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Jan '12

Quilting Retreat

How to Organize a Quilting Retreat

Holly wrote me recently with a question. She said: “Hello!  My name is Holly [ ] and my parents and I own two beautiful Victorian Bed & Breakfasts in Soldiers Grove, WI.  We have talked a long time about doing things like quilting retreats because in addition to the beautiful houses, one of them has a reception hall attached.  This would be a great area to set up work spaces for quilting, but you can still retreat to the houses whenever you want. . . . Could you possible connect me with people who organize these types of events?  I would love to talk to someone about it.”

My Answer:
I would recommend that you first start by having a discussion with quilt shop’s in your area – find out the owner’s name and see if she/he is willing to meet with you.  Here are a some quilt shops that are 30-75 miles from Soldiers Grove.

Quilt Basket ‘n’ Creations  – Viroqua
Inspiration at Dovetail Farm – Cashton   www.dovetailfarm.com
Thimble N Thread – Richland Center  www.thimblenthread.net
Olive juice Quilts – Onalaska  www.olivejuicequilts.com

Most towns and cities have what are known as Quilt Guilds – many of the quilt retreats that you hear about  are organized by individuals in The Guilds. So you will need to do some research on finding The Quilt Guilds in your area.

A third group of retreat goers are quilting friends who plan their own retreat – that group could be reached by leaving literature on your B&B’s at quilt shows in the area and quilt shops.

So my recommendation would be for you to start with the local quilt shop owner and also talk with your local quilt guild – attend a meeting.

Hope this has been helpful.


Jan '12

Quilt Show & Event Calendar

Quilting Events and Quilt Shows

I’ve been posting 2012 shows and events in our Quilt Show Calendar. Most are complete through May, 2012 and I’m working on June through the end of the year.

Quilt show and event coordinators. Get your information to me at quiltingpathways.com@gmail.com at your earliest opportunity.


Dec '11

Organizing a Quilt Show

Heather who works in sales at a hotel in Marietta, Ohio recently wrote me for tips on organizing a quilt show in her area. Since my reply might be helpful to others, I am reproducing it here.

Hi Heather;

I would recommend that you first start by having a discussion with the local quilt shop – find out the owner’s name and see if she is willing to meet with you.

Most towns and cities have what are know as Quilt Guilds – many of the shows listed in the quilt show calendar on my website are organized and put on by The Guilds. Some quilt shops also put on Quilt Shows or are strong backer’s and volunteers at the show. Most shows have quilts displayed (with a judging contest) – prizes for different category’s. They also have vendors – quilt shops and other quilting related suppliers.

Some cities have Quilt Shows that take place at the same time as a festival. Our small town here in Wisconsin has a Fall Festival the first weekend in October. A local quilt guild has a quilt show at the same time.

So my recommendation would be for you to start with the local quilt shop owner and also talk with your local quilt guild – attend a meeting.

I found a quilt guild listed for Marietta when I goggled quilt guilds in Ohio – don’t know if it is up to date. Appears the one in Marietta has been around since 1996. http://www.quiltguilds.com/ohio.htm

Hope this has been helpful. Good luck.


Nov '11

Dubuque Thanksgiving Trip

Lobby of the Hotel Julian, Dubuque, Iowa

Dan, Donna, Jo and Ross with Hotel Julian's Christmas Tree

Jo and I continued our tradition in spending Thanksgiving at a historic hotel along the Great River Road with her sister Donna and husband Dan. This year we traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to spend the holiday at the Hotel Julian Dubuque. Previously we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Desoto Hotel in Galena and the St. James Hotel in Red Wing. The hotel lobby was gaily decorated for Christmas and the second floor atrium was set up with 10 uniquely decorated trees that are part of Dubuque’s annual Festival of Trees celebration. We had a great dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant Caroline’s and later enjoyed the Christmas Lights exhibition in Louis Murphy Park. (See our Dubuque Holiday Web Page for more pictures and information on these events)

Gulf of Mexico Aquarium at Mississippi River Museum

A little tyke enjoying the Gulf Aquarium tank at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

The next day, Friday, we visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Always an interesting tour. It is especially fun for kids with lots of interactive exhibits and a water play area. Educational too. In August we took our niece Kylah to the River Museum & Aquarium and she loved it. The museum’s ticket is good for two days of admission, which is useful because several exhibits have considerable educational information packed in them. We’ve been at the museum several times yet there are several multi-media productions and exhibits that I haven’t had time to explore in any depth.

Crust Italian Kitchen Restaurant, Dubuque, Iowa

Crust Italian Kitchen, Dubuque, Iowa

During this visit we discovered a new restaurant near the hotel: Crust Italian Kitchen. There used to be a brewpub-restaurant at this location but it ceased operations and the space was vacant for a while. The interior was much the same as the brewpub. Nice bar area with a variety of beers on tap and a few TVs for sports fans. We had their soup and salad special. Fresh greens, beets, carrots & goat cheese – an ample serving for a soup and salad special. Soup was equally impressive. And price was decent. Great service. If you are in Dubuque I highly recommend Crust Italian Restaurant.


Sep '11

Quilt Expo – Madison, Wisconsin

Joanna's antique quilt at quilt expo

Jo with her quilt at Madison's Wisconsin Quilt Expo

Attending Madison’s Quilt Expo Show

What a great honor it was having my quilt – “Plates from the Attic” – in the 2011 Wisconsin Quilt Expo that was held in Madison, Wisconsin September 8 – 10th. No awards for my quilt – but a great big smile from me at the show.

On Friday I attended the quilt show with my quilting friends Sue and Marie. On Saturday several members of my family attended the show with me: my sisters Margie, Eileen, and Donna plus my niece Kristi.

Registration at 2011 Madison Quilt Expo

My friends Sue and Marie at the registration desk planning what to do first

Quilt exhibits on display at Madison Quilt Expo

I guess looking at quilts was first on the list!

Scenes from Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Madison, WI

Shopping for good deals on fabrics

I came across this booth – silverthimbleonline.com – and found the shop owners were retiring and having a sale – all fabrics $7.00 a yard. They are closing the shop so they can focus more of their time on quilting books they write and quilting patterns they design. The booth was busy, busy. I found some great batiks. When I stopped back later on Saturday every rack was almost empty! What initially attracted me to this booth was I noticed they were from Springfield, New Hampshire and as we are planning a trip next summer to the northeast I am always on the lookout for quilt shops to visit on our travels. But since they are closing, no such luck on this one.

Scenes from Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Madison, WI

Author Jennifer Chiaverine

Later I saw Jennifer Chiaverine signing some of her books. She is a New York Times best-selling author whose stories – The Elm Creek Novels – always have some quilting theme woven into them.

Nancy Zieman at Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Madison, WI

Nancy Zieman signing books and shirts

On Saturday I found Nancy Zieman, co-host of Quilt Expo and executive producer and star of the popular PBS show “Sewing with Nancy,” also signing some books and shirts. Great Show Nancy.

I took pictures of several of the winning quilts and are showing them in my regular web pages on the Madison Quilt Expo so go there to see them. Below are some of the floral quilts and landscape quilts I particularly liked. Some day I hope to do one of these.

Did you attend the show? If so let me hear how you liked it – see comments, start discussion, or reply below.

Jo – joquilt@gmail.com

Landscape quilts at Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Madison, WI

Landscape quilt at Madison's Quilt Expo - 2011

Landscape Quilts at Madison Quilt Expo, Madison, WI

Landscape Quilt at Quilt Expo

Sep '11

Heading to Quilt Expo

Getting Ready for Madison’s Quilt Expo

Tomorrow I am heading to Madison’s big annual quilt show – Quilt Expo (see past Quilt Expo’s here) with my friend Sue. Then the next day I’ll be attending with my sisters. I’ll have a report and pictures from this year’s Expo ready to post here next week some time.

Plates from the Attic - using Dresden Plate blocks from the 1930s

This year’s event is special for me because I submitted my first quilt for a show and it got accepted. Quite an honor – even if I don’t win any awards. It will be so great to see my quilt displayed at the show. Very excited about the whole deal.

What is special about this quilt – named “Plates from the Attic” is my sister found the blocks among my Mom’s collections in her house after she passed away. They were made on 1934-36 sugar sacks and we don’t know who made them. We suspect Mom may have gotten them from Grandma who perhaps was a member of a quilting guild. Anyhow they ended up with me after 70 plus years. It took me a few years of thinking about the design I would use and looking at and buying antique fabrics at the Paducah AQS Show to come up with some I thought I could use for the quilt. I had the top completed  two years ago and decided to have it hand quilted because it is an antique or heirloom quilt. Ever since it was done Ross has been after me to enter it into a show. Finally I gave in – and to my surprise – it was accepted. The picture is of Ross and me outside holding the quilt to get the picture to submit to the Expo judges. He wanted it outside so we wouldn’t have to use a flash – which may have changed the colors.

Be reporting back soon. Maybe see you at the show?



Jun '11

Minnesota Quilt Show

Minnesota Quilters Quilt Show

Minnesota Quilters Annual Quilt Show

Quilts exhibits at Minnesota Quilt Show

My sister Donna and I attended the 2011 Quilt Show of the Minnesota Quilters Association, held in St. Paul, Minnesota June 16 – 18th.   In 2009 I caught the show in Duluth.

award winning quilt

One of my favorites was "Waterfall Symphony" by Elizabeth Lanzatella, Minneapolis, MN

We attended the first day of the show and I was surprised for a Thursday how many people were there. It was busy but Kudos for the quilt show organizers because we had no trouble seeing the quilt exhibits nor vendor booths because the layout of exhibits and vendors was well-planned to handle crowds of people. I particularly liked how the quilts were arranged; quilts of similar design themes were grouped together. I also found a wide variety of quilting styles and patterns plus a decent representation of quilts from Minnesota quilters. I suppose I like that because being from neighboring Wisconsin we share similar quilting traditions and a love for northwoods themes.

For a regional show I was surprised at the number of vendors; some good quality ones too. Like the quilt exhibits, the vendor booths were also well organized – not too cramped and easy to move from one vendor area to another even though the show had a nice crowd.

The show was held at the St. Paul Convention Center which was easy to find and had adequate and convenient parking. Probably my only complaint would be the $10 parking fee, a bit steep, but as I said the location was easy to find and parking was convenient so I guess you have to pay for those benefits! By the way if you are ever in Minneapolis-St. Paul you ought to go see Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Park, one of Minneapolis’ oldest and most popular parks. In addition to its natural beauty the falls is celebrated in Longfellow’s famous poem “The Song of Hiawatha.”

Jo and Donna at Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Park

I’ll be posting a few more pictures of quilts and scenes from the 2011 show on our regular pages of QuiltingPathways sometime in the next month or so.

Unless something comes up in the meantime the next show I’ll be attending will be Wisconsin’s Quilt Expo, held in Madison from Sept. 8th – 10th.

PS. Quilting Guilds and quilt show organizers. Let me know about your upcoming event and I can post it on our Quilt Show Calendar. We’d also appreciate a link to QuiltingPathways.com to help spread the word on quilt shows, including yours, quilting events, and quilt shops along scenic byways. Contact me at quiltingpathways@gmail.com

Keep on Quiltin’


May '11

Eleanor Burns Paducah Tent Show

Eleanor Burns Tent Show at the 2011 AQS Paducah Quilt Show.

Hello Paducah Quilt Show Fans,

Ross has just finished processing a video of the 2011 version of Eleanor Burns’ popular tent show performance held during the big Paducah Quilt Show & Contest in Paducah Kentucky. If you were there, here’s a little 5 minute snippet of the show to bring back the memories. If you’ve never seen her show, it will give you a little taste of what it is like. BTW the day we were there she mentioned that over in the fabric sale tent, the biggest ticket sale of the day was over $11,000. Not all fabric, I guess there was a machine in that purchase too, but I know a ton of fabric is sold each year at her tent sale.

Here’s that link to the Eleanor Burns Tent Show Video

Happy Quilting – Jo