Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another very Talented Friend

This takes your breath away doesn't it? I have studied this quilt in person as well as in the photos and know that this the definition of perfection. Nancy Kern is both a technician and an artist. In addition she is fast!!! I envy the fast part of her work. Nancy says she has always hoped that she would win a big prize some time. Well, now she has done just that. She has received the coveted phone call from Quilt Festival in Houston! Yes!! She was informed that she is a winner of one of the top prizes there. She has won a trip to festival and at the least, five thousand dollars. I celebrate your success Nancy and know all your other friends do too. This honor is earned. It was such fun getting to know you better at BOTP. I suspect we should have got a little more sleep, but I would have missed out on something special. You are living the dream my friend and I hope you savor every moment.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baltimore On The Prairie, a little more.

One down side to teaching away from home is that a teacher like me seldom gets to see the results of a workshop. I am so excited to be able to show you what a student of mine did in my class last year. This lovely wall hanging was made by Pat Steele in the main conference class I taught last year at the first BOTP quilt conference in Omaha NE. It is a prime example of creative use of a single block. I think sometimes we forget that not every project has to be a bed quilt or even a nine block wall hanging. Sometimes one block is enough. Thank you Pat for sharing this with me and the class. See you next year!

This was our last day and so as many as there were of us decided to pose for a photograph. That is Tresa Jones, the woman behind all the good things that makes up BOTP. That's me in the red shirt. And behind us are a little more than three quarters of twenty students in my main conference workshop. For me my experiences teaching seems to get better and better! How lucky I am. before this workshop. two students emailed and asked if I would send the pattern so they could mark for back basting. Done! Others asked if I would object to their making the bias tubes for the basket. Done! I was beginning to feel that we were on a roll when class began. There I was asked by some if I would mind if they folded and basted strips for basket stays. By noon on the first full day we had a reputation for getting it done!! Yes!!!! Seriously, I have been so fortunate as a teacher to have motivated students. This conference was no exception and I thank each and every one of you for that. it simply does not get any better. In addition to that, there were some pretty funny people in that group. I had a wonderful time. I can't wait to do it again.

And so it begins. Please notice the attention to task here. One might think I was a task master. Hmmmnnn.

Another view and still working hard.

This last shot shows the smiles of a few and makes me smile to see them. I hope you have my experience the next time you are in class. It makes such a difference in the way I view the next time. This is my art, what's yours?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More about BOTP

The International Quilt Study Center is within short driving distance from Mahoney State park, the home of Baltimore On The Prairie. Lucky for all the attendees. Tresa Jones arranged for the second year in a row for us to tour the facility. If you want to know more about their collections take yourself to You will not be sorry as the collection adds up to more than three thousand quilts.

Above is a view of the entry way to the IQSC. I am not sure what to call the white structure to the left but there are several chairs inside and so my feeling is that it is a place to rest and reflect. It really is lovely. To the right is the entry to a wonderful day.

Run, don't walk to this collection before it has moved on. I have seen some of the dear quilts before and it was a pleasure to visit them again. And luck us, the collector, Mary Ghormley was there that day and I quietly followed her and others around the gallery to hear the stories. Her affection for these doll quilts is heart warming as she is also speaking of the children who once wrapped their baby dolls inside. Mary also collected the doll beds and there are some beautiful examples in this part of the collection.

This is an interesting example of some of the cool things you will see on your visit to IQSC. Be sure you click on the picture to enlarge this "quilt". You will find the names of many quilt guilds. I missed the chance to ask museum personal what was behind the creation of this interesting piece. I can only guess at this point that these organizations support the center. it is beautifully made and I hope you all make a visit someday soon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baltimore On The Prairie

This was my view from the little deck of the room I shared with Nancy Kern at the conference, Baltimore on the Prairie this last week. Mahoney State Park is a lovely place for quilters to gather and hone their skills. While I seldom get outside for any length of time when working, this time I drove around before checking in. My granddaughter would be pretty excited by the pool. The hiking trails are applauded by many. The lodge is a nice place to stay. Not fancy but comfortable. And as a truly biased observer, I believe BOTP is a wonderful venue for making friends, studying with talented instructors and the sharing of our art with others who know what we are speaking about. This was an especially enjoyable few days for me personally. I am so honored to be asked back for next year. I have to say that if you are one of the people who decided to wait until 2011 and there are a lot of you, better get online and sign up. The spots are really going quickly!! I would love to see you there.

One of the pleasant things that struck me is that everyone was so productive. In the first place it is so nice to be hanging out with people who are obsessed with the same things you are. Check out the great fabric Lynn is cutting into to use in our one day class.

In the center we see Gail Chalker. Gail is here from Queensland,Australia. her arm is in a sling but she managed to get a lot done. This was my one day class and the picture on the table the project. Notice the sweet tin under the picture. It is candy tin that came with miniature milky way bars inside, but a Baltimore album quilt on the top and sides. I have mine, do you have yours? Seriously, they are collectors items these days! Okay, I was distracted so want to get back to Gail. You cannot see it, but the left side of her blond hair is pink!! Way to go Gail! But seriously, she owns a quilt shop, no gossiping allowed, or you will be encouraged to leave. In addition, she is getting a degree in theology, not to become a pastor, but because she wants to learn. She has been instrumental in challenging quilters to help make the biggest hexagon quilt in the world and it is believed that was achieved. There is not a quilt museum in Australia though the country has a rich history in quilt making. So, Gail took that task on as well. She managed to convince the powers that be to donate the land that already has historical buildings on sight. Now she also has a building and the last task is to bring all this together. I stand in awe of her dedication and energy. hats off to you, Gail.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Baltimore On The Prairie

In few days I will be traveling to Omaha Nebraska for the second annual Baltimore on The Prairie conference. This is my second year also and I have been looking forward to this all year. Last year was new and I was a little worried about how I would do, how I would be received, but I needn't have been concerned. I had a great room mate in Kathy Delaney and a wonderful administrator in Tresa Jones. My students, well, I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed my time in the class room! We had so much fun. There was a lot of learning going on. The learning was on both sides of the table. I have taught applique for more than twenty five years and learn something new every time. In the beginning, I was running to keep ahead of my students. Don't tell them, but sometimes I was perfecting my style just hours before entering the class room! These experiences have become part of the great love of my life.

Now you may be wondering about the pictures. I am excited to say that I have been invited back for a third year I did tell Tresa that next year I will be 70 years old in addition to celebrating my fiftieth wedding anniversary. She was not concerned and my friend Karen reminded that 70 is only a number. Thank you Karen. I wouldn't miss it and hope you don't either. So the top block is "An Eagle In My Garden" I designed this with both Baltimore and crazy quilts in mind. This will be my main conference class. It is a three day workshop taught over four days, bliss for the instructor and great for the student. My roots are definitely in Embroidery so you can count on at least a bit of hand stitching in my work. In this case and in addition to the floss embroidery I used 4mm silk ribbon to create the wreath in the claws of the eagle. There is so much more to share in this design so I hope you come along so i can share it with you.

The second block, " In The Heart Of a cherry" is a favorite of mine as much for technique as the image itself. The wreath is cut work applique featuring ins and outs, points, curves and more. The stems are embroidered and the cherries are perfect, I promise. This is my Plus One workshop which simply means that it is a one day class. The supply list for this design is very short. This is a project that you will carry around. I hope you take advantage of the conference. There is a warmth and friendship associated with being there.

Margaret, this is for you!

I read every comment on my blog and am so grateful for those of you who take the time to comment. It is wonderful to see your work and hear about your lives. Recently when it came time to draw names for the winner of my give away I cam across a comment from Margaret. She loves cats and wanted to see my son Danny's cat since I mentioned that Samantha is 22 years old. So Margaret, this is for you, and for anyone else loves animals. Samantha came to Danny through his sister Kelly. She knew that Danny wanted a pet and she had a friend with new kittens. We could say that the rest is history, but we would be leaving out a lot of information. First of all it needs to be said that Sam or "My sweetie" as Danny calls her. Of course he calls a lot of the women in his life "sweetie." Samantha is half pure Siamese and half feral so we weren't sure how life would be. She did bite Danny's dad a fair amount over the years, he claimed it because he would play with and tease her. She bit me severely twice, both times when I had the audacity to check on her when she was freaking out because she saw a strange cat through the window to the back yard. I guess as an indoor cat she had little experience with strange felines. That second time she nearly lost her happy home. Danny was living on his own by that time and couldn't have pets so Sam continued to live with us. Danny goes to all vet appointments and never fails to find her the minute he walks in my door. When he calls each morning it is to ask about his "sweetie" Sam is pretty old now and sleeps almost all the time. The vet says there is not much wrong, nothing to treat, she is simply aging. She will be 23 on Halloween day. Dan's dad and I worry about Danny. He will miss her so much. As a developmentally disabled adult he has had much loss in his life and this will be a hard one. But in the meantime, she still loves her head scratched and he still loves to do it!