I’m not a formally trained “teacher”, but I have been teaching and sharing quilting and embroidery techniques for over 30 years on the east end of Long Island. I’m not sure where I learned all I know. I think I can relate it back to learning from my Aunt, Grandmothers, Mother and even Girl Scouts, plus the many teachers my guild used to bring out to our area.

Lately I have been teaching at Hallockville Museum Farm and the program has been very successful. We run simple, low stress try-it-out classes, most of which require you to bring only a pair of scissors. We use a few hours to get you started and trying out something new. We run mostly hand sewing classes, and in many other arts. To see what’s happening on the farm go to, they have a calendar page.

Below is my plan for the next few months of classes. I teach at Hallockville  Museum Farm in Riverhead (the only place I teach right now because I’m still fully employed during the week). Keep in mind plans change and adjust as we move ahead through the year as the Museum is a busy place. It keeps us on our toes and we learn to be flexible!

To register go to







August 18, 10 am – 1 pm, Applique Sunflower

If you love applique quilts and always wanted to learn this class is for you. Learn English paper piecing and hand applique in a relaxed setting with this Summer Sunflower design. Several techniques will be discussed for setting up your project. Hand applique stitch, whip stitch and ladder stitch will be demonstrated and practiced during class. Fabric supplied










September 15 (Saturday), 1 pm—4 pm: Country Embroidery

Learn basic embroidery stitches to make this simple piece, which can be incorporated into a pillow or wall hanging. You will learn the Backstitch, Daisy Chain, Stem Stitch, Outline Stitch, and French Knot. Time in class is devoted to repetition and improving your stitch while you work on your piece. This piece will only take a few hours and is a nice addition to your home décor. Background, pattern foundation, embroidery needle and embroidery floss included in class. Bring your basic hand sewing kit and your floss if you wish.












October 20, 1 pm – 4 pm: Folk Art Wool Applique Bird Christmas Ornament

Get ready for the holiday gift making with our folk art wool ornament class. This year’s features a red cardinal with pine branches. Embellishment is up to you. Add embroidery, beads, trim, buttons and more. Bring scissors, your embroidery supplies and hand sewing kit. Wool and pattern provided.



Rabbits Hoppin’ Along

I’m still getting used to making rabbit items while it’s snowing and holiday table runners when it’s ninety degrees out. Last year I machine appliqued a few rabbit blocks but never finished them into anything. If I don’t get hoppin-along another Easter will go by with no finished rabbit wall hangings. The hexie flower and leaves are hand appliqued down. I’m working on growing a collection of bright, modern and fun fabrics, along with 1930’s type fabrics. On a cold rainy day they cheer me up! More soon!

Silk Ribbon Wool Easter Eggs

Well it’s snowing again (or raining – like every 48 hours) so it must be time to make Easter Eggs. Some of my students over at the museum wished to try silk ribbon embroidery, so we ran the wool egg class this year again incorporating some simple embroidery stitches with 4 mm and 7 mm silk ribbon. The silk ribbon makes such pretty flowers, especially the variegated purples from the Thread Gatherer. I finally found them on etsy rather than a third party site. More on vendors later and how to find embroidery threads…

So… I decided to try a new way to sew them together which would not disturb my delicate silk stitches. The applique egg we did last year was stitched inside out, then turned right side out, pulling the appliques through an opening in the bottom. That seemed to be problematic as things got caught and crushed. I now pin them and sew them together with a running stitch, adding one slice at a time. Before I stitch the last side together I carefully turn it out, run my fingers along the seams to make them fully open, then stuff it. Sewing the last seam together along turned under raw edges with a ladder stitch is challenging (and sometimes comes out wavy) but well worth preserving the 3-D flower stitches. I cover the seam lines with embroidery with pearl cotton and beads.

Daffodils are a new favorite!

I also found that the wool blends work better to hold the egg shape than a soft full wool fabric. the 100% wool stretches too much when you stuff it and then hold it closed while closing the last side. I stuff it pretty firmly so stretching is not helpful.

The embroidered flowers are much faster than doing applique on each slice. I can almost finish and egg a night, depending on how my poor achey thumbs are feeling.

Where do I get silk ribbon?

OR go to and type silk ribbon in the top right search box. I use 3.5 or 4 mm ribbon and 7 mm ribbon for these eggs because the pattern creates a small (slightly larger than a real egg) egg. The ratio of egg to flower works with these thicknesses of ribbon and they are easy to pull through the wool blend. Anything thicker probably wouldn’t work too well. The silk would take a beating being pulled through the wool and be all folded up and wrinkled. But experiment! That’s what I did!


Wool Folk Art Easter Eggs

We all know March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I’m always eager to start Spring as soon as possible. Sometimes Mother Nature poops (or snows) on that idea. and sometimes she doesn’t. You just never know.  I just gave a wool applique class making the below easter eggs. Very fun! Step by step instructions to follow for the students who attended…

For a pattern of the Tulip design which we used in class go to Hallockville Museum Fams new etsy shop. It will be on there soon!

Tinkering in the virtual world

Hi All, I grew up doing craft sales with my family in my local High School and at Hallockville Museum Farm, and even once at SCCC when they held the County Fair (that was crazy-hauling cans of fresh cut flowers half full
of water down county road 51 in my old station wagon) selling hand made Christmas ornaments, dried flowers, fresh flowers, crocheted hand puppets, wood items, you name it, whatever we took a fancy to making that year. I also grew up when computers still had wire boards to sort punch cards and took up an entire room, and saw the progression of miniaturization and accessibility. While it’s not Star Trek yet, we get closer and closer every year. (I watch SciFi movies to see what innovations the minds of writers come up with – like virtual in-the-air monitors and keyboards). SO too has the crafting world evolved to make use of the many portable devices we now carry in our pockets (a computer which happens to ring once in a while – cell phone). Many crafters take what little time this busy life gives them and surf the net or use twitter or instagram to catch snippets of what’s going on in their areas of interest. They take classes, watch videos, share and chat whenever they can. I’ve decided to join them and have taken the first few leaps by creating an instagram account, a twitter account and now an etsy shop. Usually I only participate in one folk art sale a year. Due to having a full time job I usually have a hard time coming up with enough inventory to do more than one. But, when I create samples for a hand skill class I end up with not only patterns but several examples (because like potatoe chips- you can’t make just one). If your organized to make silk ribbon brooches, you make several while you have the supplies out. So… creating the shop allowed me to again use my computer, photography skills and hand sewing skills to create a nice looking shop. So far I have one wool egg on there, but more to follow after I visit the Post Office to get an idea what I would ship a four ounce wool Easter egg in. Perhaps having the shop will encourage me to sew more and to be more organized. I love Christmas and the November sale I take part in is perfect for that, but I also love making Spring and Easter designs. I wonder if I can make sub-shops inside the one shop, or separate “rooms” for each seasonal type item. But anyway I digress, here’s the site link:

Once I get organized many of these wool folk art eggs will pop in there and I might even get them promoted on instagram and other places (If I can figure all that out-this all takes hours, so bare with the time lag!)

A Quilt Revisited

Hi All, I love to do floral machine applique and have developed my own pattern and process for a layered rose. The quilt below was made from pieces of a wedding ring quilt a quilting friend gave to me. She couldn’t continue working on it due to a family argument. It was very sad, involving grandchildren and some feud. I decided to finish the quilt for a friend and co-worker who has struggled on her own to raise her children and make a home. She was happily getting married again and this quilt was a perfect fit. The quilt deserved to be appreciated in a happy environment where it would be loved and appreciated. All the arcs were done using the Quiltsmart fusible wedding ring method.

All I that was left to do was fuse and applique them in place. I used a mauve thread which went well with the colors in the arcs and machine appliqued them in place using a tiny blanket stitch. And (of course) the background fabric used in 12 blocks that were already done was being discontinued so I bought what the local quilt store had left of it’s companion.

Once all of the squares were appliqued with arches I fused, traced and cut out tons of petals and fused various sized and colored roses in hues similar to the arc colors. I set up every table I own in the center of my living room and fused roses and stems and leaves all over it, making some appear to go under and over different arcs. After all this I surrounded my sewing machine with tables and raw edge free motion sewed them down. My cousin quilted the top and when I find the final picture I will include it below. I’m really enjoying making quilts for others “just because”. It’s really fun to surprise someone who you know would appreciate a quilt but who doesn’t yet quilt (but is learning!)









Another example of using roses – to finish that UFO from a guild NQDay workshop

Where I Began…

When I took a quilting class with my Mom, given by my neighbor in Eastport in the 80’s I had no idea it would lead to a lifetime of learning in the hand needle arts. I joined a local quilt guild to learn more because “my mother made me do it” as I jokingly filled out the form asking why I had joined (she really didn’t).

I grew up on the east end of long island in a household of Polish and Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants who value work and keeping busy. We were always making something crafty and quilting was just another extension of that. As a member of a local guild for over 27 years I took many quilting and embroidery classes with National teachers there and at shows throughout the U.S. I applied that knowledge not only to personal projects, but to quilts made for co-workers with illness, the Make A Wish Foundation, a local Organic Farm, and Hallockville Museum Farm (a 25th anniversary raffle quilt in 2015).

With the arrival of quilt related software it was just another extension of my life that fit with the art, since I am a computer and data person by trade. Quilting allowed me to use my organized, detail oriented mind in a creative endeavor that is very satisfying and fun to share. And… I use my photography skills now practically every day.

To that end I have been involved in working in partnership with Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead to preserve the hand needle arts. When we worked on their raffle quilt in 2015 we discovered that many of the participants were eager to learn more and talked about their grandmothers and the hand needlework and what a shame it was that they are not being passed on to the next generations.

Surprisingly the current trend in the craft market is hand-made. (Like: what’s old is new again – Quilling and Macrame are back too!) Rather than taking up a sewing machine (though many are) the younger crafters are very interested in hand needlework. Let’s face it, many quilting techniques today can be done by both hand or machine. Some folks just don’t have a working sewing machine at home, or a portable one to lug to classes, and find hand work very satisfying and portable. To make a quilt or craft you don’t have to buy expensive fabrics or equipment. You can make them from cotton or wool clothing, it can be very sustainable (which is one of the things Hallockville supports as an example of farming on Long Island through many generations).

The idea to present and preserve the needle arts at Hallockville was a natural result of these conversations. Last weekend we offered a wool Polish folk art Easter Egg class, to continue the series which we started a few years ago, that was very successful. In the Fall we offered an folk art wool ornament, also well attended. We have a strong Quilt and Stitch group going, members of which work to demonstrate techniques at events on grounds and offer folk art and quilting classes and exhibits throughout the year to the public.

The whole idea is to bring the needle arts to anyone who wishes to explore it in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in a historic setting. It just fits right into the landscape there and brings hope that these skills will be passed on and continued. March 18th marks National Quilting Day and we are offering very beginner classes in quilting to anyone who wishes to try it out. Explore the below two websites for more information.,

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me. Being challenged to create new classes that teach a combination of hand skills has been very rewarding for me so far! Stay tuned!


Why Water Lilies?

Well, why not? Living on Long Island we have many mini ecosystems to enjoy, from the ocean, to rivers and bog areas to visit and hike in. One of these areas is Quogue Wildlife. Some of the water lily pictures on this site are from there and some from other places such as Mystic Aquarium, Peconic River Herb Farm, and the lakes in Patchogue.