Will do my best to be chronological...so step back in time a couple of days to this past Saturday....want to share a photo from my Square in A Square class at Cactus Quilts in Texas City. The pattern of the day was Ohio Star, using the basic option #1 (square in a square) and option #3 (flying geese). I just love the ah-ha moment when my students "get it" and they are then true converts to this fabulous method of piecing. It was a great class, as was the sister class last Saturday - we all needed the "Ike break" and an opportunity to share with others our experiences. Without too many details, one of the ladies shared that she had lost a co-worker due to Ike -- a couple died from carbon monoxide while using a generator during the power outage. I was at a total loss for words - this was the first I'd spoken with someone who experienced this type of loss. A reminder that stuff doesn't matter, people do. Even though we were sharing our stories, many serious, we all had a wonderful day laughing and learning together. My idea of teaching is to emphasis that quilting is our therapy so we are not going to be in bondage or be stressed over it. We relax, have fun, and go home with a newly acquired skill. Too many times I've been in classes (as a student) where the ladies were almost in tears because they were so hard on themselves in trying to be perfect as they were learning. I tell my students that this is not allowed in my class - that they are there to have fun and to learn, but it will be done without pressure. Typically I teach in a step by step demo method but I tell everyone that they do not have to keep pace with the "smoking needle" gals, that where they are is where they are suppose to be. I gauge my demos by the "average" speed setter and will always always be willing to repeat myself and assist anyone at the point they find themselves. I truly believe in individualized teaching. Doesn't matter the size of the class, it's my goal that each student feels like she got as much of me as she needed to accomplish her goals. Oh, and did I mention that there's no ripping out in my classes? I call it "frogging" - rip it rip it...I tell them that if they find a need to unsew that they pass that piece over to me -- I'm the queen of frogging and can do it pretty darn fast thank you very much. In my class you aren't there to unsew, you are there to sew, so frogging is part of my job description if necessary (smile). I hope this small service makes a difference to my students, it truly is my goal for everyone to have a good time and to go home with at least one completed block of the technique they are learning so they can duplicate it at home...These ladies all made three blocks and I hope went home feeling like they got their money's worth from the class.
Last night was "date night" -- my husband and I have a favorite Mexican Resturant just up the road that we try to frequent regularly, we consider it our escape. I believe I've mentioned it before when we were so pleased to be able to go out to eat after Ike and NOT have Spam and macaroni at home (smile). This establishment has outdoor patio dining which is our favorite - just as soon as they open it up in the spring we are out there! Even in the winter months they will sometimes have big heat blowers and we are out there -- we'd much rather be outside, we're just wired that way I guess. Well, on Sunday nights during the "patio season" they have local bands so we try to go as often as our schedule permits. After Ike many of the resurants in the area where these bands play have had to close due to damage, we were pleased to learn that our favorite spot decided to have bands on Wednesdays and Thursdays to give these displaced bands a venue. I told our friend Amanda, who cordinates the bands, that they (as a resturant) would be blessed for reaching out like this. I truly believe they will be.
Well, back to last night. Since we go there so often we know many of the servers, oh not really by name, just by their smiles. Once or twice we've been other places and recognized someone and said hello. Seems since Ike we've been becoming closer to our familar faces and learning names and their Ike stories. We feel like these people are our community, they are our normal, and right now it just seems right - and important - to know them not merely as our servers but as our friends and neighbors. I can't tell you how blessed I felt last night when one of the young men that waited on us last week came up and shook our hands when we came in for dinner. Another of the young ladies we visited with last week gave me a hug when she passed through the patio area (she said "I'm working inside tonight" as if she were disappointed that she wasn't working on the patio so we could visit). When our server for the evening came to take our order I commented "we haven't seen you in a while, were you okay in Ike?" to which she replied that she had to take a week off to clean up -- she lives in San Leon, where we had just driven through earlier that afternoon. I "knew" this young woman had a family since we'd met one time at McDonalds -- a beautiful little girl -- and I asked her if they needed anything. She said someone had given them a mattress and she had been given clothing. She said she was so touched by the things people were doing for her and her family. I then told her about the Quilts for Hope and asked if she would like a quilt for her little girl. She said she would and gave me her address and phone number. Well....we enjoyed the band, we enjoyed visiting with Amanda (the owner's daughter who helps run the place) and I can't tell you how thrilled I was to have this opportunity to get to know some of the servers - all due to Ike -- the silver lining to a dark storm, truly finding my community - a wonderful sense of belonging, after three years of living here I'm finally meeting my neighbors!
To keep the story flowing "in order" I'll share now about my morning....can't tell you when I've been more excited about a Monday! For today I would get my second chance at water aerobics. Okay, go ahead and laugh - but I got so much relief from the pain in my hip and legs after just one workout of Friday that I couldn't wait until today! I wasn't disappointed. It was a tad cooler this morning and I don't think the pool was really "heated" but that didn't dampen my spirits.
My husband was off today and I hated leaving him at home for the duriation of my class...as is my habit I usually call him when I'm on my way home. The phone rang and rang. Hum. That's odd. A little while later my cell phone rang and he said that he and Pixxie were busy and didn't hear it -- I couldn't imagine what they were doing -- then he shared that Pixxie was actually on the couch watching him vacuum. I thought wow am I blessed or what! I had figured we'd spend the morning doing chores and I find that he's already working ahead of me! He also told me there was another surprise! That I'd received a large box and he was pretty sure it had Quilts of Hope in it.
I couldn't wait to get home and open the box. Indeed, it was packed with love and contained some of the most beautiful quilts -- all in my favorite colors!! Thank you Barbara from NC for your generous offer! I enlisted Pixxie's assistance and we photographed each quilt. Be sure and frequent my webshots for what I hope to be a growing collection of Quilts of Hope. Here's my favorite one -- Barbara, I'd love to know how to purchase this pattern, I'm just in awe of it!
We had made arrangements to meet with our new friend from the restaurant after lunch today. With the addition of the larger quilts we were able to offer her family not only the beautiful small quilt for the little three year old, but a quilt that will serve as bedding for the couple. Smiles and hugs abounded. I wish you all could have been there to see this precious family. With your generous donations there will be many more families snuggling up in homemade quilts covered in love.
Each quilt has a "letter" attached - it reads something like this:
Quilt makers nationwide are reaching out to families affected by the devastation from Hurricane Ike by offering their love through quilts that they have made -- what we are calling "Quilts of Hope". It is our collective wish that the quilt presented to your family will let you know that you have not been forgotten. Please know that people are praying for you. This quilt is our way of offering you hope during your time of rebuilding and recovery. Quilts are being collected by Quilts 'N Kaboodle in Bacliff and being distributed throughout Galveston County as they arrive. Your quilt was made by.... wouldn't you love to have your name here? knowing that you were making a difference, one quilt at a time?
Guess what! A new quilt shop opened up today! We stopped by to say howdy after we delivered the Quilts of Hope. The grand opening had been delayed by Ike, but today was a day to celebrate! Meet Peggy, owner, and Dawn, manager (seated) of Pinwheels and Poises located in Dickinson Texas at I45 and FM 517. Lots of fun exciting days are ahead for this beautiful shop -- I love Peggy's antiques used with her displays. As you venture down south you've got to check out Pinwheels and Poises! Tell them Karen sent ya (smile)
Told ya there was sew much to tell! Tonight was the first gathering of the Island Quilters Guild (Galveston) since Ike. We had a special guest....but that will have to wait until I throw in a little ramble...
See this quilt? It's part of a display inside Moody Methodist Church where we meet. It's on the second floor level....viewable as you walk into the door....
Well, it happens to be one of my personal quilts. Not that it's anything special mind you (well, to me it is, its the first big quilt I ever made and it's the first custom quilt I quilted on a longarm)...but basically its just a quilt...but a quilt with a unique story! This quilt was on my bed when we evacuated in 2005 with Hurricane Rita...even though our area was spared the brunt of the hurricane this quilt was not. See, we were looted. And the looting took place prior to the hurricane. The theives broke out our bedroom window to make their escape, thus letting IN the hurricane which ruined our bed. The quilt sat wet on the bed for the several days it took us to be able to retun to the area. It was washed, "saved" and continued to be used until our guild was asked to provide quilts to be on display at Moody Methodist...a week prior to IKE!!!! yep, you guessed it - this quilt has now survived TWO hurricanes -- but with Ike it was hung high enough not to get damaged....who says quilts don't tell tales!
Well, the main attraction tonight was not the sharing of Ike stories or even the hugs that abounded due to some of seeing each other for the first time since the storm....nope. The starlet of the night was Jacqueline de Jonge, of Becolourful. Jacqueline is from the Netherlands and was here on the island as a guest of Quilts By the Bay. She will be doing workshops this week prior to teaching next week at the Houston International Quilt Festival. A delightful woman. And very talented! Her trunk show was a sight to behold. Nothing like getting to see the orginials up close and personal! What a feast! What a welcomed Ike-release. What inspiration! I took several photos but wanted to share this one tonight. I believe the pattern is called The Colourful Quilt.
I wish I were taking her workshop...but there's just not enough hours in my day...If my clock is correct there's only 3o minutes left in THIS day, so I'd best sign off and get my beauty sleep. Tomorrow is another busy day.....perhaps they'll be something to ramble about...or perhaps I'll give you the day off (grin)
Thanks for hanging out with me!