Saturday, March 02, 2019

Straits of Mackinac in Denton TX!

I’ll not soon forget these happy faces and the crazy antics
that come with a heavy dose of scrap over load!

These ladies don’t even know how much they have added to MY life!

I love talking to folks, finding out a bit about them, their family, their former jobs if they are retirees, family life if they are still raising kids, or supporting kids through college – listening to the discussions of every day life with jobs, plans, grandkids, upcoming weddings, babies on the way – and usually there is a quilt in the planning or sewing stages for each of these occasions. 

Quilting is how we mark the momentous events that dot the timelines of our lives, isn’t it?

This was also the maiden voyage for Straits of Mackinac as a workshop – and starting out with 53 in class?  HOLY MOLY!!

We broke all demos down to manageable groups!

Cutting corner triangles from strip sets with the Essential Triangle Tool.

String piecing demo in progress!

Photos thanks to Deb Hayter!

I knew this day – day 11 of my whirlwind End-of-February-into-March Texas Two-Step would be pony tail required as I was running from group to group all day long!

I shared three different ways to make the star point unit.

1. paper piecing following the lines on the templates included in the book. (Slowest method by far, and all the units turn out the same. Call this the SLOW MO!)

2. Speed piecing the center string pieced pyramid over foundation paper, cutting to size with the pyramid ruler from the Tri-Recs tools, placing the pyramid on the paper foundation and just “paper-piecing” the star point units either side of the pyramid so units could be perfectly trimmed to size. (We called this Medium Speedy!)

3.  Cutting the pyramids from string pieced sets and star points from strips using BOTH Tri-Recs tools and just piecing them as in normal piecing - (The Super Speedy!)

I encouraged the students to try each method and see which one they liked best.  I love it when students are happy with what makes them feel successful in their quilting.

Deb and her long boa of corner triangles!

String piecing panels to “speed cut” center pyramids!

We were wowed by Sherry’s blocks in beautiful red!

Saska came down from Oklahoma without telling Sherry she’d be here!

We had a wonderful tearful reunion in the lobby!

(The relationships built through quilting are even better than the quilting itself, don’t you agree?)

Sue was using her grandma’s stash from the 1970s;


What a terrific way to keep her grandma close to her heart.  This is going to be a fabulous memory quilt to snuggle under.

Click to play:

From my time in San Antonio, to my wonderful retreat weekend at Brazos House for some R&R, and then to the 4 days of busy workshops full of creativity and friendship in Denton - 

Dear Quilters, I thank you one and all for enlarging your circles and including me!

Adios, mi amigas!

God Bless Texas, and all the quilters within!

BBQ stuffed potatoes at Rudy’s for dinner!

Deb stayed behind at the end of class to help me get one box off to Fedex, and grab a bite to eat while we waited for rush hour to die down.  I was so happy for just a spot of company as it really would have been a sad end to spend my last night solo!

When I got back to the hotel I wandered into the sewing room, now vacant and empty – the cleaning crew hadn’t been in yet, but let me tell you, black table cloths and sewing thread, lint, dog ears, snippets and debris made it look like a vacuum cleaner bag had exploded all over.  

I didn’t pity the housekeeping staff having to clean that up, but it was a subtle reminder of the fabric flurry over the past 4 days – echoes of machines and chatter and all of that memory making still filling my ears.

Sleeping sweet under Xing from String Frenzy!

I’m giggling to myself as one comment on Facebook asked “Do you always travel with your own sleeping quilts?”  She must be a new follower! 

My reply?  “I travel with 100 lbs of quilts for lectures and workshops and I get my pick of the lot!  It’s one of the perks of the job.”  LOL!

As soon as this posts I am loading up the last of my luggage in my rental car and making my way toward DFW airport.  The plan is to swing by the curbside check in and drop off the bags, then return the car and take the shuttle back.  I really don’t want to deal with 3 50 lb bags and a backpack on the rental car shuttle.

I’ve got plenty of time – but was told I-35 may have construction delays so I’m out of here as early as I can.

My feet will be back in Greensboro, NC by dinner time!

I’m being picked up by son Jeff, and I think his mom will be treating him to dinner for his efforts.

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

It all starts with you, right where you are! Happy Saturday, everyone!

This girl is clicking her heels 3 times and heading home!


  1. I had so much fun in your class yesterday! I can’t wait to try the string piecing method on other quilt pattern!

  2. Hope you have a safe and hassle-free flight(s).

  3. Wish I had been there with you! I live in northern Michigan so did you explain why Mackinac Island, Bridge, and Straits is spelled with ac at the end and Mackinaw City has aw on the end?? Just in case, "ac" is from the Indian spelling I guess but pronounce "aw" and M City decided to change the spelling so people would know how to pronounce their fair city. Enjoy your short time at home. Maybe I will get to see you in May at Mackinac Island!!

    1. I keep reading it with the “ac” as in Australia thanks for the pronunciation lesson I knew where the island was but not how to say it on my bucket list to visit

  4. So ..being a Michigander...How did the Straits of Mackinac Quilt group end up in Texas....lol When I saw the name of the Quilt group I thought...How did I miss this? Bonnie came to Michigan? This time of the year? And I missed it? Looks like you all had a wonderful time! Safe travels home!

  5. Those Aquas!! Love the trip Recs and all the movement they give the quilt. Safe travels. Thank goodness for Jeff! He's a good Son!!

  6. So glad to hear how awesome your time in Texas was. Sweet memories for asll involved. Enjoy your dinner with your son this evening and sleeping in your own bed tonight.

  7. Being a Michiganfabder, I may just have to make this one! Turquoise and aqua being my favorite colors after purples! Safetravels home.

  8. I've found a fourth way of making those blocks!
    I was given a bag of short 5" strings so I pieced them over a triangle of paper and then trimmed with the tri recs and pieced in the sides.
    I wish I'd been able to take your class; your method sounds far quicker!!!

  9. Groan--*I* have stash from the 70s, but don't feel nearly old enough to be someone's Grandma!

    I35 is *always* under construction, somewhere in Texas. So glad you had a great time in this great state!

  10. It was a blessing to be in your classes this week. I have a lot to learn, and need to practice, practice, practice! Thanks for your patience. It was so much fun on Friday! Thursday sort of gave me a headache! LOL

  11. I LOVE grandmas stash! So cool!

  12. Such a fun class! I am glad you are back home for a few days with an easier trip home from TX than the trip to TX. I did have quite a laugh a few days ago when you posted the pic of the room BEFORE the classes started...that had all of those black tablecloths. I know what I look like if I happen to wear black while sewing! I am looking forward to being in class in MN in June with you!!

  13. I also love Grandmas stash. I have some 70's scraps that I had left over from making my kids shorts when they were little. I am expecting my 10th grandchild this coming Friday and I used the scraps for a baby quilt I am working on. Enjoyed the photos and really felt like I was a part of the group.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)