Monday, May 26, 2008

Taking a break...!

I'll be taking a little break.

Things are a little chaotic in my life at the moment.

As for the renovations, I really don't have much to report on! Sheet rock is up, it's now taping and other odds and end.

Please bare with me as I sort things out. I should be back in a bit!

Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wish I could sew.....!

Isn't it always like that? When you cannot access your sewing room, that's when you want it! Sigh....

This is what my sewing room looks like this very minute! Sigh... a big mess!

I know it's temporary, so I can manage. Gosh, I have so many hand projects going, it's not like I don't have anything to work on! lol

But, it's always like that, when you can't access it, you want it!

This is the entrance I wrote about yesterday.

My sewing room is part of the addition so the door leads into our bedroom.

It will be nice when it's part of the hallway and not our room!

Once we are finished with the bedroom, we'll button up my sewing room. I do need a new floor. However, I don't know if I'll have the energy to deal with it this year. I do have another room to prepare for my new toy! We'll see!

The renovations are moving along nicely. The windows are up and the ceiling is starting to come together. Stephen is working hard to make it all happen.

Having the windows up makes me feel more secure. Not that I think anyone would climb up, it's the little critters that bother me! lol

Today I plan on doing some hand embroidery. I did clean yesterday and frankly, I'm tired of cleaning! Time for a bit of relaxation!

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Busy, busy, busy ....... Crazy!

I'm here and let me tell you the past week has been crazy busy. I had to get ready for some major renovations that we're doing this year. As I've probably mentioned a few times, my home is more then 150 years old and every year we tackle a room. This year it's our bedroom!

Stephen did cut out a piece of the wall to see what we would be up against. When you renovate an older home, you never know what surprises you'll encounter. As prepare as you are, you must make room for the unexpected and yes there were lots of unexpected.

My week was busy getting my sewing room prepared for a plaster/sheet rock dust invasion. You see, you must go through our bedroom to get to my sewing room, as it is the second floor of the kitchen/2 car garage addition we build more then six (6) years ago. So, all my sewing machines had to be stored and protected from that fine dust. I guess you can say I did a major clean up/cover up in there.

And if that wasn't enough, my Girl Scout troop had a "Night at the Museum" Friday at the New York State Museum in Albany. That's a three (3) hour drive. There were lots of preparations for that. We all had a great time! Of course, the kid in me was in full force and I joined in the dissecting of an owl pellet and rode the antique Carousel. What fun it was! They have quite a nice variety of exhibits. We slept with/in the Elk and Wolf section of the museum and sadly, they did not come alive. However, given that I was asleep, I cannot say with certainty that it was the case ;o). The only down side was the uncomfortable cement floor that was our bed. The good news, I survived!

This is what I came home too! The surprises that they encountered slowed down the process. Thankfully my dad and favourite brother (as he likes to be called), came over for the long Canadian weekend to help Stephen out.

Here's my brother Jacques hard at work. That is quite the man tool!

It removes the plaster from the brick wall. We have three (3) brick walls in our bedroom. What a task it was. The tool weighs 50 pounds and when you've got that baby up in the air, you can just imagine what it does to your arms!

There are two (2) major changes that we're making to the room's layout.

These were the stairs that led to the attic. They're totally useless in my opinion, as the addict is not big enough to make a room. I really don't know why they put stairs up. That section will now become a huge closet.

The other change is re-positioning the bedroom door so that my sewing room becomes a separate room. I will no longer bother DH when I sew late at night.

As of today, this is where we're at! That is quite the progress from Saturday. The walls are bare and some of the insulation is up! Gosh, you can still see dust (white circles)!

I am quite grateful for my father and brother's help. Without them we would not be where we're at demolition wise.

So, if you don't read much quilting news, you know why! I'm busy cleaning and taking care of the logistics of renovating. Stephen has the week off so I'll keep you informed of the progress.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

What's up?!?!

One of the many things I learned at the Ricky Tims' seminar is to have a design wall, something I did not have. I would usually use the floor in my sewing room and police the traffic making sure a cat or a human did not mess up the lay out! Certainly not an efficient way of doing things! So........

This is what's up! My new design wall and on it, the lay out for the quilt French Cottage Garden by Grab-Apple Hill Designs. This is the one that I hand embroidered the panels a while back. You can read about here if you wish.

I'm using fabrics from the Dandelion Girl collection by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda. Have I ever mentioned that I'm a Moda girl? Oh, I love Moda fabrics! ;o) But, I digress....

As I looked at the layout it dawned on me that my panels are white while the background of my blocks are cream. Hum......?

My friend Jennifer mentioned that with the Warm & Natural batting, which is what I plan on using, it will cream the white up a bit. I sure hope so!

Today, I plan on quilting all day. Oh.... I hear my machine calling me! lol It sure would be nice to have to top sewn today.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflections on quilting!

I want to share with you Ricky Tims' first quilt. You might wonder why I would want to share such a thing, I mean his quilts are so exquisite, why the first one? Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking since my return from the seminar. More so about how I view myself as a quilter. So allow me.....

This is his first quilt. I have not re-sized the picture because I want you to be able to view it up close.

Like most of us, he started with a sampler. It's not perfect by any means, but it certainly provides me with a sense of his humanness. Let's face it, the man is quite a prolific and successful quilter and yet, this quilt is part of his travelling collection. Why? I feel that this says a lot about who he is as a person. Despite his fame, he is willing to show the world where he started as a quilter. That my friends speaks volume!

At the Vermont Quilt Festival, they have a category for first time quilters called Adult Beginner. I've always been puzzled by this category. I understand this to be the very first quilt you make. However, the quilts were phenomenal! I mean, it was nothing like Ricky's first quilt nor mine.

I would peruse the collection of "first quilts" and felt absolutely crushed that my quilting, after so many years did not even remotely compare to their first quilt. It was more like "Wow, this is their first quilts?" Oh my gosh, let me go home and cry. Obviously I do not have the talent to enter a quilt in a show. You know, while writing this entry I came to the realization why at shows I always shop first and quickly look at the quilts before going home! Interesting! Hum.....

Now back to Ricky's first quilt; that to me resembles more a "first quilt". It certainly leads me to believe that the ones I have seen at VQF were not necessarily first time quilts. Hum.... people cheat?!! lol

I look at Ricky's beginning and where he is now and I feel that I too can do it! This is a very different feeling from VQF where I thought I could never be a good enough quilter. Perhaps that is why he brings his first quilt, and by the way speaks about it also. He wants everyone to understand that they don't have to be a genius or born with a "special" talent to be a good quilter! There is a common beginning and it's up to the individual to aspire to be the best quilter they can be.

Knowing this inspires me. It fills me with my own unique creative energy. Thank you Ricky Tims for sharing freely your creative process and for putting quilting into perspective. Perhaps it's time for me to think about entering a quilt in shows. ;o)

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. I would enjoy reading your input on my reflections.

Have fun creating!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What I learned at the seminar!

First, I want to apologize for taking so long to write the final part of this wonderful seminar. It seems that life has just been getting away from me as of late.

Back to the seminar!

When you check in, they hand you this amazing 123 page book that accompanies the seminar. It contains everything that will be discussed. In other words, lots of patterns and how to!

This is is a great reference book and even Stephen found it educational. Unfortunately, it's only available to participants and cannot be purchased.

Ricky's motto is Keep It Simple (KIS)! His quilts look so complicated but they are not! I cannot begin to tell you how inspired I was. I mean, I just wanted to go home and start creating quilts. But, I was stuck in a seat, forced to continue absorbing the knowledge that was freely shared by Ricky, Libby and Alex. Yea, it was tough! lol

Thursday evening, Libby gave the last talk and she had us in stitches. I laughed so hard that I was tearing! She is a hoot! I don't know if it's a Texan thing, but she is funny!

Afterwards, that's when I hooked up with Kathy, Trudy and Cheryl and we headed off to Fiddlehead Restaurant for dinner. The food was absolutely delicious. That evening, without realizing it, I had lost my beautiful silk scarf that Stephen had given me as a gift. Of course, I was still clueless thinking it's somewhere in my room until Friday afternoon when Ricky goes on stage and mentions that someone had left this beautiful scarf at Fiddlehead. So I went down to claim it and he said, "it's a gorgeous scarf!" I thanked him and everyone applauded! So now not only had I been know as the lady with a blog, but now it was the lady who lost her scarf! lol

Friday evening, Ricky had a piano recital. It was more of a story time accompanied by musical pieces. He did play the trumpet! I enjoyed learning about who he is, his childhood and how he came to be a quilter, all while laughing my head off! lol He's quite the entertainment and so talented!

Saturday was more learning and laughing! The attending guild menbers had a group picture taken on stage.

Libby Lehman spontaneously joined us for the photo. She's the one waving in the back! Hi Libby! I had such a great time!

I have to say that they were all so generous with their knowledge and with prizes. Ricky certainly gave a lot of himself and you could see by Saturday, he was tired.

Here is what I learned in 2 and a half days from Ricky;

Quilting Caveman Style
Convergence Quilts
Out of your Mind
Flip n Sew, Paper Piecing
Rhapsody Quilts
No Pins Precision Curved Piecing
No Pins Set-in Corners/Circles
Kool Kaleidoscope
Fear Not the A word - Applique!
Grand Finale - Machine Quilting Overload
Magnificent Piped Bindings
Binding the Quilt - all by Machine
Sensational Scalloped Binding (which he didn't cover because we learned other stuff - it's well explained in the book)

From Alex Anderson

Beautifully Quilter
Fabulous Fabrics

and from Libby Lehman

Sheer Ribbon Illusions
Potluck Applique

You can see, it was quite an intense event. Well worth the money I paid! And if that wasn't enough Bob Purcell from Superior Threads gave a lecture on threads.

I didn't buy anything worth sharing with you. However, temptation was present the whole time. Ricky's store had lots of beautiful hand dyed fabrics. They were gorgeous! Boy, did I fondle them a lot! lol

As you can just imagine, by Saturday, my head was spinning in knowledge overload. I would highly recommend that you attend a Ricky Tims Seminar! They did have a write up about this event in The Glen Falls Post-Star that you can read here.

Thank you for visiting with me!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ricky Tim Seminar - Part 1...!

I just spent 3 (three) intense days in Glens' Falls to attend the Ricky Tims Quilt Seminar and what a blast it was! What an energetic and invigorating seminar!

I left Thursday moonish to drive down to Glens' Falls, which is about a 2 (two) hour drive from my home. I stayed at The Manor Inn, about 1 mile away from the civic center where the seminar took place. I had the Garden Room! It was the first time I ever slept in a king size bed! Yea, I needed a map to get out of it the first morning! lol The stay was quite comfy and the breakfast, delicious! I did enjoy the walk to and from the seminar every day!

Strangely, I hadn't expected to meet many people. Members from my guild were going, but I didn't know who. Given that I'm still sort of a new member, it really wasn't my intention to meet up with anyone I knew. I left home with the idea that I'd be spending a quiet 3 (three) days to myself. As you can just imagine, that's not how it turned out!

Thursday, I am climbing up the stair in the civic center looking for a seat and I hear "Carole Meier". I'm looking around and a beautiful lady says to me, "You have a blog! Oh my gosh, I read your blog". Well, you can just imagine my surprise! I'm fascinated by the idea that someone actually recognized me! lol I just couldn't believe it! What a pleasant surprise to meet up with a reader. Gosh, I almost felt like a famous person! LOL

Meet Denise, she's a lurker! lol Doesn't she have the sweetest smile?

I'm trying really hard to have her come out of lurkdom! lol She is a hoot!

You cannot imagine how much she made my day! I mean, to actually recognize me! I guess my picture does reflects the true me! lol She did say that I look much skinnier in person. THANK YOU Denise! lol

Denise's friend took our picture in front of Bohemian Rhapsody quilt by Ricky Tims. Thank you Denise from making me feel special!

At the end of the first evening, I hooked up with 3 (three) fine ladies from my guild.

Meet, starting from the left, Cheryl, Kathy and Trudy! What a hoot they all are!

They all decided to yell "Yooooo Hoooo" for the picture, which was the expression we "the audience" used throughout the seminar to express our joy and excitement!

They invited me to join them for dinner Thursday evening. We ate at Fiddlehead's Gourmet Dining. It was delicious!

From then on, we stayed together as a group and would meet up in the morning. They were kind enough to save me a seat. I always seemed to arrive with a minute to spare!

It's my understanding that this seminar was the largest they had ever had. We were close to 800 people.

I do hope you enjoyed reading about my first day! Thank you so much for stopping by!
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