Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hoppin’ and Shoppin’ in O’Fallon!

In between our fabulous picnic in the park at the Muny, and the Antique Mall browse of the century, we made a little pit stop into O’Sewpersonal in nearby O’Fallon!

Hey!  I just got it!  O’Sew and O’Fallon.  It’s a word play on location! It's all about the O'!! Great name!

((Yes, this was a SQUIRREL moment and the light bulb really DID shine over my head!))

It was a fun day to meet some really great folks who run the cutest little quilt shop in O’Fallon – and if you happen to stop by on the right day, you might just catch Kevin behind the counter as he works there when he is NOT playing flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

((Yes, he really DOES work for the fabric!))

I took a great little look around and I thought you’d enjoy seeing what I saw!

Bonnie, Kevin and Robin–on the LOOP!

What do you do when brunch is over at 11am, but the lecture doesn’t start until 1:30pm??


There are several areas of beautiful St Louis that I was able to spend time in –we had dinner on The Hill the night before, a lovely old Italian neighborhood where homes still sport the Italian flag, and fire hydrants are also painted orange and green and white!

((And the gelato was to die for!))

I enjoyed a picnic with Kevin and Mary Ellen down by the Muni at a gorgeous park.

We spent time in St Charles – oh yes! Those photos are still on my laptop, maybe I’ll post those tonight.

And we spent our time before my lecture wandering around the area known as “The Loop”  in an area called University City---which really doesn’t loop anywhere!  It goes in a straight line!  But hey, it’s St Louis, it’s bound to be a bit quirky.

This place began a life of its own farther back than you might imagine.  What you can’t see behind us in this silly selfie that I stole from Kevin --

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Yahoo! It’s a Give-Away Deluxe!

I came home from Missouri to a HUGE pile of mail!

Now it’s usually a pretty big pile after being gone 2 weeks, but this time it was bigger than most --

And I was just THRILLED when I realized that the large white envelope at the bottom of the pile had the QUILTMAKER logo on it!

It’s here!

The Nov/Dec 2015 issue that I’ve been waiting for is here!

There is a very special quilt in this issue that is just perfect for the holidays, and a great way to dig into those holiday fabrics of Christmas Past and let them come out to play.

And this quilt is so easy that you will have no problem getting this one done and bound before St Nick comes down YOUR chimney!

Kevin, Mary Ellen and Bonnie Go Antiquing!

Two of my favorite things happened on Friday!

A Picnic AND An Antique Mall run!

And I got to do it with two of my friends, how’s that for fun?

You never know what you are going to find when you go out antiquing.  Merchandise can turn over at any given time, so even if you were there 2 months ago, or even 2 weeks – it can be completely different the next time.

Kevin had warned me that “We might not find anything good” here – but never fear, we’ll give it a shot anyway!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Picnic Kind of Show & Share!

Saturday provided us a wonderful break from the summer heat – it’s as if the seasons simply turned a page, leaving us still with sunshine and lovely weather – just a bit kinder, a bit cooler and we grabbed the opportunity to take our box lunches, hike across the parking lot to enjoy our lunch hour near the beautiful bit of water you see in this photo at the park across from the community center where our workshops were being held.

GET OUTSIDE!  I don’t care how you do it or when you do it – but quilting, as I often tell people is a sedentary sport.  We sit a lot. 
INSIDE.  We need fresh air.  We need the vitamin D that the sun provides naturally.

If you must eat out, get it TO GO and find a grassy spot before rougher weather begins.  Tuck this beautiful day into your pocket and reflect back on it in the depths of winter and know that Spring will once again be followed by summer and green and warmth and sunshine.

Within a few weeks we won’t be able to do this at all --

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Picnic Out!

When Mary Ellen and Kevin came to pick me up at my hotel, they informed me they had a better plan for lunch on this beautiful September day --

We headed straight to Whole Foods ((Affectionately renamed by some to WHOLE PAYCHECK!)) and picked up our salads to go at the salad bar.

We had a new agenda!

Instead of “eating in” we were “eating OUT!”  Picnic style!

I agreed that this was the most wonderful idea ever.  Summer is quickly leaving us, and there are not many more days like this that we could enjoy sitting on the grass, enjoying the end of summer warmth and sunshine.

I took a photo of these guards and squashes in front of Whole Foods – Yes.  There is no denying Autumn, no matter how hard we want to hold on to summer!

A Slice of My Blue Heaven, St Louis Style!

Yes, it was THIS kind of fun in class yesterday with members of the Circle in the Square Quilters and friends from St Louis Missouri!

Who would guess that this whole PJ thing would take on a life of its own!

Do you think that Target has figured it out yet? LOL!!

Next time they make anything with sewing/quilting stuff as a theme—they better realize that quilters and sewists are a force to be reckoned with and send in at least TWICE the amount of merchandise as they thought they could move! HA!

As for me – I’m in my new St Louis Cardinals shirt and matching earrings – when in St Louis, FLAUNT IT!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Visit to Merrily We Quilt Along!

We took a little side trip at lunch on Thursday during our Playing with Jacks workshop.

Just down the road from Panera where we were having lunch, is Merrily We Quilt Along, a fabulous shop that specializes in Bernina sewing machines, and Gammill Long Arm Quilting Machines.

I was happy to meet the staff and customers, both in the shop and in the long arm rental side ---I love seeing what other quilters are up to!

I asked if I could snap some photos and the answer came with a resounding “YES!”

A Whole Lotta Springfield Show & Share!

Is there anything more inspiring than a room full of completed quilts?  Th e colors, the layouts, the variety!

Oh, it just gets my juices flowing!

During our two days of workshops and a lecture with the Ozark Piecemakers in Springfield I was treated again and again and again to wonderful completions and even projects in progress, all from the hands and hearts of these very talented quilters!

Shown here is Nancy’s Virginia Bound from Scraps & Shirttails, a yummy concoction of recycled fabrics all brought together into a quilt that demands to be snuggled and petted!  It just sparkles, Nancy!

I think the black inner binding is so striking and is the perfect “stopper” to be closely followed by the outer cream border.  SO GREAT!

And there is more, so much more!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Half Scrap Quilts Drawing Time!


Hello from St Louis!

I arrived this afternoon and met up with Kevin ((AKA Kevin the Quilter)) and our friend Mary Ellen and we had a wonderful afternoon toodling around the area!

It’s been an absolutely gorgeous September day, it really could not have been better weather-wise and they have taken care of my every need and every whim.

I’m in very good hands here with the Circle in the Square quilters for their quilt show this weekend.

I was just dropped back to my hotel ((The rental car was returned to the airport this afternoon.)) after dinner out in St Charles, and I am rushing right in here to do this drawing I promised.

I am so excited that Mickey has offered up TWO signed copies of  Half Scrap Quilts for our giveaway and I know you are going to love this book.

I just put the random number generator through its paces and this is what it says!

Playing with Jacks in Springfield, MO!

Another day to play with the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Springfield, Missouri!

I’m so happy they chose these two workshops – there are SO MANY possibilities just by rotating units and changing the value placement, swapping backgrounds – the varieties are endless!

We started out the day with a bit of Easy Angle Ruler practice—making triangles in matching sets of 6, testing our seams.

Contrasting chains of squares were added to the triangles to quickly create our little gems, each quilter working with their own fabrics in their own color ways to bring about their own visions.

After my lecture on Thursday, Susan brought in some fabrics she thought she wanted to use for her blocks and we discussed them a bit.

I asked her where she felt she was BEFORE hearing my lecture, and she laid out these fabrics:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Taking a Hike–Missouri Style!

Days have been insanely busy this trip.

There hasn’t been a lot of time to even see the nature around the area, except from behind the steering wheel when I was going from one town to meet up with the next.

No time to pack a picnic and enjoy the grass.

Not even time for an antique mall trip – maybe I’ll be able to sneak that in when I hit St Louis.  Sunday is a lecture day and there should be time to explore a bit when that is over.

When Machell asked me if I wanted to join her on a hike through the Springfield Nature Center after class yesterday, I gave it an ABSOLUTE YES!

Get me out of the classroom, out of the hotel room and out amongst the last of end-of-summer days.

You would never guess that this much beauty was found not far from the major areas of town, what a hidden gem!

Stitching up the Scrap Crystals–Springfield Style!

I’m having a blast with these ladies!

What a fun group the Ozark Piecemakers are.  And they have the most unique meeting place I’ve come across to date.

They have a whole store front in a retail shopping center!

It’s a large venue, and they have space for EVERYTHING including a permanent library, rooms with shelves and shelves and shelves of donated fabric for making donation quilts and quilts of valor, a kitchen for goodies --

And even a long arm machine that was lovingly donated so the guild can quilt the many charity quilts that they tirelessly give to so many worthy causes here in the Springfield, Missouri area and beyond.

Having a building such as this means that all of the many different organizations within the guild always have a place to meet – to cut, to sew, to assemble.

They are a driving force of love within this community tucked in the beautiful Ozarks and are accomplishing great things.

They are actively engaged in worthy causes!

When you are a member of the Ozark Piecemakers, you are busy DOING.  And it is so wonderful to have a purpose and find so many lovely quilters to work along side.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oh Julie, the Quilty Box Winner!

It’s Quilty Box Time!

It’s Quilty Box Time!

I’m thrilled that Quilty Box has once again given me the opportunity to present this wonderful gift box to one lucky blog reader!

We had 1298 entries for this abundance of goodies.

If you don’t want to miss out in the future, why not SUBSCRIBE!

Quilty Box is a monthly subscription box. They offer plans from $44-48/mo.

5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions are donated to Quilts for Kids - a non-profit which donates quilts for children in need.

Each month we have 4 or more products (Fabric, patterns, thread, or notions)
Our retail value of the products in the box is always more than $50
Your support is appreciated. If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank You,
Patrick Claytor
Owner - Quilty Box
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Showing & Sharing in Marshall, MO!

The quilters came from all over the midwest to meet with other quilters, to take workshops, to share their beautiful quilts.

And I am the lucky one who gets to see them all up close and in person!

This is Pam’s Orca Bay in oranges, purples, blacks and neutrals…it’s so stunning!

I just love it Pam, and it was so great to see you at my lecture!

Due to the shortness of time between the end of the lecture and the start of our afternoon workshop, there wasn’t a formal show & share period – and since our half day afternoon workshop didn’t have a lunch period ((We grazed all afternoon!)) we saved the rest of show and share for the lunch period on the next day during our Smith Mountain Morning workshop.

We got to commandeer the whole stage area, step away from our machines and enjoy what everyone had brought.

And now I get the privilege of sharing them all with YOU!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When in Marshall…

This is the beautiful county courthouse in the center of the old downtown area in Marshall, Missouri!

Mary was driving me to get some lunch after setting up our lecture, and before the activities began and I made her slow down at a street corner to take this shot. 

You know my love of history – and this building stands tall and proud, a testiment to the heartiness of those who settled Marshall in the early 1800s.

From Wikipedia:
Sixty-five acres of land for the city of Marshall was donated by Jeremiah O’Dell, deeded on April 13, 1839. It was named for the United States Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall, when chosen for the county seat.

Smith Mountain Morning, Marshall Style!

Yesterdays Smith Mountain Morning workshop in Marshall, Missouri was a whirlwind of activity with 48 quilters slicing, sewing, pressing – unsewing – and having a jolly good time in the process of putting it all together!

You should have SEEN the variety of fabrics being sewn in this class.  AWESOME!

I love the individuality – I love the insight and the inspiration.  I love how everyone’s tastes and likes come shining through with each quilt a reflection of each maker.

48 different quilts are under way, each as wonderful as the next!

This reiterates to me once again the importance of NOT having everyone sew from an identical kit.  We are not robots, and we are not clones of each other.  We are as varied as the fabrics pulled into blocks in class yesterday. 

Your stash is a reflection of who you are!  I love seeing that come shining through in the projects we make together.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Getting Quilty in Marshall, MO!

We had a great crowd show up on a Sunday afternoon for my presentation hosted by the Stitch by Stitch guild in Marshall!

And what a lively audience!  Loads of laughter, fun and excitement over putting our precious stashes to good use in making wonderful scrap quilts!

The facility is absolutely beautiful!  The Martin Community center is providing us with room to move, plenty of space for 50 quilters to set up and sew, the lighting is fabulous and we couldn’t ask for more!

After the lecture we set up for a Bricks in the Barnyard workshop that ran from 4pm to 8pm officially – but unofficially the ladies were free to sew all the way until 10pm and get the most out of their sewing time as they wanted.

When I rolled out at 8:30pm to go get some rest – they were still going strong!

You just have to love the resilience and fortitude that quilters possess!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

And There Were So MANY Quilts!

It’s hard to know where to start!

Because the show & share quilts kept coming and kept coming and they were ALL so spectacular!

You know, if we added up all of the yards and yards of fabric used in these quilts, and connected all of the threads used to sew, quilt and bind these pieces from end to end to end – I think we could go MORE than across the state of Missouri …..we could cover the whole Midwest and more!

Show & Share is one of my favorite times during a workshop.

We usually hold it right at the end of lunch – just as folks are finishing up, enjoying that last brownie, or as in our workshop yesterday in Kirksville – spooning up that last bit of ice cream sundae topped with homemade berry sauce!

It gives us a chance to know each other a bit better, letting those sharing tell us a bit about themselves, where they hail from, and just what went behind the making of these beautiful quilts.

Texas Tumbleweed, Kirksville Style!

Friends that chain together, stay together!

And it’s even better if they come to class in matching shirts for the occasion! Ha!

Yesterday was my last day with the Hands of Friendship guild in Kirksville, Missouri – and all of our additional friends who traveled in from across the state and out of state to join us for this 3 day weekend Quilta-Palooza!

Every need was taken care of – even in the face of tornado warnings and hunkering downs and threat of wet boxes of books!  When I arrived back at the workshop location the morning after the storm, everything was fine.  Kind souls HAD seen the boxes on the floor and everything was up and dry.

All is well!  All is better than well…it’s QUILTY GOOD!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Missouri Antiquing Leg Stretch!

Long road trips need rest breaks.

And it is even better if there is a sign for an antique mall right on the interstate, just take the next exit and turn Left!

I made a stop in Warrenton on my way from St Louis to Kirksville on Wednesday – and it was just the leg stretch I needed!

Why stop at an interstate rest area when you can stop at an antique mall instead?

Antique malls, like yard sales are always a crap shoot.

There is no way to know if there is “good stuff” in there, or if it is going to resemble a 3 day old yard sale with all the good stuff picked over and gone.

I am always on the look out for sewing notions, linens, funky kitchen items, quilts, sewing machines, and the rare oddity!

The Antique Barn in Warrenton gave me a good  half hour of browsing pleasure before I forced myself back on the road to make it to Kirksville to meet the guild girls by dinner time.

Jared Takes a Wife in Kirksville!

This is a happy birthday shout out to Michele who came and spent her 50th birthday with us in our Jared Takes a Wife workshop in Kirksville yesterday!

I remember other memorable birthdays –turning 10 meant I was double-digits and I could get my ears pierced.

Turning 16 was a big one, I could finally date and get a job!

Turning 21?

Well that was never that big of a deal because I was already married and wasn’t that much of a wild child!  21 passed rather quietly by.

But turning 50?!  That’s HUGE!  It’s like finally arriving at who you really are, through and through.  50 meant I didn’t have to take any guff from anyone, and I could finally say that I was going to do my life my way! 

And so Michele was sung Happy Birthday by all 45 students in our workshop and all of us who have reached the wonderful age of 50 and beyond were able to welcome her into THE CLUB!

Happy Birthday, Michele!  Thanks for spending your special day with us!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Quilty Box Give-Away Time!


**NOTE**  This drawing has ended!
Congrats to our winner, Julie!

Guess what time it is!


I so love doing this…one lucky winner is going to get a fabulous box of goodies this time around, and I have the folks at Quilty Box to thank for it.

What? You haven’t heard of Quilty Box yet?  What rock have you been hiding under?!

  • Quilty Box is a monthly subscription box. They offer plans from $44-48/mo.
  • 5% of the profits of multi-month subscriptions are donated to Quilts for Kids - a non-profit which donates quilts for children in need
  • Each month we have 4 or more products (Fabric, patterns, thread, or notions)
  • Our retail value of the products in the box is always more than $50

Playing with Jacks, Kirksville Style!

This is the kind of fun you have when you gather 33 quilters from all over the midwest – from Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and other outlaying areas in Kirksville, Missouri for 3 days of workshops!

We kicked off our weekend’s festivities yesterday afternoon with the Helping Hands Quilt Guild of Kirksville hosting us ---and what a bang up job they are doing.

The door prizes are never ending and over flowing!

Several of these ladies I’ve had the pleasure to meet on previous engagements and it is like a family reunion when that happens.

Gals I’ve had in workshops in Iowa are meeting those I’ve had workshops with in Indiana, and they are becoming fast friends!  That just tickles me to no end.  And this is why we do what we do isn’t it?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

From Home to Kirksville!

This is Atlanta on a foggy September morning on the way to Missouri yesterday.

It was luckily an easy travel day, but I wondered why I had booked row 10 and when I checked in 24 hours in advance they had me in row 14.

When I checked in at the airport YESTERDAY for my flight I’d been bumped to row 17.


I never would choose a center seat on purpose while flying solo!

Turns out that our plane had been changed 3 times, and they kept couples together who were originally ticketed together, and they stuck the rest of us in center seats. UGH.

Good thing it was only for a bit over an hour!

I claimed that center seat, pulled out my hexie bag and went to town!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On Shopping, Packing, Hanging Sleeves & Color Catchers!

Have you heard?

You can find these adorable jammies at a Target near you!

Or order online if there isn’t one, but I bet since the word got out that Target has been absolutely slammed and they will soon sell out.

If there IS a Target near you and you want to reserve a pair for yourself before you can get there, order them online and have them held at your local store for pick up later.

I heard about these from my friend Shelly this morning by email when she sent me the link.

What’s not to love?

They are PINK!

They are covered with all the things we love for quilters and sewists alike..machines, dress forms, bobbins, thread, seam rippers, buttons scissors, pins, even a tomato pin cushion!

It’s a Packing Day!

I’m running LOW on Tumblers!  All I have is in this zip lock bag, and it is so low on variety.

I leave tomorrow for Missouri!

I’ll be flying into St Louis, picking up a rental car, driving 4 hours to Kirksville where I’ll be spending a few days with the Hands of Friendship quilt guild!

From there it’s off to Marshall,  for some time with the Stitch by Stitch Quilters, whoowhooo!

And that’s not all there is!  From there I go to Springfield to quilt it up with the members of the Ozark Piecemakers.

We cap this whole “Show Me Missouri” tour with the Quintessential Quilt Show being put on my the Circle in the Square Quilters of St Louis.

I am pretty much circling the entire state of Missouri!

And there will be many evenings of hotel stitching ahead of me…so along with my main project, I need to cut MORE TUMBLERS for the Tumbler Leader & Ender challenge!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bye Bye Fitbit, Hello Charmin’ Garmin!

It was a hard decision to make.

I *AM* mourning the loss of my beloved fitbit, a tried and true friend who stuck with me through thick and thin over the past nearly 2 years – until it didn’t stick, got dropped off of yours truly and decided to find a life of its own somewhere else.

I did try synching my phone to the fitbit in several places – knowing that if it synched, it must be close by.

But no.  From my car to everywhere in the house, all I got was that red exclamation point and the dreaded “Device not found”.

There was nothing left to do but to haul my broken heart into the car and go in search of something to replace it.

While Walmart seems to carry the fitbit at  a very reasonable cost, I started questioning myself if I really just wanted a duplicate of what I already had, or was there something better out there that I might like better.

Off to Costco we go!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Quilt-Cam 9/13/2015

It’s a Sunday kind of Quilt-Cam Afternoon!

I don’t know how long it has been since we were able to pull a Sunday Quilt-Cam at home…I’m usually on the road traveling, or at the cabin if there is a free Sunday when I’m not out teaching.  As I went over my calendar and to-do list and saw Sunday afternoon wide open, I knew it was a good choice to host Quilt-Cam when those in Europe could join in with us.  Poor folks, it’s usually 3am when we run it in the evening my time!

I love this photo from Deb V – Can you see what she has going on her cutting mat?  Split 9 patch blocks are coming together!

I love getting a glimpse inside someone else’s sewing space, don’t you??

Things I notice about Deb’s set up:

She os ORGANIZED!  Look at those containers neatly holding parts!

Sunday in the Studio!


First thing off the bat – I hope you will join me for Quilt-Cam at 2pm Eastern time this afternoon.


I’m saving Monday evening for some family time, and we haven’t done Quilt-Cam at a time when those in Europe could join us in quite a while.

2pm my time is 7pm in the UK, and 8 pm for most of the rest of Europe and it is only fair that they get their turn at not having to watch at 3am if they wanted to catch us live.  And those crazy folks – I  often DO get messages from those who ARE up at 3am just to catch live Quilt-Cam!  ((I won’t go into how nuts that is, but I am happy to have them with us at any time!))

Those of you in the Land Down Under may have to catch up later, but you will find it all linked in the archives.

Remember those star blocks with the crumb centers that I was working on last time?  Yep.  That is going to be my Quilt-Cam project over probably the next LONG while.  You can check out the last Quilt-Cam at the top of the list in the archives under the Quilt-Cam tab at the top of the blog if you need a refresher.  No matter what you want to work on, be ready to make some progress for about 90 minutes or so.

I got this far last night, sewing on Olivia!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

And it was 1948


It was 1948 the year that The Snake Pit opened in theaters staring Olivia de Havilland.

Touted one of the best movies of the year 1948,  movie-goers flocked to theaters eager to see the well acclaimed novel represented on film with their favorite box office stars playing the lead roles.
In this psychological drama, Virginia Cunningham (Olivia de Havilland) is confused upon finding herself in a mental hospital, with no memory of her arrival at the institution.
Tormented by delusions and unable to even recognize her husband, Robert (Mark Stevens), she is treated by Dr. Mark Kik (Leo Genn), who is determined to get to the root of her mental illness. 

As her treatment progresses, flashbacks depict events in Virginia's life that may have contributed to her instability.

Sound intriguing?

It was also 1948 when this little machine made it’s debut down the Singer Manufacturing Company’s assembly line:

Bonnie and the Dream Cabinet --

Yesterday late afternoon I made the drive from Wallburg, North Carolina to Liberty, North Carolina, a distance of about 55 miles one way.

It was one of those spur of the moment things.

I had been looking on Craigslist – yes, yes, I know – that is ALWAYS dangerous!

But there is something that I have been looking for for months and months and, over a year.

I want an art deco style cabinet with NO FRONT LEFT LEG!

Those of you who have sewn at vintage cabinets know of which I speak.

The cabinet is never wide enough for you to sit in front of the needle…you are sitting centered at the machine.

And I always find myself leaning to the left…and I end up with my left thigh pressed against the front left leg of the cabinet.  It’s not comfortable!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Morning Time with Mary!


Friendship quilts and signature quilts held sentiments expressed in words of tenderness, sweet emotion, poetry and prose.

These quilts were made for many different occasions, but in the 1840s America was still a land of the unknown and undeveloped wilderness.

There wasn’t much settling at all to the west of Ohio, and when families packed up and moved off in search of their fortunes and new roots, it was likely that they would never see these dear friends and family again.

They couldn’t just pick up the phone and call.  It could take months or more for letters from family and friends to reach the corners of the new land.

These quilts with sweet remembrances were so important to those to whom they were given as  tangible, visible knowledge that they were loved and cared for and remembered by those they left far behind.

Today I am sharing with you a quilt that Mary Koval shared with me.

It’s a Pennsylvania applique with dated signatures and beautiful sentiments.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed seeing it!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cruise Alaska with Me!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would like to teach on another Alaskan cruise, for a shipload of fun in July of 2016!

You know how I love Alaska, and July is such a PERFECT time to be there – I checked my calendar and gave it a resounding YES!

Those who have cruised Alaska with me before will tell you right off what a magical place it is.

I am much more of a nature/mountains girl than I am a beach girl –if your idea of a summer vacation is to keep your jeans and t shirt on and not have to deal with sweaty people wearing spandex and way too much suntan lotion – this is your cruise!

I have been traveling with Jim West and Sew Many Places, a division of Craftours for many years now and I can tell you that his tours are off the charts.

Let me give you a bit more info on this event!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Just a Bit of Treadle Action.

Thanks to all those who sent well wishes.

I don’t think I’m SICK SICK –just a bit off.  Stomach is in knots, and I’m sticking close to home.

I’m not being adventurous with my food!  ((Maybe that is the problem? Too much eating out over the past 2 weeks?))

I just feel blah, and I’m taking it slow.

The whole excitement of my day was taking the last of the book orders that have come in over the past 2 weeks to the post office and getting to meet the new postal clerk who is filling in.  Boy did I give HER an education!

Silks, Ribbons, Velvets and the 1887 Jubilee!

When you are in the presence of  Joe and Mary Koval, you just KNOW that some hidden treasures are going to come out to play!

Be prepared for some outstanding, and definitely some unusual!

This is a quilt that was acquired by Jo and Mary from Sharon Hultgren on one of their trips to Minnesota.

It is an outstanding example of fine needlework using silks, satins, ribons, and velvet to commemorate the 1887 Jubilee –the height of Victorian patchwork!

Unlike the crazy quilts of the era with no rhyme or no reason, this beautiful example shows exquisite workmanship including fussy cutting and pattern play.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

It’s Give-Away Time! 1775 Palampore!

Hey, everyone!

I made it back from the cabin a bit before noon, and I’ve spent all day on computer work and filling book orders.

I just now looked up at the clock and I can’t believe it is as late as it is!

I nearly forgot that our drawing for the 1775 reproduction Palampore by Mary Koval is supposed to happen tonight.

((And no, there was no nap!))

But here I am and ready to  roll!  Just who will our lucky winner be?

Days Later --Pennsylvania Morning Walk!

Last Thursday I posted the photos from the coverlet museum in Bedford, hit the road and headed toward Boiling Springs for the Quilt Odyssey retreat.

Here we are Tuesday, and these photos remain on my phone.

Since I don’t have a lot of my own to post here from spending Labor Day at the cabin, working on a mystery, and napping A LOT – I thought I’d post these photos because they are just so so so pretty!

I took a different route, heading south from Mary’s house to Shawnee State Park, its focal point being the 451-acre Shawnee Lake.

Sunrise on a lake!  I was not about to miss it for my last morning in this part of Pennsylvania!

Monday, September 07, 2015

Some Quilt Odyssey Retreat Share!

And the retreaters brought quilt finishes from previous workshops and mysteries to show & share!

Our first night, Friday –was my presentation night, so we arranged for Show & Share to happen after dinner on Saturday night before we all got sewing again.

And the finishes were just gorgeous!

Andrea brought her Smith Mountain Morning that she had started in a workshop with me at Quilt Odyssey in Hershey a couple of years ago. 

I love it!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Quilt Odyssey Retreat, The Finale!

It was a day for strip piecing!

It was a day for 4 patches, spinning seams, and sewing blocks.

It was a day for a bit more precision, as 4 patches need to fit the center square – a great way to double check your measurements!

It was a day for cutting sashings the size they needed to be to frame each block, and also checking the measurements of the block center against the sashings pieces.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Mary Koval’s Palampore Give-Away!

I have something really special for you!

There was so much interest in yesterday’s post about the Palampore and Broderie Perse workshop at Mary’s Quilt Shop I posted about yesterday ---

And Mary ((Who didn’t know I was going to write that post about her workshop!)) being so thrilled with the response and the fact that I wrote about her –has offered up ONE Palampore panel to give away to one of my lucky readers!

For those of you who missed yesterday’s post – you can catch up on the action HERE.

Not only is the historic Palampore beautiful all in its own right, but the motifs from such panels were sought after by needleworkers past in making quilts and coverings.

In French "broderie perse" means Persian embroidery, but it also came to refer to the lovely applique of printed chintz flowers and other motifs onto a solid fabric. These exquisite quilts have been made since the 1700s.

This reproduction “palampore” is drawn from a vintage example of a very popular and fine type of fabric from the 18th century.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, of all the exported textiles to arrive in England and Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries perhaps the most spectacular were the painted and dyed cotton bedcovers and wall hangings called palampores.

An investment in fabric of this quality was a sign of wealth and success; families would display them prominently as curtains, wall-hangings or bedcoverings.

The name palampore means bedspread or coverlet. These extraordinarily large cotton panels with their vividly-colored, life-sized flowering trees were coveted for their beauty and as a status symbol.

This reproduction is an excellent example of a typical Palampore hand painted in England ca. 1775.

As usual it combines a complex and elaborate design depicting a wide variety of plants, flowers and birds. The “tree of life” motif is typical of most palampores and is used as a symbol to celebrate birth, marriage and special occasions.

This original Palampore comes from the extensive archives of Mary Koval, and accompanies the "Tree of Life"Collection also by Mary Koval.

I am honored to have seen several of Mary’s Palampores and broderie perse applique quilts in person.

I tell, you it is nearly a spiritual experience being able to see and even gently handle these special pieces!

I am even more thrilled that she is offering to give away one palampore panel as shown above to one lucky reader!


You may choose to add borders to your quilt like this!

Or perhaps select a small portion of the panel and frame it like this!


Applique motifs from the panel like this!

You will find the free pattern worksheets for making these projects on the Windham Fabrics site HERE.

The ideas for working with this panel are endless – if you can even bear to cut it!

So are you ready?

Palampore 55'' x 79''

Leave me a comment in the comments section of this post!  ((Click the blog helps tab at the top of the blog if you don’t know how to find the comments section or how to leave one.))

Leave me a comment on what you would do with this Palampore panel if you are the lucky winner! 

Remember to leave your email address visible in your comment.  Spam-o-phobics can leave their addresses like this: bonnie (at) quiltville.com

Whatever you do, that address MUST be visible, or I will have to choose another winner.

We will draw for our winner on Tuesday evening, September 8th!

Good luck, every one!

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Friday, September 04, 2015

Quilt Odyssey Retreat, Day 1!

Hello from Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania!

I arrived yesterday afternoon, taking the historic and very scenic Route 30, otherwise known as the Lincoln Highway all the way from Schellsburg to where it meets interstate 81 outside of Chambersburg. 

Such a GORGEOUS drive, and while I know the PA turnpike can cut off much of the time it took for me to drive here over every windy hairpin turn and “through town” speed limit changes, I was in no hurry to get here and it was a beautiful day for a long drive.

Broderie Perse, Palampores and Mary’s Quilt Shop!

I snuck into Wednesday’s Palampore and Broderie Perse class at Mary’s Quilt shop!

I thought that since everyone was just coming back from lunch they wouldn’t mind if I just slid right in the door and took a back seat as if I belonged there….like that worked!

It was fun to meet everyone, especially the group who had driven up from Greenville, SC to spend a couple of days at Mary’s Quilt Shop Retreat Center, right above the shop!  They were also very busy learning what they could from Mary about antique applique quilts and a technique called Broderie Perse.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

A Visit to the American Coverlet Museum!

Yesterday was my last day to explore Bedford, Pennsylvania.

Mary was teaching a Broderie Perse Workshop to a group who had traveled in from South Carolina, using motifs from Mary’s marvelous Palempore panel.  More on that to follow!

Anyway – while they were busy I had a couple of hours to myself and it was suggested that I make a morning of visiting the American Coverlet Museum right here in Bedford.

Was I ever in for a treat.

I have always been fascinated by textiles –from the time I was little, if it was made with yarn, thread, fabric –I was game.

While I don’t own any coverlets of my own, I am so interested in the history of coverlets in America, especially since many were made through the Appalachian region I call home.  Just like the quilts we revere so much, in many cases these hand woven coverlets have been passed down from generation to generation, along with the story of the maker.