New Class Projects and Product Review

February 20th, 2015

I’ve been working on some small quilts to add to my workshop choices.  One of the new projects is called “Modern Poinsettia”.  It will be a three hour workshop.  There will be some other versions of this using different colors and different flowers.  Patterns and more quilt designs similar to this coming soon………

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Now, for a new 6-hour, one-day workshop, I just finished “Circular Garden”.  It still needs to be quilted.  I worked from some Cherrywood hand-dyed packets.  Circles…they make me oh, so happy.


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I am working on a new competition quilt and still playing with the layout.  I changed my mind from my original plan which meant I had to do some ripping.  I had to rip about 50 pieces of applique.  Yuck!  I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done this before.  With my layout change, I needed to move these pieces to a different background fabric.

Well, during my travels, someone gave me a “RipTweezer”.  It is my new favorite tool.  One end is a ripper and the other a tweezer.  It worked beautifully.  I ripped about every 4th stitch and then used the tweezers to remove the loose threads.  This allowed me to save every one of my applique pieces for reuse.  Awesome.  For information on the “RipTweezer” visit


Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique and Sasha

February 13th, 2015

I have recently returned from a new seminar held in Rockwall, Texas.  It is called the “Kathy Dunigan Academy of Applique”.  Kathy is planning to hold this annual event every February.  Check it out at If you like applique, you really need to consider this event.  The five-day schedule is set with two single days of classes and what she refers to as the “main class”. This means you have the opportunity to spend three days with your instructor.  I think there were a total of nine teachers.  The  evenings consisted of fun events to attend and lots of door prizes.

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The seminar is held at the Hilton in Rockwall.  The location and facilities were excellent.  The hotel was located right along the lake.

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The larger, convention area room held about six vendors.

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Texas Quiltworks had a booth selling BERNINA machines.  They provided the machines for my machine applique workshop.  Thanks Lynn, Joanna and Glenn.

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As I was walking around the vendor area, I saw this quilt.  From a distance, I thought it was painted. I was wrong.  This is all hand appliqued and hand quilted by Meg Maeda.  Meg is from Japan.  Her patterns are distributed here in the states by Myra K. Forbyn.  Her shop is called Aunt Myra’s and her website is

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Another of Meg’s patterns.

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Here are some of my students during the three day machine applique workshop.  Some of them should soon have photos of their finished pieces to share on the blog.

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The final picture is of Kathy Dunigan and her mother, JoAnn.  I wish I had a better photo.  The lighting in the room cast a yellow color over all of my photos.  I shoulda used my flash.  They worked so hard to put this seminar together and it paid off. Their hard work resulted in a very, very successful event.  It was an honor to be one of their first teachers.  Again, if you like applique, you’ll want to look into attending.

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The best dog ever…that would be my Sasha…turned 16 this week.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SASHA!  And, here is to many more.

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Until next week…..

More Quilts from the International Quilt Show in Houston and Book Review

February 6th, 2015

Yes, I still have more photos to share from the show in Houston.

“Umbrellas in the City” was made by Terri Kryson and Page Johnson from Minnesota.  They won second place in Mixed Techniques.

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“Celestial” was made by Yuriko Ikuma from Japan.  She won 3rd place in the Mixed Techniques category.

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“One of the Flowers, One and Only Flower II” was made by Mitsuko Sugimoto from Japan.

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“Joyful Heart” was made by Aki Sakai from Japan.  She won third place in the Handmade category.

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I recently read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling).  While on duty in Afghanistan, Cormoran lost his leg in a land mine.  Upon his return home, he opens a private investigation business.  His business is not in good shape financially or otherwise.

John Bristow enters Cormoran’s office with a story about how his sister, supermodel Lula Landry (known as Cuckoo to her friends), fell to her death.  The police ruled it a suicide.  But John does not believe it.  Cormoran’s investigation leads him to a world of millionaires, super models designers and more….

More Quilts from the International Quilt Festival, Raffle Quilt, Book Review

January 30th, 2015

I have some more photos from the International Quilt Festival that I took in October but never got around to posting.  Here are some of those quilts.

Marina Landi and Maria Lucia Azara won one of the top prizes for their quilt “Summer Wind”.  They are from Brazil.  They won the Baby Lock Master Award for Machine Artistry.

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“Revolution #9″ was made by Robin Gausebeck from Illinois.  She won 1st place in the Mixed Techniques category.

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“Imagine” was made by Yumiko Takami from Japan.  She won first place in the Handmade category.

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Mona, from the quilt guild in Charlottesville, sent me this photo.  The guild used my pattern called “Midnight Floral Fantasy” to create a raffle quilt.  They named their quilt “Posies and Pineapples”.  It looks great…doesn’t it?  I hope they raise a lot of money. Go to the guild’s website at to find out more about them and their raffle!

"Posies & Pineapples" CAQG 2015 Raffle Quilt




Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father who works at the Museum of Natural History.  He is known as the keeper of the keys.  And, there are many, many locks at the museum. Marie-Laure, at the age of 6, goes blind. Her father builds her a miniature replica of the area where they live.  He works with her to learn the streets, distances, etc.  When the Germans enter Paris, Marie-Laure and her father flee to her uncle’s in Brittany, along the coast.

The second main character is Werner, an orphan.  Werner finds an old radio and fixes it.  He has a talent for fixing radios and he’s intelligent. This is what leads him to the Hitler Youth schools.

This book kept my interest, going back and forth between the two main characters.  Good read.

Albuquerque Convention Center and Book Review

January 23rd, 2015

This past week I taught for AQS Quiltweek in Albuquerque.  You would think I would show you things from the show…but, no. I was beyond excited about the exterior of the convention center.  The mosaic project was funded by the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps and the City of Albuquerque. This Public Art program was lead by artists Cassandra Reid and Margarita Paz-Pedro. While working together with dozens of young apprentice artists, these tile artists spent years creating a master piece. You can learn more about the artists and their projects by visiting their website at


Each section tells a story. Simply Amazing!!!


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This book takes us back to the law firm of Rosato and Associates, located in Philadelphia.  Judy Carrier works at the firm and is at a cross road of sorts. Her best friend, Mary DiNunzio, just became a partner at the firm and Mary is getting married.  It leaves Judy unsure about her love life and work life.  Then Judy finds out her favorite Aunt, Barb, has been diagnosed with cancer. When Judy goes to see her Aunt, she finds out her Aunt’s friend who had been helping her through her chemo has been killed.  Judy begins to investigate the questionable death and finds more than she bargained for.




Austin and Marble Falls, Texas and Students’ Work

January 12th, 2015

Just returned from a wonderful  trip to Texas. I love Texas! Everything is so big and beautiful and the people are all so friendly. First stop was the State Capital of Austin. Their Capitol Building, made of the pink granite from Marble Falls, is larger than the Capitol building in Washington D.C.


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I taught workshops and gave lectures to the Austin Area Quilt Guild. This is a great group with nearly 500 members. Last year they completed my Fiesta Mexico quilt and raised $19,000.00!!!! To learn more about this guild visit their site at Here are some of their smiling faces tackling a new project.

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While driving between my hotel and the meeting rooms, I noticed a massive wall decorated in tiles. I stopped and spent over an hour reading the history of the Crestview-Brentwood neighborhood as depicted in the mural. The neighborhood was started in 1952 and building lots cost a whopping $595.00. The hundreds of blocks told the story of the neighbors and businesses.

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It was nice to witness a neighborhood with so much pride. Did I say everything is big in Texas. Here is one of my favorite tile blocks.

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Next stop was the Junk Cathedral in a residential area in south Austin. Again everything is bigger, even backyard junk piles. The owner of the property and creator of the cathedral, Vince, reported that he was not a favorite of his neighbors and that two wives had divorced him. I am shocked!

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But his dog, Smokey, loved it!!

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My next stop was Marble Falls in the hill country. Mary, my hostess, was the BEST!! She shared her home, her quilts, her shop and her friends with Joe and I. The work space was fabulous! The quilt retreat was held in Mary’s guest house located in the middle of Cimarron Ranch, a glorious property cared for and loved by Mary and her family.

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Here are a few pictures taken while driving through the ranch.

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We took a short trip through the Hill Country and here are more things we saw.

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Historic Fort Martin Scott

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Enchanted Rock

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Texas is also known for its food. Slow cooked beef, brisket, pulled pork, pork steak, ribs, sausage – in short the world’s best BBQ. Joe tested the following places: Franklin’s in Austin, Opie’s in Spicewood  and Pete’s Mesquite in Marble Falls. Although he liked them all, Franklin’s was worth the hour wait for his four meat plate.

If visiting Marble Falls, a stop at the Blue Bonnet Cafe is a must. Where else can you find “Pie Happy Hour”?!


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Even the pies are bigger in Texas! Yummie.

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Meg Latimer sent me this photo.  She made 4 of the Majestic Mosaic blocks for a great looking wall quilt.  Thanks for sharing Meg.




Peggy Jo Smith sent me this photo.  She used my Kansas Rose block as her center square. It was a block of the month project, from 2011, called “Aunt Grace Circle of Friends”.  Great way to use the Kansas Rose block.

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And Kathleen Clendennen shared her photo of Kansas Rose.  She has the overlay piece pinned and ready to sew.  Looks great Kathleen.

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Connie Sutterfield send me a photo of her finished Fiesta Mexico quilt top.  It is off to the quilter now.  Amazing.  I know how much work this was.  Thank you so much for sharing Connie.  Your quilt looks fabulous!

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I am off to Albuquerque.  Talk to you soon…….

Guaymas, Mexico and Book Review

January 2nd, 2015

Our next stop in Mexico was Guaymas.  As we docked, there were lots of people from the town taking pictures of the ship and the local middle school band was playing.  Adorable kids.  You could tell the town was filled with excitement.

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We got off of the ship early and decided to walk downtown.  It was about a 2 mile walk.  The weather was perfect and the people were warm and friendly.  We found out this was only the second ship to stop here, ever.  No wonder they were so excited.  Tourism is big money for these small communities.  Here are some photos we took as we walked to and from town.

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My friends, Frank and Margaret, gave me this book for Christmas.  Good pick.

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The title alone, “Sorry I Pooped in Your Shoe”, still makes me laugh.  If you love dogs like I do then you must read this book.  I am still smiling as I think of some of the funny stories, as told by the dogs.  With each turn of the page, there is a great color photo of a dog and on the corresponding page is a note/letter written by that dog.  I know the dogs wrote these.  I am sure of it.  It sounds like something my dogs would write…if they could hold the pen….or use the keyboard!



More Cruising and Book Review

December 25th, 2014

After Cabo, we went up the Baja peninsula and stopped in a small village called Pichilingue (near La Paz). We were greeted by their mariachi band.

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Stevii Graves and I went on a ship-planned excursion.  It was referred to as a “craft” adventure. There was one place we stopped to watch this gentleman weave.

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Another place we stopped was a tile factory.  We were not allowed to take pictures in the factory but they had some fun tiles.  I could not resist purchasing this one.



The next day, we stopped in another small village called Loreto.  It was a great little town.  It was Sunday, better known as “Game Day”.  Joe had on his Steelers hat and shirt.  As we were walking off the ship, a local gentleman commented on the Steelers so Joe asked him if there was a sports bar in the area.  And guess what? There was.  The gentleman who owned the bar, Augie, said he came down nine years ago and never went home!  He had the NFL ticket with 4 TV’s and all the games.  We sat at the bar, TV above with the Steelers on, and the ocean out the window below.  It does not get much better than this!! Great place to watch the game.  And, they won so it was a very good day.  Go Steelers!!

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After the game we walked around town.  I understand why Augie never went home.

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Another great day and we headed across the Sea of Cortez

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With another great sunset.

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While relaxing on the cruise, I read Jodi Picoult’s new book called “Leaving Time”.


As those of you who read my blog on a regular basis know, I am a Jodi Picoult fan.  And this book added to my list of Jodi Picoult great reads.

Jenna has not stopped thinking about her mother who disappeared under unusual circumstances over a decade earlier.  Jenna lives with her grandmother.  She refuses to think that her mother would have left her behind.  Jenna has never stopped trying to find information via the Internet and other resources.  Jenna hears about a psychic, Serenity.  Serenity has an interesting background.  She had a celebrity status at one time in her life.  She had a TV show and helped many people connect with their deceased family and friends.  Serenity gets into some trouble so when Jenna finds her, Serenity is a bit down in the dumps.  Jenna is able to track down the police officer who investigated her mother’s disappearance. The officer was also investigating the death of another employee that occurred on the same night Jenna’s mothers disappeared.  The three of them work together.

I did not see the end of this book coming which is one of the things that makes it a great book in my opinion.  I love it when an author throws me a curve ball, so to speak.  I would highly recommend this book.

Cruising the Mexican Riviera and More

December 19th, 2014

Yes, I had the opportunity to teach on a second quilting cruise this year.  Tahiti in the spring. Now, the Mexican Riviera and the Sea of Cortez in winter.  How lucky can one girl get?  This is our ship docked in San Diego where we departed.  I worked with Quilt Seminars at Sea which has some great cruises coming up in 2015.  Check it out at

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I took the next two photos from the dock in San Diego.

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Our first stop was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  The next several photos were taken as we approached Cabo.

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We had a nice day just walking around Cabo.

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I paid a guy $5.00 to hold his birds!

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I had so much fun holding his bird that I gave him an extra $5.00!!!!!

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This was the view from one side of the ship. As we departed, the sun was setting.

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And this was the view from the other side as the moon was rising.

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More on the cruise in upcoming blogs.


I read several books during our flights and while relaxing on the ship.  One book was Lindwood Barclay’s book “No Safe House”.


This was a squeal.  I do not think you have to read the first book in order for this book to make sense.  I think the first book in the series was called “No Time for Goodbye”.  Cynthia Archer is an overly protective mother based on her experiences.  As a result her and her daughter get into a tiff.  Cynthia decides to move out and try to figure out how to manage her life, leaving her daughter and husband to fend for themselves.  I thought the story was a little far-fetched but I kept reading.  I would give it 3 1/2 stars (out of 5).


Love this new light.

Portable LED Light-450-open

I found this wonderful little Portable LED lamp.  It folds down to about 5″ x 2″ x 3″ making it easy to take with you.

Portable LED Light-450-folded

It has 24 LED bulbs.  It includes a 3 1/2 foot USB power cord or you can use 4 “AA” batteries (not included).  It throws off a great amount of light.  By simply tapping the front/base you can adjust to 3 brightnesses.  They are available on the website 

Check it out.


Enjoy the holidays……

More From Houston

December 12th, 2014

Oooops! This quilt, “The Dogs”,  was done by Shannon Conley of Moore, OK. To see more of her work go to

Thanks for catching that, Robin!

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“Shared Destiny” was made by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred from Pennsylvania.  Patricia won 1st place in the Digital Imagery category.  For more information about Patricia visit

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“Prince Charming’s Shoe Sale” was made by Pam Rubert from Missouri.  Pam won 3rd place in the Art-Whimsical category.  To see more of Pam’s work visit

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“The Quest with the Dragon Tattoo” was made by Nancy Arseneault from Arizona.  Nancy won an honorable mention in the Art-Whimsical category.

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Suzan Engler from Texas made “Identity Crisis”. Suzan won an honorable mention in the Digital Imagery category.  To see more of Suzan’s quilt

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“Moody Beach” was made by Margot McDonnel from Arizona. Margot won second place in the Art-Pictorial category.

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“British Garden” was made by Anna Maria Schipper Vermeinren from The Netherlands.

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Until next week……