Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wasn't That a Party?!?

I spent Saturday night at Quilters Take Manhattan After Dark cocktail party. And what a party it was!

I got to chat with enthusiastic quilters and industry professionals. The time passed so quickly and I had a wonderful time!  My brain is full of new quilting ideas and my heart is full with new quilting friends. 

I met a quilter named Suzanne. One glass of wine and this Syzanne was on the floor. 


We had a good laugh about finding her name tag on the floor and I promised to write a scandalous story about her on my blog. 

Hi Suzanne!  I can't wait to see you in Houston!

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm going to be a California Girl!

Did you know that I am teaching at Road to California in January?  I LOVE THAT SHOW!  The fact that the weather in California in January is slightly better than New York doesn't play into that opinion at all.

I will be teaching six full days of classes there.  WooHoo!  I will spend three days loving on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and three days loving on the Handi Quilter Avante.  Who could ask for anything more?

My classes are filling up, so now would be a great time to sign up if you want some sunny California quilt classes in January.

See you there!


Weekend Plans

This weekend I will be attending the Grand (re)Opening of The Quilt Basket.  They moved from Wappingers Falls, NY to Pawling, NY.  There are special happenings at the shop on Saturday and Sunday.  I even heard that there will be ice cream!  Mmmmmmmmm.........ice cream.

I can't wait to go to the shop and visit my quilt:


It is the sample for my new pattern, Squared Away, available from the Quilt Basket.  I'm so excited about this line of patterns because they use fat eighths of fabric and backgrounds, borders, etc.  There is very little waste so these quilts are economical to make.  New quilters with a small budget will benefit from this, as well as quilters like myself who don't need any more fabric but just want to play with pretty! new! fabrics! and don't want to spend a lot of money on their whim.  Read more about the patterns on their blog here.

I first went into The Quilt Basket in 1993.  Cathy was able to answer my questions, guide me in fabric selection, teach classes, and basically act as my quilting mentor.

I am so excited to still have a great quilt shop in my area.  I know the quilty goods are available online, but nothing can replace a local quilt shop.

Will I see you in Pawling this weekend?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Did You Know?

Did you know that all of my teaching engagements are listed on my website?  I do this so that my husband knows where in the world I am on any particular day, just in case he forgets!

You can find my calendar here.

Will I see you at an upcoming event?  Will there be cake?

Silly question.


Sending Out Stuff

Last night I attended my quilt guild meeting.  Our guild has an active community quilts program.  I try and quilt up a few quilts a year for them, as my time allows.  This week, I quilted one of their tops and bound it with a little last-minute help at my table. Thanks Louise and Trish!  We imitated a sewing bee at the quilt guild to get this puppy done before the meeting ended.  Our fingers were FLYING!

I donated another quilt to the guild last night:


The morning sun made this a difficult photo, but soon the sun will be gone for the winter and I'm not going to complain about it!

I made this quilt from scraps and my Marti Michell Log Cabin Ruler.  I quilted it using a Baptist Fan pattern.  All of the fabric was from stash and the batting was from stash as well.  My studio doesn't look emptier now that I've finished the quilt, but technically, there has to be less stuff in here (unless my fabric multiplies when the lights are out).

I hope that whoever receives this quilt loves it a lot!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sending Out Stuff

I am committed to putting my house on a diet.  Today, I only got rid of little things:


I donated all of my old eyeglasses to my eye doctor to donate to folks who need them.

There is now one less box in my house to trip over, and hopefully these glasses will help others who can't afford them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sending Out Stuff

Once upon a time, I made a wedding quilt:


I used the scraps to make a baby quilt


I used the scraps from that quilt to make a tablerunner:


I used the scraps from that runner to make another tablerunner:


And now I am out of scraps!

I put the lasttablerunner and some dishcloths in a box and shipped them out as a present to my Mother-in-Love:


I hope she liked them.

Now I have to get busy making more scraps!

Monday, September 15, 2014

So. Stinkin'. Excited!

I am excited to announce that one of my patterns has been published.

The Quilt Basket in Pawling, NY is selling fat eighth packs of fabrics and also publishing a line of patterns to support the fabric packs.  I walked into the shop last week and saw this:


That's my quilt!

Here's my pattern:


Look closer:



That's ME!

I finished the quilt a while ago (one of my super-secret sewing projects) and took this picture the day I completed the quilt:

I took this photo just to torture myself.  I can not show the quilt to anyone nor can I post the photo online, so it just sat on my phone and BURNED.  I feel so much better now that I got to tell you my news!

The quilt was made with American Made Brand fabrics.  There are 50 colors in the line, but I only managed to use 18 in my quilt.  I'll have to design something else to use the other 32 colors!

The Quilt Basket is selling these patterns at a super-reasonable price (I think under $5).  This way, you can collect all of them!

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 104

So long, Bits 'N Pieces.  I look forward to coming back to teach at your shop again in November!

The Northeast US is congested and I have to drive through several major traffic areas on my way home.  To take advantage of relatively kind Sunday evening traffic, instead of awful Monday morning rush hour traffic, I drove past Boston after class and checked into a hotel a little closer to home.  I will stll have to wait out the morning rush before resuming the drive home, but at least I'm past the worst of the traffic.

My new digs:


This hotel room is not fancy, but it has several lovely features:

outlets near the bed for laptop
outlets near the bed for charging the iPhone
quilting binding bag on the bed

I don't need much more than that in a hotel room.

I planned to bind while watching Netflix, but I will confess that I fell asleep as soon as I sat down.  I guess I should just be thrilled with the outlet for charging the iPhone, since I didn't get to bind the quilts or watch Netflix tonight.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 103

I spent another fun day at Bits 'N Pieces in Pelham, NH.  We worked through the Fun of Finishing and Feathered our hearts out.  These quilters were master featherers and my brilliant bag was in high use today!

After work, I got down to the serious business of hotel room sewing.  I had a goal and I met it tonight -- to finish piecing this Halloween quilt:


I am now thinking about the quilting (of course!) and am torn.  Should I use a fun computerized Halloween pattern?  Or free-motion quilting including some spiderwebs.

Any thoughts?
Any suggested digital patterns?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 102

I spent a wonderful day at Bits 'N Pieces in Pelham, NH.


Today was all about the Pro-Stitcher.  Computerized quilting is so much fun!

Michelle from Little Pup Designs figured out that I like Hello Kitty so she bought me this:


Check out the fun ID tag on the back of the lunchbox:


Yes, I think she knows me pretty well!

My dear Liz, the owner of Bits 'N Pieces, gifted me some stickers:


Liz knows me pretty well, too!

After work, back in my hotel, I talked to Kay at the front desk.  She is a competent young woman and I kept her company while a ghost kept calling the front desk.  Room 129 kept calling and calling and calling; room 129 was vacant!  Oooooooooo... spooky!

After I checked to see how far away my room was from 129, I felt safe spending the evening sewing in my non-haunted room.  I finished a super-secret quilting project, and then started a not-very-secret sewing project:


I cut out all of the pieces and then sewed a few blocks just to see how they would look.  I used a cream background and the Halloween prints have white in them.  My nonsensical "don't mix white and cream" buzzer was in overdrive about this last night, but I think it looks pretty OK.  Tomorrow night I hope to power-sew through the rest of the blocks.

A good day in New Hampshire, indeed.


Sending Out Stuff!

Sending might be too strong of a word.  "Dropping Off Stuff" might be more fitting.

I recently cleaned out my hall closet and found this scarf hiding among all the partner-less gloves and too-small caps:


This scarf belongs to my son.  He moved out three years ago.  I drove by his house yesterday and there is now one less item in my house.  Hurray!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 101

I am in New Hampshire, tucked into my hotel and ready to teach at Bits 'n Pieces in Pelham tomorrow.  I love that little shop!  The students there are like family.

On my two days at home, I worked hard prepping for this event:


I wound bobbin after bobbin, preparing for my hotel room sewing.

This room has everything I need:


Diet Cherry Limeade from Sonic -- check
Sewing machine, rotary cutter/mat/ruler -- check
pins, scissors -- check
Netflix on laptop -- check

What more could a gal ask for?

What's that?  Cake?


CHECK!

Did you know?

Did you know that I am teaching at AQS Quilt Week in Des Moines, Iowa?


Handi Quilter was generous enough to sponsor a room full of HQ18 Avante machines for the students' quilting pleasure.

If you want some hands-on longarm quilting education, this is a great opportunity!

I will be teaching:

  • Layered Quilting (reverse applique on the longarm)
  • Not an Artist? Not a Problem! (free-motion quilting)
  • For Feather Phobics Only! 
  • Quilter's Playtime (specialty techniques)
  • Beyond the Lines (quilting with rulers and templates)
I know that quilt shows are a great way to spend vacation time and to keep the "no work" feel going, I am hard at work in my studio packaging the class kits so that you won't need to bring any supplies with you.

I hope to see you in Des Moines in October!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Attention Georgia Friends

Recently, two quilts of mine were published in Heritage Quilts Made Modern


One of my quilts is on the cover:


I have a second quilt inside:


If you want to see these quilts in person and are in the Atlanta area, visit Quilting Live!  My quilts and all of the others are hanging in the show.  

If you do go to the show, please take photos and post them for me?  I will be in New Hampshire this week, which is really far away from Atlanta, and can't get to the show.

PS -- the magazine is available at newsstands now.

Sending Out Stuff!

It's time to start sending out stuff!

The first box that I mailed out contained these items:


I mailed these treasures to my mom.

The magazine has two of my quilts in it, one being on the cover!  I have several copies of this magazine and decided to give one away.  Mom had to search through the magazine to see why I sent it.  She asked if the photos of the quilts were taken in my living room; they were taken in the lovely Artwork Network Gallery in Denver, Colorado.  My living room only wishes it could be so beautiful!

The two placemats were pieced quite some time ago in the style of Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 Minutes of Play.  I recently quilted them and just finished the hand binding while on my last extended trip.  Mom gushed, "They are so beautiful!  They are bigger than the last ones that you sent me. I don't know if I can use them!"  Um, Mom?  Scrap pieced placemats with black fabric can handle spaghetti dinners and a washer/dryer.

The knitted dishcloths were also finished while in my hotel rooms.  I started knitting dishcloths for Mom to use when I was a little girl and I also used to sell them at a little craft shop for $2.  Mom always wants more dishcloths and she says that the lady who runs the shop still asks if I'll knit some for her, too.  Every once in a while, I grab the old needles and some cotton from my yarn stash and make a stack of them for mom and the craft shop lady to fight over.  Mom always seems confused when I refuse the $2.  I can't tell you how much this makes me smile.

My house doesn't look much emptier with these items gone, but I enjoyed mailing them out.  I'm now plotting my next "sending out stuff" mission.

What will it be?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Home Sweet Home!

I have spent 100 of the last 252 nights in a hotel.  While in a hotel, I only have the belongings that fit into one suitcase, a backpack, and a very small purse.  Now that I'm home, I have a house full of stuff.  I'm overwhelmed!

It is time to put my house on a diet.  I don't think I will pare my possessions down to what can fit into one suitcase, but I'd like to seriously tackle the "too much stuff" problem.

As I see it, I have three options:

1.  Throw it away.  I don't like this option much.  I'm an earthy/crunchy gal at heart and dumping my possessions in a landfill makes me shiver.  Some of my items will end up in the landfill, but I am hoping to keep that number as small as possible.
2.  Use it up/ Wear it out.  I like this option.  I have some unintentionally large supplies of items and choose to be grateful that I won't need to stock up on them in the near future.  I will keep them around and let their numbers dwindle as I use them up.
3.  Pass it along.  As I find items that I don't need to keep, I hope to identify someone who would like/use them.  I don't want to unnecessarily burden others with my stuff, but if someone can benefit from my excess, I want them to have it.

Are there other options that I am missing?

I wonder how much progress I can make by the end of 2015?

Monday, September 08, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- Night 100

Can you believe that I've spent 100 nights in a hotel so far this year?  CRAZY!!!

Today was my last day of classes at Suzanne's Quilting in Moultrie, GA.  I adore her shop.  It is huge!  And bright!  And happy!

See:


That is just one small corner of this amazingly huge shop.  I could live here forever!

After work, I dodged storms and drove up to Atlanta so I can catch an early flight home in the morning.  I haven't been home since August 19th.  HOME!!!  Sigh.

I booked a Holiday Inn Express for the evening.  I am usually pleased with my stays at this chain.  Tonight has been fine, but this feels more like a Quality Inn than a Holiday Inn Express.  For my travleing friends, what do you think of this room?


Comfort Inn?  Days Inn?  Quality Inn?  I think this hotel used to be one of those other brands.

I wish that my 100th night in a hotel was the Best. Hotel. Ever! but it is not.  It is clean and comfortable and has good WiFi speed.  What more can I really ask for?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 99

This morning when I pulled out of my hotel parking lot, I saw a rainbow:


I decided to follow the rainbow to the end, to see if there was a pot of gold.

There was!



This is a HUGE quilt shop full of lovely quilting goodies.  The quilters in this area are blessed to have a treasure of a shop here!

Georgia is lovely in late summer.  I don't want to imply that it is steamy here, but my glasses fog up every time I walk outside:


The southern quilters are lovely, and so is the southern food.  Food like...

Fried pickles!


I have never in my life said, "Yum!  Pickles!"  Rather, I have been known to walk a mile to AVOID a pickle.  A fried pickle, however, just might grow on me.

Tonight I am sitting in my hotel room, catching up on paperwork, knitting, and wishing I had a sodapop.  It took about an hour and a half, but I finally worked up the energy to walk to the lobby to find this treat:


My 99th day in a hotel was a good one indeed!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 98

I had an absolutely fantastic day at Suzanne's Quilting in Moultrie, GA today!!!  I was busy with my students and didn't get photos of this amazing shop, but I hope to get some for you tomorrow.

I spent a quiet evening in my hotel, making it home.  I designed a few new quilts on EQ7 (yes, this is a teaser -- you'll have to wait for them).  I enjoyed some home-cooked Southern food, aka Chick-Fil-A.  I watched some Netflix and knitted.  I also spent some time bringing my hotel room up to minimal living standards.  Sometimes, something in a hotel room is just so wrong that I can not let it go.  I hate to complain, so I had to fix the problem myself.

Could you have let this go?


Yeah, me neither:


All better!

I bring some special touches from home to keep me smiling while on the road, too.

My friend Michelle from Little Pup Designs made me a wineglass coaster:


I don't drink wine, but this cute coaster makes a great cosmetic remover case:


I smile thinking of Michelle every night when I remove my eye makeup.



Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 97

After a great vacation, I am back to my great real life -- teaching quilting!

I just pulled into my hotel in Moultrie, GA and will be teaching at Suzanne's Quilting in the morning.  I can not wait!

There are two important things about tonight's hotel:


1.  It is late

and:


2.  It has a bed.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Friend-a-versary

Eighteen years ago today, I met one of my two best friends.  I know that "best" implies that there is only one, but I have two.  I refuse to choose between them; they'll just have to fight it out.

Ahem.

SO, I met one of my two best friends 18 years ago today.  It was the first day of kindergarden for each of our #2 children, both daughters.  We met at the busstop as the girls eagerly ran onto the bus and we pretended to be glad to see them go.  We consoled each other and became instant friends.

During the last 18 years, we have laughed together, cried together, given advice, received advice, listened, blown off steam, and spoken difficult words that could have ended our friendship but only served to deepen it.  We have very different lives and don't see each other in person very often, but we know that the other is only a phone call away.  Each of us feels that we have the better part of the friendship deal, and we're both right.

I am out of town and am sad to not celebrate our friend-a-versary with this dear woman in person.  She willingly gave me a raincheck and I'll cash it in next week once I return home.

For a fair and balanced post, I met my other best friend about a year and a half later at a quilting class; the date eludes me but she is every bit as valuable to me as my other friend.  She is the older sister/young aunt that every woman wishes for.  She has spoken wisdom into my life and I have tried to follow what I have learned from her.  I'm a better mother and wife because of her influence.  We no longer live in the same state, but email and phonecalls keep us connected.  We are now both grandmothers and, since our grandbabies are different genders, we agree that each other has the cutest granddaughter/grandson on the planet!

I hope that you have friends in your lives like these women.  They are gifts from God and I can not imagine my life without them.



How do you celebrate the friends in your life?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Hotel Tour of 2014 -- night 96

Sniff, sniff, sob, sob -- my vacation in Utah has come to an and.  Boo hoo hoo!  I've been to Salt Lake City many times, but I have never really fallen in love with this state.  I am usually inside, working, while it's blisteringly hot or the inversion is in during the winter months.  I always thought it was "fine" here, but my heart didn't go pitter-pat.

After this week, though, my heart is going pitter-pat.  This is one amazing state and I'm so blessed that I got to see so much of it!  We are definitely planning to visit again and see the parts we missed:  Bryce Canyon, Zion, Dinosaur National Monument, Natural Bridge, Four Corners... Maybe we'll need to come back several times to see it all!

Today was a simple day:

1.  Leave Park City and drive to Salt Lake City.  Farewell, Park City; I shall miss thee!

2.  Stop at Bruges Waffles and Frites:


Belgian waffle with chocolate, creme fraiche, and fresh strawberries.  Need I say more?

3.  Head to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake and see the bison:


RIGHT OUTSIDE MY CAR!  They are HUGE!

I saw antelope, too, but they blend in so well that the photos would just look like photos of the hillside.  I wish I had seen the bighorn sheep, but there are very few on the island and most of the island was closed today due to a bicycle race.  Sigh.

It was very hot and sunny today and I don't do well in the sun.  I didn't get to dip my toes in the Great Salt Lake because I was hiding in the shade inside of my car.  I'm sad about that, but my (shockingly pale) body is thanking me for my sacrifice.

4.  Go to The Mandarin for dinner and order my favorite honey-walnut shrimp:


5.  Share the shrimp with my husband, but only because I like him -- a lot.  For those who have eaten at The Mandarin with me, you know that I DON'T SHARE MY SHRIMP!

6.  Eat one very emphatic fortune cookie:


If it gave me the same message three times, maybe I should pay attention?

7.  Check back into my favorite hotel:


When I checked, the gal at the desk (Jolene) said, "You're back!"  This place is like Cheers!  Everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came.

I'm flying back to the real world tomorrow morning at dawn.  All good things must come to an end, but fortunately, all great things have a way of staying with you forever.