Thursday, May 19, 2011

I took a break

I took a one-month break from blogging, and I’m not sure why, because I’ve done a lot of quilty things…. But I’ve also been super busy doing a lot of other things.

I spent almost a week getting pieces ready to take to a “Beyond the Block” class taught by Linda K. Johnson at Paducah:

The quilt is a little farther advanced than this right now, but not much. See Linda’s website at  Linda and her sister are the designers of last fall’s American Quilter magazine Mystery Quilt (I was one of three winners, and my quilt appeared in the magazine in May). I will post more pictures of this quilt as the design develops.

At Paducah, I also took a class on making “poster quilts”—printing a picture and text, then using them in a poster-size quilt—from Mary Ellen Kranz:  I bought her book, Blending Photos with Fabric 2, and I highly recommend it. Mary Ellen took the mystery out of the process and made it really easy. Below is my poster quilt, not yet quilted. (Babcocks Hole is my sister’s ranch in Colorado. No, there is no apostrophe in Babcocks Hole.)

Many quilters have made comments about the American Quilter’s Society show in Paducah, so here’s what I think. (If you don’t know what happened … In a nutshell, the rising Ohio River forced the city to close its floodgates, therefore closing the convention center, which was outside the gates. AQS scrambled to find alternate locations around town for the show, all the classes, and the vendors.) I was in Paducah for 3 days, commuting from my sister’s home in Illinois. I took two classes, heard two lectures, walked by ALL the vendors at ALL the locations, spent some money, and saw all parts of the show at least once. I had a great time, and so did my sister, a non-quilter who wanted to see the show for the first time. Yes, the venues were smaller and more crowded, the classes were cramped, and it was somewhat inconvenient to travel from location to location. But the show went on despite Mother Nature, and I had a great time. I’m amazed AQS could reorganize and move a huge event like that on short notice. Well-done, AQS!

While I was in Southern Illinois, my sister and I made silk floral table arrangements for my niece’s wedding in June. About 40 arrangements in two days:

After I got home, I dug into my embarrassingly large stash of Christmas fabric and made about a dozen furoshiki—fabric that can be artfully tied around gifts. I’ve been saying I was going to do this for a long time, and I was motivated by the fact that I had to present a program on bazaar ideas to my quilt guild. This is a great way to use up fabric—reusable gift wrap! Here is a link to learn more about furoshiki:  My program on bazaar ideas will be a future blog post.

AND, in the last month—when it wasn’t raining—I cleaned, weeded, and planted 4 large flower beds. (Only 4? My knees and shoulders feel like it could have been a dozen….) This year I limited myself to just 7 pots of flowers, instead of the dozen-plus I usually make up. Well—7 plus 3 hanging baskets. There's a downpour as I write--again--so now I can sew all I want and let those flowers GROW!

I haven’t forgotten my pictures of Pompeii and Herculaneum. They’re coming!