Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas one and All!

It's December 24th, and I hope this finds you enjoying the spirit of the season! Christmas is progressing on schedule here, and I'm off to get the Christmas roast now.  In the meantime, I thought that you'd all enjoy a cat-s perspective...

Athough if you had described me before last Thursday night if I was an applique person, I'd have asked you how big you wanted that lump of coal to be, I completely LOVED my class with Elly Sienkiewiz last week. If you are going to learn a technique, it's always best to learn from the woman who pioneered it.  She demystified the dreaded needle turn applique (something that's intimidated me for years...never saw myself as on of those people) in a class that was FUN, entertaining, enlightening - a perfect time out for me in the run up to Christmas.
That second picture is Elly, her granddaughter (and namesake Elly) who took the class, Sue Chiappini (who owns Twill, the great new downtown store that hosted the event) and Wanda Makela, who owns Bunkhouse Quilts in Lyndeboro...I'm sorry I don't know the woman in the pink vest - but she had as much fun as the rest of us. Not pictured is Sarah Glenfield, my applique buddy - if you're taking someone as shotgun, take the best!
Here's Elly explaining something from one of her original books, written almost 30 years ago - that block was drafted by her in celebration of the Industrial Revolution.
Well, I'm off to get the shopping done before things gets nuts - but I definitely have some updating to do for my "Ten Quilter's you Should Know" lecture - since Elly is on the list.  This wrapped up what has turned out to be an unbelievable year for me, and I can't wait to tell you more. Soon!
Best wishes to all this Holiday Season...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December's Grace

Good morning to all.  Like many of you, I'm wondering where December went - amongst deadlines, shopping, gathering with friends, renovation decisions - I blinked and it's December 20th. Like many, I stopped to watch the news from Newtown Ct last week, and have found myself thinking about the losses at odd times. I saw a 6 year old in the market this week and wanted to hug him - and saw the look of understanding in his Mom's face. I watched a commercial about a dad talking about the best burger he ever had - right after his son's game. And I thought about all the milestones never to come for those that have gone (and their families), and it made me cry.

Then I started listening to the interviews with the parents of some of the littlest victims - and I found their grace inspiring. Emilie Parker's dad talking about his last morning with her, and Grace McDonnell's mom talking about how they colored her casket with sharpies because she was full of color and life.  I am in awe of their strength and their grace.  Their children were lucky to have picked them as parents. I have a feeling that I'll be taking them into my heart as I move forward about my regular day - and hope that I can become a little more patient, a little more tolerant of others. I believe that's what we need.

Today, I get to do something that is totally outside my comfort zone - I'm taking an applique class with Ellie Sienkiewicz - something I never thought I'd be able to say. More later...

Friday, December 7, 2012



Happy Friday! I have a very special edition of my One Quilting Circle blog today (which is either really late or really early) to share with you. How often these days do you find TWO (count 'em) new quilt shops in the area?  Well, I have - and I've got some information about exciting new events coming up that I want to share with you. Hopefully, you'll share the news with others...

The first brand new shop is Twill, which is at 100 Main St in downtown Nashua NH.

Twill's new owners (Sandy and Sue) are taking over  a retail space previously occupied by a yarn shop, and expanding it to include quilters and sewists. I was there yesterday (having heard about it from one other LQS and 2 different guilds), and I wish I'd had more time to soak in the atmosphere. It has a welcoming couch which just beckons you to make some tea and pull out some knitting.  Mind you, I don't knit - but I just want to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

That atmosphere is likely to become more energized when Sandy and Sue host quilting legend Elly Sienkiewicz for a tea and a special class. Yes, you read the name right! One of my Ten Women You Should Know legends is coming to my home town on Thursday, December 20th from 6:30 to 9:30PM, with a Tea and Book signing from 4:00 to 5:00.  I am very excited to be one of the lucky ones who has a ticket to the event, and I am so looking forward to it.

For more information about this special event (and others), please contact either Sandy or Sue at 603-718-1454.  Twill's website is

But wait, there's more...

A few miles down the road from Twill, in Amherst NH we have the other new shop in the Area, Quilting Away.  Bette Belanger's dream of opening a shop was realized last Summer, and I often find a warm smile waiting for me when I drop by. 

Quilting Away has a Nolting Longarm Fun Quilter 17 available for rent once you've taken a class with Bette to find out about proper operation.  I havne't tried it yet, but I have watched when others have worked with it.

Quilting Away has generously offered to host my next event on Sunday Afternoon, January 6th from 2 to 4. The Patchwork Pearl is once again hosting  A Downton Abbey Quilt Challenge - but Challenge II will be based on inspiration you find from the Downton Costumes.  Join me and Bette at the shop for refreshments, trivia, give aways and all kinds of Downton excitement. That's the day that the show premiere's the third season in the US, and we'll need something to keep up occupied!

Quilting Away's phone number is 603-721-2356, and their website is