Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Vacation Time

I’ve been absent from blogging last week because my husband and I were on vacation. First, we went to New Orleans where my friend (of more than 40 years) from Connecticut flew in and joined us. We had a wonderful time (except the weather was VERY warm—heat records were set that week). We ate our way through New Orleans!
We did go to Whitney Plantation—what an eye-opening experience. The tour is told from the point of view of the slaves on the plantation. It was a very moving experience for us all. I got a picture of the beautiful live oaks.
We also went to several galleries. I purchased a great piece created by artist Tress Turner. It is made from the wood of an 1800s shotgun house from the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. I just LOVE it; it goes perfectly with the colors of my living room, dining room, and kitchen.
Irene made her way back to Connecticut, and Nate and I drove on to St. George Island, FL. We rented a house and our children and grandchildren joined us there for the week. We have been doing this every two years; this is the third time for us. Could there be a better vacation? Of course, this is my very favorite vacation week of the year. There is nothing as precious as spending time with family.

I have a grandson who will turn one on July 2. This was his first trip to the beach; he LOVED it.
This is my family.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have joined the Kingfisher Stitchalong. I worked on sewing some hexie flowers together while I was gone and am working on preparing more hexies to stitch whenever I can.
Top left—isn’t that a beautiful backdrop for my hexie flowers? That is the view off our deck of the house on St. George Island. Top right—That is my traveling setup. I’m SO thankful I can stitch in the car. Bottom left—I even had time to work on some 1/2” hexies for a different project after I finished all the hexie flowers I had prepared. Bottom right—I REALLY like my rotating mat for cutting and glue basting. 

I am using junk mail (the light card stock pieces) to cut my hexie papers from. You can see that in the pic on the left. On the right, you can see I have several more hexies basted and ready to stitch. I just love that my Butterfinger tin is the PERFECT size for my basted hexies.
I have a small stack of hexie flowers done. (I need 46 for the Kingfisher quilt.) I really like how the finished flowers look in my little basket on my end table. I think I’ll leave them out for decoration. I am really enjoying the hand stitching.

I have a huge list of quilty things that need to get done. I wanted to work on machine quilting a quilt and sewing a back together today, but I wasn’t comfortable turning my machines on since we had a big rain storm today. The lightening makes me a bit uncomfortable—maybe tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Have Hexies Will Travel

This summer we are doing some traveling. Each year Nate and I meet my friend from Connecticut at some “vacation venue.” This year the chosen spot is New Orleans. We are planning a plantation tour to the Whitney Plantation, a trip to the some of the galleries in town, a trek to the New Orleans Museum of Art, and trips to as many restaurants as we can squeeze in. On previous trips, we have done two cemetery tours and a Garden District tour and have enjoyed all of them very much.

When traveling, I always try to have some type of handwork to do. Nate generally does the driving—that leaves me with several hours to stitch in the car. This trip will be no exception. I have found a hexie “stitch along” hosted jointly by the Stitched in Color and Tales of Cloth blogs.

Here is my prep for the project. I’m using a Butterfinger tin to store the prepared hexies. It is the PERFECT size.
This is my hexie-making workstation for the car. I have used a Moda Frivols tin to hold my scissors, light and dark “Bottom Line” thread, thimble, extra hexie papers, bits of fabrics. It also makes a great work surface for my lap.
It seems to be working nicely; I got several hexies done. If you would like to check out the Kingfisher Stitch-Along, you can do that here.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sticking Power

When I did the guild program in Kentucky last month, I realized (once again) that I didn’t have all the month’s Curtis Boehringer quilted snowman wall hangings done. The ones I’m missing are for the next three upcoming months.

As most of you know, my sister is NOT a quilter. She was here last week to help clean out my Dad’s house. While she was here, I needed something quilty to work on. I decided to start drawing out the snowman wall hangings onto my fusible. I figured that was something I could do while we did a marathon “Game of Thrones” session.

I drew up my June, July, and August pieces. I have finished the fusing for the June wall hanging. Today, I’m working on sewing around each of the pieces. Hopefully, I can finish that and move on to the quilting before too long.

Here is what is under my machine today.


I have been using Misty Fuse for my latest art quilt. For this wall hanging, I went back to use Heat & Bond Featherlite. I am REALLY regretting I did that. Misty Fuse can be heated (ironed over) multiple times, and it doesn’t lose its sticking power. Heat & Bond (and MANY/most of the other fusibles on the market) will lose its “sticky” if it is heated too often. I put the motifs for this wall hanging together on a “Goddess Sheet,” and then fuse it to the background fabrics. Just doing that has limited the “staying power” of the Heat & Bond. Many of the pieces are coming lose, and I have lost a couple of the really small pieces altogether. I already have July and August drawn out onto the Heat & Bond, but I may rethink that.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Guild Program

I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Nine Patchers Quilt Guild located in Elizabethtown, KY. I gave a trunk show and lecture about where I’ve been and where I am now in my quilting journey. Public speaking used to scare me SO much. I would have “stomach issues,” shake, feel dizzy, and have dry mouth so bad that my upper lip would stick to my front teeth. I have given this lecture to several guilds now, and I must say that I am FINALLY getting a bit more comfortable doing it. (I NEVER thought I would.)

(The Nine Patchers Quilt Guild is having a Silent Auction and Quilters Attic on Saturday, May 19th, 2018, from noon to 5 pm at the Pritchard Center located at 404 Mulberry Street in Elizabethtown, KY. The live auction will begin at 3. You can check out some of the items to be auctioned here.)

Here are a few picture from my talk.
 I have no idea what I was talking about in this picture. Evidently I wanted to draw attention to my right.
 Here, I was talking about making a VERY miniature quilt. (I’m holding it!)
This quilt was the first one I had made that got into any show. It was in the very first “In Full Bloom Exhibit.” (That quilt has traveled more than I have.)

My new friend, Beth, welcomed me into her home to spend the night before the talk. (Thanks, Beth, for taking pictures and letting me use them in this post.) I had such a nice time, met some new people, and (hopefully) inspired some of the guild members to take a small step outside their comfort zone.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Korean Quilts Now

The first exhibit I saw this year at Paducah was the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Korean Quilts Now Exhibit. This exhibit was located at the Paducah School of Art and Design, so I think several people might have missed it. I’ll share some of my favorites with you.

SAQA describes the exhibit like this…“the SAQA of the Republic of Korea was founded in 2010. The exhibit featured a variety of art quilt techniques that the group studied over the last several years. Though their artwork, these quilters incorporate unusual and interesting interpretations of the world that surrounds them—sometimes finding joy, and sometimes, turmoil.”
I thought the name was really appropriate for this piece. I liked the composition and the calming colors.
Those of you that know me very well know that I really like orange. I guess you know why I like this piece then.

Another thing most of you know about me is that I love hand stitching. That is what drew me to this piece.
This piece reminds me of some of Betty Busby’s pieces—in particular the piece that was hung (with mine) at the Schweinfurth Quilts=Art=Quilts Exhibit. You can see that piece here. The quilting on this piece was spectacular.
I really liked that this piece was made of lots of little “quilts” sewn together with the seams on the front of the piece. The effect was really added a nice texture to the surface.
I like quilts that require a closer look as this quilt does. There are several things I like about this piece—the raw edge detail, the zig zag seams, and the red that draws the eye around the entire quilt.

There just isn’t enough space for me to show you all the beautiful quilts in this exhibit. It would be well worth your time to go to see it if it ever travels to a place near you.

Which is your favorite?

Blessings

Since losing my Dad and step-mom in the past two months, I have felt really “off.” Right after Helen’s funeral Nate and I headed down to Arkansas for a little “therapy.” Being with the grandchildren was just what I needed.

I spent a lot of time coloring and talking with June Beth.
June Beth and I also spent some time outside; the weather was beautiful while we were there. On discovering a pretty rock outside, she said, “Do rocks die?” I said, “No rocks don’t die.” She said, “But people do.” I said, “Yes, people do.” She said, “I wish I was a rock.” I had to hide a tear. I think sometimes we don’t realize how much the little ones are affected by the death of a loved one.

Holland (who just turned 8) had a little crying meltdown the night of my Dad’s memorial. All of the other kids were asleep at the hotel when she started to cry. When my son and daughter-in-law checked on her (through tears) she said, “Everyone is asleep and no one is praying for Papaw Gene.” My son also told me that sometime during all this she also was worried about Papaw Gene not getting to come to her birthday party. My son couldn’t understand why she would have said that. It made perfect sense to me; her birthday is about the biggest thing that happens in her life. Papaw Gene would never get to share it with her again. What a sensitive little sweetie.

Our newest grandchild was born last July and named after my Dad—Asa Gene.
What a wonderful blessing it is to have grandchildren.