Be nice.

Dr. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, spoke at the Austin College commencement this year. One thing he said has stuck with me: Be nice.

He went beyond that to say that when you aren’t nice, people won’t like you. And if no one helps you [when you need it], it’s because no one likes you.

That’s harsh! But take a moment to think about people you don’t like. Are you going to go out of your way to help them? Not so much. Which takes me back to the top: Be nice. Build relationships with people. We all need friends.

I could stop there, and would have if I had not read this post from Generation Q yesterday. It appears that there is a ‘secret’ facebook group of quilters that is not being remotely nice to people who are different from them. Who knew?! There are unhappy people on facebook! Deep sighs all round, right?

I shy away from politics and religion online and in classes and I’m not going to spout opinions here. That said, my mom and grandmother taught me early on that if you can’t say something nice about someone, it’s best to say nothing at all. It’s better to make friends than it is to make enemies. It’s never nice to intentionally hurt someone else’s feelings who is doing nothing to hurt you.

So, please, let’s all do what we can to spread niceness in the quilt world, and beyond!


What story would you want to hear?

I am giving a lecture at the Minnesota Quilters Show in Duluth in June and they have requested that I share stories about Piece O’ Cake. Here’s my question: what sort of stories would you want to hear?

I could tell you what I’ve thought of, but I’m more interested in hearing what you think. I appreciate in advance any suggestion you have. Thanks!


You’ve seen 007 before but he’s so much fun that I thought you might like seeing him again :-).

Ask, and you might receive…

I learned a lot from watching this TED Talk by Jia Jiang. He thought about what made him fearful (rejection) and he figured out how to overcome it. His experience makes you realize, yet again, that we are for the most part good and giving people, willing to help each other. Enjoy!

Learning new things…

I’m home from visiting 4 lovely guilds in the greater Kansas City area. I lectured and taught all day and into the evening for 3 days. I enjoyed all of the people I met and I hope they enjoyed me.

Because I was working so much, I missed much of the news coverage of the election. No talking heads, no in-depth analysis, I got the results. I was surprised, as you may have been, because the polls were so wrong. (Note to self: Ignore polls in the future.)

I’m not going to veer into a discussion of politics. Donald Trump was legally elected. He’s our president. I truly, sincerely, want him to be a good one. Our fates are tied to his — how can we wish the worst for him?

Lastly, I had an opportunity to visit with a woman who voted differently than I did. It was wonderful to have a conversation without rancor. Neither of us butted in with ‘well, but….” We had a series of conversations over the course of the day and I am better for it. I believe that most of the people in our country are good at heart and will, when exposed to hate, speak up in favor of love and tolerance.

I have been guilty of thinking that if those on the ‘other side’ knew what I did, they would surely think differently. That’s wrong because we each view the world from a different perspective. Understanding our differences is the first step toward figuring out how to live together in peace. I am going to seek out people who think differently than me and who are willing to have a friendly conversation about the issues.

Tomorrow Steve and I will clean house (because it’s Saturday), and work in the yard (because we can’t ignore it any more). I need to work on the computer and then, if I am very lucky, there will be time to work on the quilt I am in the middle of quilting. In short, it will be a normal weekend day… I can’t wait!

Fall, Kansas City, 2016

Fall, Kansas City, 2016


But wait! There’s (even) more!

I’ve gotten updates from Steve… here are the mostly current prices for the rest of his mom’s fabric:

  • The single fabrics are now $2.50 a yard (down from $3.50 a yard).
  • The bundles are $2 a FQ. Thus a kit of 12 is $24.

The Flowering Vines kit is listed at $150 with free shipping.  The Bernina 1130 is $950 and has free shipping. It was recently serviced and has extra feet

He also sent a link to photos of the fabric. Click here, or use this link:

He said he photographed it all in one night… I’m impressed! That is a lot of work to take the photos and get them online.

It would be nice to help him get his mom’s fabric to quilters who would love it. If you know someone who might be interested, feel free to share the link.


A shopping opportunity!

Steve Schlesinger wrote to me to say that his mom unfortunately died a few years ago and left them with ‘mind-boggling’ amounts of quilting supplies. Let me quote him:

How much?  We’ve been able to pay for cars for both of my daughters for college mainly on quilting fabric. We are now moving onto prepackaged fabrics.  I came across this Flowering Vines complete kit. Do you know anybody who is looking for this set? I have one that is complete.
Thanks, Steve

It looks to me like this is the kit with the original fabric, most of it we designed. I don’t have any idea what it is worth and Steve is taking offers. If you are interested, email Steve at

He added:

I’ve met some really nice people along the way who have bought the fabrics.  The first quilt guild that took on helping us sell the fabric was overwhelmed by how much nice fabric we had.  They bought about half of what we brought up, which was only 1/3 of the total collection.  We decided to hold off on selling the kits and bundles until most of the fabric was gone.  Out of 14 sewing machines she left us with, we’re keeping two for my daughters.  Now I am left with only one Bernina 1130.

My mom was a retired math teacher and would spend her days going from sewing to needlepoint to knitting to rug hooking. She never met a craft-store she didn’t like.

Let me just say that I have a BERNINA 1130 and it is a jewel. He didn’t say, but if I didn’t have one already, I’d make on offer on that as well. What could it hurt?

Also, even though this is working out well, it is a cautionary tale. Look around your work space and consider if maybe it might be time to thin your stash :-).

Again, if you are interested, email Steve at

I made a RARE Bear and she could be yours!


RARE Science works directly with patient families and foundations to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for children with rare diseases. The Quilt Show is hosting a RARE Bear auction to raise money and awareness for this very worthy cause.

A new bear will go online everyday for twenty two days!!! My bear, Flower, is Bear #2 and she went online today. TQS will be holding a ‘select your favorite bear’ after the first batch of 12, then another after the remaining bears have been revealed. I hope you mark your calendar and in 10 days vote for Flower because how could she not be your favorite!

The auction has already begun. Click the button below to go to the auction page.