Quilting on a Cruise

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I was teaching on a quilt cruise and we were waiting for the fog to lift.

I need to get back to that post so you can see what it is like to take a “Quilting Cruise”.

We did have to wait for the fog to lift that day but we were off and catching up very soon.


My room mate for the cruise was my good friend Mary. She is a delight to be with and made my trip a pleasure. (Now she may not feel the same way because I did snore on this trip.) Here we are going through the line to board.


Once we boarded we went to our room to check it out and on to the dining room for a quick bite to eat. Then we went to bed so we would be fresh for the next day of fun. By the way when we got back to our room each night there was always a little towel animal waiting for us. Isn’t this little crab cute?


The cruise ships all have conference rooms just like hotels so that is where the classes are held. The sewing machines are provided by the shop and there are usually precut kits for all the classes, It is great, all you have to do is sew! The cruises I have taught on usually have three teachers and we have a great time. You can learn something different every day. 

To my great surprize one of my students on the first day was a student from some of the first classes I taught in Graham. She has moved to another area so it was great to see her. Another student was also a student on the very first cruise I taught on. Her husband comes along with her to enjoy the time at sea.

By the way we only have classes on the days we are at sea traveling to the next port.

 I was teaching with Cynthia England and Tricia Cribbs so the classes were all very different.

Breakfast and lunch are very casual and can be in one of several different areas…some buffet – some sit down and order. Dinner can be at a buffet or a specialty restaurant but Mary and I chose to eat in the main dining room every night. We were seated with fellow quilting cruisers so we could all get to know each other.

Our first port of call was Freeport, Bahamas. There were fun possibilities for excursions from swimming with dolphins to beach parties and glass bottom boat rides.

Mary and I took advantage of the free wifi in the village….along with the ship employees.


We were on to Nassau, Bahamas for the next day where Mary and I decided to stay on board and visit the spa for some pampering. Nothing beats a great facial and massage! We did get off to see a little bit of the village.


Our last port was Key West, Florida, one of my favorite places. We took a hop on hop off Conch Train ride. We wanted to see all of the island that we could. The lady in the center is one of the students Pat.

One of our stops was the southern most point of the United States. It is 90 miles to Cuba. We chose not go to Cuba. :)

We also saw the beginning of Highway 1.

We hopped off to visit Earnest Hemingway’s home. It is across the street from this light house. 

Such fun to see the rooms and furniture. There is a bed that has a headboard made from a wooden gate. It was beautiful! And it still has the hinges on it.

The house is home to cats that are direct decendants of Hemingway’s cats. Actually there are 45 cats at the present.  There are cats on couches and beds and outside and inside. What a life they have!!!

Half of them have six toes like the original cat.

We had a wonderful dinner on board ship that night and everyone talked about their adventures for the day.

We had a little party and some great prizes were won by all! My friend Mary won a great quilt to remember the cruise. 

Here she is with the quilt and quilt-maker Jackie.

We had one more day of classes before arriving back in Galveston and back to reality! 

Here are some of the Labyrinth quilt tops made in my class.

I hope some of you might join me on my next teaching cruise with Stitchin Heaven Travel. 

We are going on a fall foliage cruise to New England & Canada in September 2014. 

I will be teaching with Debbie Caffrey and Deb Gabel. 

Check it out here.

Stitchin Heaven Travel



Fat Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday…..that means lots of your favorite quilt shops will have fat quarters of fabric on SALE. You really must stock up and start making great quilts! My Carpenter’s Star pattern is perfect! Just look at what you can do with 8 Fat Quarters and 3 1/2 yards of background/border fabric.


If you need a little help arranging the fabrics, here are a few hints.
Arrange the fat quarters in a circle with about the same amount of each fabric showing. Look at the fabrics through a reducing glass, camera lens or just squint your eyes. I use a peep hole insert from the hardware store. If something looks too light or dark or wrong in any way just rearrange the fat quarters.


Once you have the fat quarters arranged in a pleasing manner, open the circle in any place. Number the fabrics 1 – 8 and make the sample page for the pattern.



Follow the pattern instructions to make the center of the quilt. On this sample quilt I made the scrappy border 1/2 the size called for, left off the small border and used the same background fabric for the outside border.
My quilter, JoLynn Oneil quilted it with very modern designs.

I love it! You can get the pattern here

Share this blog with all your friends who love fat quarters!

Very Special Opportunity

A Very Special Opportunity is coming in April 2014

I will be teaching a week long class at the wonderful

John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.

John C CampbellI taught there a couple of years ago and it was a delightful experience.

The atmosphere is calm and relaxing.


The food is great, especially since you do not have to do anything

except show up at meal time. The other teachers and staff were

wonderful to work with and there is something for everyone. You can

join in other activities that are offered or just work on what you are

learning in the class.

They offer morning walks, morning song, dancing, concerts and many

other optional activities.

This class opportunity is special because I am offering to teach any of

my patterns. You can choose any workshop you want to work on and I

will help all along the way.

Photo for JC Campbell copyYou are not limited to just one quilt. We will have a week together so

you can soak up all that I can offer. We can make a pattern larger,

smaller, adjust borders, add special borders…..what ever you can come

up with, we will work on it. These classes are for all skill levels -

beginner to experienced.

I am even going to offer to help you work with silk if you want.

I usually do not mix my Road to Success with Silk class with other

classes but this is a whole week and we can have extra fun!

Here is one example of a silk table runner.

John C Campbell
If you have a spouse/friend that wants to come with you and is not a

quilter, that is not a problem. There are so many classes offered they

will certainly have an opportunity to learn something new or they can

come and just relax for the week. There is an option for room and board

without taking a class.

Grab a friend, spouse or just yourself and come to North Carolina!

The class I am offering is described here

No Diamonds/ No “Y” Seams.

You can register here

John C Campbell Registration

Read all about the school here

John C. Campbell Folk School

Email me if you have any questions about the school or the class.

Please plan

on coming to North Carolina

Sunday April 6 – Friday April 11, 2014

to join me in a week of quilting fun!

If you can’t meet me in North Carolina in April

be sure to check out my itinerary

to see other opportunities to join me for a class or lecture.

I have lectures and workshops scheduled all around the country.

August will

take me to Canada to teach for

Around the Block Quilt Shop in Beaverlodge, Alberta.

September brings a cruise to New England and Canada for

Stitchin Heaven Travel. If you have always wanted to cruise the

northeast in the fall, sign up and come with us for a fun filled time!

It is the Debutante Cruise because it is Debbie Maddy, Debbie Caffrey,

Deb Gabel and it is hosted by Deb Luttrell – what a hoot!

If I will be near your shop or group contact me and maybe we can add a

class and lecture to my trip….saves everyone some travel expenses!

I hope to see many of you in the coming year.





Modern Art Pattern cover quilt

I am getting phone calls asking about the fabric I used for my Modern Art Pattern cover quilt, so I decided to give you the information so you can shop at your local quilt shop!

The fabric is from a very new line from Moda Fabrics. It is called “Little Black Dress 2″

I fell in love with it the first time I saw the samples! In fact I used it in two samples for two different patterns presented at fall quilt market.

The Modern Art Pattern cover quilt is a twin using five fabrics for the center.

Modern Art cover 2 final web copy 2

Fabric A 3/4 yd   Black 30354 16null-1 Fabric B 3/4 yd   Black 30359 18null-2 Fabric C 3/4 yd   Black 30352 13null-3 Fabric D 3/4 yd   Black 30351 16null-5 Fabric E 5/8 yd   Ivory    30351 11null-4 First Border 7/8 yd   Black 30150 19null Outside Border 2 1/8 yds  Black 30354 16null-1 copy

I used Black 30150 19 for the binding to finish it off.

The pattern is available at your local quilt shops or if you can’t find it there you can order here Calico Carriage Quilt Designs

You can make this quilt your own by choosing other fabulous fabrics, don’t feel like you have to copy the cover quilt.

I also used one Little Black Dress 2 Layer Cake to make a 16″ X 80″ runner using my

Hunter’s Star Simplified pattern.

Hunter's Star runner LBD copy

Prayer quilts

I started a prayer quilt ministry at my church and have posted photos of the quilts on Facebook.
I have had lots of interest in the process so I decided to post here about how we make the quilts.
First I cut batting squares at 6 1/2″.

I bought an accuquilt die cutter that we use to cut 8 1/2″ squares of the front and back fabrics. These squares have fringe precut all the way around.

We make a “sandwich” with the back – batting – front.

Next we sew an X across the squares.

The squares are sewn into rows and the rows sewn together with the fringe pointing out on the right side.

The quilt is washed and dried to make the fringe bloom. A yarn tie is put in each square.

The yarn is left hanging free with no knots.
A label with the persons name is sewn on the back.


After the quilts are blessed in Sunday worship the congregation is invited to say a prayer for the person and tie a knot with a set of threads. When the person receives the quilt they know every knot represents a prayer that was said for them.
This past Sunday we had two prayer quilts….one for a young woman battling breast cancer and one for a young soldier deployed defending our country.


If you are interested in finding out more about the prayer quilt ministry go to Prayers and Squares.
Or check out the Fabric of Faith book.

Paris: Visiting Père Lachaise Cemetery

Trevor visited Pere Lachise Cemetery which is reputed to be the world’s most visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

 Here is Jim Morrison’s grave. He was the American singer and songwriter with The Doors, author, and poet.

Here is the tomb of Gioachino Rossini – Italian composer. In 1887, Rossini’s remains were moved back to Florence, but the crypt that once housed them (now dedicated to his memory) still stands in Perè Lachaise.

Here is Frédéric Chopin – Polish composer. His heart is entombed within a pillar at the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.

Dominique Vivant, Baron de Denon – French artist, writer, diplomat and archaeologist. Located close to Chopin’s grave

Here are two more.

 Click here to learn more about the  Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Paris Day Five Night: La Sainte-Chapelle

We toured La Sainte-Chapelle which is located in the heart of Paris. Building on it started around 1239 and finished on the 26th of April 1248. Nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic as they were taken down and stored during the French Revolution.

Here’s David shortly before the concert started. The music was wonderful!


Here’s a link to learn more about La Sainte-Chapelle