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I made my first quilt in 1973 while pregnant with my second daughter. My mother and grandmother both quilted but had not taught me, so I really began from scratch. I wanted a quilt to cover her bassinet, it was awful but it kept her head from rubbing the woven bassinet. My next attempt was a crib quilt for her but I had no one to tell me how large to make it. I measured the mattress and made it that size. Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam with no room to cover the baby. It just lays flat on the mattress. To say I have learned a lot, is an understatement.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Strippin N Stitchin

We just completed our 5 State, 12 Quilt Shop Strip N Stitch bus trip. What fun! Each bus was filled with happy quilters having a grand time. It never ceases to amaze me how happy quilters are as a whole.

Maybe it is the life style of the quilter that should be studied by socialogists to determine how to train people to live a good life. Oh wait! That is what we do in quilt shops, teach quilters.

Here is the issue. You put 50 plus women in a small confined space (a bus) and tell them to sit still. Then you move that space across hundreds of miles. You only allow them to leave that space for controlled time periods and then to be put in another confined space (a quilt shop) and tell them to they must eat and drink while they are in this confined space....on yes, they must shop while there. And then expect them to be happy? Good grief! Aren't we expecting too much from our quilters?

Translate that to what is real. You put 50 plus women, who share a common passion (quilting), in a room together where they can laugh, chat, visit, sleep, sew, eat chocolate and relax. You take them across hundreds of miles of beautiful countryside in the fall or spring. You then open the doors to some of the most gorgeous quilt shops in the country and give them time to shop till they drop and also eat good food and laugh some more. You show them mountains of inspiration for projects, then move them on to the next shop.

Expecting too much from our quilters? Heavens NO. They are expecting us to find them new and better shops for the next trip and to get it going soon.

I have posted some of the kits that were the best sellers (read most inspirational) for the bus participants and maybe you can feel some of the excitement and joy they felt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Today I wore yellow shoes to work. Bright, happy, yellow shoes. The weather was gray and overcast and I needed a lift, so out came the yellow shoes. Back in 1960- something-or-other, when I graduated and began my first job I had to walk five blocks from my parking lot to work. When the weather was ugly, I had a bright yellow London Fog rain coat, yellow T-strap pumps and a clear plastic bubble umbrella with bright yellow butterflies painted all over it. When everyone else was walking to work with dark colored rain gear, I looked and felt like walking sunshine. It made me feel good. It seemed to keep the nasty weather at bay. I still feel that way when I wear yellow shoes. With the long skirts popular now, they look especially nice just peaking out from under the hemline when you walk around. There is just nothing like a good pair of yellow shoes to keep your spirits up.
Now just what have yellow shoes got to do with quilting? Well, everything. After amassing huge collections of wonderful fabrics, quilters are making more scrap quilts than ever before. But these quilts need a cohesive and happy note. That note is the color yellow. For those of us who love the brighter shades and hues a sunny shade of yellow is more appropriate. For those who lean toward the warmer, country tones more indicative of the Kansas Troubles or Thimbleberries look, gold tones are the way to go. Unless you are making a very controlled scrap quilt, i.e. red,white and blue, blue and white or red and white, you need some yellow in your scrap quilts. It adds the accent that brings all the other colors to life. Much like sunshine brings life to all areas of our lives.
The next time you are putting fabrics together for a quilt, don't just consider the shape of the pieces, the size of the print and the scale of the design, really think about your color choices. Consider adding a touch of yellow to the design and see if it does not give you a quilt that says "hey, look me over, I am special and will make you feel good". Then, you too, may decide that it is a day to try wearing yellow shoes.


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