Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheryl Ann Yeager Lundy, 1944-2011

was my friend when I was young.  My family  moved into the College Court neighborhood where her family lived when I was in the second grade.  We went to the same schools from elementary through high school.   We choose the same career, nursing.
Many years after we first met, as teenagers we took note of each other's older brothers.  My brother Joey and her brother Phil.  She didn't marry my brother.  After high school Joey went into the Navy and Cheryl went off to college to study nursing.  But I married hers.   So you see she was not only a friend of long standing but my beloved sister-in-law. 
She was funny, fun and adventurous. Her smile lit up a room.  Her laugh, infectious.  Her brothers called her "Sam" because she was so down to earth; "one of the boys" in the most complimentary way brothers can think of their baby sister.
Like all of us she had her moments but fought through them and came out the other side stronger.   She had no children of her own, but promised to take care of mine should anything happen to me during their formative years.   She was a Army nurse, a Veteran with duty in and out of the country and when I was a young wife, mother and knee deep in diapers I thought her life was far more glamorous.  She was brave.  Far braver than I could see myself being. When her heart began to fail when she was in her forties, she soldiered on.  And when a  heart transplant was the only way she could continue, she agreed to have the surgery in 1995.    The heart she received was from a young woman who was brain dead due to an auto accident.  What a gift to have received.  One that made it possible for Cheryl to remain in our lives far longer than what was  the normal expected life span of those who receive organ transplants.  Her longivity I attribute in large part to her fortitude.
It is hard to write about someone you love and have lost without seeming to be eliciting sympathy; for that is not what I am doing and would rather not have comments made to this blog about it.   I have cried enough and I am working through it.
I prefer to use my blog for the lighter moments in life and reports about stuff that makes me happy.
To honor Cheryl and her donated heart, in closing, all I want to say is; if you are ever in that place where a decision has to be made about donating your organs or those of a loved one, please consider doing so.  I know for sure if it were not for that unselfish gift made by a grieving family all those years ago, I would have been in the place I am now many many years ago.  The additional years Cheryl gained was a blessing for all who loved her.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm home, the show is down

All of the quilts were returned to their makers without one going astray.
Made myself some tomato soup when I got home.  I ate a hand full of dried cranberries. I am sipping on a large mug of hot green tea as I blog. A hot shower awaits and so does my bed. Did I say I am tired.
I spent more time at the show than I had planned. My first thoughts when I agreed to help with the quilt show was; I will do my job and come home and stay here until it was time to take the show down. But as you know yesterday I went back to take pictures. And then this morning as I was about to have my first cup of coffee for the day my phone rang.
There were several people at the show wanting to meet me I was told, so I got dressed and drove to the show. I was glad I did. Several of the ladies who wanted to meet me had purchased quilts others wanted information on my teaching schedule and availablity. It is always nice to know who has your work and I enjoy teaching.  returning to the show earlier than planned was a good thing.
In total for the two day show I sold nine pieces. I know the collage above shows eight of the images that did.  For the life of me I can't remember which of my quilts the ninth one was.
You see I wasn't being a good business woman when I got the bundle assembled to take to the show. For one, I failed to make a copy of the inventory sheet that I left with guild that listed names and prices of my work. As a rule I also create an album in Picasa and copy an image of each quilt(s) and title to that album. The album moreso the title of the album denotes the destination of where my work is when it leaves the house and I have an idea of what is where. My second lapse of professionalism was that I failed to do this for the 17 pieces I took to the guild show and I am not entirely sure why that was other than me thinking that the likely hood of me selling anything at the show was slim to nil.
I was participating just to be supportive. How wrong was my thinking?
My work sells on a regular basis. I am happy about that. But nine pieces in two days is a record. Excuse me, but Yahoo!!!!
The better part of all this is I did not want to make those two bird quilts in the first place. My heart really wasn't in the making of them and I really, really thought I would have them forever. I am so glad there are bird lovers in Florida because they both sold and are going to homes where they will be enjoyed.
And now, I am off to the shower and to bed.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Flowers on a Grand Scale:/Red Bloom

Posted by PicasaI will be teaching this class in two sessions at Queen Ann's Lace Quilt Shop in Kissimmee, Fl.
Machine class, all levels,
Techniques: machine piecing, machine applique, machine quilting
Exploring use of color pencils, inks and thread painting
First session Saturday March, 5, 2011
Second Session Saturday April 2, 2011
Contact the quilt shop for registration information and supply list
or e-mail me for additional information

The Quilt Show

I started out looking at each category in order to decide what I liked best, but that soon went by the way side mainly because I kept getting interrupted. So the quilt pictured above left was the only one that truly was my pick for a category. Why? Well I thought I could sneak in under the radar and not be seen and go about seeing the show and get out. But no. I kept getting stopped and chatted with. Which I must say was nice. It's nice to have people know you and you them. It's the reason I joined the guild. It would be a really sad and lonely world I'd live in if I knew no one who loved quilting as much as I do or didn't speak quilt or art.
The second quilt in the above collage was done by Mary Sorenson and was part of a special exhibit featuring her work. I liked this one the best.
I pretty much passed by all of the vendors but stopped at one. I was tempted to try out a HQ Sweet 16 machine they had in the booth. I'll reserve my thoughts about it for now mainly because before I say aye or nay or think of investing in one I'll have to spend more than 5 minutes operating one. You know, take along my favorite thread and quilt sandwich makings. Too much money to do otherwise.
So on I went up and down a few more aisles until I was summoned to the "quilts for sale booth" where I was told a lady who had brought one of my quilts was looking for me and that they were keeping a list of quilters who wanted to know when and where I was teaching a class next. I left a handful of business cards with the guild members who were manning the booth and on I went feeling quite pleased. Three quilts have sold so far. How great is that?

I didn't get to see Nancy Prince's six quilts that are on display at the show on set-up day because she came in and hung them herself. The two pictured above caught my eye. Heavily quilted and thread painted. The signage states her quilts had been a part of the Vermont Quilt Festival, not sure what year, but the VQF is one of my favorite show venues.

There was a trolley car in the parking lot that was a quilt shop on wheels. Cute! But I was not tempted to enter. The above collage is composed of some general shots of the show floor and the lovely lake at the Fairgrounds as well as the trolley car. As you can see, today was very cloudy and rainy here in central Florida, but still shirt sleeve weather.

Despite not following through on my plan to pick my favorite in each category, I did manage to snap some images of quilts that caught my eye. To the makers of them, I hope they are creditied correctly. I tried.
Tomorrow is, take 'em down, pack 'em up and give 'em back to their makers day. From past experience, I know a hot shower and my bed will feel real good when I fall in it tomorrow night.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I took my camera with me today

and was all ready to show you some quilts, but I failed to check to see if the battery was charged.  I also did not take a spare battery either.  I know, I know....
Not much gettng done in the creating department orther than me making a large 4' x 6' print surface which I have wanted to do since moving to Florida. 
But I have been busy of late serving on the Quilt show committee of the Log Cabin Fever Quilters. My job was to get the quilt floor plan done and organized the quilt hanging volunteers so that the show would go up smoothly.
I will commend all the members and spouses who came to work yesterday and today.   And work they did.  We got it done in record time I was told.
Yesterday and today Justin came with me.  Being 6 ft, 3 in.  negates the need of a ladder.  He simply reached up, tipped toed a little and reached up 8'.    Believe me he was much loved by all of us shorties.  Being  active in this guild and being a member of the  quilt show  committee  has reminded me of the fist guild I joined in Louisville and all the other quilt shows I've participated in.  Not wishing to go back and do it all again, I realized  yesteday as I was on the way home that I have missed this part of the quilt world.  Not saying I will do it again.  But this time, this show, this one last time for old time sake was a good thing.  I have really enjoyed the last two days. 
Today the vendors came in and while I did not have to deal with them, that part of the show organization seemed to go smoothly too.  Because I didn't take time out to look I can't say that there was anything in the vendor booths that was begging to go home with me.  Dare I go back and look harder.
I saw each and every quilt in the show as I walked the show floor, hanging quilts and double  and triple checking that all was "well" and being sure that it was I hadn't planned to go back to the show until time for the quilts  to come down and get returned to the makers on Saturday.  Yes, I'm also in charge of take-down and return too and yes I'm taking Justin with me.   The great majority of the quilts in the show were made by members of the guild.  They are mostly traditional in design and color.  However, there were several art quilts that were interesting.  No battery means no images to show for all the work I did and no images  to share with you.  So as I was leaving I told Justin that I will  go back for a couple of hours first thing tomorrow just to take some photos.  Well - not first thing.  I think I'll wait until the rush hour traffic clears. 
This morning as well as on Wednesday morning, Justin and I were in the thick of bumper to bumper and stopped dead still. It wasn't pretty.  Justin is a good driver, but if there had been a brake pedal on my side of the car, I would have used it more than once.

The guild show is neither  juried or judged.  I didn't enter anything in the show, although I did put several pieces in the Quilt for Sale Booth and one of my quilts has already sold.  The guild get 10% of the sale price which goes toward the community service grant program I think at any rate  10% isn't bad when other venues like galleries and museums can take as much as 40% commissions.   Tomorrow, I will take a picture of the quilt "I" think is the best of each category; of which there are thirteen and put them on my blog.

For anyone in the Olando area tomorrow and Saturday come and see the show.  I think it's  worth the trip.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yesterday I went to Tampa

Well not really. 
On Wednesday I rode in the navigator's or map reader's seat while my grandson Justin drove me to a speaking engagement and trunk show on the gulf side of the state. Since I got up at 6:15 AM and we were on our way by 7:15 I napped and let "Georgia" the GPS voice do the job of directing Justin.  I was hoping to see both the city of Tampa and the Gulf  while I was there, but it was not to be.  The Gulf shore was further away than I thought.
 The meeting place for the guild was in a suburb of Tampa and not Tampa proper, but still, I hate to go some place and not really see the place, so after I finished my program I had Justin drive a little further west so I could at least see the Tampa skyline if not the shoreline. As we were making a u-turn to get back on I-4 I saw this building and thought the decorativeoverhand was charming.
Oh and the chicken.... I'd heard that wild chicken can be found in parts of Florida but never expected to come upon any.  These two in a flock of six or seven were in the parking lot of a Hardee's where we stopped for a potty break off I-4 on our way back home.
As you can see from the picture below the group of quilters not only spend the day working on their own projects they also EAT. As I understand there is pot luck lunch served at each meeting and yesterday's menu was planned to honor the Super Bowl. Sort of tail gating inside rather than out, which was a good thing since yesterday was rather chilly by Florida standards. As part of the pot luck they held a chili cook off with a prize given to the chili judged the best. Sorry I missed getting a picture of the table with all the chili and stuff on it.
I took samples from four of the crock pots on the table and that was only the tip of the iceberg. There were several salads, cheese, corn chops, sour cream and chopped onion for toppers.
Simply by luck one of the four I choose to try was a vegetarian chili that won first place. I must say it was really very good. As I made my way along the table bemoaning the fact that there were many baskets of corn muffins and I could not eat any of them.  Gluten allergy.  And  then to my delight, there amongst the baskets was one basket containing miniature muffin labeled gluten free.
I took two.  Ate them with a little butter and honey. YUM! YUM! YUM!   Better than cake. I wish I had remembered to ask who brought them in and if they were her recipe or, from a box mix.  If a box mix I can see myself making some the next time I want bean soup, or kraut. Since discovering that wheat is not my friend, I have come to accept that bread for sandwiches or pancakes, or biscuits are no longer a part of my life.
But now, corn muffins, like brownies from a mix by King Arthur can be part of my life on a limited bases if I want.

Yes I sampled the fudge.
Ad yes I enjoyed my day with the  Feather Princesses and one Prince: Applique' Quilt Guild of Tampa

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Rainy days and Mondays

the song by the Carpenters, kept running through my head today. I know some of you are getting the white stuff again. But here, it was a grey, rainy, thunder and lightening kind of day. Despite temperatures in the mid 70's all I wanted to do was go back to bed for a long nap during the worst of the rain which I confess I did. Nothing much else of interest to blog about. To make some quilting related stuff out of nothing much, as I was sitting on the balcony when the rain first began to fall, I noticed the pattern on the side of the parking structure as the concrete began to get wet and thought what nifty Thermofax screens the pattern would make. So I still have quilting on the brain but more so along the lines of surface design than anything else.
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Friday, January 07, 2011

Sew--- Sew---Sew, part 2

Today I'm  back to sewing on sleeves.  Why?  I finished sewing on what I thought was the last of the sleeves only to locate two more small pieces without them as I was sorting and tagging two dozen plus pieces to take with me for my presentation and trunk show in Tampa next Wednesday. 
I really must do better about "really finishing" a piece once it is "finished".   But the sleeves and labels have always been my bug-a-boo and in all truth since I did not make not one single New Year's resolution, putting sleeves on immediately is not going to be the one I intend to make.
Today after lunch I plan to paint.
Yesterday was spent at the lap top creating a slide presentation in Power Point.  That took me way longer than I thought it would. In the past Lyn was the one who created my presentation for me.  So first I had to learn the program.  Then  I was torn between whether I should include some of my older work or if I should leave it out.
I like so many other quilter makers  who got started long years ago, now nearly thirty.  I don't have a lot of my old work any more.  And only two pieces  here with me that are older than 6 years. 
Of my older work; those pieces that have not sold were left with Lyn in Missouri so I don't have them here to photograph.  Most of my very first pieces were made way before the digital era came upon us.   Back then it was standard practice to make photographs for documentation and 35mm slides for competition entries. 
But it is hard to show people where you came from  and the connection you still have to that place if you don't have images of your early work.
So I decided to include some images of the pieces with floral themes if I could find photographs of them in the pile of pictures that did not make it to my scrape book and I found in a box.  The scrape book with images of everything I ever made before digital cameras,  I also left with Lyn. 
You know, Lyn has a lot of my "stuff".  I don't feel to to bad about that, she  a keeper.  The keeper genes she got from her father  not from me. Me, her mother's genes operate basically in this way.  If; when, where and how you will use it doesn't come immediately to mind, then let it go to a better home or into the trash bin.  
Of the old work I found photo images of,  I tried taking digital shots of them with some success. So they were included.
So for now I'm off and getting back to the thimble, needle and thread and then on to making some soy milk after lunch so I can paint, I hope.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Sew... Sew... Sew...

That's pretty much all I did today. Some at the machine but mostly by hand.  I was going to do paperwork but the fire alarm maintenance company that services the building where I live was here today conducting test that had every alarm in every apartment on every one of the 7 stories going off at one time for hours and I do mean hours. I don't think  you can  imagine or appreciate how loud and annoying the alarms are that began to blare at 9:05 and did not cease until nearly 1:00 pm unless you had the misfortune of being here.

While this sounds very much like complaining, I really am not. When you live in a multi-family high-rise the last thing you want to be concerned about is fire and not being alerted to it soon enough. Around here, they take fire preparedness seriously. Having said that, there was no way with the noise level in the range it was, was I going to think or hold a train of thought long enough to do paper work or relax into a zen state as I paint.  So instead  of doing either one of those planned task for today, I began the mindless chore of sewing on all the facing and all the sleeves of all the pieces I've finished, rolled up and put in the closet lately. The tally.  I cut the strips of cloth for facing and sleeves, then faced and sewed  top and bottom sleeves on one quilt, sewed top and bottom sleeves on another and made the the two sleeves for a third quilt that I plan to sew at least the top sleeve onto before I call it quits for tonight. The second sleeve I'll do tomorrow.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The word for today is Growth

or greening.  Both words I relate to Spring. 
When I took a break from quilting  today to stand in the sun on the balcony I chanced to look down into the garden.  A more  studied look at the bushes there revealed many values and hues of green, old leaves and new ones signifying growth due to the increasing warming of the temperatures here.  I hope our Winter is over.  Not that we have much of one or that it last for long when we do...   Spring is coming, at least the plants think so.
The palm trees that I take for granted have grown I noticed too.   Reflecting on these signs of growth,  I took a closer look at the plants in my rail boxes and  at the plants I thought I had lost due to cold a couple of weeks ago.  I saw that the  plants were  trying to make a come back and are sending out new leaves.  So inside I went to get a trash bag and my scissors.  I cleaned up the dry dead leaves and snipped off the dying ones and watered all the pots and boxes thoroughly and felt good for having done so.  When I came back in to start quilting again, I noticed a new leaf growing on my Christmas cactus too.  Ahhh Spring.
 Maybe me taking note of all the greening in nature was due to the fact that the threads I was using today were all in the green color family.
Tomorrow I will put the sleeves on the quilt I plan to submit to IQA/Cincinnati.  Finish the paperwork for that which takes longer than you might think.  Then I should get on to creating a  power point presentation to go along with the trunk show I am doing for a quilt guild in Tampa on the 12th of this month.
I put some dried soy beans in water to soak overnight.  I have a piece of silk ready to go.  If I get done with the business part of being a working artist, I can get some painting done tomorrow before it gets dark and I lose the great light that come through the windows.
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Monday, January 03, 2011

Today was a little of this and a little

of that. None of which adds up to very much. But the day went. Today began with dropping Rene' off at her office and me taking myself out to a leisurely breakfast where I sat reading a book over a cup of not the best coffee as I waited for the Bernina store in Lake Mary to open. The store; a nicely appointed quilt shop that sells Berninas  best of all carries my favorite Isacord thread along with other products I use, like 505. Yeah, the thread cost more there than ordering on-line but when you need it now, you buy it. Today I was looking for specific colors rather than buying just to add to my stash of threads. I took the quilt I am currently working on along with me to make sure I was picking up the right colors. As good as I think I am with colors it is really hard to pick colors from memory. Didn't think I would need as many colors as I selected, but ten spool later and a nice chunk of change, I was on the way back home to start my day at the sewing machine. But that didn't happen. Not today. For sure tomorrow.

I was like a kid with new crayons. When I dumped the thread from the bag, I had to look at them and contemplate the possibilities and look at them laid out together and smile. I couldn't just put them in the boxes where they belong and get down to work. No. No. No. To much like right my Father used to say. Then I decided because my collection is growing, I should make some order out of my collection and get a handle on what I have, so that the next time I go shopping or order online I will not run the risk of buying duplicates.
After I made a spread sheet with the list of colors by number Isacord sells ( over nearly 400) and marking the ones I have, I discovered that I have several duplicates. No surprise there. The good part in spending an hour or so making the spread sheet and the time spent checking off what I have is knowing that while I have some duplicate there weren't many and despite all that they are duplicates of colors I really like. Ones that I am sure I will use. Maybe not so much with the colors I had to buy today. Not one was from my favorite color families, (Yellow-red-orange) but definitely color that I needed and ones that make the other colors sing.

I had a late lunch on the balcony and little e-mail time on the computer and
then I went off to my local quilt guild's 5PM board meeting. Did not stay for the regular guild meeting and the program . Came home in the tail end of rush hour to find an acceptance letter for AQS/Lancaster.... YEAH!!!!!
Think I'll turn in early and get an early start tomorrow.
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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Yesterday I went for a walk

around the lake, something I haven't done for a while, mainly because it been too cold. But yesterday was great. The sun was shining and
families were in the park and people were sitting on the grass near the lake shore. Wonderful!!! When I left home with my camera I decided that because of what I can see from my balcony I would focus on looking at pattern. With an emphasis on quilt patterning contemporary and traditional. The upper image is the security railing on the 7th floor level of the parking structure where I live, the four patch is in the garden below me.

But as soon as I turned the corner on my way to the lake, what caught  my eye and caused me to pause was the fact that Christmas was still very much every where I looked. Looking up I saw this banners on the light post. Well it could be an applique' I thought so "click". But what made me smile the broadest was this giant 8' inflatable snow man on a balcony.  The  idea of a cold winter theme when the sun was shining and the temperature was registerinng in the high 70's was just too funny. Not much quilt about that I thought as I zoomed in on it and clicked, but there are snowflakes I thought.

At the end of my walk when I looked back through what I had chosen to capture with my camera, the dominate theme for the day was pattern, but not necessarily quilt and definately metal.
I think I told you several post ago that Rene' was back to house hunting. Yesterday her hunt paid off. We looked at four places with her Realtor that we had scoped out on Friday; all duplex's and one was a clear winner. Move in ready. The only improvement required; ripping out the light colored cheap looking laminate wood flooring to put in real wood. It is bank owned with all the paper work that slows these sorts of sales down to a crawl is done. With that, she put a contract on it. Best of all, as far as I am concerned; its not far from me. About 1-1/2 miles and I can walk or get there on my bike by riding on a less busy street. And why would I want to get there on my bike. The place has a two car garage,painted floor with lots of built in deep shelving and she said I can use one side for my wet studio. The side with the window, yeah!!!! I have a really sweet daughter. 2011 looks promising.
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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Looking back and going forward

You know as I live my life from day to day it is hard to see all that I have gotten done; especially after a three week period during which I didn't turn on my sewing machine much. As a consequence I wasn't feeling very productive creatively speaking. To add to that; a few days ago when I finished the last of the books I checked out of the Library I began bad mouthing myself and thinking I was frittering my time away. But I quickly put an end to that way of thinking. I love to read. I love getting lost in the pages and doing anything that brings you joy is not a waste of time.

I decided to blog this morning after I finished reading Melody Johnson's blog this morning and saw all the quilt works she had completed as she took stock of her accomplishments in 2010 and I decided to take stock of myself to see what I had really done too. All in all I am quite pleased.
I can't say I have finished any knitting projects that I have started this year, mainly because it is hard to think of knit scarves and wool sock in Florida and one only needs so few sweaters that making one isn't worth the time spent. Excuses, Excuses!!!
But on the quilt making front, I had set a goal for myself beginning in 09 right after I moved to Florida and that was to get better at dye painting in a more realistic style. That goal morphed into working with water color pigments; a medium that I like very much working with, especially when I use silk broadcloth.
My life, hopes , dreams and goals are basically about my quilting and to that end I have taught some classes here in the Orlando area as well as outside of the state last year, Virginia and Connecticut. I am helping do the floor/quilt layout for the bi-annual quilt show put on by my local quilt guild. Yes, I regressed, but it was a good way to meet like minded people. Also I was a jurist for a SAQA Exhibit that will hang in the New England Quilt Museum early this year.
I've had both family and friends come to visit. One staying longer than I had imagined he would. But hey, he takes the trash out without being told to. Knows how to cook for himself and how to run the washer and dryer. What more can you ask of a 6' 3" male person.
Dipping my toes back into the quilt show pool, I was rewarded with two blue ribbons and of course the checks that went with them. I have sold several pieces of my work too beginning with one being sold while 13 of my pieces were on exhibit in Ann Arbor, MI last Feb-Mar. The two birds quilts, quite different for me were created for a exhibit in Henderson, KY. I am waiting to hear if the piece I entered in AQS/Lancaster has been accepted and I met the deadline for getting my entry off for AQS/Paducah.
I can not tell you the number of books I've read or listened to this year or the names of all the movies I've seen but there have been a LOT!!!
While a sore throat that began right after Thanksgiving and the resulting lingering cough seems to be finally abating
I can say gratefully that I have been well and hardy this past year.
So here's to 2011.... May it hold 365 days that bring you joy and peace and all ones you fill creatively.

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