  Definitely kept my interest as I was sewing.  There were some slow parts but I still enjoyed this book.

Until next week…..