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Grand Hotel Annual Spring Needle Arts Seminar 2014

This Spring Grand Hotel will host its 5th annual Needle Arts Seminar with many well-known experts from the United States, Canada, and Australia. Join others who love quilting, knitting, and embroidery all while enjoying the hospitality of Grand Hotel, America’s Summer Place located on Mackinac Island. Meet, hear lectures and take classes from Sarah Fielke, Susan Carlson, Bonnie Hunter, and Lucy Neatby. All these award winning teachers are acclaimed both nationally and internationally for their books, patterns, original works of art and some for fabric designs.

Sarah Fielke is a leading quilt designer who will travel all the way from Sydney, Australia. Sarah has been a passionate stitcher ever since her mother first taught her to sew 30 years ago. Having taught quilting and sold quilts for several years she co-opened her first quilt shop, Material Obsession in Hunters Hill, where she could work and teach her passion every day, surrounded by inspirational and colorful modern fabrics. Sarah inspires quilters to be more creative, find their own style and to step outside their comfort zone. Breaking down “Quilting Rules” was the highly popular theme for her first two co-authored ground breaking and successful quilt books now published in four languages – Material Obsession One; Contemporary Quilt Designs, and Material Obsession Two; Shared Inspiration. Her first solo book, Quilting:  From little things is a journey of discovery. It can be challenging to master the many different quilting techniques and this book provides an accessible way to try out new colors, textures and methods, and in the process build upon quilting skills.

As an avid fabric lover (and owner of a considerable stash!), Sarah started designing her own fabric collections. She launched her first fabric collection with Lecien, Japan called “From Little Things” in October 2010, which is in quilt shops now. This collection is all about the start of inspiration – from little things, big things grow. Sarah has always loved to draw and use colour, and it is from the seeds of her childhood doodles that this fabric collection has grown. She hopes it will inspire quilters to grow their own quilts from her colourful and whimsical ideas. Sarah’s second collection, St. Ives, will be released worldwide at the International Quilt Market in Houston, 2011. Sarah continues to publish patterns for magazines around the world including Down Under Quilts, Quilters Companion, Quilting Arts and Quilters Newsletter magazine. She appears regularly in quilting features in high profile home magazines worldwide.

Sarah’s schedule:
Day: Friday
Project: Geese Around the World

Geese Around the World

Class Level: Beginner and beyond
½ Day Quilt Class: 1 pm – 4pm
Quilt Size: 13.5”
Description: A dolly quilt from Quilting from little things… The geese here are flying in a circle, creating a whirling pattern. If you try this and like foundation piecing, this pattern would make a wonderful larger quilt.

Day: Saturday
Project: String-Sane or Ups & Downs
Class Level: Confident beginner & beyond You Choose!
1 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4pm
Quilt: 73.5” square Block: 9”- Quilt: 90”
Description: Enjoy Sarah’s lively, fun filled class where she enjoys having students work on a quilt they choose. String-sane is more advanced piecing but a little homework gets everyone off to a good start. Ups and Downs is fun for all.

Day: Sunday
Project: Step Down Piecing
Class Level: Beginner and Beyond
1 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4pm
Quilt Size:15.5” square
Description: A quick and easy pieced quilt featuring different size blocks of various novelty fabrics pieced in a staggered arrangement. Finish the quilt in class and then take it to Sarah’s hand quilting class on Monday morning to learn decorative quilting or just take it home and quilt it later.

Day: Monday
Project: Hand Quilting with Style
Class Level: All
½ Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 12pm
Description: Learn the techniques Sarah uses to not only quilt her quilts but also to add color, style and interest to her pieces. Bring your finished piece from Sunday’s class or something from home to get a start on hand quilting.

Days: Tuesday/Wednesday
Project: Hanging Lanterns or Whirly Gig

Class Level: Intermediate/Advanced You Choose
2 Day Applique Class: 9 am – 4pm Tuesday and Wednesday
Quilt: 87.5 x 95.5” Quilt: 63.5” square
Description: You decide the quilt you wish to work on in this two-day applique and piecing class. Sarah will teach her needle-turn applique that she is known for and loves. You will get a good start on a quilt and have time to learn all that Sarah so generously shares.


Susan Carlson from Harpswell, ME has been creating images with fabric since 1983. Her experimentation has led her to a fabric collage method that she has been sharing with others since 1994. Those classes have been taught throughout New England and the rest of the U.S., and internationally, including Canada and New Zealand.

Susan has written two books, Free Style Quilts and Serendipity Quilts. She is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her quilt “Peace, Love, Tie-Dye, Save the Whales” won best wall quilt at AQS Des Moines in 2012. My quilt “Dixie Dingo Dreaming” won first place in the “Good for You” special exhibit at the 2011 Houston International Quilt Festival.

Susan’s Schedule:

Days: Friday/Saturday
Project: Cutting Loose

Cutting Loose

Class Level: All skill levels
1½ Day Quilt Class: 1pm – 4pm
Description: This class combines aspects of my earlier classes (Somethin’ Fishy and Somethin’ in the Air) with my evolving techniques of fabric collage. Cutting Loose demonstrates a looser approach to the piecing and assembly of a wall quilt. Emphasis will be placed on the collage piecing process. Patterns or templates will not be used. Instead, students will sketch their design onto a foundation fabric and fill in the design with fabrics of their choice. This encourages playfulness, serendipity, and a willingness to “cut loose.” Due to time constraints, students need to choose simple, whimsical designs such as fish, butterflies, or other bugs. If needed, designs will be available from Susan for a small fee.

Days: Sunday/Monday/Tuesday
Project: Fabric Images

Fabric Images

Class Level: All
3 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4 pm
Description: Create a fabric collage quilt of your own chosen subject using Susan’s innovative layering/collage method. Individual design, fabric selection, construction, borders, and quilting will be discussed. Class size is limited to give students the extra attention toward each of their unique subjects.

Lucy Neatby will be visiting from Novia Scotia, Canada where she has been knitting since she was 17. She title’s herself as a technical knitter who loves to find out why things work. Her approach to design is heavily influenced by whatever technique is currently absorbing her. Lucy’s designs and patterns are almost technique samplers aimed at introducing a variety of skills within a project. She loves to teach knitting skills and to enhance knitters’ understanding of yarn and stitch structure. “Making your stitches smile is all important to me” she says. To read more about Lucy visit her Happy Stitches blog.

Lucy’s Schedule:
Day: Saturday
Project: Seeing Double-Clearly

Class Level: Intermediate/Advanced
1-Day Knit Class: 9 am – 4pm
Description: Gain a deeper understanding of your knitting. Try a wide variety of types of Double Knitting (DK) to produce two-sided fabrics. Make a voyage of discovery, starting with tubular knitting on straight needles, creating tubes within tubes and the options they present. Establishing positive/negative patterning on a double faced fabric and structural changes and opportunities this creates. Manipulation of yarns for efficient work. For channels for cords and a wondrous pocket, we will go from DK to single knitting and back again and then quilt and stuff the layers for warmth and decoration. Other techniques will include a condensed bind off and shaping basics within DK. Introduction to shapings, both increases and decreases.

Days: Sunday/Monday/Tuesday
Project: Venus Rising Cardigan

Venus Rising Cardigan

Class Level: Intermediate/Advanced
3 Day Knit Class: 9 am – 4pm each day.
Description: The most versatile cardigan you will ever make. The Venus Rising Cardigan is an fascinating one-piece, sideways-knit construction which involves a number of sophisticated techniques to give a superb fit for all sizes and figures. It is both interesting to knit, yet not complex, and due to the needle size it is speedy and very slick to finish. All of the techniques will be practiced on a baby version of the cardigan.We will use the Navaho knitting technique to create a triple strand yarn from a single ball and how to exploit this for either colour purity or blending. Beginning at the right sleeve cuff and using the one long circular needle method (or dpns if preferred) we will work the sleeve using uniform paired increases and running yarn markers and create a sleeve head with short-rows in the round. Once the sleeve is completed we will make a two needle tubular cast-on for the side ‘seam’, smoothly incorporate the sleeve and then shape the body using short rows and incorporate bust (optional on a baby garment), shoulder and hip shapings. Marker yarns will be used extensively to allow for easy matching of the second side. Provision for the front and back neck openings will be made with waste yarn before reversing the shapings to create the left side. Waste yarns will be used to hold the stitches on the left side ‘seam’ for subsequent grafting.
The central waste yarns will be removed to allow for the creation of the back of neck detail and then the front band and buttonholes applied.

Bonnie Hunter visiting from Winston-Salem, NC is passionate about quilting, focusing mainly on scrap quilts with the simple feeling of “making do”. She started her love affair with quilting in a home economics class her senior year of high school in 1980 and has never looked back. Many of her designs were licensed through the Butterick Pattern Company, translated into 7 languages and sold around the globe through fabric stores. But quilting has always been Bonnie’s first love. She has been machine quilting since 1989 and professionally long arm quilting for the public since 1995, retiring in 2009 when she no longer had the time due to her teaching, traveling and writing schedule. She has been featured in magazines both for her quilt patterns and articles she has written on scrap management and using that stash to its full potential.
Dedicated to continuing the traditions of quilting, Bonnie enjoys meeting with quilters, teaching workshops and lecturing to quilt guilds all over the world, challenging quilters to break the rules, think outside the box, and find what brings them joy.

Bonnie also writes a regular column for Quiltmaker Magazine entitled “Addicted to Scraps” with the main intention to help you to put various aspects of your own Scrap Users System to good use.

To learn more about Bonnie visit her Quiltville blog and follow her Quiltville Friends Facebook page.

Bonnie will also be doing a lecture at Saturday’s cocktail reception titled “Adventures with Leaders and Enders”. Lecture is complimentary with a Friday night hotel stay and open to everyone for a fee of $25.

Bonnie’s Schedule:
Day: Saturday
Project: Crab Apples

Crab Apples


Class Level: All
1 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4pm
Block Size: 8”
Quilt Size 70”X 70”
Description: One of Bonnie’s beautiful scrappy quilts. Make your own grove of crabapple trees from 1.5” scraps.


Tulip Fields

Tulip Fields



Day: Sunday
Project: Tulip Fields
Class Level: All
1 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4 pm
Description: Small strings and crumbs are precious pieces and so much can be done with them. The base unit for the tulip blocks are string pieced and added to the patchwork to complete each “flower” with solid red making the tulips pop with color.

Day: Monday/Tuesday
Project: Scrap Crystals
Class Level: All
Block Size: 12”
Quilt Size: 75”X 90”
2 Day Quilt Class: 9 am – 4 pm
Description: Featured in Bonnie’s newest book, More Adventures with Leaders and Enders, and first taught on an Alaskan cruise in 2013. This is one of Bonnie’s scrappy quilts using colors
inspired by Alaska in August. Though large, the quilt can be made with fewer blocks with excellent results.

Details on how to reserve space in any of these seminars or package details can be found on our website or by contacting the event coordinator, Jackie Compton. Her email is You may also download the event brochure here. The package include accommodations, a full breakfast, Grand Luncheon Buffet and five-course dinner daily, Friday and Saturday Evening Receptions and Lectures, and a special discount on Ferry boat tickets to the island departing from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace, MI. Don’t worry getting to Grand Hotel is easy. After a 25 minute ferry boat ride from Mackinaw City or St. Ignace you will arrive at the boat docks where your luggage is transported for you by horse and carriage. From there you can take a Grand Hotel Taxi to the hotel or enjoy a leisurely 10 – 15 minute walk through downtown up Grand Hill. Air transportation can also be arranged and details can be found on the Getting Here page of our website.

We look forward to seeing your inspirations shine through this Spring at Grand Hotel.


4 thoughts on “Grand Hotel Annual Spring Needle Arts Seminar 2014

  1. This is going to be an amazing event! I can’t wait to go check out reservation details! Thanks for all the photos too.

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  3. This 2014 Seminar is the 4th one I’ve attended, and I absolutely LOVE going. Grand Hotel? AND quilting?? Wonderful! My husband and I come together, which makes it great for both of us. Time for me to learn & quilt, enjoy friends, and also a nice relaxing time for us as a couple. Grand Hotel is an experience everyone should have. Wonderful food, great service, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL Hotel!! Thanks for having this annual event—-we’ll be back!

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