The Journey of a Laugh-Time

I was so busy having a fun-filled 5 days with friends at QuiltCon that I forgot to blog.  I also forgot to Instagram, Facebook and Flickr!  Oh, what a fun-filled journey.    

 Four of us set out early Wednesday last, stopping along the way to visit with other QuiltCon travelers.   Our first food stop was about 45 minutes out of town!   After lunch,  we found Sew What....a quilt shop in Palestine, Texas, where I made my first fabric purchase of the trip

 before boogieing on in to Austin, where in spite of the traffic, we hit the road running Thursday morning and continued non-stop eating and shopping and laughing until arriving back home after dark last night......and I think this would be considered a run-on sentence, don't you? 

We did a huge amount of shopping Thursday before enjoying the Austin night life at The Mohawk where the Moda Party had a sell-out crowd.  It was standing room only until we found a table to sit and enjoy the crowd and music.  A great evening together, laughing 'til we cried (and more) while sharing events of the day. 

I had the pleasure of visiting with a Yoshiko Jinzenji and having her sign two pieces of her fabric I purchased.    She is a most beautiful and talented quilt artist and her work continues to inspire me. 

And, who wouldn't want to get a temporary tattoo....especially if it's a Michael Miller block pattern. 

Beth Rowan of Rock Paper Scissors had a most informative demo - sew many substrates.  There's more than quilter's cotton out there.  There is also voile and silk, wool and corduroy, linen and home dec, of course, as well as double gauze and jersey.  Not only did Beth have sample quilts made using each substrate, but she also advised on what batting to use for each type fabric.  Great information!

 I had just purchased a Malka Dubrawsky layer cake and charm pack when I saw her chatting with another QuiltCon shopper.  Too late to get Malka's signature on a piece of her fabric.   She's one of my favorite fabric designers for Moda and she's commonly known in blog world as A Stitch In Dye.

Oh, and the most talented lady when it comes to using scraps.  Victoria Findlay Wolfe gave us a few tips to sewing great curves during her demonstration.    Love following Victoria's blog.   It's so fun to watch her take a traditional quilt block and make it into a very modern one that still has as much warmth as one of her grandmother's blocks. 

She also autographed my tote spotlighting her quilt "A Summer's Day".  Interesting that the tote was made from recycled plastic water bottles.
I came home with some screen printing knowhow after spending three hours with Celina Mancurti in her workshop. 
and here's a couple of out-takes from her class.....

my apron that I screen printed the green bird onto and got Celina's signature for the memory.  It was a fun workshop. 

And some of the fabric that followed me home!
Leaving a good time is never easy....nor is the packing it all in! The loot was packed in from every angle and  I can assure you that the four of us were more crowded after QuiltCon than before.  It was a journey of a laugh-time and memories were made. 


I thank my lucky stars:

Yes, I'm thankful that I have a brain....and most of the time am quite successful at using it; however, today wasn't one of those days.  I guess I should have 'done the math' a little more accurately. 

It's like this.  Our guild activity for the next several months is to make black and white stars.  Each month we will be prompted about the size to make  and how many we are to take to the next meeting to swap around with other participants in the activity.  Last month went beautifully.  I made my four 12 1/2" blocks for the swap and came home with a nice variety. 

12 1/2" black and white star quilt blocks

For round two, we were told to make ten 6 1/2" blocks.  Not a problem.....made many this size before so I'm sure that goal can be reached on this rainy afternoon.   Woah......meaning cease or slow down the course of action.  While my little black and white star is a cutey, it is not 6 1/2" square!!!!!   It's only 4 1/2".  What the, er,  I mean, where did I go wrong?  As the voice on my GPS navigator dodad says, "re-calculating" ! 

4 1/2" black and white star qult block

Thankfully, I  hadn't cut too much fabric and had only made up 10 of the little four-patch centers.    May not be such a waste after all since all our blocks will ultimately be divisible by three!  You see, if I finish 2 more, then I can attach these three 4 1/2" blocks to one of my 12 1/2" ers.  

4 1/2" black and white star qult block

Thanking my lucky stars as I do the ~ 


A little orphan block diversion

Just a small diversion this morning.  When I opened my emails and discovered that I could have a better free-motion-quilting-learning-experience if I brought a quilt sandwich (or two).....and the best way to get this ready in quick fashion for the workshop was to use orphan blocks left over from prior workshops and classes or quilts. 

Luck be a lady this morning.   I found 6 blocks and quickly put them together.  But the quilt maker in me decided it needed more  - it needed borders.  I planned to enlarge my diversion by sampling a few border fabrics.  A plus to adding borders:  I have even more fabric to practice my free-motion quilting! 

I first auditioned gold shot cotton with the black
and the purple/magenta
and finally the orange dot.  This one won my heart.  My favorite of all the fabrics I had on hand.....the orange with purple dot Kaffe.  Will you be my valentine? 

I really could have used two more blocks for balance...but since I'm calling this my diversion quilt, then it is what it is
Done and Done
Ramona is hosting a free-motion quilting workshop Saturday, February 14 from 10 - 3 at Quilt 'N Stitch in West Monroe.  Here's the Nela MQG link.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity to practice free-motion quilting on your domestic. 

Organizational Mojo~

I had my organizational mojo working this morning when I was abruptly interrupted by the HuMan!
He wanted my pajamas! 

organized improvisational quilt blocks:  Marty Mason

and the nonsensical conversation continued (just long enough to interrupt my organizational mojo). 

Me:  Why do you want my pajamas?
HuMan:  I'm washing clothes!
Me:  What color?
HuMan:  Does it matter?
Me:  Louder YES! 
HuMan:   You'll have to explain that one to me.
Me:  Still LOUD.  If you are washing whites, then I'll just take off my tee shirt.   But if you're washing colors, then I'll have to take off my flannel bottoms.  It's cold in here.  I don't want to strip naked if I don't have to! 
HuMan:   Hmm....hadn't even given the cold air a thought!  

What a pile of scraps!

I stalk off to the bathroom to go ahead and get it over with:  took off my tee shirt and flannels.  Now he can wash clothes until his little heart is content. 

Mojo is a power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective, successful. etc.

organized improvisational quilt blocks:  Marty Mason

I've not yet gotten my organizational mojo back, but I'm working on it without interruption.   Success is now in sight.......but I
still must get my thoughts organized  about how to frame this long lost and almost forgotten quilt top sample I made for a "what to do with your half-square triangles?" quilt guild program.     I think  I'll make it the medallion center and frame it in a multi-colored solid border, pieced together in an improvisational style. 

Also on the morning agenda was selecting a binding for this little dotty quilt....yes, the black and white dots won out. 

Yeah, my organizational mojo working! 

organized improvisational quilt blocks:  Marty Mason

organized and focused:  success


There's a STAR out tonight ~

The local quilt guild is subdivided into three 'chapters' which is confusing to the non-locals who try to find our guild's meeting date and place since each 'chapter' meets at different times on different dates at different places!  And, what's more the guild's funds are diffused as is the camaraderie, the activities, the programs and demonstrations.  We are a small quilting community and it seems apparent to me that so much could be accomplished if we banned together as one each month. 

Life's not always black or white.....but wouldn't it be  nice?
Time to stop whining about what will not be ~ 

My HuMan of the house continues to tell me that life isn't always black and white....that what is apparent to me is not so for everyone and I should just embrace the way it is.  When things can't be changed, then it's time for me to change the way I think about it.   So I have and console myself in knowing how much I enjoy my small little quilting 'chapter' and how active we few are and how much we give back to the community and to the guild. 

So, as I was saying, the local guild has three 'chapters' and I'm a part of the Sunshine Chapter and you guessed it, we  meet in the sunny part of the day....which would be the afternoon and our very first 2015 activity as a group is all about stars - in black and white.  There was much smiling, cheering and hand-clapping when our activity rep presented to us our  first assignment to get our quilts made.  

This month we are to make four 12 1/2" star blocks with the stars being the dominant black.  And, we are to keep one of the blocks as our own and put the other three into a brown bag.  At our next meeting, those participating will take home a brown bag with three star blocks unlike the ones we brought.  What a great way to re-mix.   Each month will be different, but in the end, we'll all have enough stars to complete a nice size starry black and white lap quilt. 

There's a black and white star out tonight!

It was 'bout dinner time last night that I had two of my four star blocks completed.  Today will find me searching for more star block patterns and more black and white fabric to get my first month's assignment finished.   

There's a black and white star out tonight!

May all the stars align to fill my black and white quilt top.


Louisiana Traveling Quilt ~ an update to my update!!

Every now and then I remember that both my short term and my long term memory is failing me.  Anybody else out there remembering that it's happening to them?  Ah, come on!  Don't make me feel so alone. 

Louisiana Traveling Quilt

Was it only yesterday that I bragged blogged that I had completed my last rotation to our Louisiana Traveling Quilt.  Yes, only yesterday and almost simultaneously with my post did I get a comment from Mary that she didn't need to get this one again......she had already finished her block and sent it to me and she didn't want it again!  Okay, now what?  It was just about then that both my short term and long term memory kicked in!   The ten of us have been working on this project for the past ten months....each adding our block and passing it on to the NEXT one in the rotation!  Month by month, we were adding a block and passing it on:  not a hard thing to remember. 

Okay, I have now meekly unpacked the box that I had prematurely packed and labeled and organized my thoughts around adding another block to finish the top left corner....the same corner that I should have finished earlier. 

Louisiana Traveling Quilt
Well, I'll be a donkey's behind!  In just about  no time I had this one done. 
Louisiana Traveling Quilt
Here it is....all my houses sewn in to complete this quilt top. 

I like it ~  I like my neighborhood ~ a very friendly neighborhood ~ no bickering ~ no slacking ~ everyone doing what needs to be done ~ to get the job done ~ 

It is now repackaged and on its way to the postman
to be on its way to its final destination
Glen, this is a great Louisiana Traveling Quilt Theme:  HOUSES!  

Louisiana Traveling Quilt - an update

I've been traveling today, but stayed in the house all day and sewed.   I was just a tad behind in my Louisiana Traveling Quilt so had a busy afternoon playing catch up to get Glen's quilt block finished.   Glen chose houses for her theme and even sent along in the traveling packet some paper-pieced houses. 

Louisiana Traveling Quilt
I selected two houses and one tree to surround with my 2 1/2" blocks.  My add-on is now finished and it will be in the mail to Mary first thing in the morning. 
Louisiana Traveling Quilt

Louisiana Traveling Quilt

Love to travel - love houses.  This was my first traveling quilt experience and was so fun that I hope to do it again.   Ten of us added a block a month and now we'll all get back our quilt top to add on even more blocks or borders and then quilt it! 

Louisiana Traveling Quilt

One corner left for Mary to do her architectural magic.

Louisiana Traveling Quilt


Beaches - Peaches

It was a week at the beach.  The air was cool but the rooms were affordable!
  Do you get the picture?

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason
On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason

On the beach at Seagrove Beach, Florida by Marty Mason