Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finally Spring.

I just thought I would share a MO spring with you. Our weather is a little unpredictable here this time of year as I am sure some of you already know. Above is a bouquet of lilac with a few blooms left from an Easter bouquet gifted to me by my beautiful daughter. Amazing that the Easter flowers are fresh and beautiful.
I have two Red Bud trees in my yard. I think I will research the origin of the name as they are actually kind of pink or perhaps purple.
One of the things I like best about my trees is that not only do they bloom on the usual branches, but also anywhere else they want. The above flowere are actually on the trunk. Cool, don't you think?
The lilacs are a little pale already but still beautiful. The few stems in my vase fill the house with their fragrance and remind me of my mother. My memories of her when I was a child always involve her garden. Lilacs, four-0-clocks, roses, holly hocks, marigolds and sweet peas. I remember when her father, Grandpa Bates would come to visit in the spring. Mom knew he was not going to be able to leave her garden untouched. He was a farmer in MO and Oklahoma when she was a girl. When they walked away from their farm during the Dust Bowl and traveled to southern CA he was a master irrigation specialist and quickly got work with the movie studios as a gardener. So, he always pruned her roses, hard! She was always convinced that he had killed them at last. But as always, they came back and were more beautiful that ever, covering the fences with red, yellow and pink flowers. I remember cars and pedestrians stopping to admire her garden. I have a feeling that mom always knew that he would never hurt her flowers. It was just a way to get him to stay longer.
This is the best flowering of the dwarf cherry tree since we moved to this house. Of course the birds and squirrels have never allowed us a single ripe cherry and this year will probably be no different.
This the second year for the azalea. Looks really good.
Anemone. Don't you just love a touch of blue in the garden? I know I do. I always try to place a little blue in every bed. I hope your garden blooms sweetly and unlike my garden is free from Japanese Beetles.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Newest Patterns

These are my newest patterns and differ a little from anything I have published in the past. These are my own designs based on the wonderful Baltimore album quilts of the past. Complex but not difficult.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My drawing at Round Bobbin Expo

Above is a photo of a drawing I had at The Round Bobbin. A small black box filled with eighteen wooden spools of vintage silk twist thread. This thread is wonderful for embroidery. I have used it for crazy quilt projects as well as blanket stitch on wool applique. If you haven't tried this, you are missing out. The winner is Diane Wilhim. She was really glad to get this beautiful thread.

Speaking of the Round Bobbin, I would like to say something. While I have decided that the venue was not exactly the right fit for me and what I did learn a lot about such things as booth set up, appropriate merchandise and be sure you have chocolate! Seriously, though this was the Round Bobbin Sewing and Quilting Expo, this was still not the right place for me. I was perhaps the only teacher/vendor whose roots are in hand applique, hand quilting. The first day was a little slow, but that was what made what happened more noticeable. The majority of people who came through invariably made such comments as "I don"t like that." "Who would take the time?" There were variations on this theme all day. The next two days were a little better, still a little troubling. I love it that there are so many ways to define quilting. It makes what we do available to anyone because there is something for everyone. However, it would be a good thing to remember some of the quilting etiquette. Even my children knew better than to speak out when viewing some else's quilt, "Mom your quilt is better that this one!" or Mom, what is that?" I was startled, maybe even a little hurt and then I got over it. There is room for everyone. Join the party. I did and haven't looked back, not once.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Round Bobbin Expo

I spent the better part of this day working on my booth at the Expo. I was gifted a larger booth from management as someone was unable to come do to illness. So, I set up with the plan I had made for the smaller booth. I have to say, it looked like I was having a garage sale rather than offering my wool applique, redwork and applique patterns for sale. But all was not lost as I texted ( yes even a sixty eight year old woman can use technology! ) my daughter, she came over and made suggestions and I spent the rest of the day doing it all over. It could still be better, but is so much nicer. The folk art quilt on the left is a Jan Patek I made a long time ago. I fooled with the borders to get a different look. To the right of that is a display of my felted wool pattern samples. The next quilt is my version of vintage red work. I love red work. All I need is a piece of fabric with the design marked, a needle, hoop, thread and scissors. what could be better?
This view is to the right. A little hard to see, but starting on the left side of the table there is a bowl waiting for tomorrows flowers, a tin with business cards, and oh a big bowl of candy. All kinds of chocolate. the rest of the table is taken up with patterns and containers of patterns. I am debuting the first three of six Baltimore style patterns. I am excited to be doing this as it is a long process for me. Above the table I have hung "Return to Baltimore" a quilt that took me a whole year to finish. I am somewhat slow. To the left of that is a nice vintage quilt with embroidered blocks. It was a real find and rare for me because, I finally found and purchased that $30.00 dollar quilt so many of my friends seem to find on a regular basis. To the right oo that is one of my favorite designs. It is based on thirties and forties days of the week dis towels. Of course because I wanted a square quilt, I needed to design two extra blocks. When I was growing up, my mother and I worked together and did follow that church on Sunday, wash on Monday and iron on Tuesday and so on. It was a system that worked but for the most part gradually went away. Now I am pretty proud of myself if I simply get all those things finished at some time during my work week. So, it is not so surprising that I called it "The way We Were" The table below with the quilts will hold my portfolio during the show. A good way to share my work and keep it safe as well. Best wishes to you all.