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.
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.