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Quilt Artist to Word Artist

What happens when your brain has “quilt overload?”

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Sometimes a quilter just needs to take a break from quilting. A break from planning, cutting, and stitching. We need to get away from the sewing room, for just a bit. Completely away, no quilt meetings, no quilt magazines. What do we do when we need that break?

Read?

Now there are several authors who write books with quilts in them. They are good books, in fact I will be reviewing some of them later this summer. However, for something completely different, a book that is pure enjoyment, allow me to introduce Mariam Kobras, former quilt artist turned word artist.

I told someone the other day that  my review could be short, sweet and simple, “It’s a good book, buy it and read it.”

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Unfortunately, that doesn’t make for much of a blog post, or tell you anything about the book.  Naomi Carlsson is a “poor little rich girl” in one sense, but she is so much more. Her parents own the world-famous Carlsson Hotels and she is expected to take over the running of them.

Yeah, right. Remember when you were eighteen? Did you have dreams? Did they coincide with what your parents, or society thought you should do? What did you do? WAITING FOR A SONG is Naomi’s story of growth, and independence.

Everyone expected her to become engaged today. After all, it is her eighteenth birthday and her soon-to-be fiance has been waiting years for her to be old enough. Except, she’s not sure she wants to marry him, and there is not a crown prince available for her. Which is a good thing, since she doesn’t want to marry a prince either.

Naomi isn’t the demure little thing her parents and future husband, Seth want to make her into. When Seth, knowing she loves to ride, gives her the gift of a horse, a pedigree Arabian, it reinforces Naomi’s idea that he isn’t the man for her. Especially since her favorite mount is a stallion Apollo. She thinks the Arabian looks like a puppy and has no interest in it. Shouldn’t the man she marries know her and understand her love of Apollo, and how she would view the difference between the two horses?

The horse issue is one more piece of evidence that those who profess to love her don’t know her and only view her as possession, something valuable and needing to be safe guarded at all costs. She feels as though she’s bound with golden shackles, and smothered in loving protection Naomi is her own person and knows her own mind. From riding Apollo and feeling the wind in her hair to following her dream of song writing Naomi begins to find her way out of the maze of concern and protection her parents have hidden her in.

WAITNG FOR A SONG, is Naomi’s story. It’s more than a romance, it’s more than a coming of life story. It is a story we are all know and have experienced to some degree. It is also a bit of a fantasy, imagine running away from  home in style, aboard a jet plane and having the opportunity to see some of your fantasies come true.

Would you take that chance? Would you leave behind all that is familiar to you for the adventure of the unknown?

Unlike most books that are part of a series, WAITING FOR A SONG, which is Mariam’s fourth book (I think, I’ve lost track,) stands on its own and does not need the previous books to be understood, or enjoyed. Although, if you haven’t read the earlier books, now you will want to.

Photo on 5-2-14 at 4.37 PM #3

 

For a change of pace, take a break from quilting and read the entertaining works of quilt artist turned word artist, Mariam Kobras.

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Norman Quilting – A to Z Challenge

We’ve been everywhere.

Ok, not exactly. However, in the last few days we have visited, Kentucky, Texas, Iowa, Colorado, and there are still more faraway places to visit before the month is out.

Today though we’re going to stay a little closer to home.

Norman Oklahoma is just down the road from my house, a short ninety-minute drive (more or less.) Norman is also the home of that college (Oklahoma University), and my uncle was named after the town.

Most important though, Norman is the home of the Norman Area Quilters, a wonderful group of ladies.

This year two quilt shows will be held in Norman. The first is the Cleveland County Homemakers show on May 9-10 at the fairgrounds.

Later in the summer, June 20-21 at the Holiday Inn off of I-35.

It will be fun to visit both of those show this year, and share pictures of some of their beautiful work.

Does your quilt guild or group sponsor a quilt show?

How far do you have to travel to visit the quilt show nearest you?

Have you visited every quilt show in your state?

Join me on Facebook.

Joining the A to Z challenge. Check out the list of bloggers, we are blogging on every subject imaginable.

M is for Museums of Quilts

Antique quilt

Antique quilt

Quilts often give us a chance to travel back in time. Imagine wrapping a quilt made by your mother, grandmother, aunt, or even great-grandmother. My friend and fellow author, Deborah has a quilt made by her mother-in-law, just for Deborah.

The quilt is across the bottom of her bed, for looks. However, on bad days, or when Deborah is ill she wants that quilt to wrap around her. It gives her the feeling of having her mother-in-law’s arms wrap around her. A feeling she enjoys since her mother-in-law died several years ago.

We don’t have to wrap a quilt around us to visit the past and feel the emotions of those long ago quilters. We can visit quilt museums. No, we can’t wrap up in those quilts, but just seeing them touches our hearts.

On my list of quilty places to visit is the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden Colorado. As a bonus, until the end of April that museum has a special exhibit by male (another “m” word) quilters.  While I won’t make it to the Colorado museum this month, it is on my list of places to see.

Quilt museums are like a permanent quilt show, giving guests the opportunity to see a variety of quilts over a longer period of time. The museums also offer visitors a chance to see special displays, such as the  round-up of men’s quilts available at the Rocky Mountain Quilt museum.

You don’t have to go to a quilt museum though. Other museums often offer a peek into the past with quilt displays. The quilt show above was made in 1850 and is on display in a museum in  Dodge City Kansas.

Do you have a quilt museum in your state?

Have you ever visited a quilt museum?

Do you own a quilt made by a relative, or loved one no longer with us?

The complete story of Deborah’s quilt is in Devoted to Quilting 2. Join us on Facebook at, A Patchwork Life.

Joining the fun bloggers at the A to Z challenge. Check them out for more great blogs.

Amish and Quilting

 

The A to Z challenge begins.

The A to Z challenge begins.

A is for Amish. While Ohio and Pennsylvania are known for their Amish communities. Oklahoma also has a couple of nice size Amish areas and they have auctions each year featuring their quilts. Clarita is the home of Since this blog is about quilts and quilting,

Visiting the Clarita Amish Auction means lots of walking, eating good food, and admiring beautiful quilts. The ladies make quilts using traditional patterns as well as new ones.

A couple of years ago, Paula Nelson, my friend, and partner in my local quilt store, Prairie Notionsdesigned this quilt for one of the Amish ladies to make.

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While the price of the quilts put them well past my spending range, looking at them is free.  The food however, I can afford and enjoy sampling their wonderful cooking at the auction as well as purchasing breads, cakes, and candies to take home and savor.

Is there an Amish community near your?

Have you ever had the opportunity to purchase an Amish quilt?

Have you ever sewn a quilt by hand?

Joining other bloggers with  the A to Z challenge.  Stop by and see what some of the other bloggers are up to.

 

Quilts From the American Homefront – A Review

Last month I added another fabric swatch to my “quilt of life.” I’ve joined the Quilts of Valor quilters. For those of you who don’t know about this organization, they provide quilts to veterans, and those currently serving who have been in combat situations. It is a perfect way to show our gratitude to those who served for us.

When I met up with Barbara Nessle, the Oklahoma state coordinator she loaned me the book, QUILTS FROM THE AMERICAN HOMEFRONT, by Rosemary Youngs.

The book is a compilation of letters from or too those serving in World War II. Some of the letters are from loved ones here at home, while others were from, or to, girls they’d met before leaving the US.

Each set of stories and quilt blocks has a short introduction to the letter writers. There are 121 letters, with accompanying original quilt blocks designed by Rosemary.

It is easy to become absorbed in the letters and forget about the quilt blocks. Each letter gives us a glimpse into what life was like during those days. Once all the letters have been read, it’s time to look at the blocks.

The book doesn’t contain any patterns or templates, however the author does give good instructions for making templates. However, using the templates limits the size of the blocks. If you want larger or smaller (why?) blocks you’re on your own.

Except, can be made using traditional patterns. such as the one titled, Simply Beautiful.  This block was designed for a letter that jumps from subject to subject. The block appears to be a variation of the Drunkard’s Path block. Except, instead of using just two fabrics, it’s designed to use four. Of course, the placement of the blocks is also different, giving it a completely new look.

There are a few other blocks that look like they could be constructed using patterns from traditional blocks.

In addition there are over 25 blocks that are simply squares, rectangles, and half-square triangles.

I’m looking forward to making a few of these blocks once I get a few of my back-logged projects finished. And, of course, finish the Christmas sewing. Which means these blocks probably won’t be being made until after the new year. But, it does give me something to look forward to.

How about you? Have you read any quilt related books recently?

Do you prefer books have templates you can use, or do you prefer to make your own?

5 Uses for Painter’s Tape in the Sewing Room

Today’s sewing room tool came from the garage. Actually, it came from my junk drawer. Wherever you find  it, that blue tape used to keep paint off  woodwork when painting walls is useful in the sewing room. Five ways I’ve found to use it are:

1. To keep templates from slipping when cutting fabric. A couple of pieces of tape on the back of the template will help keep it place with less shifting. Leaving no sticky residue when it’s removed.

2. Marking the sewing line on the machine. If no 1/4″ foot is available, placing the tape on the machine 1/4″ inch from the needle will help keep all seams uniform. This works well when sewing something with a larger, or smaller, seam allowance. There aren’t special foots for every seam size.

3. Remove loose threads. Once the quilt is finished, or even as we’re sewing, threads find their way to the top of the project. If a lint roller isn’t available, balled up tape will easily remove those threads. Works on our clothes before going out too. Because while no outfit is complete without a few threads, we don’t want to look as though we rolled on the thread-covered floor.

4. Marking the measuring line on the template. Most template have several measurements on them, it makes them more useful and we can make items in various sizes. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I cut my fabric too big or too small because I followed the wrong line. The blue tape used to keep the template from shifting, will also work to help me keep all my cuts uniform. Simply place the straight edge of tape along the appropriate line. No more miss cuts.

5. As a quick thimble. Many quilters have a collection of thimbles. Not me. I don’t like them, and haven’t learned to use them. Still, there are times when hand sewing that a thimble will be helpful. On those days, wrapping my finger with tape will work.

Masking tape can also be used in place of painters tape. However if using the tapes on the templates or sewing machine, remove them after completing a project to ensure no sticky residue remains.

Have you ever used masking, or painting tape in your sewing/crafting projects?

Do you have another use for the tape?

Do you have another quick fix thimble?

This post is part of the 31days of Shopping The House for Sewing Supplies.

Skirt Hangers aren’t just for Skirts

 

Do you keep those plastic skirt hangers when you buy a skirt at the store? Of course you do. Even if you have nice hangers at home, you need these for your sewing room. And really, what will the store do with them? Throw them away? Recycle them? You can recycle them just as easy, maybe easier than the store, and no other outside costly energy is expended in the process.

How can you use a skirt hanger:

1. Hang your cutting mat on it when not in use. If you only have a small area for your sewing and quilting your mat needs to be stored in a flat area so it doesn’t warp or get all wonky. Hanging it up with a skirt hanger is the perfect solution.

2. Store blocks in progress.  Hanging your blocks on a hanger allows you to have them in view (if you want) yet out of danger of being covered up with other fabric. It also keeps them free of wrinkles. You can add each block as it’s finished which also lets you see at a glance how many are completed. These hangers often will slide, so it doesn’t matter what size blocks you’re making.

3. Hanging a quilt for photos. We want pictures of our quilts, but taking them is often  challenge. Experts suggest taking the photo straight on, that is having the camera and the quilt at the same height and angle. If you don’t have someone to hold the quilt, or a sleeve on your quilt for hanging this can be difficult. Skirt hangers to the rescue. Once you take a “straight on” photo then you can take more artistic ones. Pictures of the quilt covering a loved one, on a bed, draped over a chair or fence. All quilt pictures are worth taking and viewing.

4. Store your fabric.If storage is at a premium add a lower rod to your closet and hang your hangers of fabrics. They will be out of the sun, out of plastic tubs, and easily viewed. Of course this will only work for a few of your fabrics, so you’ll have to make some choice. After all, few people have that many closets.

5. Holding fabric for a project. When you buy fabrics for a specific quilt you can clip all of them to one, or two, skirt hangers to keep everything together as you work on the quilt. You’ll know where the backing and binding fabrics are because they will be on the hangers.

Do you use skirt hangers in your quilt room?

Do you have other uses for skirt hangers?

What non-sewing items do you use in your sewing room?

This post is part of the 31 day challenge. Check out some of the other blogs posting there.