Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quilting Around the World - Or Where in the World Is the Quilt Rambler!

If I could have music playing on this post it would be good ole Johnny Cash singing:

I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert's bare, man.
I've breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I've had my share, man.
I've been everywhere.

I haven't quite achieved "everywhere" yet, but I'm working on it! And trying to keep it quilt related (grin)

If you've been keeping up with this Quilt Rambler you know that 2011 began in a whirlwind! New Year's Day was spent in Midland doing a set up for our new A1 Quilting Machine owner and straight back to to join my husband's family at the ER where Pappaw was being admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia... I'm happy to report that after many weeks of illness that he is daily improving (thank you so much for your prayers!).

And if that wasn't enough to spin my globe my youngest son made his life commitment to the prettiest young bride on Jan 26th.

We couldn't be happier! Here's a family photo to prove it! My hubby, myself, my mom, the handsome groom, the beautiful bride, the proud big brother and his lovely lady. Yep, one happy day!

Oh, and to keep this quilt related - instead of a guest book at the reception the guests signed 5 inch fabric squares with their well wishes - this will later become an heirloom quilt for the happy couple as photos from their special day and their honeymoon will be added...

So, what's a busy gal to do after all this excitement? Take a tropical vacation of course!

As the honeymooners went on a 7 day cruise out of Galveston to the Bahamas and Key West, momma and dad took a 5 day cruise out of Galveston to Progreso and Cozumel looking for some relaxing time away from all the craziness. Bring on the sun!

Cruises are a lot about the food - my weakness, BREAD! Don't you think somehow this could be worked into a quilt design? Hum? I don't know....

I posted a lot of cruise photos on facebook and one friend commented that they weren't too surprised that I brought my own quilt...Yep, I truly am a quilter through and through!

I mean, how many gals can sniff out a fabric store in a foreign country!

Or bring their quilt magazines to read by the pool....(what else was I going to do on the deck? you certainly wouldn't have caught me in a swimsuit!!)

Cruises are a wonderful time to relax, regroup, and refresh. I'm so thankful that we were able to make this excursion. And the weather couldn't have been nicer - especially when we returned to find that the Houston/Galveston area had experienced extreme cold including ice on the roads! Yep, give me a tropical vacation any day.

Patiently awaiting my return is a beautiful batik basket quilt. This beauty has been on the frame for quite a while. In all fairness, it's HUGE! 98 x 112, a good sized king being quilted with a double layer of wool batting, creating a faux trapunto look, especially in the vase of the baskets..

Stay tuned for more photos as the quilt should be finished this next week.

Today was the quarterly gathering of the Bayshore Longarm Quilters here in my studio. We welcomed several new quilters - it's always fun to applaud their first quilts. I just love show and tell! It's also been a good time for me to get back to my roots so to speak...

Do you ever get somewhat overwhelmed with so many things going on that you find you've forgotten some of the simple things that bring you joy....I know on my cruise I took a jillion photos of sunsets and the beautiful flowers....nature brings joy. So does being around fellow quilters, sharing knowledge, ideas, inspiration. I've been reflecting this afternoon on the blessings I've afforded due to quilting - the people I've met, the things I've learned, yes, the places I've been that I wouldn't have gone if it weren't quilt related. Things that I sometimes take for granted.

I've also been contemplating where I want to go in the future....instead of floundering around direction-less, what is it that I want to do with my quilting? Sigh. Those thoughts are still swimming around in my busy little brain, but I do know that I have way too much fabric and way too much fun to retire my needle and thread (grin)!

Thoughts of doing more teaching: piecing classes using the Square in a Square technique as well as developing patterns that make use of my Go Cutter and Go Baby Cutter; and longarm classes to help beginners get off to a good start not only with the knowledge of using their machines but design ideas to help them not freeze up when handed a pieced top with all those spaces that need to be filled (grin)...and lots of thoughts of continuing to do customer quilts, further develop the t-shirt quilt business and definitely finding time to use up my own stash, finish up some UFO's and then go shopping for more! Sounds like a plan don't ya'think?

Oh, and I really really really want to be more grateful for every day that the Lord has given me. I want to try not to measure my day by what I achieved or marked DONE on my To Do List, but to measure the day with simple joys and appreciation for what I have instead of wishing for things I don't have. I want to be as kind to my family as I try to be to strangers. I want to focus more on what my friends are saying and doing instead of what I want to share with them that I'm saying or doing. I want more time in my hammock (grin) Okay, that might not be a lofty goal, but this gal is sooo ready for warm weather!

Simple joys. A walk on the beach (or memories of such), a day in the park with a friend, the feel of fabric, the hum of my machine, the sunshine on my puppy as she sleeps on the back of the couch in front of the window, nights with a full moon, and ice cream (grin) for the record, Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my all time favorite.

And to you my dear friends, I wish you beautiful sunsets! May they be a reminder to you daily that God is an awesome creator. Next time you see one will you think of your Quilt Rambler friend? I'll be enjoying it too and reminding myself that it's the simple joys of life that matter most - and we don't have to go around the world to find them!


Unknown said...

your quilting is wonderful...i wish i lived close by so you could show me a thing or two!

and....that wedding dress is absolutely beautiful! oh my! Not to mention the bride herself!! Stunning!

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

Thanks, Karen! I wish the same for you. Glad you guys had such a good rest and happy cruise. I think you needed it.

Borderline Quilter said...

Beautiful....dress, quilt and sunset!

Best Wishes
Kay in Scotland

Lisa E said...

I love reading your blog, Karen! You are so inspirational. Your boys are so handsome, and their girls are beautiful. Love the family photo.

Anxiety Cures said...

You certainly lived a fulfilled life doing what you love while staying happy.