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"Out on a Limb," designed for foundation paper piecing from a photo then pieced by Dana Jones; quilted by Rita Meyerhoff.

As I began my drive to Houston for Quilt Market and the International Quilt Festival today, I found myself singing Carly Simon's "Anticipation," making up some of the words. I sang:

"We can never know about the days to come

But we think about them anyway.

And I wonder if I'm really teaching in Houston

Or just chasin' after some finer day."

"Anticipation, anticipation

Is makin' me late,

Is keepin' me waitin'...

..."These are the good old days...."

I'm still pinching myself to fully believe I'm teaching and speaking for the first time at International Quilt Festival. As I drove today, I remembered telling myself soon after I started quilting that some day I'd teach at such events. How hard could teaching be? I thought. Never mind that I was a beginning quilter. I'd attended two quilt shows where I took classes with national/ international teachers and was convinced I could teach such classes. Little did I know the hard work it would take to do that. I had to learn to quilt then I had to find shop owners who believed I could teach. Thanks to Colleen Nunes, former owner of Quilters Crossing in West Nyack, New York, I got my first teaching gigs. It was fun but it was also hard work. Houston became more and more a pipe dream.

Then COVID hit. Those of us ready to teach and speak via Zoom were suddenly in demand. I became part of the Global Quilt Connection, a group of about 200 quilt teachers and speakers organized by the amazing Lyric Kinard, Sue Bleiweiss and Mel Beach. The requests to speak and teach multiplied. I got the courage to apply to teach and speak in Houston. The Quilt Goddess of all good things in the quilt world smiled on me when a number of my proposals for Houston were accepted.

"Peace Cranes Over Hiroshima" designed and pieced by Dana Jones

Next week I'll teach three classes and give two lectures. The classes will all be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.. There are still openings in the classes. Registrations will be taken right up to class time if openings remain. I should would love to see you in class. Here's what I'm teaching:

I'll present two lectures:

  • "The International Honor Quilt: Women Remembering Women," 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, November 2 (No. 359)

  • "Indigo, Taupe and More: Japanese Fabric from Vintage to Contemporary," 10-11 a.m. Saturday, November 4 (No. 751)

I hope if you're in Houston, we can connect. So many of you I've only met online during Zoom classes. It would be amazing to meet in person.

'Tis the Season

"Solstice Forest," created by Dana Jones

If you're in need of a last minute holiday gift, a hostess gift or a decoration for your home, I'm offering three classes in early December that may fit the bill. These are quick and easy projects you can whip up before you know it. You can customize them to the holidays you celebrate with your fabric choices.

These four-hour classes are just $40 each or all three for $100, a savings of $20. You'll find information on the classes on my website. Just go to my home page and scroll down to find descriptions of each class and links to register.

I can't think of a better way to kick off this holiday season than to be with you in any and all of these classes.

"Prancing Around," created by Dana Jones

Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Canyon, Texas, a bit south of Amarillo. Photo by Dana Jones.

The first leg of my trip to Houston was from my home in Gilpin County, Colorado, to a campsite at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas. This is my fourth or fifth time staying in this wonderful park. Entering after dark is an experience. A sign that indicates the road is a 10 percent downhill grade is just before the one that features the image of multiple S curves and words that read 15 mph. The descent into the canyon — beautiful in the daylight — is an adventure after dark. Emma, my 18-foot Rpod camper, is a real trooper. While she'd like to have pushed us down the canyon faster, she responded well to my gentle braking.

I quickly leveled Emma side to side then hooked up the electricity and water. Her propane-powered heater quickly took the chill out of her. A cozy sleep under a down comforter awaits when I complete this blog. I always get a good night's rest in Emma, my high maintenance BFF.

Tomorrow I head to San Antonio then on to Houston first thing the next day. Yes, it's real. I'm teaching and speaking in Houston. I sure hope I'll see many of you there. You've got my schedule so you'll know where to find me. You can also text me at 720-654-8430 to we can find a time to meet up.

I'll be blogging from the road from now through November 8 as my time and energy allow so check out this page from time to time to find out how Emma and I are doing. I'll send periodic emails but don't want to bug you every time there's a new blog post.

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Jaki, one of three charming staff people who greeted me at Quilt Winks shop in Amarillo, Texas, today, models the skirt she designed and made using 2.5-inch strips and a 10° wedge ruler. Find out more about this talented woman on her Facebook page. Don't miss the block keeper she designed. Just scroll down on her page to see it. She's working on publishing the pattern for it.

I visited this shop after I stopped at Amarillo's Bernina dealer. See more on that below. When I put the address for Quilt Winks into my GPS, it said it was .03 miles away then said I was there. Huh? I was at The Sewing Nook.

I called Quilt Winks to find out where they're located. Turns out they are across the street from The Sewing Nook. What could be better than having the Bernina dealer and quilt shop walking distance apart?

Jaki of Jaki Made

Members of Friendship Quilting Guild of Perryton, Texas, shop hopping

Jaki wanted to be sure I met members of the Friendship Quilting Guild of Perryton, Texas, who were visiting the shop. One of the guild's meetings each year is a mini shop hop. Quilt Winks was their second shop; they had one more to go before heading home. Jaki decided I should take a group picture. The ladies, who had no idea who I was, were good sports, just what you'd expect from quilters. I think I can say a good time was had by all.

Bernina — aka The Sewing Nook — to the Rescue

The Sewing Nook in Amarillo, Texas

I was thrilled to learn Amarillo has a Bernina dealer since I managed to get on the road with only my ditch stitching foot for my travel machine. Once I found the foot I needed, which will now live in the travel bag, I had a look around the rest of the shop. They asked I be sure to tell you the empty shelves were because they are rearranging to make space for new fabric. Then they pointed me to the storage room, which was full of gorgeous bolts.

It will seem a small thing but I was delighted to find they had two large spools of my favorite piecing thread: Mettler 412, which used to be 725. I haven't been able to find this color for quite a few years. I hope this means Mettler is bringing it back.

The delightful staff at the shop promised to see if they can order more and will let me know. The owner wasn't there because she was en route to Uvalde with quilts donated by her customers. Quilters are so consistently compassionate in times of crisis and pain.

Wondering about the photo at the right? Quilt shops always have the best restrooms, one more reason to plan stops at them when traveling. Welcoming comfort room at The Sewing Nook

Deer at Foss State Park near Foss, Oklahoma

Oklahoma: OK!

Foss State Park is billed as the place where the deer and the buffalo roam. The song actually says the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play but close enough. I didn't see buffalo, although I did overnight in the Buffalo Bend Campground. The deer, however, showed up after dinner. There were at least a dozen, including a number of young ones. Despite high temperatures — 100° when I arrived mid-afternoon — it was a pleasant campsite for a great night's rest.

Because I got in earlier than usual and it was too hot to hike, I decided to stitch. Emma (my 18-foot Rpod camper) may be tiny but she has room for me to sew. I find foundation piecing suits her tight confines. I replaced the table that came with her with a portable sewing table that I know will support my travel machine. The kitchen counter doubles as my cutting and pressing area.

View of Palo Duro Canyon from my campsite

The Canyon Was Calling

Texas has some great state parks. One of my favorites is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, about 30 minutes south of Amarillo. If like me, you thought the Texas Panhandle was flat and dry to the point of mirage making, you wouldn't be wrong about much of the terrain. But then this stunning canyon appears. It gets prettier and prettier as you wind your way down the steep road — 10° downhill grade at one point — to the campgrounds.

The sites have water and electric and reasonably level paved pads. The shaded picnic tables at each site make it possible to enjoy a least a bit of time outside even when it's as hot as it is today (99°). This is often my stop en route to Houston for the International Quilt Festival. The 10-mile drive off the highway isn't much when the beauty of this place awaits you.

National Quilt Museum Flashback

I promised to post a few more photos from my visit to the National Quilt Museum earlier this week. So here goes.

"Pattern Fusion No. 18, Motherboard 9," 2018 by Arturo Alonzo Sandoval of Lexington, Kentucky

"Sonnet 30" by Roxi Kringle of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, won third place in the museum's 2022 New Quilt from an Old Favorite competition. The theme was William Shakespeare and each quilt had to feature a traditional block pattern. Roxi chose rail fence blocks. Words from the sonnet are quilted onto the surface. This is one of those quilts that grew on me as I studied it.

"Beyond Boundaries" was Dr. Lesley Phillips' entry into the museum's 2021 Block of the Month Club. Lesley is from Devon in the United Kingdom. I love fabric with type on it, probably the reason I was drawn to this quilt. Each block was designed for the museum by a known quilt designer. Each maker put her, his or their spin on the blocks.

Last Leg Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow begins the last leg of my road trip as I head to Belen, New Mexico, for a weekend of celebrating Judy Chicago's art before turning north to my Colorado mountain home next Monday.

I'll deliver my lecture on the quilts and quiltmakers of Caohagan Island from the road this Friday as part of the Virtual Quilt Festival hosted by Quilts, Inc. Looking forward to that opportunity.

Happy Stitching!

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"Mountain Chapel" by Annette Kennedy, Longmont, Colorado, 2008

As I wandered through the galleries at the National Quilt Museum on Sunday, I was drawn to "Mountain Chapel" by Annette Kennedy. It was inspired by St. Catherine's Chapel in Allenspark, Colorado, which is just up the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway from where I live. No wonder it grabbed my attention. Each time I drive to Estes Park to teach at the Stitchin' Den or hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, I pass this lovely structure, which appears to emerge from the rock beneath it.

Fabulous Freeform table runner by Dana Jones.

Time to Sign Up

Speaking of the Stitchin' Den, I'll be teaching there later this month, and there are still a few spaces for you to register. My "Fabulous Freeform" class will be offered in-person and on Zoom simultaneously. It will meet from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time Friday, June 24. Kits of the Warehouse District fabric designed by Lesley Tucker Jenison that I used are available from the shop. Register now.

At left, "Making A Point" by Diane Firth. At right, "Blown by the Wind," also by Diane Firth.

Quilts from Down Under

Among the exhibitions at the National Quilt Museum was "Australia Wide Seven" by the ozquilt network. These small quilts were impressive. I especially liked the two above by Diane Firth.

"Blue Grass" by Carolyn Sullivan was lovely. The texture of her hand stitching to create the grass seeds made it appear you could slip them off the stalks to plant. It seemed only fitting to enjoy this quilt after a day of driving through rural Kentucky where references to blue grass are everywhere. In Colorado where I live, many of us don't think much of folks using precious water to have blue-grass lawns, but where the earth is lush and green, the blue grass is wonderful as is this depiction of blue grass Australian-style.

"Blue Grass" by Carolyn Sullivan

In For The Night

After a pleasant 400-mile drive from Paducah across Missouri into Oklahoma — all on Highway 60 through the Ozarks — Emma and I are settled in at the Twin Bridges Area at Grand Lake State Park in northeastern Oklahoma. Tomorrow we'll head across Oklahoma. And tomorrow I hope to share a few more photos from the National Quilt Museum. It's really great they now let you take photos. Just no flash.

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