Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Out and About

Examples from our NEW Pin Ball Pattern
I hope to see you soon!

Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback on the book!  It was a labor of love and I'm thrilled you love it too.
October 3-7 Bethesda, Maryland
    American Quilt Study Group Seminar
    Book Signing for Registered Attendees

October 13 Bloomington, Minnesota
   Questers State Meeting
   Presentation, Exhibit and Book Signing -
   Registered Attendees Only

October 20, Stitchville, Minnetonka, Minnesota
    11-4 Exhibit and Book Signing
    Directions HERE

 October 29  - Stay tuned for an exciting announcement!!

At Houston - Quilt Market November 3-5 - Schiffer Booth
     Shops can order my book and ask about special programs for signing events.
     If you aren't going to market additional information is available HERE.  Click on Book Seller and Resellers

We have more new patterns coming up to compliment many of the antique items featured in the book.

I will be posting order again on October 7.
Until then...
Digital Pocket Pattern HERE.
Mary Witherwax HERE.
Etsy Shop - shipping again after October 7 HERE.

Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Book Launch - Celebrate

Book Cover
It is exciting to see a big project come to life - I am thrilled to announce my book is shipping!  

You can see a few inside preview pages and order a signed copy HERE.  

Everyone who pre-ordered from me THANK YOU! 
Your book has shipped, inside the cover you will find the free exclusive bookmark just for you.

The book is also available in the gift shops at the Chester County Historical Society, Winterthur Museum, the Schwenkfelder Gift Shop and more locations coming soon.  If you know of a retail outlet interested let me know and I can get them information.

The book is also available on Amazon, Book Depository and other online book sellers around the world - unsigned.  It is always nice when you can buy local or direct from the author and the "Big Retailers" only leave pennies for the author - Really!

Thank you for your encouragement and support!


I have book sale and signing events coming up:
September - Bethesda MD - American Quilt Study Group
October -  Minnesota - Questers State Meeting
October 20 - Stitchville - Signing and Exhibit 11-4
        Ridge Square South Shopping Center
       12945 Ridgedale Drive Minnetonka, MN 55305
Quilt Festival is still TBD
November & December I stay local for the holidays and family
Lecture - Penn Dry Goods - Schwenkfelder, Pennsburg PA - 17th & 18th
Still booking for 2019 - Contact me

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Australia - Adelaide Part 2

We flew from Coolangatta to Adelaide on a morning flight to make the most of a travel day.  The night before I had to reconfigure the quilt luggage pieces as the interstate flight had different luggage size and weight rules.  Sometimes they even weigh your purse!  There are scales at some of the airline gates.
Adelaide is absolutely beautiful, and we wish we had weeks there instead of days.

We picked up the rental car - We chose an Australian Holden Commodore - keeping with our Australian theme.
Next - the Australian National Wine Center.  One the grounds is a historic barrel house and some sample vines next to a modern architecture visitors center.  We explored the history of wine making in Australia.
We are hobby vintners over the past 20 years.  Making all kinds of wines and port.

One of the exhibits illustrated each grape variety in detail.

Showing the leaf, cross section and seed of the grape.

So much potential in a small fruit!  Entire empires have been built on processing a grape.

That evening we checked into our Apartment (Vacation Rental By Owner) in the heart of Adelaide.

Our 2 BR was on the 9th floor and had a wonderful view of the Adelaide Central Market entrance. So much within walking distance.

The most difficult decision of the trip was deciding which of the fantastic restaurants to enjoy!
We had quite a variety, paella and lamb chops at Gauchos - delectable fresh seafood!  Peking Duck at T-Chow...

Back at the apartment before sweet dreams, we shared a bottle of wine and goodies from the market while we planned the next day.  (Cheese, bread, chocolate and fresh fruit).

The Adelaide Central Market is filled is filled with food stalls with everything you can imagine....fresh quail eggs, 100's of cheese options, exotic flowers, fruits, vegetables, nuts and bakery stalls.

How lucky are local people who can shop here anytime?

We started most mornings here at a coffee shop for breakfast. Then it was off to the Barossa region for the vineyards.

I'll skip all the vineyards details, but if you're into wine I'm happy to email any details you like.  I'll include the quilt bits at the vineyards.

About the Baroasa wine region... "Wine has been a way of life in Barossa since 1842. Fast forward to today, and Barossa is home to more than 550 grape growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land, supplying quality grapes to more than 170 wine companies."

Seppelfields was a special place. We toured the original family home, still furnished with gleaming red cedar woodwork and period wall papers.

Note the tile on the porch - hard not to see quilts. We saw this style of tile often.  To read more about the architecture read HERE.

In the tasting room there was a large bouquet of cotton bolls on the bar.  Since cotton production is a bit controversial (I was told) we thought perhaps the vineyard owner has a stake in the industry as well as grapes.

Coffee and Breakfast at The Loose Caboose
The next day we all had our own plans. Trish went to a mosaic glass workshop outside of town with the car. The guys used the excellent public transportation and Uber to visit Hahndorf and Adelaide Hills.  Yes, the photo links accurately show how beautiful every place is!
My friend Wendy picked me up at the apartment. I've "known" Wendy online for 18-20 years!!  Our visit was TOO short.

Wendy arranged a special day of QUILTS at Hettie's Patch in Adelaide.  I was so pleased to be able to meet quilters in person, many I had only had Internet contact with in the past.
Wendy and the 20+ girls there were so enthusiastic. I wish I could have brought more treasures to share with them.
The parking lot for the quilt shop and classroom is in the back. I love all the brick and stone. Check out the lavender plants five feet tall.

Eclectic mix from 1840 - 1940
The classroom was wonderful - we arranged tables to lay the quilts on for up close and person examination. Everyone got a seat around the table and we could walk around to see other sides of the quilts.
I also brought lots of small objects from my books (and a copy of my book) to show.
I managed to fill almost two hours and just about lost my voice - it was THAT FUN!

Sisters Sally and Jane with our Noah and Matilda Quilt

I had no idea people would be interested enough to fly in from out of town.
Jane, Sally, Claire and Bev flew in from Melbourne.  What a treat for me!

Thank you again Wendy for the excellent organization!!

After I did my presentation, the girls put on an amazing Aussie themed lunch.

Food included pavlovas, Anzac cookies, tarts and pies, finger sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, pizza and other specialties too numerous to list!


The shop uses their quilt as a table cover - no food harmed any quilts!

After lunch we had show and tell. I was so into it I forgot to take some photos and get permission to share!  The girls brought some swap projects and other quilts.

Lynne brought her Blindman's Fancy.

Rich colors and prints. She brought some other quilts and I missed photos!  You can find her work on Instagram HERE.

I think there were 30 + quilts brought and I didn't take enough photos - that was true of the entire day.

Erica brought her highly organized sets of swap blocks.

As she made a block for a swap, she also made a 6" block for herself. They are all organized and labeled.  Erica's block tags are as beautiful as the blocks.

Each set of blocks is organized in its own labeled tote.

We joked that decades from now a historian will uncover her totes and advise, "this is how quitters kept they supplies".  I'm thinking Erica is an exceptional organizer!

I forgot to ask her is she plans to assemble her blocks.  I too have most sets NOT put into quilts.  I did finish the Ohio Stars and the Elongated Nine Patch.

Sally brought a quilt she made using real Aboriginal fabric. By real I mean from the hands of women in Maningrida, Northern Territory - Australia.  The women art part of the Barbara Women's Centre in Arnham Land. You can watch a video HERE.
Read Bios of the Artists HERE.

Thank you Sally for sharing your beautiful quilt, and information on the talented textile artists, including some indigenous history.

A beautiful and special quilt!

I am so honored to have received gifts, in addition to the gift of this special day!
Wendy made this Hexagon bag with a pattern from Hettie's Patch.
She filled it Australian products. In her online group we had discussed the merits of healing our needlework finger tips with Goat cream and PawPaw.
She also included Shiraz paste - spread for wine and cheese night! Some lip balm, chocolates, scissors and a bookmark.

Thank you again Wendy for the friendship and making the day great.
Wendy's website is HERE.

As with all my events I never get a list of attendees. I knew a few because they were customers I had been in contact with. Imagine my surprise when a taxi pulled up and delivered Bev and Clair all the way from Melbourne.  I didn't think people would be that interested to travel very far.  I am honored!

From Irene

Irene Craig, gifted me with a signed copy of her book, "Ayres House Dancing Dollies Quilt" The pattern and instructions were done with permission of the National Trust of South Australia.  It is a lovely book and includes some color photos of the original quilt. Thrilled to have this!!


There might have been some glasses of wine consumed before Wendy took me on a drive through Adelaide, great buildings, scenic over looks - an amazing city I would visit again in a minute...or rather after18.5 hours in planes!!  Worth. It.

A single day was WAY TOO SHORT. I was a wee bit tired - to be honest, back at the apartment I had a 15 minute catnap.  Velma would have liked that.

That night we all had much to discuss. Everyone had so much fun.

Next stop in Part 3 - Granite Island and the Fairy Penguin tour.

Thanks for your generous comments on Part 1!  I hope you enjoyed Part 2 as much.
Happy Stitching,

Friday, August 31, 2018

Australia - First Quilt Shop Part 1

We just returned from Australia - a little jet lagged today.

What an amazing time with fascinating friends Trish & Robert. (World Travelers, Gourmet Cooks, International Sailboat Captains, Master Gardening, Mosaic Artist, Parents to an Archeologist and Zoologist...the list goes on).  Did I mention their skill at vacation planning?

We landed in Brisbane in the early morning hours.
After a 4 hour flight to LA, layover and 14 hours to Bris, we were ready for solid ground!

We headed to their beautiful property in the Tweed Shire to freshen up and then explore.

Winter in the Tweed

Their property includes some rain forest, gardens of rare plants, several vegetable patches and many trails.

Pet mallard duck, "Duck Duck" took walks with us and we explored the shady and sunny areas of their beautiful property.

We saw wild bush turkeys making nests, beautiful azaleas, magnolia, lily with yellow robins all around.

The sounds of tropical birds from the bush are just like the sound track of a movie set.

They overlook the valley were one can see for miles - gorgeous blue skies. We had perfect weather everyday.

The first couple days we stayed local exploring the diverse area. We attended the Tweed Antique Fair where i bought a needle book.

Fingal Head Beach is a gorgeous stretch of coastline, recently voted the third best beach in Australia.  When surfs up, Robert's got his board, out into the waves he goes.

We watched whales from the shore as they breached so many times we lost count. I could have stayed there for days!

The rock formations are basalt rock and the water is crystal clear.

The light house there is a kerosene reflector light 30 feet high. It warns ships of Cook Island, just off the coast. The light is visible 6-8 miles out to sea. It was automated in 1920.

This wasn't the last beach visit on the trip, they are all so beautiful.

We enjoyed a meal at the local fish and chips shop. The fish is fresh off the boat on ice. You select your fillet, take it to the counter and they cook it to order. We got take out and had a picnic. I chose barramundi, which is  a variety of bass. YUM! Can't get much fresher than that.

We drove around several local towns and villages around Mount Warning, each with its own vibe. So diverse and fun to be out of the city.
Uki (Population 203) The post office is a coffee shop, art gallery and news stand.
Nimbin (Population 1,477) Is a "counter culture" village. I didn't have the heart to tell the people sitting on the sidewalks Marijuana is legal some US states now so there was nothing shocking for us.

We enjoyed a day at the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

World Renowned artist Margaret Olley donated to the gallery, including her home contents. The gallery has painstaking recreated the rooms just as Margaret left them. Every detail.

The rooms are insight into the everyday life of the artist, including her kitchen. The longer you look, the more you see.

We were also fortunate to see sculpture, photography and paintings by indigenous artists depicting flora and fauna of Australia.

A very impressive gallery!
Thankful we got to see it in person.

One of the gallery rooms had interactive installations. "Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art is an exhibition that expresses the disconcerting and delightful world of the digital age. Both playful and challenging, each artwork asks audiences to immerse their senses into a ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’ contemplation of what it is to be human in the digital age of technological acceleration"
This is a photo of my breath.
As you breath in a tub, the bubble enters a water tank where it breaks a laser beam. This triggers digital photo as the air bubbles through the water.  The image is emailed to the participant.

While watching others participate it was interesting to see the difference in each "bubble". Not so sure about the analysis of the bubble, but it was food for thought.

But... what about the quilts you ask??

I visited a nice quilt shop within a few days of arriving - and bought fabrics. Not because they were any great bargain, rather older reproduction fabrics sold out in the US.

Quilt fabrics in Aus are very expensive compared to the US $11-$28AUD with is about $8 to $28USD.

My friend gifted me with a quilt and some embroidered pieces. We also looked at her beautiful collection of Molas from the Kuna people of the San Blas Islands. Very special! I'll show those in another post.

Next - - we are off on our flight to Adelaide Australia.

Stay tuned for Part 2
Happy Stitching,

Monday, August 27, 2018

Announcing Mary Witherwax

We are back from vacation and have an exciting fall lineup coming with several new patterns, the book shipment, trunk shows and more blog posts!

I've been busy stitching samples.

We do all of our own stitching and quilting by hand.  Fun - but it does take longer.  The results are worth it and we hear that repeatedly when we show the antiques and reproductions.

First - Mary Witherwax

We purchased this treasure at auction and have the full story to share - Mary's life and the area with a Dutch connection.

c. 1850
Measures 85" x 71.5"

The full size digital pattern is available for instant download now, using the link HERE.

The pattern includes all of the blocks, alternate blocks designed by us, a full alphabet and the borders.  $45 USD.    57 print pages.

The pattern works up beautifully in many fabric color ways.

This pastel wall hanging uses a few of the blocks and letters to make a wonderful gift. It's a pattern you can use over!

Mary Witherwax was a creative young woman!

This example uses a couple of the bonus alternate blocks,

I chose my reproduction to be a family name quilt.

Every block is a joy to make and hard to put down.

There will be a private Facebook group for those with the pattern that want to join.  See the details on the pattern page.  No pressure - just a fun place to share your progress. Lots of history about the quilt and Mary will be shared.
Even a few prizes along the way!

Please let us know if you have questions!
Happy Stitching,

Friday, July 20, 2018

My Book Antique American Needlework Tools

Project Start:  2014
Fed Ex just delivered a very special box!

The "Printers Proof" for my Book - along with a celebratory bottle of wine.  Quite exciting to see it in print - I think you will like it too.

So what's next?

In the next 6-8 weeks the books will arrive.
I have a listing in the Etsy shop for signed copies along with a free postage & bookmark.
There are preview pages on the listing.
HERE:  Book.  ON VACATION - will reopen the Etsy shop at the end of August.

Along with the book we have a line of patterns related to special sewing accessories - also available soon.  Our new appliqué pattern is also at the printer and we have decided to offer it digitally as well.
Details to follow!

I have lectures and book signing events scheduled this year and next. Including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nebraska and The Netherlands.  I would love to visit your group! Contact me and I can work with your events coordinator - or have them contact me directly.
I can custom tailor a lecture and workshop just for your group! Quilting and or Embroidery.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Happy Stitching,

I have distributor information for International shops - contact me, I'd love to have you stock the book.
US Shops:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Harrison Rose Finished

Congratulations to Michelle for her wonderful finish of her quilt, Harrison Rose.

Michelle gave permission to share this photo of her finished quilt on a king sized bed. Yes, many early appliqué antique quilts were very large!

Beautiful Quilt!
Beautiful Room!

We are so honored Michele used our pattern!

Michelle hand appliquéd and hand quilted her quilt.

She used all solid fabrics.

She chose to run her straight line quilting through the appliqué.

She used the feathered wreath motifs included with the pattern in her quilting.

She used Hobbs Heirloom batting.

The border is quilted in coral colored thread, the main center of the quilt is quilted in cream thread.

She used a "straighter" feather motif in the border than the one included with the pattern.

She also changed the color pallet of the applique, making the quilt "her own" - adding her own choices!

Didn't she do a wonderful job?
She's created a beautiful heirloom!

Happy Stitching,
Our Harrison Rose Pattern is available HERE.
Read more about Harrison Rose HERE.
See other Harrison Rose finishes HERE and HERE
If you have a finish you would like to include, please us know!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!!
Maybe a little stitching time here!
Have fun,

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Proud Finishes

Some wonderful finishes to share.

Florence finished her Catherine's Garden quilt.

She used reproduction fabrics.
Hand Applique
Hand Quilting - following the original quilting lines shown on the pattern.  She then went back in and added even more!

Isn't it beautiful?
Three years on and off with other projects in between , including moving.

For the ground fabric she used 'Lately Arrived' by Barbara Brackman from her stash.

She reports it was especially nice to hand quilt and she wished she bought more.

All cotton batting.
She quilts in a hoop - the same hoop she's enjoyed for the past 30 years of quilting.

The center of her quilt.

 "I will say it was the most fun quilting project ever - the background fabric was just wonderful for quilting and so much space quilt on and I just kept adding more and more!"

It was fun to see photos of Flo's quilt as she worked on it.  It was an honor for us to have a collector of magnificent antique quilts, make one of ours.

Thank you Flo for sharing your work!

Lee Anne has her Calico Paradise ready for quilting.

She is planning to hand quilt, possibly with pearl cotton and maybe a big stitch.

She had a very special red that is hard to find for the border.  In order to stretch it, she added 8 blocks to the border.
Great look!!

Lee Anne you captured the original look perfectly - thanks for sharing.

Send more photos of the quilting, we'd love to see it.

The choice of fabrics is perfect.

They sparkle in the summer sunshine.

There is a new line of fabrics due out soon - similar color ways perfect for this quit - stay tuned for more details this summer.  I'm particularly interested in the double blue - could be stock up time!

Joy shared her quilt all hand stitched by her.
She combined three or four old patterns in a way that appealed to her.

It measures 71" x 71"

Perfect to hang behind a king size bed.  She has a king size Pot of Flowers/Pride of Iowa quilt she has planned.  What a room that will be!

The fabrics are all from a reproduction fabric line from Laurene Sinema of Phoenix.

This quilt was exhibited in Chicago and Houston in 2017 in "Traditional Appliqué".

Joy uses wool batting.

Incredible quilting - look at the wonderful texture!

Thank you for sharing Joy!

Pip has her Calico Paradise well under way. I have ALWAYS wanted to see this quilt in

She swapped out some of the madder for turquoise.

Don't you love the multi colored leaves?

For the very center she used a classic Kaffe print.

Fun combination of dots and stripes!

Pip lives in Australia. I often think about the original maker and how she would have marveled at our fabrics and the distance we can share our quilting projects.

The color glows!
Love the variety of prints and how they all work together.

Thanks to all the quilters who shared their beautiful work.
Email me if you have photos you would like me to share.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Loaning Quilts

My Franklin Stars Quilt
I like to think I am generous when it comes to loaning and sharing my quilts.  Although, some might say I am not when it comes to sharing photos.  It is all personal choice.

This quilt, Franklin Stars is currently on loan at my cities community center.

They have a rotating quilt every month to share with the community.  I chose this one because I think it appeals to men and women.

It also reminds me of my friend Jeananne - who owns the original.  She is very generous sharing her quilts.

The more you look at this quilt, the more you might find...unusual today by modern standards.
* Bordered on only two sides
* Even scrappier as it gets towards the bottom rows
* Inset setting diamonds, rather than pieced triangles
* Wide back to front binding
* Home dyed osnaburg backing
The more you look, the more you see...
It was a fun project to do with Jeananne and we both came away with quilts we love!
She purchased the vintage quilt in Franklin, Tennessee years ago.

I also loaned this quilt for the Minnesota Quilt Project "Ruby Anniversary" exhibit at the Minnesota Quilt Show this month.

They are very organized and professional with their paperwork regarding loans and insurance.  Must be the 40 years of experience!

See the circle? I pinned a ribbon on so viewers could see the date in the quilting.

I have been able to read the year, 1888.

However I have not been able to make out the letters above the year.  I used photoshop and other tools to no avail.

I am guessing it is her name or the month.

This is the alternate block without the lettering.

Beautiful hand quilting.

All hand sewn - piecing and quilting.


The name comes from Brackman's Encyclopedia of pieced blocks.

The block has other names in later eras.  No Wonder.

Imagine the conversation..."I made the wandering lover quilt for..."

Always a fun quilt to share.

On the subject of sharing, I recently declined to share my quilt and sewing tools. It was a great opportunity to review my insurance and network with others who share their collections.

In the paperwork I received I noted the following clause:
Hold Harmless Statement: I agree to enter the above item and abide by the quilt exhibit rules and decisions of the jury. I understand the XYZ Museum will take every precaution to protect the entry exhibited and that no responsibility for loss of damage to my entry can be assumed by the XYZ Museum or any other entity.

This was highly unusual - I've seen a lot of agreements for shows and exhibits.  I contacted my insurance companies.  Both my home owners and a specialty company for collections.  Both saw HUGE red flags.  Both said by agreeing to a hold harmless I would not be covered, regardless of the policies or appraisals.  One said if I were desperate I could exhibit but wouldn't be insured.  The other offered a special policy but the museum would have to provide their loss report and I would have to pay a large premium.  Not worth the hassle or expense. I declined exhibit. 

I thought about it - and contacted my "network" of quilt appraisers, lawyers, collectors and exhibitors - maybe I need new insurance?  Is this a new trend?


All responded (graciously with long responses) that this is highly unusual and they wouldn't loan under a hold harmless either.

The other thing I learned from my insurance discussions is in the event of damage to one of my quilts, I still want the quilt.  That isn't always possible.  It pays to ask lots of detailed questions!

Bottom line:
* Review the paperwork you sign and do not trust the borrower to look out for your interests

* Talk to your insurance company with the details

* An appraisal doesn't mean you are covered

Let's keep loaning our quilts, and expect them to be treated and like the works of art they are!

Have a great week,