Tag Archives: Quilts

International Quilt Festival 2016


Grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, whatever suits your fancy, and come along with me for a tour of Houston’s International Quilt Festival 2016!

George R. Brown Convention Center

George R. Brown Convention Center

True to our usual M.O., my sister, Nannette, and I stayed at the adjoining Hilton Hotel Wednesday to Saturday to fulfill all our shopping and quilting fixes.  Wednesday night was Preview Night from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m.  Nannette admired the crazy quilts

img_6132and I paid a visit to the Texas Quilt Museum Booth.


Beautiful booths everywhere,



including one of my annual favorites, Edie and Luc Roelens booth, Trims on Wheels.  Here’s a sample of what you will find there:





I enjoyed my favorites, such as Miss Rose Sister Violet, Diane Springer, Material Girl, Adorn-It, Mica’s Room and Hanah Silk.  Throughout the show this year, I purchased trims, dyes, fabric, embroidery, awesome scissors, and purse parts and patterns.  Nannette snagged the best purchase of all:  an actual wall hanging from the quilt gallery to hang in her horse arena!


The artwork is entitled, “Home!”  by Cathy Wiggins from North Carolina.  Cathy achieved the look of a finely tooled Western saddle by quilting leather and applying dyes.  She used real conchos on the saddle and studs on the hat brim, then left the raw edges of the hide.  Everyone was interested in how Cathy “quilts” leather!  Her exhibit consisted of many fine pieces, all true works of art, introducing her own new and special techniques.

While we mostly shopped that first evening, the next day was back to the show, and a class for me.  Hanah Silk Flowers was taught by Faye Labanaris.


We created roses, pansies, and posies from bias cut silk ribbons and velvets. 🙂


In addition to registered classes, you are treated to a schedule of demonstrations provided by Craftsy.  We enjoyed learning from Annie of byAnnie.com who taught us about purses, hardware, zippers, and patterns.


And now on to the show!  We’ll start in the Winners’ Circle with the most prestigious overall award, the $12,500 winner of Best of Show.  img_6153

This year’s honor goes to Cynthia England of Dickinson, Texas.  Reflections of Capetown took a year to make and contains 8,400 pieces.  Cynthia was teaching quilting in South Africa when a side trip to a fishing village afforded her this scene of boats and reflections.  Her inspiration was the photograph she took, which she transformed into a masterpiece quilt of hand applique and machine quilting.


Cynthia holding her inspirational photograph.

Cynthia holding her inspirational photograph.

Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka was another all-time

favorite of mine.  This quilt depicts a spice bazaar established in 1597, evoking smells and tastes through the imagination.  The bottom is bordered by tassels.


Bouquet Royale by Margaret Solomon Gunn from Gorham, Maine, won the Baby Lock World of Beauty $7,500 award.


Mikyung Jang from South Korea, portrayed one of the most beautiful old castles in Korea through intricately machine quilting and hand dyeing.


Another winner was Unknown Man, fused applique, by Marina Landi and Maria Lucia Azara from Sao Paulo, Brazil.


The $7,500 Founders’ Award this year went to Sally Magee from Texas for Baltimore in Bloom, a design by Sue Garman.  This quilt took Sally 3,000 hours to applique and 1,000 hours to hand quilt!


I don’t pretend to know how  the quilts are judged but each one is amazing.  The quilts that follow are simply ones that made me go, “Wow!”  Royal Palm Hawaiian by Laverne Matthews is a huge quilt with stunning colors.  Her design source was folded paper cut designs.  It was hand appliqued and quilted.


Another quilt that caught my eye with its striking colors is Chambord Fantasy by Jacqueline Manley from Reno, Nevada.  While traveling in France, she photographed the architecture of Chateau Chambord France with its quirky towers for her inspiration.


What’s this???  While meandering through the quilts, in one corner of the building, I came upon a sign… though I’m not sure what takes place there, I did see one lone man sitting in the corner… 🙂


Now here’s a quilt!  “Crocodylus Smylus” by Susan Carlson of Harpswell, Maine, is 22′ x 6′ and weighs 30 pounds, taking two years to complete.

Crocodylus Smylus

Crocodylus Smylus

Close-up of

Close-up of “Stevie”

“Stevie” is nicknamed for naturalist Steve Irwin and is a life-size replica of a real saltwater crocodile.  If you would like to see a time-lapse video of this quilting creation, go to susancarlson.com.

Susan and her Stevie

Susan and her Stevie

“Stevie” was part of her eleven quilt nature exhibit, including:

Kaldi Moondance (Ugandan stork)

Kaldi Moondance
(Ugandan stork)


Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink

Hmm, seeing a pink rhinoceros reminded us that we’d better call it a day and check out the Pappasito’s drink menu for a large scrumptious sangria!  Paired with nachos and quesadillas, it was the end to a perfectly quilty day.


Night view from the Hilton

Night view from the Hilton

Friday brought us back to reality as it was our last full day.  Yikes!  On with the Tour de Quilts. Moving faster now…   African Sunflower by Peggy DeLaVergne:


Autumn Leaves by Nancy Ryan reminded me of the fall I long for in Indiana…


Head 7 by Diane Siebels was a depiction of the merging of human beings with the constant influx of data:

Head 7

Head 7

Head 7 Close-up

Head 7 Close-up

Pseudo Lunar Topography by Meggan Czapiga:


It Takes a Village by Susan Bleiweiss:

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

Suburban Nest by Sara Sharp in Austin, Texas.  The inspiration for this quilt was when the artist noticed that sparrows had built a nest in a commercial sign on the Nest building. 🙂  The 3-D effect of the nest is adorable in person.


Beauty in the Darkness – Artist Kim Boroway:

Beauty in the Darkness

Beauty in the Darkness

Nannette and I broke for lunch upstairs where ladies just share large round tables.


There we met Debbie Wick of Elmira, New York, the artist for the following luscious quilts in the Primitive/Folk Art Style.  Maggie Grace’s Garden (design by Di Ford-Hall) took two years to complete, and is hand pieced, appliqued, and quilted.

Maggie Grace's Garden

Maggie Grace’s Garden

Another amazing quilt by Debbie is Cottage Garden by Blackbird Designs.  Hand appliqued!

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden

In the same traditional category is Folk Art Flowers by Paula Wexler.  Hand appliqued and hand quilted.  Using many different fabrics, her challenge was limiting it to just four colors.

Folk Art Flowers

Folk Art Flowers

The artists are Unknown for the following beauties.

Flower Garden Star

Flower Garden Star

A Path Through the Flower Garden

A Path Through the Flower Garden

An especially colorful and delightfully kaleidoscopic type quilt is the Millefiori.  The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers).  Enjoy!

My Butterfly Garden by Dawn Monk of Seaford, East Sussex, United Kingdom.  It took fourteen months and is hand-pieced with 150 different fabrics.


Dawn Monk explaining her quilt.

Dawn Monk explaining her quilt.

La Passacaglia:  Sometimes More Is More, hand-pieced by Mary Althaus.


An award-winning Texas’ Guilds Traditional Quilt is Sunshine by Judy Wolff from Lincoln, Texas.  This quilt has 80,402 pieces!  Wish you could see it in person.



In the category of Art-Naturescapes:

Sunkissed by Theresa Olson from Port Saint Lucia, Florida.


The Innovative Applique division offered:

Moonflower by Molly Hamilton Mcnally of Tehachapi, California.  Her inspiration was “the humble daisy.”



Tulip Fields by Anna Faustino of Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania.  The black outline was cut freehand.  The vibrant colors were inserted between the batting and the cut black, then fused into place.  Her inspiration was Hollands’ tulips.  Love this quilt!


Birds Fly… by Barbara Lies, Wheaton, Illinois.  The openwork bars are a hand and machine applique process developed by the artist.


In the American Tradition category is El Camino Serenade by Denise Nelms of Irvine, California.


“Sarah’s Revival in Blue” by Gail Smith from Barrington, Illinois, is hand appliqued from a Sue Garman design.  Huge quilt that is stunning!

Sarah's Revival in Blue

Sarah’s Revival in Blue

Quilts de Legende category offers “Illusion d’Optique” by Anne-Marie Sierra of Paris, France.  Another large masterpiece!

Illlusion d'Optique

Illlusion d’Optique

The Innovative Pieced category included “Quahadi” by Marla Kay Yeager of Ava, Missouri.  This quilt was five years in the making.



One of my favorite sections is the Art Whimsical Category.  Of course, I was first attracted to the Golden Retriever…

Obsession by Tonya Littman of Denton, Texas, even bordered the bottom with miniature tennis balls!


Grace Sim quilted an original design inspired by coloring books and Swarovski crystals called iColor Longhorn.


iColor Longhorn close-up

iColor Longhorn close-up

A really cute and colorful quilt was designed by Cindy Cooksey of Irvine, California.  It’s called “The Innkeeper Wore Black” and it was inspired by a visit to a bed and breakfast.  It was a colorful B & B, with bold patterns on everything except the talkative innkeeper, who wore black.


In the Patterns category:

“On the Same Page” by book lover, Linda Anderson of La Mesa, California.  Based on a photograph of a family member.  This is a huge quilt that is amazing in person.


On the Same Page close-up

On the Same Page

Another in the Patterns category is “Tiles” by Cathie Hoover.  Her inspiration came from sidewalk tiles in Barcelona.



The next category is termed Hands All Around 2016 sponsored by Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

“Nature 1” by Bella Kaplan from Israel is based on the agricultural area where she lives.

Nature 1

Nature 1

A large quilt, “Portrait Noir” by Trish Morris-Plise from Nevada City, California, is a self-portrait.  The names of people who are important in her life, as well as events and places, are quilted into this quilt.

Portrait Noir

Portrait Noir

The Art Pictoral category offers quilts that are amazingly life-like.  Here are some examples.

“The Big Dry” by Camilla Watson of New Zealand.  “The Big Dry” in Australia lasted from 1937 to 1947.  Rivers ceased to flow and dust storms raged.  Many property owners were forced to leave with whatever items they could carry.  This quilt was based on a photograph taken by the artist’s father.

The Big Dry

The Big Dry

“Lazy Afternoon” by Hiroko and Masanobu Miyama of Tokyo, Japan.

Lazy Afternoon

Lazy Afternoon

“Cat Tails” by Pat Durbin, Arcata, California is clever.  Love this!  A cat tail among cat tails…

Cat Tails

Cat Tails

“Ay-Cock-A-Doodle-Doo” by Deborah Bradley of Kingwood, Texas.  The artist’s dear friend had lost her father but still had all of his ties.  So the artist used the ties to create a memory quilt honoring her friend’s father, Byron Wolverton Aycock.



“The Venetian” by Jan Soules, Elk Grove, California, was inspired by the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.


“Wheat Field” by Melissa Burdon of New Zealand.

Wheat Field

Wheat Field

Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting and Traditional Applique category included:

“The A-E-I-O Ewes” by Janet Stone of Overland Park, Kansas, a beautiful and clever quilt.  The title came to her while lying awake in bed. 🙂  The fabrics are hand-dyed by her friend, Gilbert Muniz.

The A-E-I-O Ewes

The A-E-I-O Ewes

“Fruits of Labor” by Liza Harrison of Santa Rosa, New Mexico.

The Fruits of Labor

The Fruits of Labor

“Fantasy Flower” by Keiko Ike, Kochi, Kochi, Japan.

Fantasy Flower

Fantasy Flower

“Z is for Zinnia, C is for Cosmos” by Kathie Kerler, Portland, Oregon.

Z is for Zinnia, C is for Cosmos

Z is for Zinnia, C is for Cosmos

Maybe it’s appropriate we end here with the z’s…  Say good-bye to our beautiful second home lobby

Hilton lobby

Hilton lobby

Say good-bye to our favorite relaxing spot by the water wall…


And although you can’t see it here, parallel to the water wall is a mega Starbucks!  You served us well, Starbucks–we’ll see you next year!

And now I deposit all my treasures on the cutting table, waiting for me to sift through, organize, and get busy!





My favorite time of year–International Quilt Festival!  Come along with me as I give you the whirlwind tour.  It is an annual tradition that my sister and I spend four days and three nights at the Hilton that is literally attached to the Quilt Festival by a walkway to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  Here are views from our room:

View from our Room

View from our Room



Nannette, and I love to fuel our excitement by viewing the entire show first from the fishbowl window on the second floor.  Several quilters taking selfies inspired us. 🙂


Okay, now for the show…


As you enter Preview Night, Winners Row is front and foremost.

$10,000 Best of Show

$10,000 Best of Show


The winner of the Founders Award gets $7,500, and airfare to, and accommodations for, the International Quilt Festival!




Peter Hayward from Spain wanted to take op art to a new level with graduated color and concentric lines.  I wish you could see this quilt in person.  Your eyes play tricks on you as the fabric appears to be in motion!



Ben's Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden

Ben’s Midnight Garden is traditional applique inspired by a mid-nineteenth century wool rug.

In the Valley of Xingu

In the Valley of Xingu



One of my personal favorites among the winners was an original design by Joanne Baeth inspired by old fishing boats in a boatyard in Oregon where she was salmon fishing.

The End of the Line

The End of the Line

This amazing quilt, “Tagged,” was dedicated to the nearly 30,000 Japanese internees who were children during the internment camps on the Pacific Coast after Pearl Harbor.



Of course, equally fun as viewing the quilts is shopping in the row upon rows of booths selling fabric, trims, patterns and quilts, sometimes antique.  Here are some of our favorites:

Gypsy South from Atlanta, Georgia.


Cat, owner of Gypsy South. Very talented lady! I bought gifts for myself and others. 🙂



There were booths playing games for prizes like thread and fabric!


At Pineapple Fabrics you could “spin to win” fabric. My sister and I each won a miniature charm pack!


Miss Rose Sister Violet always has exquisite items such as trims, patterns and clothing.

Miss Rose Sister Violet

Miss Rose Sister Violet

I always visit, and stock up, at Trims on Wheels presented by a lovely couple, Edie and Luc Roelens, from Hillsdale, Wyoming.

Trims on Wheels

Trims on Wheels

Quilts by the Bay had a beautiful booth as usual.

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

Quilts by the Bay, Friendswood, Texas

The Sampler (the-sampler.com) always has tons of luscious Kaffe Fassett fabric.




I don’t know if you’ve been introduced to Adult Coloring yet (very soothing activity) but the craze is cheerfully spreading, with me on board!  Appearing in various booths, including this one:


Here is a booth featuring authors who were autographing their books for customers:


And now for some rapid fire eye candy quilt pictures that I just snapped every time I saw a quilt that dazzled me:

The Floral Arrangement

The Floral Arrangement



Close up of the tridimensional petals...

Close-up of the tridimensional petals…




Tutti Frutti City Street

Tutti Frutti City Street

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Sprocket to Me

Sprocket to Me

Triptych The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

The City: Past, Present, Utopia?

Close up of the triptych. Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Close-up of the triptych.
Hand embroidered, hand embellished.

Persian Excursion

Persian Excursion

New York Lights

New York Lights

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration

Harvest Celebration close-up

Harvest Celebration close-up

Hip Hip Hooray

Hip Hip Hooray

Yes, those are tiny little pieces.  Here is the story from Bernadette Houghton, Columbia, South Carolina:

“I was going to try making a miniature quilt at a quilt camp, but ten days before I was to attend, I fell and broke my hip.  After I got out of rehab, I decided to make a full-size quilt for my bed instead of the miniature, beginning with the half-square triangles I prepared for the camp.  The quilt was completed one month after my hip was pronounced fully healed.”

And here is a close-up just to give you perspective:


Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Pennsylvanian Star of Bethlehem

Tropical Punch

Tropical Punch

Crazy Elegance

Crazy Elegance



I didn’t get the name of the next quilt, but in the close-up you’ll notice hidden kitties…there were several.




At the Window

At the Window

A Coastal Town

A Coastal Town

The Orange (near Rome)

The Orange (near Rome)

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

Savanna by Yoshiko Miyamoto

If They Were in P.E.I. Original Precision Applique

If They Were in P.E.I.
Original Precision Applique

Judy Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Technique: Photograph printed on fabric, thread-painted, free-motion quilted.

Laughing Now

Who’s Laughing Now

Polka Dodo

Polka Dodo

Sunflower Serenade

Sunflower Serenade

Flowers and Stars

Flowers and Stars

In addition to quilts, some displays featured costumes:

Celebration in the Night Garden

Celebration in the Night Garden

Three more fashions:

Fashion Flashback

Fashion Flashback

And some displays featured dolls:



This is a display of food made of fabric:

High Tea at Rosings Estate

Sunday Night Means Breakfast for Dinner

High Tea at Rosings Estate

High Tea at Rosings Estate

And then there were dioramas:

Feed the Birds

Feed the Birds

Dioramas from a display called “In the Yarn Barn.” Animal lovers across the country knitted or stitched creatures to “live” within this fun exhibit.  Each animal is quilted, knitted, crocheted, or stitched.




Of course, there are a variety of classes offered at Quilt Festival, some lasting a whole day and some hour-long lectures.  This year, my sister and I chose a lecture by Kaffe Fassett featuring a color theme with comments and slides of his glorious quilts.  His latest book depicts quilts presented at the show this year called Ancestral Gifts.  The collection displayed the actual antique quilts that inspired him, side by side with his interpretation–a modern colorful quilt!  P.S. He’s also back to creating knitting designs!

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett

I also attended a lecture by Cheryl Kuczek, titled “Master Designer Handbag Making Techniques.”  One of the featured bags was Xine Basket Bag for which I purchased the pattern.  IMG_0765

Cheryl Kuczek

Cheryl Kuczek

As usual, I peeked into other classrooms to snap a few pics for an idea of what else was cookin’.  So inspiring!



The Craftsy Studio was there:



Stitch Studio

Did I mention that Quilt Festival usually falls during Halloween?  I captured a few characters that showed up:





Now look closely at the next picture and you’ll notice that the gentleman on the left has a plunger through his head, and the lady to the right is sporting scissors through the head! 🙂  Yep–a howling good time at Quilt Festival on Oct. 31!


And what, may you ask, will become of the educational four days of fun?  Behold the patterns and kits I purchased and plan to execute!

IMG_0789 (1)

I loved the real life sample of this five layers of petals pillow offered in the Material Girl booth.  Can’t wait to make it in my own colors and fabrics!


I chose this Mini Messenger pattern (with kit) to learn to make a bag with a twist lock. 🙂


Two other bag patterns I now own are made from wool, a clutch and a larger bag.  Purchased from Heart to Hand.  Awesome booth with excellent samples of their patterns.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.

Clutch with built in coin purse pocket. Appliqued boiled wool detailing.  Title:  Nest Egg

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Larger bag featuring a cheesecloth white rose!

Not only is the Miss Rose Sister Violet booth  beautiful, they now offer patterns of the following bags that are right up my alley!

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

Sunday Rose Shoulder Bag and The Weekender Travel Bag

One more bag pattern caught my eye at one of my favorite booths, Abbey Lane.  Here is the Maxwell Bag:


For some reason, I have the urge to sew an item of clothing and bought three yards of batik to make a jacket.  And now I also own the kits to make the following:

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves

Faux Fur Infinity Scarves


Faux Fur Cape

Faux Fur Wrap

So…tremendously inspired by blogging this review, I am ready to work on my projects!  Until next time…Love, Anny

SEWING ROOM TOUR, i.e., My Little Slice of Heaven


While I love all the rooms in our new loft, of course I gravitate to the sewing room.  To give you an idea of my work space, I’ve included five pictures or views.  As you walk into this room, you face the large arched window on the brick wall.  The main portion here is occupied by the cutting area where I have plenty of natural light by day and a swing arm lamp mounted to the wall above for cutting at night.  The cutting boards rest upon several wire basket drawers of fabric.


Moving to the right, you’ll see the actual sewing area.  Rick gets the credit for hanging the fan quilt from my quilting days, while he balanced fifteen feet or more on a huge ladder.  Didn’t he do a wonderful job?  The Hoosier Cabinet is a family heirloom that houses my notions and scrapbook supplies.  The two Bernina’s allow me to stitch with two different color threads when necessary.  I just roll my chair back and forth.  Also, this setup comes in very handy to sew side by side with my granddaughters.  AND, I measured carefully before the furniture arrival so that my sewing chair would be placed where I can see the ships coming down the harbor as I sew!


Moving again to the right you see the entrance wall with a six foot bookcase Rick built for me.  He also built the cabinet drawer space under the map chest.  The map chest houses buttons, trims, fringe, beads, and patterns.  The Tibetan prayer flag was a gift from my niece who visited Tibet with her National Geographic photography group.  And anyone who sews knows that you need prayers every time you have to rip stitches or seek inspiration, right? 🙂


Now we come to the amazing closet.  This used to be a normal sized, mirrored, sliding door type closet.  Since I knew this would be my sewing room, I asked for a huge archway and no doors.  This allowed space for my fabric armoire whose arch shape echoes the arch above.  Hidden behind the armoire is a large filing cabinet.  AND, I get to have two chandeliers to add a little romance to the space.  On one end of this closet Rick built shelves and rods to hang and organize even more fabric.


By the way, the black wall color was a happy mistake. 🙂  The armoire front is loaded with purses right now that will be in my fall/winter line.  Since we have now settled into the loft and I don’t have to worry about moving and decorating anymore, I’ve been sewing and sewing!  (You’ll see those purses in detail in future posts.)  On the other end of this closet is my tiny, cozy, brick walled nook that serves as my office.  My desk is a library table that I bought in the sixties from a courthouse auction in Kokomo, Indiana, and it just fits!


So this is my happy place, where I sew, design, research, blog, make tags, email, catch up on Days of Our Lives, CNN, Bravo housewives, and The Bachelorette.  Hmm, that Kaitlyn’s interesting, isn’t she?  Okay, not going there.  Any…way…until next time, Happy Sewing!

PICTORIAL REVIEW: Quilt Market and Quilt Festival 2014



I know this is just a picture of a badge but I feel so privileged to be considered an “industry professional.”  This year, in order to attend Quilt Market, you had to submit several items.  In my case, it was proof of publishing two patterns, a tax I.D., and proof that I’ve been published in Haute Handbags magazine.  In exchange, I received this badge to enter the International Quilt Market, an industry trade show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  What a surprise to meet fellow bloggers in person!!  Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness, right in front of me with her fabulous patterns!  Thank you, Sara, for featuring Purse Palooza!  And when I signed up for Mixed Media Miscellany, little did I know that Gilbert Muniz of Muniz Couture would be teaching me how to make tassels!  Thank you, Gilbert!  I’ve been practicing!  (More to come on that item in future posts…)

So this post will be a “miscellany” of pics from both International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival.  Once again, my sister and I managed to score a room at the Hilton attached to the Convention Center.  Do you realize just how difficult  that is?  When you check out of the hotel, after attending the show, you’re handed a letter telling you the exact date and time you are allowed to call to make a reservation for next year.  At that time you will be competing with thousands of other ladies to book a room at that hotel during that time period. Whew!  The stress of it all! 🙂

Nannette and I both took classes from Jo Packham  (think creator of “Where Women Create,” and “Where Women Cook” and “Where Women Create in Business”) for great tips and secrets on organizing our sewing studios.  Our favorite part was the segment with slides depicting sewing studios–Before and After.  Don’t you just love those?  Actual examples!   I also learned a great deal about publishing patterns, self-publishing, editing, photography etc. from classes taught by Judith Montano and Meredith McManus.

Let’s take a look at the fabulous quilts!  It was the 40th anniversary of the Quilt Show and the theme was Ruby Jubilee.  As you entered the quilt arena, you were met with scenes like this:






But it wasn’t all “seeing red.”  Take a look at these beauties and keep in mind, they’re fabric–not paintings…








And more, pure eye candy…






This is so cute:  Anywhere We Hang Our Hat Is Home..








We loved the crazy quilts!  Here you see the whole quilt…


And now, two close-ups of that same quilt to give you an idea of the intricate details…




Sewn by an Austin artist, this is called “Suburbs”


And, the ocean in fabric form…



Here is a close-up of the lower left-hand corner.  I just wish you could see this in person, with all the texturing, layering, and dimensional qualities:


And now a peek at classes–literally. 🙂 I peek in the doors of some classrooms that I find interesting and bring them to you…



A Class on Dyeing

A Class on Dyeing

Gilbert Muniz Demo on Making Tasselsl

Gilbert Muniz Demo on Making Tasselsl


At the end of the day, when the crowds wane, is a great time to enjoy the Winning Quilts!

This quilt is called “On This Winter Day” by Nancy Prince and Linda French of Orlando, Florida.  Over a seven year period, and approximately 2000 hours, this treasure was created using 75,000 yards of thread and over seven million stitches!  All the lifelike designs were done in Free Motion Quilting.  It was the $10,000 Handi Quilter Winner!



My personal favorite was the Superior Threads Master Award you see here…



The Pfaff Machine Artistry Award was earned by this quilt:


The World of Beauty $7,500 Award was earned by:


And another personal winner was our friend, Georgann Wrinkle’s, beautiful traditional applique quilt:


One of my all-time favorites was the featured quilt titled, Metamorphosis.  If you could only see the texture and dimension in this quilt:



So when you’re not feasting your eyes on these beauties, there are hundreds of booths to visit and shop.  Nannette was collecting items like velvet and satin, and buttons and trims, to start a fun crazy quilt!  AND she found a steal on a gorgeous antique quilt!  I purchased frames, patterns, trims (including some amazing buttons) and fabric, including vintage.  Here are some of our favorite booths:

Amy Butler's Booth

Amy Butler’s Booth


Booths selling antique quilts are particularly charming:


Here is a picture of Jennifer Patterson Designs, where we witnessed the most amazing technique of using a polymer to “quilt in clay!”  To learn more about this jewelry technique visit www.quiltedinclay.com.  Totally awesome!


Here is a booth that really captured my eye.  Should have snapped up a card or brochure.  You’ll understand why I fell in love with it!


And, Kaffe Fassett, well, how many superlatives can I use, right?


The adorable Tim Holtz had this wonderfully cozy booth!


Heather Bailey had a happy and inviting booth beckoning us:



Trisha Jane Patterns has been picked up by McCall and will shortly become a celeb!  Isn’t this cute?



And speaking of celebs, of course, you’re liable to run into quilting celebrities like Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims:


I don’t know why I didn’t take a pic of Eleanor Burns as we watched her demo, but I can show you the fans that fans were carrying everywhere (and they came in handy, Eleanor–thanks!)  This is one super sweet, talented lady:



And as we bid fond farewell to the George R. Brown for another year…


We enter our home away from home…


And say, “Cheers to another great year!” with a scrumptious peach margarita, right?!  See ya next year! 🙂





We were in LaGrange this weekend and I had a chance to experience the Texas Quilt Museum once more.  Quilt displays are changed every three months and the setting is a beautiful century old brick building.  I highly recommend it if you’re visiting the Texas Hill Country near LaGrange. They don’t allow photographs but I asked permission to snap an overall shot to entice visitors to this lovely quilt haven.

Texas Quilt Museum LaGrange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum
LaGrange, Texas

Right next door to the museum is a fabulous quilt/yarn shop, The Quilted Skein.  Very inviting fabrics greet you (think Kaffe Fassett, etc.) and one whole side of the store is devoted to yarn and knitting.  I could spend hours there.  Since it’s finally cooler here in Texas I have the urge to knit and bought just enough yarn to make a scarf.  Check out this warm and cozy scene:

The Quilted Skein LaGrange, Texas

The Quilted Skein
LaGrange, Texas

Late that afternoon Farmer Rick wanted to show me the property he’s working on, and I must say, it is quite lovely.  Here is a photo down by the creek and another of sunset:



That evening we met my sister and her family at Bistro 108–the place in LaGrange for delectable meals (we had brunch the next day as well.) 🙂

Fantastic Food!

Fantastic Food!

After dark my nephew built a huge fire and we all roasted marshmallows (giant size) for drippingly good s’mores.  A choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or Hersheys with almonds.  Oh so good!!  I had seconds. 😉


Our visit was topped off the next morning with sitting on the porch with our coffee while my sister finished binding a quilt and I knitted.  Ah, heaven…


One more thing.  Since it’s great soup weather, I’ll share a recipe made a few nights ago which came from another quilter friend (thanks, Beverly) that I’m sure you’ll find delicious, quick, and very easy.

Chicken Enchilada Soup Um-Um-Good!

Chicken Enchilada Soup


1 can Chicken Broth

l0 oz. can enchilada sauce with green chiles

10 oz. can medium enchilada sauce

Tortilla strips (I used “Crunchy Toppings for Salads” kind)

1 tsp. ground cumin

Frozen Fully Cooked Chicken Fajita Strips (I used about 1/2 of a 1.37 lb. bag)

1 cup half-n-half

1 medium diced tomato

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

sour cream

Combine both sauces and chicken broth in a large pot.  Cook over medium heat until broth thickens somewhat.  Add cumin, chicken strips (still frozen) and half-n-half.  Toss in a few handfuls of tortilla strips (but save some for topping in the bowls.)  Heat through until the chicken is thawed and hot.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with diced tomatoes, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and another handful of tortilla strips.  Yum!!



It is back to reality for me.  From Wednesday to Saturday Nannette and I were in P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!  2013 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.  This gallery of pics will give you an idea of our many ventures.  Let’s start here:

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!  Quilters flocking to the door.

Quilters flocking to the door.

An overall view from the Window Up Above (Wasn’t that a Mickey Gilley song?)

IMG_4430Let’s go shopping:

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book, QUILT GRANDEUR.

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book,



If Kaffe Fassett doesn’t ring a bell with you, you are probably not a quilter and that’s okay.  Just letting you know that he is the author of numerous quilting books and known all over the world for his brilliant color combinations and designs.  I so love to use his fabric in my bags.  And, oh my, he admired my bag.  MY BAG!  I can die happy now…

My new favorite booth:  ADORNit.  www.adornit.com  These gals (mother and two daughters) have developed an amazingly strong presence in the fabric, pattern, and quilting world.  You go, Ladies!



Snazzy contemporary fabric and a pattern book (plus some charm squares) were scored at ADORNit.  If you sew, plan to visit soon for inspiration.

You can always catch demos at the show.  Check out this lady’s sewing machine…

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

This next mother/daughter duo is a booth Nannette and I always take time to visit.  Brilliant colors and designs are offered on a number of projects like chair covers, floor mats, travel mugs, mirrors, lamps, shades, clocks and clipboards.  Did I say quilts?  And more. Dianne Springer finds ways to artistically apply scraps on anything–even mailboxes!  Don’t stand still too long–she may find a way to Scrap-o-Late you!!



You’ve heard me mention FRAMES.  Yes, I succumbed to one of my favorite booths, Mica’s Room.  On Halloween, no less.  My friends here entice me (doesn’t take much) to buy frames, patterns, clasps and fabric.  This year I’m trying coin purses.  They do have frames.  But isn’t that a great way to practice?

My friends from Mica's Room.

My friends from Mica’s Room.

This year I purchased  antique ribbons, lace, and vintage buttons and fabric at booths featuring embellishments.  Many more booths featured bags, bag patterns and hardware this year.  Right up my alley!  You know I was crossing my fingers for colored denim and I hit the jackpot.  Thanks to designer Amy Barickman, Crossroads Denim will allow me to fashion totes, slings, and clutches from a softly laundered denim in shades of orange, navy, blues, greens, and neutrals.  I’m so excited!

Some ladies at the show try their hand at longarm quilting.

Longarm quilting booth.

Longarm quilting booth.

It seems as though Nannette ran up a huge total at Quilts By The Bay.


Oops!  Thankfully, that was just a mistake, but maybe it’s time to turn from shopping to quilts.  Hello–it is a Quilt Show!

The Best of Show Winner is …


Close Up

Close Up

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

There were contemporary, traditional, charitable, whimsical, biographical, autobiographical, military and art quilts.  A sampling:








Sparkles covered all the flowers on this quilt.


Yes, Jack Nicholson.  The artist said she was studying expression and emotions.

Yes, Jack Nicholson. The artist said she was studying expression and emotions. 🙂





This year $102,800 cash awards were given (and the prizes also include airfare to and hotel accommodations for Quilt Festival.)  See all the winning quilts at www.quilts.org.

There were classes offered at Craftsy:

Craftsy University

Craftsy University


A Craftsy Class.

Many specialties were offered in the upstairs classrooms (Nannette and I enjoyed one) and even classes offered right on the main floor amongst the booths.



For breaks and a chance to catch a breeze in our fabulous fall weather, attendees are welcome to stroll on the balcony.  When you’re in the midst of shopping and viewing, it seems the world is removed (happily so) but it’s occasionally beneficial to let your brain experience the connection of a view of downtown.


Often we run into old friends that we usually see at retreats.  This year we had fun meeting old friends in the crowded aisles, trying to catch up on the run, waving, and signaling to meet up later.  Fortunately, I noticed Jo Packham in the Food Court, having just had two classes with the Where Women Create panel, and she joined Nannette and I for a fun and relaxing late lunch. We solved most of the world’s problems and then it was back to shopping. 🙂

At the end of the day, we welcome this sight:


“Come into the light, Carol Ann…”  It’s the corridor that links the George R. Brown Convention Center to the Hilton Hotel.   Oh, yes.  That walkway reminds us that Starbucks is not a food group.  Without even depositing our treasures in our room, we head for the lovely restaurant where the food is actually quite good.  After dinner, drinks, and dessert, we drag our loot up to the room and share our awesome treasures.  We always vow to get plenty of sleep, but how do you do that when there is just so much to share??  And no sleeping in the next day because, hey, we need to find that fabric we glimpsed yesterday and hope it’s still there!

This year we took a class and it was titled, “Crafting an Ideal Day.”  It basically involved time management and we learned a lot from the facilitator and the participants.  Everyone seemed to have the same problem–not enough time to sew.  We lamented this and brainstormed solutions.  The main idea that Nannette and I took away from the class was this:  Get 20 minutes in your sewing area everyday.  This will lead to more, and if it doesn’t on any given day, at least you will have been twenty minutes productive.  Naturally, we left the show this year pledging to gift ourselves those twenty minutes.  And it may not happen everyday, but, well, it’s a start.  So here I go… I’ll bet I could get a small purse cut out in the next twenty minutes. 🙂 How do you get YOUR twenty minutes in?



I  had the great privilege to take two classes at Quilt Market–The Success of Passion and How to Let People Know Who You Are. Both classes were led by Jo Packham, hosting a panel of exceptionally talented and creative ladies who shared how their passion led to successful businesses and how they stay ahead of the game in this media driven world.  Jo Packham created the fabulous magazine, Where Women Create–Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women. www.wherewomencreate.com.  This led to Where Women Create-Business and Where Women Cook.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of perusing these publications, you are in for a treat.  Get a cup of coffee, ease into a cozy chair, and prepare to be inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, the classes were followed by the actual Quilt Market where companies like Westminster Fabrics, Moda, Anna Griffin and countless booths offer patterns, fabric, notions, books, machines, and all the latest items available for quilting, sewing, bag making, and embroidery.  Here is just a sample of booths at the Market.  Pure eye candy!




Marcia of Abbey Lane Quilts displays a pillow that I bought the pattern and fabric for last year, and a new bag pattern that I can’t wait to sew!



If you quilt, I know you’ll recognize this sweet lady–Eleanor Burns!  Check out her new book, Quilts from El’s Kitchen.  www.quiltinaday.com.  Savor fresh new quilt blocks along with recipes for tasty treats.



I had a great time shopping as a “business owner” and chose new patterns for my bags, along with handles, and yes, FRAMES!  No, I’m not really a masochist.  I’m just determined to conquer those challenging glueing and stitching frames.  Checking out those tutorials on frames, I discovered that it’s not just me.  Usually in tutorials, the instructor seems to breeze through, finishing with “And there you have your beautiful project!  Wasn’t that easy?”  However, I noticed that the frame tutorials used words like “Now here’s the tricky part…” and, “You may have to practice and redo a few times…”  I didn’t hear any actual curse words but you know you can edit those videos. 🙂

So between classes on Friday and Sunday, friends joined Rick and I in partaking of German beer and scrumptious homemade apple, cherry, and cheese strudel at the local Octoberfest.  Perfectly gorgeous weather as well! 



Yes, I did manage to sew one bag this weekend.  A Victorian drawstring bag that’s appropriate for evening, or festivals like our upcoming Dickens on the Strand here in Galveston.



And now I must go pack, for my sister and I will be checking into the Hilton tomorrow that connects to the convention center for the International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt festival in the world, and the largest convention annually for the City of Houston.  This year, as well as continual shopping and viewing the lovely quilts, we’re taking a class–something along the lines of “How to Make Time to Sew.” 🙂   So what am I looking for that I couldn’t find at Quilt Market?  Well…fabric.  The fabric companies that I mentioned above sell to shop owners who buy wholesale bolts at a time.  But Festival is for the individual quilter (at retail prices.)  So now I’ll have the opportunity to buy just enough fabric for my purses.  I’m looking for spring/summer fabrics like cotton, laminates, vintage fabrics, and hopefully, colored denim.  Each year Nannette and I treasure this time together where we shop, eat, giggle, and gab until the wee hours.  We’ll be there until Saturday, in the room that we had to reserve at this same time last year, since rooms sell out immediately.  Go Quilters!  Support the Economy, right?

Next week I’ll share our pics and bargains scored at the International Quilt Festival.  Join us!


Awesome Retreat!


Beautiful Texas Quilt Museum, LaGrange, TX

Texas Sunset View from the Porch
Well, I guess the best and truest testimonial to what a great time we had is the familiar refrain following each of our retreats–no matter what day we start, we always wish we had more time.  When you return from a quilt retreat, you will have gained five pounds, have side aches from laughing, and lost sleep.  Oh my, you say, why would anyone do that?  Because it was a barrel of fun and doesn’t happen nearly enough.  How heavenly to start a project and be able to sew uninterrupted!  We accomplished SO much!  Oh yes, there were meals–yummy stew and scrumptious lasagne to name a few, and the occasional to-die-for homemade desserts like brownies and caramel apple cookies.   Coffee plain or in flavors like Butter Toffee and Jamaica Me Crazy were our pick-me-ups, and often evenings turned to wine, champagne, or whipped cream vodka with OJ (a Dreamsicle.)  We exchanged ideas, watched “The Help” while we sewed, shared projects, relaxed and enjoyed those gorgeous Texas Hill Country sunsets on the porch and  experienced the new Texas Quilt Museum.  AND a few practical jokes were pulled.  Did you know you can buy just about any size alligator head at a truck stop?!  Drop that sucker into a very low-flow toilet and you’ve got yourself “an alligator who swam up through the sewer and got stuck in the commode I guess!!!”  🙂  🙂   SEW looking forward to next time!!

One Pic is Worth a Thousand Words



Is there anything more fun for quilting friends than a quilt retreat?  Don’t pass up a chance to gather with your best sewing buds for fun, food, and projects.  We’re headed to my sister’s house in the Texas Hill Country to meet dear ladies we’ve sewn with for years.  We live in different parts of the state but try to come together at least once a year.  No matter how long we’ve been apart, it’s instantly just like old times.  Show & Tell, The Dog Pound (where UFO’s can be given up or exchanged), door prizes, fabulous food and recipes, and a trip to the nearest quilt shop are all included.  Of course, you’ll feel like you’re packing your whole house and more but it’s oh so worth it when you get there.  My personal project goal is to complete two bags that I’ve agreed to donate to the silent auctions of worthy causes.  Four whole days of following my passion and laughing my head off is calling me.  I’m beyond excited and will update you soon!