Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Sweetest Place On Earth

Hershey, PA is named The Sweetest Place On Earth and oh boy, is it ever.  Milton Hershey founded the Hershey Chocolate Company and a town sprouted up around it.  Herhsey chocolate has certainly become an American staple and thanks to its success Milton Hershey became a great philanthropist.  Hershey and his wife couldn't have children so they used their financial success to open the Hershey Industrial School for lower income children  and then founded the Hershey Foundation that also supports  the Hershey Museum and Hershey Gardens, the Hershey Theatre and the Hershey Community Archives.

I was contacted in February and invited to teach at Quilt Odyssey.  Over the course of 18 years, it has become a summertime mecca for quilters with an amazing quilt exhibition, vendor mall, and classes by nationally known teachers.  Although I would only have 2 1/2 days at home after MAQ, it was an opportunity I couldn't turn down.  The entire show takes place at The Hershey Lodge.  Upon check-in they give you a Hershey Bar!

There is the Hershey imprint everywhere.  My room was in the 5th Avenue wing.  I passed through the York Peppermint Patty rooms to get there.  And what was on the wallpaper in the bathroom?
I had my own classroom, since I was teaching 3 classes over the course of 3 days.  AND in each classroom there was a basket of - drumroll please:

Hershey Miniatures! for the class to share.  It was refilled EVERY day.  To be honest, I had to move it.  They initially had it located on my table in front of the room and it was just too easy to grab one every time I walked by.

They have a variety of chocolate delicacies in all of the restaurants.  I heard the chocolate martinis were yummy delicious.  One day, for an afternoon snack, I had an iced chocolate bar latte.  I'm glad it was my last day, because I could have had one of those daily.  I'm glad that it was a hike between my hotel room and my classroom.

I had 3 great classes with creative and enthusiastic students.
Day #1 was Sewing with Silk and it's all about how to quilt with dupioni silk.  These were my samples.  Each student had a colorway choice and received a kit with the silk, stabilizer and instructions.  They were then allowed to swap colors with my box full of fat quarters.
Here's a student sample.  (BTW, I had 2 extra kits and they are now in my etsy shop.)

Day #2 was my Folding Fiber Book class.  At the beginning of the class, I shared my samples and then each student shared the story that they wanted as the topic of their book.  I was blown away by their stories.  They each worked on their pages.

Day #3 was a full class for my Mini Mosaic Quilts.  This was the calm before the excitement.

The students were given 6 different patterns and I always take a poll to see the most popular and the ones that are not so popular.  The Flowers and Tiny Town were the winners.  The Pear was the loser.
If you're interested in checking out the patterns, you can visit my etsy shop by clicking HERE>

Here are some of the works in progress:

I was going to leave right after class on Saturday, but my students convinced me that I had to stay for the Saturday night Show & Tell.
Mimi Dietrich and Norma Campbell were the very funny MCs.  The evening started with the teachers parading into the full ballroom throwing fat quarters into the crowd. After thank yous to the staff and the head honcho, aka Missy Molino,  students shared their projects in various states of finish.

If you haven't been, put it on your "must see" list for next summer.  I hope I am invited back and then maybe I'll see you there!


  1. What do you use to stabilize the silk?

  2. What a sweet gig! I would NOT be able to resist those chocolates and the coffee... your killin' me here!

  3. It was such a pleasure to take your mini mosaics class. You have an engaging way of interacting with your students, and your own creativity is inspiring!


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