My trip back to the third coast

I flew to Chicago to give 2 lectures and teach a day and a half Tea & Ephemera workshop for the Prairie Star quilt guild in St. Charles, Illinois. Before heading out to the burbs, I reunited with a group of good friends that regularly met for dinner at my old loft.


Our group initially started meeting for artist play dates, and a potluck meal with drinks, but before you knew it, our gatherings became all about the food and drinks with fun themes like; Cuban, St. Patrick’s day corned beef and cabbage, tapas… we always had lots of laughs and great camaraderie.

Since I’ve been away from Chicago for a year and a half, we decided to go with a Chicago theme and have Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza. IMG_8770

Unfortunately the one thing we were missing was our good friend Trish Williams who moved down to Peoria a year ago and couldn’t make it.


Sunday Pat and I went out for a fantastic brunch at Ann Sather in Edgewater, where the breakfast came with two side dishes,IMG_8772

one of them being these two incredible, fresh from the oven, cinnamon rolls, that were a meal in themselves.


After our calorie laden brunch, we drove up to the Northwestern Campus to take a walk along the lake and had an encounter with one of Chicago’s adorable wild bunnies.


The shoreline on campus is covered with the huge painted rocks. Many have invitations to the prom, wedding proposals, and declarations of love.


There are toasts to friends, expressions of gratitude to parents and even a bucket list for change.


and some great advice.IMG_8802


I love this oneIMG_8804

tea & ephemeraOn Monday I taught the first day of the Tea & Ephemera workshop, where my students tried out a full range of mixed media techniques on a piece of faux tea stained fabric.

Later that evening at the guild meeting, several of my students shared their pieces from the workshop and after show and tell,IMG_8817 I gave my lecture titled ‘All in the Process’ which is an information packed powerpoint where I  share a host of technical problems I ran into and how I solved them while making several of my biggest quilts. I also discuss the supplies I use and explain the difference between the various paint mediums I use and why I might choose one over another.

It was wonderful to see my friend Andrea Brim, a fellow PAQA member.


Tuesday morning the guild met for their second meeting, where I gave my lecture on Inspiration. After lunch, the Tea and Ephemera workshop continued.P1030036

I loved having that second day for students to take all the things they learned from the day before and pick and choose techniques to create a second piece of art, thinking more about design and placement of elements while choosing from the full range of techniques.P1030032


One student came to class with her work from the previous day quilted and in a frame!P1030050

A few other students stitched their piece in class and tried out the couched twisted cord binding method I taught P1030049

while others preferred to save the sewing for home and concentrate on collage.P1030031


One student came with a treasure trove of old cookbooks to use for design inspiration.P1030037

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These two look like they are off to a wonderful start.

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All in all we had a wonderful time together creating beautiful art with tea bags and more.



After class was over, I went to dinner with my dear friends Laura Wasilowski and Frieda Anderson. I miss hanging out with them so much. I spent the night at Frieda’s and while I was there, she bought my Tea & Ephemera inspired butterfly.IMG_8829

I’m thrilled to have it become part of her collection of beautiful textile art.

I am so happy to be home in California, but Chicago (like Austin, Los Angeles and Maine) will always be home for me too, since I lived there just as long as any of the other places.

This expresses exactly how I feel about Chicago and all my friends who live there.


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