Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Days in Athens ---

Sunday morning I moved from Huntsville up the road to Athens, Alabama. This area was hit in places by the tornados that caused so much destruction just a few weeks ago. I’ve heard stories that made my heart skip a beat…but through it all I’ve heard stories of neighbors helping neighbors, of people pitching in to help each other, of bonding together and reestablishing what community is really about.

I heard stories of quilters who cut and kitted up by window light when they couldn’t sew…of those who did handwork on the front porch while the light was good, of bindings that had been laying around forever finally being finished, of “un-sewing” that had been put off and off and off finally getting done, of fabric petting, of reorganizing, of re-reading of books and magazines to create dream-projects for when the power DID come back on!

I heard stories of people who hope they never have to cook on a gas grill again for a good long time, no MATTER if it IS summer or not! Some places were out of power for more than a week….How would YOU cope if you didn’t have power for that long? Some said the the thing they missed more than the power was running water…I think the two go hand in hand. I don’t know how I could live without either.

One thing is for sure…..I’m glad I have a couple of THESE around:

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No, this is not mine..it belonged to another student in my Sunday afternoon 1/2 day Sister’s Choice class!

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Crank crank crank---Sew Sew Sew! And you know what? She was the ONLY one sewing at this point because a huge thunderstorm rolled through and just as we were STARTING the class, the power went out……for over an HOUR!!

So what were we supposed to do? We didn’t know if the power would come on or not…it took the whole substation out, and the traffic lights were down as well ---

So we did what quilters do! We improvised!

I went down to my car and grabbed one of the big duffels of quilts..the one that had the quilts from Scraps & Shirttails II in it…and we had a mini trunk show! Some of the ladies had brought show and tell from the last time I taught in this area over a year ago…and that was fun!

And then the power was still not on….

So I gave them an English paper piecing demo after showing them the hexagon medallion and how the border sections are coming….

And then the power came on --- we were in BUSINESS again!

It made the class seem extra short…there was still a lot to get done in the not quite 3 hours that were left, but we pedaled to the metal and had a lot of fun. We also appreciated how much better it felt with the A/C kicked back in!

I thought I had more pictures than this, but I guess with all the excitement of the storm, I forgot to keep shooting!

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I also had to take pics of Ada’s Hawks Nest blocks! On hers, all the center “nests” are red…and her triangles are scrappy. It’s going to be a wonderful quilt!

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I got checked into my hotel in time to put on my running shoes and fit in a 3 mile walk/jog before it got too dark to see well enough…look at this gorgeous sunset! It smelled so good outside after the rain!

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I love to see the wildflowers that grow along the side of the road….just LOOK at the size of this Queen Anne’s Lace! It’s bigger than my hand!! It was too lovely not to catch….

Monday? The Athens Adventure continues! We had a full class for Pineapple Blossom! No storms, no power outages, just a lot of fun! Student-Friends came from as faraway as Nashville TN to spend the day, and I’m so happy they did!

Just look at what these women did during class!!


  1. What a day that must have been, Bonnie
    Sounds like you all made it a spontaneous quilting adventure.

  2. Good to see that the Quilters are able to improvise and roll with the changes when the weather is bad. I may need to find a non-electric sewing machine. I really like the Green and black pineapple blocks. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am making a quilt for Al, almost done. Another disastrous in MO. Stay safe, a women worked for a bank for 50 years, she was at a convection and they asked her what was the best addition to the banking business in her years. Air Conditioning.

    I just worked on bag of green scraps I love the colors of the first quilt.

  4. looks like you had a good time even with power outages.

  5. Anonymous11:42 AM EDT

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really enjoy your slide shows. They are so informative and I get a lot of ideas from them. Thanks for sharing.

  6. No power, I'm sorry that I smile, but grannies sewing machine did it, I really want something like that. Just love the looks it has, the beauty of it. Ada's quilt is going to be so perfect, I just love the center color. Thank you for sharing this with us, it give us some ideas...

  7. Anonymous5:56 PM EDT

    Thanks so much for coming to Northern Alabama Bonnie! I promise to stop stalking you....hehe, NOT!

  8. Bonnie, I read this days blog earlier today but can't get out of my mind/over the fact that you gave the quilters with no electricity an impromptu trunk show AND an English paper piecing demo! What an outstanding quilter you are! No wonder you're the teacher of the year at Sewcalgals!

    I love the slide shows! The different colors the students choose are a source of great inspiration!

  9. We were out of power for 10 days during a big ice storm, but it was so cold I didn't feel like sewing. I just wanted to be bundled up drinking hot tea!
    A lady I knew used her treadle to sew, however.
    I love those Hawks Nest blocks!

  10. I have 3 treadles and I'm trying to get a hand crank (I covet your new one). I have battery book lights to see the needles by, and, I have LOTS of books to read.


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