Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family Reunion Food--Oh, My!

How do you eat smart at the annual Family Reunion?  Here are what the tables looked like--all this for about 40 people:

Front of the Line

End of the Line looking back toward the chicken

Half the Desserts

More Desserts

My Plate

In thinking about this all week prior to the event, I decided to just take the side items first--no chicken up front.  I'm sure there are quite a few calories on this plate but it's all so good and so not the way I cook--once a year it's OK to enjoy all this yummy country food.  Notice--one piece of fried summer squash--I fry nothing in my kitchen--but one piece won't kill me.   

I did not take a picture of my dessert plate--yes, I caved for some dessert.  But it all tasted so sweet, including the blackberry cake I made, that I ate less than half what I selected and called it quits.  And later that evening, at home for dinner, I had plain tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden, a small scoop of the potato salad from the reunion and an eighth of a delicious cantaloupe we bought at a farmer's produce stand on the way home--yum!

Since the end of tax season I've lost 24 pounds, by eating healthy most of the time and walking every day.  Feeling better helps my quilting and the rest of my life too, of course.  It's a good start.

Let's Quilt!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More Quilts Going to Houston!

I just got confirmation that two more of my quilts will make the trek to Houston this fall--it's a Happy Dance kind of day!

Red and White--By the Numbers, was selected as the 40th Anniversary Commemorative Quilt, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of International Quilt Festival and all the Ruby Jubilee activities we will have this year:

It's featured in all the advertising and on the cover of the catalog and will be on the terrific tote bag everyone is sure to want.  I wrote about that here, along with info on how you can still order the patterns. 

Today I received notification that two of my quilts will be in the Special Exhibit: 500 Traditional Treasures.  That is the title of a new book due out this September and I am honored to have 3 quilts selected for the book.  Two of those will be in this Special Exhibit:

Joyful Journey

A-Round With My Friends

Joyful Journey is from the pattern Washington Medallion by Sue Garman and is available here. 

A-Round with My Friends was made as a Round Robin with my two best quilting Buddies, Ellen A. and Sharon S.  It won Best of Show at my guild in 2011 and was exhibited in Paducah April 2014--I wrote about our trip to see it here.

This is the year I retired after 34 years with H&R Block, I turned 60, and all this great quilt stuff is happening.  I think this is my year and:   Life is so good! 

Let's Quilt--and I hope to see you in Houston this year.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quilt-In was Fun!

Yesterday my guild held it's first Quilt-In, a twelve hour retreat, including breakfast and dinner, 4 optional classes, open sewing time, an onsite  quilt shop vendor who brought fabric to sell and lots of time for socializing with old and new guild members.  Twenty-nine smart people took advantage of this opportunity and by lunchtime the talk was "What are you going to teach next year?" and "We HAVE to do this again next year".  So, yes, it was very successful.

I taught a class on hand piecing, the Antique Rose Star.  The template comes from Material Obsession in Australia and the quilt is featured in the book, Material Obsession 2
Here is my sample: 

Class was fun, some of the 16 students had never hand-pieced before, some said they did not like templates but were willing to give them a chance, and all of them had a good time and several said they learned more than they expected to.  That is always my goal--I try to incorporate as many tips as I can throughout my classes.  Because I had used both hand and machine piecing in this quilt, I demonstrated how to machine piece the units at the end of class.  It was a fast-paced 3 hours--next time I teach this it will be a four-hour class, students will get at least one major unit done in 4 hours.

Here are some scenes from our classroom:

Sixteen surprise gifts I  brought--fun to share my excess notions

Cutting and marking the small kite pieces

Everyone kept hard at work

Using the template to cut those pieces

Part of their kit included 3 colorful Ziploc bags to stay organized--the bags were a hit

Biggest pencil case I've ever seen

My demo pieces

First block laid out

Making those small stitches
After lunch, which we ordered in, I had free time to sew.  I was thrilled to get 4 of my 9 sets for the "baby" Color in Black and White quilt finished.  The big quilt has blocks 28" x 24"--the baby has blocks 14" x 12":

I wrote about the big one here and here.  This week I will add the border I decided on for the large quilt, stay tuned for photos of it. 

The day was fun and productive and the food was excellent--our 2 chefs did a great job.  It was hard to stay mindful of my healthy eating plan and I did cave on the Key Lime pie, but it was worth it.  Back to the straight and narrow today.  I've lost 20 pounds since the end of tax season so I'm headed in the right direction.

Everyone should get a chance to sew with friends and learn new things.  Let's Quilt!


Monday, July 14, 2014

New finish--Maybe

My latest project--a class sample for a Fall class.  I call this Color In Black and White.  Now to decide if it needs a border or not.  It's 84" x 72" currently and that might be big enough.  Still thinking on this.

Let's quilt!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

What's New--Class Samples

I'm having fun creating class samples for upcoming quilt classes. 

How about this:

It's called Soul Searching in this book:

by Kathy Doughty of Australia. Her shop is called Material Obsession and she has a fun blog too. 

My title for this quilt is Color in Black and White.  There are 7 more blocks to be made--want to guess the other colors?  It takes time to cut all the fabrics, but the sewing goes fast.   In addition to cutting 2.5" strips for this size, I am cutting 1.5" strips at the same time for a much smaller version.  Digging through boxes of fabrics takes time, might as well make 2 at once.

The other small quilt I made this weekend is this:

Laundry Day Simple What Nots Club #1  20" square

I am doing the Simple What Nots Club by Kim Diehl at our local shop, Patches & Stitches, Huntsville, AL.  The fabric is late in arriving so I finally had to make this sample from my fabrics on hand.  The club will meet one Friday night a month for 6 months, where I will do lecture/demos for each of 6 small quilts.  We have about 20 folks signed up but this will go on display tomorrow so we may get a few more sign-ups.  With such small pieces, it's a great way for both new and experienced quilters to improve their piecing skills.  I will also encourage students to be free in their fabric selections--it is not a club that gives you all the exact fabrics to use, they will get plenty of opportunity to expand their design sense.  It will be fun!

When not sewing this great Fourth of July weekend, my husband and I worked hard in the yard, went out to town to visit some of his family, had great picnic-type food for dinner, including homemade fresh peach ice cream! and enjoyed a lovely weekend all around.  Life is good.

There are several more projects I have to get to but for now I plan to finish the terrific color blocks--this is really an enjoyable project, mainly because I'm revisiting some oldies but goodies in my deep fabric stash!

Linking up with Judy L's Design Wall Monday.

Let's quilt!