Friday, October 31, 2014

Quilt Market Fall 2014 - School House

I just returned from Quilt Market in Houston. I attended a few school house sessions and it informative and fun. School house is set up in 30 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks to reach the next class. We are given a list of classes’ available (approx. 10) for each session and there are 14 sessions.  It reminded me, and many others also commented on this, of high school halls as students rush to the next class.

Each session has someone speaking about a new technique, a just released book, or a topic discussion of interest to shop owners and industry persons. My favorite was on Business Cards. What makes a good impression vs. a poor impression. It was an excellent class.

I cannot go into the details as it is Jo Packham’s class. Jo had an excellent hand out and slide show of good and poor business cards to support her theory.  I can say, use quality paper, put all pertinent information on large enough to read, and use both sides of the card. 
Watch for future blogs about Quilt Market.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Training on my Statler machine

I just returned from Lori Clayton’s shop “Threads Run Through It” in Phenix, Va. Lori is my long arm deader/service/trainer for my Staler-Gammil long arm machine.  I have had my machine since August and knew the bare basics of using it. Further training was available but time wasn’t until now.

I drove about 4 hours thru the Shenandoah Valley region and on Skyline Drive famous for the mountainous and fall foliage. It was a bit early and the colors of autumn were only hinting of what is to come.  Another week or so will be beautiful there.

Lori welcomed me into her home and shop. I learned a lot about what my long arm machine can do. I am eager to apply all I learned to quilt some of my many UFO’s.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thoughts of 9/11

Today most of us remember the events of 9/11. I spent the day reflecting on those events of that day.  It started as a beautiful autumn day. The sun was shining and the temperature was in the 70’s. My daughter was in school and I thought I might spend some time at the second hand book store. It was early yet and the morning news shows were still on. I, like many saw the events on TV and could not believe what I was seeing.

I live just over an hour’s drive from Washington D. C. Many of the people in our area work in the D.C. area. When the next two tragedies happened the phones started ringing. The common question was is your family member there? My husband did not work at the Pentagon at that time. My husband phoned and stated he was on his way home.  An hour or so later our son-in-law phoned from Hawaii and asked what was going on.  He was on active duty and had been awaken and told to go to work.

In the aftermath of the Pentagon tragedy in the D.C. area is that everyone either knew someone or one to two people removed that were directly affected by the tragedy. Many of our school children had a class mate affected in some matter. It was an event that has changed us and in some ways brought us closer in times of difficulty in our community.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those touched by the 9/11 tragedies. God bless and keep you in his hands. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Planning a milestone

On Sunday my family – husband, two daughters and family gathered together for lunch. This was a planning luncheon. We have a milestone event happening in October.  We are planning a party to celebrate 3 birthdays.

My husband turns 65, and my two girls each have milestone birthdays also. I do not think they want me to give the numbers away.  At this time in our lives (husband and I) are happy to wake up in the morning to be worried about our age.

Anyway we made our plans for the party. We settled on a day, style of party and food selection. Now we need to prepare our guests lists and get those save the date notice out there. Watch for pictures in October.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Photo Shoot of Quilts

This week I took a car full of quilts, 18 to be exact, to my publishing house. I have been working on a book idea for a few years but this year I have been seriously applying pen to paper.  This week was the appointment time to take photographs of the quilts.

My friend Renelda, also a quilter, and my granddaughter went with me to help. It is a 3 hour drive and we talked all the way; although my granddaughter being a teenager did listen to her IPOD and slept much of the way. We planned the trip to arrive early in the area so we could stop at some quilt shops for the ‘Row by Row’ patterns at the shops.

The publishing house is always a treat to visit as it sits on park like acreage in fact they call it a ‘book farm’. It has statues and sculptures everywhere.  There is always something you haven’t seen before. With the summer sun shining on the pond my granddaughter could walk the park to enjoy the sights while I met with my editor.

After the short meeting we met with Morgan the photographer. Morgan is a lovely young woman who was very knowledgeable in her profession. We were able to take some wonderful photos in a minimum of time. The colors are bright and the images are clear and sharp. The close up photos of the quilts show the quilting stitches wonderfully. I have the CD of the photos already and I am very pleased.

We made our return trip home satisfied with a job well done.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Downton Abby Comes to Delaware


This weekend I joined my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter for a trip. We drove 3 hours north to Delaware’s Winterthur. Our purpose was to see the Downton Abby costume exhibit currently on display. The exhibit was wonderful beyond words. I have always loved making period clothing and costumes so this was a real treat. Upon entering the room was a large photo banner of the building used as the Downton Abby fa├žade.  Many people, including ourselves, stood in front of it to have our pictures taken.

The clothing was displayed on manikins usually in groups of two to five items. A backdrop photo of the scene in which it was used was shown. Story boards explaining the process in the design or making of the item was displayed alongside. The insight to these garments is  inspiring.

When the season’s script has been completed, the costume department has 7 weeks in which to complete the entire wardrobe for the season. I find this feat amazing. The department often finds fragments of lace, fabric, etc. of the time period. Often a garment is made around the incorporation of the fragment. The colors, textures, trims can convene without words an emotion or mood of the scene. It is a science in its self. I cannot begin to pick a favorite garment. I loved them all.

The exhibit continues thru January 15, 2015, see it if you can.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quilt Guild Anniversary

Quilt Guild Anniversary

One of the quilt guilds I belong to just had their 10th anniversary and a celebration dinner was held at a local Country Club. We dressed for dinner and a wonderful meal. The tables were decorated with folded Fat Quarters to create an 8 Pointed Star and each guest at the table received a Fat Quarter to take home.

The moment a person walked in the room, they would notice a slide show presentation of photos flashing on a screen.  Hundreds of photos, which were taken during the 10 years of Show & Tell, workshops, and Retreats, were compiled together for the slideshow. We saw members who have moved or their hair styles that have changed. It kept drawing one’s eye back to the screen throughout the evening.

We had speeches from founding members and past presidents, some of whom have moved away. Comments were made about our hopes for the future. Some of the evenings show & tell were of first and recent quilts made by members. It was a perfect statement of how far we have come.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Estate Sale Tribute

Estate Sale Tribute

On Saturday my daughter and I went to an Estate sale.  The sudden passing of a woman created the need to sale the items of her many hobbies.  She had stated she wanted her things to go to people who also had the passion for the crafts. The adult daughter and her friends worked very hard on the best way to sort, price and display the sale. I think they did a terrific job.

Customers had been respectfully waiting for the ‘open for business’ call at 9 a.m. We had arrived at 8:30.  We all went straight the areas of our interest. The woman was definitely a quilter by the look of her fabric sash. All the fabric had been sorted by color and her Batiks rivaled a shop.  Her paper scrapbook supplies (my daughter’s interest) and unique cake pans were also impressive.

We all expressed our sympathies to the family. We thanked them for sharing their mother’s passion with us who also have a passion for crafts.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Spring Market 2014

I just returned from Spring Market in Pittsburgh, PA.  I went with two other friends. It was a 4 1/2 hour drive and raining on the way up there.  But we had a great time talking quilting and other stuff while on the drive. Our Hotel overlooked the river and we could see the tug boats up and down the river. It was a room with a view.

Market was exciting as always. It is a way of renewing friendships and networking. I had two friends doing book signings at the Schiffer Publishing booth and it was great to see the warm reception to their books.

What we all want to know is where are the fabric colors going? Well, I am personally pleased to see some bright colors. Maybe it is because of the long winter but I am ready for color. I think the color of the market was bright green and not the color of money but the color of spring leaves. Combine the green with teal or turquoise and yellows or orange and that is it. Medium to large flowers or other prints in the stated colors and that is the trend that I saw.

Another wonderful item is the Scan it and Cut it by Brother. I cannot detail all the wonderful things it does but look to the Brother sites and read all about it. I was so impressed that I bought one. I usually mull over my purchase decisions for months before buy but I buy it the very next day.
Happy Spring Quilting.

Look who I saw. Eleanor Burns and Leah Day. Leah is a very sweet lady and talented too!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wool and Sheep Show

I went with my daughter to the Sheep & Wool show in Maryland today.  My daughter is a terrific knitter, I am not.  There were exhibits of dog herding sheep, farm equipment auction, sheep shearing demos, and sheep in their pens to be petted.  There were lots of vendors selling wool – in roving, yarn and by the oz.  In natural colors and a rainbow of colors. They sold patterns, buttons, pins (jewelry), needles, spinning wheels, and everything else you cannot even image.

My granddaughter (14) and her friend went to see the dogs do their thing and then to the barns to pet the sheep. They phoned to ask about our progress only to hear we had barely put a dent at the vendor’s barns.  A funnel cake, another dog show, and sheep shearing demonstration and we were finally ready to call it a day.

My daughter brought two shawl patterns and some yarn. I hope to become the precipitant of one of those shawls. It is too bad I do not knit but I am better at quilting. All I bought was a bag of candied nuts.

Friday, April 25, 2014

What I did on Spring Break

My granddaughter (14) was on Spring Break last week. Her idea of vacation is to sleep ‘til noon, go to a movie, and have sleep overs with friends.  The adults in her life had different ideas. She had a class project to work on. Mom said to clean up the yard after the dogs, and Nana said it’s time to learn to sew.

I (Nana) had some fabric to make a quilt for donation.  I had pre- cut the fabric and a simple strip quilt would be ideal to work on her sewing skills. And she could get some volunteer time to her credit.

She has a little experience on the sewing machine so most of the time she kept a straight seam line. The blocks were made and then came the lesson on joining the blocks and rows. The last border was sewn on and she finally could have lunch! Two whole hours. But like most teens she secretly liked the finished top.

I am quilting and finishing the 45” X 50” quilt which will be donated to the local hospital Chemo clinic. She did by the way see a movie and have a sleep over during the week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. In the mid-Atlantic it is just another snow day. 9 inches fell during the night and everything is closed until we can dig our way out again. We really hope this is the last snow storm.

I last wrote of not being able to accomplish much sewing but the last 3 weeks have been nothing but sewing.  I completed a baby quilt and two small wall hanging  (26” X 22”) challenge quilts completed. I belong to the Mason Dixon Quilt Professionals Network. Every two years we have a challenge which is often exhibited at major shows. This challenge theme is US Modern Era – 1914 – 2014. I choose space exploration as I have an Uncle who worked on the Saturn rocket engines. The second quilt I made had to do with Television. I created a Television with many iconic show titles on the ‘screen’. This project was fun but hard to make the choice of which titles to include. There were so many to choose from.  If you have chance to see our exhibit I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Educational Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I had.  I had been invited to join two talent longarm quilters in our area to join them at a longarm quilt conference.  Classes were offered for all levels of experience, which is good because I am not at the same level as these two ladies.  After registering on the first morning we were chatting with other students. One of our group asked a young woman (any woman than my 60 + is younger but as it happened she is my daughter’s age) where she is from to which she replied “Australia”.  We asked if she had come just for this event, which she replied “yes”.  Well we decided Catherine would not be by herself this weekend and we dragged her along with us. 

We spent a long evening at Seafood Restaurant learning about Australia. She learn probably more about America and us than she wanted. We all learn a lot in our classes and look forward to applying those lessons on our longarm machines.  Catherine had plans to stay one more day and travel the return trip on Tuesday.  I have heard she has been delayed as the flights have been cancelled by the winter storm.

I hope that we will meet again, maybe at quilting event somewhere. My husband would not mind taking a trip to Australia even if it’s to a quilt show.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

January events

In the month of January I usually inventory my quilt projects. I count the number of unfinished quilts and the state of completion.  I try to use the rest of the month finishing quilt bindings or labels just to nudge a few of them into the finished pile. None of this has happened this year.

Most of the country is suffering from the coldest winter in years if not decades. We too in our ‘neck of the woods’ are cold.  Thank goodness we have a fireplace.  As long as we keep the wood box full the fireplace helps keep the house warm and with the added asset of keeping the electric heat bill lower.  So the year started out by moving a lot of wood closer to the house. Snow has greeted us several times and that means shoveling the drive and sideway.  But mostly it is cold, several days there was no school or work so the house had a husband and daughter making noises of some kind.

In middle of the month my mother-in-law had passed away. She was 86 and had been in poor health for several years. She led a full life the way she wanted and passed in her sleep.  This event had us flying to the opposite side of the country.  The weather was warmer there that was a plus. We returned to bitter cold again.

All this has led me to the end of the month with no inventory, no blogs written for the month and little time in my sewing room.  I hope this is not a sign of the rest of the year.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Time goes by

Happy New Year! We are now in the year 2014.
I noticed that my last entry was around Thanksgiving, my bad. I have of course preparing for Christmas, working on 2 donation quilts, and my book which means making another quilt for it.
Oh yes, we also had new granite counter tops put in a couple of weeks ago.   The counter tops were the gift my husband and I gave to ourselves.

Yesterday and today was spent putting away the holiday decorations and fitting in a little sewing.  My husband and daughter went the movies a couple of times. Have to support the 'arts' you know.

Now its back to work and routine.  I wish you a Happy New Year.