Our work after 4.5 days!

Our work after 4.5 days! (I’m 4th from the left.)

Just finally caught my breath after two “Meet the Teachers” events – one in Pleasant Hill and the other in Carson, SoCal. Got home and packed my bags for my week at Asilomar California State Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, with Empty Spools Seminars where I roomed with BFF Claudia Sammis.

We spent the week with Susan Brubaker Knapp where she taught us her painting technique with transparent paints and her “Thread Stitching.” What a great teacher! Susan is down to earth and giving of all her stitching and painting knowledge. She worked with us while treating a toothache with Motrin and antibiotics! What a gal! What a trooper! Some of you may know that my husband is a retired general dentist. Being a dental wife, I have heard many different dental issues discussed and diagnoses made, so I feel almost as if I have been through at least one year of dental school (ha ha). Of course I texted my husband about Susan’s condition and he wanted her to go to an endodontist (root canal specialist) immediately. Susan hung in, however, and made it home to where she had her root canal several days ago. Bravo Susan!

Anyway, I believe we had 13 students in her workshop in Acacia, one of the small classroom in what I affectionately called “the bunker buildings.” I’ve even taught in this room for Empty Spools! My class with Nancy Crow was in this room the year my husband turned 40! (Hmm, that was 28 years ago!)

We had the best teacher (Susan B-Knapp), with the best students (no whiners, or teacher hogs) and the best output after our 4.5 days (except for me).

So, do give Empty Spools Seminars a shot if you haven’t ever been, or haven’t been in years. 2016 will be your year to brag!


My new website is up and running!

I would love to hear your reaction to it.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 5.36.06 PM

As I type this post, my new website is being created. My son, Matt of Matt Hoover Design, created my original website years ago. My sister, Tammy Norton, (bless her soul) has updated and maintained the original version for years – without pay! (Now I did try to pay her, but she would always refuse!) She also desperately wanted me to replace the old website and frequently reminded me of the need to do so; however, I was too busy with teaching and couldn’t really imagine coming up with new ideas for a new site!

Well, finally I came to realize I needed to do something, and I was in the right place at the right time. It just so happened that my good friend and computer expert, Lisa Ellis (of Giving Back Technology, LLC) asked about my website. We discussed changes that I should have my sister make. Lisa made a few formating suggestions for the existing website, and with my permission, made them in the blink of an eye!

After a day or two of talking of needed updates and critical issues, I chose to ask my sister if she would like to be let out of her non-existent contract of unpaid webmaster. I couldn’t continue our arrangement without paying her. She agreed.

It has been tons of work for me and even more for Lisa to create the new site. It features polka dot wallpaper and rickrack embellishments. The banner for this blog was Tammy’s creation and is perfect as the banner at the top of each webpage.

Thank you Tammy, for all your hard work and creative input over the years.Tami:Maddy2012Sister Tammy with niece Maddy! I love you both! Continue Reading »

I had several workshops in January this year. One in particular stands out and it was on January 28th in Fairfield, CA, at the North Winds Quilt Guild. (It’s always windy in Fairfield, which is why this guild’s name is so appropriate.)

One student, Layla Kinsman, in particular must be mentioned. Last week she sent me two photographs. One was her finished quilt top as I had designed the pattern. Then, she sent another! She bested me – take a look.

Great job Layla!Student_1_28_2015_Layna_Kinsman

It started as a stressful week at Harmony this year as I had set my self the impossible task of finishing the hand appliqué on a king-size quilt’s border, and the cutting and piecing of a double-size quilt! The other quilters at the retreat didn’t think I was ever coming up for air. I had my nose to the grindstone for the first day and a half. Then I remembered that this was supposed to be a relaxing week with good friends! So, I tried to enjoy the view, the friends, and the time to do what I wanted to do – sew!

At this point I must mention the wonderful, brilliant tool I have ever purchased! I bought a pair of the CraftOptics magnifying glasses that come with your very own vision adjustment. Expensive – well, yes, but worth every penny! My appliqué stitches cannot be seen! My stitches looked like they did when I was using my 30 year old years to stitch with, and I am more than twice that old today.

Back to Harmony, where the food is terrific, the wine is plentiful, and relaxation is abundant.

This year, Lisa’s husband spent the week with us. No, he is definitely not a quilter, but he loves to cook and, he is a good cook. On the last night, we had meat fondue – complete with sauces of Bernaise, curry and one with so much horseradish that my eyes teared.

It was over too fast and we are all longing for next year. Sweet memories!

The view looking south from the cliff at Harmony.

The view looking south from the cliff at Harmony.

I was asked by the Dinner@8 girls (Leslie and Jamie) to submit a quilt to be possibly juried into their 2014 Reflection exhibit at Houston Market and Festival in 2014. Weeks and weeks went by as I strived to create and then finish my “reflection” quilt. I had a major setback after binding my piece and discovering that it was not exactly 24″ X 60.” It was more like 25″ X 60″! Now you may think this was not a major issue, but the rules stated that the quilt would be exactly 24″ X 60.” There was only one thing to do, and that was to remove the binding, slice off a bit of each vertical side, and then re-bind it! That’s what I did. Hope you enjoy this preview.


Quelle Vie!

Quelle Vie!

Beautiful tree?

How is it possible that my family’s Christmas tree in 1960 looks so meager in 2012? Every year our tree had the same ornaments, metal tinsel, and an angel on top. As I look at it with eyes that are now 64 years old, I am a little embarrassed of it!

Memories are made, be they ever so humble.