A Quilt on a Barn!

We got an email this morning from Heather Ladick. Here’s what she said:

“I am a quilt shop owner in Cynthiana, KY. I wanted to drop you both a note to tell you that one of your quilt patterns is forever immortalized on a barn. In our state, we have a tourism project where people are painting quilt blocks on 8′ x 8′ plywood and hanging them on barns. It has become so very popular and all our counties in the state participate. It is such a treat to drive and find a new one on a barn.

I do some painting myself on the side and have completed a few of these in our area. Last winter I had a customer come in who wanted a block to commemorate their family’s retirement from a greenhouse business they owned for over 45 years. Do you know which pattern they picked, of all the quilts, blocks, books, and magazines in the shop?

Well, I just wanted to pass along this photo to you both. They are so honored to have such a beautiful quilt in place, but really, all credit should be to both of you for the creation of such a lovely pattern. The owners of the greenhouse, now in their 90s, were so touched and happy when their children hung the block on their barn.

Thank you for your inspiration that reached far.”

Wow! We are so honored to have one of our quilts up there for all to see! Thank you, Heather, for sharing this wonderful story with us! 

BTW – The name of our quilt is Briar Rose and it was first published as a stand-alone pattern. Later it was included in our book, Flowering Favorites, which is currently out of print.

Details are wonderful!

I love digital photography. I’ve never been a great photographer, but my digital camera makes me look like I’m much more skilled than I am. I love being able to snap as many photos as I want to with no thought about how much film I might be wasting. I love being able to delete bad images – rather than trying to figure out what to do with bad prints that I paid money to have developed. 

I also love being able to zoom in. My new tiny little Canon PowerShot SD950 (click to read a review) takes 12.1 megapixel images! The images are big enough that I can crop in to show detailed close-ups. So this plant…

…becomes this lovely detail. FYI: this is a poisonous plant that smells really bad when you break its stem. I can’t remember the name. It makes pointy seed balls and is very prolific.

The leaves of these tropical cannas…

…have an almost wood-grained look.

I’m going to take more of these detail shots. I think they could easily work their way into a quilt!

He’s really moving now!

Here is a new movie of my grandson, Jack, on the floor in my studio. I have the camera. You can hear Elanor who is sitting near me on the floor. 

Jack doesn’t crawl so much as he swims on the floor. He’s fast enough that I have to keep my eye on him. He really likes the printer. I’m not looking forward to the day when he discovers my thread. 

Road Warriors

My son, Christopher, is a big believer in bicycles. He rides as much as he can. In fact, his car spends more time sitting in the driveway than it does anywhere else. This is good and I’m proud of him for doing his part to cut down on emissions. Chris has even taught himself how to repair bikes and has set up a small bicycle shop in his garage. He buys used bikes, repairs them, and sells them. He has refurbished bikes for his wife, Lorna, and for Elanor. 

Both of my sons learned to ride bikes when they were young. When we lived in Tulsa they rode them a lot because our street was safe. When we moved to Sherman, TX, the bicycle riding came to a pretty quick halt. Our street was safe enough to ride on but they were getting big enough to want to go places and the city streets here are not particularly bike friendly. In fact drivers can be positively aggressive toward bicyclists. So, even though I know it’s a very good thing, when Christopher started riding his bike all over town at any time of the day or night, I got nervous. He assures me that he has found safe routes around town and I believe him – mostly. But I’m a mom so I still worry. 
Recently he found (and I admit it, it was with my help) a tandem bike. This is a contraption that attaches to a regular bicycle to add another seat. That makes it easier for them all to take family bike rides! Chris has Elanor attached to his bike and Jack rides in the seat on Lorna’s bike. They rode to our house for dinner last week. I took these photos as they were riding off into the sunset to go home.
Please be kind to the bicyclists that you come across when you are out driving around. Their mom’s will thank you for it.

Creativity is work!

A friend sent me a link to a video clip by Ira Glass (thanks, Nysha!). Ira Glass is the host of This American Life, a truly fine weekly radio show on NPR that I never miss.

In this video clip Ira talks about the fact that, especially at the outset, a person has to work at their craft. He may be in radio, and we may be quilters, but he speaks the truth. To see Ira, click here.

Sunny Flowers in Bryan, TX

I taught the Sunny Flowers class yesterday to 22 lovely ladies from the Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild in Bryan, TX. Anne Perry, the “blog mistress” and/or historian, asked my permission to take photographs of the class throughout the day to post on their guild’s blog. I said yes and she discretely took photos (and some videos, also with permission) throughout the day. 

Anne does not let any grass grow under her feet! Today she sent me a link to the photos. I’m impressed! This is my first experience with a guild blog. What a good idea! Click here to go to the photos taken in my class. Scroll up and down to see more of their blog.

Ikea Curtains = Fabric!

I used to have folding doors that, when closed, separated my living room from the studio. In all of the 15 years we have lived in the this house, those doors have been closed maybe 20 times. It occurred to me during the remodel that it might look better with the doors down. It is better!

One set of the doors used to fold up against my design wall. With the doors gone, I have gained about a foot of usable space on my design wall. And, while the doors didn’t take up much space, the doorway feels much more open.
The downside was that I was left with a view of the side of my tall bookcase that I didn’t like much. So I got some curtains and an tension rod (meant for a shower) from Ikea. 
I’m pretty darned sure that the fabric is merimekko. It’s cotton, heavier than typical quilter’s cotton, but not as heavy as upholstery fabric. Each of the 2 panels is 56″ or so wide and close to 7′ long. They come un-hemmed.
I washed the fabric in cold with 2 color catchers and dried them in the dryer (not recommend by Ikea). They shrank which was why I did it. I figure that at some point I’ll want to wash them again and I wanted to hem them already shrunk. The red did bleed a little, but not enough to be a problem for me.
The 2 panels (one set of curtains) was just under $30. That’s a lot of fabric for $30 and that’s what I wanted to share with you. You can’t (to my knowledge) order these on the internet but if you like merimekko and shop at Ikea, don’t forget to check out the curtains!
FYI- The side of my desk has a piece of galvanized metal screwed to it. It makes a great magnetic bulletin board. We can buy it here at a sheet metal place and Steve cuts it to whatever size I want.