Monday, May 30, 2016

A Trip to Texas

I love Texas!  I've gone there to Quilt Market and Festival every year since 1996--Houston each time.  We had a two-day post-show tour for several years that I absolutely loved because I got to see more of the great state of Texas, including the Hill Country around Fredricksburg, the beautiful capitol city of Austin, the historic city of San Antonio, and lots of wonderful little places along the way.  I keep pushing for another post-show tour, but I can't be the only person willing to go.  If there is enough interest to fill a bus, it just might happen again.

This trip was a teaching trip.  I was met at the Austin airport by two long-time friends who belong to the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria.  It's more than 2 hours from Austin to Victoria so I planned my arrival to have us in Lockhart for lunch.  That quaint town with its' beautiful old courthouse on the central city square is famous for Barbecue.  In AL, barbecue means pig, in TX it's beef brisket, sausage, and pig or chicken once you're full of beef.  My son has raved about Smitty's in Lockhart for many years, so Smitty's it was.

 You enter right into the smokey pit area, where the meat is being cooked.  I can smell it now, one of the best smells in the world.  You order by the pound and they wrap it in butcher paper for you--and they give you a plastic knife.  White bread only, if you want that.  They only accept cash.  Then you step out of the smokey hot pit area into a small store connected to Smitty's to purchase drinks and sides--they only take cash and a big sign says "We DO NOT have forks".  OK, then.  You find a spot at a long row of picnic tables and pick up your meat and eat it.  It was delicious!  But, I must say, I want cutlery with my meat.  So on the way back to Austin, a slight change of plans was made--I was now going to be picked up at Black's BBQ, a couple blocks away.  They provide cutlery, take credit cards, and have lots of great sides to accompany the delicious meat.  I recommend the "lean" brisket instead of the "moist" brisket.  Sorry, no photos--we just ate it all!

I was treated very well in Victoria--the Hampton Inn folks were really great and the guild took very good care of me.  Their meeting was Thursday morning where I gave the lecture "The Hard Stuff", then we had a bite of lunch.  In the afternoon we started the two day workshop and everyone did very well.  I love to see when a student "gets it" and they are really making progress.  We were in class again all day Friday and they all made excellent progress.  The class was well-received and I would be delighted to return there again some day.  Here are a few shots of the action:

Anna H.

Dee W.

Mary Jo S.

Tanya B.

Marcia N.

Janice S--I called this fabric set "Dreamcicle"
I missed the women from Rockport who had to leave early for the hour drive home--this was Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.  Their work was great too--so Diana, Helen, and Sandy, send me some photos, please!

The weekend only got better as I was delivered back to Lockhart for that visit to Black's Barbecue and a meet up with old friends.  They took excellent care of me too for the rest of the day.  The next morning it was up early for the trip to the airport and on to home.

I'm not sure I could live in south Texas if the May weather is any indication--some areas have seen torrential rain, some are just hot and humid.  This weekend's weather there reminded me of August here.  Of course, AC is everywhere and you just avoid the heat as best you can.

After another trip this week to see my grand-girl Stella and celebrate her first birthday, I'll be very glad to be at home for a couple months.  And no more airport trips until October--when I will be so eager to get back to Texas!

Let's Quilt!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

International Quilt Market Salt Lake City 2016

I am just back from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City and this is "recovery day". Not so much for me, as I fly to Austin, TX tomorrow to go to the Greater Victoria Quilt Guild to lecture and teach a 2 day workshop.  But I just had to share the fun of Quilt Market with you.  Here are photos, not all of which I took:

Betsy Chutchian's new line from MODA
Betsy's display

The Education Team at Carina Gardner's "booth"  This won the Creativity booth award

Some fabrics were soothing

Ben Darby, a guild member of mine, made a block included in this "block challenge" quilt
Ben's block is the hot air balloon 3rd row, 2nd from right--this is NOT Ben but Tim Holtz/Westminster Fibers

Many collections were bright and bold--Free Spirit fabrics

I love Edyta Sitar designs

Laura Heine's booth, a friend, Vicki Thomas, bought this kit to make for her home

Many people took photos standing in front of this RJR display wall

Sue Spargo, bright and colorful

Many vendors featured children's clothing--new moms = new sewers


There are MANY images from Quilt Market on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  #quiltmarket will bring you lots of viewing excitement. And there is an app for both IOS and Android, for Quilt Market, where many more photos have been posted.  Download to your device from the app store or our website:  Download from this page

We selected fabrics for our 2016 Festival garments that the Education Team gets to make and wear at our shows.  Here is one, "Eternal Sunshine" by Amy Butler for Free Spirit Fabrics:

More details to follow, Team!

We work hard at these shows and I missed several booths I wish I had gone to but we love our job and I so love seeing what is new and exciting in our wonderful, creative, flourishing industry.  Here we are on the last day, packing up the office:

Off to pack for my trip tomorrow--one suitcase full of quilts, one with clothes--which do you think I'll pack first?

Let's Quilt!


Friday, May 13, 2016

Merry Month of May

I've known all year this month was coming, 3 trips this month and only one week home--this week. I've been sewing like crazy to make the most of it.

Here is my eclectic Design Wall, with lots of works in progress:

There are some OLD projects up there, like the dragonflies made from angelina fibers--no other place to safely store that until I decide to finish it.  A few are class samples, some upcoming, some recently taught.

Here are parts for the Circa 2016 project from the Temecula Quilt Company blog.  They've just posted this week's block so I'll jump right on that.

The blocks are 3" finished and the baggie contains 120 half square triangles that are 1.5" finished.

Yesterday I played with very small strata, 1" cut strips:

More about this in a later post.

Next week I'm off to Salt Lake City for Spring Market--a real treat!  I love to see what is new and exciting in the quilt industry I love so much.  Also a great time to spend with the close friends I've made at Quilts Inc.  Hopefully, I'll be able to post some photos for you from Market.

Let's Quilt!


Monday, May 9, 2016

Little Girl Dresses

It will soon be grand-girl Stella's first birthday.  I've been making dresses for her:

I think I'll make little shorts for the purple outfit too.  I'll be eager to see her in these.

She ripped her 11 month sticker off her onesie while posing for her monthly birthday shot--that girl has spunk!

My teaching trip to the Evening Star Quilters Guild of Birmingham was delightful.  The lecture was well-received by a large crowd.  The day and a half workshop was so much fun for me--the students had a good time and were very successful with their quilt projects.  There were several unusual fabric combinations I was very excited to see.  Those new ideas will be fun to pass on to the Greater Victoria Texas Quilt Guild who will be enjoying this same workshop later this month.

It's a successful teaching trip if I'm being asked in the first hour of the first day of the workshop "When can you come back and teach us the Feathered Star?"  We're working on making that happen in early 2017.  The lecture was "The Hard Stuff" and featured more challenging quilt patterns, both from the past and from contemporary quiltmakers.  It showed several steps to making Feathered Stars.  By the end of the second day I knew everyone's name and some of their stories.  What a great group!  And their compliments about the workshop were so appreciated. Teaching is such a wonderful way for me to spread my love of quiltmaking and encourage others on their own "joyful journey."

Let's Quilt!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday Wonderful--Feeling Happy

I love Wednesdays.  It means, usually, I am done teaching for the week, we get a morning newspaper (only now on Wed, Fri, and Sun), I can work on sewing projects all day, and tonight is Survivor--the one show my husband and I always watch together--it's the little things, right?

Yesterday I got the May segment of Rajah Revisited done:

This quilt is a replica of an historical quilt made in 1841 by women prisoners being transported by ship from England to Australia.  The pattern is a free Block of the Month for paid subscribers to, my favorite Internet quilting site.   I didn't finish the April segment until the very end of the month so I decided to get in front of this month and now it's done.

I've got to brag on my most recent class of beginner students--we concluded their 5 week class last night.  For the first time all the students who had attended all 5 sessions came to the last class with their tops complete--I was impressed as that's a lot of work to complete in one week for true beginners. They all said they didn't want to be the slacker! Here they are:

Barbara Z Christmas-y

Beca S Happy

Donna D--Also Happy, similar fabrics as Beca but distinctly her own

Holly R Spring-y

Katy W Lively--the black adds such a pop!

Marilyn R daughter of Barbara Z LOVE her own take on the pieced border

The pattern is Mix 'N Match Stars, Glad Creations.  From the beginning this group of mostly strangers was a lot of fun, arriving early each week, full of enthusiasm and questions.  Classes like these are why I teach.  The first week I tell them I have 3 goals for this class:

1. At the end of class I want them to feel that both their time and money was well-spent
2. That they actually finish the project, not leaving it in a box under the bed for their descendants to wonder what they planned to do with all that fabric
3. Most importantly, and I am always successful at this, I want to addict at least one of them completely and totally to quiltmaking--I think I hit the jackpot with this group!

I also tell them right up front that quiltmaking is an expensive way to make bedding.  If you want a blanket, go to Belk.  We are making gifts for generations yet unborn.  This is how we say "I was here".  At the end of class I always get choked up when discussing why they HAVE TO put a label on their quilts--to say, this is who made this quilt, this is why, this is where, this is when.  Future generations will thank them.

Tomorrow I get to travel to Birmingham, two hours south of here, to give a lecture and teach a two-day workshop to the Evening Star Quilters.  The lecture is The Hard Stuff, a favorite of mine, and the workshop is one of my most favorite to teach--photos of that next week.  Get ready, Birmingham, here I come!

Let's Quilt!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Live Laugh Love

I finished the Scrapbasket Sampler from the Quilts by Cheri Facebook page:

Front  26" x 46"


Cheri's pattern had a primitive design of flowers, leaves and vines at the top--I substituted one of my favorite sayings.  At the bottom I added my initials and the year--I love seeing those things on other people's quilts so was happy to add them to my own.  The back is made of all the 4.5" squares I auditioned for the front--I only had to cut 4 more to have enough for the back.  See my earlier post about the decision-making process here.  It shows some of my ideas about choosing those squares.

I had to force myself to make this quilt this size--I still don't know where I'll hang it but it's done, it was fun, and I'm ready to move on to the next thing on my list--making a few more dresses for Stella--she will be ONE June 2 and we'll be there to see her.  Here she is just the other day:

There is something so delicious about baby toes!!

My husband has been working very hard in our flower beds and his work is really paying off.  We were sad to learn one of our Knock-Out roses has the virus Rose Rosette caused by a tiny mite in the roots.  There is no cure, it is 100% fatal and will almost certainly spread to the other five roses right near by.  So sad--they are as beautiful this year as they have ever been :

Approaching the pond--there are 3 large Knock-Out Roses on both sides

The fish are happy:

And a few more quilty-things underway:

Westering Women block #4

Stella's Splendid Sampler block #22

My Tumbler quilt as it grows--a great Leader/Ender project, only 13 more rows to go

Let's Quilt!