• 06Oct
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on Retreat Photos – Part 2

    This is Julie, and, yes, she’s wiping away a tear.  Julie is just learning to quilt—from her mom!  They came to a retreat a year ago, and again to this one.  Carol did all the embroidery for this quilt, and Julie has pieced all the blocks.  When she got up to show-and-tell this quilt, she got quite emotional, telling us all how much she treasures the time she spent with her mom on this.  It was very touching, and Julie wasn’t the only one wiping away tears.

    This is Julie’s mom, Carol, and her fabulous row quilt.

    Carol also made this sweet doll and doll quilt for her granddaughter.

    This quilt has a wonderful story, too.  These blocks were made by Carol’s mother in the 1930′s.  One day she brought them to a Redwork Club meeting in my studio to ask how she should put them together.  Before long, we had a setting figured out, but we also could see that these block designs and the fabulous prints used to make them would be a great fabric line.  My Dear Dorothy collection was born that day!  Carol is doing a beautiful job of hand quilting her quilt and is almost finished.

    Julie also had this quilt for show-and-tell.

    This is Teresa with a fabulously frilly bag she made.

    Kristy was making this quilt for her sister, who is facing some health issues.

    By the next day, she had the top finished!

    Then she was working on these blocks.

    Barbara made this great sampler quilt.

    Roberta is a first time sewer and made this adorable Santa wall hanging.

    Her mom-in-law was there, too, and made this quilt top from my new Dolly Dear collection.  She has four granddaughters who will be getting one of these!

    She brought a Twister for show-and-tell.  It started out similar to the quilt on the right.  After being cut by the Twister Ruler, you sew up your new blocks and get the quilt on the left!

    Mary Disilva made this Christmas row quilt…

    …and this wonderful medallion sampler.

    Kathy was showing her patriotic side with this flag wall hanging.

    She also showed us this great bag that she stitched up in less than an hour.  It’s the same technique as used in my Ditty Bag.

    I love this Log Cabin that Lonna made.  Hmm.  Lonna emailed to say this isn’t hers.  Will someone claim it, please?

    She also made this sampler.

    She turning this amazing Hmong embroidered block into a wall hanging.

    And she was working on these indigo and cheddar blocks.

    More tomorrow!



  • 04Oct
    Categories: Everything!, quilting Comments Off on Retreat Photos – Part 1

    There were 50 of us at Falls Creek Retreat Center for our retreat last weekend, and everyone was very productive.  I have lots and lots of photos to share, and will break them down into six posts.  Here goes!

    Evelyn brought her Postcards from Hawaii quilt that she started at a previous retreat.

    She put this top together…

    …and gave us a tutorial on how she did it.  Thanks, Evelyn!

    She was extremely productive at retreat.  If you’re counting how many tops she completed, this is #2.






    And #8!  Amazing!  I should have given her a prize for getting the most accomplished.

    Quynh brought two quilts for show-and-tell.  This one…

    …and this one.

    She also pieced a strippy quilt.  It may look like solids, but it’s actually tiny gingham fabric!  Very cute.

    Chara joined us for the first time and brought this pretty quilt for show-and-tell.

    She finished this top made with a combination of fabrics, including linen.

    Can you spot the expectant mother?

    This is Melissa who had embellished some adorable onsies.

    She also completed two tops while she was there.  These adorable houses…

    …and this great batik one.  I was just at her blog and she’s posted some retreat photos, too!

    I was so touched when Sarah brought a quilt that she had made from my book, Fat Quarter Fun! I love how it turned out!

    She also got this log cabin top put together at retreat…

    …and was working on these blocks.  The pattern is designed by my friend Michelle and the fabric is by my sista-friend, Monica!

    Kirstie’s show and tell was this great old Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  The story is even greater than the quilt.  After a car was abandoned at her husband’s business for two years, he was going to have it crushed.  Before he did, he opened the trunk and found this in there!  Good thing he knew enough to call his wife!

    Kirstie got this wonderful star quilt top together.

    So, that’s a start!


  • 22Apr
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on 2011 Spring Retreat Part 3

    Here’s the last of the show-and-tell from our retreat.

    This is Sue showing off the Desert Nine Patch.  She bought the kit at the retreat last fall.

    She got this Crossroads quilt done from start to finish this time.

    Pat was working on this Bargello during the retreat.  It was great fun to watch its progress on the design wall.

    This is one of the quilts she brought for show-and-tell.

    Here’s another.

    She went way outside most quilters’ comfort zone with this quilt made from all kinds of great fabrics.

    With this quilt she did a matching pillow case.

    Sarah finished a UFO–this graphic Boston Commons.

    This is the quilt Sarah did at the last retreat–all finished now.

    She needed a refresher course on how to use the Hunter’s Star ruler.  I’d say she has it figured out!

    I hope Bob doesn’t see this John Deere quilt Vicky made.

    She was on a roll with this pattern…

    …and it looks great with all her fabric choices.

    Here’s a BQ she did.

    She had just finished this owl quilt.

    She did the Out of the Darkness block of the month.

    This quilt of Evelyn’s is another one that was fun to watch as it progressed.

    She’s started sample blocks out of these fabrics.  So pretty.

    Josie is part of the staff at Falls Creek.  Last year she brought a quilt to share with us, and I thought she had done the same this year.  As it turns out, she just “borrowed” this from Nana Pat for the first night of show-and-tell…

    …and this one from Robin for the second night!

    All in all, it was a great retreat.  Thanks to everyone who came and shared.

  • 21Apr
    Categories: musings, travels here Comments Off on The Falls at Falls Creek

    There really is a water fall at Falls Creek Retreat Center.  But first, a few other pictures from the four day retreat there.

    I’m lucky enough to live in a place where we frequently see herds of elk, many of the women who came to my quilting retreat are “city girls.”  Just a few miles from the retreat center, Karen R and my sister, Sally, spotted this herd of elk.  If you look closely, you’ll see there are 33 of them–lots of babies in the herd.  Sally’s a city girl now, but she grew up here and has seen lots of elk in her day.  Karen, however, is a true city girl, and she was thrilled.  This was her first elk sighting.  Actually, I have to admit that no matter how many times I see them, I still get excited every time.

    Driving in, I was greeted by these cows.  They didn’t look very happy that I was disturbing their slumber!  In fact, when I stopped to take this photo, I’m pretty sure the cow in front said, “Move it along, babe!”  Actually, this are was settled by Swiss farmers in the late 1800′s and there is still a lot of dairying going on.

    The flowering cherries at the entrance were just starting to open their flowers for us.

    I’m so glad the old bridge is still there, and even gladder that we don’t have to drive across it!

    The crick is right there to greet you when you enter the property.

    And that other wonderful sign of spring–daffodils.

    I love this time of year when you can still see “through” the woods.  It won’t be long and everything will be leafed out and you won’t be able to.

    The creek flows pretty fast just outside the building where we were sewing.

    We followed it for a ways on our way up to the falls.  Last year, when we were there in October, there were lots of salmon returning to spawn.  I thought we might see some smolts heading out to sea, but no luck.

    The creek takes a lot of bends and turns.

    Then we left it for a bit as we entered the big meadow.

    I love that you can still see the old growth stumps.

    These are my favorites, the triple trunk trees.

    There are two of them clearly visible from the path.

    In the meadow there is this tiny cabin.

    Next time I must ask how old it is.

    I love the pair of log chairs on the porch…

    …and the dinner bell!

    After leaving the meadow, we began to climb toward the falls.  This isn’t the main falls, yet.

    This is the main falls!

    From the top, you can see the big, initial drop-off.

    The sound is amazing.

    All who went agreed it was worth the trip!

  • 20Apr
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on 2011 Spring Retreat Part 2

    More photos of quilts from the talented ladies who came to Spring Retreat!

    Patti made this pretty floral quilt.

    And also this star with log cabin blocks.  It’s gorgeous!

    She was working on the colorwash cross–and it was giving her fits.  But, she persevered!

    Susan brought this cute chicken wall hanging for show-and-tell.

    Pat finished up this signature quilt while at retreat.

    And she made this lovely BQ3.

    I got my Christmas Memories blocks set and the pattern written.

    And made this donation quilt with the strips from my Quilt Trim Ruler demo.

    Marsha was making this for her granddaughter.  I know she’ll love it!

    She was also working on the split stars–another UFO nearly finished!

    Joyce lives at the beach and brought this nautical quilt for show-and-tell.

    She also had this rag quilt in progress.

    Don’t you love her sorting method?!?

    Pat brought a lot of embellished bags for show-and-tell…

    …as well as this quilt with circles.  I’m going to do a circle quilt someday!

    Becky made a Twelve Step Program quilt from my book Fat Quarter Fun.  Don’t you love my subtle ad!

    She was also working on the wonderful Friendship Star variation…

    …and this pretty pinwheel quilt.

    We had two scrapbookers at the retreat.  This is my sister, Sally.

    She had done a book about her Christmas decorations–which are amazing!

    I think this is her Sweden album.

    Karen was our other scrapbooker.

    She had several books to share.

    My favorite was the one with her son’s birthday parties.

    Ann brought a stack of Dresden Plate blocks.

    She spent most of the weekend working on this cute frog quilt.

    Judy was making this quilt to replicate a family one that is worn out.

    She’s using vintage fabrics from the family, so this will really be an heirloom.

    More to come…..

  • 19Apr
    Categories: Everything!, travels here Comments Off on Moss and Ferns and Flowers, Oh My!

    Even though I live right next to the woods, I don’t venture very far into them most of the time.  However, when I get to retreat, there’s a great opportunity to hike to the falls and enjoy the woodlands along the way.  Here in Pacific County, we are part of the Temperate Rain Forest that runs along the northwest shores of the United States and Canada.  It really is a special place.  Because we get so much rain, we have lots and lots of moss and ferns and mushrooms and even wildflowers.  I thought I’d share some with you.  Won’t you follow me down this path?

    Moss is evident as soon as we start our walk.  It covers everything, even the trees.

    It seems to especially like dead branches.

    I think some of these trees may have auditioned for the Wizard of Oz!

    In the right setting, they could be pretty scary!

    Since we get about 80″ of rain a year, there’s plenty of moisture.

    In the photo below, note the light strand of stuff hanging between the branches.  That’s lichen.  It only grows where the air is pure.

    It almost looks like you could take a nice cushy nap on this branch.

    Here’s a close-up of some of the moss.

    It makes everything look like it has whiskers.

    Ah, padded hand rails!

    Another close-up.  It’s really quite delicate.

    This is the top of an old, abandoned fence post.  Speaking of the Wizard of Oz, it looks like the hats the soldiers wore!  If you look carefully, you can see more posts marching up the hillside.

    The moss has even found a home on this log chair–a built in cushion!

    I had a hard time categorizing my photos between moss and ferns, so many had both.

    I just love these ferns that grow on the sides of the trees.

    They seem magical to me.

    This one was really covered.

    There were plenty of ferns of the ground, too.

    The hills were covered with them.

    It was the end of March, but these small mushrooms were already popping out.

    Sally volunteered her hand to show you how small they really are.

    The edges get all raggedy as they mature, but they’re almost more beautiful.

    These are oyster mushrooms growing on the side of this stump.

    I was so excited on my first walk to the falls to spot these trillium about to bloom.

    The very next day, one of them had opened up!

    This trillium grows in our yard–we dug it up two years ago from the ditch across the road.  Thank you, Melinda!

    I don’t know what these delicate pink flowers are.

    Here’s a type of daisy.

    From the time I was a kid, they’ve been one of my favorite.

    I don’t know if these oxalis haven’t opened up yet, or if they close like this when it’s raining.

    Here are some open ones.

    I’ve not seen a flower like this before.

    Or this, although it looks a bit like cow parsnip, but I think it’s too early.

    What adorable Johnny Jump-Ups!

    I wish they were growing in “my” woods.

    I’ve saved my favorite for last–the cowslips!

    These are blooming everywhere around us right now, and the area around the retreat center was no exception.

    You might know them as skunk cabbage, but I prefer the English name–cowslips.  It just conjures up the most hilarious images of cows wearing yellow slips!

  • 18Apr
    Categories: quilting Comments Off on 2011 Spring Retreat – Part 1

    This is the first of three posts showing the fabulous show-and-tell and works-in-progress from our recent retreat.

    Here’s Stephanie with her first show-and-tell.

    And she brought this table runner made from my Center Piece pattern.  I love the black she added to hers!

    Here’s a nice charm quilt she made.

    And a great abstract quilt.

    She also made something fun for Halloween.

    And she got these three cats pieced and fused during retreat.

    She was very busy!

    It just shows you how much you can get done at a four day retreat!

    Joy was a new quilter when she was at our retreat last fall.  She was working on this table runner and brought it to show us in its finished state.  Way to go, Joy!

    This was another project from the fall retreat.  Karen was working on it then and also brought the top back finished.  Don’t you love that word, “finished!?!”

    This was one of Karen’s projects at this retreat–two quilts for twins!

    Nana Pat came to her first retreat and brought this table runner for show-and-tell.

    Judy did this very fresh looking lemon quilt.

    She brought a recently completed quilt for show-and-tell.  Beautiful colors!

    And she made this amazing pincushion to look like a chocolate candy!

    Connie came all the way from Arizona for the retreat.  She got this top made from cutting to borders while she was there.  It’s for her grandson who is about to move into his “big boy bed.”

    Robin always brings a quilt to sleep under, and she brought one of my favorites–her nasturtium quilt.

    She also brought this sampler for show-and-tell.

    This was a block swap she participated in with string pieced squares.

    Lots of attendees thought she was crazy because she was working on this quilt made of over 6000 1″ squares!

    Here’s a photo of it last week after she came to visit and got it quilted on my long arm!  And now she’s going to give it away.

    She was putting borders on one of her niece-and-nephew quilts.  This one uses 2″ scraps!

    Sherrie made this pretty BQ quilt.

    I was so excited to see Carol’s Hunter’s Star quilt.  At last fall retreat I demonstrated the ruler that lets you make this quilt with no set-in seams.

    Carol also made this wonderful sampler.

    More to come in the next installment!

  • 17Apr
    Categories: Everything!, travels here Comments Off on Nurse Logs and Old Growth Stumps

    How many of you know what Nurse Logs are?  At our recent Quilt Retreat at Falls Creek, some of us hiked up to the falls, and I couldn’t help but do a little narration along the way.  One of my favorite things to point out are Nurse Logs and Old Growth Stumps.

    At one time, Pacific County was covered with old growth cedar.  Most (but not all!) of it has been logged–many years ago, like 100 or more.  Because cedar is slow to rot, a lot of the stumps are still visible in the woods here–and you can see them as you drive along the highways.

    Here’s an old growth cedar stump.  Look closely and you’ll see some notches in it.

    These notches are where the early day loggers would set their springboards.  Springboards are what they stood on to saw down the tree.

    Here’s an old photo to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.  They didn’t stand on the ground and saw down the tree because the trees were so thick at the base.  They went up a ways, to where the tree tapered in, so they wouldn’t have so much trunk to cut through.  I think every logger must have had his picture taken in the first cut of a tree!

    So, my point is, all through the woods here, we have lots and lots of old cedar stump.  These stumps, as well as fallen logs, often serve as a nursery for seedlings.  As the stumps start to rot, the little seeds find a welcome home there–often above the reach of hungry deer!

    The new tree grows up and the roots grow down.

    The new tree gets lots of nutrients from the decaying stump.

    Eventually, time and the new tree nearly obliterate the original nurse log.

    On our short walk to the falls, we passed dozens of these.

    They’re all different…

    …and interesting in their own way.

    We thought this one looked like a giraffe!

    As you can see, many of these “new” trees are decades old.

    Here’s a perfect example.

    This tree must have been at least 60 feet tall.

    This nurse log has two very old trees growing out of it, as well as a new seedling!

    I hope you enjoyed this walk in the woods and your forestry lesson!

    By the way, my grandpa called logs like the one above “keel” logs.  They got more money for them because they already had a natural bend in them and were used for the keels of boats–but that’s another story!

  • 04Nov
    Categories: Everything!, musings, quilting Comments Off on Retreat Show and Tell – Part 3

    Here’s the last of the show-and-tell from Retreat.

    Connie was taking pictures for me and learned how to use the zoom.  Trouble is, she zoomed so close, the “show-er” got cut out of the picture.  Okay, Ladies, whose quilt is this?  Update, this is Susan O’s round robin quilt.

    Here’s Teresa showing off the great T-shirt Mary made for her.

    This is Mary’s quilt.

    Carol O. made this great table runner.

    Again, Connie, too close!  This is a Santa of the Month quilt.  Very cute!

    Cathy Z. brought Christmas stockings for show-and-tell.

    This is Renee’s stunning One Block Wonder.

    She designed this dress block.  I think it’s fabulous!

    Hmm. Again, I don’t know whose quilt this is.  Can someone help?  Update!  Debbie W. made this for her daughter.

    This is Debbie W’s Soduko quilt.

    And her very stunning block quilt.

    And she made this paper pieced flower block.

    Carol L. made this adorable bathrobe for a granddaughter’s doll.

    Jessica made this photo quilt.

    And this one, too.

    Oh, I should know who made this!

    This is Gail with her quilt.

    Here’s Maryann with her wonderful applique block.

    Help!  Who made this?  Update: This is one of Nancy’s quilts.

    And this?  Update:  And this is also Nancy’s!

    Peggy shared her Kokeshi doll with us.

    Sally showed off the scrapbooking she got done during retreat.

    This is Robin’s gorgeous Nasturtium quilt.

    Mary’s quilt was made from blocks she got from her secret sister a few years ago.

    And even one of the staff at the retreat center shared her wall hanging.  She said she made it for her sister, but I think her sister made it for her!

    Retreat was so much fun, we’re going to do both Spring and Fall next year!

  • 02Nov
    Categories: Everything!, musings, quilting Comments Off on Retreat Show and Tell – Part 2

    I was delighted that Joy shared these vintage Sunbonnet Sue blocks.  They were made by her husband’s grandmother and she plans to finish them.

    Penny made this great wildlife quilt.

    Lynelle made this gorgeous jacket.

    Margaret showed us a beaded bag she’d made with some vintage beading.  It was stunning.

    Linda F. was a great presenter–pulling socks she’d made from her sleeves, waistband, etc.!

    Sherrie made this beautfiul quilt.

    This is Carol C.’s stunning table runner.

    Here’s Pearl’s striking Log Cabin.

    And she’d made several of these wave table runners for gifts.

    Another table runner design of Pearl’s.

    She also made this Bargello quilt.

    And this is the quilt she made for her bed!

    Virginia made this great circle quilt.

    Oh, look–my Sweet Pea panel.  Thanks,

    Suzette made these paper pieced animals.

    Another quilt using old sheets made by Evelyn.

    And look at this great sheet on the back.  I could have used that in highschool–my bedroom was hot pink and orange!  Imagine!

    Quyhn made this charming quilt.

    Sisters Kim and Emily were given this antique Redwork quilt by a great aunt.  It was quite amazing.

    Michelle showed off her new Jessie Bag.

    She also made this quilt using family photos of bathing beauties!

    Peggy fell in love with this fabric at Boardwalk Quilts and had Renee make her a jacket from it.

    Then Renee surprised her with a sewing machine mat made from the leftovers!

    Susan shared this Basket Sampler with us.

    And I think this, too, is one of Susan’s.

    More in the next post!