Want a great show for FREE?

We are so excited here in North Louisiana to be having Karen Eckmeier, aka The Quilted Lizard,  come for a two-day, two-workshop weekend....

Karen is planning her trunk show and power point presentation for us Friday night and IT'S FREE TO THE PUBLIC.  Please come and welcome Karen to Louisiana.  The show will start at 6 p.m. at Bayou Oaks Baptist Church, 298 Joe White Road in Monroe. 

Karen will be teaching us how to start making landscapes accidentally:  Beaches,  on Friday, July 28.

Beaches....an accidental landscape by Karen Eckmeier

And if that's not enough, we'll learn how to make Happy Villages her way on Saturday, July 29. Here's a sampling....Karen calls this one her Seaside Village. 

Seaside Village by Karen Eckmeier

You'll be awed when you watch her demo of happy villages and accidental landscapes video posted on her home web page.  This should give you a taste of what's to come Friday and Saturday.  Even if you aren't signed up for one of her workshops, remember the Friday Night Presentation is free to you and everyone is welcome.

Hope to see you there. 

More about Orphan Quilt Blocks ~

Wasn't it just last week that I posted pictures of all those wonderful 'blocks with nowhere to go' that Christie had so generously gifted to me.  She, selfishly, was cleaning her sewing room and wanted to pawn them off on me while decluttering her space.  I'm sure she knew  I would take these blocks and run with them.  This little cutie is #3.  (I'll get back to #1 at a later date).  Orphan quilt block #2 is pictured here at Quilters' Guild Acadienne. 

Getting out early for pictures was easy - beating the Louisiana July heat wave.  From any direction, this toddler quilt top suits me perfectly.  Taking the 12 blocks on hand and adding alternate blocks in white, set on point, made a baby quilt size. 

A quilt for baby ~
Ready to be quilted ~
And donated ~

Becoming real.....takes a long time ~

I can read this conversation between  a toy horse and rabbit over and over and find something more real in the writing with each reading.  A beautifully written conversation.  One that may be heard in real time between a child and his grandmother,  if one listens. 

“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Find Joy In The Ordinary ~

One of my very favorite thoughts....."find joy in the ordinary."  But how, I wonder, does one really go about enjoying the ordinary?

Stop and smell the roses -  breathe deeply and with eyes closed, let the fragrance do its job.
Pat a child on the back - remain long enough to feel the warmth and retain the emanating love.
Enjoy the quiet of the morning with coffee cup in hand and dew on your bare feet.

When peanut butter on toast is your morning treat, give him a smile.....he deserves it for serving up a most delicious breakfast. 

When you snip a thread:  Rejoice.  You have finished another seam.

Just a few thoughts on hoping to find and enjoy the ordinary all day and into tomorrow and the next.

Just when I think I know ~

We've all heard the question:  "What are friends for?"  I found a new reason to enjoy Christie's friendship today. 

Christie's been cleaning house (i.e. de-cluttering her sewing room) for the past few weeks and has asked me on several occasions if I wanted some object or the other.  I've respectfully declined - until yesterday when she asked if I wanted some of her 'orphan' quilt blocks.  WELL, of course, I do, thinking she would deliver 3 or 4.   To my amazement, when she arrived at my doorstep, it was with a bag full.   I could do nothing but gasp!  There were well over 100 blocks in different manners of unfinished. 

Huge pile of orphan blocks

I was dancing with joy.  And am still dancing as I sort and come to a reckoning on how to use some in my usual improvisational style.  There were many half-square triangles that I sorted through and digested to get a few pinwheels.  I think this is a good plan.....now I'll be off to add background in white to get this made into a quilt top. 

Improvisational pinwheels

Improvisational pinwheels

There were only 5 of theses snail's trail quilt blocks, but I'm not complaining.  They are fabulous and will be a wonderful start to something or other. 

Snail's Trails Quilt Blocks

There are so many ways to showcase 'orphan' quilt blocks.....I like to make bookmarks, notebook covers, potholders, mug rugs......just to name a few projects that can be made with diverse groups of fabrics and blocks.  
Oh, My!
Friends ~   Aren't they the greatest? 

Hello Sunday ~

My favorite quote of the day:

                    "I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
                                                       -  Georgia O'Keeffe

class sampler for Improv To The Nines Workshop

It was music to my ears ~

It was music to my ears when he walked through the house with hands filled with quilts telling me that my laundry was done.  I had totally forgotten that they were in the washer and lol, now they are out of the dryer, all waffled and cuddly and warm.....the last three quilts I quilted and put the binding on are now ready to move on.

One will go to community service.  Strips sewn and block twisted and turned to make a simple design.

One is a sampler for an upcoming workshop - Improv To the Nines.  It all starts with a simply traditional nine patch and then we take it to another level.

and this one is just a quilt made from Kaffe Fassett scraps. 

Finished quilts puts a smile on my face and a song in my ears.  Have a restful weekend.

More than one blog to post ~

I've been concentrating on getting the Quilters' Guild Acadienne blog up and running and gaining visitors and have neglected my primary day-in-and-day-out blog.    So here's just a bit of catch up on what I've been rambling around the home place doing. 

Noodlehead pencil pouch pattern - stitched up by Marty Mason

Yesterday I posted over there about the newest Anna Graham aka Noodlehead pattern I made.  I rushed around yesterday to get one made for a picture and this afternoon in no time flat, got another one made. 

Noodlehead pencil pouch pattern - stitched up by Marty Mason

One for me and another one for me! 

Noodlehead pencil pouch pattern - stitched up by Marty Mason

I'm in love with my pencil pouch ~ Thanks Anna for this fab free pencil pouch pattern. 

Finders Keepers

My, My!  Look what I found this morning while rummaging around for some small pieces of batting.   Whatever was this little treasure doing buried out of sight?  Funny thing when you haven't seen something in several years, how it takes on a different perspective. 

Once upon a time, I had the mistaken notion that I wanted to make quilts in miniature.  That was once upon a time long, long ago. 

15" x 19"

Perhaps now that I've found this mini red and green, I'll get it quilted and display during the Christmas Holiday Season. 

Beautiful Chaos

It's a post from a few years back....July, 2011, but I just found it and so enjoyed reading about - you guessed it - the beauty of quilts pieced in the improvisational style. 

CW Collectors Weekly.  The Beautiful Chaos of Improvisational Quilts ~

I have no support group locally so therefore seldom show anyone my quilts.  I often feel that something must be really mixed up in my brain for me to enjoy the chaos in improv quilts and to say unapologetically that I think many I've seen are amazing works of art made by true artisans. 

My favorite quilt pictured in the Collectors Weekly article is the red and yellow designed by Arlonzia Pettway in 1982 based on the  'housetop' pattern.  If you know anything about the Quilters of Gee's Bend, then you know the Pettway name.  I found the Pettway quilt pictured on Linda Allen's Pinterest Board  Quilts I like and followed the picture back to the original article.  News travels fast with just a tap of the finger.  Yes, Linda Allen, I like this one a lot. 

Lisa Hix begins her article by asking "what might jazz look like if it had a physical presence?"  Now I know why I like jazz and I like my quilts.   Here's just one example of what I've made that makes me toe-tapping happy. 

Improv Quilt work-in-progress on the design wall of Marty Mason

A Fabric Purchase ~ How Fun

Alice by Angela Pingel, in her Curious Dream collection....a Windham Fabric.  Jump down the rabbit hole with Angela.....

I started reading the quotes and stories on Angela's fabric and smiled at the whimsy and imagination and began to appreciate all over again how wonderful life is.   Here's one excerpt about Alice's trip down the rabbit hole.  

"Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.

There seemed to be no use in waiting by the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes: this time she found a little bottle on it, ("which certainly was not here before," said Alice), and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words "DRINK ME" beautifully printed on it in large letters. It was all very well to say "Drink me," but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. "No, I'll look first," she said, "and see whether it's marked 'poison' or not"; for she had read several nice little stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them: such as, that a red-hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and that, if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked "poison," it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later." 

and the story continued