Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Reunited after 7 years!

What fun~  Gwen is here on the east coast for the first time since I move here 9 years ago.  She is visiting both of my guilds in addition to 3 others.  We are all thrilled to see her.

We started the day by looking at some of the quilts that Gwen brought with her.  The workshop we were taking was the Nineteenth Century Folk Art Appliqué class.

I never tire of looking at  and studying these quilts based on motifs and styles from the 19 century.  The quilting is lovely and lively.

This one was machine quilted by Sue Nickels - beautiful.

I was happy to see this one again.  I'd like to try the liberated sawtooth border one day.


This quilt is one of the collaborative quilts made with Freddie Moran.

A good backing if ever there was one.

Gwen demonstrated simple sketching techniques to use as a road map for small projects.

Paper cutting flower and star shapes -

Let me pause here just to say that after being a student of Gwen's for almost 20 years I am even more impressed by how fresh and fun her approach is.  I am so grateful that she gives quilters "permission" to make their own designs.  To use what works for them as quilters and not demand it be "her way".

I can not fully express how invaluable these lessons have been to me over the years and often I employ them in my work.  I would not be on the quilt journey I am without the 5 years of Gwen's Fall Retreat and her influence.  

Here are some of my friends pieces at the workshop.

Susan H's pineapple

Ann's vase of flowers

Susan Mc'Ds Flowers

Jill's spring basket - how cute are those pussy willows?

I decided to make a quilt about my puppy; coco.  She doesn't fetch, but loves to "pick" flowers in the yard and chase the bunny.

After admiring all the fun flower pieces,  I composed this.

When Gwen wanted to demonstrate an appliqué sawtooth border, naturally I volunteered my piece.  hey, I'm no dummy.

Friday she'll be lecturing at my guild The Brownstone Quilters.  Saturday I'll be taking her liberated basket workshop.  

After joking with Gwen about sitting at the heels of "the master" and also that the "sheep had returned to the shepherd",  Betsy took this photo of us cracking up.  

News Bulletin - News Bulletin - News Bulletin - New Bulletin

Gwen gave me permission to share her big news.  Gwen told me they have a saying in the Auto Industry in Michigan; 30 and out.

Next year (2013) will be Gwen's 30th Annual Quilt Retreat and she will passing on the torch.  Retreaters will be relieved to learn that Sue Nickels and Pat Holly will be taking over the reigns.  These sisters have been attendees and friends with Gwen for years.  She reassured me that the  retreat will be in good hands and will continue in the tradition of inspiration, information, friendships and fun!

See you soon for another report on Gwen's East Coast Tour.


  1. How fabulous!!
    Lucky you to have Gwen there - just amazing. Licke so many others I'm a big fan and hold her in such high regards.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  2. What a wonderful day... Gwen is one of my idols!

  3. thanks for sharing the wonderful quilts. Gwen just seems like an amazing teacher!

  4. How wonderful, thanks for sharing the pictures from the the previews of everyones projects can't wait to see them finished!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Gwen is awesome-I had the chance to see her speak at a guild 2 years ago...fabulous!

  6. Oh how exciting!!! I didn't know she was still teaching her more traditional (if you can say that about Gwen LOL) appliqué - how marvelous! You've shown some beautiful quilts. I can't wait to see what you do with the liberated baskets - you lucky girl!

  7. LOVE the liberated sawtooth border and lucky you to have her getting you started with the one for your quilt~!!~

    i've always dreamed of meeting Gwen and getting to take one of her workshops so i'm quite disapointed to hear that she's retiring although i'm sure the torch will be carried along quite faithfully.


  8. OH I am green with envy!
    I hope you will share all that you learned on your blog! Oh my she is such a hero of mine. Soak it all up you lucky dog!
    Have a wonderful time Barb!

    Happy Sewing

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Trying again...
    How great that you have enjoyed this long time relationship with Gwen. What an impact she has made on the quilting world.

    Love your show and tell...
    Applique rules!

  11. She certainly knows how to keep quilting fresh! I'm taking one of her classes this July- she is a whole lotta fun!!

  12. OMG- how exciting for you to be there again! I want one of everything :)!! Can't wait to see more show and tell.

  13. Oh WOW! What amazing quilts and project starts! There is so much inspiration in this one post!! Enjoy and soak it all up - Thanks for sharing it with us too :0)

  14. Yikes! I've been trying to get to her fall retreat for four years. Thanks for the vicarious treat of your current workshop. Looks so fabulous.

  15. Wow thanks for the mini quilt show.
    We had Gwen as a speaker last year and she was a hit!
    I love your blocks,very creative!

  16. I took this class last May and relived all the great feelings through your post. She is amazing and taking her class definitely changed my quilting life.

  17. The Brownstoners had a wonderful time with Gwen today. (She mentioned you and your quilts several times!) Thanks for the wonderful photos. I guess if I want to go to a Gwen retreat, I'd better get a move on!

  18. What a great time for you.....and I love all of those projects you showed.

  19. You lucky duck! I haven't seen Gwen in nearly 5 years. She has always been my biggest inspiration. You have been a good student. Have fun!

  20. It's so fun to see Gwen in your photos and to see everyone's works. She is a true gem, and never seems to tire of helping all of us have more fun with our quilting. Lucky you, having the opportunity to study with her for so long!

  21. This looks like tremendous fun! I love the simple, but charming shapes Gwen inspired everyone to create. Coco's vignette is priceless! How lucky you are to have such an inspiring teacher!

  22. That's it!
    I'm signing up for her retreat in Sept., I'm afraid I won't get in next year when word gets out it is her last year of retreats.
    Anyone want to join me Sept. 19th
    on Beaver Island, MI?

    Happy Sewing

  23. All I can say is WOW! What an awesome experience for you. Thanks for sharing so much. I plan to get a copy of her new book as soon as I can.

  24. OH MY! OH MY! You know I am just green with envy, but you also know I still like you anyway!! HA!

    How lucky for you, I can't believe you are going to get more than once dose of her on the east coast!!!!!

    Great photos!!!

  25. wheee, what a fabulous wonderful time. love all the Gwen quilts and the quilts in progress, esp yours!

  26. How fantasically lucky are you?! It looks like a great class..and all of the projects look great.'ll have a quilt that Gwen stitched on..woohoo! :)

  27. When will you be attending another Gwen retreat? (only 2 choices now) cause I live so close to the retreat place. I'd love to go when you are there. Can't beat Michigan - home of Gwen, Pat, Sue, Edyta S., Laurie Simpson, me (LOL)...Enjoy your wonderful days with Gwen!!!!!

  28. When will you be attending another Gwen retreat? (only 2 choices now) cause I live so close to the retreat place. I'd love to go when you are there. Can't beat Michigan - home of Gwen, Pat, Sue, Edyta S., Laurie Simpson, me (LOL)...Enjoy your wonderful days with Gwen!!!!!

  29. Wait!

    30 and out? Does that mean Gwen will celebrate her 30th anniversary camp next year and THEN pass the torch? Or is she going to do 29 years and pass the torch ON her 30th year?

  30. I took two classes with Gwen a few years ago in Knoxville...really a wonderful lady!

  31. Enjoyed this post. I've admired Gwen for a very long time. Lucky you!

  32. OMG! I was just going to say that I hoped to do one of her fall retreats before she stopped doing them...DOH! Maybe it's not too late to do the last one...

    The pieces are beautiful...I love Coco's quilt.

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  33. Hey Barb!
    Looks like you had a great time with our liberated lady! Pictures from the class are great. Love your quilt with coco.

  34. What a wonderful post!! You made me feel like I was there. All those quilts are so amazing! Best of all are the beautiful photos of you and Gwen. Your little quilt with Coco picking flowers and chasing bunnies really made me smile!

  35. Just had to tell you, I was at my old guild show yesterday and bought the first Liberated Quilting book by Gwen for $4.00!! What a find and many of the quilts in the book were by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. Very interesting!!

  36. What a wonderful inspiring post to read!

  37. Thanks for sharing. So jealous...
    Love your Coco quilt. That picture of you and Gwen with the big smiles is priceless.


Thank you for commenting! If you can't comment here, free free to email me directly at