Show and tell…

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Isnt’ this lovely! Henrike Adam, from Berlin, made this quilt. Here is what she had to say:

I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful books, ideas and patterns. They’re all
a great inspiration for me and now that I finished my version of “Aunt Millies Garden”. A very good friend of mine (not a quilter herself) made following comment:
“It looks as being fourteen, first time in love and drawing tiny littles hearts on everything in your handwriting”.

It does look like young love! Thank you, Henrike, for sharing it with us.

TQS (the quilt show)…

Today (Friday) I’m in Denver where I filmed a segment of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I have had the pleasure of being on their show before and it was just as much fun today. They are both wonderful people, excellent quilters, and hosts who know how to put a guest at ease.

I filmed early so arrived at 8:00 AM, along with the audience. These fine quilters went one way to learn what to do while I went another way to do what I had to do. Eventually we all ended up in the studio.

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Lilo was in charge of making sure my scarf was artfully arranged. The nice man on the right took care of getting me ‘miked’. (FYI: I’m wearing that Eileen Fisher shirt that I shopped for especially for this show.)

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Shelly kept us on track, following a loose script. It’s not really a ‘script’, she just gave us reminders of what we ought to be talking about in each of the three segments. Justin works more with the audience members and he is a real stitch!

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Various folks took these photos with my cell phone while I was doing what you see me doing. It is really nice to have them now, to post! We talked about the new color book, and more.

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There are efficient camera-persons and more other people on the set. They were so good that they were practically invisible. The cameras are huge and closer to you than you would think. There are TV screens with live feed so that the audience can see what the cameras are looking at, when they weren’t focused us.

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As always, this was great fun! I’ll let you know when the episode is up and running. Until then, you ought to consider subscribing to The Quilt Show if you haven’t already. You are likely to learn a new thing in each episode!

TAS (the applique society)…

I flew to Seattle on Monday for two lovely days of teaching for The Applique Society’s retreat at Seabeck. This was their 10th retreat and it was great fun. The retreat space is both rustic and modern (there’s wifi, but no TV :-)) surrounded by beautiful grounds. We could see water—Hood Canal—and (when the clouds cleared) the Olympic Mountain.

There were about 50 enthusiastic quilters and two teachers. Half the group were with me one day, the other half the next. After two days of class, they had one more day of just fun without any classes. To me, that sounds like an excellent retreat.

These ladies come from all over the Pacific NW and they have formed good friendships. If you are an appliquer in this part of the world, you ought to search them out!

I wish I had taken pictures but I tend to live in the moment when I am working/teaching and mostly forget to grab the camera. Instead I’m adding this picture that I almost could have taken there, except that I didn’t.

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Big news from TQS…

In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, The Quilt Show (www.thequiltshow.com), the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series—shows 100-1513—for the entire weekend. I’m telling you today so that you can reserve time this weekend.

For three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE. See—that’s big news!

This year’s sponsors are contributing over $5000 in prizes, including the Grand Prize, a BERNINA 550 QE.  Other prizes you have a chance to win are:

  • Innova – Have your quilt professionally quilted ($500 value)
  • Superior Threads – five $100 gift certificates
  • RJR Fabrics – a Delicious Selection of RJR Fabrics
  • AccuQuilt – GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter
  • Missouri Star Quilt Company – $500 in Quilter’s Cash plus signed copies of Volume 1 of Block Magazine and Man Sewing Swag
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Here I am with Alex and Ricky.

As you may already know, I appeared as the featured artist on TQS in show 611. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you’ll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in this unprecedented three-day offer.

I hope that you’ll share this information with all of your quilting friends. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy three days of learning and fun without leaving your home…all for free.

Enjoy the shows, and thanks for helping to spread the word!

Click here to go to the TQS website landing page.

Keep calm, move fast…

I set off my oh-shit-o-meter last night. Steve brought me a glass of red wine, setting it down next to my computer, as he does almost every evening. (He is really very good to me.) I knew it was there, the fault was entirely mine when I reached past the computer (exuberantly) and knocked over the glass, splashing/spraying wine everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but there were big drops on the floor as far as 4′ away.

The wine also spilled onto the stool next to the computer. The stool where I stack stuff. In this case, a basted quilt, folded backing side out. This photo is staged—I didn’t stop to take a picture last night. The papers on top of the quilt had been white. They are now seriously wine-stained, along with several other papers that I threw away last night. Luckily nothing much else was damaged.

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Steve dealt with everything else while I grabbed the quilt and ran to the kitchen. First I tried drying the backing fabric with paper towels, which sort of worked. But, oh no, the batting was damp!!!

I grabbed a knife (because who has time to hunt for scissors in a crisis) and quickly cut the basting stitches.

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I peeled the top back before the wine soaked through to the mostly white quilt top. I found some scissors and whacked out the stained batting.

After I caught my breath, I hand washed the stained backing fabric with Orvus. I was careful not to get it too wet. I didn’t want the wine stain to migrate farther. I can still see a little purple, but no one but me (and you) will ever notice it.

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This morning I pulled back both the backing and the quilt top, placing the batting on a cutting mat. I cut a bigger piece of replacement batting and laid it behind the hole.

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I used a ruler to cut straight edges through both layers, discarding the excess batting.

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Then I basted the edges of the batting together.

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I carefully placed the 3 layers together and re-basted that corner of the quilt.

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That’s when I noticed a very light stain on some of the turquoise fabric in the quilt top. It wasn’t where the wine hit the quilt and then I remembered that that fabric was stained before I cut it up. I had washed it with something red which had bled, even though I had used a Color Catcher. I didn’t realize until this morning that I had sewn the stain into the quilt.

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This stain is almost invisible and I don’t mind it. I suspect it will remind of how lucky I was, this time.

National pi day!

When did you last think of pi? Not this kind of pie…

Pies

Pi Day is coming on Saturday, March 14.It is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) every year, around the world. Who knew?

Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159. (Remember pi-r-square?)

This year, Pi Day is an “Epic Pi Day”. On Saturday morning, 3.14.15 at 9:26:53 AM, the date/time corresponds to the first 10 digits of pi (π = 3.141592653). This happens only once per century – truly a “once-in-a-lifetime event” for most people. I’ve set my phone alarm so that I can see it happen.
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I am away from home, teaching at the Gulf States Quilting Association Seminar in Metairie, LA. Steve will be home with friends celebrating a Pi Day breakfast of pancakes and sausage (both round, in honor of pi), with eggs and champagne. I will think of them fondly when my alarm goes off in class :-).

My friend, Elizabeth, a fellow pi(e) enthusiast, has found a few fun pi facts that she said I could share with you:

  • A circular room in the Palais de la Découverte science museum in Paris is called the pi room. The room has 707 digits of pi inscribed on its wall (though there is an error beginning at the 528th digit, thanks to William Shanks’ erroneous calculations).
  • In an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, Spock commands an evil computer to compute pi to the last digit—which it cannot do, of course, because, as Spock explains, “the value of pi is a transcendental figure without resolution.” I remember this episode!
  • Givenchy’s PI cologne for men is advertised as a scent that “embodies the confidence of genius.”
  • Both MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology have cheers that include “3.14159.”

If I was going to be home, I’d make one of these. It’s probably good I’m not home.

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Put your light in the right spot…

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This is what happens if your light is way over there on the table and you are sitting too far from it. ‘Growing toward the light’ happens especially to hand sewers/appliquers. It is very hard on your back and shoulders.

Place your light in position so that you can sit up straight and see what you are doing, both at the same time. This probably means that you need an adjustable floor lamp. I use my Stella floor light, but there are other lamps that also work.

As always, pay attention to your posture.

If you are right-handed, the light should come from the left. Left-handers, the light should come from the right. In both cases this keeps the shadow from your dominant hand from falling on your work, where you are trying to see what you are doing.