Tag Archives: quilter

Quilt Artist to Word Artist

What happens when your brain has “quilt overload?”

Stone-Series-WEB

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.

Quilting In Jackson – A to Z Challenge

                                 J – Jackson

The wonderful bloggers over at the A to Z challenge are responsible for today’s post about the letter J.

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash weren’t talking about Jackson Wyoming when they sang the song, “Jackson.” At least I don’t thing so. If they were, they sure weren’t singing about the quilts available there.

However, for the J portion of my quilty travels, Jackson Hole Wyoming and the quilt festival is where I hope to be headed in October.

According to the website there will be classes, vendors and quilts, I’m hoping lots and lots of quilts. On the way too and from Jackson Hole I can stop off in Colorado, probably have to go through there anyway. And enjoy some of this scenery:

Lake in the hills of Colorado.

Lake in the hills of Colorado.

Once I get to Jackson Hole, I can soak  up the beauty of the quilts on display and learn from some of the talented instructors available:

Natalia Bonner, author and free-motion quilter. Oh yeah, I hope to learn something from her. My free motion quilting is questionable to say the least.

Barbara Olson, fiber artist. Check out her work on her website. While I’m not an artistic quilter, she may change my mind.

Charlotte Warr-Anderson, quiltist. Her word. She is known for her portraits in fabric in which she uses intricate applique.  She has also been featured on been The Quilt Show.

Carole Liebzeit is a local quilter and will be sharing her varied talents with those attending the festival. Susan Garrity designs floral, abstract, wildlife, and landscape art quilt often using fabric she dyed.

When I’m all filled up with gorgeous quilts and my brain is stuffed with new lessons another stop in Colorado to visit with a few of my grandsons will top off the trip.

justin, hotshot and me 2013

 Have you ever taken a class at a quilt show?

What would be your dream location to attend a quilt show?

Have you ever combined a quilt show visit with another fun activity?

 

 

I is for International Quilt Show

                              I

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.

Reading Break for Quilters

Song of the Storm book cover Calling all quilters. The sun is shinning, the birds are singing, it’s too hot for sewing. If you’re ready to take a sewing break and read I have the perfect book for you. SONG OF THE STORM is book three in the Stone Trilogy by Mariam Kobras.

With another captivating episode in the Jon and Naomi Stone saga, author Mariam Kobras has quilted her magic. SONG OF THE STORM,  the last (maybe) book in the Stone Trilogy continues with the real-life characters, conflict,  love and tragedy.

Life with a rock star isn’t easy, but hotel empire heiress, Naomi is determined to build a life together with her soul mate, rock star Jon Stone. Jon is just as determined. However, just as in our lives, their road to happiness is often rocky and the baggage both carry from the past, too many times,  gets in their way. Good news, that another child is on the way leads to more insecurities for both of them.

The book isn’t just about Naomi and Jon though. Their lives are intertwined with family and friends who also have issues. A subplot of the book revolves around one of those close friends, Jon’s manager Stan.

Stan has long-held a one-sided love for Naomi. When he meets Maya, he believes he’s found Naomi’s replacement. Except, happiness isn’t always easily achieved. Maya has a maturity well beyond her young age. She realizes long before Sal does that their love is not made to last. Will Stan find a lasting love? Only readers of SONG OF THE STORM, and the author of course, will know.

The reappearance of Naomi’s parents adds more tension to the story. They have little belief in their son-in-law, and often display concern for their only daughter’s safety, both physical and emotional. Given their background, and knowledge of the past, it’s easy to understand. Yet, this reader, wanted them to just love their daughter and accept her marriage. However, since that rarely happens in real life, it felt right that they continue to suspect their son-in-law and the marriage.

In the middle of all of the tension, and emotional confusion we are reminded that family, friends, and love are what is truly important when the characters are forced to deal with the real-life tragedy and drama of the September 11 attack.

Wherever you were, the emotions you felt that day will return as you are taken back to that unforgettable experience. However, Jon, Naomi, their family and friends remind us that hope and love are eternal.

SONG OF THE STORM  is a perfect read while you take a break from sewing and quilting. You can curl up on the couch under the air conditioning and continue the journey with Naomi and Jon. If you haven’t read book 1, THE DISTANT SHORE, and  book 2,  UNDER THE SAME SUN, no worries, this book stands alone. Although you WILL want to get book one and two, because you won’t be ready to let them go and you’ll want more time with them.

WARNING!! Do not read this by the pool if you are also watching young children. You will be pulled into the story and forget where you are. Leaving children unsupervised around water is not recommended. However, if  there are no children present, read and allow yourself to be whisked away.

For more reviews, or to meet Mariam herself, check out her blog at  where all the links for the blog hop can be found.

Mariam

Introduction to Quilting 001

Yes, I know, classes usually have a one in front of them, as in Quilting 101, not Quilting 001. But, we’re talking basic basics here. The simplest of simple.

Quilting 001 will walk the fearful quilter into the quilt world maize one step at a time. Before long you’ll be walking around, not getting lost, but trying new things. So come along. Let’s make a quilt.

First, the rules.  Rules? What rules? We don’t need rules tangling us up. Right, we’re going to ignore most of the quilt rules. Shhh, don’t let the quilt police hear about this. However there are a few pointers that will make your foray into the quilt world more enjoyable.

Ready? Here we go:

1. Relax, this is your first quilt. Most likely it isn’t destined to become a heirloom quilt for your grandchild. No, this will be a simple wall hanging, lap quilt, or warm cover on your bed.

Basically you’re making a blanket, relax and enjoy the process.

2. Remember that acronym KISS, keep it super simple? That’s a good plan for a first quilt. Keep the pattern and quilt simple.

If you have to fight to get the curves right on a Drunkard’s Path, struggle to keep the points sharp on a star block, or spend more time unsewing than sewing, you’ll be tempted to throw the whole thing down in disgust and walk away from the joy of quilting. It’s your quilt, if you want to go with an intricate pattern, I’m certainly not going to stop you. For the rest of you, a quilt made with simple squares will work just fine.

3. No fancy equipment needed.

  • Scissors to cut the fabric, or a rotary cutter and mat if you have one. Either works well.
  • Pattern or instructions. You wouldn’t try driving in a strange town without a gps or map would  you? Ok, I would and you might too. But, really, the gps, or quilt instructions make life much easier.
  • Fabric, you’ll need something for the backing, batting for the middle, and of course, fabric to make your top. We’ll discuss fabric choices and where to find your fabric in a later “class.”
  • Iron, and ironing board (or a folded towel on a cabinet works well too.) Nothing special, the iron you already own is perfect.
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine and thread, your choice. Whichever works for you, again, it’s your quilt.
  • Pins. Straight pins to hold your fabric together before you sew it and safety pins to hold all three layers together when you’re ready to quilt it.

4. Decide on your level of perfection. Some people (most) strive to have their quilt seams match up perfectly. They may have one “fault” in the quilt, one they purposely put in, but other than that their quilts look like works of perfection. I, on the other hand, am the Imperfect Improv quilter, I don’t care if my seams don’t match. Sometimes I go out of my way to make sure they don’t match by making a quilt with off-set seams. You may fall at either end of the spectrum, or somewhere in the middle. Decide what you can live with, and don’t worry about little mistakes that fall within your acceptability level.

5. Use  fabric of similar weight and quality. This will help your quilt wears more evenly.

Five Components of a Quilt Show

A few of the 103 quilt items on display

A few of the 103 quilt items on displ

“There’s nothing to having a quilt show. We just hang some quilts and people come look at them. ” Ever heard those words, or similar words when considering sponsoring a quilt, or craft show, or a book fair?

If you have, you can gently inform the speaker there are at least 5 items you must consider to help ensure you have have a good event.

1.  Location, there must be some place to display all your beautiful work. A location that can be secured if the show is more than one day, and one that will protect the quilts from the whims of mother nature. Finding a location for the quilt show is paramount.

2. Date and Time. When will you have the show? A date and time that works best can take a lot of discussion and consideration. In Oklahoma, we don’t schedule a quilt show on the same weekend as the OU/Texas or OU/OSU football games. Attendance will be low. Figure out the dates that will work best for your group. After you have a date, you’ll need to have the open and closing times for your show. How early will you open and how late will you stay? These vary from show to show and area.

3. Display Method – How will you display your different sized, and types of quilt and quilty items? Poll your members, someone will have the perfect idea of a display method that works best for your group.

4. Workers – Ah yes, the backbone of any group endeavor, people to actually do the work. Luckily most groups have enough members that the workload can be shared with no one having to hang the quilts, work the guest book, monitor the guests (no touching the quilts), do the advertising, design the programs, and any other jobs necessary. More people participating makes for a better show for everyone, guests and hosts.

5. Advertising – No one will see all your hard work and beautiful projects if they don’t know about them. Advertising will draw new people to your show, and introduce them to your group. It is vital for even the smallest show.

Our quilt group, The Material Girlz, had our first annual show in June. We had 103 items on display. Too many for our small space, but we were so excited to have a full show and not a half-empty room with too-few quilts. We learned much about putting on a show, and over the next five Mondays, I’ll explore a little more in-depth each of the five major components of having a successful show.

Has your quilt group ever sponsored a show? Share your favorite tips in the comments.