Saturday, February 29, 2020


Good grief this one took a great deal of time to complete.  In part, because my goal is to avoid purchasing new fabrics until my large current stash is tamed, the fabric selection process was unnecessarily tedious. 

Pelicans are certainly not a nature subject one would expect to be inspired to create living here in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  However, many tourists seem to hail from Florida or the Carolina coasts and sales of similar themes sell well at Woolworth Walk Gallery (#235 - lower level).
 HAPPY PELICAN - 23.5" X 31.5"
Pieced & appliqued cottons by machine, hand embroidered, machine quilted.

Monday, February 24, 2020


Each February since we've moved to Western North Carolina, we've enjoyed attending the annual Bluegrass First Class indoor festival. There's non-stop music from mid-morning on Friday-Sunday noon in the showroom, a stage in the hotel, and incredible pickers gathered in hallways, hotel rooms, meeting rooms, & the parking's a bluegrass lovers paradise.

 Doyle Lawson has been a staple in this industry for years.....he often dresses more like a spangled country-western performer than one playing bluegrass.  This year a fan brought him a present.....shiny purple shoes.  The promoter of this event brought the gift on the stage and gave it to Doyle who was clearly stunned, but being a good sport....he did put them on.  
AND being a the supreme performer......he had his group immediately launch into this song....
 My all time forever favorite group, "The Seldom Scene"  never disappoints.  They've been around as a group since on the link to learn more about the meaning of their name and their history.
For years, Daily and Vincent has closed the show.....always a huge crowd pleaser.  This year Rickey Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder was the closing act.  He was a terrifically talented bluegrass musician from a very early age, from there he moved onto gospel and some country.  Recently he came back to bluegrass...we haven't seen him in years.  Being less than kind here......clearly his stint promoting one of the weight loss programs didn't work and though the color of his silver hair is beautiful.....he needs a stylist...honestly it was hard to watch someone who looked like a 60 year old pregnant woman.  Sorry....  The music was toe tapping and some of the harmony was really good....the fiddle & and guitar players were very talented.  

We are already looking forward to next year!!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

REMEMBERING DOREEN - No - a last name is not required!!!

The Iowa Quilt Museum presents:  

Doreen Speckmann Remembered

On display through April 5, 2020

This colorful exhibit features works by noted teacher Doreen Speckmann, the quilts on display for the first time since her untimely death in 1999. Known for her wit & wisdom, as well as her teaching and publishing, Doreen led quilting cruises and used the world she explored as inspiration for her original designs.  

To learn more visit:

 Doreen and I had an immediate close friendship.  Bovines held a special place in our hearts, we were colleagues, confidants, passionate about quilts and the drive to share that love through workshops, lectures, and world wide travel, all while having FUN!  We were fellow Cheeseheads who could speak 'Wisconsinite' to each other so much so, no one could understand what we were saying.  Ya hey! 

Doreen impacted my life like no other person ever has and I'll always be grateful for her faith in me.  One day she asked if I'd create a one-of-a-kind garment for her. Surely one of the most satisfying projects I've ever made.  She in turn created this small wall quilt "Mary's Card Trick", for me.  I got the better of the trade!
It's gratifying to know new quilters will have the opportunity to enjoy her work and satisfying for those of us who knew Doreen, to know her art is still being cherished.  A warm thank you to all who have made this exhibit possible.

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Creating again.....
 A repeat look at the white/black patchwork quilt top recently stitched.
It's the backdrop for a colorful Pelican....sure, I know Pelicans don't look like this!
It's called artistic license!  There's many decisions and much stitching ahead....come back to see what happens next.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


GOSH.....I've had two days of fun making folded baskets from my mono-printed and shibori hand-dyed wool felt.  Like so many fiber techniques, it's far more time consuming then it appears it might....but for me it's enjoyable.

Monday, February 17, 2020


Even though I managed to attend two quilt group meetings last week....I suspect I left some of my brain/memory on our hallway floor as a result of my fainting episode because name recall (as I write this post) has stumped me.

I apologize in advance for not being able to attribute all of them to their superb pieces!

The members of our Mountain Art Quilt group are such treasures; positive attitudes, incredibly creative in so many directions, generous in their knowledge....what a treat to be included! 

This piece took my breath away!!

Detail of the machine appliqué, stamping, and some commercial fabrics.
 Norma thoughtfully brought several pieces she created using mostly sheer fabrics.  It was perfect given our focus at this meeting was a demo showing a technique of painted sheer fabric.  Norma's past included being an interior decorator.  She rescued sample books of sheers and said she spent many, many happy and relaxing hours stitching them together.
 Norma also created this almost see through long narrow piece....also embellished with beads and trinkets.
 And here's a third one which included photo transfer and a leaf transfer method taught to Norma by Judy Simmons.
 Our meeting was on Valentine's Day....what a perfect time to share these cuties.
 The cardboard glue on stands really expands how they could be displayed.  Very clever!!
 Lynn has been working on a 'memory' piece featuring small jewelry treasures made by herself and family members.  She even found her Brownie pin and added it to the piece.  Her plan is to have other family members add their small treasures and hopefully it will be passed down for younger generations to enjoy.  A true labor of love.

 Jenny Perry presented a well organized and interesting demo of a technique she learned in an Esterita Austin workshop taken at Paducah last year.  
 She explained how to recreate an inspirational photo with paint on sheer fabric.
It's an interesting technique that has lots of applications as displayed here with Jenny's painted lily.  In fairness to the instructor, rather than providing details, if this sounds intriguing you may want to seek out a class presented by Esterita.  

Saturday, February 15, 2020


Instead of indicating that we had our monthly PTA meeting.....we could have named our Feb. gathering "Pity Party".  These last few weeks have tested the patience of our members....what with several husbands being ill, several members ill, flooding issues, car problems etc.

But we rallied and spent a lovely day with Dort as our hostess.  I have no clue why the photos I took of her quilt in progress aren't on my camera....but I can state she was working hard on it.
 Barbara brought this colorful abstract top with an almost stain glass appearance.  The photo of course doesn't do it justice!
Here's Barbara explaining some of the construction issues she solved.
 Connie shared this large traditional quilted block, mounted on wood.  Love the color combo and contemporary fabric choices. 
I fell in love with Judy's newest piece.  A combination of her deconstructed screen printed and batik fabrics. The thoughtful fabric placement, quilting motifs, and hand stitching contributed to this very stunning piece. I just wish I could have gotten a better photo.

The drama in the lives of so many of our members was the understandable reason our Show and Tell was so month we will have our 12th annual retreat where wonderful pieces will be flying out of our sewing machines.

Friday, February 14, 2020


The luxury and enjoyment continues.....
To reach the activities in the infield, before and during the race, 8 brand new Porsche Cayenne shuttles were available to us.

We took advantage of their shuttle service to meet up with friends at the start finish area of the track.  Prior to the beginning of the race, tradition allows fans to get onto the track while the drivers stand by their cars and get introduced one at a time.  Racing is very fan friendly!  Many fans bring markers to write their names or messages on the track.
 We could see the front of the pits across from our hospitality viewing area.
 But we really got a treat by being escorted by a Porsche representative on a 'hot pit' tour (meaning the cars are racing).  This is the open back area of the Porsche pit.
 There were 4 of us on this tour.  Our escort fitted us with microphone/headphones so she could explain what we were seeing and we could ask questions.  Here is 'the husband' snapping photos.  We were urged to stand close to the fence to get out of the way of the many golf carts type vehicles that are constantly driving by with equipment/supplies.

Porsche ran two cars at this race, and always has one driver outfitted and ready to go at all times.  Everyone in the pit is glued to their specific lap tops, screens etc.  They had a dedicated representative from Michelin tires monitoring that aspect of the cars.  Really this was fascinating....even for me.

A variety of spare car parts are stored there are a very large amount of tires.
Safety of course is a major concern.  There was one person assigned just to stand by with a fire extinguisher whenever any fuel is being handled.

In case you are wondering....Porsche came in 2nd & 3rd in their them the points lead in the season.  This was the first time their brand new cars were run.....a great finish!   

Thursday, February 13, 2020


 After the simply awful weather at last year's Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona International Raceway, this year we were rewarded with perfect weather.
More perfect was the opportunity to gain access to Porsche VIP Hospitality. (Thank you David A.)  Our home away from home was 5 suites high up in the grand stands...behind those big glass windows you see here.
The patio area was just one of the great places to view the race.

 I normally have my face in my Kindle the entire time we are at the track.  It's obviously much more interesting when you can see the entire race track and actually hear the announcers.  I never even opened my Kindle!
 It's a very posh experience!!
 And the complimentary food was astonishingly good.
 As were the complimentary beverages.  No bubble, but I made do.....ha, ha.

One of the suites featured comfy leather recliners facing a wall of two huge TV screens.  AND...if you feel the need to get up and order a fancy coffee at the always open coffee bar.....there was a smaller screen available so you don't miss a single minute.
 Other areas (all with TV screens everywhere) are outfitted with table and chairs for your comfort to enjoy the numerous buffets.  The whole experience was awesome...I may not even grumble about 'the husband' dragging me to various races if I can enjoy them in this manner!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


It's so satisfying when small pieces of hand-printed fabrics can be turned into useful items such as these mini notebook covers. Visit my items at Woolworth Walk, Asheville, NC.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Oh my, what a treat!!!  The Biltmore Estate is hosting another Downton Abbey Exhibit and I've been preparing for my visit by (yet again) binging on the TV series.  It was a dreary day outside, but with a happy heart I joined two friends as we examined the displays.  Thank you Lynn for making this happen!
 The exhibit has many interactive viewing stations. In fact there's a lot of unexpected high tech that I won't share to avoid spoiling the surprises for further visitors.  But at one such screen, viewers could apply for a job at Downton.  After answering numerous questions, I was short listed for a job as a Lady's Maid!
 Every aspect of life at Downton was on display.  Jewelry worn by the stars as well as clothing.
 How many times have we all seen Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson donning this clothing?  They are as familiar to fans as our own.
The Downton Exhibit is actually presented in two separate areas of the Biltmore Estate.   Quite a large selection of clothing worn by the actors was beautifully & thoughtfully displayed in Antler Village.  I was especially enthralled by the delicate embroidery and beadwork.  This was one of Mary's evening gowns.
This screen displayed pages of a book and viewers could listen the descriptions. The presentation is just beginning as the pages begin turn and become visible. What struck me as I traveled through the exhibit is the melding of our current technology into a long past way of life.
 Astonishingly one could walk into sets from the show, here's the kitchen along with (headless) Mrs. Patmore and Daisy!
Lady Mary's bedroom and two pieces of her bedroom wardrobe.
 Each room had video screens with scenes from those settings playing in the can see it here in the dining room.
  What incredible can just guess at how many courses they would be served by looking at all that flatware.
 As one nears the very end of this part of the exhibit, you come across 'the gong'!  Rung to announce the time to dress for the evening.  Of course I rang it.
 And as you enter the last room, Mr. Carson appears on a huge screen and asks who rang the gong!  Several other characters also make appearances, chatting with the viewer like you are actually there.  It's a charming way to end this part of the exhibit.

We spent several hours going through the two exhibits, so I'll spare you the massive number of photos I took.  Honestly, for such a fan as myself it was so much fun.  The exhibit will be at the Biltmore until April.  We arrived early and because it was a very rainy day, the crowd was manageable.  I give this an enthusiastic thumbs up!