2016 Grand Hotel Needle Art Seminar – Get Inspired!

Needle Art Seminar

Grand Hotel will host its 7th annual Needle Art Seminar May 6 – 11, 2016. We are excited to welcome well-known quilt artists from across the U.S. and Canada. These five textile artists offer varying styles of quilting and techniques for all skill levels ranging from scrappy to applique to modern as well as some needle punch classes! The variety of choices will peak the interest of quilters and those who have a passion for needle art.

Your enthusiasm for quilting will be enhanced as you take in the beauty of Mackinac Island and the hospitality of Grand Hotel. Enjoy lectures from well-known favorites such as Bill Kerr, Michele Mueller, Bonnie Hunter, Mary Elizabeth Kinch and Sue Spargo. Classes taught by these professionals will be sure to offer something for everyone’s interest as they inspire and delight as you learn new skills and hone your techniques during this Needle Art Seminar weekend at Grand Hotel.

Bill Kerr

Bill Kerr

Bill Kerr finds inspiration in the everyday world with a quilt artist’s eye. He uses objects seen each day and takes an idea from something as simple as a cereal box and creates a contemporary quilt. Bill calls it “conscious creativity” and masterfully brings it to life with his use of assorted fabrics and design techniques. Bill Kerr has a book featuring his quilt entitled “XOXO”. The book, written in collaboration with his spouse and business partner, Weeks Ringle, is “The Modern Quilt Workshop”. Bill believes early American quilts were born of necessity but have been transformed into a vibrant contemporary art form. Quilts are expressive of the era which we live which perfectly describes his idea of the modern quilt. Bill incorporates improvisational piecing, which he describes as the use of treasured fabrics or ways to use up scraps, as well as applique into his projects.

Bill Kerr’s Schedule:
Day: Friday, 1 day class – 1:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m
Project: Quilting the Modern Quilt

Bill Kerr - Quilting the Modern Quilt
Quilting the Modern Quilt

Description: Learn how to choose the best quilting pattern and thread for your modern quilt. Students will leave with a variety of quilted samples for future reference.






~~SPECIAL EVENT~~ On Friday join Bill for a special reception on the Grand Hotel Front Porch. Come hear Bill talk about “Transforming Traditions: Modernism & Quilts”. This lecture is $25.00 per person or complimentary with a Friday night hotel stay.

Day: Saturday, 1 day class – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Working with Large-Scale Prints

Bill Kerr - Large Scale Prints
Working with large scale prints

 Class Level: Adventurous Beginner & Beyond

Description: Students will learn the design concepts behind using large-scale prints and how to show them off to their best advantage. You may start using our Follow the Leader pattern or choose your own.






2-Day Class  – Sunday and Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Rediscovering Your Stash and Fabric Smack Down
Class Level: Beginner +
Description: Gain color confidence and plan creative ways to use your stash. You’ll see new possibilities for working with your stash and leave with beautiful palettes and plans for your next few projects.

2-Day Class  – Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Design Bootcamp
Class Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Description: Learn the basics of color, composition, proportion and scale in this class. You’ll see color in a new way, how fabrics interact and how the various components of design can contribute to a well-executed finished quilt. The class will focus on mastering the concepts of design through a variety of explorations as opposed to making a finished piece. Students are also welcome to bring unfinished work for feedback.

Michele Mueller

As a Michigan featured artist, Michele Mueller will show class attendees how to make various designs using her punch needle rug hooking technique including a geranium inspired creation! Michele has a design studio in Elk Rapids, MI, “The Wild Hare Rug Studio”, where she hand dyes wool to create designs you are sure to love. Wool rug yarn or wool fabric strips are worked through a base cloth by punch needle to create her beautiful and whimsical designs such as rabbits against a country landscape. Michele describes the technique as “very calming” as you “paint and draw” using her rug hooking technique.   Michele became certified as a rug hooking teacher in Vermont which honed her skills for needle punch and her passion is contagious!

Michele Mueller’s Schedule:
1 ½ Day Class – Friday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Needle Punch Keepsake Box
Class Level: All
Description: Learn to use an Oxford punch needle and fine yarn to create a keepsake of your choice.

2-Day Class –  Sunday and Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Needle Punch Rug Hooking 16” x 16”
Class Level: All
Description: Learn all the basics of punch needle rug hooking using hand dyed rug yarn and an Oxford punch needle to create one of 4 designs offered.

Bonnie Hunter

Bonnie Hunter is best known for her scrappy quilting technique. Her quilt classes and lectures take her all over the United States and Canada as well as many other countries teaching her beautiful scrap quilting patterns to her faithful followers. Bonnie’s enthusiasm for quilting and fabric collecting is evident in her lectures! Don’t we all have fabric stashes we can pull from? She will teach you how to make scrappy quilts come to life by implementing varying hues of color for outline and definition to form the brilliant patterns of her quilts. One quilt pattern was especially inspired by her trip to Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island in 2014 entitled “Grand Illusion” featuring many of the colors you see at Grand Hotel. You are sure to learn cutting techniques and use of color and pattern arrangement in all of Bonnie’s classes which includes all skill levels.

Bonnie Hunter’s Schedule:
Day: Friday, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Project: A Little Bit Hexie
Class Level: All
Description: Learn the basics of relaxing hexagon patchwork using the English Paper Piecing method. Come to class with your favorite thimble and a desire to hand stitch.

Bonnie Hunter - Little Bit Hexie
A Little Bit Hexie

Day: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Charlotte’s Baskets 53” x 53”
Class Level: All
Description: Required Book: String Fling. A colorful riotous frame of string piecing surrounds adorable scrappy baskets turning each block on point! Variety is the spice of the quilt!

Bonnie Hunter - Charlottes Baskets
Charlotte’s Basket

~~SPECIAL EVENT~~ On Saturday, join Bonnie for a special Reception on the Grand Hotel Front Porch. Come hear Bonnie discuss, “Scrap Users System” followed by “Show & Tell: Finished Grand Illusion Mystery Quilts”. This lecture is open to everyone and is complimentary with a Saturday night stay.

Grand Illusion
Grand Illusion

2-Day Class – Sunday and Monday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Grand Illusion
Class Level: All
Description: Quilt up the colors of the magnificent Grand Hotel! Inspired by Bonnie’s visit to Mackinac Island, and Grand Hotel’s Needle Art Seminar in 2014; it became the theme for that year’s Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt. No longer a mystery but oh so Grand!

2-Day Class – Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Midnight Flight 82” x 82”
Class Level: All
Description: Simple patchwork units combine to create undulating curves of motion in this fabulous scrap quilt, great for all color combos! Students will master the use of the Easy Angle ruler for quick half-square triangle units! Please bring fabric strips pre-cut ahead of time, ready to sew, share and swap if desired.


Mary Elizabeth Kinch
Mary Elizabeth Kinch comes to us from Toronto, Canada with her imaginative quilt making techniques inspired by her passionate study of antique quilts. Mary Elizabeth applies the lessons vintage quilts give her to the new quilt designs she creates. Her imaginative quilt inspirations are delightfully described in the books she has co-authored, “Modern Quilts” and “Reproduction Quilts”. Mary Elizabeth will showcase an improvisational quilt in her classes as well as using small block piecing to create a family heirloom for all skill levels. She will teach how to use various fabric combinations to create a spectacular quilt.

Mary Elizabeth Kinch’s Schedule:
Day: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Improvisational Composition
Class Level: All
Description: Explore the process of improvisational compositions in this fun and free-spirited class. Using a “responsive conversational” approach you will delve into the intuitive side of quilt making, ending the day with significant progress on a central composition and “you’ll be itching to finish”!

Improvisational Composition
Improvisational Composition
Small Piece Sampler
Small Piece Sampler

Day: Sunday, 9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Small Piece Sampler

Class Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Description: Learn secrets to success in working with these tiny morsels, including tips, tools, and “batchwork patchwork” (a workflow method to keep projects organized and small pieces manageable); helpful skills that will translate to other projects. These persuasively addictive blocks will capture your heart.




2 day Class – Monday and Tuesday, 9:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.
Project: FourPlay Fun (Required Book: Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts)
Class Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Description: Create a spectacular family heirloom of four patches with small block piecing at its most addictive! Learn uninhibited fabric combinations, accurate seam allowances, working with small pieces, batchwork patchwork and the random theory of quilting.

FourPlay Fun
FourPlay Fun

Carmen Hartwig 

We are excited to announce our newest addition to the Grand Hotel Needle Art Seminar, Carmen Hartwig, owner of Cousin’s Quilt Shop in Bellaire, Michigan. Carmen is a very accomplished teacher and stitcher of wool. She will be offering two different wool working classes.

Carmen Hartwig’s Schedule:
Day: Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Hearts a Flutter
Class Level: All

Description: A more formal twist on the wonderful world of wool. This sweet basket of fluttering hearts is a great introductory class into wool appliqué and basic hand embroidery stitches.

Hearts A Flutter
Hearts A Flutter

2-Day Class –  Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Project: Penny Garland – designed by Kim Diehl, taught by Carmen Hartwig
Description: This unique octagonal table topper would be the perfect answer to dressing up a round table in your home. Nice, colorful wool appliqués on a single cotton background. Book is required.

Penny Garland
Penny Garland

2 Day Class -Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Project: 18″ Tuffet 2-Day Class
Class Level: All

Description: Add a touch of whimsy to your home with this 18” tuffet. This is a fun, colorful project done on a foundation base that will look as though you spent hours of precision piecing. Basic sewing skills required. Bring your choice of fabrics or a “Jelly Roll.


HOW TO REGISTER or HAVE A QUESTION?  Contact Needle Art Seminar Coordinator Jackie Compton at needleart@grandhotel.com.

Visit our website www.grandhotel.com/needleart OR Call reservations 1-800-334-7263.

We hope to see you for this exciting event!

A Look Into Grand Hotel Stables by Ben Mosley

Grand Stables


The Grand Hotel Stables is open to the public and located minutes away from Grand Hotel in Surrey Hills just across from Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory. At 8,700 square feet, this working stable is a great way to see the horses up close, along with 20 antique carriages from both Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island Carriage Tours. The Grand Stables have undergone a little reorganization this fall and Stable Master Ben Mosley shares a few of the highlighted carriages and their history.

Grand Hotel Carriage
Ben Mosley

Presenting the Grand Hotel Stables Update by Ben Mosley:

stables 1
Roof-Seat Break

The burgundy carriage in the foreground is a Roof-Seat Break carriage that is owned by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Chambers. The Chambers family history on Mackinac reaches back to Doc’s great-grandfather arriving on the island from Ireland in 1830. Doc Chambers was the island Veterinarian for many years. He and Mrs. Chambers, along with other family members, have built and refurbished many carriages over the years. The large image on the wall behind the Roof-Seat Break carriage dates back to the late 1800’s. The picture is of a family on a carriage ride in front of Fort Mackinac. What is now Marquette Park was a cow pasture.

stables 2
Studebaker Collection

Carriages have been grouped together either by type or manufacturer. The Studebakers are all in one corner and have a large reproduction sign that was created by Ben Mosley along with Kenny Brown. Surrounding the carriages are both reproduction and antique advertising and artifacts including an old Studebaker wrench. A large number of visitors are not aware that the Studebaker car company began as Studebaker Brothers, who made wagons and later became the largest producer of carriages in the world.

stables 3
Ransom Carriage

The “Ransom Carriage” as it is known, is now on a pedestal with a copy of the Omaha World Herald newspaper headlines stating that “Cudahy got his boy back.” There is an image of Eddie Cudahy (the boy who was kidnapped) as part of the famous kidnapping story. A reproduction of the Cudahy sign is also present. The Cudahy family were very prominent in the meat packing industry in the 1800’s and built several summer homes on Mackinac Island.  For more on the story behind the “Ransom Carriage” click here.

stables 4
Horseshoe Boards

These horseshoe board displays were made by Bob Reaume who graduated from Michigan State University in 1953. The board on the left is from his college days, and the one on the right from 1976 when he opened his school, Wolverine Farrier School in Howell, Michigan. The boards are on loan from Greg Grey of Clare, Michigan.

Family Time
Family Time

The Grand Hotel Stables is open to the public and free to visit. We invite you to stop by and say “Hi” to the horses, chat with a carriage driver and check out a little Mackinac Island and American history.