Quilting Weather!

24 09 2009

After 59 straight days of 100+ degree weather, fall has finally come to San Antonio, Texas! We are having rain, which is liquid gold for us and the day’s high is to be 69 degrees. This virtually unheard of in September; are we in for a frigid winter in south Texas?

The great thing about cooler weather, for me at least, is that it is so much fun to be up in my studio quilting.  I have huge windows in my loft and it is “snuggly” to see the rain and the hear the hum of my machine as I move along the frame.  Don’t get me wrong…too much rain is not good for us south Texas residents as our soil doesn’t hold on to too much and then we have flooding BUT some rain is WONDERFUL and gives me a great excuse not to do any yard work!

I am still finding homes in my studio for my purchases at Innovations. I bought more Bottom Line BOBS, which I love as well as some Lava, both by Superior. I have used alot of King Tut but this will be my first experience with Lava; I think it will be lovely on a quilt that I am going to do for a customer that will be edge to edge (I have a king size quilt that I am still working on right now…I am almost ready to turn the quilt and do the last borders, so I am excited!)

I still work part time as a school librarian and our school is feeling the influx of the swine flu. I had a parent tell me this week that both of her children have had the flu, they were swobbed and the test was positive for H1N1, but the doctor did not send the samples on to the CDC…he believes any flu that is seen right now is the H1N1…interesting commentary. I hope all the kiddoes do okay and are well soon!


Back to San Antonio!

21 09 2009

After having another fantastic Innovations conference, I am back in San Antonio. It is great to get back and get started on trying all the new techniques that I learned while at the conference

Actually, I got right back to work on Sunday (my flight back to San Antonio got in at 6:15 PM on Saturday). I am almost finished with a kingsize quilt with beautiful embroidery. My accident threw off my schedule somewhat, but I think I am back on to it now. I have a throw and two wall hangings to quilt, so I need to really get a move on!

I bought three lovely new pantographs while at the conference. Actually, I joined the Anne Bright Panto club since I bought the new pantos at her booth. They are really lovely and perfect for quilts that need edge to edge quilting.

One more note about Innovations: the people that I met were wonderful both in the classes that I taught and the classes in which I was a participant. I would highly recommend attending this conference…great fun and a great learning environment.

Innovations Day 2

18 09 2009

What an awesome day! Today I got to teach some very wonderful and cute people how to create a business blog.What a treat! Later, I had the opportunity to have lunch with another APQS owner as well as her guild. You cannot imagine how much you can learn from an informal lunch with quilters from a different geographical area. I learned about the geograpical differences in Washington, current quilting trends, and who had been to Texas!  After lunch, I took a wonderful class on feathers from Elaine Huffman. If you have been following my blog, you will remember that Elaine is the author of a book called Bread and Butter Quilting and I am a great fan of her techniques. The finale for the day was a class with Sally Terry. Sally is not only a phenominal quilter, she is HILARIOUS and super talented. I loved her class, which is the first I have ever taken from her. She had some super designs to share as well as great tips for customer service.

After a lovely dinner at the Pacific Grill, next to my hotel, the Courtyard, I am sitting once again in front of my picture window watching the sunset over Mt. Rainier. How blessed I am! More tomorrow….

Innovations Day 1

17 09 2009

Today was certainly a day for information overload, but in a GREAT way. This was my day to take classes all day and see how much I could learn and, in turn, provide new possibilities to my clients. The teachers that I had today were excellent: Sue Patten, an award winning quilt artist, Grace Anderson, an experienced quilter who shared her designs in a class called Echo Explosions, a class on quilting pantographs and, for the grand finale, a maintenance class for my APQS machine.

Taking classes always makes me rethink how I am doing things and reignites my imagination to other ways to approach machine quilting. I am hopeful that the new design techniques that I have learned today will be as exciting to you as they are to me and will add a new dimension to the quilting experience.

Tomorrow I will be teaching my first class and then have the opportunity to take additional classes for myself.  I am also having the opportunity to meet people from our APQS forum as well as friends that I made last year during Innovations. All in all, this is going to be a jam packed week not only for teaching but for learning.

Viewing Mt.Rainier

16 09 2009

Greetings from Tacoma, WA! I am sitting in my hotel room with the most incredible view of Mt. Rainier that you could ever imagine. It is a beautiful sunny day here and I can also look over to an area with several slips and lovely sailboats. I love this part of the world…it is so beautiful.

I am a VERY fearful flyer…I had a bad experience over 20 years ago and I have never allowed myself to forget it.  With some of the recent events (the Hudson River splash down that saved lives after birds flew into the engines, blown fuselages, etc), I was more fearful than ever…almost to the point that I thought I couldn’t come to this event. Luckily, I have great friends who are supportive and a wonderful husband…they have “prayed” me through letting me know that I was in their thoughts and prayers throughout the day today as I flew from SA to Seattle.  The first leg of the flight was tough on me, but I have to say, as the day went on, I was more peaceful and was even able to relax a little bit on the 3 hr flight and listen to my iPod…this in itself is a miracle. My Point: Don’t underestimate the power of prayer…knowing that I was in people’s thoughts and prayers was very comforting.  Since I will be teaching again in April in Providence, RI, I have to have a victory over this tremendous fear and I think, thanks to God and my friends praying, I am well on my way.

Tomorrow I am taking a TON of classes and will report on what I learn later in the day. Thursday and Friday, I will be teaching my blogging classes and as well as taking classes for my own self edification.  Stay tuned…anything that I think is helpful, I will pass along.  I will also introduce my students to you…I had two really great classes last year and know they will be great this year, too.

Well, it is time for my teacher’s meeting so I will sign off for now. More tomorrw…

Innovations Tomorrow!

14 09 2009

Tomorrow morning I will place my fear of flying sassy self on a plane and head to Tacoma, WA for the 2009 Innovations Machine Quilting Conference. I am teaching two classes, but I have also registered to take several classes. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from some very talented machine quilters and I don’t want to miss it!

Please join me as I share my experiences, the classes attended and taught and, of course, the wonderful people that I will be sure to meet.  It’s going to be GREAT!

Back To See Another Day

10 09 2009

I believe that I am always thankful for my family and friends, but sometimes I wonder if I have not been thankful enough for the simple blessings of getting up every morning and being alive and well. That might have been true in the past, but I got a giant reality check a few days ago and I hope my story will explain my lack of posts recently and be helpful to you.

I was on my way home from my part time job when my purse fell down around my feet and my phone was dislodged. In my stupid attempt to untangle myself and retrieve my phone (I was not smart enough to try to stop by the side of the road or get over to a side street), I veered from the road path, over a center median with a huge boulder that sent me airborne. I could feel the car starting to roll over and then, just like the scene in The Wizard Of Oz, when Dorothy’s house plunks down in Munchkin Land, it righted itself and landed with 3 flat tires and the underbelly of the car destroyed. Amazingly, I was not hurt; God had my guardian angel on duty and I didn’t have a scratch or bruise. The miracle of this was brought home to me by the insurance adjuster who kept asking my husband if I was hurt…my car was totalled and, according to the adjuster, 6 ” would have made the difference in the final scenario, which wouldn’t have been a happy ending.

So what is my take on this experience? First, I am thankful that the God took care of me and I am alive and well. Secondly, DON’T LET ANYTHING DISTRACT YOU FROM THE ROAD!!!! I have driven the same stretch of road forever, but in the few seconds I was distracted I ended up wrecking my car and coming close to wrecking myself! I have seen the recent pieces on the national news about how cell phone usuage, eating while driving, etc can increase the chances for accidents and now I am a true believer. Please keep all your “stuff” away from your feet and your phone put away; I was blessed and now I keep my purse, phone, and anything that could be a distraction in the back seat.

I believe that everything that happens has a purpose, so perhaps this experience will help you think about the little things that can distract you during a drive…changing stations on your radio or iPod, phone calls, eating, shaving or putting on makeup while on your commute (yes, I have seen this as well as people eating their cereal while on a major highway). I didn’t hurt anybody or myself with my stupidity, but I was VERY blessed.  Please be careful!

It has taken several days to get through the process of officially totalling my car, getting another vehicle, etc, but, thankfully, that seems to be completed and I am ready to get back to the business at hand. Next week I will be teaching in Tacoma, WA at the Innovations Quilt Conference, and then I will be back to work in my little studio to finish several quilts and some embroidery “