Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all have your shopping completed and lots of fabric bundles with your name on them under the tree. You may be wondering why this lady is on the computer instead the mall or kitchen. My last gift was wrapped this morning and is tucked under the tree.

Our family will be having Christmas dinner at our daughter and son-in-laws' new home this year. I do not have to cook Christmas dinner! My contributions to the feast have been purchased (Costco makes better pies than I do) and put in the frig. Dinner tonight will be light and easy.

All this preparation left me with a few hours to spend in my sewing room. I am trying to complete some UFO's. If I can complete a few items this season, I might be able to clear some space in my sewing room and that would be a Christmas present to myself.

Once again I wish you a happy holiday with family, friends, and blessings to you in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Habor Day

Today is the 7th of December, also known to baby boomers as Pearl Harbor day. I was born after the war ended and as with many boomers (as the term implies) my dad served in World War II. He was not at Pearl Harbor nor served overseas. He served as part of the support system in the states. He served proudly and the best of his ability knowing the results would effect the fighting soldiers.

I was and am still proud of him though he passed away many years ago. I have had the privilege of going to Pearl Harbor and visiting the Harbor and Arizona memorial. I can tell you there is never a dry eye when visitors finish the tour.

It troubles me when young people hear a term such as Pearl Harbor day they ask 'what's that?' however they can tell you who won the latest American Idol.

It brings to mind the saying of those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. I hope not. Anyway have a thought and quick prayer for those who are still serving to keep our way of life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Room with a Veiw

There is a room where I look out a window for a few minutes each morning. This window is on the second floor and gives me a view of a huge maple tree. I can admire the seasons by this tree; autumn this year has been especially brilliant with color.

I hadn't expected much in the way of color this year. We had a lock of rain and record heat during the summer month. The maple with stood these problems and gave a beautiful display of color that lasted longer than usual. I have had this particular view for several weeks now.

I wish I could duplicate the depth and richness of color that this tree had. Quilters use fabrics to create depth of color just as paint artists use oils or watercolors do. Even with an array of rich fabrics I fear I could not do the maple justice.

The last couple of days have been breezy and I realized this morning that "my tree" is practically bare of leaves. Perhaps this winter I will try to capture its beauty from the picture in my mind's eye.

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Houston Quilt Market

I just returned from the Houston Quilt Market. There is always an energy in the air. New fabrics, gadgets, old friends and new friends being made. Speaking of new 'friends', my friend and I walked out of our hotel to take a taxi. As it turned out Alex Anderson was staying at our hotel and was outside wanting a taxi to the same place as we did. We shared a taxi with Alex Anderson!

My fiend Renelda Peldunas Harter has a quilt, 'Sarajevo Rose', in the 'Text on Textiles' exhibit. That's me by 'Sarajevo Rose'. The text tells of the damage to the streets and walkways made by the motors (bombs) during the war in Bosnia. If persons were killed by the mortar the crater would be filled with a red dyed cement thus giving the crater the look of a rose. Sadly there are too many of these roses.

A sad subject but a nice quilt to honor those involved. Quilts have always been a way for the quilt makert to convey their thoughts or emotions.

More fun stuff in the next entries.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn is in the Air

Autumn is in the air. It is here and the quilt season is picking up. Several areas around here are having quilt shows. The frenzy of preparing for the Houston Quilt Market and Festival is beginning. Reservations have been made for weeks if not months. Vendors are packing goods and attendees are checking weather forecasts for clothes packing. The excitment is building.

I too am attending Market and Festival. I am looking forward to what will be new in the way of fabrics and notions. I look forward to seeing the quilt exhibits and ponder how I can merge new techniques into my style. I look forward to the opportunity to expand my horizons with the thoughts of these possibilities.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ladies who Lunch

Recently I had 'luncheon' with some former coworkers. The four of us have gone our separate ways but still keep in touch. We met at a large grocery store that has its own restaurant. I could sing the praises of this trend but that would be another blog. I will say our meals were excellent.

We talked of what we were currently doing. Our quilting and the quilting world in general. We spoke of the Houston Quilt festival - 2 of us are going this year. We even had some show and tell. I think the few people near us enjoyed this too.

'Jane' bought a quilt that her husband had chosen the fabric for, the 'Roy Rogers' collection. The quilt is inspired, her interpretation of a box television. She used fabric with a wood grain print for the television frame. Black and gray for the TV knobs and for the TV screen the focus fabric of the collection.

scatter about the 'floor' area were applique horse shoes framing vignettes of the collection fabrics The border was completed with cowboy print fabric.

What talent she has and a wonderful tribute to the memories of our youth.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer is Here

Summer is here with a force. Even before the offical start of summer the heat had arrived and the air conditioner was kicking into overdrive. We have been doing the usual summer stuff, such as mowing the lawn multiple times a week, cleaning the porch and watching children play now that school is out. I also have raspberry vines that have ripened all at once. But that is a blog story in its self.

One of the projects we have wanted to do for some time was tile the floor of the screened back porch. The floor was indoor/outdoor carpet from the previous owner. We had lived with it for several - make that too many years. So it became the first summer project of this year.

In the late spring my DH "beefed' up the foundation to carry the extra weight of the tile work. Then there was the stripping of the old and laying of the new sub-floor. About now you are wondering what this has to do with quilting.

Now is where my 'training' as a quilter came into the play. It's all about the color. I wanted a netural beige floor as it would help make the area look larger. A bolder color would make the room looker smaller and limit the possibilities to accessorize. I chose a large (16 inch) beige tile and a medium rose-beige grout. Too light of a grout color would blend into a monotone floor and too dark would be all you would notice.

I decided not to lay the tile in a straight horizontal layout but an off-set like brick work. It is much more interesting. After a few days of very hard and dirty work, we have a new tiled floor. After a fresh coat of paint of the half walls, we are pleased with the results.

Again, you might ask what this has to do with quilting; the answer is - probably not much. It took time away from my sewing room but I needed the exercise. I think I have gained confidence in my quilting years to know I can try new things. Color theory has taught me to choose and balance colors for the results I want. In this case, my result was a relaxing area to sit and enjoy a summer morning with a cup of tea.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring Market

I haven't been here in more than a month! It's been a busy month. Classes to teach, quilts to make. All of this preparation has been leading up to Quilt Spring Market.

I'm pleased to say that one quilt I made appeared at the Windham Fabrics booth. It was a real treat to hear that it would be traveling to shops across the country as a sample.

Spring Market was very sucessful for all I think. The manfactors had wonderful products and the shops owners seem pleased and willing to shop. Windham's Paisley Panache, Baltimore Album, and Gettysburg collections are sure to please all. The partnership with Jenny Haskins produced "When Flowers Dream" a romantic collection.

Robin Pandoph had three collections showing at market. I should get that much work done in a time period. Currently available is Beach House, a fade pastel collection. Fancy Hill Farm is a holiday collection which will be available in June. Lastly, Rue Saint Germain will be available in September and I can't wait.

I saw an equal variety of civil war reproductions, bright batiks and Asians. #30's era reproductions are making a comeback. Several companies had new collections.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Terra Cotta

I thought I would write my blog about a recent visit to the National Geographic museum to see the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit. It was a wondrous experience. I spent the day with my daughter and grandchildren on a chilly but sunny spring day.

The Emperor who created the project was both a genius and mad. Really, mad! He conquered and united China. He also thought that doses of Mercury would extend his life. It didn't.

The exhibit was entirely about the clay figures. Not just the soldiers but musicians, entertainers, horses, and water birds (swans, etc.). All life size. Well not all, as it happens life size horses in clay are too big to fire. They fall apart.

There wasn't a bit of cloth anywhere. But there was a design or two engraved into building bricks that would make great quilting lines.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring has arrived

Today was my quilt guild's monthly bee. We have meetings every month but on the 4th Wednesday of the month we meet at a member's home for an old fashion bee. We bring something to work on as we talk of quilt guild business, accomplishments, disappointments, and children. Today we did all that and more.

The sun was shinning today, it has most of this week. Spring has finally arrived and the daffodils are blooming and the grass is turning green again. It has been a hard winter as it has for most of the country. Lots of snow and ice. We had to cancel several guild events due to weather. We are so happy to see the sun again. It rejuvenates us as it does the earth.

Part of the renewed energy is reflected in planning this year's 'raffle' quilt. The design has been decided and now we are collecting fabric to make the top. Members are volunteering to work on the committee and dates discussed on when to meet.

The lunch break is called and we gather, in this case, to a hearty soup courtesy of our hostess. Side dishes have been bought by us and recipes are shared. Before we know it is time to return to our respective home's, rich with plans and memories. We look forward to the next bee to share life with friends.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Quilt show

Last weekend I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show in Hampton, Virginia. I go almost every year. The show is a Mansuco production that has held for many years. I go almost every year. The quilt exhibits were top quality. The quilts were beautiful to look at, to admire the fine stitches, and maybe to learn something from. While I did not take any classes this year there are classes to meet every need.

Dozens of vendors were there. Batik and many types of fabrics were available. Notions of every kind were there to stock up on and more types of rulers than I have ever seen. I bought some lovely specially threads.

One trend I noticed was the number of 'raffle quilts' from regional quilt guilds and groups. There must have been a half dozen or more. I was impressed with the number of course but also with the beauty and quality of these opportunity quilts. I spent has much money on these quilts as I spent on the vendors. Knowing that I not only have a chance, slight as it may be, to win the quilt, it is also knowing that I am helping a charitable group and helping a neighboring quilt group.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cabin Fever

More snow and more snow. Actually, the snow has finally stopped. Wednesday was the day of snow and wind. Blizzard conditions. We watched the roof of the screened porch very closely. Another 10 inches on top of the 24 inches of the strom before. On Thursday my husband was finally able to get out of the house and put a ladder next to the porch. He was able to shovel all the snow off of the porch roof. What a relief.

The roads were barely passable and I was able to teach my class on Thursday evening. Rest assured we made an early evening as the temperature went down and the ice was forming.

What has all the snow to do with quilting, you ask. The first thought would be all the time one would have for sewing and quilting. Not so! I spent so time much time, between snow storms, outside shoveling the walkway and drive way. I spent more time outside than I do during fair weather. I think I lost 5 pounds this week. Nice but not the way I would prefer to lose it.

In the end, I did get some sewing done. Now, the sun is out and I am going outside once again. To the grocery store.
Warm weather and happy stitches.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tired of Winter

Yesterday was Groundhog Day. According to custom, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. Last night it snowed - again. We have had rain or snow every four or five days. Just enough time in between to dig out and come to life again and it (snow) comes again. Its not heavy/deep as the mid section of the country has had, just 5 inches. Enough for neighbors and myself to say... I'm tired of winter and ready for spring.
Recently on one of the better weather days I took a knitting class. I wanted to learn so I could share with my daughter. She knits beautifully. As the daughter of a quilter she has made a couple of quilts but prefers knitting. I can respect that and as such I wanted to understand the terminology and process. I want to share in her passion as she has in mine.
The class was fun and I learned the basics. Now I have a pink knitted square I haven't any idea of what to do with it. That's okay. I feel I can now walk into a yarn shop with her and join in the conversation creating memories for both of us.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

'Ahoy' Demonstration

A few days ago I had a demonstration on the construction of a quilt block. The block was my entry 'Ahoy" which appeared in "Quiltmaker's 100 blocks'. I made several samples each a step further in the process of construction. I also made a quilt top using the 'Ahoy' block. The quilt was a twin size using 30's era reproduction fabrics. If you look through the archives you will see virtual pictures one which is the 30's zig zag layout that I used for the demo. quilt top.

The demonstration went very well. The ladies commented on the ease of construction and liked the fact of various possible layout designs.

I would like to thank the ladies of Haymarket Quilters Unlimited and 'Quiltmaker Magazine' for the opportunities given. I can't wait to make the 'Ahoy' in other fabrics and layouts.