Out da Door — Again!

I’m off to two fabulous locations!

This week I’ll see you in 2 countries!

On Tuesday, I fly to Olympia, Washington to teach, lecture and host a charity auction!

Immediately after that, I catch a plane to Calgary, Canada for Quilt Canada — where I lecture — twice!  One for entertainment, and one for business!

Now I wasn’t too far from Canada a few weeks ago when I was featured speaker and teacher in Minot, North Dakota!

To be honest, while I had heard of Minot, I had no idea where North Dakota was (I assumed, correctly I might add, that  it was the land above South Dakota).  Everybody told me that it was cold and that there was nothing there . . .

Well, as usual, everybody who had an opinion was totally wrong.  There IS a there in North Dakota!

I had the very best time.  The people were phenomenal. The Minot Prairie Quilt Guild was large and very talented (and treated me like GOLD).  And North Dakota, at least Minot, was charming, to say the least.

Here are some pics of my stay . . .

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course!

Right in the middle of town is a giant red Dala Horse!

Behind the horse is a traditional Scandinavian storage house.

Just look at the hand carving on this “shed.”

Goin’ to the Chapel

Across the plaza is the Gol Stave Church Museum that is all hand built and carved magnificantly . . .

I just found myself so inspired creatively by this building . . .

Here is the inside.  It is very, very plain.  Yet in its simplicity, it is beautiful.  Notice the faces of the pagen gods carved into the pillars at the top.  There are several faces carved in pillars around the inside of the church.

The hand hammered iron and the simple locks are stunning.

The altar is just a simple, hand carved cross with a very plain appliqued quilt hanging behind it.  It is the only color in the building.

Swedish Weaving

A beautiful example of this weaving technique hung in the church

My grandmother taught me how to do this kind of embroidery when I was a kid.

Deja Vu . . .

This was taken in the museum store.

I would have thought that I was smack in the local Minot bar scene because THIS is the only type of guy who ever hit on me!

I loved the beaded bodice of this traditional Scandinavian costume.

Throwing a Curve

Here are some pictures of one of my classes.

But of all the things I’ll cherish from the trip is . . .

Going out to dinner with the guild Minot Guild Executive and Show Planning cupcakes and their husbands after the show.   We had burgers at The Badlands Grill House and Saloon.

And I’ve never had a Long Island Iced Tea quite as good as the ones they served here!   Amazing!

Here’s the Long Island Iced Tea Recipe I use at home:

Long Island Iced Tea

1/2 c. Tequila
1/2 c. Gin
1/2 c. Rum
1/2 c. Triple Sec
32 oz. Lemonade
32 oz. Coke

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE!  I’m telling you that this drink sneaks up on you and knocks you on your can!  Honest!

Bought a couple of books . . .

Whether you’re a fan of O (as in Obama, not Oprah) or not, you would be foolish to pass up this significant bit of quilting history before it goes out of print and you’re looking at a several hundred dollar  used copy of Journey of Hope from Amazon (because I know, and you know, you will be looking).   This book, by Carolyn Mazloomi is TERRIFIC, dudes!  It features quilts inspired by President Obama and is one page of soon-to-be historic eye-candy after another.  The talent in our modern quilting community is amazing, isn’t it?

To be fair, I had seen a preview copy of this book, passed around the Board of Directors table at the Alliance for American Quilts in Washington DC, several weeks ago.  I knew then that I had to have it.   That weekend, I also had the good fortune to attend a lecture by Dr. Mazloomi.   If she’s speaking near you, make sure you get a ticket.  She’s very entertaining!  Visit Carolyn’s site by clicking —>  HERE!

BUY Carolyn’s book at Amazon.com by clicking —->  BUY THE BOOK

Next . . .

Now, I bought this next book online, sight unseen, based on the title alone.   It’s pretty simplistic in its approach, meaning an idiot could probably follow the directions and get something out of it, but all in all, I was hoping for something more.  I’m not sure what more, just more.   Fact is, I think that the majority of the quilts that I’ve actually seen over the years that had incorporated “pictures” into the work, tend to look amateurish and unappealing.  And I gotta say that I got that same feeling when I looked at some of the finished quilts in the book — they didn’t do it for me in the least.   On the other hand there are a couple of techniques in this book that seem to work pretty well and may transcend you above and beyond what we think of when we think of the marriage of quilts and photos. But those are the techniques that take you beyond copying a photo onto fabric, sewing blocks around it and calling it a quilt.  Like all art, if you want to create something of note, you have to work at it until it’s right!

Ever have the feeling that something was wrong even though you have no proof?

Well, I haven’t seen old Evan wearing his new glasses in several weeks.   I was sure his quest to keep his “Twilight-esque” Taylor Lautner look-a-like thing going was at the heart of it all.

Taylor Lautner —

Evan Lipinski —

But my curiosity got the better of me and I went on a opti-alogical dig in his room.

You guessed it . . .

Yup.  Here are Evan’s new glasses.  My worst fear realized.

The case is stained with soda.

The lens is popped out.

The arms are as hideously twisted as Heidi Montag’s self image.

And the part that go over the ears have literally been chewed off by the dog. (And I know which dog — VIOLET)

Only on Pickle Road, cupcakes.  Only on Pickle Road!

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43 Comments on “Out da Door — Again!”

  1. Sara Volk
    April 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM #

    Uff-da will ya look at that-there horse then!!!! I drive by there all the time; now I’m going to have to stop and actually look at it. It was great to have you here!!!


  2. April 18, 2010 at 8:04 PM #

    I love what you had to say about ND being a native North Dakotan myself from about an hour and a half south of Minot in the capital city of Bismarck!!! ND’s beauty, treasures and people are woefully underestimated but it keeps the riff-raff out as we like to say. I live in MN now, but ND will always be home!


  3. Amy
    April 18, 2010 at 8:13 PM #

    I love Violet’s picture-it’s a true mug shot. And in you son’s defense, if any of us was cute enough to look like a celebrity, we’d be doing everything in our power to refine the look! The church pictures are stunning. The carvings are amazing, but I am in awe of all of those perfect shingles. Those Scandinavians really know their way around wood!


  4. Rita C
    April 18, 2010 at 8:17 PM #

    The church pictures are beautiful. What a charming community. Tell Evan he is much more handsome than Taylor Lautner, and he can set his own trendy style for others to follow!


    • April 18, 2010 at 8:20 PM #

      You mean, LITERALLY — the BLIND leading the BLIND! LOL xoxom


  5. April 18, 2010 at 8:28 PM #

    Mark, thank you SO much for sharing your pictures.
    The church pix are stunning – such wonderful talent.


  6. Guin
    April 18, 2010 at 8:57 PM #

    I love the blog u just posted, your North Dakota pictures are simply beautiful I can see someone getting inspired by the beautiflul wood and iron work. I just purchased “Journey of Hope, Quilts Inspired by President Barrack OBAMA” at the Historical Society here in DC last month, I had just missed the a display of some the quilts from the book. Great book!


  7. Brenda
    April 18, 2010 at 9:31 PM #

    Now I wanna make a road trip to Minot! 8:-)


  8. Julee
    April 18, 2010 at 9:33 PM #

    The ND church carvings pictures took my breath away! Thanks for sharing your good time. PS I think Evan is cuter too….J


  9. Gail Sabramsky
    April 18, 2010 at 9:45 PM #

    I bought that book too… and I was very dissapointed… It won’t be on my list of favorite anythings… too bad, it looked like it might be a winner and maybe I didn’t get it… but then you didn’t get it either and we both can’t be wrong! Love your blog. Love the pictures. Can’t wait to hear about your trip to Calgary. i lived their for about 10 years and if my DD wasn’t expecting a baby i would be out there next week with you… YE HA!!! I knwo they will give you a white hat welcome… have fun!


  10. Gail Sabramsky
    April 18, 2010 at 9:46 PM #

    fingers aren’t working well, obviously, but you get the drift… LOL


  11. ABB
    April 18, 2010 at 10:00 PM #

    Evan + Voilet + things left out… you knew that wasn’t going to end well.

    Safe travels. Call me when you get back so you can approve/disapprove of Mae’s dress… assuming I’ve found one by then 🙂


  12. Debbie Goff
    April 18, 2010 at 10:02 PM #

    The church is beautiful up there and I have several friends who used to live there and now are in Montana due to a job change. Actually my employer and his family were there in the AF. And as for Evan, ever think about contacts? Violet can’t help herself to them and he might even wear them. I finally had my daughter go see if she could wear them after buying new glasses every 6 months for her. . Good luck and he is a cutie.


  13. Maria
    April 18, 2010 at 10:05 PM #

    Thanks, Mark. Someday I will attend a class with you. Is on my attainable bucket list.


  14. Rena Long
    April 18, 2010 at 10:37 PM #

    Someday the class thing will happen. You are too popular and there are too few venues in Upstate NY! Have a safe trip!


  15. Debbie Umphress
    April 18, 2010 at 10:40 PM #

    Mark…I live for your blogs. I am already in withdrawal from Qulting home and your wonderful editorials. Can’t wait to see you in Fabric Threads. Love the church..breathtaking and the red horse. Red is my favorite color.
    Evan is too cute to compare to the twilight fella. Get him a spare pair of glasses. Accidents happen. Love you, Big Cupcake. Your little pickle


  16. Debbie Umphress
    April 18, 2010 at 10:44 PM #

    I sent a comment and it went into no man’s land…? ANyway, I love your blogs. I am in withdrawal from the Quilting Home mag. I miss your wonderful editorials and comments. Love the church…breathtaking and the red horse too. My favorite color. Look forward to reading you again in Fabric Trends and all others. Have a wonderful two trips. By the way, Evan is way cuter than the twilight dude. A spare set of glasses is wonderful. Your little cupcake/pickle


  17. Judi Green
    April 18, 2010 at 10:50 PM #

    Sounds like you enjoyed Minot as much as we enjoyed having you here. Your pictures look like they belong in a travel magazine–you’ve got quite the eye for composition. Thanks again for making our Festival so memorable.


  18. Becky
    April 18, 2010 at 11:00 PM #

    Why not Minot? Freezin’s the reason… Seriously though, thanks for the pictures (and the lemon cookie recipe). I am 1/4 Swedish and LOVED the pictures! I’ll also have to add a Minot to MY bucket list (N Dakota too… never been to either), as well as a class from you too. Enjoy the PNW!!!


  19. Nancy L
    April 18, 2010 at 11:06 PM #

    What a great church. Thanks for sharing the photos. The giant horse reminded me that I have a miniature version around here somewhere. It was from a time when my mother was trying to instill our Swedish heritage in us. It’s a little hard to relate to that side of the family since nobody would believe that I am Swedish with my dark hair and olive skin.

    By the way, Evan is much more handsome than Taylor Lautner!


  20. Robin in DE
    April 18, 2010 at 11:25 PM #

    Everyone else has said everything I was thinking, except “thanks for the recipes!!” I have to try that!!

    Enjoy your trip!!


  21. April 18, 2010 at 11:48 PM #

    Amazing craftsmanship and woodworking on that church. and some crafting on those boobs of Heidi’s too, I’m betting.

    The tea drink is delicious—bottoms up!


  22. April 18, 2010 at 11:53 PM #

    Holy cow, Mark. Evan is one gorgeous hunk! If I were …er…a couple of years younger…


  23. Luann
    April 19, 2010 at 12:30 AM #

    Love the trials and tribulations of Pikle Road. I also love hearing about the trips you take. It appears there is never a dull moment for you Dear Mark.
    Love Ya


  24. Judy Knox
    April 19, 2010 at 12:52 AM #

    Fantastic posting today but that distorted body of Heidi-whatshername kinda looks out of place in such a tasteful blog.


    • April 19, 2010 at 12:54 AM #

      Gawd! If this blog appears “tasteful” then I must be slipping! xoxom


  25. Stephanie Seeger
    April 19, 2010 at 3:10 AM #

    Ahh, I missed the “Mark Voice” from that magazine I won’t buy anymore! Glad I found your blog. Thanks for the pics and stories about our friends up north (I’m in South Dakota). The inspiration is jumping out from that church, even through the photos!


  26. April 19, 2010 at 3:19 AM #

    We can’t wait to see you here!


  27. April 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM #

    That’s such a “parental” thing to do, snooping around. As if you wouldn’t notice there is something missing from the bridge of his nose, LOL! I think he was trying to save “someone” from the Puppy Pound (that’s where I threaten to send our little “someone when she does “bad” things, LOL!


  28. Nina Wilhelm
    April 19, 2010 at 11:59 AM #

    I’d love to have the storage shed for my studio. The Paducah show is this week but since you won’t be there I won’t make the effort even though I live in KY. As they like to say around here, “Can’t hardly get there from here.”


  29. Danielle
    April 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM #

    I am from the Dakotas, born in ND live in SD, and I am so glad that you were able to enjoy so many different things that make the Dakotas wonderful. The people there area always friendly and willing to help a stranger. Never let anyone say that there is nothing special about the Dakotas. 🙂


  30. carol
    April 19, 2010 at 1:45 PM #

    Looooved this blog Mark, the swedish building was wonderful.


  31. April 19, 2010 at 2:02 PM #

    So glad you had so many nice things to say about ND. If you ever have the chance to travel here again, look me up, I work for the State Historical Society of ND located in Bismarck and we have some Native American beadwork in our collection that will knock your socks off.


  32. Sarah Joslin
    April 19, 2010 at 3:05 PM #

    I am homesick! I live in Vermont, but, my heart is in the Upper Midwest! Thank you for sharing!


  33. Sarah Joslin
    April 19, 2010 at 3:08 PM #

    Great observations! I am homesick for the Upper Midwest, as I live in Vermont. “Uff-dah” and, “You betch-a!” I love it all!


  34. sara volk
    April 19, 2010 at 3:39 PM #

    Mark you really must come back here for the Hostfest (hooost-fest) which is a huge Scandinavian festival held in Minot in October. Then you can have some lefse (potato tortillas you slather with butter and sugar, roll them up and munch away), rommegrot (cream soup, as in actual cream, with some butter stirred in) and the piece de resistance, lutefisk, which is cod fish soaked in lye and boiled or baked until it is a lovely, quivering, gelatinous mass. It is served with lots and lots and lots of melted butter, or no one could possibly eat it. Okay I’d skip the lutefisk, but there are some very cool things to see. It is so cool, real live Scandihovians (scan-di-who-vians) come here from the Old Countries to see the sights. You can tell it’s Hostfest by the number of tall, lean, woolen sweater-clad people walking up and down Broadway who look like they are enjoying themselvs, because nobody here walks up and down broadway regularly unless you have to, and if you have to, you certainly aren’t enjoying it. Sorry, I’ll shut up now or get my own damn blog!


    • April 19, 2010 at 3:56 PM #

      Oh, gurl, I had me some lefse — warm with butter and one with butter and sugar! Those Minot quilters took good care of me, dontcha know! xoxom


  35. Sara Volk
    April 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM #

    Ya, you betcha!


  36. Denise
    April 19, 2010 at 5:39 PM #

    Now don’t be blaming poor Violet for chewing up those glasses! lol Loved the pics, especially of the chapel- what detail and craftsmanship. I’m glad that you are starting to enjoy the history behind the quilts- it has always intrigued me and one of my favorite quilting quotes is one I read in Sandra Dallas’ book Walking to Golden in which one prarie quilter is quoted as having said “My whole life is in that quilt. All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces. I tremble sometimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me.” Another I came across is this one from another blog http://www.yesnoquilts.com/2008/08/ “I’d rather piece as eat, and I’d rather patch as piece, but I take natcherally delight in quiltin’. . . Whenst I war a new-married woman with the children round my feet, hit ‘peared like I’d git so wearied I couldn’t take delight in nothing: and I’d git ill to my man and the children, and what do you reckon I done them times? I just put down the breeches I was patchin’ and tuck out my quilt squar’. Hit wuz better than prayin’, child, hit wuz reason.” Aunt Cynthy, ca. 1900


    • Denise
      April 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM #

      Make that the book The Quilt that Walked to Golden 🙂


  37. Grace Ann
    April 20, 2010 at 11:04 PM #

    Your son is very handsome and I hope he has your sense of humor.


  38. May 3, 2010 at 1:13 PM #

    Thank you for your North Dakota “feature”. It really is a great state and the people are some of the kindest, generous people you will ever meet, as you found out. I grew up an hour from Minot and have relatives there as well as other parts of the state. I’ll be heading to ND this summer and can’t wait.


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The Duquesne Hunky

Growing Up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania

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