Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Desktop Calendar

Spring has sprung in Texas! On March 4th, we woke up to an ice storm, with branches and limbs bending and cracking under the weight.

Then, 10 days later, ol' man winter departed for good and left us with the first azaleas of spring! What gorgeous color!

This past weekend my friend Darleena was lucky enough to go in search of, and find, the first bluebonnets of the all-too-short season! Don't tell her I stole this picture off her FB page...but it's so picture perfect!
And with Easter coming in a couple of weeks, here's a desktop calendar to cheer you up if you're in the part of the country where spring doesn't show up til June.

Click to expand the image to full size, right-click and choose Set as Wallpaper or Background.
To really make the calendar "pop" right-click on your background and choose black. Your family and co-workers will be jealous of your awesome wallpaper! Be sure to tell them where you found it!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Piece ~ Love ~ Sew


I'd intended to get on this as soon as the show ended (cuz I'd have so much free time, LOL) but I probably need to look up the definition of "free time" first - I obviously don't have a clue. I was one of the three chairs and we put so much time and effort into the show over the past two years, I'm not sure what we'll do now! Ok, I can't speak for them, but I'm going to clean my studio, get caught up on my quilting and watch Game of Thrones from the beginning before the new season starts.

Back to the show!
It was held on February 28th - March 1st at the Berry Center in Cypress, TX - a fabulous venue and our second time there. We booked the next 3 shows there (even numbered years) so we can be sure to have it around the same time. A big thanks to Beth, the Berry Center's venue coordinator, for helping us produce a terrific show, with no hitches! We even gave her a ribbon!

First things first: how about some quilts?!
Here's our Best in Show - machine appliqued and quilted by Valerie Jolly - it also won Viewer's Choice. It's a big-un, so the bottom had to be pinned up so it wouldn't drag on the floor. It was stunning, but you may have to take my word for it as the photo doesn't do it justice.
"Stop Wishing & Start"

So many beautiful and creative quilts were in the show that I can't show them all here. But I do have a couple of ribbon-winners from the Sew-Hos!
Charmaine's quilt, "Charm's Star" won 1st Place, Paper-Pieced, Large. It was quilted by Karen Shively and was in contention for Best of Show right up to the last.
Charm's "Midnight Madness" 2nd Place, Mixed Technique
  And her "Fairyland Delights" won a 3rd Place in the Other Techniques Category.
It was quilted by Shirley Barter

This is Susi's  "Brain Freeze" which won an Honorable Mention in Art Quilts
along with her "Food Bowl" which won 2nd in the Challenge Category.

Speaking of which - the Challenge Category was called "Prints Charming" - along with a size limitation, the challenge was to use only print fabrics (no solids, hand dyes, or batiks) and you could only use each fabric one time. Here's my entry:
"Still Charming" - the backstory: back around the turn of the century (good Lord that sounds old!) I participated in a worldwide swap of 3" charms and sigs. I made HST's out of mine by sandwiching 2 charms together & sewing a seam on each side of the center line. When I cut them apart, I had 2 identical HST's but I could only use one in the quilt, since you weren't supposed to use a fabric more than once. Being optimistic (and cheap) I saved all of those other half-HST's. Wanna see that Y2K quilt just for fun? It hung in a special exhibit at Houston that year. And it's handquilted!
Fast forward 14 years to this year's challenge. I thought, "What a snap! I've got teensy HST's already made! I can knock this baby out in no time!" And guess what? A week before the quilts were to be turned in, my friend Richard pointed out that one of my fabrics was duplicated. 
What? NO!
Yes, dammit! Crap.
You know what that means, don't you?? There's a duplicate in my Y2K quilt! %#&*!!!!
I couldn't bring myself to rip everything out just to replace that one little floral triangle so I appliqued another HST from my Y2K stash over it. I was pretty sure I wouldn't win a ribbon anyway... and I was right.
So am I going to change out the duplicated fabric in my Y2K? Not on your life. I'm not even going to look for it. It's hanging up at the Cabin Too if you want to, though.
One more quilt from the Challenge Category: Sew-Ho Deb's! 
"Logomaniac" features words printed on fabric and won an Honorable Mention and Judge's Choice!

Another of mine that won ZIP was in the 3D, Wearables & Home Dec category. It's a tablerunner made in my Scrap Therapy class. It looks good on my tiled kitchen table with some of my Fiesta ware on it. The 1st place ribbon winner was my friend Tina with this little beauty:
1/4" "Little Hexies" - it's a pincushion! And only about 4" across. Awesome!
Two of my customers won ribbons:
Carole's "Angel in my Cabin" won a 1st Place in Traditional Pieced, Small

and Pat's "Asian Stack n Whack" won an Honorable Mention.
Shelly's was my only other customer quilt done these past 2 years...no time, no desire. Hers didn't win a ribbon but I think it should have! To be fair, it was in a huge category...Personally, I love the background quilting! :wink wink:

Lastly, my third entry won a 1st Place in Applique, Small as well as the other Judge's Choice!
"Strawberry Baskets" That's me with two of my grandkiddos, Zach & Teaghan
I almost forgot the raffle quilt! Guess who scored the big win!
Not me.
Go figure.
My favorite quilts were these two. I guess you can tell I'm still into my Brown Period. Like Picasso's Blue Period, but without the $$$.

Let's see...what else?

Oh! We had an educational exhibit! We had samples of all different types of quilts and quilting with a notecard on each explaining what it was. That redwork quilt in the hoop has been in the works for 13 years. Stop laughing. I only have 51 on my UFO spreadsheet. I'm aiming to get this one done by the 2016 show. LOL. maybe...

My favorite quilt in the educational exhibit was this one, by my friend, Debbie. Another Hexie Queen, like Tina. And oh, look. It's brown. Surprise!
I was in charge of the vendors and we had a great bunch this time. My favorite booth was YaYa's Sweet Shoppe - they went all out with their booth decor. So much so that Beth (from the Berry Center) came to me and asked if we had a vendor selling baked goods! We gave them a ribbon for Most Eye-Catching Booth.

Another of my favorite vendors was Nancy with WOWJF-23 - funny name, great pain relief product! So many of our quilters swear by this stuff! Nancy was also awarded a ribbon for Most Cheerful Vendor - I never caught her without a smile on her face! 
And what guild show would be complete without the Scissor Guy?! He shows up at Quilters Crossing in Tomball once a month to sharpen scissors, knives and whatever else you need sharpened.

And this vendor, Vickie Bartlett, of Texas 31 Bags, was a sweetheart! Contact her for your very own catalogue of all types of bags, totes, little zippy things, etc to hold/carry all your sewing/quilting supplies. I did!

Our featured artist was Richard Larson - Quilter Extraordinaire! Don't know what he was doing to get those Mardi Gras beads!

Had a couple of margaritas and gin & tonics with him. Terrific quilter, terrific human being!

He demo'd all kinds of techniques and rulers the whole two days! So generous with his knowledge, talent, and time - we absolutely loved having him!

And last, but not least...all the guild's volunteers that worked tirelessly for the past two years to bring this about. They did a fabulous job and are the reason the show was such an overwhelming success!

Guild Boutique & Emporium

Bargain-hunting quilter's dream come true!!

And Lisa's crib-quilts bed-turning show & tell was very popular!

All in all, it was a great weekend for a quilt show in Texas!
For more photos from the show, go to the Guild's Blog and click on Gallery! Carla has pictures of just about everything!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Desktop Calendar

I've been up to my eyeballs working out the last minute details of the guild's quilt show, Piece - Love - Sew this weekend, so once again, I'm going to barely squeak by under the midnight deadline. Fellow Show Chairs and Sew-Hos - Susi, Charmaine, and I have been working on it for two years, and it's lookin' pretty good, if I do say myself.
We've got some really talented quilters in our guild, and lots of brave Quilt Show Virgins, who took a deep breath and jumped in with their very first entries. 
I'll give you a little peek into the show after I recover, but if you're in the Houston area, come on out today and see it for yourself!
At any rate - here's your March desktop calendar - not terribly spring-like, but in my defense, it was 74* yesterday but it'll be in the 30's on Sunday evening. When the weather makes up its mind, I'll move on into Spring!

Click to expand the image to full size, right-click and choose Set as Wallpaper or Background.
To really make the calendar "pop" right-click on your background and choose black. Your family and co-workers will be jealous of your awesome wallpaper! Be sure to tell them where you found it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Desktop Calendar

Once again, I'm minutes away from midnight, still trying to figure out what to do for this month's calendar. I'm up to my eyeballs trying to finish my three quilts for our guild show. The deadline to turn them in is tomorrow, and though I entered four, I'll only actually be entering three. The largest one never made it to the longarm. It's hanging on my design wall waiting for its turn. Of course, the fact that it's been waiting since 2004 to be quilted, took the urgency out of that one, so it'll sit for another year (or two) til it makes it to the top of the rotation again. The calendar quilt is similar to one of my show entries that's waiting on its binding and label. I put it down so I could run over to the laptop and post this. I'm not going to show you a photo of the quilt til after the show. It's  a large wallhanging (unless it ends up as a baby quilt someday), and the other two entries are even smaller: one's a tablerunner and the other's a 32" entry in our guild challenge. More on those next month. For now, I need to get back to binding if I ever want to get any sleep before I turn these in tomorrow. 

Click to expand the image to full size, right-click and choose Set as Wallpaper or Background.
To really make the calendar "pop" right-click on your background and choose black. Your family and co-workers will be jealous of your awesome wallpaper! Be sure to tell them where you found it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

2013 has been some year at our house! Lots of changes brought even more changes:

  • my oldest daughter and her family were transferred 843 miles away, to South Carolina, where they added a new grandbabyboy to the clan 
  • my youngest daughter's at Texas Tech in Lubbock, a mere 508 miles away 

With their moving, I've added a total of 10,138 miles to my odometer, just driving back and forth! 
The ytd auto issues on these trips: 
  • 1 blown tire 
  • 1 giant oil leak  
  • 1 dead battery 
  • 1 way-dead alternator
It's a good thing I like driving!
This last trip to SC saw me ordering a new car from my favorite son-in-law, the sales manager at the Greenville, SC Mini Cooper dealership, Century BMW/Mini

Same as my current Mini, except it's in Ice Blue, kind of a pale confederate blue. And we're back to full warranty for all repairs, routine maintenance and tires. I should have it in a few weeks. They'll either deliver it to me here in Texas, or I just might fly out to SC and drive it back myself. Alone. In silence. It'll be like a vacation.

I know I came here for something...oh. I remember - the new calendar! 
I hope you all have a terrific 2014!

Click to expand the image to full size, right-click and choose Set as Wallpaper or Background.
To really make the calendar "pop" right-click on your background and choose black. Your family and co-workers will be jealous of your awesome wallpaper! Be sure to tell them where you found it!