Japan Trip-fabric dyeing workshop

We stumbled across a unique, not to be missed, opportunity to go to Japan and take a ten day workshop in 8th century Japanese textile dyeing techniques. Once we were vetted as suitable  and serious candidates, we were able to receive our homework assignments and make the arrangements for the trip.


First thing to do after clearing security was to convert dollars to yen. Gotta have spending money.

We landed at Narita Airport and took a train to Shinjuku provence, Tokyo where we spent the first night


Accommodations were a bit tight but we were so tired after a 12 1/2 hour flight and another 1 1/2 hour train ride, we did not really care. We discovered how helpful and polite the Japanese are when a gentleman guided us through the maze of buying train tickets, boarding the correct train and getting off at the proper station. We ended up going to bed and sleeping from around 4:30 pm until the next morning.

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The hotel served a breakfast buffet the next morning and as nothing was labeled, we just guessed at items and selected randomly. It really did not matter as we were on an “adventure” and open to all experiences, including the culinary ones. We could not tell you what we ate; some items we liked and others we did not, but at least we had breakfast before we packed up and headed to the next hotel, closer to where Bryan would pick us up.

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One the way to find a cab, we saw this wonderful old wood door on an old house.


The cabs were immaculate with the seats covered in lace antimaccasars and the drivers were dressed in suits, white shirts and ties. we noticed the cleaning rags on a rope in the trunk when he loaded our luggage. We knew for sure this was not Dallas or New York.

Later that day we explored Takishimaya and Hand department stores and the National garden where the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Look for the next posting.

By the way this is David, my cohort in all things adventurous and related to my travels. He is my right hand man and a very good travel companion. We both love travel, eating, indigo dyeing and meeting wonderful new friends. He will be helping me write this blog. He loves the photography and the writing process as much as I do.

Until next time

Debbie and David

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A relaxing morning at the Modesto California farmers’ market

We had a day off between lectures and workshops and were told about the block long farmers’ market in downtown Modesto. Once there, we discovered the variety of homegrown veggies, fruits, nuts and locally produced cheese, breads and meats.

One vendor was selling the flowers grown on their local farm. There is certainly nothing like these in our Texas yard.




There were several varieties of heirloom tomatoes at one vendor. We are so glad farmers (and individuals) are growing these great items again.


There was a great selection of healthy looking vegetables of all sorts. Wishing we had a kitchen handy so we could take advantage.


There was also the opportunity for less healthy snacks like the bacon on a stick. This young man was staying busy while we were there.

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We finally succumbed to the breakfast “blt”; french toast with bacon, lettuce and tomato.

IMG_5077We noticed their large charcoal grill where they were cooking chicken and ham for sandwiches and quesadillas. We were really tempted by the great looking ham.


It is a pleasure to discover these small events that represent a return to simpler times and healthier eating (mostly healthier).

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My trip to Japan is getting closer

David and I are very excited about going to Japan to study with Bryan Whitehead at his Japanese Textile Workshops. http://japanesetextileworkshops.blogspot.com

This is the view from his studio.

Japanese textile outside studioOur trip is fast approaching and we received a package in the mail with our homework assignments.

We love the stamps on the box and plan to do something fun with them.

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What was inside the box was all of our homework for the adventure.

We have tons of stitching to do before we go. That way we can have more time in the indigo and get to sleep! We have fabrics to stitch in two different techniques and stencils to cut from very special paper.


This is one piece of fabric that we take a stitch in every other dot.


It is fun seeing the notions we use with all the Japanese writing. IMG_3526 IMG_3525 IMG_3524

I will keep you updated on our progress. We leave for Japan in about two weeks!!!!

Be sure to follow me on this unbelievable journey.


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Indigo Fun as a thank you!

I have some very special people to thank for helping me accomplish a very large goal.

I can not reveal what the actual goal was but I want to show you the fun I had getting the “Thank You” items ready.

Even though I had not been dyeing for some time due to so many other things getting in the way, I decided I could get the indigo vat ready, scrunch, tie, clamp and sew some scarves to dye!!!

First I had to get the vat ready.


It was awesome.

Then I did my magic with the fabrics.

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This scarf was folded and then wrapped around a pole.


Then it was dip it in the indigo time!                                                                                              My favorite time because that is where the real magic happens.                                              The real fun is when you start unwrapping and removing the strings.


This is the really cool results.


David helped and we did a big bunch of scarves. IMG_3484 IMG_3483 IMG_3486 IMG_3485 IMG_3480 IMG_3479 IMG_3478 IMG_3477 IMG_3476 IMG_3500 IMG_3499 IMG_3493

I neutralized washed and dried this beautiful bundle of blue!!!


Now all I need to do is press and ship to my very special “friends”.

I love giving gifts that are a part of me.


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Georgia Adventure Part Two “A Scarlet Thread”

I love the name of this quilt shop. A Scarlet Thread – doesn’t that sound wonderful? The shop is in McDonough, Georgia. (Atlanta)

The beautiful lady with me is Karen Taylor, she is the owner of the shop. Karen is truly a southern lady with a passion for quilting and her shop shows it.
IMG_0123I had been looking for a kit to make this tuffet pincushion to go with my Tuffet from my class at Creations in Kerrville, Texas. Isn’t it the cutest thing??? I can’t wait to make mine.

IMG_0139They had kits and samples everywhere. I love these bags.IMG_0138Fabulous quilts are hanging in the front of their classroom area. The shop is in the middle of a big remodel.
IMG_0136 Bolt after bolt of fabrics…..a quilter’s dream.IMG_0135 IMG_0126




They had all kinds of gift items by the register. Like candy at the grocery but more fun for quilters.

IMG_0134 Great little embroidery patterns were scattered around the store.IMG_0133

This is another pincushion pattern and kit.IMG_0132I love love love this bicycle quilt!!!

This is double gauze fabric for making swaddling blankets for new babies. It is so sweet.IMG_0129 Little stuffed animal samples were watching us.IMG_0128I also got to talk with Melisa Morrison. Melisa is the new “events and education manager” for the shop. Fun things are going to be happening at the shop!!
IMG_0124 Along side all the fabrics you will find Bernina sewing machines.IMG_0137It was a fun trip and after a yummy lunch we arrived back at Paula’s house to find Prissy having a rest in her comfy little bed.

This is me with Sarah and Paula, my two new friends. I love my travels.JPEG image-49B49D96823F-1

Be sure to leave comments and share my blog with your friends. My next give away is coming SOON.

You must read all the blog posts to the end to find out if you have won anything.



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My Georgia Adventure Part One

I am on another wonderful quilting adventure. I packed my car and headed out. This little picture shows my car loaded with six suitcases of quilts for my trunk show/lecture and all my teaching supplies for three workshops. Georgia here I come.IMG_0019The first day I traveled through Louisiana and Mississippi. On the second day I went through Alabama and finally into Georgia.IMG_0002

IMG_0089In Georgia I met my hostess Paula Miller. She has a beautiful home and my accommodations were first class. This is the beautiful bed in my room. Isn’t it inviting?
IMG_0004The quilt on the bed was hand quilted by her late husband’s family.IMG_0005It is really a treasure.IMG_0006First on my agenda was lecture/trunk show for the Cherokee Rose Quilt Guild of Douglasville, GA.

After the guild meeting Paula and her friend Sarah took me to Stitch’n Quilt. It is a great shop.

IMG_0018Look what sample they had made….my Josephine’s Knot quilt! I love the red and white.
IMG_0010They also had a sample of my Modern Art pattern in really cute fabric.IMG_0011The store was full of wonderful fabric collections like this great Valentine collection from Moda. These fabrics would make such a cute quilt for the holiday.IMG_0012I love this cute fox quilt! Look at the little fox wearing glasses!IMG_0013There were pattern carousels scattered around the store. I spy my Josephine’s Knot pattern on this one.IMG_0014There were quilts hanging everywhere.IMG_0015I really like the wool samples …. cute little projects.IMG_0016

We had dinner and then rested for the evening.

Now for my give away news. I have had a few computer glitches so I have been tardy on my posts and my give aways. In return for your patience I am giving a free download pattern to all the people who commented on my January 4,2016 post. The names include:Nancy Smith, Barbara Cissne, Alice Kay Arnett, Debbie Hedden, Lynn Wingard, Cathy Walsh and Marian Fuson.

Contact me for the details to claim your free download.


Share this post with your friends and be sure to sign up on the right for email notification of new posts.

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My Tuffet Adventure

My friend Becky and I bought kits for the fabulous Tuffet stools while I was teaching at Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough, TN this past summer. We had planned to read the directions and make them ourselves, but we saw a post from Creations of Kerrville, TX. They were having a retreat/class. Well, we decided that would be fun, so off we went to Kerrville. After unloading our stuff we needed to eat lunch before the retreat started. We went to Rails. It was a fabulous restaurant where we both had their wonderful prime rib salad. It was very very good!


We were full and raring to get started so back to the quilt shop we went. There were 16 of us in the class with two teachers to guide us through the process.


Everyone had different fabric and the kits Becky and I had were a little different than the others, so we had to do a little bit of adapting as we went along. The Tuffet is foundation pieced in 8 sections and it was fun watching as it came to life. These are a few of my sections.


As I mentioned earlier, our kits needed a little bit of assembling so I ask for a hammer. This is the hammer they brought me. I hated to use it because it was so cute with all those sequins and gold paint embellishments.


The ladies at Creations think of everything you might need so you never have to leave the retreat. Our meals were all provided and on the way to the dining room there  was a little coffee bar with this lovely collage hanging on the wall.


This is a close up of one area. I really wanted to put this in my pocket to bring it home.


We worked some more and then decided to head to bed for some rest before we started again the next morning. These are some of the rooms. They are all named after towns in Texas. We stayed in the Austin room.


I think this was the Amarillo room.


The next day the Tuffets started appearing everywhere.

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This is my finished Tuffet


Of course with a fabulous quilt shop right across the parking lot, we had to go shopping. Who can resist that temptation? These are a few of my goodies.


These are a few of the Tuffets with some of the students. Some ladies had gone home before we took this photo.


This is me with our fabulous teachers Kathy and Katherine. They were so patient and encouraging for our group.


This last photo if is of me with my three roommates. We had a great time and I loved getting to know them. We hope to meet up again …. maybe at another retreat at Creations of Kerrville.


This is the pattern for the Tuffet. Check at your local quilt shop to purchase one.


I hope you get to make your very own.

Please leave me comments and remember to share my blog. I will be giving away a prize each week until April to one of my subscribers. The first giveaway is Sunday January 10.

You must leave a comment on the blog post to be entered in the giveaway!!

Sign up with your email to follow my blog posts so you don’t miss anything.

May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous year.


Please let me know if you find a typo.

Check out my itinerary on the right to see if I will be teaching close to you. I love to add bookings to existing dates to reduce travel cost for the guild or shop.

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Four months of give aways!!

It is going to be an exciting four months here on my blog. I will have a very big announcement in April and I want to build my blog audience. To encourage people to read my blog I am going to be giving away lots of stuff. There are only a few of rules.

First you have to read the whole post and leave a comment = one entry

Second – follow my blog and share it with others = one entry

Remember the more people reading my blog the larger the prizes will be.

Share my blog and tag me on Facebook=one entry

Every week and sometimes more often I will be giving away something. You will not know what unless you read my blog post.

Be sure to leave comments to be entered into the fun!

Sometimes I will give away patterns.


I will give away fabric.


I will give away jewelry.


I will give away one of my hand dyed scarves.


You just never know what I will be up to unless you read my blog posts.

My first adventure for 2016 will begin tomorrow. I am going on a road trip to learn something new. I might meet Little Miss Muffett there.

Guess what I will be learning?


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Photo Album of My 2015 Travels

This gallery contains 62 photos.

  A Photo Review of 2015  It was a very active, adventure filled and exciting year for me. I was nominated for Teacher of the year once again which was very exciting. I started my year of travels to teach and lecture in … Continue reading

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A fresh new look for a fresh new blog.

My blog has been silent for months due to heavy travel on my part. I want to start my blogging journey again so I have refreshed my blog and I am ready. I am going to give you a few hints on future content to be followed by details of all the events.

Fabrics, food, travel, pincushions, new friends, old friends, jewelry and where I am going this next year. Stick with me for the adventures!IMG_1233
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