Archive for June, 2012

Teaching at Empty Spools – Asilomar, CA

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What a great week I just spent at Empty Spools in California with 17 wonderful students! I really feel blessed to be able to create and share every day. The weather was sunny and crisp and our room had glass windows on 3 sides overlooking the sand dunes and was not far from the beach. Honestly could you not think of a better place to nest for a week. A great plus was that all our meals were catered and my students could really concentrate on sewing.

We started with pieced and layered backgrounds then add imagery many students creating a personal  story. Others decided to work on stitches and make small pieces to embellish. I loved the many ribbons that were used in the backgrounds many from our new line of ribbons by Renaissance Ribbons. We also worked with hand dyed wool, fun cottons and velvets.

Thanks everyone for such a great week. i look forward to seeing the progress each one of you make on your pieces.

I will be returning to teach at Empty Spools May 26 – 31 2013.

Happy Stitching


MISA – Madeline Island, Wisconsin

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

I just spent a wonderful week at Madeline Island School of the Arts on Madeline Island in Wisconsin. This is one of my favorite places to teach here in North America. The art school has been very thoughtfully planned out on this small island surrounded by wonderful vegetation and animal life. The classroom is so spacious and we spent to the week overlooking the meadow where many deer and birds visited. The island is so easy to get to.  I flew into Duluth then drove a couple of hours caught a 20 minute ferry and then drove one mile to the school. It is like being at our own private retreat.

I had wonderful students who created fun pieces that incorporate memories of their own lives and homes. Some returned from last year and continued on pieces that they had already started. We made textured backgrounds, layered appliqué using textural fabrics and then spent two days stitching to add diminution to the pieces.

We also took a side trip to a wavering gallery as well as a couple of pottery galleries. Of course I added a few wonderful pieces of pottery to my collection. The weather was perfect all week and it was so nice to see all the wild lupines in bloom.

Many thanks to all my students as well as Charles, Jenna and Ann at MISA for such a fun week.

I will be returning to teach at MISA June 23-28 2013. Hope to see some of you there.

Creative Stitching


Sicily, Italy

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

We spent 10 wonderful days in Sicily. Surrounded by art, history, incredible vegetation, a visit to Mt Etna and the clear blue Mediterranean. The weather was spectacular, food and wine irresistible and most of all being able to experience it with my parents and good friend Cathy. We had many laughs, spent hours among the people just enjoying Italian life. The food markets were amazing and the Greek and Roman history mind boggling.

I am home and back to reality now but will treasure the experience forever.

Creative Stitching



Orvieto Italy – Student Work

Monday, June 11th, 2012

We spent the week in Italy creating a piece that included the images of the area that had the most impart on each one of us. Each one was unique. They included the poppies that filled the countryside, images from local pottery, the mosaics from the Duomo, the local birds and the lush landscape. We also started the embellishment using hand dyed fibers and beads. I was fortunate to have a wonderful group of 12 avid stitchers who took home a lovely piece of Italy as a memento.

I will be returning for my annual visit to Orvieto, Italy in September 2013 to teach again for Kritsi and Bill. More information can be found on their website.

From Orvieto Cathy and I travelled by train to Rome then flew to Sicily where we met up with my parents for a 10 day vacation. More wonderful photographs soon!

Creative Stitching



Our week In Orvieto

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

This is the wonderful view I experienced each morning looking over the walls of the city into the valley below. It was like a patchwork quilt. Every direction I looked in was a different texture.

All my students found a unique way to express their creativity using the wonderful layers of the ancient town along with images that really appealed to them. Each started a piece that would remind them of there wonderful week in Orvieto.

Kathy was inspired by all the different views from the windows of the city.

Many students brought fun fabrics for use in their piece. Sharing with each other to find the perfect fabric to depict what they were creating.

Sandy fell in love with the fields of poppies. This is the start of her layering.

Sandra loved the birds, the wonderful sunshine and the flowers.

We were very fortunate to be able to visit the Ceramic Museum. The owner gave us a tour sharing his knowledge of the history of local pottery. Christina translated for us.

The color and images were wonderful. At the end we were treated to a glass of wine in the museum.

I feel very fortunate to be teaching for Kristi and Bill. They have such warm personalities and are so passionate about Italy. The trip is always filled with surprises and I have learnt so much about the area and the people. I can’t wait to return again next year.

This is one of the things I will miss!

On Thursday we always go to the local market and buy a picnic lunch which we enjoy in the courtyard of the convent. It was fun to have Mary and her Husband visit for a couple of days. Mary was in Orvieto with us last year and this year was traveling around Italy with her husband.

We visited the local winery ‘Palazone’ and sampled many of Givani’s wines. We also had a tour of the wine cellars.

Students hard at work creating. Some did a little shopping during class but were made to share their treasures with the class on returning. It sort of started a cycle of shopping as then some students needed to go and buy what others found. I think more was shipped home in weight this year than previous classes. We had some good shoppers!

We had a lovely pizza lunch at Zeppelins this year. I think he made about 6 different pizzas for us to try using all local fresh ingredients. Well that is enough about indulging I will be sharing all the student creations next.

From sunny Italy

Creative Stitching