Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long Time No Write......

Sorry about the lapse in blogging that I've had recently. The last couple of weeks has been so crazy I swear I see myself going when I'm coming.

I've been plugging away on my three quilts for Quilter's World magazine. My deadline is in the end of September. I have two of the quilts almost completed and I'm making the top for the third quilt right now. I hope to have it at least into the binding phase by the end of the week.

I did receive some disappointing news about my first fabnric collection for Northcott, Louetta's Garden. It was bumped from an October Launch to a spring launch. Although I am disappointed, it does make a lot more sense for it to debut in the spring -- it is a "garden" collection. I will also be designing exclusive patterns to feature the fabrics in my collection, so you will have to stay tuned for these designs.

It's funny, though, because I am now finding inspiration in so many things from old scraps of shredding wallpaper to the skirt of a vintage dress on display in a museum to dirty old rugs. I must admit that I am nowed hooked on textiles and designing! Oh, but what a wonderful addiction!

I was reading an article on quilting today -- did you know that the quilting industry is a 3.58 billion dollar industry annually? WOW! I knew the quilt industry was growing but I had no idea -- how exciting to be part of that industry now. It makes me feel even more inspired!

My garden has also been producing a lot of wonderful goodies, too -- so much it's hard to keep up with it. Tonight for dinner we are having stuffed pepppers and corn on the cob along with applesauce. Yep, you guessed it -- the peppers and corn are fresh from the garden a few hours ago and the applesauce was made fresh on Sunday (two days ago) with our very own apples. It's a lot of hard work to put up fruits and veggies for the winter, but oh so wonderful when there's three feet of snow on the ground. Our two apple trees (macintosh and courtland -- yes, I'm a northern girl) are having a bumper year. We didn't spray them so our apples have spots and blemishes BUT there are so many. It was windy on Sunday and I must have picked up at least 50 apples off the ground. That, of course, is not including the laundry basket I picked on the tree on Saturday.

A week ago, I went on a bus trip to Berlin, OH. It was a lovely visit to the heart of OH Amish country. We visited several quilt shops and I checked out three or four antique malls. Of course I brought home a new vintage quilt! I'll try to get a picture posted soon. The best part, of course, was spending the day with my two best friends, Leslie and Cathey. Oh, and the cheese factory was great -- I bought some mediterranean sunset cheddar cheese -- YUM!

The local fair, the Crawford County Fair, which is the largest agricultural fair in PA, ended this past week end. I was very pleased with the quilts that I entered. Six quilts yielded six ribbons -- 1 blue, 2 red, and 3 white. I was very surpised because the competition is usually quite intense -- there are a lot of talented quilters in this area.

Okay, I think I'm all caught up now. Time to get back to work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Whew -- just got my supplies in order for a fabric dyeing demo I am doing tomorrow. It's at my friend, Melanie's shop, Quiltessentials in Pittsfield, PA. I will be demo-ing how to dye cotton fabric (one color, light to dark). A friend and Quiltessentials partner, Anita, will be demo-ing how to dye wools.

Of course, before that, I have to drop my quilts off at the Crawford County Fair for judging. Wish me luck!

On Saturday, my friends Leslie and Cathey and I will be playing hookey and going on a shop hop to Berlin, OH. We are really looking forward to this quilt escape for the day. What's more fun than spending the day going from shop to shop with your best pals???? (Except maybe unlimited funds to use at those shops, of course!)

So here's to busy week ends!

Monday, August 15, 2011

In the Good Old Summer Time

Like most of you, it's been really hard recently to keep up with my garden. The weeds are growing as fast as the veggies. It's race with the bunnies to see who gets the beans and carrots first! But the fun is beginning, too, as I've begun doing some of the harvesting. The cukes have been doing well -- there's nothing yummier than fresh cukes out of your garden. Unless of course it's the broccoli or the green beans. I'm not crazy about tomatoes, but they are fun to grow. Our tomoato plants are more like bushes than plants. Does anyone else have crazy tomatoes?? Then of course, this is a bumper year for our two overgrown dwarf apple tress. Yesterday I picked two bags of apples. They're small but they'll make great apple sauce and apple butter. Ah, these crazy summer days.

Of course, I've been doing some quilting as well. Right now I'm working on three quilts for the April issue of Quilter's World. The first top is doen at at the quilter's and I am ready to quilt the second top now. THEN I'll move onto the third and final quilt. Oh, I still have to write all of the instructions too.

About a week ago, I had the opportunity to do an orphan block mystery quilt project with the Happy Scrappers quilt guild. It was a lot of fun -- I hope they all had as much fun as I did. Check out these photos! This was my first orphan block mystery quilt, but as you can see, it turned out great! Each quilter brought her own blocks and fabrics and each quilt turned out great. It never fails to amaze me how it all comes together and that no two quilts are ever the same!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Support YOUR Local Museums

Have you taken the time to visit a museum in your area yet this summer? Today my mother and I went to the Baldwin Reynolds House Museum in Meadville, PA. It's a wonderful place to see. The house itself is magnificent and such a "fish out of water" in northwestern Pennsylvania, so to speak.

The house is a circa 1840's Southern style plantation home with a Victorian mansard roof (added later) and an amazing solarium on the side of the house. A second floor wrap around veranda adds to the Southern feel. The house was built by Supreme Court Justice Henry Baldwin, later purchased by his wife's nephew, William Reynolds. William Reynolds' son, John E., inherited the house. John E.'s widow, Katherine lived in the house until the 1960's. It was later purchased by the Crawford County Historical Society and turned into a House Museum.

I have always had a special place in my heart for this museum. I worked there through college as a curatorial assistant. Later I ran the house for a little while until they hired a new curator (which wasn't me, sadly). Currently the museum has a fantastic director, Josh Sherretts. Josh has done wonders with the displays and the tour information. I was very impressed. And oh so pleased to see the house so alive.

Our main purpose for visiting the house today was to see the museum quilt display (which is over this weekend, unfortunately). It included several gorgeous Victorian crazy quilts in the downstairs parlors as well as some Civil War era quilts in the bedrooms upstairs. Oh, did I mention the log cabin quilts?

It was lovely to get lost in history this afternoon. Josh has set up the exhibits so cleverly -- a bottle of wine and two glasses on an occasional table.....a pair of spectacles on an open book next to a comfy uphostered chair. These little touches made it seem like someone had just left the room right before we walked into it!

If you haven't visited the local museums in your area, you really should. Most of them have quilt and textile collections which are truly a treat for quilters to see. Not to mention the art, the furniture, the architecture....

It's important now more than ever to support your local museums due to so many funding cuts at the local, state, and federal levels. The Baldwin Reynolds house received about 25% of the funding it used to. Your support could mean the difference between staying open or closing the museum. So get out there and keep history alive in your community! You know, local museums are oftem desperately in need of dedicated volunteers as well, so get involved!

Below,enjoy some photos from our trip to the museum. Please note that I did not use flash when photographing because flash photography is damaging to textiles, etc.