Happy Monday! I missed my blog post last week and maybe even the week before. Not sure how I got so off track. During that time we had school vacation and I celebrated my 47th birthday. I also attended my guild’s Winter Free Workshop which was a lot of fun. Now I’m sitting here writing to you with the help of a generator as we’ve had no electricity since Friday. A huge storm hit us and really did a number on our little town. The crews are out on the road near our house so fingers crossed the lights will come on soon.
We had some of this to contend with as well…water coming through the bricks on the chimney and down to the ash boxes spilling out into the basement. This is an issue for us whenever there is a big nor’easter type storm. We’re lucky it’s not gobs of water. A shop vac is enough to clean it up. In the past we’ve had our chimney waterproofed and it might be time to do it again!
Before the power was lost on Friday, I did finish up the silent auction quilt for Amanda’s sorority. This was a jelly roll by Moda called Summer Breeze. I love the blue and yellow so much!
This is the back of it. The pantograph is called lilac and it works up nicely.
Last Saturday, my mom and I went to our guild’s Winter Free Workshop where members teach other members new techniques in half or full day workshops. My mother and I both signed up for crayon embroidery and we had a great time! The project was from Crab Apple Hill Studios website and we learned how to color an embroidery project, heat set, and then embroider the project. This is the start of mine. I haven’t gotten too much done on it since as I am working on my bunny embroidery first. I always wanted to know how to do this as the ones I’ve seen are so beautiful.
I’m also working on the Christmas tree skirt which is a latch hook project. For my birthday, my mother gave me this awesome table for hooking rugs. I just love it. It makes the whole project so much easier. The little bins for yarn are so convenient. I like watching tv while I work on it.
It was ordered from the Mary Maxim catalog.
Lindsey made a big decision last week! She has decided she will attend the University of Vermont! Oh boy, we’re going to be road tripping up north quite a bit between visiting Lindsey and also Amanda at the University of New Hampshire! We’re super proud of Lindsey for blazing her own trail and choosing a school that’s a bit farther away than her true comfort zone. It’s four hours from us. I know she’ll love it there. It’s a beautiful place.
Last night I reunited with my quilt guild, Quilter’s Connection, and it did indeed feel so good!! As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had not been able to attend a guild meeting in close to a year. Being there last night and reconnecting with some wonderful people made me realize that in order to get the most out of your guild experience, you do need to attend and participate and volunteer. It’s a large guild…302 members. That’s a lot of people to meet, learn from and be inspired by. I won’t lie, it can be an intimidating group at times but only if I let it be. There are skills of every level in this guild. We have some pretty famous names as well. Last night was Show and Tell. I didn’t want to bring anything to show because I know that the shock and awe factor of what others are showing far outshines my traditional work. My biggest fan (aka MOM) urged me to bring my Fall Jubilee Bed Runner since it is in this month’s issue of Quilter’s World magazine. I found my courage and brought my bed runner.
I took it in stride that OF COURSE my turn came after this woman held up a monstrosity of a huge, beautiful, stunning red and white quilt…that she quilted herself because of course she did. I tried not to die on the spot. I didn’t die. I made it through. I participated and overcame the fear. You can do that too. I promise.
So here’s my yogurt story. I’m not a fan of it. I’ve been eating the Dannon Greek Light & Fits that are only 80 calories because I discovered they don’t really taste like yogurt. There are a lot of interesting flavors. On Sunday, the woman in front of me at the grocery store had about 12 of these lined up to purchase.
I noticed the containers were orange and asked her if it was a new flavor. She told me it was Caramel Apple and it was pretty much the best thing she’s ever eaten. I said I would try them next time I was shopping because I was already in line and didn’t want to run back to the Dairy section. After a few minutes of deliberation on her part, she offered me one of the yogurts from her order. I was a bit surprised because she was so exuberant about her yogurts. I asked her if she was sure and she said that she had taken EVERY one of the Caramel Apple yogurts that was on the shelf and that she’d feel much less guilty about that, if I would take one. I laughed so hard. I told her if it would make her feel better about wiping the shelf clean then I’d be happy to take one. Guess what? That yogurt was pretty much the best yogurt I’ve ever had. It tasted like apple pie and had little apple bites in it. Yummmmmmmmmmmy. Apparently I’ll have to try a different grocery store to pick up more of them because I’m fairly sure the shelf is empty at my usual place.
Today is cut and color day. This is my “Before” photo…
Can’t show the “After” because I haven’t gone to the salon yet. This is what I’m hoping for though…an actual style. I grew my hair longish and now it just gets either tucked behind my ears or thrown in a pony tail. I’d like something less bland. Wish me luck.
Monday night I attended my quilt guild meeting where Joe Cunningham was the speaker. If you’ve ever attended a lecture by him, you’ll know he’s very funny, musical and quite an accomplished quilter! I believe Joe writes a column for Alex Andersen and Ricky Tim’s magazine as well. Joe entertained us with some guitar playing and then a display of his interesting art quilts. One thing I found particularly neat about Joe is how well he hand quilts. He started out making Amish quilts and learned the craft of hand quilting and then went on to make the art quilts.
I have never attempted hand quilting because I always felt it would take too long. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that. Joe held up a quilt that was 6′ x 6′ and heavily hand quilted. He asked how long we thought it took him to quilt something that size. I would have guessed hundreds of hours. Nope. Joe timed himself while he quilted so that he could show people that it really doesn’t take as long as you think. It took him 66 hours to hand quilt the project…not hundreds of hours, not thousands…just 66. So as he said, if you quilt for 2 hours per day, it would only take you a month to get that done. It could take longer sending it out to be machine quilted!
So you guessed it…I’m inspired to try hand quilting now! This is what I love so much about quilt guild. Last month I got inspired to try an art quilt…my migraine quilt (which is now finished and I’ll include a photo). This month, I’m ready to try hand quilting. I can hardly wait for the next meeting! Do you get inspired at guild?
Here’s a picture of Joe and one of his quilts. You can find him at
As I mentioned, I did finish my Migraine art quilt. I haven’t written the label yet but here’s what it will say. It will say that this is my first art quilt and that the idea for it was born when I was suffering from a migraine on the way home from a guild meeting where art quilts were the topic. The size of the quilt (8.5″ x 8.5″) is unusual but I don’t feel like myself when I have a migraine and I wanted this quilt to depict that. The silver raindrops on the top represent the silver shards of glass I see in my aura before a migraine hits. The clock represents waiting for the headache to go away and the medicine to kick in. The pill bottle represents relief. The circular stitching around the eye represents the throbbing pain. So here it is..
Lastly, I took up Knooking this week. Knooking is knitting on a crochet hook. Leisure Arts has come up with a nifty beginner kit that is available at Walmart for $6 and includes the crochet hooks, cord and instruction booklet with 4 patterns. It was super easy to learn and I am making a scarf…and here that is…
Don’t forget that Christmas is coming and Little Quilt for Big Occasions has lots of great holiday projects and makes a wonderful gift! Use coupon code “Fall2011” to receive 20% off in my Etsy store. You can also get it on Amazon next time you are placing an order there.
Last night was the first quilt guild meeting for my guild, Quilter’s Connection. It was a busy and fun meeting which included a new member’s reception, show & tell and a lecture by Martha Sielman who is the Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates. This is a membership organization with 3,000 artists from all over the world. They make beautiful art quilts and work on promoting the quilts and the art form to everyone who will listen! Martha was also presenting her book, Masters Art Quilts Volume 2. If you have time today, you should check out their website:
While I was at the guild meeting, I was suffering from a horrible migraine headache. The ride home was tough with headlights glaring at me from the front and in my rear view mirror. I’ve never attempted an art quilt before but I just may try one depicting how I feel when these headaches attack. Sometimes I wonder what moves a quilt artist to make the quilts that seem so abstract and now I think I know!
Show and tell was fun as always! Not every member brings an item which may be a good thing with such a huge guild (378 members, not all present though). Those that brought quilts had gorgeous pieces. I was sitting there with my tumbler quilt feeling like I didn’t want to stand up and show my work. I kept thinking, “I’m not going up there”. Then it hit me that maybe so many people didn’t bring any work because they didn’t feel it measured up to the master pieces that we were seeing. So I decided to get up there and show my work and state that I was representing those who perhaps like to keep it simple. It did earn me applause and I do hope that for the next show and tell, everyone who worked hard on a piece this summer will have the confidence to show it off. Not every quilt can be an award winner. Not every quilt needs to be. Stand up, show your work and be proud!
Do you belong to a quilt guild or quilting circle? I belong to a really wonderful 400 member quilt guild out of Watertown, MA. It’s called Quilter’s Connection. We have a meeting once a month on Monday nights and it usually runs from 7:30-9pm. The President gives her message first and then invites other members to make their announcements. The guest speaker gives his/her presentation for about an hour after that and then there is time for questions and answers. Usually the speaker has conducted two days of workshops on the Saturday and Sunday prior to the meeting and we all get to see what the members who signed up for the workshop accomplished. Before the meeting the doors open early and we have a library of books to borrow from, an Adopt A Fabric table where members can sell unused/unwanted sewing items and also a table with some new sewing notions for sale. The guild hosts a show in the spring and also a series of winter free workshops which are taught to members by other members.
I was sitting here today looking at some pictures from the quilt show and I realized how fortunate I am to be part of such a group of talented individuals. We all have our own strengths and abilities. We are not there to criticize each other’s work. It’s a nice feeling to share a passions with so many others.
Does your guild run in a similar manner? Do you belong to more than one guild? Feel free to comment and share how your guild works.
It’s pouring here in Boston today. I’m hoping it will turn into a perfect quilting day for me though! I am on a self imposed deadline to finish a quilt for a submission to a magazine.
Saturday my mom, oldest daughter and myself attended the Sewing Expo in Worcester, MA. It was fun to attend a show like that where it wasn’t dedicated to only quilts. There was a nice quilt gallery to walk through and lots of vendors that offered eye candy for both sewing and quilting enthusiasts. My daughter was thankful it didn’t take all day to get through! After the show we headed over to the local ice rink to watch my niece participate in a figure skating competition and then out for dinner. It was a really fun day. I picked up some Sulky Blendable 30 wt. variegated threads and I am completely in love with them!!!! They are beautiful and easy to use. I can’t wait to do more with them and to purchase more colors.
Monday night was my quilt guild meeting. The speaker was Ursula Kern of Switzerland. She is known for her use of color and fabric collage. My mom and I came home from the meeting totally inspired to give the string piecing technique that Ursula uses a try. We set up our sewing machines, pulled out the perfect scraps we wanted, got the iron heating up and just as we got ready to take the first stitches…the power went out!!!!!! Ugh! You would have laughed if you could have seen our faces! The power was out for an hour during which time we worked on some hand embroidery and beading by the light of the window. At the first sign of the power coming back on, we ran back up to the sewing room and got started again! The picture below is our first efforts at this technique. Mine is the pink/yellow combo, mom’s is the blue/yellow combo. Ursula’s of course are much larger and depict some type of scene that she was sketched out.