Summer Travels

July 14th, 2016

hope your summer hasn’t been as hectic as mine. We’ve been traveling a lot. Too much!

Just before we left for a trip to Maryland, Marinell hosted a gathering for the Quilting in the Country gals. It was a wonderful send off for our niece's wedding in Maryland, then flying to Omaha and Blair, NE to visit family and friends, and onto Iowa to spend time with my brother’s family, and my Minnesota cousins who had come to Iowa for a visit. We QIC gals hadn’t all been together since our December shop closed and it was truly wonderful to see each other again.


Marinell’s home is wonderful. She lives on a golf course which is gorgeous. She and her husband are both very creative and their outdoor surroundings show off those talents. There were wonderful treats and a few birthday candles for me to extinguish on the coffee cake Kristin made for the morning coffee. Once again I felt blessed to be together with these gals who had been part of my day to day life for many years. They made Quilting in the Country what it was!

Kristin's Blueberry Coffee Cake (taken from Betty Crocker's Old Fashioned Cookbook)


2 cups flour

¾ cup sugar

2 ½ t. baking powder

¾ t. salt

½ cup shortening

¾ cup milk

1 egg

2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries

Heat oven to 375’. Grease square pan, 9x9x2 inches or round pan, 9x1 ½ inches. Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and egg; beat 30 seconds. Carefully stir in blueberries. Spread batter in pan; sprinkle with Crumb Topping. Back 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle with glaze.

Crumb Topping

½ cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

½ t. ground cinnamon

¼ cup butter or margarine, softened

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.


½ cup powdered sugar

¼ t. vanilla

1 ½ to 2 t. hot water

Mix all ingredients until drizzling consistency.

I did take my camera along on the trip but didn’t remember to take enough photos. The focus of our trip was the marriage of Caitlin, our niece, in Maryland. We did tour Washington, DC one day.  There were 8 of us. That was a challenge to keep everyone together but worth every moment of our adventure. Our grandson, Cory, had not been to DC before and we asked where he would like to visit. Immediately he answered—the Air and Space Museum. I had been there several times and knew I wanted to concentrate on the Wright Bros exhibition. It was particularly interesting to me as my book group had just read a book about them.



Bill, Hugh (our brother in law) and Quinn (our granddaughter) on the Metra.


Last year Bill and I had eaten lunch in the Native American Museum and suggested that to our family group. I think everyone enjoyed that. It is an amazing place. I helped my brother-in-law select a wonderful pair of earrings for who his wife who wasn’t able to travel to the wedding. Of course the wedding was very special and I may be able to gather some photos to show you despite the fact that I didn’t take any. I’ll work on that for the next issue of this letter.

Omaha was next stop to visit Bill’s younger sister, Liz. You may remember that I gifted her with two quilts—named Opposites Attract. It’s fun to see quilts I have made in other homes. We did a bit of weeding in Liz’s garden and accompanied her to an appointment with her oncologist. The news he gave her was excellent! It felt good to be a part of that! She loves eating out so we celebrated with some fine food! 

You can order the Opposites Attract pattern by following this link or replying to this email.

The land for the cemetery was donated by my family,  the Baker’s. They were early pioneers and shared wheat seeds with those who came after them. As a child I remember the general store, some homes, and a pick yourself strawberry patch. Nothing remains, just corn fields.

We love visiting our dear friends in Blair. Marilyn and I were childhood friends. Bill and Greek and have known each other for decades. It’s amazing how some friendships can last a lifetime so naturally. Several days later we saw our friends in Iowa. We celebrated at our Exira high school reunion. Each time we attend they seem more precious.
Next stop—with my brother and family on the family farm in Iowa. We couldn’t feel more welcome. We are treated like royalty! And food! There’s nothing like it!  My cousins, Nancy and Chuck visited too—from Minneapolis. Each year they decorate the graves of relatives where we grew up. We took time at four different cemeteries. I did take a new photos there but wish I had taken more. It may sound strange but it was a very special, relaxed afternoon remembering………………………
We flew back to Bozeman July 4th and our family from Denver arrived the 5th. The time was short but special. We did lots of talking and playing with the kittens. My childhood was filled with playing with barn kittens on the Iowa farm where I grew up. Lots of it involved dressing the kittens in wonderful doll clothes my Aunt Florence (cousin Nancy’s mother) had made for me. I found that adults and teenage grandchildren love playing with kittens too--- so much, that one of the kittens left for Denver with the family. She is mostly white with black spots and has been named Lily.

Remember Juli, the manager at the shop? Her daughter Alli, is a great kitten sitter!

My all-purpose room looks worse to me---after being away! I must do something about it!
I decided to offer some of the Kaffe Fassett books I’ve been keeping.
I love Kaffee Books. They are tremendously inspiring! In addition to the quilts, I love the photography. I always wonder which comes first as inspiration—the quilt or the surroundings. Each of these 3 books  speaks to the architecture, gardens, even produce markets where the photos are shot.
I’m taking some thoughts from the foreward of Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett:
“It’s always a strange and difficult task to sum up one’s life in the form of a book. I think you can see from these shots of my house and studio that I create in very instinctive and organic fashion. A big part of my inspiration comes from the magical world of past decorative arts. This accounts for the drawers of old textiles, chests of china pots, shelves of marquetry and tin boxes, collection of fans and beaded bags, and masses of colourful books on the subject. The natural world, too, feeds me many ideas, so butterflies, rocks, shells, and dried flowers fill many a corner in my home."

Stayed tuned next week for more information on the upcoming, Chronicle Quilt Bee at the Gallatin History Museum. Wednesday, July 27. 10-4. Save the day on your calendar.


Welcome Home by Kaffe  Fassett.  Dazzling Projects. Take a tour of the breathtaking textile exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Kaffe’s Home.  20% OFF! Order by following this link.

If you're local, don't pay postage! Give me a call (406-587-8213) or reply to this email to set up a time to stop by.

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt Grandeur. 20 Projects photographed in Port Eliot, the stately Cornish home owned by Lord and Lady St. Germans.  Also 20% OFF! Order by following this link.

If you're local, don't pay postage! Give me a call (406-587-8213) or reply to this email to set up a time to stop by.

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilt in the Sun. You will  love this book photographed in beautiful Portugal. It features a quilt by my friend Betsy Menefee Rickles. I met Betsy when she picked me up at the airport when I taught in Sisters, OR. She was a wonderful hostess! $24.95

20% OFF! Order by following this link.

If you're local, don't pay postage! Give me a call (406-587-8213) or reply to this email to set up a time to stop by.


This is it! Sign up now or miss out on the Fall Quilting Retreat September 15-18. Please consider Fall Quilting In The Country Retreat at the remarkable Nine Quarter Circle Ranch. Outside of Bozeman on your way to Yellowstone National Park, the ranch is one of Big Sky's oldest dude ranches.


The September retreat is longer than previous retreats and will give you time to finish the theme project and work on your own projects. Rest, read, hike and just generally relax with your old and new friends. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? Too bad it isn’t next week! If you’ve been planning to attend one of my retreats—now might just be the perfect time. Please don’t procrastinate. Join me! You'll love the project--the Montana Star with needle felted flowers.  

September 15-18, ONLY 3 nights, $525.