Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can someone explain quilt shows to me?

So my friend Carla and I went to a quilt show today in Benicia, Ca. She told me about it yesterday and I happened to be in the neighborhood because my daughter takes tennis lessons about 20 minutes away. 20 minutes if you know where you are going. 45 minutes if you leave your GPS at home and have to call your son to get directions from the GPS which is sitting on the computer table with the address all typed in. I drove around and got a grand tour of Benicia. Places I never knew I wanted to see, like the oil refineries and downtown and backroads and twisty lanes and...

So, I got there and Carla and her daughter were there and we wandered around and looked at all of the fancy quilts that took people many, many hours to make and I asked her what exactly the point of a quilt show was. I've been to probably 5 quilt shows in my life and I still don't get it.

You see, I have a different view of the purpose of a quilt. I see a quilt as something you make and give and use. These quilts don't look like they are ever supposed to be used. They have signs on them saying DO NOT TOUCH and there are ladies walking around with white gloves who will look at you sternly if you even breathe on the quilts and who offer to turn the quilt over so you can look at the back (??) and there are people studying the quilts and trying to figure out the pattern and talking about the stitching and mathing seams and corners and perfectly matched fabrics.

I can't imagine spending more than about 3 hours on a quilt. I can't imagine hanging a quilt on the wall to just look at. I can't imagine not touching a quilt. After all, they are washable. Part of the experience of a quilt is the tactile experience you get from touching the fabric. I remember when I was a kid and walking through the fabric store with my mom. She would touch all of the fabrics as we went through the store. It was natural for me to do the same thing and I still do when I walk through a quilt store. Each fabric elicits a different response. It isn't the same to look and not touch.

So, I'm not so sure I'll be going back to another quilt show. I can look at quilts in books and for $7 I can get a book that I can look at again and again.

What are your feelings on quilt shows? Do you love them or hate them? Why do you go? Do you get inspired or feel like the quilts you make will never measure up? Have you ever entered a quilt show? Maybe with different perspectives I will go again and see things differently.


Yesterday I worked really hard to finish off this roll of backing. I went from this...

to this! I love it when I get this close to finishing off the last bit of backing fabric, especially when I start with such a huge roll. 20 quilts came from this giant roll.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Want to help the tornado victims?

As an area coordinator for Binky Patrol, we are collecting quilts and blankets for those who have lost everything in the recent tornados. Here is a place to send them if you want to help out.

Misty Clark
504 East 14th St
Chickamauga GA

You can send as many kid size quilts, afghans and fleece blankets as you want. She will be taking them to the nearest shelters and churches as soon as she gets them. I know that when I see the devistation, I want to do something and it is nice to know there is somewhere to send things that will get into the hands of kids who need a hug. A quilt won't solve the world's troubles, but it will let a child know they are loved and that someone out there is taking time to care about their troubles and to pray for them.

almost made it

Yesterday I tried to beat my 10 quilt accomplishment from the day before and I almost made it. I gave up at 9 1/2 quilts last night. Of course, I did run around about half the day. I'm back at it again today and have 3 1/2 quilts done already and it is only 9am. I just may make my goal, but again, I have to run around all over town. If only I could have a day where I could just stay home and quilt all day, I could get more than 10 quilts done! OH, well, I guess I should just be happy with getting so many done.

But, there are always more to do.
And, now with the tornados, there is another call for more quilts and you know I can't just sit still.

Time to get off the computer and back to work!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I am not a robot

But, yesterday, I tried to beat one.

Yesterday was Quilt Day at my friend Carla's house.

I set a goal of quilting 20 quilts. I only got 10 done.

Everyone laughted at me when I hung my head in shame and said I only quilted 10 quilts in a day!

Carla's record for the most quilts using her robotic quilting machine is 12.

I really wanted to beat that machine!

You know the story of John Henry, the Steel Driving man?

Well, I felt like that man yesterday.

I just couldn't do it.

Maybe if I ate less, or talked less, or laughed less.

But what's the fun in a quilt day without the food, friends and fun?

This is Carla's mom Ev. She is such a wonderful woman and really made me laugh when she went looking for ice cream to go with the cake :)
Do you see the stack of quilts in the background?

These ladies had a great time using the Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter. They cut lots and lots of Quick Strippie quilt kits from

They are from a quilt guild and are going to borrow the cutter to make kits for their guild charity quilts. Win-win!

This is Rhoda, the binding Beast! She didn't have time to look up for the picture. She was too busy binding the quilts. You can see in the picture of Ev a huge stack of quilts that will go home with Rhoda to be bound. She will have them all done in one day and back to me, ready to go to Japan. This woman really is a the best sort of way!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

wow, I have been busy today

My little guy had his dentist appointment today and got his 4 cavities filled. Before that was done, I was able to quilt these quilts and the two from the earlier post! I guess it was a pretty productive day. I love it when I don't realize that I got a lot done and then am able to look back on all that was accomplished.

I also finished up a big spool of thread on the quilting machine. One down...47 to go :) I think I am set for life on thread!

Tomorrow is quilt day and I'm excited to see just how many quilt tops I can get quilted while at Carla's house. My goal is 20 quilt tops. Of course, I will be distracted by all of the other fun things to do...sort fabric, cut fabric, play with the Studio cutter and Go! cutter and of course eat yummy food and talk. All fun things to do at one of Carla's famous Quilt Days. It's not too late to join us if you live in Northern California or want to catch a midnight flight!

I joined a new club today and NO, you are not invited

So, I used to laugh at those people who sewed through their fingers. I mean, how dumb could you be? Really? Watch what you are doing people?

Well, today, I joined that club. No, you are not invited. It hurts. Really, really bad. In fact, I am so dumb, they should make me the president because I watched the needle go through my finger not once, but twice!

I was quilting away on this quilt that had some issues. Won't tell you which one, but you know the song...You can quilt it out...well, this quilt fits that song perfectly. And I was having some troubles. The thread kept breaking and I stopped for the 24th time to rethread. I was threading it and for some reason my left hand hit the new button that runs the machine now and up down up down went the needle right through my right pointer finger. OUCH! says my brain, but my finger didn't have the time to move out of the way. My Janome moves at 1600 stitches per minute and you know that I have to have it at full speed :) Stop laughing Carla and mom!

I managed to pull my finger away from the quilt before the blood came pouring out. Priorities people! Save the quilt was all I could think :)

No pictures people. I know, you want to see what it looks like. Sorry. No doctor visit either. I just got the end of the finger and didn't hit a bone or anything. I didn't even break the needle.

So, now, when people ask I can say that yes, I have sewn my finger with the sewing machine. But so far I have not cut off a finger with the rotary cutter. My mom did least the tip of a finger. There is still time to join that club :)

Power through

I sewed backing fabric yesterday and loaded it on the machine after taking the boys in for their dentist appointment and haircuts and then was hit with a really bad migraine. Lately they have been coming on really quickly and really bad.

After taking lots of meds and not feeling any better I decided that sitting around feeling sorry for myself wasn't getting me any closer to the 1,000 quilt goal so I might as well get some quilting done. After all, the hard part of getting the backing loaded was already done.

I had already measured the quilt tops and sorted by size so the thinking was done too. I had put on wide backing for the bigger quilts and started grabbing quilts that would match the backing fabric and just powered through some quilts while hubby watched the sharks game.

I managed to get three done in just about an hour or so before calling it a night.

Woke up this morning with a headache still and took some more meds. That's the way these migraines have been lately. They go away in the morning so it is good they don't last for weeks at a time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm not going to win Mother of the Year for this

So, just when I'm feeling pretty good about my mothering abilities, life comes along to knock me off my self made pedistal and back to reality.

I took my daughter's quilt in this morning. You know, the one that everything that could go wrong on and did. She put the binding on yesterday and we washed it. Well, there were 19 places that the binding did not catch onto the quilt. Note to self. Do not wash a quilt before taking it to enter into a fair. Every issue a quilt has will show up after being washed. We spent about 2 hours last night fixing all of the holes in the binding. Lesson learned :)

Then, the boys had a dentist appointment. They haven't been to the dentist in about 3 years. You see, their dentist just moved one day. No notice, just sent a card after he moved saying he had a life change and this was best for him so hope we liked the new dentist that had taken over his business. We never went back. I finally found a new dentist for myself about 6 months ago and finally remembered to make appointments for my boys. I know. Bad mommy. I hate the dentist and if nobody is complaining, I tend to forget that the kids even have teeth.

Well, the older son had no cavities, but lots of tartar buildup. Little guy has 4 cavities and has to go in tomorrow to get them filled. They are all in baby teeth so no permanent damage, but call the Mother of the Year committee and let them know I am withdrawing my nomination.

I have no idea how they can keep everything juggling all at once. There is always one area I let slip...for like 3 years! It's either the housework or the kids teeth. Ugh

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Turtles and Frogs

We got a small reprieve yesterday when we took everything in for the May Fair. We have had some troubles with this Turtle quilt my daughter is making. You can say that everything that could go wrong...has.

I call it the Turtle and Frog quilt because my daughter has done almost as much unstitching (frog-rip it, rip it) as she has stitching on the thing.

She sewed and quilted and is now working on the binding. 99.9% of the quilt has been done by her and you can see that she is very proud. She just needed a little help getting started and a little help along the way and is bound and determined to get this thing finished up.

We asked yesterday if they would allow us to bring it in tomorrow just to display because she has been working so hard.

They had a whole box full of entries that didn't make the deadline. I think that a lot of people had a hard time bringing things in on Easter weekend.

We went over to my friend Carla's house today after church and did the quilting.

Here she is taking out some stitches ;)

And at the very end, she wrote her name--upside down! Pretty good for her second quilt don't you think? I have a feeling it won't be her last quilt. She will be coming to quilt day on Wednesday and I know that she will be working the quilting machine at least part of the day.

Organizing the quilt tops

Last night the kids and I spent about an hour measuring and organizing all of the quilt tops that are waiting their turn for quilting. I have over 100 :) Yay!

We measured their widths and pinned tags to them so that when I have backings on the frame, I can grab the next quilt that will fit that matches the color and go. Will save a lot of time in the end. We had a great system going and a lot of laughs. I love it when my kids help me work on this project.

These two quilts were quilted this morning. I may have time for one more before church this morning. There is just a bit more of the wide backing fabric on the frame before I have to prep more backing fabric. That is another chore!