Tag Archives: nature

I is for International Quilt Show


is for the International Quilt Show in Houston Texas.

2nd Place Novice quilt by   Lilija Kostenko, Netherlands

2nd Place Novice quilt by
Lilija Kostenko, Netherlands

The show runs for a week, and every day is needed. There is so much to see and absorb.

Pictures and memories from the 2012 show have had to sustain me, as I missed last year’s show. This year though, I plan to attend.

The show has everything; international quilts, like the winning quilt shown above, unusual displays, vendors, and more quilt.

Since the show is held the first of November, sometimes it runs into October and Halloween. That happened in 2012 and some of the vendors, to add a little more fun to the event wore “Halloween things.” Like this vendor with the spider on her head.

Spiders don't stop us from quilting

Spiders don’t stop us from quilting

I’m guessing they have fun and unusual displays every year. They certainly did in 2012. Ever seen a quilted Yurt? Goodness, I’d never even seen a Yurt except on television.

IQS 2012 Quilted Yurt 2

And another view

A quilted Yurt

A quilted Yurt

The Quilted Yurt was the brain child, and work of Linzi Upton. If I didn’t live in windy Oklahoma I’d consider constructing one for myself.

One of the quilts on the inside of the yurt

One of the quilts on the inside of the yurt

Amid all the quilts is the opportunity to see live and in person a quilt mentioned, or shown on Facebook, or in a blog. Like this quilt, Anni in the Modern Quilt Showcase by Heather Jones, a quilter and blogger I follow.


IQS 2012 Heather Jones' Quilt


In addition to seeing all the cool quilts, learning about new tools, and meeting new people is the opportunity to actually participate in the show. In 2012 they had a mug rug exchange. Quilters brought a mug rug to contribute, and took a mug rug home. Very fun to see even if I didn’t have a rug to exchange.

2012 IQS Mug Rug Exchange


Aren’t they pretty. I especially like the egg shaped ones. The International Quilt Show in Houston is definitely on my list of quilty places to visit.

Have you ever been to the Houston Quilt show?

What would you enjoy most about going to the International Quilt Show?

What would scare you the most about going?

This month I am participating in the A to Z challenge. I hope you’ll visit some of the other bloggers following the alphabet with their posts.


Quilt Gardens

is for Garden.

Gardens are beautiful (especially if I don’t have to do the work). Flower gardens, those with beautiful blooms are preferrable to the all green of some gardens.


Maybe it’s the quilter in me that loves all the color, I don’t know. I do know that on my list of places to visit is Indiana to take a quilt garden tour.

Just imagine. Wondering around a flower garden inhaling the intoxicating scents of the different plants. Enjoying the riot of color as the patch of one color and flower met with the patch of another.

Why, it might even spark a different color combination idea, or plant the seed for a quilt design.

Enjoying time in the garden is always a pleasure and I’m looking forward to the day I can enjoy both quilts and gardens at the same time in a quilt garden.


Have you ever visited a quilt garden?

Have you ever considered trying to plant a quilt garden?

If you were doing a mini-quilt garden which quilt blocks would you try to replicate?


Today is for the seventh letter of the alphabet (G) in the A to Z challenge. Due to some family challenges I am a few letters behind. Stay tuned, I will catch up.


Three Considerations when Looking for Quilt Show Venues

Location is the first consideration when planning a quilt show. You can read all five important ingredients for a quilt show here.

Your location will depend on where you live, and what is available to you. You can make almost any location work. Some may take a little more creativity, ingenuity, and even elbow grease.  However, before you can begin scouting for the appropriate location there are three factors  consider.

1.Indoors or out? Is your show going to be a one day outdoor event, or do you prefer an indoor venue?  This will affect where you locate.  An outdoor quilt show can be fun and successful, although you do need to have a contingency plan in the event of inclement weather.

There are several successful outdoor quilt shows held each year including: Eureka Montana Quilt Show, August 3, in Eureka Montana. Winters California Quilt Show, June 22, in Winters California, and of course,The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, held the second Saturday in July in Sisters Oregon.

2. Finances. How much can you afford to pay for the use of the facilities?  For small groups a free location is best,  as they don’t usually have a lot of money in their treasury. Some locations to consider for a free, or low-cost use are: school auditoriums if  the students are on a break. Churches, often have a dining hall or activity center they are willing to have used for a quilt show. Town halls, or community centers often have a large open space perfect for a quilt show. Some farmers and ranchers have large barns or shop buildings that are empty, or can easily be emptied, during certain parts of the year, they may consider allowing a quilt show in their barn. The Clarita Amish Auction held the second Saturday in September includes a quilt display (before the auction) in one of the barns. Once your finances are established, it’s easier to narrow the location search.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

Sometimes quilt shows are held in huge convention centers.

3. Accessibility. You want people to be able to get to your quilts to view them. Adequate parking is one consideration, if you use a farmer’s shop building, your customers need to be able to drive and park on his pasture, unless of course, the shop is located right next to the road. You want to avoid the need for people to park in the road, it’s not safe, and will deter some possible attendees from stopping.  A nearby parking lot is your best option, if available. You also want your venue to be accessible to those in wheelchairs, with walker or pushing strollers. If stairs must be climbed, you’ll need to install a ramp, a temporary one if necessary, for those needing one. Most public venues will be wheelchair accessible, it’s just something to keep in mind. You want your beautiful quilts accessible to everyone who wishes to see them.


1. What is the most unusual location you’ve visited for a quilt show?

2. What is the most difficult obstacle your group has had to overcome to have a quilt show?

3. How far will you drive to attend a quilt show?

Beauty Surrounds Us

According to the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ” But it is so much more. As I drank my tea on the porch this morning, soaking in the beauty pf God’s handiwork, I thought about what was beautiful to me.

The birds chirping and singing, add a beautiful sound to my world. The flowers blooming are beautiful to look at. The Honeysuckle growing on the pasture fence add a beautiful scent. The smell of fresh cut grass is almost intoxicating.

All of that is beautiful, but the most beautiful gift is time.

Time to help someone, time spent with another. Today, I watched my son sitting on the tractor as he cut the grass in the pasture surrounding my house. The little pastures aren’t big enough to bother trying to get a baler in them, and I don’t have any cattle to eat the grass down, so the tractor it is.

The gift of his time using the brush hog on my pasture was made more beautiful by the time spend driving to my house. My son lives over an hour away, yet he gave his time, on a holiday weekend to come and help me out.

Time. A beautiful gift.

Today I’m linking up with Lisa Jo Baker and Five Minute Fridays. Rules are simple:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-beautiful/#sthash.shEOgHzf.dpuf

After – A Five Minute Friday

Veering off of the A to Z challenge this morning to post my Five Minute Friday post. There was some thought of combining the two, but I couldn’t mesh After, which was the prompt word for the Five Minute Friday, and the letter E. I thought about Ever after, but naw, that was too much of a stretch.

Instead, I posted about embroidery for the A to Z challenge and wrote the following in five minutes for the Five Minute Friday link up.


After the rain comes growth. Flowers bloom, ponds rise to take in more oxygen for the fish swimming in its depths.

After the rain comes fun. Splashing in mud puddles. Twirling on the still wet grass.

After the rain is good. What about after the pain? What comes after the pain?

Joy? No, not really. Joy does return to our lives after the pain, but the pain doesn’t bring the joy. Joy isn’t a result of the pain the way the flowers are a result of the rain.

Happiness? No. Like Joy, Happiness returns after the pain, but isn’t a result of it.

So what comes after pain?

Healing. Healing comes after pain.

Whether the pain is a broken bone or heart, both heal. Scars may linger, but the healing is the important benefit of pain.

When we’re in pain we think we will never again experience Joy, Happiness, or Fun. We just have to wait for the Healing. During and after the healing (sometimes healing takes a long time) Joy, Happiness, and Fun will find their way back into our life.

Went a tad over 5 minutes, but had to finish my thought. Linking up now with Lisa Jo Baker.

In case you don’t know, The Five Minute Friday is the brainchild of Lisa Jo Baker and some of her friends. Joining is easy, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on her blog, here.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. Link over here (on her blog) and invite friends to join in.
  4. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url http://www.lisajobaker.com but your post url http://www.lisajobaker.com/2012/07/five-minute-friday-2/ }
  5. Using the linky tool at the bottom of her Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  6. Your post will show up in their Five Minute Friday linky.
  7. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!

It’s easy, I can do it, you can do it, and it’s fun.

Blocks, Bear Paws, Boats and Binding

 is for Blocks.  Most quilts are designed and sewn using blocks. There are those that don’t, but this is B day, so only quilts that use blocks are considered.

One of my favorite blocks, which happens to be a B block is the Bear Paw block, like these two:

Two Bear Paw Pattern blocks. Never quite understood why all four “paws” are so close together.

Although when I make the Bear Paw block, I don’t put all four “paws” together. I much prefer them to be separated by other blocks.  Like this Bear Paw block that went in one corner of a grandson’s quilt, the other three “paws” went in the other corners.

One Bear Paw block. Set in the corner of the quilt with the other 3 "paws" taking up the other corners.

One Bear Paw block. Set in the corner of the quilt with the other 3 “paws” taking up the other corners.

B is also for Boat,  check out this fun tutorial from the Missouri Quilt Company:

Finally, there is B for binding, which is the most popular method of finishing a quilt. There is what I call the pillowcase method, sew all around three and a half sides, leaving a portion of one side open. Clip the corners, and turn the quilt right side out, pushing out the corners. Tuck in the open area and top stitch around the quilt. Ta-da. A finished quilt. Of course this only works if you don’t want the back also quilted.

When the backside is also quilted, which is normal by the way, I do a backwards binding. Instead of sewing to the front side, or top, of the quilt I sew it to the back side. Then I fold the binding over the seam, it to the front (this is what most quilters put on the back) and pin in place. Those clips that look like hair clips work wonderful. Next I either top stitch it close to the edge of the binding or use a decorative stitch to attach it. That’s it, quilt it bound and finished. Not a method most quilters use, but it works for me.

Diving vs Jumping

“Dive right in.” How many times have we said or heard that? I don’t usually dive, I jump. There’s a difference.

Diving is calculated, thought about, and graceful.

Jumping in takes little to no thought, no calculating necessary, and is more clunky than graceful.

Both actions get us into the water, whether real or symbolic. Divers look at the issue, consider what exactly needs to be done, and the method best used before diving in and taking care of business.

Jumpers see the issue, have an idea what needs to be done, and jumps in without thinking about the hows.

This blog is an example of one of my jumps. One late night, or early morning, while visiting in a chat room someone suggested I needed a blog to share my ideas. Now, I’d heard of a blog before as a way to get my name out, but hadn’t really considered it. Here was the idea again. This time, maybe due to the late hour, my feeling of aloneness, or just because I’m a closet rebel, I jumped in and started a blog.

No consideration about what the blog would cover. No plan of posting. No idea of what I was doing. Just jump in and figure it out. As a result, the blog has gone, and is still undergoing, changes and revamping.

A diver would have carefully considered what they wanted their blog to look like, what information they’d want to include, how often they’d blog and many more questions. Those are the blogs that look good from the beginning.

Divers and Jumpers usually get to the same place, in the water. It’s just our method of entering is different.

Are you a diver or a jumper?

Linking up with LisaJo at The Gypsy Mama as part of Five Minute Friday. Rules are simple, write for five minutes on a prompt (I think I went over by a couple of minutes). Post what is written, no editing, no second guessing (good for jumpers, harder for divers). Link up at Gypsy Mama, read and comment on other posts.

Also linking up with Ultimate Blog Challenge. Trying to post daily for the month of January.