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New Blog.

This is my new blog site. Simply because I can add more features, like podcasts, videos and patterns.


November 4th

900 photos, lots of video and a great deal to share. This will be the last of the Houston blogs, now I will go back to the old one.
I interviewed an Australian quilter on camera today. She was just so impressed by the friendliness and kindness of everyone she has met here in the USA. I concur it’s the most wonderful environment to work in. I count myself as very lucky... sometimes I have to pinch myself.
To the girls in Stanley Tasmania... Angela is doing well and going to the basketball tonight!!!!
Barb, I found the book at last. It’s interesting, there are a number of projects to do in the back, quite simple but using her method of no sewing on paper for foundation piecing... an idea I applaud.

I found a great new tool at superior, its called a “Superior Snipper” and I can’t wait to try it out. It’s 3 tools in one, it has a curved blade to use as a seam ripper a harp blade to clip the thread flush with the fabric and can also be used as an awl.
I had an interesting experience last night when I introduced some of my quilting Tutor friends to Keith at dinner. He now knows that there are others out in the world as crazy as I.
We talked about being disoriented at times. You know when you stay in so many hotels... sometimes you wake up and don’t know where you are.
Carol Doak related a fabulous story. She woke one night and getting up couldn't find her way around the dark room. Suddenly she put her hand on a very large foot in the other bed. her heart thumped... who was this person in her room... it was obviously a male foot. she gingerly found her way to the light and then realized it was her husband and she was home, not in a hotel room.... Carol has the most wonderful laugh.... she had us in stitches.
Believe me folk it happens...!!! We all had similar stories and Keith was amazed.
Dianne Gaudinsky wonders how I find myself in funny situations,
She left with Keith and I and I told her I could get the Hilton to drop us off at our hotels just by asking for a car.
Out we go to the lobby. I ask for a car to the Hyatt.... certainly madam.... Dianne was impressed.... in the mean time, the cute porter took a liking to my jacket and asked if he could stroke it!!!! I mean really. Now Dianne believes my stories, even with Keith standing there!!!!

I have made a page of photos of some of the quilts... so if you would like to see it, just email me, it’s not for public viewing, just blog friends....

Illustrated blog on

November 3rd

It’s been a super day. Just before 10-am 1000’s of people lined up to get into the show. The queues were long at every entrance. Ladies in bright colored quilting attire clutching large bags made in the latest workshop waited in utmost anticipation for the doors to be swung open. Security guards held the crowds at bay. I filmed the lines and interviewed some of the patrons.
Keith and I armed with cameras went to the furthest set of booths, figuring that folk might decide to begin closest to the door... to be honest I don’t think it made much difference.
However, I got a super buy. 5 pieces of antique Afghani hand made jewelry for a very low price. I couldn’t believe it. So I figured we made a good choice. These ladies needed to rest their feet early.... As I was taking their photo. They recognized my name plate and they are the co-ordinators of a program I’m doing in Santa Clara California. So we had a chat.
Bumped into John Bunge, Husband of Cathy Miller... so we had another chat
Now there are some wondrous walking masterpieces. I’m impressed.
Really there is just everything you need for quilting on show here in Houston. The Festival caters for your every need. I did a little stop at the bling stall, yes you can even buy gold jewelry, antique jewelry, beaded jewelry, broken china jewelry... you name it. It’s here.
My passion is vintage and there are dozens of booths stocked high with vintage table cloths, fabric, feed sacks and an article I haven't seen before, washed woven grain sacks. They are plain, thick weave with a red stripe up the middle.
Personally I prefer to buy my vintage at antique malls. The prices are much lower.
Rick rack in every color is on display as are bright colored bake-light buttons.
I visited the book stalls, the book you enquired about is not in stock... maybe she is self published....but I’ll look again tomorrow.
Bumped into friends from Australia and interviewed them on `1 and then friends from Michigan....
Now did you know there are now 28 million quilters in the United States. The average age of the dedicated quilter is 59!!!!!
I’ve not had any dramas, muggings or dramatic adventures, (although there was a punch up in Macy’s yesterday) Two men were fighting over a woman and child.... now I watch CI, so I was hiding behind the ladies clothes stand. I wasn’t going to move in case they had a gun. Nothing happened except a few thumps and some words I have never heard before!!

Illustrated blog on

31st October

Early morning and it’s a little darker out this morning. Daylight saving gave me an extra hour yesterday but I’m back to real time this morning.
As a Tutor, my schedule doesn’t allow me to get out to shops to view the latest in notions and fabric.
Quilt market twice a year affords me the best opportunity to see “what’s in and what’s out”
Yesterday I sampled batting, 5 new samples from Hobbs. I’m looking forward to testing when I get home.
I saw a vacuum for your threads, A light for your rotary cutter, The most stunning vintage notions. (Huge chunky bake-light buttons) New books and new fabrics.
Jackie Robinson is following on with her flower series and this time her fabric features “fuchsias”
Sue Nickels and Darlene Christophersen have made a breathtaking raffle quilt, take a look.
Time to go and begin a busy day.
Best wishes..

Illustrated blog on

30th October

My press release states “ Hundreds of exhibitors offer their latest products to quilt shop retailers from around the world. Experts teach “how to use” classes and new merchandising techniques to make shops more profitable. Also a full slate of classes, lectures, and special events. Finally there are more than 1600 quilts, dolls and garments on display.” I think that just about says it all.
Today we wandered the aisles photographing interesting things.
Clover has a wonderful new tool for making small and large yo’ yo’s.
EQ6 is about to be launched. I’m told it even re-sizes fabric which will be a great help for those who use the program. I’ll be one of their first clients.!!!
Piece Of cake designs have some great new patterns. Becky Goldsmith is coming to Australia soon too.!! The girls have designed some wonderful children's quilts...

Kaye England has wonderful new fabrics, she will also be in Australia in the next couple of weeks.

Moda, makes my heart beat faster as well. They have super new ranges. I love the American Jane fabrics.

Breckling Press 
will soon have this great book!!!!!
It has caused a lot of interest here at market. So i have a few TV and magazine interviews to follow up. I’m rather chuffed really.

Well its 1.00 am and I have a day of filming tomorrow.... enjoy the show.



new information, photos and videos

This is the site for the new info folk.

Early morning and it’s a little darker out this morning. Daylight saving gave me an extra hour yesterday but I’m back to real time this morning.
As a Tutor, my schedule doesn’t allow me to get out to shops to view the latest in notions and fabric.
Quilt market twice a year affords me the best opportunity to see “what’s in and what’s out”
Yesterday I sampled batting, 5 new samples from Hobbs. I’m looking forward to testing when I get home.
I saw a vacuum for your threads, A light for your rotary cutter, The most stunning vintage notions. (Huge chunky bake-light buttons) New books and new fabrics.
Jackie Robinson is following on with her flower series and this time her fabric features “fuchsias”
Sue Nickels and Darlene Christophersen have made a breathtaking raffle quilt, take a look.
Time to go and begin a busy day.
Best wishes..



I flew in from Australia yesterday. We hit the hotel, then promptly went shopping at “The Galleria” till late.
However, today began early. in fact. I looked at the clock by the bed, sighed and decided to have a coffee which promptly sent me back to sleep until 9.00 am.
I’m staying at an Hotel some 10 blocks from the George Brown Convention Centre. I can either walk or catch the shuttle to the centre. I’ve done both today.....
I had to pick up my media badge and was able to walk the floor of the market as they were setting up.
You have to take your hats off to these folk who put on this great event. There is so much work in preparation. There were people up ladders, sounds of boxes being shifted, discussion on the best layout. Artificial flowers are abundant and beautiful quilts and fabrics displayed at every turn.
I think I counted 1150 vendors... now just how can one get around to all those wonderful booths?
First let me go back to the shuttles, they run every 10 minutes or so and are great places for meeting folk. I met a lady from Hawaii, a lady from South Africa, a guy from Canada and then we all sat spell bound as a lady from Intercourse Pennsylvania filled us in on the terrible shooting at the Amish school.
One of the busses has it’s air-conditioning turned up high... “It’s Freezin in here honey” she says “because we have a restroom down the back and even though it’s locked and not used, you can still smell it if the temperature gets too warm”, we all sit and shiver.....but there’s no smell!!!
One of the buses has a dickie door and sometimes you have to give it a bit of a kick to open it.... however, it’s a fabulous service and great for all those who use it.
Now you may wonder who the gals are in the top picture... well I don’t really know, but they told me they were standing in that very place at 11.00 am, (I took the photo at 5 to eight, just before sample spree) There were literally 1000’s of people lined up to get in. There is a amazing camaraderie as everyone waits to get in to get a bargain and see the latest on offer from the manufacturers.I filmed the start as they opened the big red doors. It is rather ceremonial, a huge cry goes up and it’s just like the beginning of a race, hopefully I can put up some video tomorrow...
Well it’s late. (early morning)
Time to go to bed...
I hope you like this new format.....maybe I’ll get to write every day to share with you.

Let me know what you think.



The 12 apostles on the Great Ocean Road

Just my observation

I’m writing this with my computer propped on my knees as we drive back from Victoria, I don’t really know if that’s legal, but nevertheless it helps to pass the time. It’s 5 pm, the shadows are a little longer and the colour of evening is mellow.
We had an early morning start yesterday. It was really cold and grey when we left, but as the day progressed it warmed and the sun shone.
Unlike the USA where restaurants are just about everywhere, we had great difficulty finding anywhere to get breakfast. Almost famished, and after driving for 3 hours, we finally found a cafĂ© in Naracoorte called the “Blue Wattle”… well everyone knows that the wattle flower is yellow…however, here in Naracoorte , they decided to make it blue.
OK, so the chef, who looked very young was puzzled by our “eggs over easy” request… darn it they asked how we wanted our eggs!!!
We drove down through the South East of South Australia. We estimated we drove through 150 kilometres of vineyards. Bright green grape vines set in rows, all manicured to show their finest and looking spectacular against the bright blue sky. I ducked my head to view their trunks or undercarriages, all set at different angles. They look quite comical really.
The countryside closer to Adelaide is frightening in a way. We drove through 1000’s of acres of dry devoid paddocks and this isn’t even summer yet. A stark reminder to us all. Tomorrow, October 23rd we begin water restrictions.
The reason the South East is much greener is that it’s limestone country and the water needed for the crops is trapped underground and then tapped for irrigation making a spectacular difference to the landscape. One can’t help but think of the saying “The wrong side of the tracks” it’s blatantly obvious.
Closer to the ocean, the paddocks are lush with green feed, and support large groups of dairy cows and sheep. The black and white cows looked like picture post cards on the green carpet of grass.
Our destination was Port Campbell on the great Ocean road and we arrived there mid afternoon after driving along the coast against a spectacularly blue ocean.
Evening, and 20 people gathered at the furthermost tip of a limestone cliff overlooking the famous 12 apostles.
3 years ago, Matthew and Karen visited there on their way home from Victoria. Just 8 hours later Karen was dead and Matty was terribly injured.
So yesterday we said a farewell to Karen. Matty supported by his best mates bravely said a few words. Friend Sulley sang a song he had written for Karen, the sun filtered through low hanging clouds and the water rippled through gold waves.
Every time we see a report of an accident in the paper, we never imagine it will ever happen to us. It’s someone else’s life….
But sometimes we are destined to be part of statistics. Sorrow comes upon us with stealth and engulfs you in a way that is hard to imagine or even express in words.
So yesterday was tinged with sadness at the accident, anger and sadness for the perpetrator but on the other hand a celebration of Karen’s life as we each in turn scattered her ashes to the sea in a place she loved so much.
Our boy has healed a little and in the company of his best mates will take a short break before returning.
Keith and I in turn drove home through a magic spring day today even though the anticipated traditional pub roast was like re-stewed left overs…!!! And I heard on the news that the USA has banned VEGEMITE. For pete’s sake….!!!!!


Writing, writing.

One can certainly do a lot in 14 days..!!!!
It's 14 days since I've had time to write to the blog. To be honest, I've have been writing solidly. A 40 page pattern book, magazine articles, a small booklet and my Resume of classes. That darn thing comes in book form which now runs to 80 pages.!!!!
You can see it on the web page....
So there was just no time for the blog and today I got a friendly reminder from one of my blogees.!!!!
Add to that my computer crashed last week and I lost absolutely everything off the hard drive. 2 books in progress and several presentations....Including the pattern book.XXXXXX
I could have wept, (I did swear) but darn it, what's the use.
So I've spent hours re-installing and backing up.
I hope to get some free patterns up on the web page in the next week or two... but with the hard drive crash, I had a little hiccup.
It's been nice to be home spending time with the family and catching up with friends. I'm working on my major project... All I can say is that it excites me more than anything else I have ever done. As I mentioned before, I try to fit in 4 hours work a day on it, however, sometimes it gets left for a day and then I work 20 hours straight.
I had a few days in Queensland, no major adventures, no muggings, no dramas on planes, no cats under the seats or ladies having a panic attack, but I did go to the Dixie Chicks and saw a concert of the Young Divas.... all in the same day. Wow !!!
It wasn't overkill, just thoroughly enjoyable. I didn't think my ears would recover after the Dixie Chicks concert, we sat just 6 rows from the front... it was fantastic and we spent a lot of time on our feet.
Visited with friend Di and Co, and spent an afternoon on the Brisbane River and dinner at a super Moroccan restaurant after a day of hard work (quilting stuff)
Last week, Sunday in fact, Keith and I took Benny (28) to the Dixie Chicks here in Adelaide so I repeated the performance... but I behaved myself in front of family...not too much jiggling.
I would have embarrassed some of my Aussie buddies and made proud my American buddies as I stood for the American National Anthem... I looked around and I was only one of a handful....OK, so I stand for the Australian Anthem and God Save the Queen....the South African and Chilean.... Just think it's good manners really.
For those of you who remember, Karen and Matt's accident 3 years ago. This week is the anniversary, and is always a difficult time. Karen's Parents, Matt and some of his friends and Keith and I are going down to the Great Ocean Road for a remembrance ceremony and to scatter Karen's ashes...
It's a bit soon after Dad's death, bit hard really, but we need to support Matty.
Just a few days after that I fly out again.
I have 10 days at Houston, Keith will join me on the 1st... then we have a week in Orlando Florida and then Hawaii, so keep tuned.