Tuesday, July 10, 2018

TWO RETREATS AND A VISIT

I haven't posted for a bit, but I have a REALLY GOOD excuse. I just got back from my second retreat this month, and I have pictures. The first retreat was held at the Gasthof in Montgomery, IN, by the Patoka Valley Quilt Guild (my local guild). Often, I get SO involved in what I’m doing that I forget to take pictures. That is what happened at this retreat. I wish I’d gotten more pics, but these are what I got.

I worked on the binding on my grandson’s quilt, and I finished my June Curtis Boehringer snowman wall hanging. You can see them here. I also finished a few of my hexie flowers for the Kingfisher Stitch-Along.
We had a great space in which to sew.
Here are the other pics I took at that retreat. 
Doesn’t the quilt on the top look like it actually ripples/waves. I think it is called Rolling Waves. The quilt on the bottom is huge and made of Civil War fabrics.

I even had a whole table to myself. (And I know you all will be shocked that I took over the unused table closest to me. LOL!)
My second retreat was with friends in Tennessee. This is the first time I’ve been to this retreat. As you can see in this next picture, the retreat is held at a nice wooded location. We ate our meals out on this porch (after moving the quilts, of course.)

I worked on my butterfly migration art quilt and
some more hexie flowers.
Here are some of the things everyone else got done at this retreat.


We even celebrated a special birthday while we were there.
I always enjoy going to a retreat. I LOVE the time I get to spend with friends, and I LOVE the uninterrupted time to work.

I also LOVE to visit family. I got the chance to attend my grandson's (Asa's) first birthday party in Arkansas. That boy LOVED his cake!
I also got to spend some time with the girls of the family. Here they are celebrating the 4th of July.
June Beth and I had a bit of fun with this selfie.
I guess you can see that she is quite a character!

Soooooo, that is what I've been up to. How about you?


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Love Quilts

Making a quilt is a labor of love. With every stitch of this quilt, I thought about how blessed I am to have this child in my life. I am SO thankful for him. I have spent the last week quilting this quilt for my grandson (Asa Gene) who turns one on July 2. (Gene was my Dad’s middle name—the name he went by. My son, Ryan, named his son after my Dad.) I think this is a great quilt for a little boy. I’m hoping he will love it.


I also finished my June Curtis Boehringer snowman wall hanging.
I have finished all of them, now, except for July, August, and September. I have NO time to work on them in the near future, so I guess I’ll have to find something else to hang in their designated space on my wall. Maybe I’ll get them done for next year…and maybe not! LOL!

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.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Fabric “Manipulation”

Isn’t there something really satisfying about ironing and folding new fabric.
 I just love these two new fabrics I got at Paducah. The top one is a Victoria Findlay Wolfe fabric. The fabric below is Catnip by Gingiber “Zest for Your Nest” for Moda.
I find the ironing and folding very meditative. As I iron and fold, I contemplate all the things I might make with these new fabrics. Do you do that too?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

It REALLY is ALL Denim

I really enjoyed the AQS Show in Paducah, KY, this year. One of my favorite sections of the show was the Ian Berry special denim exhibit “Done in Denim.” I have never seen anything like it. Keep in mind, as you look at each of these picture, that EVERY SINGLE part of the exhibit was made of denim. It was quite impressive.

There was a “scenario” called Main Street Community Garden.
Even the brick wall in the background (which you can see better in the next photo) is made of denim. Absolutely EVERYTHING you see is denim of some color. This is a closeup.
My favorite denim “scenario” was the laundromat.
Again EVERYTHING you see is denim.

This next scene was unbelievable—even the highlights on the “parquet” floor are denim.
You can see the texture of the denim in this closeup.
Another exhibit I really enjoyed was the SAQA Korean Quilts Now. This exhibit was on display at the Paducah School of Art and Design. I think a lot of people at the quilt show might have missed this exhibit because of its location. What a shame—the exhibit space is really nice, and I have enjoyed the  exhibit located there every year. If you get a chance to go to the Paducah quilt show, don’t miss the exhibit they have at this nice venue. (It is usually on the shuttle route.) Stay tuned—my next blog post will focus on that exhibit.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Goodbye Helen


It is really hard to lose a parent; we are never ready. I lost my last parent yesterday. As most of my readers know, I lost my Dad at the end of February. He and my step-mom were living at home (with help). They were the sweetest couple. My Dad had A LOT of trouble getting around—it took him a LONG time to get from place to place with his walker. But, every time he FINALLY got to the living room, where Helen (my step-mom) would be sitting on the couch, he would come over and give her a kiss. She’d say, “I think I’ll have another” every time. They would always hold hands and sit by each other. I think this is the last picture I took of them together. (Notice their hands?)
Helen had Alzheimer’s. She couldn’t do much for herself, but she always asked, “Can I help you with that?” Dad tried to do as much as he could for her and she for him. They were married 40 years. This is my favorite picture of them.
When they were more able bodied, they spent time traveling. They traveled the country in a BIG RV and wintered each year someplace warm. Dad never got used to the cold winters here in southern Indiana after that. They both still talked about their travels and smiled as they remembered “the good times.”
After Dad died, Helen was never the same. She would say, “Papaw Gene (what she called my Dad) went away, and I didn’t want him to.” Later on, she would cry and say, “I’m really sad, but I don’t know why.” She just didn’t want to go on without him. She stopped eating and drinking—something she could control. She passed away yesterday—two months and one day after my Dad died. I truly believe she died of a broken heart.

Helen helped me so much when my Mom died. Things were really tense between my step-dad and our family. He kept everything that belonged to my Mom along with the things my Mom had inherited from my grandparents—things of a sentimental nature, not of much monetary value. My sister and I ended up with no physical remembrance from my Mom or my grandparents. I remember going to Dad and Helen’s after I had spoken to my step-dad about those sentimental things. It was a very difficult situation. Helen cried with me and comforted me. There was never any doubt that she loved me and my family. She was Grandma Helen to my kids and Grandma Helen to my grandchildren. She was always there for me—for us. She was special.

I’m glad she is now with my Dad. She will be missed.