Friday, August 31, 2012

Retreat Weekend and #LDSI

It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster around here. We had this rush of adrenaline, followed by knock-you-to-your-knees gratitude that everyone walked away, followed by the drudgery of dealing with insurance companies.   Whatever.  My boys are safe.  I can deal with the rest.

We peaked with the sentimental journey of my in-laws' 50th anniversary party.  What a beautiful celebration of family.

Finally I collapsed into the lulling relaxation of what was left of our quilt retreat weekend. 

 All of the WannaBees were there, so we did some work on our group quilt.

We played a couple of rounds of Left Right Center:

I started my first Christmas project for the season, a very old UFO that has been sitting in a Ziploc bag for probably ten years.  Once I started, I couldn't help kicking myself for not getting to it sooner; it is going together so beautifully and will be done in no time at all!

It will be either a table topper or a tree skirt.  You know, depending on how the center turns out.  (Shut up.  It hasn't been pressed yet.)

This weekend is the unofficial Labor Day Sew In - no prizes or contests that I'm aware of, but lots of quilty fun on twitter using #LDSI. I hope to get the top of this finished and sandwiched.  Is it too ambitious to think I might get it quilted?  There are no cross country meets, football games, lacrosse games or practices, or even much homework.  Just quilts and college applications.  We'll see.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sew Main Street

Tea Leaves and Thyme in Woodstock, GA
Last week Mom and I took a little field trip to a new quilt shop just little bit of a hike from home. The Bear helped out by needing a ride to a friend's house who lives in that direction, which we took as an excuse to go and have lunch, too.

On Main Street in Woodstock is a tea room called Tea Leaves and Thyme that is not only charming but also has fantastic food. 

 Seriously?  The salad trio is to die for.  Try the lavender lemonade if it's too hot for tea.

Finally we made our way just a few blocks down to the new quilt shop, Sew Main Street.

Debi has been the owner of the knitting shop next door (see pics below) since 2005, and decided to open a fabric store.  The shop is gorgeous, with lots of sewing samples and thoroughly modern fabrics. 

There's a whole room of holiday fabrics which, of course, was my downfall.  The whole shop is so light and roomy - not a cramped aisle of Civil War repros in sight. 

In fact, the only spot that felt crowded was the classroom where the UPS man was bringing in boxes of new fabric!

It was only polite to walk next door to their sister shop, The Whole Nine Yarns.   While I have never actually completed a knitting project, I like the idea of it.  Mom can knit and crochet beautifully.

We didn't do any damage here, but the shop was inviting and interesting.  They had a cozy seating area where two women sat knitting and chatting together, and a kitchen where someone was hand dyeing yarn.  You could grab a cup of coffee and check out this month's book club book, or get advice on a project.  It really makes me wish I knit!

If you find yourself in or near Woodstock, be sure to visit all three places.  They make for a perfect afternoon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I love how Georgie curls into a tight little ball like a furry cinnamon bun.
 Today was the first day of school for my kids, and the last first day that I will have all of them home together. Hard to believe that a year from now we will be taking my big boy to college.

All that to say that it's quiet at my house. Almost too quiet. I met a friend for coffee after carpool, got my hair cut, did two loads of laundry, worked on some SeamedUP stuff, and it's only 1:30.

It means that I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher and made the bed...and it stayed that way. It means no one asked for lunch as soon as I got the breakfast dishes done.

It means the dogs have been following me from room to room, napping at my feet, wondering where all their people went. I know how they feel.

It's so quiet that this fellow showed up for lunch.
 I did get some work done on my WannaBee's house block.  Jodi and Laura were right about ripping out those stitches - the quilting has gone smooth as silk since I got rid of the batting and back with the spray adhesive.  I've finished the pale blue and need to switch to the brown thread next, I think.  


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Going to Guild - Storybook Challenge

Monday night was challenge night at our guild, and it was a sentimental evening.  First of all, it's always overwhelming to see twenty-eight challenge quilts hanging around the room.  It amazes me how much incredible creativity and talent we squeeze into one suburban senior center.

Quilt for Osa's Pride by Ann Grifalconi
The Storybook Quilts project was the dream of Janie Stokes, a longtime guild member and former teacher.  Janie loved books, especially books with quilts in them.  She had collected over a hundred of these books, and challenged us two years ago to make a quilt to go with each one.  Guild members made thirty-five quilts that year, and the committee earned a grant from NQA to get the project started. 

This picture of Patty's quilted cape does not even remotely do it justice.  It is gorgeous!
When choosing the challenge for this year, we decided to do another round for the project.  Janie had been battling ovarian cancer for years, and I think we all knew that time was running out.  I thought for sure that she'd get to see these quilts at the meeting, that her determination and strength would win out one more time, but it was not to be.  Janie finally got to rest in April of this year.

Doris's quilt
So, of course, the meeting last night was emotional.  Janie was remembered - and occasionally cursed - for the challenging books she pressed into the hands of certain members.  She made some of us step outside our comfort zones.  And last night, Janie's husband and one of her dear friends were there with us to celebrate and remember and see this incredible legacy.

Ben's quilt won first prize.

Closeup of the work boots on Ben's quilt.
 When the blind voting ended, it was no shock that Ben and Patty had won the top two prizes.  But the really sweet moment was when we realized that one of Janie's quilts had the third most votes, and to watch Doris and Julie present the ribbon to Janie's husband.

My quilt for Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
No, my quilt didn't get any votes.  My prize is that it was finished!  Although I must confess that I covet these beautiful awards made by guild member Carol.  Aren't they gorgeous? 

I will try to come back and fill in the names of books and quilters.  I thought I would remember, but you know how that goes!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quilt Shop of DeLand

I managed to squeeze in one more quilt shop on our vacation while the boys were distracted by a vintage vinyl store.

Right off DeLand, Florida's charming main street is the Quilt Shop of DeLand.  This cozy store welcomed us in, both with the bright fabrics near the window and the staff's southern hospitality.  While getting this panel cut, we covered everything from baby quilts to college visits!

What shall I do with these?
I didn't have a lot of time here, but am so glad we stumbled across it.  There's nothing like a shelf of cool batiks to soothe your soul after a walking tour in near-100 degree heat!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quickie Quilt Show

While we were on our Florida beach trip/college tour I somehow managed to get to two quilt shops and a show. Pretty impressive for eight jam packed days with three kids and a very full car!

The view across the gallery
I already shared the great visit to Quilting by the Bay in Panama City.  That was easy - I just left everyone crashed at the condo and snuck out for an hour.  The second quilt shop wasn't too hard; there was a vinyl record store just a few shops down to distract the guys.  I'll show you pictures of that tomorrow.

But the show!  How do you squeeze in a quilt show on a family vacation?

You know how I love a Blooming 9 Patch
In my search for quilt shops in Tallahassee, I was disappointed to find that they all appeared to be closed down.  Despite that, there seems to be a fairly active guild that just happened to have their annual City Hall show going on (you can still catch it!).  Even better?  It's free!

I convinced the family to drop me off at the door and come back in 15 minutes.  I know...not long enough...but there were no vendors and it was 40 quilts.  I actually got to look at them all and take some pictures before rushing back down the stairs.   

"The Last Leaf" by Linda Dozier
 This quilt is absolutely gorgeous!  Linda says this technique was from a Ruth McDowell class.

"Floor Show" by Linda O'Sullivan
I am always transfixed by quilts that incorporate medallions and other circular piecing.  This quilt has so much going on without being too busy.

I kept my promise and was out in 15 minutes, but just a little more refreshed and ready to face the next leg of our journey. 

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