Jacquelynne Steves

A Snowy First Day of Spring and Wool Class

A few weeks ago, I received an email from The Old Country Store, a charming quilt shop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They were offering a wool workshop with Kathy Cardiff, in conjunction with her new book by Martingale, A Cottage Garden. I LOVE making projects for The Art of Home Club, for my blog and for our annual Block of the Month- but all of those come with a deadline, and so feel a little like “work” sometimes. I hardly ever do sewing “just because.” So when I saw this workshop, I thought I’d treat myself to a day or 2 of shopping and sewing in Amish country.

As the day of the class drew nearer, the weather forecast looked iffy. First, it was a chance of flurries that would probably pass us by… then a few inches of snow predicted…. by the day before the class, they were forecasting 10-12 inches. On the first day of Spring. Which is more snow than we had had all winter long!!

I decided to go anyway, and planned to stay an extra night if necessary. The first day, as the snow began to fall, the stores were empty and perfect for shopping, LOL! I stopped at a diner for dinner (see the train in the background) and enjoyed watching the peaceful snow fall as I had my soup and sandwich and cup of tea.

Happy first day of Spring!

And by the way, you KNOW that you are in Lancaster PA when you find the tubs of bacon drippings in the dairy case, right next to the lard!

The next day, which was the day of the class, the roads were a bit treacherous, and I asked myself, as I drove in my little Mini Cooper- What was I thinking?? There were a few pick up trucks out on the roads, as well as one very brave horse and buggy. I made it to the shop in one piece.

I really enjoyed the class! We made a wool needle case with a gorgeous flower on the front and a scissor holder and pocket inside. I enjoyed meeting Kathy and the other students as well:

My finished needle case- isn’t it beautiful??

Here are some samples from Kathy’s book:

While I was in the class, although it was snowing all day, the roads actually cleared up and it was pretty smooth sailing back to the hotel, where it continued to snow all night. Then the next morning, I cleaned off my car, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while I waited for the sun to work on my car a little more, and then drove the uneventful trip home.


It also ended up being a FAT (Fabric Acquisition Trip) as I took advantage of a couple of sales. Don’t judge!! LOL. Since we do a lot of applique and embroidery in The Art of Home Club, I’m always on the lookout for interesting background fabrics:


I have a couple of ideas for the yellow and gray fabrics. I liked how the blue and green fabrics looked together and I have an idea for them as well. The reds I got just because I liked them, and you can never go wrong with a really good red! You’ll always find a way to use it:

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these, but, seriously- they’re so cute how could I NOT get a half yard of each, just because.

(Because I know some of you will ask: neutral fabrics are by a variety of designers and manufacturers. Reds are by Moda. Yellow and Gray are Flutter & Buzz by Heather Rosas for Camelot Fabrics, except top fabric which is by 3 Wishes fabric. Pet fabrics are by Woof Woof Meow by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda.)


  • Chris
    Posted March 27, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Jacquelynne,

    Your mini retreat sounds like so much fun. I’ve never attended a sewing retreat and would really like to. I enjoy your newsletters and your facebook page so much. Thanks for always being willing to share with us.
    I hope you have a lovely Easter.

  • Posted March 27, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Looks like you had an absolutely lovely trip. Your needle case is just beautiful.

  • Anonymous
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    How exciting-your “field trip” of fun-and a beautiful case for your glasses! I bought some wool fabric “scraps” last fall and hope to do something this year with it. Love the snow but will pass on the lard-haha Happy Easter!

  • Monica Kostak
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    oops- i’m not Anonymous- It was me- I forgot to sign in.

  • Priscilla Holtzapple
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Several of my friends and I were there at the same time during the snow storm. We really enjoyed ourselves as there were very few people in the fabric shops. Wish now we had decided to take the class at the Old Country Store, it’s wonderful there. You did a beautiful job! Never can resist buying fabric just because you like it, so you go girl!

  • Rita
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    It was really a fun time at Kathy’s workshop. Is fun also to follow you in your site now that I met you. You have beautiful work too. My friend Nancy and I downloaded Kathy’s First Tulips Wool appliqué mat and ordered her kit for this pattern. I am in the process of assembling it. Will post a picture when I am done. Take care and maybe we meet you again in Intercourse.

  • CarolK
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE that needle case you made. I have lots of wool in my stash since I do a lot of rug hooking. I see a needle case in my future. Thank you for sharing.

  • Judy Kraus
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Love Kathy. I took a class in San Diego and I have her book. I love working with wool.

  • Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Love your needle case Jacquelynne! You did a beautiful job (of course!). We have been having more winter-like weather here in Nashville as well. Lots of dull gray skies and rain – ugh!!! I just returned from Mountain Quiltfest where I did a little Stash Enhancement of my own – isn’t that FUN???

  • Sue D
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Love what you created in class.

  • Linda Janovitz
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Sure sounds like you had a GREAT time ! The needles case is so cute. Where can I get the pattern? Your fabric selection is gorgeous? I would have bought all of them too !!

  • Joyce Stratton
    Posted March 28, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    So glad you had fun on your mini retreat despite the snow. I love doing wool appliqué. I’ve been eyeing Kathy’s book so now I know I have to buy it.

  • martina king
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    can you use felt to make these projects? thanks

    • Posted March 29, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Hi Martina- yes you could, since you are not likely to launder a needle case. For projects which will be washed, you can’t you use “craft” felt because it will fall apart in the wash. For this we used “felted” wool, meaning it’s been washed in hot water so it has shrunken up and the fibers are bound together.

      • martina king
        Posted April 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Thanks , that is very helpful!! again Thanks for answering

  • Mary Beth
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I Love the needle case Jacquelynne! Great color choices!!

  • Dinah L Halopka
    Posted March 29, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Love reading your posts and your project sharing! It looks like you had a wonderful time at your mini retreat. They do help get the creative juices flowing and the fellowship is always wonderful. Wishing you a blessed Easter!

  • Crystal Knight
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I love the needlecase. Wools look so pretty. Thank you for sharing!

  • Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    It looks like it was a lot of fun!

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