March, madness?

March 2020 was supposed to be really busy but we all know how that turned out… so I had been looking at my calendar and holding my breath…

Now it’s March 31st and I can tell you that it was a little mad at times, but I did it! Six trips, from California to Tennessee, with lots of Illinois to keep me grounded 😀

I started the month with a visit to Sacramento. I was staying just around the corner from the Capitol building.The first in person STITCHES event in two years and it was a good one. I was scheduled for eight classes. I started with two machine classes and then moved right along to handwork…

Introduction to Folk Art Embroidery,Bold Hand Stitching as Your Quilting Line,Dorset Feather Stitchery Needle Cases x 2,and Dorset Buttons x 2.There were a LOT of Dorset buttons! These are some of the buttons made in the second class. Busy, busy… not a whole lot of time to do much beside go to class. I did take a walk in the Capitol Gardens one lunch time and my good friend Jenny Lyon drove into the city for dinner one evening. I took an early morning flight home on the Monday, arriving back at Midway mid afternoon… just time to empty my bags and pack them back up again…

Good thing the flight was on time because Tuesday morning I drove just a few towns over to Lockport to spend the day with the Heritage Quilters.

Here’s the full class for Walking Foot Quilting – Beyond the Ditch.We shared dinner in town before setting up for the evening lecture at the VFW post.

Show and tell came first.And then it was my turn to share my Lessons Learned While Quilting lecture.

I got to sleep in on Wednesday but Thursday I was back on the road, south to the Kankakee Quiltmakers. Not too far!!

I met my hostess for dinner and then we headed over to the church to set up for the lecture. No picture of the crowd but we had fun taking a Trip Around the World in Folk Art Stitches followed by show and tell…

I slept well in my hotel room and was all ready for our Fun With Free Motion Quilting class in the morning. This is about half the room. We all had plenty of space and everyone left ready to practice!

I drove home, knowing that Julia and family would be arriving for the weekend soon after me! Just time to frost the cake I had baked on Thursday morning before I left 🍰

We had a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry planned for Saturday. Matt and Julia had everything organized.

Here are Benjamin and Ruby at the entrance to the LEGO exhibit.

I’m not sure what we were expecting from the exhibit but it probably wasn’t what we got…there were lots of younger children there and it wasn’t really geared for them. Still, we had a good time. I had never been to see the U-Boat before and I only slept through a little bit of the I-Max movie!


Three days to catch my breath and then off to the Memphis Cotton Patchers Quilt Guild. Sally and Carmen picked me up at the airport and we headed into town to walk down Beale Street.

It was St. Patrick’s Day and I know it wasn’t so quiet later on in the day…

Lunch and then off to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.Definitely worth the visit. We took our time to watch the movies and look at all the exhibits.

A change of pace on Friday morning with a trip to Graceland.
Elvis did like his mirrors!While not a lifelong dream destination I couldn’t go to Memphis and not visit Graceland? It was a very fun morning and left me with a new appreciation with how hard Elvis worked.

But let’s not forget why I was in Tennessee. I had work to do myself.

I shared my Lessons Learned lecture on Friday evening.
There was lots of show and tell, including this lovely chicken quilt.If it was Saturday it was Walking Foot Quilting – Beyond the Ditch.

Pamela had read my Beneath the Surface article in Quilting Arts magazine and brought her mini quilt to show me. Nicely done!
Another full class of happy stitchers.Good work everyone!

Memphis is very close to the Mississippi border and I mentioned to Sally and Carmen I had never visited the state… so we went across the state line for a barbecue dinner.

I flew home on the Sunday morning. Here’s Memphis from the sky as we made our ascent. Once again Southwest Airlines got me home on time so I could repack my bag, ready for an early morning start the next day!

Monday found me in Hinsdale with the Hinsdale Embroiderers Guild for a full day of Dorset buttons.We had our moments but everyone finished the day with at least one button.


I had a plan for Tuesday. I put the laundry in and saw to some paperwork and then I went shopping. I thought I was just going to order a new sewing machine from BERNINA of Naperville but look what came home with me…I waited until Wednesday to open the box. I needed to put my old machine away and clear up my sewing room a bit.

Ta Da!!My very own brand new BERNINA 770 Quilters Edition Plus. No time to actually stitch on it because I had bags to pack again…

South to the Illini Country Stitchers in Champaign this time. My last visit was in 2016. Quite a few of the ladies remembered that trip…

We took a Trip Around the World with lots of giggles and thread prizes.

Yes, there was show and tell starting with this beautiful Dear Jane quilt.On Friday morning we met up for Walking Foot Quilting – beyond the Ditch.

Organic curves,

The beginnings of a spiral,and a very happy stitcher with her very own super spiral!And how about a group photo before we head home for the night?We were a smaller class on Saturday for our Embroidery and Beading for Quilters workshop. The Boy Scouts were holding a Pinewood Derby in the big room but they couldn’t have been having more fun than us!
I drove home Saturday evening, tired but very happy to have completed my sixth engagement of the month. Every lecture and class is different, even if the title is the same. I do hope I left lots of stitchers inspired to create behind me…

Finally time to give that new sewing machine a whirl!

I needed a sample for a STITCHES class coming in May. Thread painting and satin stitching… no problem. 😀
I basted up a quilt top and I’ve been working on that too. Pictures will follow…


March madness? Maybe, but in the best possible way!



  1. Marilyn said:

    Illini Country Stitchers had a great time with you last week. So good to see you again!

    March 31, 2022
  2. Sandy Hess said:

    Holy cow girlfriend!!! I don’t know how you do it and do it so well.

    March 31, 2022
  3. Therese Hinson said:

    Look good!!! Hope to get to Houston Quilt festival this year….it’s been forever!!!

    March 31, 2022

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