Traveling? Some Stitch Tips

silkstitching1Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to a long, long car ride next week. Why? It’s an opportunity to stitch for extended stretches of time without those bothersome interruptions like fabric dyeing, thread washing, and being chased around the garden by mosquitoes.

etuiSo as I pack up my etui, threads, and stitch projects I have a few tips for your next stitching adventure on the road:

  • Safety first. Have someone else drive the car.
  • Only stitch in the daylight. Unless you are wearing a head lamp, stitching at night can be dangerous.
  • Bring all your supplies with you (needles, thread, scissors, thimble). Most roadside convenience stores do not carry embroidery thread.
  • Find a safe place to stick the needle when it’s not being used. I can not stress this enough. You may think you are just popping out of the car for a quick coffee run but you are really losing the needle in the seat of the car only to be discovered by a disgruntled spouse when it’s your turn to drive.
  • Expect attention from passing semi-truck drivers. Truck drivers are very nosy and like to look over your shoulder when you stitch.
  • Do not listen to politics on the car radio. Reactions to stupid remarks by candidates can cause you to lose control of the needle resulting in finger stabs.
  • Do not give driving directions when stitching. The driver does not appreciate seeing a needle waving “go left” out of the corner of his eye.

Learning from the Old Guys


Strawberry Thief, a design by William Morris

One of my favorite textile designers is William Morris. He was a mover and shaker during the Arts and Crafts Movement and designed some of the most pleasing fabrics you can imagine. So you can imagine my delight when I found these cups and tray at a shop in Heathrow Airport. Can’t wait to have a cup of tea in his honor.

All In Stitches

allinstitchesshopI had a lovely time in the sweet town of Zumbrota, MN last week. My hostess and owner of the All in Stitches Quilt Shop, Sandy, made my visit a delight. During breaks I’d leave the classroom and pop into her shop to enjoy the beautiful displays. It is full of colorful quilt fabric, threads for hand stitching, and my new favorite fiber, wool. You have to check out All in Stitches next time you are in the Rochester, MN area. Zumbrota is a great small town with lots of other wonderful shops too. Thanks Sandy for bringing me in!

Just Checking In

palouse2When we last spoke I was in lovely Mitchell, SD visiting with the South Dakota Quilters and admiring the Corn Palace. But I’ve since moved on and am now in Eastern Washington state with the fine folks of the Patchin People Guild.

palouse1The corn fields of South Dakota were amazing. But the wheat fields of the Palouse are extraordinary! I wish my photos (shot from a car window) could give you a better idea of this vast landscape of the undulating fields of gold. You really must see it first hand.


Wheel Fence in Uniontown, WA

I’ve been well cared for here in Pullman WA but will be moving on again soon. Being a traveling quilt teacher has many perks including meeting new people, making new friends, and seeing wonderful vistas. Thank you quilt makers for enriching my life!

Travel is a Wonder!

cornpalace1One of the advantages of being a traveling quilt teacher is visiting quilt guilds located in exotic places. So imagine my delight when I popped into the Corn Palace in the town of Mitchell while visiting the Quilters of South Dakota!

cornpalace3What a thrill it is to see a larger than life Willy Nelson made from corn and rye. There are 13 different colorways of corn grown for the Corn Palace construction.

cornpalace2And it was great to see that Elvis has finally left the building. Travel is important. It broadens your horizons, inspires you, and gives you joy. Just like a good batch of popcorn.

Sailing Along


Pretty Planet #11 by Laura Wasilowski

 I know nothing about sailboats except that a fast moving boom can knock you overboard. (Ask me how I know.) But when I made this Pretty Planet quilt, I imagined sailing in friendly waters with a tropical breeze…while wearing a huge life vest.


Pretty Planet #11 by Laura Wasilowski

That’s the beauty of making art, it takes you places you’ll never go.