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Monday, October 10, 2011

More Quilting in Maryland!

Back to Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy for another day of quilting with the Pax River Quilt Guild Gals!

I remembered to take pictures of the “Honor Code” that was found on walls in the hallways, on chalk boards ((Yes, it was an old black chalk board, not a white marker board!! Chalk boards bring back so many memories, I like them best!

And even in the cafeteria area.

What an important thing for kids to learn and learn young!

We had a smaller class, Sundays are sometimes like that, and because we were smaller we could have group discussions on things like

“If you could tell a new quilter what the most important tool is, what would it be?”

“If you could learn one thing early on, what would it be?”

“How often do you change your rotary blade?”

“How often do you oil your machine?”

“If you were new to quilting and just starting to accumulate fabrics, what would you look for?”

“If you are shopping just for stashing, what sizes of cuts of fabric would you buy?”

The answers were varied and helpful! And on the last question it was “Anything from fat quarters to 1/2 yards, to full yards, to 3 to 6 yard cuts to..just buy the whole bolt!” LOL!!

Of course, all these discussion topics were directed to benefit our brand new quilter, Jennifer --- this was HER first class EVER!

And it was so funny…..Jennifer hates to iron, and every time I’d say “Okay, now go press these units like this….” She’d roll her eyes and say “But I don’t like ironing!!”

So we re-instituted my number one rule of NO WHINING!! We just about put THAT on the chalk board too! LOL! It was all in good fun.

Here’s a glance at the chalkboard in our room:

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Another important message that kids need to learn early, and that we need to be reminded of every day. I remember being told also that our lives are also shaped by the choices we DON’T MAKE. If you don’t choose, the choice is often made by your not chosing –and you might miss an opportunity.

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I wish all of our schools could focus on things like this! That goes for work places and other places too.

Another thing you can do when a class is small is take off on other hot topics like…

“Can you believe that Bank of America is going to charge $5 a month for you to use your debit card??” (((OH, this has us ALL up in arms and I’m thinking of changing my bank after 20 years…*SIGH*))

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And when topics get TOO HOT TO HANDLE we get back to QUILTING! ((I’m still mad as a hatter over this bank thing and need to look more into it. Sheesh.))

We had a great time! And I really love teaching the beginners. I had an opportunity to take it all the way back to demos on how to cut fabric. We talked about grain line, and the importance of seam allowance.

I remember being a new quilter, and feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by those who knew more and had been quilting forever.

Back in my early years --- as a new guild member ((I joined my first guild when I was 26)) I so vividly remember working SO HARD on a block for the president’s quilt…only to bring it to guild, turn it in, and have it rejected because it measured 1/2” too small. I was crushed! I had worked so hard on this thing, but no one had told me that the side of the presser foot on that machine was NOT 1/4'”. I honestly didn’t know.

I hope Jennifer will keep at it! We need to love those newbies and encourage them all we can. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Aye, Aye–Quilters!

I’ve taught in some very interesting places! From historical churches, to lodges to backs of restaurants, to schools, and even a casino!

But this is the first time I’ve taught in a Naval Academy!

Our workshop yesterday was held in Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy in Leonardtown, MD.

How many high schools do YOU know that have big guns right out side of the main building?

Leonard Hall has been around since 1909 --- and proudly shows it:

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From the moment you walk in, you know you are in a school with a different kind of focus than “regular” schools. There are posters on the walls about honor, dignity, and serving.

One poster read something like “I will not lie, cheat or steal, and vow to remove myself from those who do” or something of the sort, and I couldn’t help but think that our politicians ought to take the same oath. If I think of it today, I’ll get a picture of it. It was really good!

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Of course, you even feel like you are in the navy when headed to the ladies rest room!

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Okay! I’ll be sure not to do that! And yes, I had a hard time NOT humming the Village People’s “In The Navy” song out loud!

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The room had great light and a wonderful bank of windows……it was a gorgeous day outside, but we enjoyed it from the inside looking out!

I admit I was derelict in my duties as far as chief photographer goes! I was so busy showing different lay outs of the Bricks In The Barnyard blocks that I forgot to take more pics than I did! But we had a great time.

Sometimes being too busy having fun sewing is a good thing!

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Some of us had to skeedaddle a bit early, and while we were packing it up, it was suggested that we grab whoever was left and do a quick group photo. I think this one turned out rather nice! Just love these smiling faces!

Afterwards, several of us headed over to Michelle’s Quilts for some more fabric replenishment therapy:

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Nothing like being stormed by a whole gaggle of quilters to make a shop owner happy! LOL!! That’s Michelle, second from the left! We sure kept her busy for a while!

Thanks for a great day ladies! I’m looking forward to our second workshop today! And I better get a move on or I’ll be late for my own class :c)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

We Have A Winner!! ((Quilt Retro!!))

It's been a busy full day! We had a great time in Leonardtown, MD where our Bricks in the Barnyard workshop was held in the Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy!

After that it was a quick run over to the quilt shop, Michelle's Quilts ---and out to dinner at Adam's Rib!

We just got home a bit ago and I remembered that I needed to do the drawing for the winner of our give away for Quilt Retro by Jenifer Dick!

Drum Roll Please !!!!!!!!

And the winner is:

Sherry from New York!

Sherry wrote:

I've learned to love scrap quilting, so what could be better than entering a contest for a book with more scrap quilts. Bonnie you have taught me to love scrap quilting, learning about another quilter who does to can only make it better. I've started your putting together your Ocean Waves and have gotten a friend into making 1/2 square triangles with the Wonder Cut Ruler I was introduced to working on the Ocean Waves. Quilting is a pass it forward kind of thing.

Sherry from NY
Well Sherry, we are passing it forward on to you! I've sent you an email, be looking for it. I just need to you to send me your snail mail address so I can get it off to Jenifer and she can mail the book on to you!

Thanks for playing along everybody!

And I drove and drove…..

I left the house about 9:45 am yesterday morning, with Sadie pouting about being left behind.

And I drove.

How’s that for a short post?!

It was a beautiful day for a drive and I even enjoyed having the sunroof open for a bit ---

You know, if I had to pick the one thing about to day that I was the most grateful for, it would be google!

Thursday night as I was getting everything ready and packing the car to go I plugged in my magenta featherweight to give it a test run only to find that the light bulb was burned out.

In typical “make do now” fashion since it was after 9 pm, I ran down stairs to STEAL the bulb from the black featherweight. No bulb in it.

The white one didn’t have a working bulb either!

((Yes, I’m a featherweight hoarder, I have 3! A black one, a white one, and my midlife-crisis hot magenta metallic baby with the ghost flames on the machine bed:

I’ve had this baby a year, and I admit it. I get giddy when I take her out of her box! I start singing Stevie Wonder! “Isn’t she lovely, isn’t she wonderful……” :cD

But alas…NONE of them had working light bulbs and I was on my way out the door. I googled sew & vac on my phone from the car. Up came a little map thing with red tabls listing where they were. I picked the closest one on my route through Richmond, VA and called.

“I need 3 featherweight light bulbs”

“No problem ma’am, we’ll have them at the counter for you!”

Another bonus?? GPS took me right there no problem! The only hiccup was that the shop was closed for lunch when I got there, but I was hungry too, and there was a great Korean place just across the street that I never ever would have experienced if I hadn’t run out of functional featherweight light bulbs!

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I loved this place! ((Korean Garden)) I was the only Anglo in there, which to me is a very good sign. I ordered a hot and spicy soup with meat, veggies and soft tofu, toped with an egg. The soup comes boiling to the table and the egg cooks as you stir it around, kind of like in egg drop soup. The servers wear traditional Korean garb. I was the only one in the place speaking English. Such a fun little side trip that might never have happened!

After lunch I went back to the sew & vac shop, the owner was back from his own lunch, and he quickly replaced the burned bulb in the magenta machine, and sent me on my way with two spares for the other machines. ((And yes, he LOVED the paint job!!))

Always be willing to leave the interstate for the road less travelled. It just might be the best part of an other wise long predictable drive!

I arrived in the Lexington Park area around 5:30 pm. Gosh I love driving and seeing the Chesapeake Bay!! It was unbelievably blue ---there were boats on the water. It's so picturesque when you take the bridge over...

I’ve been welcomed into Julia’s home --- fed a wonderful dinner of grilled chicken salad served on her back deck. And we set to puttering!

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Instead of sewing this trip, I’m kitting UP for next week’s trip! See that big tub of neutrals? I’m behind in my cutting down. Not of my OWN scraps, I do that automatically as I make them…..but when people give me boxes or bags of scraps, they tend to stack up until I get get around to sorting through and cutting them into their sizes. This is neutral hunks and chunks of various sizes that could easily be cut into usable quilt-parts. And that’s what I’m doing. I’ve spent the night cutting something like 200 quarter square triangles, 100 bricks, 100 squares….and it hasn’t even made a dent! I’ve cut the left overs from THESE units into 1.5”, 2”, 2.5” squares and 1.5” strips. Stuff that is less than 1.5” are going in the neutral strings. It’s still not making a dent.

All I can say is the scraps look far better when cut down to size so they are ready to use, than when they are just in a tub all scrambled!

Today is a Bricks in the Barnyard workshop!! It’s been a couple of years since I’ve taught for this guild, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Friday, October 07, 2011

What NOT to Wash!!

Busy quilters with distracted minds!

Doesn’t this describe the majority of us to a T? Or to a Q?

I came home from Oak Ridge, Tennessee and emptied my suitcase into the laundry. I didn’t think anything about it, I just sorted it as I usually do --- pants in one load, colors in another, whites in a third ----

This morning I went to get the laundry out of the dryer to pack my suitcase for my trip to Lexington Park, MD this morning and….

OH Geeze. I forgot to check my pockets!

My jeans had a whole bobbin of red thread that I was using to sew on a binding. Didn’t want to leave the red thread behind, so I stuck it in my pocket! What a MESS!

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AUUGHH! A perfectly tangled waste of a perfectly good bobbin full of thread! This mess looks like it’s ready for the tie dye bath!

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And yeah, my mind was wondering if I should save this thread tangle for Karen who does art quilts..could she use it for the hair on one of her portrait quilts? OH get real! I had to get packed and get on the road, no time for distraction here! I made quick work of the big kitchen shears. Okay, not so quick. Some of that thread was wrapped rather tight!

The car is packed, I’m ready to roll! I love driving up through Virginia, it should be such a pretty day! Temps in Lexington Park, MD should be mid 70’s through the weekend-- NICE!!

I’ve packed a machine just in case I have time to sew…but my main project is to cut and kit up pieces and parts to take with me next Wednesday for the trip I’m taking to Rangeley, Maine! Maine in October! I’m teaching at a retreat and you know my big request when I teach at retreats ---- as soon as class is over for the day I GET TO SEW TOO!! So…there will be loads of pieces cut this weekend in Maryland, so I can pack them back into my suitcase Tuesday night so I can fly off on Wednesday.

Just made the last run to the car with the bin of fabric scraps I’m taking…..Uhoh…look who wants to go too!

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Awwww, Sadie, honey…you can’t come this time! ((It cracks me up how she loves to sit ON the seat just like a people person!!)) I’ll see you soon, sweet girl….hold down the fort while I’m gone, wontcha?