So it’s official!! I am off to Shuttlebirds! Without a doubt this is the longest trip I have ever taken!  3 1/2 days on Amtrack to Spokane, Washington to attend the 2014 Shuttlebirds Tatting Conference.  Last fall when Patty invited me to attend, I thought, “Too far; too much time; too many excuses!!”  With a little saving and a little planning, coming to Shuttlebirds would at least be an adventure!


I set about developing a plan that would not only allow me to attend, but also to teach.  The works of Linda S. Davies are patterns I have admired for a long time.  In fact, my first ribbon at the Mountain State Fair was awarded to one of her pieces called “Stargazer Lily”, modestly adapted with one of Reit Surtel-Smeulders’ butterflies hovering over it.  With little time to get creative, I contacted Linda to ask her permission to use 2 of her patterns for class.  She was very gracious in giving her permission only asking that as many pictures of the class members and their final projects as possible be taken so she could see how the classes and projects go.  For a complete listing of her free patterns, visit  TopTattyHead Blogspot  .  It’s really quite amazing, especially when it is realized that she is working in threads size 40 or smaller.

created in 4 colors

Star Attraction Doily








Riding on Amtrack for several days with clothing, food, supplies for the conference, cameras, etc. made me look like a well dressed bag-lady!  But train travel is a little like camping out:  everyone is in the same boat, so respect of space and personal items seems to be the order of the day.  Sometimes people snore, so others put in their ear buds and turn up the music.  Sometimes children cry or are running about; they are tolerated or those who cannot tolerate it ask to be moved.  There’s fine dining available as well as fast-food fare – all at a price, of course, but it’s manageable, especially if one brings along some food of their own.  Many of the travelers were from other countries originally, even if they have been residents of the US for some time.  I overheard one lady’s cell phone conversation go from English to Polish and back again without missing a beat.  I met farmers, miners, retirees, college students, nurses and native Americans.  The first two portions were on cars that were completely full.  But the stretch from Chicago to Spokane was not only more sparsely populated, but passengers seemed to be making shorter trips along the route rather than going the full distance.  So there were people getting on and off at various points along the 36 hours that it took to go from Chicago to Spokane.


Tomorrow the conference begins and we will enjoy the fun and fellowship of tatters from all over the west coast and beyond!



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