Monday, May 25, 2015

And Then I Lost A Day…

I’m still thinking this day is SUNDAY.

And yet it's been MONDAY all day!

But see how excited this girl is to have us home?  This is what happiness is for me today.

Red-eye flights will do that to you --

Red-eye flights with 1/2 hour between deplaning and re-boarding -

The entire trip from Fairbanks to Minneapolis to Detroit to Greensboro is basically a blur.

If I didn’t know better I would swear I did a bit of sleep walking between planes…I just don’t really remember anything!

There is a lot to catch up on here on the blog, and we are going to take our time at it and do it justice, not just throw it out there like some kind of travel tossed salad, which is what the entire month of May has been like for me.

Yes, there are photos from yesterday’s –wait, was that Sunday? Yes it was!  Yesterday’s Cathedral Stars workshop with the Cabin Fever Quilters in Fairbanks to go through….

Oh how I loved these ladies!  I had just enough time with them to feel right at home and get to know them and talk and laugh and visit while we sewed.  I can’t wait until the next time.

We already have agreed that NEXT TIME we need to spend more time around Fairbanks so we have time to see the museums, do the river cruise, visit the Chena Hot Springs….there was so much to do and not enough time to do it when I had two full day workshops, an evening lecture and a redeye flight home…all on a holiday weekend.

I am extra grateful for guild members who invite visiting teachers over for dinner – Alaska Style!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Boxy Stars in Fairbanks, AK!

Fabulous day in Fairbanks, AK!

I met up with the Cabin Fever Quilters yesterday for a full day Boxy Stars workshop –a whole day of playing in the 2.5” strips and turning out some fast and fabulous scrappy blocks!

The fabrics were varied, each quilter bringing fabrics from their own stash, sharing, swapping, stitching, laughing, talking --

It was so much fun!

I have to tell you that I never expected Fairbanks to be this hot in May.  High 80s closing in on 90!  Hot hot hot, and wow, after nearly freezing just last Sunday on our Fjords trip out of Seward, this was just bizarre.  But that’s how things are in Fairbanks.  If you don’t like the temperature, just hang around.  It will go from 40 below in the winter, to 100 above in the summer….

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Whole Lotta Delta Junction Show & Share!

It is so fun to come back to a place after 4 years and see what these gals have been up to since our last visit!

One of the workshops we gave was Bricks in the Barnyard from Scraps & Shirttais II  and some nice quilts came back in completed status to say hello!

This is one of those favorite workshops that just goes so slick. 

Students come with all of the rectangles and squares cut, as well as bringing strips along for making the half square triangles after an Easy Angle Ruler demo.

The braid broder is made from leftover strips and can be worked on as leaders & enders, growing in length while the blocks in the center are completed.

So much fun!

Here is another:

Shirttails Day in Delta Junction, AK!

I’m going to miss these ladies!

There were 4 years in between my last visit and this one, and it is likely to be the same kind of distance in between!  When I open up my calendar for bookings for 2019 I hope to see them on it! 

We had such a great time, and Summer in Alaska can be really wonderful.

It was pushing 90 degrees yesterday.  It will be doing the same up here in Fairbanks.

Funny to think that just a few days ago I was freezing my tookass off on Kenai Fjords tour with down jacket and hand and all – and here I didn’t bring things that are cool enough.

I’m dying for a pair of sandals!

I’d be shopping for some today if it weren’t a double duty day in store with a workshop today and a lecture tonight in Fairbanks.

Yesterday’s workshop is one of my favorites, but one that doesn’t come around as often as it is from my first book, Scraps & Shirttails!  It’s a 3 block medallion, mine made with recycled fabrics, and we use the Easy Angle ruler with several different strip widths for half square triangles that finish at 1.5”, 2”, 3” and 4.5”.  This is why I love a tool that will do more than one thing!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spider Webs Up! Delta Junction, AK!

String Spider Webs are te fasted most fun quilt EVER.

They all turn out wonderful no matter what color palette or stash of scraps are used…

And they can be so varied from the background fabric color chosen, to the individual strips and strings of fabric used as the webs themselves…

So much variety!

And absolutely NO stress what so ever – as our newer quilters found out.

This is FUN!  And fun is what it is all about!

Of course it all starts with bags and buckets and baskets and totes of scraps – and they came in by the baleful.  We’ve ALL got them.  Every project makes scraps..so this is a fun time to sew them up!


Some came in zippered bags.

These came all the way fro washington state, and those reuseable zipper bags for sheet sets, pillow cases and curtains and other linens make great project bags.  These had the air squooshed out of them and ade a flight from Washington State to spend these workshop days with us in Delta  Junction, AK!

However, they didn’t stay this neat for long…


It just can’t be helped!

String piecing is messy and this poor featherweight was in danger of a scrap avalanche!


Lonnie, busy pulling from the big bag at her side!

A life time of scraps and memories in this narrow strips and pieces….so fun to dig through!


They sewed and sewed all day long!


Look at these blocks coming together!

You can find the free pattern for String Spider Web under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog.  It’s a fun one – and everyone should make at LEAST one spider web quilt in their life time!

There are more photos!  Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

String Spider Web, Delta Junction, AK 2015

I had a great time with these gals yesterday, and we had a fun lecture last night ---after dinner HERE:


Buffalo Center Drive In –a Delta Junction Icon!

And really great food too!

Today we do it all over again ---I’ve got a SHIRTTAILS quilt workshop from my book Scraps & Shirttails ---working in the recycled fabrics and plaids and stripes will be another great way tp sew it up today.

This evening I head back up to Fairbanks…my two days of workshops and a lecture starts with them tomorrow.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

Click Here to join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Church of Orsanmichel, Florence!

You can find amazing places in the center of Florence.

And while many places charge an entry fee to get in, some places like the church of Orsanmichel is open to the public by donation.

A small church compared to many others in the city limits, it is not to be missed ---Great architecture, beautiful domed ceilings, frescoes, and gorgeous tiled floors.

Everything a quilter’s eye needs to be inspired!

The building was constructed on the site of the kitchen garden of the monastery of San Michele, which is now gone.

The Aialik Glacier—AMAZING!

Sunday was a beautiful day for a trip through the Kenai Fjords by boat.

There was almost no wind on shore – quite a difference from the day before.

The sky was blue and the sun was shining ---

But that doesn’t mean it was warm on the boat…

I was so glad we packed parkas –and I had to BUY a hat because I forgot to pack one.

We were going to need it on this 6 hour ocean cruise that left the port in Seward, Alaska and explored the regions around Resurrection bay and beyond.


Our Vessel – the Callisto Voyager!


Ready to set sail!


It was just a breath-takingly gorgeous day!


Clouds hugging mountain tops!

Our route this day would take us over 100 miles round trip, viewing wild life both on shore and in the water, with the Aialik Glacier being the highlight of the trip for me.  I took SO many photos, and I will share those, but the majesty of a calving glacier just has to be experienced!


Watching our wake behind us!


Can you believe this scenery?


Dall porpoises playing along side our boat!


And there it is—in the distance, the Aialik Glacier –and we are getting closer!

Watch the magic of this glacier in the slide show below. I wish it could have been video.  When a glacier calves and breaks off it is preceded by a huge cracking sound, and then a roar of thunder as the ice comes crashing down into the ocean. It’s an ice earthquake of huge magnitude.

And I am left wondering at the age of this ice that is now floating around us in the blue blue sea outside of Resurrection Bay.

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You’ll be taken to the photo album for viewing.

Aialik Glacier, Seward, AK 2015

Today I’m in Delta Junction, teaching a String Spider Web workshop for the Forget-me-knot quilters.

I’m so happy to be here, it’s been 4 years since I’ve been here with these ladies and it promises to be a good time, followed by a lecture and trunk show tonight.

Have an awesome Thursday, everyone!

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

Click Here to join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On the Streets of Florence!

If you happen to get lost, you can find a bronze map of how the city of Florence is laid out….amazing to think of centuries upon centuries of growth in this city.

And you are right, there is NO WAY to do Florence in a day.  It’s just not possible.

But it is perfect for a taste tester – a teaser, if you will – for the next time you come back, because you WILL want to come back!

We walked and walked and walked, and walked some more,and around every corner was another wonder to be seen.

I posted about the Cathedral already – but there is more!

Seward by Land

The bay was at its calmest early on Sunday morning.

What better thing to do than pack breakfast in the car, and drive out to the end of the road and see what nature has to say?

May comes as a gentle relief to this region that can be badly battered and beaten during the worst months of the winter.

This morning Seward put on its best beauty and brought peace to my soul.

As I walked the shore line I thought about what things might have been like here 100 years before.  Harsh and brutal – but filled with so much hope of providing a life and a livelihood to families who had come from all over to make this part of Alaska their home.


My favorite photo EVER!


The sun shines down on this old boat, permanently in dry dock.

((okay, I have to admit it – a certain song was going through my head with lyrics of “A Three Hour Tour, a Three Hour Tour….”))  But look at the beautiful view!


It was indeed a good morning in Seward, AK!


Gentle waves lapping at a lonely cove.


I left my footprints on the shores of Resurrection Bay.  And Seward left its footprints on my heart!


Can you beat this glory?

No, but you can add to it with this waterfall:

Still many other photos to come!  After this restful morning, we boarded a boat for a Kenai Fjords tour –6 hours discovering the wonders of the Fjords!

Yesterday our 12 hour train ride was fabulous, bringing us from Anchorage all the way to Fairbanks.

Today we move on down to Delta Junction where I’ll be meeting with the Forget-me-knot Quilters for  two days of workshops and a lecture.  Looking forward to seeing them again!

Will post when I can as wifi and time is available!

Much love from the land of the midnight sun – which is no lie, sun set at 11:30pm here last night and was up again by 4am!  Egad.

Click Here to like our Quiltville Friends Page on Facebook for more fun!

Click Here to join our sister group, Quiltville's Open Studio on Facebook, a place to Sew, Share & Grow!!