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Clear Creek Shimmer by Dana Jones

New Life in the Heat of the Summer

Today was a relaxed day spent catching up with my sister while enjoying the colors, the shapes, the richness of her massive garden right after her area's first drenching rain in weeks. Like that rain refreshed her parched flowers, trees, and fruits and vegetables, it refreshed my soul after a personally tough year and a half. I offer this blog as a thank you to all of you who have been there for me. A few of you have known my struggle as my now ex-husband surprised me with divorce papers on my 70th birthday in April 2022. The day in court has come and gone. I'm able to stay in my home — read quilt studio with a few bedrooms and kitchen — and able to keep my beloved high-maintenance BFF, Emma, who some of you know and others will learn is my 18-foot Rpod travel trailer. I bring her on many of my teaching and speaking gigs. She's my home away from home.

Even as I've faced personal struggle and change, you have been there signing up for my workshops, inviting me to speak to your guilds, sharing your amazing quilt creations with me, and lifting me up so often and so well, intentionally at times and often just because you are who you are, my fellow travelers in the quilt world. Going forward, my life will be different than it has been the past 26 years. It will be good. In many ways it will be a new life, and it will be significantly centered in quilting.

Those of you who have known me for a while, know I'm not a hugger. That said, I wold give each of you a hug if you were here in person. I so appreciate you and the beauty you bring to our world and to my life with your quilts. We are sisters and brothers in a special way. Together we create joy, comfort and care. We speak out about what matters most to us through our art. I celebrate each of you and cherish our connection. Please join me as I begin this new life in the heat of the summer. May the quilt above, Clear Creek Shimmer, bring you a touch of the coolness of this summer from my home in the Rockies. The design was inspired by my commute from my home to Golden, Colorado, when I worked for Quilters Newsletter magazine. It's made from one of Northcott's earliest Stonehenge collections. It was a UFO for too long but has now been beautifully quilted by Rita Meyerhoff and bound by me. May its sparkle and shimmer and cool colors refresh you.

On the Road

I write as I'm on the road from my home in Colorado en route to Stitch Fest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I'll teaching two classes next week:

  • Demystifying Design for Foundation Paper Piecing, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 2

  • Finding Your Color Sense, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 3

There's still some room in these classes if you'll be in the area. And there are other great classes and teachers, including my fellow Coloradans Lea McComas and David Taylor.

To register, check out the Stitch Fest website.

I had the opportunity to teach at Stitch Fest in Milwaukee earlier this year. These folks know how to put on a show. They have experience in the beading and knitting/crocheting worlds and promise great learning opportunities to all of us in the quilt world. Help them get these shows going strong. Janome is providing machines for all the quilting and sewing classes at these events. These are great machines, and the Janome reps are knowledgeable and helpful.

More Blog Posts to Come

I'll be blogging more soon so check back in from time to time over the next few weeks. I've got some new classes coming up via Zoom, so I'll be sharing those soon.

Happy Stitching!



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I made a quick stop in Winslow, Arizona, at the Standin' on the Corner Park en route from my home in Colorado to the Los Angeles area. Love that flatbed Ford.

Titling this blog post became a challenge. So many choices:

  • Take It Easy

  • Standin' on the Corner

  • Don't Even Try to Understand

  • Running Down the Road Tryin' to Loosen My Load

  • Don't Let the Sound of Your Own Wheels Drive You Crazy

So many iconic and thought provoking words from one song. The Eagles' "Take It Easy" is definitely my current earworm — a catchy and/or memorable piece of music or saying that continuously occupies a person's mind even after it is no longer being played or spoken about. Unlike some earworms, this was a welcome one as it accompanied me on the final legs of my drive from my home in Colorado to the LosAngeles area where I'm speaking and teaching this week. It's still running through my mind, and that's okay by me.

Heading out from my Colorado mountain home early in the morning.

Snow delayed my departure from home by two days squeezing a leisurely four-day drive to Anaheim, California, into a two-day marathon of driving endurance. Instead of heading west across Colorado, I went south into New Mexico and across Arizona, adding 100 miles to the trip but avoiding mountains in the snow. In re-routing, I had to find a new overnight stop. Winslow, Arizona, was about the right distance. Winslow, Arizona. Why did this sound so familiar? Pretty soon I was singing. It is surprising what is stored in our brains.

A Google search came up with 66 Motel in Holbrook, Arizona. As many of you likely know, I-40 parallels much of the path of historic Route 66. Holbrook is about 30 miles east of Winslow, a good stopping point for making for an early morning visit to Winslow the next day.

In Winslow, I met Canadian Louis "The Beamer," who was making yet another motorcycle trek down Route 66. He's been to Winslow so often they've honored him in a brick at the park. Meeting interesting people makes driving cross country fun. Soon a mother and daughter from Montreal showed up and insisted they take my picture with the red flatbed Ford. By the time I was heading out, the park was crowded.

A pocket park in Winslow, Arizona, draws hundreds of visitors who are entranced by the idea of taking it easy.

Back on the road, the Eagles' lyrics sustained me through several hours of navigating LA freeways with Emma, my 18-foot travel trailer, riding along behind.

Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds Meet the Teachers

Kudos to the Southern California Council of Quilt Guilds (SCCQG) for another great Meet the Teachers virtual event this weekend. I'm in California this week to speak and teach because of this event a year ago. The council's members are guilds from throughout southern California plus a few from neighboring states. Each teacher is given three minutes to present her or his lecture and workshop offerings. When everyone has presented, each teacher has a breakout room. Guild reps stop by the breakout rooms to meet the teachers one on one. I had great conversations with guild program chairs and presidents and look forward to more gigs with the fun guilds from this part of the country.

I think this model of introducing guilds and speakers/teachers is excellent. The SCCQG leaders do a seamless job pf pulling off an event with many moving parts.

Emma Knows: This Camper Stops at Quilt Shops

I love a great notions wall, and Alamosa Quilt Company doesn't disappoint.

In my need to drive 600-plus miles a day to get to California in two days, I didn't plan any quilt shop stops. Emma had different plans. Seemingly on auto pilot, she steered me into a parking lot at a mall in Alamosa, Colorado, when I needed to stop to check my route. She had me park right outside Alamosa Quilt Company, a shop I've visited twice before. The selection of fabric and all things quilting is excellent, and the staff is warm and welcoming. Put this shop on your bucket list. It's not far from Great Sands Dune National Park.

Fabric and thread selections at Alamosa Quilt Company

A Few More Sites From the Road

The drive into Buena Vista is stunning. I caught my breath and reminded myself, this is where I live.

As a child, I was fascinated the first time my family traveled West and my father explained the Continental Divide. I remain fascinated by this phenomenon. Where I live, I look out at the mountains we refer to as the Divide View. Homes with this view are considered desirable real estate. I passed this marker in western Arizona.

Welcome to California. I thought the gas price in Colorado was steep. I did find gas here in Anaheim yesterday for $4.99 a gallon. Surprising when that seems a good deal.

I'll be sharing more from here in California as my time allows. So check back to my blog from time to time this week.

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Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima made by Sally Wright in Cherrywood Fabrics. Sally took my class at International Quilt Festival in Houston last fall.

I continue my week of unabashed self promotion with this about my open-enrollment Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima class.

After seeing my quilt design as made by Sally Wright featured for a month on a prominent Foundation Paper Piecing Facebook page, I decided it was time to offer another Zoom session of this class. Toward that end, I've scheduled two sessions in an effort to provide times for those who can do weekdays and those who need evenings because of work schedules.

Both sessions will meet Thursdays, April 27 and May 4. The first session will be from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MDT (noon-3 p.m. EDT, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. CDT, 9 a.m.-noon PDT). The second session will be from 4-7 p.m. MDT (6-9 p.m. EDT, 5-8 p.m. CDT, 3-6 p.m. PDT).

If you've always wanted to make this quilt, sign up now. You'll need to scroll down a bit to find this class. Hope to see you in class!

BTW: The pattern and a packet of resources to help you make this quilt are included in the registration, a savings of close to $20 when you add the postage to ship this to you.

This happy crowd at Everyday Quilting in Urbana, Illinois, shows off their work in the Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima class

More Illinois Road Trip Images.

A visit to Central Illinois means time with my "older" sister. She's all of 18 months my senior but that gives her wise sage status in my book. Her first love is gardening. The rich soil of Central Illinois makes this an enticing endeavor, and she's really good at growing things. I shared photos of her mid-summer flowers in a blog post last summer. Photos from this trip hint the promise of blooms galore to come. She has recently begun quilting, which I'm celebrating and encouraging.

At left and below, my sister's garden waking up

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