Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Loving It!!!

Our class is in Merrill Hall.  Not my favorite classroom, but it's the teacher who is important.
 Our teacher, David Taylor, is an applique genius.
 I am not, but with time, I will get better!  :)
Good things are happening by the beach.  I can't wait to get back to my project, and really get going.  Today is going to be another wonderful day.  woohoo!!!  :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014


So.  Did you figure out where we were and what we did between Wednesday and Saturday?

We flew to St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, and met our son's fiancee's parents.  They are getting married in July - our son and his fiancee, not her parents.  ;)

On Thursday, we drove 3 hours to Paducah, to see the quilt show.  We spent 3 hours flying through the quilts, then drove 3 hours back to St. Louis, where we met up with our son for dinner.

On Friday, my brother's FTC robotics team was competing in the World Championship.  We didn't see the finals, but they were finalists for the Connect (software) award, and won the Promote and Innovate (design) awards.  Out of a field of 128 teams, I'd say that's pretty outstanding, especially when you take into consideration the fact that teams often have a dozen or more members, ranging from 7-12th grade.  His team has 6 members, ranging from 7-10 grade.  wow.  stellar performance!

We joined them for dinner, then went to The City Museum.  If you are ever in St. Louis, you HAVE to go there!  Oh.  And we walked to the arch, twice.  :)

On Saturday, we went to the World's Fair Pavilion, to see where the wedding will be held.  We then went to the St. Louis History Museum.  From there, it was the airport and home.

I got up early this morning to finish my laundry and then pack.  By 2pm, I was here:

Do you know where I am?

I am at Asilomar, at the Empty Spools Seminar.  I will be spending the week with a large class of applique groupies.  We are gathered around David Taylor, and will be absorbing his every word.  Hopefully, some of his applique insight will rub off on me, and my next applique quilt will be something new and different (for me).  Goals are good!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Busy, Busy

The past few days in pictures:

It was all about art and creativity.  Truly inspirational!  Gotta run!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coming Down

I'm still riding a bit high from the most recent edition of Best of the Valley.  The show was wonderful, and the praise hasn't stopped.  I need to be careful, because it just might go to my head.  :)  We worked hard to make it happen, and that hard work paid off.  Don't you just love it when that happens?  I most certainly do!  :)  I've already got next year's dates.  Mark your calendars for April 10-12, 2015, when the 20th annual BOTV opens its doors to the public.

I've been playing a lot of clean up and doing a lot of paperwork during the past few weeks.  I'm also trying to prepare for a week at Asilomar.  I'm taking a class with David Taylor.  I can't wait, even though I haven't pulled any fabric yet.

I haven't had time to get back to work on any serious projects, but I had enough focus to unquilt this top that I bought a few years ago.  I love the colors and the fabric, but the workmanship?  It wasn't worth finishing.  I got the great idea to dismantle it, cut it correctly, and reassemble it.  At this point the top has been separated from the back, and the nasty batting has gone out with the garbage.
 As you can see, there are some stains in the muslin.  I think this is a job for RetroClean.  I'm pretty sure that it will look beautiful, if/when I get it all apart and then put back together again.  :)  I haven't examined the muslin yet.  I suppose I should consider replacing it with new.
In addition to cleaning the studio, I've taken a few hours to assemble a couple of birthday cards.  One should be delivered today, the other goes out today.  I like them both, and am inclined to go back and do more sewing, rather than cleaning.  Sometimes a girl just needs to sew, don't you think?

I'm sending two quilts off to Denver today.  If you make it to Denver Quilt Fest next week, you can look for "They Play Well Together" (a wild and crazy Log Cabin) and "Inspired by Sara," a simple art quilt with some wonderful hand-beading.

And I think that's a wrap.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.  Matthew 28:6

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking Forward

I was going to call this "Surfacing for Air," but then I realized that was the title of my last post.  Could I be stuck in a rut?  possibly.

My quilt show paper piles are dwindling.  yay!!  I can take time to wander around the yard, snip iris deadheads, and go out to visit the walnuts.  The trees are gorgeous.  There's just nothing like walking through a grove of 50 year old trees.  My son's friend was pretty descriptive when he called it "The Walnut Forest."  It's like Christopher Robin's 100 Acre woods, only it's 17 acres.  :)

I took the doggie with me, and let him loose.  He was SO thrilled.  run, run, run, run!!  He couldn't run fast enough.  The boys had started irrigating the night before, so there was 4-5" of water that he could splash in and out of.  He loved it!

I pulled out my camera, and tried to capture his exuberance.  I failed.  He was too fast.  But my camera did a great imitation of Monet, and I think these could easily translate into a quilt, if I am so inclined.
 This is my favorite:
 This is the runner-up:
By the time I was ready to leave, he was one happy pup.  Messy, filthy, gross...and completely delighted with himself.  He sat on the floor, not the seat, on the ride home, and it didn't bother him one little bit.
Do you suppose this is what they mean, when they refer to "dog days"?  Probably not, but if my days were half this fun, I wouldn't know what to do with myself!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surfacing for Air

deep breaths.  The quilt show is behind you.  The paperwork is almost all behind you.  The studio is ahead of you.  The garden is before you.
I don't know if you can see all that is in this photo.  REAL, full-size roses in the top lefthand corner were planted last year.  I love them.  Beneath them are some miniatures, both yellow and a multi-color that I-can-never-remember-their-name-but-Elaine-gave-them-to-me-for-my-birthday years ago and they've survived 2-3 transplants...  whew!  And then there are the iris sentries, in white, and both red and blue violet.  And the Dutch iris, and if you were to blow up the photo to life size, you might see the red camellia in the background, and the Johnny Jump-ups scattered around the ground.

whew!  Can you tell I'm loving my garden?  I cannot remember the last time it bloomed so vigorously.  I think it knows what's coming, and it is doing its best to delight my eyes.  Weeks of feast as we face the coming water famine.  I will enjoy it to the best of my ability, while I can.

When they fall over, I bring them inside, to make me smile.  Mother always used to fill the house with flowers from her garden.  My garden has never been prolific enough for me to be willing to cut blooms and bring them in.  This year?  I've done it, and the smiles have come inside as well.
All of this beauty has quilt ideas dancing around in my brain.  I can't wait until I find the time to start sewing them out.  I know, I shouldn't just go looking for the time until I find it, I should MAKE time for quilting.  After all, quilting is the activity that soothes this savage beast, and brings good things to mind and gives an incredible sense of satisfaction.

I don't know if God is a quilter, but I'm certainly glad that He destined me to be one!!

Enjoy the beauty around you, and if possible, quilt it, too!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm in LOVE!

Well that caught your attention, didn't it?!!

If you're expecting juicy details, sorry to disappoint.  But if you want to hear my love story of wonderful singing appliances, you're on the right blog.

Last week we had a quilt show.

I believe that it was Tuesday night, but perhaps it was Monday, that my dryer tried to catch fire.  I didn't see flames, I didn't see smoke, but I smelled SINGE all through the house.  The interior, instead of being white enamel, was charred brown.  Curiously enough, the docent gloves, came out odor free.  Very, very strange.

So fast forward to Monday, yesterday.

Last week, my husband offered to "help," so I asked him to buy me a dryer.  He did not.  Yesterday, I went to the appliance store, thinking that all I needed was a dryer that wouldn't try to catch itself on fire.  (The old one was at least 10? 15? years old.)  My biggest requirement, besides "non-flammable" was that it needed a big drum.

"What is your price point?"

I don't want to buy another dryer anytime soon.  All I want is something perfect.  "If it's what I want, it costs what it costs."  crazy, right?

She marched me from mid-range to top-of-the-line Maytags.  The dryer had an amazing drum.  Big, roomy...a girl could fluff a quilt in there!!  But it was the hunky hunk hunk next to the dryer that was the answer to my dreams.  Big, white, top-loading...oh baby, come home with me, please!!!

I stopped looking at the dryer, and tried not to drool over the washer.  See, I've had this black, front-loading washer for about 7 years.  It was really cool to look at, and came highly recommended, but if you're a quilter - and you probably are, if you're on this blog - you really need to be able to fill a tub for soaking.  That is impossible with a front-loading washer.  I learned that about a week after I brought that thing home, and have been irritated with it ever since.

No longer.  I have a new love, one that I did some intense bonding with today...
 In fact, it's so wonderful, I was able to catch up on all of my laundry, and move onto washing my way through a stack of fabric that I'd been building since December.
 Isn't it beautiful?  Wonderful?  Marvelous?  No more bending over the tub or the sink, to prewash anything.  I can do it in the washing machine.  Incredible invention!  Someone should have thought of it before 2014!!!

Should I stop gushing now?  I'm thrilled, truly thrilled.  Happy, happy, happy!

I'll leave you with the blog photo I started the day with...guess who is NOT a morning dog?  ;)  I'd opened the door so that he could go out.  Did he?  No!  He pulled Pixel's bed over his head and went back to sleep.  My kind of dog!!
And that's a wrap.  Thanks for hanging in there to the end...  :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

We Had Quite the Show!

Prepping for show time, 20 minutes before the doors open.
I love this shot of dueling cameras.
 Think this will make a good postcard for next year?
LOVED the Sweet Peas.  Thank you, Leslie!
 I got to pick one winner.  See me smile!

My garden is also smiling.  "Welcome home, stranger!"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014



I'm sorry.  I haven't forgotten you, it's the time.  Where does it go?  My days have up and gone to Lindsay, preparing to open our doors to the public in...two days?!!  Really?!!!

The quilts came in on Monday.  I forgot to take pictures.

By the time I took out my camera, we were getting ready to cover the quilts.  See that pile on the right?  That's the second class, waiting for the judge to arrive first thing Tuesday morning.  The first class of large quilts is set up to the right of the second, outside the frame of the camera lens. 

The first two classes of small quilts are behind the black curtains.

On Tuesday, Chris Brown and Elizabeth Spannring arrived to do the judging.  For the most part, I forgot to take pictures.

I'm not sure what was happening here.  Elizabeth is hidden by the ladies, who are waiting to spring into action.  The judging was moving along full speed ahead.

Here, Chris considers one of the small quilts on the far table.  Next to that is a table awaiting her judgment, the next long set of tables has quilts held out for consideration during the category.  In the foreground is yet another judging category, awaiting its turn.  It was a long, LONG day.

The judges were WONDERFUL!!  Each quilt was given her total attention, and was thoughtfully considered.  The comments were wonderful, and appropriate to each quilt.  Their stamina was impressive.  They had a very difficult job to do, and did it exceedingly well.  We were all extremely impressed.  A witness to that would be that no one left early.  Oft times some committee members start flagging, and have to leave.  Not this time, I think they all stayed to the very end.  wow.  Such dedication!  I love my ladies!!!  :)

oops.  The clock reads 5:52am, and I'd better get dressed.  I need to be on the road within the hour, if I'm going to get there on time today.  Yesterday we had FOG, which was a welcome reminder of moisture after the previous day's rain, but it also means that driving the speed limit can be foolhardy.

Keep checking back, for more show info.  Or, better yet, find and "like" the Best of the Valley Quilt Show page on Facebook, and/or come to see the show in person.  April 4-6, 2014, 10-5 on Fri/Sat; 10-4 on Sunday.  I'll be there.