This has been the most unusual summer! Regular readers will remember that I traveled in May to Florida to see my family and my quilts in an exhibit in Naples, then to Boston for a rowing event, then to Denver for the SAQA Visioning Conference.

This week I just got back from a surprise trip to Amsterdam, where my son Phil competed in

Phils At Worlds 2011

the World Rowing Championships for Under 23 year olds. He and his teammate, also named Phil, raced in the lightweight men’s pair event and came in ninth overall. Considering that they had never raced internationally before and had only been training in the pair for a little more than a month, it was quite an accomplishment. It was very exciting seeing them representing the United States. If you’re interested in rowing and would like to read more about their experience, visit Phil’s blog at

I’d never been to Amsterdam, so the unexpected week there was truly a gift. It was cool and a little rainy, but we had good raingear and a little wet didn’t bother us.

Amsterdam Flower Market

The flower market was amazing–just look at the colors! They had amaryllis bulbs there as big as your hand as

Amsterdam Canal

well.  I can definitely see this ending up as inspiration for a quilt. I fell in love with the charming houses lining the canals and the boats tied up just below. We had dinner one night at an outdoor cafe right on the edge of one of these canals. It was fun to watch the canal boats laze by as we ate.

Also there are fabulous museums in Amsterdam, so I got my art “fix” as well. I think Van Gogh was my favorite–his work is so powerful close up with the thick application of paint and the swirling brushstrokes. You can’t really see the amazing texture in his work in a photograph. The Rijksmuseum is under construction right now, but there’s a small exhibit of their best works on display, including work by Vermeer and Rembrandt–that was quite a treat.

Sisters Quilt Show 2011

Over the fourth of July weekend, my husband and I had planned a trip out to the west coast, visiting friends in Seattle and Olympia, Washington, then on to Oregon where my husband climbed Mt. Hood and I went to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt show in Bend, OR. At right is a shot of quilts hanging on the outside of The Stitching Post, the quilt shop in Sisters. There were thousands of quilts hanging on walls and balconys outdoors all over town–it was an unforgettable experience.

Closer to  home, I’m working on finishing up a commission and quilting my “30 Quilts in 30 Days” project, so my next post will be more quilt-related, but I wanted to share my experiences over the last few weeks as an explanation for why my blog has been on vacation! I don’t normally travel so much, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to see new places and get inspiration from new sources for my work.

Mark your calendars for the MPAArtfest on October 2 and the Great Falls Studios Studio Tour on October 15 and 16! I’m going to be busy the next two months getting new work ready to show you!.