Monday, December 28, 2009

MARY LOU RETREATS FILLING UP -here is the latest

Tonight Kathy and I are going over to make the final deposit on the hotel for both May and August retreats next year. I am finalizing the schedule and kathy is getting ready to send out the supply list for May and later in the year will send out August's supply list. We have fun things planned both to do, to sew and to eat. We will be visiting at least two quilt shops and if it works out three. All of them are top notch with lots of things to show you and great displays.
We will be eating dinner and shopping at one shop close to the Art Studio as part of our time in Idaho.
If you are interested, send in a deposit (se the top of this blog) and soon I will have a schedule posted on my website for you to see. I would like to say that I am delighted that some of the most fun students I have ever had will be coming from other states. They will add alot to the creativity, the happy atmosphere and the color in the class.
Questions? Write to me-
I am preparing the retreat logo which is quite fun- all kinds of girls together-aren't we lucky to be friends?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Curt sent me something he called a "must have" for 2010-what do you think?

I think my bathroom can do without this...........

Gingerbread Houses are not what they used to be

Here is Kathy with her first place Grand champion award for the best Gingerbread house. The theme she did was Snow White and look at the details!

Can you see all of the details and the fun here?

Here is the Prince with Snow White after she ate the apple-look at the inside of the house on the right and the hundreds of little candy flowers

Here are the seven dwarfs beds and bedroom

Here is a closeup of the gingerbread kitchen

Isn't this charming?

Kathy spent alot of time with the individual leaves on every tree

Isn't this charming?

One of the houses had the theme of Lady and the Tramp-the photo below is the neighborhood

Isn't this cute- it makes me hungry for Italian food

One of the Gingerbread houses had the Bible themes from Vegietales- very cute! This one of coarse if Jonah and the whale

I am not sure what the theme of this one was, but I loved the pretzel tree house idea.

This is the entry into the Davenport Hotel- If you ever get to Spokane Washington you MUST see this old hotel that is fabulous with the gold detail and the woodwork, iron work, furniture, old photos and luxury. It is a fine place to eat and also to just get a latte and sit and watch people.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How LOVELY to have friends who make you feel good!

My friend Susan Typpi just sent me this photo of a quilt at their local hospital. She bought toys to take to the children and as she was walking down the hallway, she noticed this quilt which had many of my fabrics from years past in it. So, she took a photo to show me that the fabrics are being used to keep people happy. Now, isn't that a lovely friend??? And a great quilt!
For those of you who know Mimi Dietrich, she has been on chemo for breast cancer. She wrote me the most lovely letter about reading my new book. She said after she got tired of magazines, she bought my book and read about creativity. She is well known for her Baltimore album quilts and in fact that is where she lives. Anyway, she said I may have changed her way of thinking and that she sees a story quilt of a woman with ruched breasts! How is that for creativity? I told her that people are looking for unique quilts and that her quilt may go down in history as a one of a kind! She would probably love a message for the holidays from you. Here is her AND for a good laugh, go to my next post. Then write Mimi.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Friend Linda's Sugar cookies are the BEST in the world-try this recipe!

I am visual and while I want you to see this wonderful recipe from my friend Linda Pederson who has a quilt in my new book, I wanted to show some photos I took in Germany when I was there at Christmas time. Such a wonderful country and people and Germany is THE Christmas place for sure!

Linda's Fabulous Vanilla Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
2 Tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup

Cream the above ingredients together. Add 2 c. flour, 2 tbsp vanilla sugar and 1 tsp baking soda. Roll into 4 logs the size of a nickel, shorter than the cookie sheet, two logs per cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 20 min or until golden brown. Slice on the bias. Let cool before separating.
Our yourself a cup of tea and enjoy-better yet, have a friend come over and enjoy them together.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beginning of the Bird Quilt for the second graders auction quilt!

Five down and fifteen more to go. The kids did all of their own drawing and then all of their own painting. I am working with a group of kids each day this week and I have a large turquoise print background quilt done with border and we are sewing a large birch tree onto it (awesome print fabric) and adding these birds, leaves and flowers as well as a large peacock and flamingo. I expect this to do well as the colors and design will be outstanding and what fun for 7/8 year olds! Imagine how great this birch tree will be with 15 more of these lovely birds!

We have until March to sew this together, add rickrack, buttons and crystals. It should be quite te show stopper and I am saving my money....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Marie's quilt for her daughter's 15th birthday-happy hoochy blocks!

So, I got this lovely photo today from Marie who is a member of Evergreen quilters in Washington State (Kent). I taught there and she bought my Hoochy Mama quilt book to teach her daughter how to make the blocks. Her daughter made a good number of them and then to surprise her, Marie made more and put his quilt together for her birthday. Pretty fun with all of the oranges and even better is a quilt that her daughter will always cherish because TWO people worked on it. Nice story for the holidays!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Check out these illusions (thanks Janie)- FUN! How does this work?

Fruitcake Anyone???

This is a photo taken by Kathy who does my orders and is in charge of a store chain of many bakeries. She helped make all of these fruitcakes. What I wouldn't give for a piece of home made fruit cake like my Grandma made for many years. Oh, those things we take forgranted when we have them. Appreciate all of those gifts you have today!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

OHHHHH, the sheer JOY of Children's ART!!!

So, it is now my pleasure to be helping with my Granddaughter's class project of a quilt. They are studying birds and so today I went to the school to show the teacher the kinds of paints I am painting my angel quilts with (I hope to teach this later this year). When I walked into the class there on the wall was a HUGE boat and each child had drawn themselves. They go to an academy and the learning style is quite wonderful. The idea is when you are on a cruise, you can have people wait on you and you can rest and relax etc. but what do you learn? If you are part of the crew, you work, you struggle sometimes, you offer help, you strive and at the end of the journey you are completely fulfilled and more of a person than when you left. So, anyway, this is their boat with that concept and it fits in so well with story quilts! I want to do this boat!

The faces on these darling people are all different and this is what I discover in my drawing section of my story quilt class. I can show everyone the same ideas on how to draw and the elements of design and composition and they are all different and all so much fun!!!

So, I took my two oldest Grandchildren to their very first quilt show with Kathy and they were so good! I asked them to look at all of the quilts and tell me their favorite.
I liked the one above for the brodery perse flowers over log cabin blocks. Fun idea.

I adore the quilt above and when I judged an earlier show, I gave it one of the top prizes.

OK< this was my Granddaughter's favorite quilt and my Grandson still hadn't found his until.....
the went around the corner and saw this and they jumped up and down. They are both on a hockey team with their other cousins, coached by the little girls Dad who used to play professional hockey and is a goaltender. No more flower quilts after seeing this one for them!

This was a full sized doll that made them laugh.....
It is lovely to expose children to new experiences in art and likewise it is lovely to see what they can teach us. I adore that boat and think it would make a fabulous quilt on a wall! Read my book and you can do it! And then I want to see what you came up with!


So my friend Laurie from Lopez is a very clever girl and she made these darling hoochy stockings to hang. Wouldn't these be a wonderful gift for a friend or relative or boss or neighbor or? With all of the patterns this could be a snap and done with scraps of leftovers. great job Laurie....again! I did some explaining of how in the comments below.....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Surprises (the best chair in the world), treasures for my southwest quilts and humor that encourages Creativity!

So weeks, ago I showed you photos of my friend Sue's wonderful sewing studio in California and the chairs and pillows she creates to make it a lovely place to sew for both her and her friends. Her chairs are all varied and each one is special in itself. Today I got a box in the mail with my very own chair. How did she know I am in love with cherries and all of these fun colors? Loved seeing some of my fabric in there too! This will be the new "throne" for when the kids play royalty-I know they will love it too! Who wouldn't?
Thank you Sue for making such a special gift for me...and I can share it too!

So, once I went to New Mexico, I was in love with the idea of a couple of quilts made of the ideas and images that were so wonderful to me. My new friend Holly knew I was trying to find embellishments and she had things from New Mexico and Mexico she wanted to share. I got this box in the mail last week and it was filled with all kinds of wooden carvings, pearls, beads and these great things below that I am going to sew to one of my Southwestern HOITY TOITY houses. You girl that are coming to the John C.Campbell class, the Asilomar class and the Quilter's Escape Seminar in Eureka California will get to see this quilt. It is already loads of fun! Think of the fun you could have with all of this stuff!

Loved the toadstools and little chickents here-below I loved the face of the lady....

Can you believe the variety here? I think my quilt will weigh 60 pounds when it is done....

I plan to do an "Our Lady" in both the Hoity Toity House and by herself and to load her down with Milagros. Holly sent enough to last for many many quilts and a great jean jacket too!

See the variety here? Such fun. I used to have a dream that I still have occasionally. I dream I am swimming and down in the water I see some depression glass and when I swim down there are hundreds of pieces...or at least that is what I used to dream. Then it changed to old jewelry and buttons. Now it is all kinds of stuff to sew to quilts and bakelite. I wonder what it will be in 5 years?

I adored the color and fun of the stuff below!

So, my friend Maxine who was one of my Mother's closest friends sent me this joke. It may be true and I liked it as I thought it was fun. Love those things that make you smile. Hope you enjoy the photo and what the guy wrote under it.

HE writes:
"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had many people come screaming up to my house . Two things made me take the fake guy hanging off the roof down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that.

Monday, December 07, 2009

House Quilt with awesome colors andFun Circus quilt! Isn't this inspirational???

These two quilts are made from different makers. I "JUST" read this letter from the maker of this green quilt and now I cannot find it. Have you ever had that happen with email? Frustrating. But I did want to share this with you. I also got two other letters with attached photos but the photos or links didn't work. If they had, your work would be here also! I love sharing any quilt with things on it and some kind of story!

I am lucky and get nice photos sometimes of people's work. This quilt photo arrived this week from "EM" who enjoyed my style of quilting. The feeling is mutual. Loved these combinations of color, fabric and design! Grad A for sure!
By the way, I got up in the middle of the night tonight, used the bathroom and had plans to come down and work on the computer. I keep that sanitizer on my bath cabinet. The light was off in the bathroom and I reached over for the sanitizer and squeezed it. I started rubbing my hands together and it didn't feel right and my hands felt yucky. I turned on the light to find that I had squeezed the toothpaste into my hand. Yuck! I am back to good old soap and water for sure.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hope in San Diego makes many HOOCHY snowmen for gifts!

When I wrote the Hoochy Mama book, I included a cute snowman for fun. Hope who lives in San Diego made one of these for each of her sewing bee friends. All are different and all are tons of fun! What a cool gift! I had this on once before but it is so good, I had to share it again!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Molly's quilt get's first place! Sweet Caroline quilt and what you won't see in my book- Mongolia gets how to's on quilting!

This little girl is from Mongolia and the story of this is at the bottom of this post-google will not let me move her down nor can I copy what I wrote to move it up........arggghhhhh. Keep reading please...................

Molly Evangelisti who was with me in Sante Fe got a call from a friend and her husband that her story quilt won first place at the Sacramento quilt show. We were all thrilled. The story here is the first night they met and went out and how it blossomed into a happy and wonderful marriage-they celebrated 25 years not long ago. It is heavily embellished and she has already started new stories and is waiting for me to send her drawings about Sante Fe so she can work on that too! Congratulations again Molly. We all love this quilt.

Nancy Donahoe made this quilt for her Granddaughter (started in my Asilomar class) and it appears in my book minus the border....I have to say I think the border is outstanding and I wanted you to see it this way. Her colors are superb and the whole quilt is lovely. Note that she used my alphabet that I would like Benartex to reprint for our story quilts- for 2/3 of a yard you get 2 full alphabets with 1/4 inch in between each letter so you can sew together sentences, names, places and thoughts. If you would like this, please write to and ask him to reprint this. Your letter may be the one that helps. :0)
Edith Shanholt
Carol Honderich
Marie Troyer
Marcia Vierck who all worked on a chicken quilt from one of my patterns that they raffled sent me a lovely letter. The girls all went to Mongolia to teach the people there how to quilt and they sent me a lovely photo of this little girl. Isn't this photo wonderful? I firmly believe we could all have peace if everyone would be a quilter-how can we get those aggresive men to start sewing anyhow?