A Note About the Keynote: Gwen Marston

Gwen Marston bio photo

A lot of us have a quilting bucket list–techniques we want to try, quilts we’d like to make, and quilters we’d like to learn from. Tops on my list is taking a class from Gwen Marston—I’ve been in awe of her work for years. It appears I’m not alone, as Gwen was tapped to be the keynote speaker at QuiltCon West this week, where she’ll share her views on Liberated Quiltmaking: It’s About Making It YOUR Way.

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Roads, Rows & other adventures…

So much to catch up on…

The recipe for Oysters Swiss Chard Gratin has been found – corrected – updated.  It’s below and to the left.

oyster swiss chard

It took me an extra few days because I was “not here” – I was away from the office working having fun… a bit of both.

I left on Thursday for a trip to Washington State to attend a retreat at Meg Hawkey’s Crabapple Hill Studio in Benton City – near Kennewick and Richland.  You might know Meg’s amazing work from her patterns – they combine embroidery, applique, patchwork and crayon-tinting.

Working.  Definitely working.


On Friday, those of us who had never done it before – moi – learned crayon-tinting.  Then we started stitching our Winter-themed project – with a short break for making a lovely beaded scissor fob.  Saturday was more stitching – in between making a terrific no-sewing involved jute tote with ruffles on one side – with Tole Christmas fabric by Gina Martin – and an adorable little snowman jar.


If you’re a fan of Meg’s work – and Meg! – I highly recommend the retreat as it was a wonderful experience.  Meg is funny, nice, and a terrific teacher – and she’s thought of everything.  The retreat-studio is a feast for your eyes – and a feast for your tummy, you’ll be very well fed.


The adventure part of it was getting there, and then getting back to Seattle.  Long story short – after carefully checking every possible detail about the trip from Seattle-to-Benton City, and from Portland-to-Benton City, I decided to fly into Seattle.  It made sense – except I’d forgotten to consider the December weather.  It seems the road I’d planned to take – the most direct route – is sometimes closed when it gets cold.

Let it suffice to say that I went from Seattle to Benton City via Portland.  I didn’t get to see much on the drive there since it was late and raining very hard – late because I got stuck in really bad traffic in Seattle – is that an oxymoron?  The road through the Snoqualmie Pass was “better” on Sunday morning but given my vast experience driving in snow, ice, and slush – it’s pretty much non-existent; my made-for-the-conditions vehicle – a rental car that may-or-may-not have front-wheel drive; and my need to get back to Seattle to make a 3:15 flight home… I decided to go back the same way I’d come.

That was a terrific decision – very worthwhile.  In the dark and heavy rain, I didn’t know that the highway went along the Columbia River through the gorge.


Even with a gray, overcast, rainy morning… I loved every minute of it.

I even took a slight detour – okay, it’s right by the side of the highway.  Multnomah Falls.  Yes, I walked up to the bridge above the lower falls for a better look at the top.  Because my umbrella was at home and my jacket was in the trunk of the car, I got a little bit wet.


And I loved every minute of that too.

The “working” or “almost working” part was Thursday – I spent several hours at the offices of Martingale in Bothell.  Did you know their offices are open to the public?

I didn’t get any pictures because we were so busy laughing and chatting working!  When I put my bag down for the tour, I forgot all about it until we were done.  Next time, right?

We talked quite a bit about the upcoming All-in-a-Row book – it arrived in Dallas while I was in Washington.


Before I forget – the last time I showed this book, someone mentioned that they were thrilled the book is spiral-bound.  That was me – I do that with books I know I’m going to be using a lot.

I know I’ll be using this one because there is a blog hop coming and a sew-along – starting in January!  And since my row is in the book, I will be participating.  I really love this quilt…


Mine will be different – it will have a house row.  The houses are  curiously – noticeably! – absent from this quilt.

I do love these fabrics – Prairie by Corey Yoder / Meadow Bloom by April Rosenthal / Simply Colorful II by V & Co..  The backgrounds are from Behind the Scenes by Jen Kingwell – No. 18114 13 and 18114 26.

Did I mention that the blog hop and sew-along are being described as “faboo fabric fun”?  To read more about it – here’s the skinny on the fun.  You can also see all the rows, who made each row,  and see some of the other quilt options.

That’s all I can think of for now – more later.

Happy Tuesday!




Two down…

It’s always a shock that after months of getting ready, Quilt Market is over so quickly.  It’s also a short day – in part because Market closes at 4:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm, and in part because many attendees start leaving by Noon to catch flights homes.

The weather – it has made travel to Houston a little more challenging.  There has been flooding in parts of Texas and the storm created many flight delays on Thursday and Friday.

But so long as Sandy Klop – American Jane – is here, it’s all good.

Sandy’s new collection is Bread ‘n Butter – yes, that probably explains the banner.


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