Saturday, December 24, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Who would have thought that this nice group of "little 'ole quilting ladies" were fixin' to get wild!
Monday, December 5, 2011
A few scatterings of blocks made from ties and a few photos are sprinkled in among a wide variety of fabrics from pants and suits, tied together with a little red fabric to add to the colors of the clothing with hopes to make this holiday a little more special...
It's always a privilege to be entrusted with a family's heirloom, and it is my hope that this quilt brings joy to the receiver not only this holiday season, but for many seasons to come.
As with my own dad, there are so many times I miss him....and I think of how much he'd be enjoying the family right now as my two sons have chosen their soul mates - oh how much he's approve of the girls! How he would tease them and laugh with them, and love welcoming them to the family...sometimes these thoughts are painful as I truly wish he could share things with all of us...yet because I know where he is I realize how selfish it is to want him back...the separation is truly the hardest on those left behind . Every now and then I reflect on the fact that my dad certainly knows a whole lot more than me about heaven, angels, the saints who have gone before and oh how wonderful it must be to gaze upon the Redeemer...our Savior...face to face! One day I'll share that knowledge....
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and)to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Friday, November 18, 2011
I don't think you can really see it in the above photo, but under the first strip there is a neat little gadget called The Strip Stick that I highly recommend! I purchased this tool at a local quilt show and have found it most useful in my pressing - it's got a raised surface that makes it easy to press the seams open and flat! You owe it to yourself to view their video (but it can wait until after you finish reading the blog - smile). One thing I liked about it was I could save pressing until the end of the strip strata...a bonus on a day I just wanted to sit and sew with little interruptions.
Instant gratification! Well, almost, it's still got to be put together - but it was pretty exciting! So I tried out another strip set (notice that the strips truly weren't even, which adds to the charm wouldn't you say?)
And yes, all the trimming away with the Go!Cutter left me with still more scraps...but I determined that I'd be able to "let go" and recycle these to the studio trash can with little or no guilt. Some of the bigger scraps I've kept for future projects.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Oh the places you'll go and the people you'll meet!
The isle ways at Market aren't as crowded. The vendors offer a lot of hands on demos as they are marketing their newest gadget, book or patterns to shop owners. I was having so much fun that I forgot to take photos (sigh) But here's Trish at one booth's "make and take"...
Fun stuff wouldn't you agree? Since I'm not a retail or online shop a lot of items were just eye candy for me - a time to be inspired and learn new things and take a peek at the upcoming fabric lines from all the major manufacturers.
During Festival I visited the Fil-Tec booth where I purchase my Magna-Glide prewounds and met up with Dusty Farrell at the YLI booth where he was introducing his new line of thread...Yep, longarm quilters invest a lot in thread!
Did I mention that Market/Festival is a reunion! Oh my! I didn't take enough photos! Not only did I get to visit with local friends but I actually met up with several "facebook" friends and friends from longarm lists and blogville friends, and even long lost friends from high school! What fun to get to give and receive hugs - I think I have sore face muscles from so much grinnin'
All too soon Market was over and it was time to set up the A1 Quilting Machines booth for Festival. I do hope you can click on this and see the close ups of the beautiful quilts I borrowed from award winning quilters Mark Sherman from Florida and Clem Buzick from North Dakota.
If you have never been to the Houston show you can't imagine just how big it really is! This is a view from an upper floor window. I have no idea the square footage of the show nor the number of the vendors, but in the past I do know the show boasts of over 56 thousand attendees! Truly a quilter's paradise! And plenty of other things to tempt those non-quilters too! This photo is not even half of the hall - the isles were numbered 100, 200 all the way to 2000 - so it's TEXAS BIG!
One of my favorite things is getting to introduce people to the joys of longarm quilting. Many have never seen nor had their hands on a longarm - that's why we bring them to the shows, to allow people to try them out and see if this is something they might be interested in....many come to the show with an agenda to test drive all the major brands and then make a decision on which longarm is best for them. We welcomed many new A1 quilters to the family this past weekend!
A real blessing to me this year was having my A1 customers, or my "A1 family" as I call them, assist me in the booth. Special thanks to Trish, Dwain, Ida, Lou Ann, Ellen, Vonnie and Janice for being so wonderful with customers...I received some good feedback on them as well as comments from them concerning the experience...
...with my mom! This was the first time she'd attended the Houston International Quilt Show and got to see first hand what I'm so passionate about! Thanks mom, for your continued love and support!
Before we knew it the quilt show was over. We were joined by Trish's husband Frank and my hubby Johnny to help tear down the booth....looks a little different doesn't it? I've always loved those behind the scene photos!
SO here's the final parting shot from my full-time A-team volunteers Trish and Dwain...and yes, those are bags under our eyes - we are tired but most happy! It was a great Market/Festival - I'm still digging out and sorting through all the wonderful things I came home with from Market and busy answering emails from new customers and future customers who want to be put on a mailing list. OH! and I almost forgot! I was totally blown away by having some folks come to the booth to inquire about my quilting services - thank you to my fellow vendor friends who passed along my contact information! I'm looking forward to working on some very special quilts in the near future!
I'm interrupting my plans to blog about the recent Houston International Quilt Market and Festival to ask a HUGE FAVOR of all my blog friends.....
They are real tricky, sometimes I'm on the right and sometimes my humbling photos are on the left....Above I'm the one in the purple on the right...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It was sometime this summer during all the remodeling mess. I had been sent a link to a fun little pattern called JellyRoll 1600 Quilt and it looked like fun. "Jelly rolls" are typically 2.5 inch strips all rolled up together, generally from a fabric manufacturer showcasing a collection of fabric, you know, fabrics that "go together" nicely, usually 35 to 40 strips. Any quilt shop can offer you a wide assortment of jelly rolls. Well, this quilter makes her own 2.5 inch strips and keeps a drawer full for quilt emergencies such as this....
After a few short hours I had myself a Jelly Roll Quilt. Lovin' the instant gratification. Much needed at the time I might add.
My plans were to spice it up later with a border or something. Hated to admit, but my random act of pulling out 2.5 inch strips didn't lend itself to the pretty coordinated look that comes from a true jelly roll collection...oh well. It was quilt therapy.
Several sunrises and sunsets had past before I thought about the little quilt again.... the more I thought about it the more I didn't like it. It was too linear or something. I loved the pattern and the fun of making something quick. What was it? Did the colors not play nicely together? I couldn't understand that as they were my "chosen" and I do a lot of scrap quilts. I'd look at it and just toss it aside. I had other things to do. For months this became a quilt in waiting...
The process wasn't as painful as I thought. It was just more time than I wanted to commit to a project that seemingly didn't have a purpose...
Indeed, I felt like it was an improvement. Pleased with my extra efforts of time, the little quilt was tucked away again for another day..
I don't get to walk to the bay every day, not even every week, but when I do I am rewarded with reminders again that nature is indeed God's canvas. Its times like this that I sit and ponder the direction of my life, questioning the things that I am currently going through, wondering if I'm on the right path, curious as to what is around the next bend....
Yep, something new for the both of us. And with good results if I do say so myself. PS, I do plan on teaching him to piece so he can do his own quilts from start to finish...
And like that little quilt that went through the painful process of waiting to be useful, then the pain of being cut up and redesigned....I've surrendered my will to His, if He wants to shake things up, move things around, and rework me then that's okay, because I know through the wait and the process that I will be better for it. Sometimes He shakes things up to move us where He can use us!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Okay? You still don't understand the Class of '37 do you? See, I was going to divide up the outer borders into quadrants as well as the inner borders...if you counted all the opportunities for designs (sashings, blocks, borders) it added up to 37...I see said the blind man.
But sometimes the best laid plans just don't work out as intended. Due to my studio redo and being displaced for so long the quilt top didn't get pieced until my birthday in July.
But that was okay, because it then doubled as my annual birthday quilt. Since 2004 I've made a quilt on or near my birthday. With the exception of my 47th year, that one carried over into my 49th year and is still waiting to be quilted. But! I made two last year for my 50th, so I still can say I've made 8 birthday quilts (grin).
The fun thing about procrastination is that I learned something new prior to piecing and quilting this little fun quilt. The Rose of Sharon block was cut out my with Go!Cutter (as was the entire quilt) and based on a block from Sharon Pederson's book The Rose of Sharon Block Book.
Okay, so back to my original intent...to use this quilt as a teaching sample. The pressure was on. I'd been displaced so long out of my studio that I was guilt ridden to do this sampler when I knew I had customer quilts to do.... but my A1 reunion was fast approaching and I'd promised my A1 family a "class of '37"
Shania's song is fun and upbeat, but my true "upness" comes from the love of my friends and family and the promise that no matter what my Jesus is always faithful to me even when my faith isn't strong....He is my healer, and even though this seems like the long way home He is faithful and I'm trusting Him to work things for my good.