Quilt North Guild, More From Utah and Book Review

June 12th, 2018

I am just back from an enjoyable trip to the Clifton Park area of New York.  I was visiting the Quilt North Guild.  https://quiltnorth.wordpress.com/

The ladies keep the tables along the walls so they can easily reach the outlets which really spread them out.  I had to take a panoramic photo to get everyone in one shot. Thanks ladies for a very enjoyable time and for all of your kind words during the classes.

I do not normally include photos of myself.  But, I am making an exception because the sweetest dog in the world is at my feet while I’m taking my lunch break.  I love this dog.



Now, for more photos from our Utah trip.  Honestly, we took so many photos, I could share for ages.  But, I’ll only bore you with these last few of my favorites from Arches National Park.






This is Ute Rock Art.  Carved sometime between A.D. 1650 and 1850.  They are called petroglyphs.  It is important to the Native Americans since not much of the art from their ancestors still exists.



Delicate arch.



Some more of my favorites.
















Another good read.  I have read several other books by Marie Bostwick and liked them which lead me to read her most recent book, “Just In Time”.  I might like them just a little more because of the quilt connection in her books…..just maybe.  This book follows the lives of three women who meet at a grief support group.  They decided the group was not for them but ended up becoming friends and helping each other.  It is somewhat predictable but that does not mean I did not like it.  I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Layton Utah, Antelope Island and Book Review

June 4th, 2018

This past week, I was the guest of Gina Ellis who organizes a quilting retreat every year. What a great location and a fabulous group of ladies. Thank you for all your suggestions regarding things to do, see, and places to go and how to get to them.


We arrived a day early and headed to Antelope Island to see the critters. Antelope Island sits in the middle of the Great Salt Lake and it is home to one of the largest bison herds together with a number of other animals, birds and wonderful views.



From the highest point on the island, Bison Point, looking west. Just give me an Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!




We saw many birds searching for a snack.



Got one.



We watched this hawk for 10 minutes.



Until he swooped down and was off with a mouse.



Some other birds we saw.







And, we did come across this fellow. Very appropriate seeing we were on Antelope Island.



A mule deer mom calling to her fawn.



I think she said “look to your right!”. It’s Wile E.




We saw him from a distance and an hour later, when driving back Joe said, “Let’s see if we can find that coyote.” I told him “it is probably on the other side of the island by now”. But, low and behold Joe slowed down and Wiley strolled out in front of us.



What an interesting face.



We call our little Eve “the coyote dog”, but seeing a real coyote makes me rethink her nick name.



And, of course, we saw the bison. There were 100s of little ones,




and some really big ones, too.





I bet he was thinking……that black SUV looks like a nice thing to butt. So, we drove away.




We stopped at Promontory Summit, Utah where the intercontinental railroad was joined in 1869.





Joe looked for the gold and silver spikes and was told that they were at Stanford University. Did not know why until I read the plaque and the owner of the Pacific Railroad was Leland Stanford who started and funded the university.




On our drive back to the Salt Lake City area, here were a few things we saw.


The Ogden Pass waterfall.



The Utah farming area




And, a sure sign spring had come to the high desert west.



Next week………….. Arches National Park.




Thank you to my friend, Laura, for recommending this book.  I really liked it.  It held my interest from beginning to end.  It is based on a true story that took place in the late 30’s.  The book takes you back and forth between the 1930’s and present day.  Apparently, there was a time when low income families who were at the hospital giving birth were asked to sign some paperwork, not knowing what they were signing. The paperwork they signed granted our government the authority to take their children and place them for adoption.  This story follows one such family and made me cringe to find out what these poor children and parents went through.

Birds, Flowers, the Japanese Gardens, GUMBA and Book Review

May 28th, 2018

I was simply amazed at the size and quality of the flowers in the Vancouver, Washington/Portland, Oregon area. Breathtaking! The following photos were taken on our morning walks along the Columbia River.







We also spied an Osprey nest. “Hey Honey! I know I’m late coming home so I stopped for some takeout fish.”





“Thank you, dear.”



Here are a few other birds we saw at the water’s edge.



These golden finches were sitting directly above the hawk, but they sat motionless without a peep.




Check out this little hummingbird




I asked him to smile but he just stuck out his tongue.



In the hills above Portland, sits Washington Park and its magical gardens. Its most famous, the Portland Japanese Gardens. What a treat. It was so calming and relaxing just to walk around such beauty after a day of teaching.







After our visit, we drove to the Alberta Arts District of Northeast Portland. What a fun and eclectic area.



When we visit new areas, we check Yelp.com for suggestions on restaurants and have never been disappointed. Tonight we were in search of “GUMBA”.  It had a 5 star rating with over 1,000 reviews. I have never seen a restaurant listed on Yelp with that many reviews.  And, all of them were good reviews. It was one of four food truck/trailers on a corner lot with four other truck/trailers. There were tables for 2, 4 and picnic tables for larger groups.



Do not let the Bohemian setting fool you. We ordered soup, salad and the pasta, advertised as freshly made. It was the best, the absolute best Italian pasta dish I have ever eaten. If in the Portland area, find this place. GUMBA, corner of 23rd and Alberta Avenue. The other three truck/trailers made and served French cuisine, there was a Seafood restaurant and a wine and beer trailer. Joe had to try the local IPA and reports it was hoppolicious!


Until next week …     .



I’ve read many of Tami Hoag’s books but it’s been awhile.  I’m glad I picked up this one.

In a small town in Louisiana…… they have been terrorized by a brutal killing/rape.  The suspect goes free on a technicality.  Detective Nick Forcarde is accused of planting evidence and removed from the case.  Deputy Annie Broussard found the mutilated body and wants justice.  There were so many possible suspects that it kept me wanting to keep reading.  Good read.

Vancouver, Washington, Portland Oregon and Book Review

May 22nd, 2018

This past week, I headed west to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington to teach and lecture for the Clark County Quilters. We were to arrive a day early so that we could do a little sight seeing, but Mother Nature thought it would be better to spend 12 hours at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As we waited for our flight to be rescheduled, the weather broke and a double rainbow appeared just as a plane full of leprechauns was leaving for Ireland.



I received a warm welcome from the Clark County Quilters. What a great group. To learn more visit their site at : http://clarkcountyquilters.org/index.html


Here are some of the ladies hard at work during our two-day Majestic Mosaic machine applique workshop.



We did get to drive along the Columbia River to the Multnomah Falls. It was a bit overcast but the falls were beautiful.



We crossed the Bridge of the Gods and drove back on the Washington side of the Columbia. The clouds dissipated and Mount Hood magically appeared.



Each morning, we walked along the river and it was beautiful.



A statue of Ilchee, a Native American Princess, daughter of the Chief of the Chinook tribe and friend of Lewis and Clark, was strategically placed on the river’s edge.



Not far down the path, we found this great tribute to the many women who worked in the local shipyards during World War II.



My dear friend, Lytle Ann Markham, heard I was in the Portland area and wrote “If you are there you must visit “Voodoo Doughnuts.” I asked my class “what’s so special about Voodoo Doughnuts?” Joe went to find out.









The cashier was simply bananas.



Joe brought back some scrumptious creations and the entire class got some Voodoo.



Did I tell you I have a Dog!!! Eve jumped into my arms upon our return. I think she may have missed me as much as I missed her.



Next week, the gardens, flowers and birds around Vancouver and Portland.



I am a big fan of Michael Connelly and his character, Harry Bosch.  I personally think Michael Connelly should write faster giving me more Harry Bosch books to read.  So, yes, you guessed it, I really liked this book.  Bosch is back working cold cases in his office which is an old, unused cell.  Something comes up on an old case that brings Harry’s reputation into question.  Harry and his brother, attorney Micky Howler, work to find the truth.  I give this book 5 stars.

If you are a Harry Bosch fan or become one, you need to check out the TV series “Bosch” on Amazon.  It is fantastic.  Love the characters and Michael Connelly is one of the producers so he brings his books to life.  I binge watched one series in a week.  Each season follows a story based on one of Connelly’s books.  Again, could you work faster Michael Connelly as I’m ready for the next season please.

Relaxing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Book Review

May 7th, 2018

Some weeks you just have to go where there are no phones, no hassles, no frets, no people and no roads … the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the spring.




Never know what you will see. Always incredible wildlife. Some big.





Some small



Some delicate



and some high and majestic.



Witnessed some of the most fantastic sun rises





and even more spectacular moon rises. A Pink moon over the water!!!



“Fly me to the moon… ”




One of my favorite things to do at the beach is comb the water’s edge for treasures: beautiful shells,




and my favorite find…… sea glass!  I get crazy excited when I find sea glass.  It’s like a treasure on the beach.



But, my most favorite thing this year was taking Eve and she loved it.  She did not get her feet wet.  She was a little scared of all that water coming at her.  Maybe by the time we make our next trip to the Outer Banks, she’ll be just a little more relaxed along the water.  I keep saying this ……she’s taking baby steps of improvement.  Baby steps, baby steps….improvement.  It’s a good thing.  She’s been with us for only five months.  Most people I talk to tell me it will take 6 months to one year for her to fully adjust.  I’m very willing to keep working at it.





I love her and I love a good dog kiss.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, Joe came with us. We needed someone to take photos, drive and pick up the poop.





Yes, I read another Heather Gudenkauf book.

Allison Glenn is a popular and smart high school student.  She is loved by everyone and on a mission to do well in school and sports.  Her path is not what she envisioned.  She ends up in prison.  There were some good twists to this book.  Some parts of this story line seemed a little far fetched but I still enjoyed the book.


Until next week  …    .

Spring Arrives in Pennsylvania and Book Review

May 2nd, 2018

Made it home this past week to freezing temps. But, after a little rain, sun and temps up in the 50s, Spring finally arrived.


We were all so happy. Eve loves the long walks. Look at that smile


Kitty Carlisle loves to bask in the sun and smell the flowers.


Joe was able to head to the stream and visit a few of the friends he had caught and released in the fall. A nice rainbow trout.



And, a brownie.



While wading in the stream, Joe was about to step up onto the bank but was stopped by two squawking Canadian Geese. It startled him until he looked to his left.


Joe quietly moved away to allow the large birds to return to their work. My husband is no home wrecker!


We purchased a house plant last fall. During the past two weeks, it blossomed with two massive flowers.











Lucas Ray has been feeding some feral cats at an abandoned building.  While there, he finds a puppy living with the cats.  He takes Bella home.  Due to some animal codes, Bella is not allowed in the city of Denver…….pit bulls are not allowed in the city. Bella is taken to a foster place until Lucas and his mother can find an apartment out of the city.  While in foster care, Bella escapes with the intention of finding her way back to Lucas.  This book kept my interest from beginning to end.  I am a sucker for a good dog book.

The Villages, and Leesburg, Florida and Book Review

April 25th, 2018

We just returned from a great trip to The Villages and Leesburg, Florida. I taught for two guilds and it was great to head South as we are now believing winter is never leaving the Northeast.

A sign we saw on our drive from the airport:



Yikes!! They were not kidding.



The Villages is the largest and most active community of “mature” people on the planet. They have numerous communities built around huge activity centers and beautiful golf courses. They have so many clubs, speakers, events, concerts, their own newspaper and a fabulous quilt guild boasting over 1,000 members.



Here are the ladies in our hand applique class.



My next stop, a few miles away was:



Leesburg is another great town with some great quilters.





One of the guild members, Olive Gobin of Fruitland Park, FL, has taken a few classes with me in the past and brought her most recent award winning quilt to share. She made me feel good as she explained how she used techniques she learned in my classes.  The pattern is one of Pat Campbell’s Jacobean designs.   Congratulations on all of your awards, Olive.  They are well deserved.





While I was teaching, Joe was out wondering about the area. Here are a few photos of some colorful Florida birds.

A male Gallenule


A female Gallenule



Check out those big feet. Makes it much easier to walk on lily pads.  And, I thought I had big feet…….




A few species of Ibis or is it Ibises or is it Ibu?? I’m not sure but they sure are cool looking birds with great eyes.




A cormorant drying in the sun.




Check out the great blue heron in search of some lunch.





Hey Joe, got any tarter sauce?



Hope it warms up at home soon. Hey Punxsutawney Phil, I thought you said 6 more weeks of winter, not 9 more weeks. Does anyone know if there is still a warrant out for the arrest of that little rodent? Just kidding, Phil.


Until next week …..




Several people recommended “Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine”.   I had some hand applique to do and decided to listen to this book.  When it first started, I had my doubts about the book.  But, I was soon pulled into the story and could not wait to find out what Eleanor did next.  Eleanor is a loner and very set in her ways.  She may not always say it out loud but she’s thinking things like……”why would he wear those clothes?”.  As you listen/read the book you learn more and more about Eleanor’s background and the more you learn the more you are intrigued.  P.S. The reader is excellent.

Tennessee , Bush Beans, Adeline’s quilt block and Book Review

April 9th, 2018

Last week, while teaching in Pigeon Forge, TN, many of my students suggested Joe drive thirty minutes east to visit the Bush Beans’ factory. Joe loves to explore and he was so happy because he got to meet Jay and Duke. Joe said Jay was a little stiff.



In the early 1900s , Andrew Jackson Bush and his wife, Sallie Bush, opened a general store in the village of Chestnut Hills, Tennessee.



The family also began canning local fruits and vegetables.



The store sold fabric, thread and sewing notions. Sallie Bush and her mother, Frances Ketner, who lived with them were quilters. Here is a beautiful example of their work, an Irish Chain.



During the Depression, Mr. Bush, his brother and their families decided to add a new product line. This would be a cheaper meal for the millions of hungry Americans: pork and baked beans.



Today, the Bush Brothers Company sells 80 percent of the beans consumed in America! The old General Store is now a museum and a huge addition houses a cafe, store and tribute to the five generations of the Bush family.




Check out the beautiful quilt block on the side of the building.



Step inside and step back in time.



The original Bush home sits across the street from the general store, but it is dwarfed by the massive canning and distribution plant.




The billion dollar company now has operations in many states and is a great example of how hard work, effort and planned organization can become the American Dream. Thank you A. J. and all the Bushes. Still think the Bush Bean theme song should be Jumping Jack Flash (it’s a gas, gas, gas).




My grand niece, Adeline Ashby, is just adorable. She is six going on seven and loves to sew. She is so lucky to have a grandmother (JoAnn Ashby) who is a quilter. Look at what Adeline made.



Not to be out done, her handsome brother Parker, 9, created this scenic wall hanging with a little help and guidance from JoAnn.



Great job Adeline and Parker!! I am so very proud of you two!





Another great listen while on the road.  I am a Harlan Coben fan and his newest book did not let me down.  I would give this book 5 stars for sure.

15 years after the death of his brother, Leo, and missing girlfriend, Maura, New Jersey detective Napoleon, call me “Nap”,  is still looking for answers.  His girlfriend’s finger prints show up at a recent crime scene.  I liked the character development and the story line.  There are some really good one-liners that made me laugh out loud while riding in the car.  I liked this character so much that I hope the author writes more books with this character.  I would love that.

Pigeon Forge, TN and Book Review

March 28th, 2018

We drove south to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this past week for the 24th Annual Mountain Quiltfest. The show is sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce and the City.  Not only is this a nice quilt event but the city and surrounding area have a lot to offer.  The classes and the show are held at the LeConte Convention Center. Although there is a cost for classes, the entrance to the show and vendors is FREE.  Here is a picture of the convention center. The classrooms are really nice with each student having their own large table and great lighting.



The LeConte Convention Center as the sun was setting. Ah!!



Here are a few of my happy students in one of my hand applique classes.




This is a fun group of ladies who attended my paper piecing and machine applique class.



Lori Goehring from Woodstock, Georgia took my Kansas Rose class on Tuesday and came in Thursday morning to show this:


Truly amazing!


We had a chance to drive into the Great Smokey Mountains to the Tennessee-North Carolina Border. Seeing the mountains up on the Gap always takes my breath away.



A storm blew in a few days later and the first day of spring looked like this.



We spotted Tom hitching a ride in the snow storm. What a majestic bird.



A close up of Tom the Turkey.



Within a few days, the snow melted and we drove over to Gatlinburg.



Next week……. a visit to Bush’s……….







I am a Lisa Gardner fan.  I’ve been on some very long car rides and have been listening to several books.  I think this is the 9th in the series with Detective D. D. Warren.  In this book the author brings back an old character, Flora Dane.  D. D. and Flora are an unlikely team.  They are working to find a missing 16 year old who’s entire family was shot in their home while she was out walking the dogs.  My opinion….I don’t think you need to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one.  I give it 5 stars.

Danville, IL, Dayton, Ohio, Student’s Work and Book Review

March 19th, 2018

I just returned from a trip to the Threads of Time Quilt Shop and Retreat Center in Danville, IL. The new owners, Cynthia and Harris, were great and the retreaters were the best. To learn more about the shop and the threads and beds retreat center, visit  https://www.threadsoftimefab.com  and plan a group outing.  Eve joined us and she loved it.



I really liked the area because they named a nearby town (population 732) after me. (The Dutchmasters were a baseball team from the town in the early 1900s.)



Danville had some very famous residents: Bobby Short, Jerry and Dick Van Dyke, Gene Hackman, Donald O’Connor and Helen Morgan.



Illinois is the land of Lincoln.   Abe gave a famous speech there in 1855.  Abe gave another famous speech not too far from where I live………..Gettysburg, PA.



One of the coolest things we witnessed in Danville was a Great Blue Heron “Rookeries” which is a group of nests for this majestic bird.






These giant birds lay 2-7 eggs. The males and females take turns sitting on the nest while the other fishes. The eggs hatch in 20-30 days and the chicks stay in the nest for 2-3 months. In this Rookeries there were 8 nests.

We left Danville and headed to Dayton Ohio, home of the Wright Brothers and American Aviation. I was the guest of the Miami Valley Quilters Guild. To learn more about this great group of quilters visit http://www.miamivalleyquiltersguild.org/

We spent a day at The National Museum of the United States Air Force and it was one of the neatest and largest museums I have ever visited. Eight massive hangers filled with full size aircraft from all time periods.


Early years of air flight



World Wars I and II





More recent years




They even had a Space Shuttle!



As we were walking from one hanger to the next, we stumbled upon this amazing quilt.



This quilt was created in 1997 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the United States Air Force. All 85 Air Force installations world-wide responded to participate in the project and sent a quilt block. The blocks, the Center design, Corner blocks, together with the borders were assembled into this phenomenal quilt.


Here are some close-ups of a few of the blocks….









When I was in Daytona Beach teaching at AQS Quiltweek, Emma Fleischer stopped by to show me this quilt.  Emma reminded me that many, many, many years ago….when I first started doing what I call “traveling teaching”, she took a class from me on piecing a Mariner’s Compass.  She wanted me to see that she used it as a center in her wall quilt.  Thanks for sharing this Emma and for reminding me just how long I’ve been doing this…….


I was in Dayton, Ohio teaching on Wednesday and Thursday.  On Saturday, I received this photo from Diane Vanhook.  To say that I was blown away is an understatement.  Diane finished our “Heart to Heart” machine applique project from the time I left on Thursday at noon until she emailed me on Saturday afternoon.  Rest assured, Diane did not get much else done but working on her project.  I was so excited to receive her email that I just had to share.  And, she even incorporated a flange which we talked about in the Thursday morning “Borders By Design” workshop.  Way to go Diane! I love seeing what you learned put to great use.



It had been ages since I read a Sue Grafton book.  Kinsey Millhone, Private Investigator, has some interesting cases which lead her to bring us some familiar faces and introduce us to some new characters in “Y is for Yesterday”.

The main story line is from 1979 where 4 teenage boys (friends) video the sexual assault of their 14 year old classmate.  The other story line is about a very nasty guy holding a grudge against Kinsey.  I liked how the story went back and forth between the story lines.  Good read/listen.

This is the 25th and final in the series. Sue Grafton passed away this past year after courageously battling cancer. Sue will be dearly missed by us all.