Thursday, March 28, 2013

what day is it?

I remembered it was Thursday this morning when I saw that all the neighbors had put out their garbage. Oops - dragged mine out just in time and noticed this.  
Does this mean spring is really on its way?  I don't quite trust it; I remember snow on April 15th one year, a long time ago.

This morning, still cleaning up from Monday night's seder, I went down to the lower level to put my grandmother's dishes away and saw a crowd outside my sliding glass doors.  By the time I came back down with my camera, they had moved away.  I counted 19 of them. 
 I spent the rest of the day going through my quilts, measuring, pricing, checking sleeves, and making lists of what I will be exhibiting in Chapel Hill in May.  O tedium.  Still not finished, but must finish by tomorrow and send off the info.  I also have to add labels and fiddle with sleeves to accommodate the Walker hanging system. Oh, and I have put a quilt on the list that I have not yet finished.  Guess I'd better do that, too.

I remembered it was Thursday again tonight at 6:55 when I realized I had a 7:00 meeting of my Modern Quilt Guild and was going to be late.  Most of the people in the guild don't actually make Modern Quilts, but Amy showed one tonight.  She said it was intended to be the back of something else but she liked it so much, she made it the front of this one.  
It is later than I intended to stay up but I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging before I go to bed.  Now I can say goodnight!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

back at it

I am still in the process of responding individually, wherever possible, to your generous and comforting comments to my last post.  Forgive me if I've missed you -- I am overwhelmed by your kindness.

Last week, as we sat shiva, the house was filled with friends, family, and more food than we could eat, from Monday through Wednesday night. Thursday I did nothing and Friday I shopped and started cooking for Passover.  I was probably insane to have the first Seder on Monday night, a week after my mother's funeral - but it also meant being with my family twice in one week: a pleasure!  Miss Emma kept us entertained, the boys were lively, and there was much hilarity as my kids remembered their Nana and looked at old pictures.  The memories were all good.

SO - back to where I was before this all happened! I was teaching at Quilting Adventures in hill country --New Braunfels, TX -- one of the most delightful experiences I have had.  The T Bar M resort where Quilting Adventures is held is beautiful, the accomodations are just fine, and the food is good.  Debby and Kim, who run the annual retreat (plus some shorter ones during the year) are warm-hearted and lots of fun.  I got to spend some time with Robbi Eklow, who is always a pleasure to be with.

I was also teaching one of my favorite classes - 4 days of Cinderella Quilts.  You can't believe the transformations that occurred as the students created magic from their old blocks plus new strips and squares.  Here are some befores and afters from class.

This is one  from a pile of blocks Betty brought with her.  By the time she redid the rest of blocks, she had the makings of a modern quilt.

Once she was on a roll,she started another quilt from scratch and ended with a finished top. She plans to attach it to a black canvas when she has quilted it.
I gave each student one of these 9 patches  to see what they would do with them. I don't have all the pictures, but everyone did something different.
 Donna used the 9 patch and the other block from her stash as jumping-off points for her quilt.
 If you look carefully, you can see bits of both of them in her finished top.

Louise started her new work with a couple of house blocks she had brought with her.
 By the time she had chopped them up and re-imagined new houses, she had a much more imaginative quilt than the original would have been.

When Ilene showed up with a pile of these blocks, I thought they were hopeless.
But she proved me wrong.  Here is the work in progress -- some original blocks, some transformed, and a bunch of strips she had just sewn together in combinations she liked. She didn't know how she would use them, but she found a way.
This is what she took home with her.

We spent a lot of time on ad hoc and slow design -- moving things around ad infinitum and talking about why a particular layout did or did not work.  After a while, their eyes began to know what looked balanced without being boring and they learned to trust their instincts. This was a class that made everybody smile because they were so happy with their results.  

Next week, I'm off to Atlanta.  Maybe by the time I get home it will be edging toward spring in NJ.

Thanks again for all your caring messages.
love,
Rayna


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

RIP Molly

Yes, I have been away from the computer for several weeks. While I was away teaching,  my mother, who would have been 96 in June, decided she was done.  I got home this past weekend in time to spend a few days with my family at her bedside and say goodbye. 

Molly, true to form, you were feisty and independent to the end.  We will miss you. xo

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

While we are on the subject...

I received a photo from Gabriele in Germany, of a quilt she made that was inspired by my book.  I think it needs to be shared, so I am posting it.Another wonderful example of the infinite variety that is possible!


Off to class.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Halfway there

I am finally on west coast time, but still in my room relatively early. So far, the week has been great. The place is beautiful, my class is a pleasure, and all is well.

Last night I had dinner out with Del and we lamented afterwards that we were having such a good time laughing that we forgot to take pictures of the delicious, elegant food at il Vecchio in pacific Grove.

I have been taking pictures in class, however, of works in process. Here are a few, before I go to bed.








Friday, March 01, 2013

Out of the chute

As Cathy Barger so aptly put it:-/. Today was a vacation day. I sat in the sun with Lonni Rossi and listened to a man playing his bagpipe in the distance. What a treat.

Walked down to the beach this afternoon and put my feet in the sand. Got and gave hugs to two of my favorite people, both of whom are in my class. Tonight, met the 21 people in my class and we got a bit of a head start. All in all, lovely. I am ready for tomorrow and eager to get started.