Archive | September, 2011

The Girlfriends at Sea had a blast!

12 Sep

Fellow Quilters,
   I have been meaning to write this post for weeks!  Where has the time gone?!?  Summer is officially over – Kid #1 is starting a new program at university, and Kid #2 is now in his last year at high school.  Last weekend, we brough in the raft at the family cottage, signalling an end to swimming for the year.  The mornings are getting cooler, which is great for my morning power walk.  They’re also getting darker, as the days get shorter.  Well, hopefully Mother Nature will grace us with lots of sunny weather so that we can enjoy her glorious display of gold, red and yellow as the leaves turn.

Jody Houghton and Patti in Glacier Bay

   In my last post, I shared some photos of the 2 quilt projects that I was going to be teaching on the Alaskan Quilt Camp at Sea cruise.  Now I can share some photos from the cruise.  I took 5 pictures – yes, only 5. 

I seemed to forget my camera every time we went ashore.  I think I was caught up in the

Jody in front of Margerie Glacier

excitement of visiting the quilt shops at each stop.  No matter – fellow Quilt Camper Kate, apparently a photographer extraordinaire, has shared her wonderful photos.
     We had amazing weather – only the 3rd week of good weather this cruising season according to the cruiseship staff.  When we pulled into Glacier Bay, it was foggy and overcast, but the skies soon cleared and we were blessed with sunshine while viewing the glaciers.  I was so glad, because the scenery is spectacular, and I wanted our first-time Quilt

My Girlfriends At Sea vest

Campers to experience the incredible beauty of the glaceirs.  In my first photo, cabin-mate (and Northcott designer) Jody Houghton is sporting a jacket made with her Girlfriends at Sea collection.  I am wearing a vest made from her original Girlfriends fabric. I also made a vest with the Girlfriends at Sea fabrics – isn’t it fun?  Girlfriends at Sea is shipping to stores this month, so in celebration, I am giving away a packet of Girlfriends at Sea fabrics.  For your chance to win, simply post a comment on my blog about a trip that you and a quilting buddy went on, or would like to go on.  Please post by midnight Thursday September 15.
     Our first stop was in Juneau, home

Whale tails in Juneau

of Jan Nardone’s Changing Tides quilt shop.  Jan brought Alaskan artist Barbara Lavalle in for us – Barbara is a blast!  In Jan’s shop I purchased some children’s books illustrated by Barbara, and Barbara autographed them – one-of-a-kind!  I also added to my collection of fish and Alaskan-batik fabrics.
     Then we stopped in Sitka, home of Abby’s Reflections quilt shop.  You guessed it – more additions to my stash.

Three sibling coastal brown cubs in Sitka

  We also visited the studio of fellow teacher Lisa Moore and stopped at Fortress of the Bears, an “early retirement home” for nuisance bears, along the route.  Kate took some amazing pictures – here’s one of them showing 3 sibling Coastal Brown Bear cubs.  I have acquired a taste for Native art, and Lisa Moore has many terrific quilt patterns featuring the art of Aboriginals.  I picked up Lisa’s totem wall-hanging pattern to make for my new ski chalet.
     Next stop was Ketchikan, where Betty and the staff at Silver Thimble were most helpful in assisting me with my search for appropriate Alaskan batiks for the totem quilt, along with fish fabric.  Jody and I also took in the famous lumberjack show.  Even though I was on the American side of the audience, I still cheered for the Canadian team.
     Our final stop was beautiful Victoria, where Brenda Stengal put on quite a spread for us, including demostrations by local pattern designer Ursula Reigel of Designs to Share With You (Ursula is one of my favourite designers), serenades by Cathy Miller a.k.a The Singing Quilter, and trays of Nanaimo bars.  Nanaimo bars are like brownies, only better.  We burned all of the calories consumed by walking back to the ship after our visit.  As promised to my fellow Quilt Campers, here is my mom’s recipe for Nanaimo Bars (we call them Butter Dominos):

Mix 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 egg, 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.  Press into a 9″ square cake pan.
Mix 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 tbsp. vanilla instant pudding mix or Burd’s Custard, 3 tbsp. milk and 2 cups icing sugar.  Spread over crumb mixture and chill.
Melt 3 oz. (3 squares) semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tbsp. butter.  Spread on chilled mixture.  Chill and cut into bars.

   My lone star group, consisting of Peggy, Kathy, Vicki, Gloria and Judy, made great strides with their projects, and Kathy pretty much finished hers – way to go Kathy!!
     Kathy and Yavonne in my Double Wedding Ring groupExceeded my

Fiestive Wedding

expectations, and did an amazing job with their projects.  Hats off to them!  I am teaching the Double Wedding Ring on the Mexican Riviera cruise next March 10-17th – here is a picture of my class sample.   I understand that there are a few spaces still available, so if you are interested in joining the 2012 Quilt Camp at Sea group next March, visit and talk to Pat or Kathy.  I am also teaching a Mystery quilt class, but I can’t show you the project, of course (it’s a mystery!)  It has something to do with Beach Babes, another of Jody Houghton’s fun collections, and perfect for the Mexican cruise.

Laurel Burch Xmas fabric with Stonehenge metallics - yum!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Needle and I’s on-board quilt shop run by Georgia and Debbie.  A bundle of Laurel Burch Christmas fabric, among other things, jumped off the shop table and into my hands.  Ohmygosh!  It was sooo delicious!  I discovered, much to my delight when I got home, that it co-ordinates extremely well with Northcott’s Stonehenge Celebration and Celestial fabrics (doesn’t everything co-ordinate with Stonehenge?)
     Speaking of Stonehenge Celebration,  Denise Green of Pinwheels and Posies in Dickenson, TX  sent me this photo of a quilt she made in Judy Niemeyer’s teaching workshop.  Isn’t it fabulous?  Kits are available from the shop, and their website is .
     And also speaking of Stonehenge, I am working to put the finishing touches on a Stonehenge Block-of-the-Month program to be available in shops next Spring.  Hopefully I will have final images for my next blog post.
    So, send me a comment for your chance to win, make a batch of Nanaimo bars, and we’ll see you next time!