Back on the road again…

Yes, I am back on the road… it’s been a while but it seemed like it was time!

More of that later. First I need to tell you about a couple of day trips into Chicago. I actually went to the Art Institute twice. The first time I took the train and met my friend Sher for a fun few hours of art and then lunch. Steve and I are members which that means we can can get into the museum an hour before the general public and get priority for the special exhibits. It seems a little elitist but when it’s me being one of the elite I cope with it OK…

I got home from that trip in time for our monthly meeting of the Naperville Modern Quilters Guild and of course I had to tell about my visit, in particular the Bisa Butler quilts which had been the highlight…

So back again I went the next Thursday with Joan and Yvette…  Yvette drove which meant I could snap a few pictures as we drove into town.

It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed our coffee while waiting for opening time.The banners on the front of the museum were announcing the Monet exhibit and we did sign up for an entry time right after showing my membership card, but our first stop was back in the Bisa Butler rooms.Pictures do not do justice to the fabulous quilts. You can see lots of photographs if you look for them but I’ll just include Joan and Yvette, suitably masked in front of these ladies in I know Why the Caged bird Sings.There are twenty two quilts on display in four large galleries. If you can possibly visit the Art Institute before September 22nd I highly recommend it. You never know, I might be making at least one more trip.

The Hartwell memorial window by Tiffany studios is a new installation on the Grand staircase. Definitely worth a closer look!

Yes, we did go and visit the Monet paintings. The good people of Chicago have acquired a lot of them over the years and it was super to be able to see them all together. That exhibit is over now. Next time I will be getting a timed entry for the Obama portraits! That means I have to return before August 15th.

It was time for lunch after all that art, but then we decided to pop in on the Chicago Cultural Center. It has only just reopened to the public and there is still restoration work taking place in some of the spaces. The building was originally constructed over 100 years ago as the Chicago Public Library and a Civil War memorial. It is exceedingly grand.

This particular mosaic caught me eye.I have been doing a lot of reading lately. It’s been a rather eclectic selection of books, not all could be described as providing wholesome counsel or even cheerful…

And of course I took lots of pictures of the famed Tiffany glass dome…What a good day!

Time to get back to work. More zooming from the red comfy chair.

Two classes for Create DIY ( a Mancuso show), and six classes for STITCHES Expo, including Shirtlace Buttons…Didn’t they do well? We had a few issues with student’s beeswax so I need to do some research into that… I think the trick is to push the rings very firmly into the wax…

And here’s the set up for the second of the Dorset Feather Stitchery classes.If you are regretting missing out on all the fun I hear a rumor that I might be repeating the classes in August ☺️

Time to get on the road?

Two suitcases for class and my pop up shop, a roll of quilts, tech bag, small suitcase for clothes and such, and essential supplies for in the car… what had I forgotten? Actually I think I had all the things I needed, probably more than was really necessary. It was another bright sunny day last Tuesday when I drove down to Brownsburg, Indiana to visit the Scrap Basket Quilters Guild. I had my podcasts to keep me company in the construction zones and arrived in plenty of time to check in to my hotel and get ready for the evening’s guild meeting.

There was a good crowd assembled, ready for the evening’s entertainment. (pictured as today’s featured image)

We started with business and then Show and Tell. Here’s just a few pics.

The black and white polka dots really elevated this string quilt.You know this wool appliqué quilt was a true labor of love.And how about this pieced and appliquéd English paper pieced quilt?Time for me to give my Trip Around the World presentation. It’s been one of the favorites from the Zoom studio and I have refined it a little over the past year. I certainly enjoyed myself…

Wednesday I taught a Folk Art Embroidery class to just a select group. Not everyone is ready to spend a whole day inside with others? It seemed like we were all vaccinated. Isn’t science grand?

I don’t like driving after a full work day so I stayed on in Brownsburg one more night and then had a pleasant drive back North. Just one stop before I left town. I had driven past this store on the way in but was confused by the name. (and harried by the truck on my tail) I was looking for Not Your Average Quilter but I saw the Art Ovation sign. Question answered… One is the Facebook page but the other is the business name.

I parked outside and stepped into a treasure trove of fabric and stitched samples, beautifully arranged in little vignettes.But wait there is more…I do so want to visit Australia one day.Just lovely!And in the rear of the building, a work room where the magic happens. Art Ovation is in the business of making band costumes, flags, and banners. I think there must be some very well dressed and equipped bands in the area.I did buy a few cuts of fabric. It would have been easy to fill a big bag but sometimes I am disciplined?

Back after a super first trip out. The members made me feel very welcome and were a great introduction back into the real world. I came home with a goody bag of local things and interesting bits and pieces, including a block of beeswax which has further enhanced my research for suitable products for making those buttons.


And back in the Zoom studio. I taught two classes for the Vermont Quilt Festival over the weekend. Here are most of the members of my Walking Foot Quilting workshop.Saffron was a most excellent moderator and certainly made things easier for me with her handling of the spotlight. I have a lecture booked for Saturday morning. You can reserve a seat for a Trip Around the World over at the VQF website.


We are still watching Columbo re-runs on Peacock. We are on the last series with just a few episodes left to go.

Just one more thing…

I always wanted to have an article in Quilting Arts magazine. I have recorded more than a dozen spots for the TV program but, other than a challenge quilt I made in 2007 and some ads for my DVDs and book, I never had a real live article. That has now changed!

The summer 2021 edition, available for purchase on the Quilting Daily website.

Four whole pages of my Beneath The Surface quilts I made last summer with some brief directions if you want to play along. You know if I could do it you can too?

If you are in the Naperville area, I am teaching at BERNINA of Naperville very soon. I’m teaching a Walking Foot Quilting class on June 30th (that’s Jonathan’s birthday), and a Beneath the Surface class on July 21st. Both are in person classes with just a small number of students. All the details and sign up are here.


AND just one very last thing, in case you were wondering… the Naperville tornado caused extensive damage less than one mile from our house on Sunday evening. It appears to have lifted off the ground at one side of our subdivision and then dipped down again on the other side. We were awoken by the alarm on my phone but by the time we had worked out what was happening it had already passed over… it was very close. I’m glad to say better people than us are helping with the clear up.