Syracuse and Skaneateles, NY, Student’s Work and Book Review

May 15th, 2017

I was lucky to combine teaching for two guilds around the Syracuse area in New York this past week.  First, I taught for the Towpath Quilt Guild in Fayetteville  Then, for Plank Road Quilt guild in Cicero

It is spring time and the mornings were cold, crisp with colors bursting everywhere.



We met this family while walking each morning. Momma was never real happy to see us.




Her babies are so precious.



I had an afternoon off and asked guild members where we should go and what we should see. They said, “You know Skaneateles is only a few miles south.” Lake Skaneateles (pronounced “Skinny Atlas” from the Iroquois word meaning either Long Lake or Future home of shops, restaurants and galleries) is the furthest east of New York’s Finger lakes. The town, boasting the same name at it’s northern tip, is wonderful. They have great shops, galleries, restaurants and there is a quilt shop a few miles to the west. So, off Joe and I went. Here is what we saw:




Town Square



Beautiful churches on the lake



Grand lake homes



And, the best lake view dining (great menu, great food and great service).



Judi West began with a small shop in downtown Skaneateles in 1986. She kept expanding and to meet the needs of the area quilters several years ago, she built a great shop outside of town. I have been in her shops every time I visit the area and I wish it were more often than every five or six years.



We met Judi West and her staff at the Patchwork Plus and they are fantastic. What a wonderful shop.



High ceiling for displays, thousands of bolts of fabric, threads, notions and a great selection of machines and classes.




Go visit the area and stop in to see the ladies or visit her website at

I did leave with a little addition to my stash.





Susan Garrett took my Kansas Rose class while in Panama City, Florida. She took an Honorable Mention in her guild’s show in the Hand Applique-Hand Quilted Category! Way to go, Susan!

Susan renamed this block (original name: Fiesta Mexico-Block Three) “Gracie’s Galaxy” because her granddaughter helped her place the circles on the outer border.  Good job Gracie.   And, it won a second place ribbon.  I think this is a good partnership.



When I was in Mount Dora, Florida teaching, Peggy Conklin, my guild contact, recommended for listening to audio books.  As a member, Peggy was able to send one free book to a friend and I was fortunate enough that Peggy picked me.  She sent me a really good book, “Summit” by Harry Farthing.

There are two story lines about 70 years apart of two different climbers and their climbs to Mount Everest.  The current day Neal Quinn is taking a young man on his first climb to Mount Everest and there are some problems as they near the summit.  Josef Becker, a Nazi climber, took this climb about 70 years prior…..right before the second World War.  This book was well written, kept my interest and merged the two story lines in an interesting way.

I am home sewing for a couple of weeks, Yippie!!!! Until next week  …   .

Another Week in Paradise, The Outer Banks, and Book Review

May 8th, 2017

I just returned from the most relaxing place on earth for me: Corolla, North Carolina. This is what I saw from my window every day. Ahhhh!


I got to sit and sew all week. No phones, no deliveries, no make-up, no worries.



Here’s what I saw out the window as I appliqued……




Not just one dolphin.


But many, a dad and mom with her baby –


a close up.



O.K. junior, time to swim on your own. Here’s a little push.



We walked every morning up and down the beach,


even when the weather got gloomy.



We saw so many birds






and Tillie chilled a lot in the shade.



As always, we saw spectacular sun-rises (that little spec was a sail boat)



and sun-sets.



I love the Outer Banks but always glad to return home after a week in paradise.





On our drive to and from the beach, we listened to The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrants. For those of you who did not read Stieg Larssson’s three novels: The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg, a Swedish writer, introduced us to Lisbeth Salander, a thin, tatooed, bad-ass computer genius who hates the establishment and almost everyone. And to Mikael Bloomvist, an investigative reporter for a well known Swedish magazine. They team up to solve mysteries and also keep government officials and corporate giants in check. Unfortunately for the world, Stieg Larssons died unexpectedly. He had begun his fourth novel in the series and David Lagercrantz continued Steig’s legacy.

The night he is give an interview with Mikael Bloomvist, a well known scientist who was working on computers that can think for themselves is murdered. The only witness is his nine year old autistic son. The NSA, the Swedish national police and the Swedish intelligence community is investigating. Each has their own agenda, but Mikael knows who to ask for help, Lisbeth Salander. The book started out a bit slow as many characters were developed, but picked up and was non-stop. Love Lisbeth, she is my kind of woman.


Headed to Syracuse, NY.  Keep quilting and until next week  …    .

More WOW and Julianne and Derek Hough “Move Beyond”

May 1st, 2017

More from the fabulous WOW show.



I am still amazed with the exhibition, “World of Wearable Art”, in Salem. I had posted a few of the pieces and have to share some more of these AMAZING works of art.

Gillian Saunders of Richmond, New Zealand created “Inkling”. A celebration of traditional tattoos, this piece is really thirteen individual pieces. Can you say WOW!!






Rebecca Maxwell, who works in New Zealand, envisioned a Moroccan lantern and brought it to life in this wonderful piece “Noor Reverie.”




“Totally Sheepish” was created by Sarah Peacock.




“Chica Under Glass” by Peter Wakeman of Motueka, New Zealand  is made of fiberglass and won the Avant Garde Award in the 2013 show.



Mengyue Wu and Yura Ma of China created “Delight of Light”. This layered plastic piece reminds me of some futuristic wedding dress.




“American Dream” by Sarah Thomas of New Zealand was her vision of America’s love for 50s convertibles meets fashion.





Hayley May and Fiona Christie, both from New Zealand, collaborated to design and create an outstanding piece called “Second Skin”





Lynn Christiansen, who now works in the U.S., was inspired by the Australian Thorny Devil Lizard (molloch horridus) to design “Horridus”.   She made this piece in 2010 and it has 465 pieces made from acid etched copper, silver and gold plate.




In 2014, Lynn designed and built “Gothic Habit” from thin wood covered with felt. UNBELIEVABLE!!!









On Saturday afternoon, we went to Lancaster to see Julianne and Derek Hough Live on Tour in “Move Beyond”.  What a fantastic show! Their dancing is just mind boggling and their singing is equally great. What fun. If they are coming to your area, their show is a must.







Before the show, Joe and I were fortunate to spend some quality time with Derek and Julianne. They treated us just like an aunt and uncle. They are as nice, if not nicer, than you would imagine.



A good time was had by all!



Until next week  …    .





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.