Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

AQS QuiltWeek Daytona Beach, Student’s Work and Book Review

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

When AQS asked me if I could teach in Daytona Beach in February, I said “I’m in!” It’s a no brainer….Pennsylvania or Florida in February?? Now let me think about that……..


Joe, Eve and I drove from Carlisle, PA to the Hilton Resort “on the Beach!” Thank you, AQS. Fabulous location and fabulous show.





It was Eve’s first trip traveling with us and she loved it. Eve had her first walks on the beach



and naps on the soft beds.



But, I had to remind her that she, being an Australian Shepherd, is a working dog. She was tasked to guard my products during classes.



She did so well and became the unofficial mascot of the show. I love this dog.


From our perch on the 11th floor, we saw some great sunrises



and some equally great moon rises.



Look, it’s Joe’s Crab Shack!



Oh yeah, there was a Quilt Show. Here are a few of my favorite of the many awesome quilts.


Rhoda Adams of Grasonville, MD exhibited this wonderful piece quilted by Jane Hauprich entitled “With Milk or Sugar?”



A close up…



“Between Heaven and Earth” was created by Audra Rasnake of Meadowview, VA.



Here is a close up of this award winner.



Jan Fraizier of Elwood, Victoria, Australia created “Chromascope.”



“End of Season by Jan Berg-Rezmer of Gladwin, Michigan is small yet grand.



Teresa Yielding Rawson of Tuscumbia, Alabama appliqued this amazing quilt she named “Contentment- A 20th Anniversary Celebration”.


The details on this quilt were amazing.




Wanda Blacksher sent me a photo of her finished quilt using my pattern, “Fiesta Mexico”.



And, Kathy Kenney sent me a photo of her finished “Bluebird of Happiness” block.


It’s hard for me to explain to you how happy it makes me to see these finished projects using my patterns.  If you could see me now you would see the big smile on my face.  Thanks very much ladies for sharing your projects.



I am addicted to Heather Gudenkauf’s books.  While I was doing a lot of hand applique. I listened to this book.  I really liked the book and the reader.

Sarah Quinlain goes back, along with her husband, to his hometown as his aunt is very ill and in the hospital.  They have been married for awhile and this is their first trip back to Jack’s home town.  Heather starts to find out that Jack has lied to her about many things including how his mother died when he was a teenager.  Sarah keeps digging and uncovers many truths as well as being stalked in her email.  I highly recommend this book.  Enjoy!


Until next week  …     .

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Las Colcheras Quilt Guild, Student’s Work and Book Review

Monday, February 26th, 2018

This past week, I was the guest of the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is so beautiful and the mountains are mesmerizing.



It was my first journey away from home since early December and the ladies of the guild were wonderful. My contact, Vivian, was AMAZING! To learn more about the guild visit their site at

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



Some in my machine applique class….



and more at my lecture. Hi everyone!! Thanks for such a great time!



The Rio Grande is right outside of the city. It flows from its head waters hundreds of miles north in the mountains (Spoiler alert: it is neither a Rio nor too Grande this time of year). But, the scenery is beautiful. Joe drove up old Route 185 along the Rio Grande from Massilla to Hatch and this is what he saw.





The town of Hatch has a little over 1,000 residents but is the Chile Capital of the World.



I did not know that green chilies turned red when they are dried.






A must stop to get a bite of the best avocado and chili burger is Sparky’s. Joe said to ask for the extra large glass of ice water. You’ll need it.




The Town of Massilla was a stagecoach stop in the 1850s. Today it is a quaint village of artisans and great restaurants.

I loved the buildings, the windows and the doors.




We spent two wonderful afternoons in Massilla: one with Vivian and the other as guests of Marsha and Izzy, the owners of the local quilt shop and BERNINA  dealership. I did not get a chance to visit the shop as Marsha closed it to attend my classes, but you should check out their store. The food was fabulous and the company even better.

We discovered the most famous resident of Massilla had only lived in town for a short period of time.


Doesn’t say he escaped.




Some ladies in one of my classes in Las Cruces approached me and said that several of them made my “Fiesta Mexico” pattern.  And I said, “Where are the photos?”.  So, Lori Box sent me this photo of her quilt.  Lori changed Block One, across the top of the quilt, and I really like her change.  Great job Lori and thanks very much for sharing.




On a very long car ride, we listened to Stephen King’s book, “The Dead Zone”.  Man, he is a good writer. James Franco did a fantastic job reading this book.

Johnny Smith, small town school teacher, is involved in a very serious car accident and ends up in a coma.  He’s in the coma for 4 1/2 years.  When he comes out of the coma it is a very long road to recovery involving many surgeries.  He can now see things in the future.  This book kept my interest from beginning to end.  (Warning…if you are a dog lover like me, there was one section in the beginning that made me cringe.  Once past that, I was good.  I still wanted to pummel the guy who harmed the dog, but….. very good read/listen.



I am off to Daytona Beach and the AQS Show. Until I return  …    .

Carlisle Ice Sculpture Festival, More Thailand and Book Review

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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.