I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. I have always enjoyed needle arts and have been a quilter, and a teacher of quilting, for the past twenty years. I have periodically nurtured a small pattern business which I will introduce to this blog over time.
I really do have talented friends and Vilma is one of the special ones. We met sometime ago when we were both employees at a shop in Pleasanton CA called Going to Pieces. Great name for a quilt shop, don't you think? We hit it off almost right away and often worked the same shift so our friendship grew. We have laughed and cried together. That's what friends do. Support is key to this kind of relationship. When the original shop owners decided to move on, Vilma and two others decided to go into business together. They each brought their own ideas and made it work. Vilma was a really good boss and at the same time a friend. I have always been attracted to creative people as I like to think I am creative as well. Vilma's work is meticulous and lovely. If I can talk her into some close-ups, I will share again. The quilt design is called Little Brown Bird and the original quilt was designed and made by Margaret Docherty, another amazingly talented artist. I hope all of you are as fortunate as I have been.
Yesterday was Danny's forty-fourth birthday, which begs the question of how much longer I can keep my credibility while maintaining my assertion that I am thirty- nine. It worked for a long time but he is not so gullible these days. Danny is an adult with developmental disabilities, but in the picture he is a two year old sitting beside his big sister and the smiles are all for her. This is a black and white picture and not in good condition, but I decided to use it here because while it is black and white, I can assure you he has the bluest eyes you will ever see. The brighter the eyes the more mischief, and the more excitement we could expect. Things don't change much. Incredibly blue eyes can be good or bad when they are Dan's.
This is Danny today. This is his cool look! He doesn't like shirts that button, but that day he wore it because I asked him to. Never mind it was a typical mid-west day with temps in the triple digits with a heat index to be afraid of, and I wanted him to make it through the day. He does look cool and perhaps a little hip don't you think. Any involved parent with a disabled child knows the challenges facing both parent and and child. Danny has been in supported-living for almost twenty years. The people who have helped him grocery shop, taught him to clean and do laundry have been legion, or so it seems. They come and they go, but mostly go. He develops friendships and so misses them when they are gone. Now, he is excited to be 44. While the rest of us try not to think of another year, he rejoices in each and every one. From his 21st birthday to his 44th he has always wanted to go to a casino and put a few dollars in a machine. Yesterday was no different and he won five dollars. Pretty exciting! This year he also wanted to have lunch at Red Lobster and receive as a gift, Monster Truck Jam for his DS. We made all of that happen. This year he is looking forward to a late birthday party so his very special niece can attend. For the last few years he has maintained that he does not like chocolate so his cake will be cheesecake, a current favorite. He does eat chocolate but refuses to elaborate or even talk about it. The truth is like most of us he tries to find his place in the world and not liking chocolate so his cake is different from anyone else's' is how he is managing this for now. That's okay. He is aging as we all do and so there are good and bad days. What we all as a family know for sure is the following: Dan is as grown up as he knows how to be, he is compassionate, he cares about the well being of children, if your car is broken, he will find a mechanic just for you, he loves his family, he calls his brother-in-law, brother, his sister, sweetie and takes his responsibilities as an uncle to the now 12 year old very seriously. Happy Birthday Danny. We all love you so much.
This beautiful quilt has some of it's roots in a vintage log cabin quilt made of silk. It is the opportunity quilt for AVQ, a guild I have been a member of almost from the beginning. My first, though not my last guild membership. It is peopled by talented women and men. We have long had the unwritten policy that if no one volunteers for a particular project, then perhaps it was not something the group really wants. But this is a wonderful group of women and someone almost always comes forward. The retreats always happen and the opportunity quilt has always been ready to market right on time. This time is no exception. Kathy Jardine and Gretchen Crozier have collaborated to make this exquisite quilt. The quilting was done by Cindy Young, another artist. "Something To Crow About" makes me wish I still lived close enough to be a part of the process.
Don't you wish you could win this one? I know I do. Maybe. After all some one has to win. Could be me, could be you. Wishes do come true. I hope yours do.
I am sharing this quilt "In My Garden" once again because I found out today that it has been accepted in the Paducah quilt show. I have not had a quilt I felt was good enough to exhibit for some time so I am excited to have it in this particular show. I live close enough to go so the pleasure will be double, just being able to see it hang in the show. "In My Garden" also was entered in PIQF in CA last fall. I am happy to say it won best Hand Workmanship. When this year is over, it will go to my daughter Kelly. I hope she loves it as much as I do. This post is another call for hand work quilts. Please quilters, remember that if you don't enter your quilts in shows and competitions, the category "Applique, Hand" will go away. Frankly, as a hand applique lover, it could not be a better time to enter. The entries are so small, your chances to win are great. If that sounds insulting, I do not mean it that way. Sounds like I may be saying that we can only win if there is no competition. That couldn't be further from the truth. I am here, you are out there, the artists and quilts exist! Please share, if you win, wonderful, if not remember your quilt will touch someone! I have literally thousands of pictures of quilts and most did not win anything, but each and every one of them called out to me. let your quilts do the same.
I know, I have promised to share my studio and I am truly beginning to organize for just that. Winter days do not allow for good pictures and so I have delayed having fun with my very special space. In the mean time, I just want to push an agenda that means a lot to me. My husband would say that I have a lot of those and he indeed right about that. This week on the Oprah Winfrey show, Oprah has spoken a lot about her own agenda regarding being on the phone while driving and especially about texting while driving. She is asking all of us to sign a pledge to not text or even to hold a phone to our ear while driving. I am hoping that you will go to oprah.com and sign up to be safe and save our own as well as our loved one's lives. I am asking my family and hope you will ask yours as well. Where I live the powers that be have made it illegal for young people to text while driving. On the other hand, someone my age (68), no problem. How crazy is that? I will say that there are mumblings in the state capitol of a law to ban everyone from speaking on a hand held phone or texting while driving. Duhhhhh!!!!. Please think about the dangers involved and save a life, maybe your own.