Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What IS normal, anyway?

Is there a normal life? Does anyone ever live a normal life? Sometimes I find myself wanting to “get back to a normal routine”. But usually, it just means “getting to do whatever I want to do, when I want to do it”. Wait a minute – that sounds exactly like my definition of being retired. And since I am retired, why am I not living a normal life? Oh, I know! I haven’t done a lick of sewing or quilting since I put all of those sleeves on all those quilts that you saw in my last post. I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms.

News from the studio

Studio time has been limited to non-sewing stuff. I finally got sick of the larger pieces of batting stashed all over the place, and got them a bit organized. I took a hamper we weren't using and put all the smaller pieces in it - when the bag is full, I'll put them into a clear bag and put them in the guild auction in the fall. The big pieces I measured, labeled, and have found a place for them in the closet.

Sometimes, I like to serge the raw edges of yardage before it is pre-washed. The little, inexpensive serger I have has languished, unused for a few years, so I knew it had to be serviced. I'd prefer to just make it a boat anchor, but in case it could be saved... So, my traveling service guy stopped by the house, spruced 'er up good, tightened up the tension control wheels, and now she just hums along. Just wish she would thread herself!

A visit to the Mead Orchard

Last week, the DH and I drove to upstate NY, to visit my sister and her DH. His family owns a large orchard near Tivoli, Mead Orchards. They grow many varieties of apples, peaches, pears, cherries, apricots, you name it. They also have some acreage in veggies and fruits, like strawberries and blueberries for the summer markets. They have pick your own in the fall, make their own cider, and on and on.

Oh, the DS and I have started our own shop hop in that part of the country. There are NO quilt stores in her area – but if you are willing to drive (and who isn’t?) you can hit a few. We found 2 of them, one in Selkirk (got some batik @ 25% off) and my favorite so far, The Patchwork Co., in Windham. That's one of their blocks of the month. Great store! 

 Back to real life

After all of that, it’s back to “normal” – but the mundane kind: fill up the frig, go to the pharmacy, make dr. appointments, take care of guild business, etc. and still no quilting! Sorry, I just can’t devote my life to the mundane. So, the payoff for all that mundane stuff is to reward myself with studio time!! The goal today is to wash the batik I got in NY and figure out where I am on that Precision Piecing class quilt.
So, do the daily chores with joy, knowing that your reward is waiting for you in your sewing space!
Now let’s go quilting!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Appalachian Heritage Quilters Quilt Show - Huge success

Milky Way
The AHQ quilt show was a huge success!! Approximately 160 quilts were on display at the Crossroads Christian Church in Gray, TN this past Friday and Saturday – and they were beautiful! Best show we have had since I have been a member. Check out the Facebook page for Appalachian Heritage Quilters to see lots of pictures and info. I can hardly wait for next year. I was blessed to sell one of my quilts, Milky Way, to a local couple who will put it on display in their home. 


To get ready for the show, I needed to put hanging sleeves on 8 quilts, and a binding on one of those.  It was a customer’s first quilt that she agreed enter into the show. She did a fantastic job, didn't she?

Customer's first quilt!
As you can guess, I spent last weekend with needle and thread. If you are looking for a needle for hand sewing that glides through the fabric and has a big enough eye, that you can actually thread it – I have the answer: Dritz Embroidery needles, size 8. Then there's the only thimble I can wear now. I don't remember the name of it, but it has a rubber body that is comfortable and functional on my aging knuckles. 

By the way, setting up a quilt show is a major deal. Not to mention, getting it all out of the church sanctuary quickly, so it could be set up for Sunday morning!! Here are just a few pictures of set up.  Hmm, the few pictures I have here seem to imply that Angie and Sandy were the only ones working - but there were a bunch of us. The others must have been just out of picture range, or taking a cookie break. A BIG thanks to everyone who pitched in to make it happen!

If you have never entered a quilt in a quilt show - just go ahead and do it. It is great fun and very rewarding.

Now y'all have a great week, and let's go quilting!