Monday, April 30, 2007

Paducah Pals!

WOW! Another great trip to the American Quilt Society annual show in Paducah, Kentucky. This trip was made extra special by the fact that my friend, Marguerite, had her quilt, "Katrina Chaos", accepted for the exhibit. Linda G. kindly made all the rest of us tags which read, "Friend of a semi-finalist, 2007", as well as commemorative bookmarks reflecting the quilt info and a picture. Best of all, she made some outstanding labels for Marguerite to wear, including a star-shaped one had a picture of Marguerite, along with a balloon stating, "I'd like to thank the Academy". On Friday evening, we toasted with champagne, and were all presented with special M & M's with the legends, "Paducah 2007" on some, and "Katrina Chaos" on the others.

There were only ten of us wearing the friendship badges, but many people commented saying they had seen them all over the convention center! A couple of us "planted" them with two of our favorite vendors, Xenia Cord of Legacy Quilts, and the Scissor Man, Brint Finizza.

Another extra special event this trip was the opportunity to meet Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, and Lucy Van Der Sluis, a native of The Netherlands, from Quilting with a Past. We knew we would all be staying at the same resort, so we made plans to meet, and invited them to our customary evening "show and tell". Pictured are Laura, Bonnie, Dawn, Luci, and yours truly. Laura, Dawn and I presented Bonnie and Lucy with some Old Tippecanoe blocks, in an Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild tote bag, with some other special gifts inside. Lucy brought us some historic Dutch fabrics, a bandanna with a map of The Netherlands, and a unique starched garment worn over the bodice in traditional Dutch apparel. This garment was starched as stiff as a board, and it is difficult to imagine wearing it daily. Seems as though it could cut into one's neck, since it is so stiff. It certainly is a lovely remembrance of a fun trip and great opportunity to meet internet friends.
I was able to make purchases which gratified both my favorite hobbies, quilting and knitting, and added the purchase of a locker hook for making rugs, as well as dyes from Pro Chem to make an attempt to handpaint some yarn for socks. Always an adventure!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Where does the time go?

Last Saturday found me in Chicago, at the International Quilt Show, where it was sunny and brisk. Here's a view from the tour bus window as we progressed SOUTH toward home. I told our driver, I thought she was taking me home to Milwaukee, not Indiana.

Here's one of the first quilts I saw upon entering the convention hall. It is part of the Celebrate Spring exhibit, and I thought it was lovely. I'm sure that the winner, a hummingbird, will be posted many places, but this was one of my favorites. Ran into Dawn in the show. She took pictures of many of the same quilts that I did, but hers turned out a little better, so I invite you to check her blog.

If I survive tomorrow in the office, I'll then be off for ten . . . count 'em . . . ten days! We launch our adventure with a visit to my cousin in Markesan, Wisconsin, as our most northerly point of call. Then, it's back to my niece's home in St. Charles, Illinois, for a couple days, where I will collect my Texan sister-in-law, and bring her back to Lafayette. Then, all the crazy quilters load up on Wednesday evening, and begin our trek toward the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky. It's a big annual event. A new feature this year . . . we get to meet Bonnie and Lucy.
I've been making a doll sweater for each of Lucy's girls. They are turning out cute, if I do say so myself. It's going to be great fun to give the sweaters to Lucy, and hear her girls' reactions when she returns to The Netherlands.
Paducah . . . I'm trying to be on a fabric diet this year. I did remarkably well in Chicago. I only purchased a tube of 7 spools of silk thread for applique, and a vintage needle book for my collection. That was just a one day excursion, however. The Paducah trip is four days of shops and vendors. Could be quite a trial. I probably won't go cold turkey, but I will be somewhat selective!
Let the laughing begin! There's no way to get into shape for all the laughing we do on this trip. If laughing is good for one, we're the healthiest bunch of women around!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring has sprung!

Sorry to say, it's just a rumor, however. The meteorologists are forecasting dips into the 20's for Easter weekend. Everything is turning green, and will probably turn brown by this time next week! When I was a kid, a group of us participated in sunrise services on Monument Circle in Indianapolis on Easter Sunday. I don't ever remember doing that when it was warm. In fact, I have specific memories of one year when we stood in freezing rain and snow!

I still haven't organized my studio, but I have done some organization of my "socks - some assembly required" basket, as well as my sock patterns. I decided to participate in a knit-along titled, "52 Pair Plunge". The objective is to knit one pair of socks per week or 52 pairs in the term commencing April 1, 2007, and ending April 1, 2008. Surprisingly, at last count there were about 50 signed up . . . so, I'm not the only person in the world crazy about knitting socks!

The "bad" news is, my basket only has enough yarn for about 30 pair. Before the year is out, I'm going to have to buy more sock yarn . . . oh, no . . . don't make me do it! As to patterns, I have TWO three-ring binders full of patterns. I haven't counted them yet, but they are alphabetized, and sorted by the weight of yarn each calls for. Emily, another 52 pair participant is my hero . . . she has her patterns indexed with a spread sheet. I'm going to give that a whirl, too, and compare notes with her, so perhaps we an fill in the gaps.

I launched my participation with Basket Case socks, a pattern found on the internet;I believe the designer's name is MacVay . . . I'll have to check. It calls for a doulbe-knitting weight yarn, but my gauge still worked out for size 2 needles. My backup plan for this week is a pair of Dorm Socks with a freebie pattern by Bernat Yarns. I actually made a pair of those for my DIL at Christmas, and she loves them. They only took about a day to knit, so I can use those to catch up. Also have a pattern for some socks for DGD American Girl doll. The rules, fortunately, do not require that the socks be adult in fine gauge. The only need to be a pair.