As I have come to the end of this week it has been interesting to look back and contemplate the ways that the world has changed.
On Monday morning, we had to close on our home loan refinance, normally done in an office with all parties sitting around a conference table. In this instance, the closing attorney drove to our home, discretely handed us a packet containing 132 pages and then climbed back in his car. He then called us from the car and walked us thru the process of understanding and signing the myriad of documents. AMAZING!!
Then, Michael was contacted by our GP about his second Shingles vaccination. If he didn’t do it soon, he would have to start the series over again and he REALLY didn’t want to do that. He explained to the receptionist that he was in the “immune-deficient” category and that he was concerned about coming into the office. The receptionist replied that, if he would drive to the office and call in, they would send the nurse out to give the injection while he sat in his truck…..EQUALLY AMAZING!!!
Later in the day, he drove to the local package store to buy some wine and was serviced while sitting in his vehicle…..drive thru style.
Since we have had to start walking instead of using the equipment at the gym, Michael realized that he needed new running shoes. He went online shopping at one of our local stores, found the same shoes that he currently has and we are going to do curb-side pickup today to get them. We also bought a new grill online and it will be delivered (for free) this upcoming week.
It is amazing to see how people are managing to make their lives work even when the world has been turned completely upside down.
My work week has also been turned over. I would normally be focusing entirely on personal tax returns, but several of my clients have had to close operations and are worrying about their employees who aren’t getting paid and how they are going to survive. Fortunately, the US Government has presented a large relief package that allows for small business to obtain Small Business Administration (SBA) loans where the principal will be forgiven if the money is used for certain expenses. The only problem is that there is a limited amount of money available for these loans so everybody is scrambling to apply for them.
When this was announced last Friday, it seemed that many in the finance business (banks in particular) already had the details and were going into action. I started to panic a bit that I couldn’t find any information this past weekend. On Monday, I listened to my first webinar on the subject and quickly realized that NO ONE knew what they were doing and that the final regulations had not even been released yet. Since Monday, I have participated in 4 webinars and listened in on two conference calls (total of 9.5 hours) trying to understand how these new rules were going to effect my clients, both business and personal.
On Friday, about 6:00pm, the first bank started accepting applications. We had been told that it would be happening earlier so I had kept my web browser open to the site and kept refreshing the page every few minutes. Michael reminded me of the scene from “Big Bang Theory” where the guys are trying to buy Com-icon tickets….
It has been encouraging to see so many quilter’s putting their sewing skills into making masks, scrub caps and headbands as a way to support our struggling medical professionals. Again….I am amazed at the resilience of life!!
It has also been heartening to see kids playing outside, people taking walks with their families and SO many dogs being walked. And, based on the number of people that I see working in their yards, I am honestly expecting this Spring and Summer to be a confluence of flowers!!
I have been thankful for the Daffodils and Tulips that encourage me that this season is temporary and that there are better things to come!!
As I have continued to re-populate my studio, I have been thinking carefully about what I wanted to keep and what needs to be permanently deleted!! In thinking thru this, I decided that I needed to do something about my magazines. In the last years I have only subscribed to two quilting magazines…..”Quilting Arts” and “American Quilter”.
I LOVE my “Quilting Arts” magazines because they have so many good techniques and ideas. I enjoy the “AQ” but started wondering if I really wanted to keep all of them. SO…..I grabbed one box (dating from 2004 thru 2010) and started working thru each one.
I found that there were only a few articles that I was interested in…..mostly ones about specific techniques that I might want to try. So, I tore those pages out and will scan them and keep them in a digital format. Out of this initial batch of 27 magazines, I only kept a few pages!!!
BUT, it was so interesting to read thru the articles and see what were the new and exciting things back in the early part of this century!!
There was one article introducing Online classes and another called “Long Arm Revolution. Today, these are definitely passé!!
Most of the machine quilting designs were actual patterns that you had to draw onto the quilt instead of the now popular free motion designs. The “newest” thing was stippling!!
It was fun to remember “George”……
One article touted methods to design using pre-printed panels. I tried to find one of these last year for my quilting practice and they simply don’t exist anymore!!!
There was an article about Katrina relief and several about making and sending fabric postcards.
It was especially fun to see a notice for our guild quilt show back in 1997…..
The newest batting was “wool”….no one had even THOUGHT about using Bamboo or Silk. And, the idea of using beads on a quilt was just taking hold with NO mention of using hot-fix crystals!!
As I went back even further….into the mid 1990’s, I loved this computer photo touting “Cyber-Savy Quilting”.
It makes me wonder what is in the future for the art of quilting and what people in 2050 will look back on!!
Her quilting story is sweet, starting with her Grandmother (Lois) teaching her to be creative with her hands. When Lois passed away, Brittany inherited not only her sewing machine (a 1970’s Kenmore), but many of her quilts as well. Brittany’s first foray into the quilting world was making a memory quilt using her Grandmother’s clothing. She originally thought “that was it for quilting”, but the bug (much like the Corona virus) was caught, and we are VERY glad that she has continued!!
Much of her work has a “Modern Quilting” feel to it. She loves to take traditional blocks and patterns and make them her own. These are a few of the quilts that she showed…..
“Mountain Horizon” blocks are fairly simple but the quilting made this a super special quilt…..
“Church Window” is an amazing pattern….there are NO Y-seams in it!!!
“Model Farm” was inspired from a Log Cabin quilt that Lois had made…..
“Interwoven” was one of my favorite designs……
…..I particularly like the Ombre color way although we also saw one in only two colors and it was astounding as well. On the home page of her website, she shows this quilt done in two shades of white and it is magnificent. It made me want to think about making a “Low Volume” quilt!!
“Homecoming” was designed after a flood in her home meant that she couldn’t live there for several months.
This final quilt is one of her newest and the pattern hasn’t been written yet. It is based on an Argyle sock design…..
I, and everyone I talked to, came away inspired, encouraged and ready to tackle some of these wonderful designs.
These are just a few of her patterns, so be sure to check out her website for more ideas!!!
Thank you Brittany for a fun evening of the best things in life……quilting and life stories!!!
In December of 2018, my daughter-in-law, Amber, invited me to go to the Atlanta High Museum to see the art of Yayoi Kusami. You can see the blog post HERE. Then, in December of 2019, she called and said that she had heard that there were quilts in the Permanent Collection and that we should go see them!! Gotta love have kids who are on the look out for quilts!!!!
The first thing that we saw wasn’t a quilt, but it sure looked like one….
There were four quilts in the permanent collection and each was interesting and unique!!
The first was a strip quilt made in the 1930’s by an African American artist in Texas. The information suggested that the strips were aligned in construction and appearance to “Kente Cloth” and that this quilt demonstrates a belief that evil travels in a straight line and must be disrupted by irregular patterns……
The second quilt was similar to a log cabin design and was made in the 1940’s by an Alabama quilter……
This quilt was a Courthouse Steps design, created in the late 1870’s in New England. It had an amazing array of fabrics…..
….the strips were TINY and the edging was amazing…..
The last quilt was made in the 1940’s in Tennessee and carried a definite Americana theme…….
I wish that I could let go and use stripes and polka dots in this way!!!!
On the way to the museum, we had to make a quick stop at my son’s office and I got to see the studio where he makes his musical magic. It was fun to see all of his instruments just waiting for the next recording session…..
There was much more to the museum, but I will save that for another post!!!!
On Thursday evening I was told that my friend, Cleo, had passed earlier in the day. This was definitely a case of someone being gone too soon.
Cleo was a fighter. In the 10+ years that I had known her, she had fought cancer twice and worked so hard to recover from severe edema in her legs. She was starting to get back to her life, and for a quilter, that meant new projects! She had borrowed a number of Scrap Quilting books and had already picked out a few that she wanted to make.
But, alas, she was beset with a stroke and then learned that the cancer had metastasized further into her body. She passed while surrounded by her loving family.
I know that I had met Cleo before, but my first true conversation with her occurred at a Quilt Show….where else!! She was working behind the scenes, keeping the kitchen organized and running. We talked for at least an hour and I was struck by her interest in my life and the way she would assimilate what I had said and then ask further questions. I knew that she was retired at the time and made the assumption that she must have worked in a mental health area. Instead, I was to find that she was a banker!! I guess that they have to ask probing questions too.
She carried that ability to listen and ask questions to her quilting. She could critique a quilt in a heartbeat and was always gracious in her presentation so that you actually thought that it was YOUR idea and not hers!! When she and her husband, Richard, would come to our house for dinner, we often ended up with the guys on the deck and Cleo and I in my studio, with her patiently looking at each of my in-progress pieces and making wonderful suggestions that, eventually, made it a better quilt!
She was part of our Cre-8-tive group and, when we presented our challenges, she would ask what we liked about it and what we hated about it. One of our last challenges was handwork. We each presented a basic piece and then passed it around as others added to it. Cleo presented us with this….
We each did some work and handed it back to her looking like this….
And she finished it into this magnificent piece…..
And, her portion of this challenge is what inspired me to make these Quilt Show Badges….
In July of last year, Michael and I met she and Richard for lunch and she proudly showed her latest project, a photo quilt for her Granddaughter……
….It didn’t matter if we were standing in the middle of a parking lot!!!
She always inspired me!! At one lunch she was showing me the results of a workshop that she had taken and I decided to go home and try something similar. I got this far before life took over again…..
I am thinking that it is time to pull it out and get it finished!!
Cleo was a believer in Jesus Christ and in His saving grace and I believe that she is in heaven now. I can only imagine what heaven looks like for a quilter but I can hope that…..
there are no broken needles
needles never come un-threaded
thread doesn’t tangle
bobbins never run out (especially not 2 inches before you finish sewing that binding on)
you can always find the pin that you dropped
steam irons have an infinite water supply, and don’t cut off at just the wrong time
half-square and quarter-square triangles are always the perfect size….straight off of the machine
fabric is available in any pattern and any color
and most importantly…..seam rippers don’t exist because they aren’t needed…..EVER!