Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reversible Workshop at The Sewing Room

Today was the 4th and final session of the Reversible Quilt workshop at The Sewing Room in Lombard, and it has happened again: I learned something from each one of the women. From Dottie I learned to use transparent scotch tape to label the rows of my reversible quilts. From Ginger I learned about bias binding and free-motion stippling. And Sue so graciously shared the pattern for a strip-pieced sweatshirt jacket. Kim wasn't with us today, but the other three finished their quilts, which was their reward for so diligently doing all homework assignments. These quilts are gorgeous, and the past four Tuesday afternoons have been rewarding! Ginger's quilt is a study in wintry blues. Keep checking back for pictures of completed projects.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Celebrating the Weather

For the most part weather doesn't matter much to me. Quilting is, after all, an indoor sport. But yesterday was one of those glorious days that I would love to bottle. And as luck would have it, John and I had planned a Segway tour of Chicago's lakefront to celebrate our October birthdays. We had a wonderful time going through Grant Park and the Museum Campus. I had never been to Soldier Field, so it was very special to not only be there but to see the memorial to the various armed forces. Mastering the Segway wasn't difficult and provided a unique way to get around. What a great way to spend three hours!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Jim Dandy Project

The Jim Dandy quilt is ready to be mailed to Fran Dunn in Spartanburg, South Carolina. From there it will go to the beach house in Litchfield, just south of Myrtle Beach. Fran and Jim were so generous to Mani as we celebrated Dodie's 58th birthday in July. Our use of beach house helped to make a difficult week a bit easier. This quilt is for the master bedroom - I hope to see this quilt in its home someday.

Here's What I Learned at Camp!

The Quilting Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, was so much fun. Neighbor/sewing partner Susan and I immersed ourselves totally in the culture of the convention, attending lectures, participating in hands-on workshops,listening to the "keynote" speakers, and supporting the vendors at the show.

This convergence piece is from one of my workshops. "Converge" means to mix and remix fabric. In this case it was a piece of hand-dyed fabric. The woman who shared my table and I swapped quarter-pieces of our hand-dyes. That's why there's a bit of green in mine. This morning I finished the top and am auditioning borders - this is a tricky piece. And I'm hoping to machine-quilt it without using any straight lines. We'll see...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Field Trip!

Tonight neighbor/sewing buddy/fellow WW Susan and I are driving to Madison and participating in a 3-day conference dedicated to all things quilting. There were over 200 various lectures/hands-on workshops/demos/guest speakers from which to choose, and there's a huge exposition center of award-winning quilts and merchants/vendors. We were lucky enough to get a room at the Clarion, right next to the Alliant Center where everything is being held.

I been wanting to participate in something like this for a couple of years and think it's going to be great fun. I hope my brain doesn't - like it has at various education conferences - get full and shut down. I'm going to be learning about convergence quilting, embellishing quilts with beads, using paint sticks as a quilting tool, the variety of threads available to quilters, and "sketching" with thread.

My first workshop at quiltfabric.com went very well. And so far the reversible quilting class in Lombard is fabulous (the other class was cancelled). I think this emphasis on learning and the field trip fits in great with the teaching I've begun to do. (And, of course, John is being a great sport about my going to Madison.)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Summer Vacation is Over!

Well, this is my third fall that I've been retired. My third fall that I've been able to watch others go back to school. But it's my first peaceful Labor Day. Two years ago I was in Indianapolis with Dodie as she was doing her first round of chemo and radiation. Last year at this time her days were numbered. This year, with her death none months ago, I'm at peace. The current quilt I'm working on is the for Mrytle Beach beachhouse that John and I stayed at this summer when we went to be with Dodie's family at what would have been her 58th birthday. It's a lovely piece with a familiar process, and I'm enjoying doing it.

I have been having a hard time getting back to a regular schedule. And what's really motivated me to work on the Jim Dandy wall hanging is wanting to put away the piles of greens, purples, and neutrals. Also yesterday Cecilia and I made some final design decisions about her quilt, and it's ready to be finished and then off to the long-arm quilter.

Already there's a glitch in the teaching schedule. The Saturday workshop is a no-go. And I'm not terribly disappointed because the Tuesday workshop is off to a great start and is a technique that I'm much more enthused about. I have been wanting to experiment with some new techniques and of course actually do something about the landscape quilt I want to try. It feels good to get back to the work I want to do. There's something about "vacation mentality" even though I am retired and no longer am a part of an organized work cycle. Yes, summer vacation is over!