Sunday, April 24, 2011


This is where I'll be tomorrow.

I have only a limited time because I'm combining a trip to the show with a family visit and have to be back by the middle of next week.  My plan is to spend Tuesday visiting the Quilt Museum, Hancocks of Paducah, and some of the art galleries and shops in downtown Paducah.  Tuesday evening, as a contestant, I can attend the awards ceremony free of charge, and see the stars win their prizes.  (I wonder if there's a Red Carpet...) Then I can go to the preview evening for two hours, and spend part of Wednesday back at the show.  That will have to do it, but it should be enough for a good look at the quilts.  I find I can only take a short time with the vendors before sensory overload sets in, and I'm not in shopping mode anyway.
Should be fun!  Photos next week.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Test

I am spending this week as a substitute nanny for my grandsons, and then hope to drive to Paducah and then on to Missouri for another week. So blogging may be a bit irregular for a while. As a computer I have brought along my new iPad, which I find has some real limitations.

One is the weird keyboard, with its only sometimes helpful autofill. Also I don't know how to upload photos or even if that is possible, and finally, Apple does not like Google apparently, so reading my regular blogs is a problem. It's frustrating to be away from the familiar, but new things have their joys too; and who can complain about having the latest cool tech gadget!

So this post is a test of how everything works. Thanks for the comments on the elephants. I'll see you when I can, and please don't think I'm ignoring you!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Six Elephants

Road Trip
41" x 41"
Machine applique, machine pieced, and machine quilted

Finally, the "punch line of a joke" quilt for a guild challenge can be revealed. When I first heard this challenge, I immediately thought of this joke because my husband has always thought it's hysterically, laugh-out-loud funny.  (This tells you a lot about him, probably.)  I also immediately thought, "I can't draw that."  However, as time passed, I kept thinking about it, and thinking about it, and with the help of Google images and how-to-draw web sites, here it is.  I got lots of inspiration and tips from Mary Lou Weidman's wonderful books, and the Hoochey Mama monkey wrench blocks in the border are hers too.

I loved every minute of making this quilt; I had been in a creative slump, and this was the jolt that got me out of it. The bright colors brightened the dreary weather, and I loved the silliness of it.   I'm not much for embellishment usually, but for this quilt, even that was fun.  My favorite is Mama E's version of a flag pin.  She's patriotic, of course--an elephant, after all.  Currently, I'm still looking for an appropriate charm to put on a bracelet for Sister Elephant!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Back from Darkness

We've had no internet service here for 12 l-o-n-g days.  Our internet provider (a local broadband company) stopped working, there was no way to contact them, and we were stranded.  After several days of denial, we decided they had gone out of business, and over my husband's groaning, bit the bullet and contacted AT&T for the bundle of internet, cable, and phone.  A week later, we've got it!

Total excitement!  Not only is it wonderful not to read and answer emails on the tiny phone screen, but this is the first time we've ever had cable TV.  And of course there's the new wonder of DVR!  (I've already set it up to record Glee and Dancing with the Stars forever.) And maybe we'll have faster internet for better streaming videos.  And caller ID!  And the I-pad I got for my birthday is not just sitting in its box.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

Ironically, as the AT&T installer arrived, the old internet came back.  But I've written them a letter...  So much for shopping locally; we tried.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've gone back to working on my Athena's Puzzle quilt.  This is only a small part of the blocks I've finished, and there will be many more.  If anyone has seen this design completed, you know that they actually are set on the diagonal.  However they're sewn together in straight rows and then trimmed.

There will be lots of waste, but I'm sure I can find a use for the partial blocks.

It's an easy pattern; the only tricky thing is sewing the strips in the right order and orientation, but now that I have worked out a system, it's going fairly quickly, and has reached that nice, relaxed, flow state of sewing.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Satisfying Finish

Once I went back to the nine-patches, the addictive quality of these little blocks kicked in.  I had only intended to make a few more, and then go back to another project.  Instead, I finished this, which can be a lap quilt for the veteran's hospital where one of my guilds sends quilts.

It turned out to be quite a stash buster; when I started cutting the longer sashing strips I was no longer using tiny scraps and had to use larger pieces.  That's a good thing.  The final outer border used up a piece of amazingly hideous dull green and brown fabric, and I pieced the back, using up even more fabric which seemed a bit dated to me, but works perfectly here.  So I'm very pleased with the whole thing.

I'm also happy with the batting I used.  I like polyester batting for service quilts because of the easy care, and this time I bought a new product from Mountain Mist called Quilt-Light batting.  It's very low loft, which makes it light, non-bulky, and easy to manipulate for quilting in the Janome, and I had no problem with the fabric creeping and producing tucks.  It's soft and drapey when finished also.   The king-size batt I bought should make three more quilts.

A few other things to be pleased with:  Peppermint Stars is packed and on its way to Paducah, I have a place to stay when I go there, and all my Alzheimer's quilts have sold.   If anyone reading bought one, thank you so much!