Sunday, June 29, 2008


I'm off for the MSP airport.........heading home to the mountains......

Will chat again soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

QUILT FINALE!! (correction)

After class today, my long time friend Marilyn Smith drove over from Eau Claire to Rochester....we spent several hours lunching and catching up before she headed back home.  

My shuttle is picking me up at 5:50 AM for the trip back to Minneapolis airport, so I had an early night spent with another long time pal.

I was lucky enough to get introduced to Trish ( we are guessing about 8 years ago, by our mutual friend Pat Campbell.)  Tonight I've been invited for a home cooked meal at her house. 

Trish is quite the beader......after drooling over many of her nifty jewelry projects......she gave me this lovely bracelet.  Thanks girlfriend!

Trish (and her 'bling')  reclines in her chair, wrapped in a quilt that won my teacher's ribbon several years ago at the show.  (Incidentally, I didn't realize it was her quilt.  When presenting a ''teacher's recognition" ribbon....I like to award them to the type of quilt I admire and would like to make.)

I'm enjoying Trish's deck as we begin to put the steaks on her grill.  What a treat!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


One of the more challenging workshop I lead is a bead embellished felted wool scissors sheath class.  The difficulty is the wide range of speed that students are able to work.  Again, MN winters must allow quilters plenty of time to practice their hand sewing skills because these students sure have high skill levels.

This VERY talented quilter has been sewing since she was 11.....her Mom is co-chair of the show wonder she has the drive and talent to be the first to finish this project in class.

Friendships develop quickly in our quilt world, these best friends were 2nd and 3rd. to finish the project.  Though friendship should never be a race, competition can drive students to let their needles fly!!

I sure hope my students are getting a good nights sleep.....after 3 days of workshops...they need good energy and eye sight for my final beading workshop tomorrow....yet...there's always my DVD and books to help them along their way if I find time snoozing in class.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Long, cold Minnesota winters are not wasted on quilters who live in this state.  I'm convinced they spend their time honing their skills...... 

The group of 23 students cruised through my full day beading workshop with ease....smiling all day.  Nan (pictured 2nd from the left) and I crossed paths about 15 years ago at a week long quilt workshop.  From time to time, we've had a chance to meet again.  
Nan surprised me with this fantastic folk art wood cow......totally, absolutely my kinda folk art treasure.  Again, I'm reminded of how many pals have entered my life due to my travels along the quilting highway.  (Yes, you can take the gal out of Wisconsin, but I still love cows!)
More happy campers!!

Kathy, my teacher's angel had the coolest was similar to a magic wand which lite up (wonderfully tacky).  She used it to announce door prize time.  The photo certainly doesn't do justice to this unique gadget.....but looking at Kathy can surely see it is big fun. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


It seems like years since I've been on a flight that wasn't completely full.  Perhaps the high cost of airfares are finally keeping travelers at home.  The first 2 flights I took today were nearly full, but not my third.

This is the view I had as we were winging our way from Chicago to Minneapolis.  Only 11 of 24 seats in first class were full.  Naturally, I was a happy camper!

I kept my eyes peeled for the flood waters as we flew over Wisconsin, but all we saw were lovely patchwork fields and lots of white, puffy clouds.

As we landed I was so be surprised, at how quickly I'd forgotten the look of the midwest landscape.  Sure I knew it was flat......but after living in the mountains for the last 2 years, I now really know what flat means.

As I gathered my suitcases at the Minnesota Airport......I had the urge for a latte.....and thought....ghee, why doesn't Starbuck's have a coffee shop in the lower level of an airport, in addition to every nook and cranny of the main concourses.  

Well, no sooner did this thought float through my brain......then my eyes noticed the all too familiar green and white sign.  So.....I haul all my heavy bags, trailing behind me and get in line. Suddenly....I think, well darn, I don't have enough hands to hold the cup.  There are no tables, not that I had time to sit and enjoy the java, so how in the world was I  going to carry the cup outside to catch my ride?  I'll be dreaming of a skinny, vanilla, latte grande tonight.  

I need to invent a cup holder for my suitcase.......yes, that's it......surely one could make a million bucks on that!!  That will be part two of my dream tonight.

I have 23 students in a full days workshop I need to get turn my light out......

Monday, June 23, 2008


I planned on posting a photo of my alarm clock which is already set for 4:30 AM tomorrow.  I'm heading to Rochester, MN to teach at Quilt Minnesota.  Hope some of you are will be joining me!

I spent the day unpacking after arriving home last night from Quilt Colorado at 8:30 PM.  Of course I had laundry to do, grocery shopping, paying bills, you know....'the wife' responsibilities!

With very little time to spare to catch up on the news, one item caught my attention.  There's been a interesting report regarding an Alzheimer's study, which may bring researchers one step closer to understanding the cause, which may someday lead to prevention/cure.  Hopefully, AAQI.  

Nite, nite......

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Happy news......  according to Connie Brown....our own Asheville/Quiltworld  person in the know.....there is good news to report.  

Valaire Hearder's Quits have been on:  Stolen Quilts

I"m heading home to NC tomrorrow and will head out again next week when I share my workshops and  lectures with the members of Quilt Minnesota.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


'Bead Embellished Wool Collage" was the subject of my second workshop at Quilt Colorado and the students really raised the bar with their creative designs.  They are based on my book,"Embellishing With Felted Wool."  Enjoy these works in progress.....

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've been very fortunate to be included on Quilt Colorado's faculty so many times.  This has lead to great friendships with the organizers and students.  Tonight, nationally known designer/instructor Gail Garber and I were invited to join some friends for dinner at a home they rented just outside the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Check out this view from the deck of this fantastic rental property....

I wish you could smell this view!

This was quite a pad....a completely furnished high end home.  Despite spending a busy day either taking classes or enjoying the outdoors, these gals prepared a wonderful feast for us.

Diana....our host (who is so adorable) shows off her trophy, found today on a hike in the Park.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to admire this incredible cloud bank.  The scenery here is awesome....there is still lots of snow on the mountain tops, yet the temperature today was about 80 degrees.  I'm so needle is a magic carpet which has taken me on so many memorable adventures.


Well, T might be for Tuesday......but it is not for Travel Day......I actually left my home on Tues. and overnighted at an airport hotel due to my early Wed. morning flight.

I'm sure YOU all knew what I meant.....just wanted you to know that I now realize that despite skipping Wednesday in my mind, I know today is Thursday.  I'm up and about (too early) and will be heading over to the elementary school here in Estes Park to teach my full-day Beading Basics workshop.  

I'm sure there will be lots to report task is to get some photos of the stunning scenery here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


A day in the life of a traveling quilt teacher begins at 3:30 AM......for my 5:45 AM flight departure to Charlotte to connect to's now 11:30 PM EST and I'm ready for sleep!

As the plane departed Asheville.....I snapped this photo thru the plane's window of the sun rising. (Not that I need any photo to remind me how early I got up!)

Well, well, well.....what did I find in the Charlotte airport? Jeff Gordons Nascar on display.  It sure attracts attention.

Patchwork designs as seen at 20,000 feet over Nebraska.

So, Sue Nickels and I arrive within about 25 mins. of each other.....and Bobbie Aug was right there to fetch us. Hummmm, let's figure out how we are going to fit all these pieces into the back of this truck.

Sue to the rescue......she hopped into the truck and started rearranging as Bobbie and I loaded more and more pieces.......laughing all the way.  We are proud of you Sue!!

After all that work, we had to get our 'driver' (Bobbie) escorted us to the local Cracker Barrel.  First a potty stop, then we spotted Sue presented an impromtu  demo on machine stitching.......look at the wonderful job she did!  Then Bobbi offered to appraise the quilt, but we ran out of time before I could bead it.  Just kididng....

It's such a pleasure to teach at this fine show....glad I'm here with my many friends.....but now, I need to say nite, nite...... so I can continue my adventures tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


After nearly a month at home, I'm off to teach at Quilt Colorado, one of my all time favorite conferences!  It's held in Estes Park, CO, a charming mountain valley town, surrounded by the Rocky Mountain National Park.  

The show/conference is organized by the state wide Colorado Quilt Council and is held every two years.  It's a massive amount of work for the dedicated volunteers to coordinate 16 national instructors, nightly banquets, and a fabulous show.  I'm thrilled & flattered to asked to present the Friday night banquet lecture.

I'm truly looking forward to this event.  So many of my favorite teacher buddies will be there,(how will I have time to teach??), plus the many student friends I've made during my last 5 previous shows. My first flight tomorrow is at an ungodly hour, but I'll have ample connection time in Charlotte to look forward to the drive up the mountain with Bobbie Aug and Sue  Hoping I'll have internet access so I can share the events with you.  

Till then......

Monday, June 16, 2008


A few days ago I posted about this ongoing project.....and now I'm reporting that progress is not going well.  Normally, I draw my design onto stabilizer, which is basted to the wrong side of felted wool.  Next, I machine stitch the lines to transfer the pattern to the right side, adding further stabilizing as I bead along the stitched lines.

Because I didn't really know how the 'eye' of this feather would translate to beads....what amount of space it'd take etc, I didn't feel confident in documenting where the feathers would be placed.  So instead, I decided to eye ball it.  Oops!

After beading about 3/4 of the feather....knowing pretty much as I went along that it wasn't right....and hoping that as I proceeded it would somehow 'get right'.....dah....I took out a majority of the beading and am starting over.  Originally, my plan was to bead a complete feather, from the center out, and that's where I went wrong.....the shape just wasn't correct.

I retained some of the poor feather placement on the left so you can see what didn't work. Now I've started over on the right.  I've marking a line around the actual feather, so hopefully the outside shape will be more realistic.  The feathers near the top will be much closer together and will curve around and up from the center motif.

Sure, it's frustrating to rip out hours and hours of stitching, but alas, I want it right, so here I go again.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Ya'd think after living here for two years, we'd be all settled in?  NOT!!  Recently we decided to complete furnishing our lower level which had been home to the 'man cave', but in reality was designed as a 3rd bedroom suite.

That meant getting furniture...yeah!  We need storage in that area and after seeing this pie safe at an antique store nearly 2 months ago, I was thrilled to find it sitting waiting for me when we returned earlier this week.  After getting it home, we decided to switch places with the jelly cupboard we had in our great room instead of putting it downstairs.  This cabinet has lots more room to store DVD's and is candy for my eyes as well....why hide it where I can't see it!

Our lower level contains a room that's quite large, featuring an alcove toward the back that was obviously designed to be the bedroom area.  'The husband' will swear I looked at every wood bed, made by every manufacturer before I found the perfect one.  Pillows, perhaps a different down comforter will be coming soon, as will another end table and lamps.  

My friend Jan Vander Hill made the fabulous friendship star quilt as a sample for me to bead, which was then featured in my book, "Beading Basics".  I was over the moon when she gave me the quilt to keep and I love that it fits so nicely in this space.

The new purchase yesterday as we continued our antique quest was this lovely pine table.  We have a lot of oak pieces, and I do like them, but I'm very partial to pine.

The jelly cupboard was originally in our great room and this too fits nicely into this newly created 'bedroom alcove'.  Basements are not common here, something we are still struggling with since we do seem to accumulate 'stuff'.  So finding furniture with storage is always a goal for me.  The jelly cabinet is perfect for CD's.

We spent years collecting iron register grates, and David spent hours and hours grinding years of paint and grime before repainting them.  We had over 20 different ones hung on the wall behind our freestanding wood stove in our Wisconsin home.  Sadly, the buyers wanted them included as part of the purchase when we sold 2 years ago.  Since real estate sales were already sagging then, we got practical and agreed.  Fortunately, we have several spares and now found a place to display them.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I feel so fortunate to be included in a wonderful small fiber arts group that meets once a month, for lunch, if for nothing else!  Each member is so talented and I always leave inspired.

Yesterday we met at Barbara's house......ya think she's a little accomplished?  Makes me sorry I threw away all my ribbons when we moved.  Her display is awesome and a great way to savior the memories of her fabulous quilts.

This quilt was made by another member, using fabrics purchased on a trip to France....I love the really pulled the quilt together and make it pop.

To offset evening boredom, another friend began hand piecing this 9 patch.....charming!!

You might recognize this's Georgia Bonesteel, who is a member of this group.  She showed us numerous uses for GridGrip, a iron on, peel off, and reuse template design sheet.

This product is really great....and can be ordered from Georgia's website - retail price $7.00 for 5 - 21 1/2" x 30" sheets.