Yesterday I had the opportunity and pleasure of attending a full day workshop, lunch, and lecture with award winning quilter Ricky Tims. The seminar was hosted by Rob and Judy Engime of Olde City Quilts and was held in the conference hall in the Scarborough Hall at Doane Academy in Burlington NJ.  I spent the day in a rustic room overlooking the Delaware River and listening to his stories and looking at his wonderful quiltsAnd while the weather outside was cold and snowy – the atmosphere inside the room was colorful, bright, and warm.

Photograph by Rob Engime, Olde City Quilts

Scarborough Hall at Doane Academy was the perfect setting for Ricky’s 4 part lecture. The building, dedicated in 1912, still exhibits much of the same rustic charm of the early 1900’s. At the time of dedication the school, still an all girls school, served as a finishing school for women, with an unconventional, contemporary curriculum. The school now serves both young men and women and is still committed to progressive studies.

Scarborough Hall at Doane Academy.
Scarborough Hall at Doane Academy

For me, the location was a perfect place to highlight the contrast and transitions in Ricky’s quilting styles . He shared the progression of his unique and inspiring QuiltLife from traditional (his early quilting years), to Improvisational Cave Man style, to the unexpected discovery of his Harmonic Convergence method, and the Rhapsody of his Cool Kaleidoscope quilts!  Every story he shared was showcased with a bold multi-media presentation full of tips, techniques, and his personal secrets.

the room
Photograph by Rob Engime, Olde City Quilts

I made my reservation and attended with my friend Nicola.  For the past few years we’ve gone on quilting road trips and attended seminars together.  We always enjoy hanging out together.  Yesterday, our quilt day was interlaced with Ricky’s heart-felt family stories, laughter, and music.

Shopping Throwdown
This is the loot from my Shopping Throwdown

And lets not forget the shopping…   Nicola and I have both mastered the fine art of navigating through a crowded shopping throwdown!  No quilting excursion is complete until we’ve scouring the tables for new fabrics, patterns, notions, and tools.

The presentation began at 10am and ran through just about 5:00. We had 4 sessions, 2 in the morning and 2 after and lunch. During our breaks we were had a chance to check out and purchase Ricky’s unique hand dyed fabrics, patterns, threads and DVD’s.  The shopping selection also highlighted a few of his (must-have) ‘favorite’ tools, notions, and  personalized items. Everyone had a wonderful and entertaining day.

The topics we covered in this full day extravaganza were Quilting Caveman Style, Convergence Quilts, and Kool Kaleidoscope.  We each received a spiral-bound syllabus with color pictures and step-by-step instructions to follow along.

Photograph by Rob Engime, Olde City Quilts

Although this was not a traditional hands-on class – it felt like it.  Ricky described each of his techniques with the aid of a video screen and full color slide-by-slide demonstrations and video lessons (with instant replays!). Ricky is also a very talented musician and as if seeing his quilts wasn’t quite enough, the Grand Finale included a piano set.   It doesn’t get any better than that!

If you ever have a chance to attend a Ricky Tims seminar – DO IT!  I came away full of inspiration and with so many great ideas that I can’t wait to finish this blog and get into my own quilt cave and get started.

  You can check out even more photos from the seminar with Ricky Tims  on the Olde City Quilts Facebook  page at

Happy Quilting!