Monthly Archives: April 2012

Monday lunch post – or overdue Quilt Show photo-log

Hi everyone,

yes, I did have a great ambition to post photos (even videos!)  every night during our Quilt Show this past weekend, but every night after all other family happenings after the show I simply – crashed! My husband did catch me falling asleep with the laptop, pointed out the silliness, so I realized it ain’t going to happen. 🙂

Oh well, but today is a new day and here I am during my lunch break – ready to have some blogging fun and hope you will too, reading it.

First of all, I have to say it again – IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING AND FUN QUILT SHOW!


And equally as important – I want to express my heartfelt thank you to all volunteers at the show and all Museum staff, but specially all of you who helped with the Show set-up and take-down – we did it together and we did it well!! 🙂


We started with a wonderful Preview Party – organized and executed so well by MaryJean Miller, she does it with such passion and joy – thank you MaryJean!!




As you can see, Tea room was full of happy guests! Somehow I did not capture the great spread of goodies on the tables – I guess once I was in, I was too excited to try them all? 🙂



And then, after our Show Chair, Kelly’s wonderful speech (have it on video and will post, if Kelly agrees!), there were all the wonderful awards! Here is a quick collage of just SOME of the award winners and quilts:


I think a separate blog post (or posts!) should follow with lots of individual photos of quilts, with awards and without! If you agree – send me your photos too!

The emotional highlight of the Preview evening for me was certainly Alice Bachraty Memorial Exhibit and chance to see her husband Joe again, meet her wonderful family and enjoy all of our memories of our Guild mother, Alice. I miss her so!

Above is a little collage of Alice’s exhibit, organized so well by Linda Hunter and appropriately paired with an exhibit of antique quilts too (lower left corner of the collage). It was immensely gratifying to me, personally, to see Joe and family approving of how we honored Alice and enjoying the evening. Again, my heartfelt thank you to all you ladies who helped with Alice’s exhibit!

And then the Show days begun!! What can I say – I was like a kid in a candy store, or better yet – I was like a happy quilter at the Quilt Show!! LOL As Mary Ellen said – it was a glorious one!! Here are just a few more photos:



Friday morning and first wave of visitors – HOORAY!!



Our wonderful hostesses ready to greet them!






Mary Ellen doing the first wonderful demo of the day!




Scrap pool was such a great hit!! Talk about “kid in a candy store”!!





And here is a little collage of everything in our beautiful Member’s Boutique – everyone had fun shopping there (some of us even before the show started! LOL!)

Of course there were so many amazing vendors too but somehow I did not take a single photo of them! How did that happen? Yeah – you guessed it – I was too excited to shop and forgot to snap any!! Some things will never change… 😦

Well fellow quilters, you can probably tell I really, REALLY like being at the quilt show, being involved in the quilt show, work with everyone for the quilt show – but here is the truth: I KNOW all of you who didn’t try it yet would also LOVE it too!

So, repeat invite from me too – COME AND JOIN US!!

My lunch break is a bit extended now and I better wrap this up. With promise of more photos, stories and even a video or two, wishing you all a wonderful day,


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Kelly’s glorious speech

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

We all were so impressed by Kelly’s  (Kelly Miller, the chairwoman of our quilt show) speech at our preview party. I am sharing it here with you. Thank you to Kelly for permission, and for providing the text.

“Quilts, Glorious Quilts.  It’s finally here!  We made it to the show.  All of the planning and preparation has come to an end and we get to enjoy the result of all our combined efforts.  Quilts, Glorious, Quilts!  What a truly grand name for a quilt show.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about this show title when we first voted on it as a guild.  I thought that maybe it was lacking a theme.  No garden flowers, no sea of quilts, no artist’s palette, no theme… But that might be because I trained as a teacher and many teachers group their lessons by themes.  However, then it dawned on me…. We don’t need a theme, we have quilts!  And glorious ones at that!  But what exactly makes these quilts glorious I thought?

One day after a trip to a fabric shop, as I was playing with my fabric choices and colors for a quilt, I got to thinking about my puzzle.  Does a quilt need to win an award to make it glorious?  Does the maker of the quilt need to be famous or well-known?  Is it the fabric that makes a quilt glorious?  Or, is it the careful planning and artistry that goes in to a quilt that makes a quilt glorious?  Well, may be sometimes the fabric an artist chooses for a quilt can just simple wow us when we see the finished product, but I don’t believe that is what makes a quilt glorious in itself.  And sometimes quilts are simply made for warmth or necessity, so what makes those quilts special?  What is the answer to this puzzle?  I bet all the quilters in the audience are thinking about what makes their quilts special, right now.  Take a minute to think about why these quilts are special.  Were they made for loved ones, or are they memories of friends  we no longer have with us?  Were they made for a special occasion such as a wedding or a birth?  Even if the quilt was made for a loved one or a special occasion, what makes it glorious?

Well, I guess you all want to know my conclusion to this puzzle. And to really answer this, I need to tell a story.  Yes, a story.

Here is my quilt. It’s a simple quilt with cows on it.  I chose the name, Penguins in the Farmyard, for this quilt.  Now I know most of you just turned to the person sitting next to you with a puzzled look on your face.  And without knowing the story behind this quilt, I don’t blame you.  You see, my story starts back in February when our guild held its annual auction.  Members donated unwanted fabric, patterns, books, and sewing notions so we could all bid on these treasures and make them our own.  We had so many things to bid on that our auctioneer ran short of time.  This pattern, along with several others, came to the auction block.  Our fabulous auctioneer was calling out some of the patterns and called this one-“penguins”.  And after calling for a bid or two, she did a double take and said, “oh, cows!”. We all had a good chuckle.  You see, many of the ladies in this guild have been members for a long time and have become a close group.  But even as a new member five years ago, I have always felt welcome at the meetings and events.  Maybe that’s why I jumped right in to chair the 2010 quilt show and had so much fun that I did it again for 2012.  We as a guild, shared a moment, a story that evening.  And I believe that what makes a quilt glorious, is the story behind it.  And I think many quilters will agree with me.  It is not the fabric, the planning, the artist, but rather the way a quilt comes to be, the inspiration behind it, that makes it glorious.  So, as you look at all of these glorious quilts this weekend, I invite you to find a quilter and share a story!”

Nice speech, isn’t it? Now it’s your turn–make a quilt and share it’s story!

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Glorious Quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

What a quilt show! The whole thing was glorious in my book. If you weren’t able to attend, the photos will be coming at our website (see sidebar) soon, and who knows what you’ll see right here at our blog in the near future. I saw Marija in paparazzi mode several times, and I know she is anxious to try out our guild YouTube channel (yep that’s right, she’s got us on YouTube!).

Sincere thanks and compliments to all the members, particularly Kelly Miller the chairwoman, for our glorious show. Two years in the making and a spectacular success. Brava!

If you are not a member of our guild, please consider joining us. You can go to the museum website (in our sidebar) to get info on how to join the museum, with an add-on guild membership. That would include all the perks of museum membership as well as guild membership. The museum has wonderful activities from spring through to the fall; you can find activities for the whole family.

If you are a member of a different quilt guild, please help us get the word out about our fall quilting seminar. At our guild website there is a button in the sidebar that will take you to all sorts of information. We would be happy to send you bookmarks with  info for your members, or perhaps come to one of your meetings to talk it up. If your newsletter editor would contact me-either through a comment here, or at, I can send an article about seminar for your newsletter. We have wonderful teachers at seminar, this year Beth Ferrier and Anita Grossman Solomon and 8 local teachers. The company of other quilters is so nice and the food is great too! Please consider joining us; you do not need to be a member of our guild to come to seminar.

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quilter vibes

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

Wow! Our museum is just resonating with quilter vibes this weekend. So much conversation about quilting, fabric, threads, patterns, thimbles… Love it.

A new quilt magazine for younger (or young thinking) quilters is going to be on the newstands in May. The editor is Mary Fons, daughter of MaryAnn Fons of Fons and Porter fame. You can go here to view a free mini issue to see if this magazine is something you, or someone you know, would like. I enjoy the shows on PBS that Mary does with her mom, now that Liz Porter is in semi-retirement.

What did you buy at the quilt show this weekend? Or maybe I should wait until after the auction this afternoon to ask that question. I greatly reduced my fabric purchases from past habits, but did pick up some nice patterns and a kit or two.

Questions we can talk about: How many times did you say to yourself at the show–”I could make that with that fabric I bought at (fill in the blank)” OR  “OMG, I could never make that!” OR “I love those colors together, I would never have thought to put (blank and blank) in the same quilt” OR ” Oh my god, what was she thinking?!” Or maybe while strolling through the vendors you thought–”How cute is that? It would be perfect for (fill in the blank), OR “I don’t need a pattern for that. It’s just (fill in the blank)”, OR “Way too many pieces in that, I’d never do it.” OR “That fabric is gorgeous. I’ll just get one yard” OR “I don’t need any more fabric, so I’ll just get a fat quarter.”  Wouldn’t it be fun (and rude) if I could have carried a little tape recorder around to listen in and record all the variations on those remarks? Be honest, you know you’ve heard them all, and you probably have said them all too!

I’ll be honest…as much as I’m enjoying this show and all the things that go with it, I’ll be glad when it’s over. I’m exhausted and I don’t even have much responsibility for its running-just my own demos. Tremendous thanks and appreciation go to Kelly Miller and all her chairpersons, and anyone who made the show a reality. Now go have a glass of ___, get in your favorite chair, and take a nap, you’ve earned it!

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Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

The canine and I have been back from our walk for a bit, I’ve had my coffee and yogurt and am getting ready for another day at our glorious show. It is a great morning for a walk. Chilly but no wind-once you get moving it’s no problem. The dog was scampering like a puppy-especially when I would not allow him to chase all the bunnies we encountered.

Spent the whole day at the museum yesterday. Didn’t get to walk around much-that’s on today’s agenda. Talked with lots of ladies-it’s interesting how you can chat with a complete stranger about quilts as though you’ve known one another for a long time. Is that one of the things that makes quilts glorious?

Lots of those I spoke with about the fabrics, mentioned that they don’t need to buy any more fabric because they have so much already. They don’t need to make anymore quilts-they should just finish the ones they have started-the UFO thing. Maybe the process-from choosing the fabric and a pattern, planning the placement, the cutting, the stitching, the assembly-is what we enjoy about quilting. I know even though I love the final product, most of my enjoyment comes along the way and then sometimes in the giving it away. It’s not so much the quilt itself for me. Is that what makes quilts glorious for you?

One side note–if you attend the show, please check out the ads in the back of the booklet. In the fine print many of the advertisers have included a “coupon” deal. Some sort of reduction at their shop if you present the booklet. So don’t just throw it out-or maybe even (gasp!) don’t recycle it. At least not until you’ve checked out the savings to see if any appeal to you.

Hope to see you at the show–try the soup!!

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what makes a quilt glorious?

Good morning all, Mary Ellen here.

Soon I’ll be heading out to meet a friend at Timmy’s for breakfast and then to the museum for the first day of our show “Quilts, Glorious Quilts”. Indeed they are. I am awed every time by the work of our members, and a few non-members who also join in the show. (Gotta rope them into the fold!) Last evening’s preview party was wonderful. Kelly, our quilt show chair, finished her remarks with thoughts on what makes a quilt glorious. She graciously agreed to give me a copy of her speech so I can share it here. Of course she was a little busy (LOL) last night, so I don’t have it yet. In the next few days I’ll post it here, so we all can think a bit about our own ideas on “what makes a quilt glorious?” Does it have to be a prize winner? Does it have to be made of spectacular fabrics?…

Think about it. Why do we quilt?

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Places, everyone!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

It’s almost show time! I was out at the museum yesterday, dropping off a few things. I took a quick spin around our show; it is almost ready. You got a bit of a peek from Marija’s post earlier this week, but it’s much better in person. Love seeing everyone’s work up close. The new museum exhibit of Bobbie Fuhrmann’s life work (a former guild member) is quite impressive too. Beautiful lace and quilts in one woman’s work. She was amazingly talented. I never met Bobbie, except now through her legacy. Alice Bachraty’s exhibit (our guild’s founding mother) is worth the trip too. We can all appreciate Alice through our participation in the guild she loved so much.

Today, I believe, is judging day. Personally the awards mean little to me-I pick out my own best of show and favorites. I have always loved and appreciated quilts, from the time I was tiny. So nice to snuggle up in a well-worn quilt that smells like grandma. I’m sure though that the recognition and validation from “experts” means a lot to the quilters who win. It is so nice to have your work appreciated, and to be told publicly of the appreciation. I’m sure many of the quilts, winners and not, are the fruits of many loving hours. Be sure to take time during the show to fill out some “talk to the quilter” forms and let them know how much you enjoy their work.

Well my “tree guys” are arriving to take down the silver maple today, so TTFN.

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Any gardeners out there?

Hello all, it’s ME.

Just in case we ever get to dig in the dirt here’s something for the gardeners among you. Got my shoes muddy this morning looking around to see what survived the snow yesterday. The trillium which were gorgeous 2 days ago, are looking pretty sad this morning. And I think the jack-in-the-pulpits are a lost cause, I’m afraid. The later daffodils are iffy. What a strange weather year we’re having. I’ve heard it said that gardeners are eternal optimists, since we don’t usually see the fruits of our labors right away. I have a coffee mug that says “A garden is never finished.” Ain’t that the truth?!

We’ve seen quilt gardens before-love the plantings arranged to look like quilt blocks. I think a feature telling exactly what plants were used to execute the garden is new though. I went to Nancy Zieman’s new website looking for something else (so much to explore-much improved and easy to navigate) and saw “quilt gardens” among the choices. When I went to check them out, I noticed a downloadable master gardener planning link. Bonanza! Granted these gardens are in a different zone than we are, but what great info!

Hoping to see you all at the quilt show. TTFN!

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Setting up the quilt show

Hi everyone,

I am catching a few minutes this morning, before heading to the Museum again to finish setting up the Quilt Show – just to show you some great photo-updates on how is everything going. Even though everyone knows it is a lot of work we really do have fun too! And despite the fact that I have been involved in show set-up for years now, it never ceases to amaze me how it all happens…

It starts of course from great work of our Registration committee, working so well to accept all your entries in such an organized manner and immediately sort quilts by sizes or categories – making our job at set up so much easier – THANK YOU LADIES!!

Then on Sunday – here is what we start from:


Big, main room of the museum – looking kinda empty, scaffolding ready… Piles of bed-size quilts you see on the floor (on the old bed sheets of course!) are the result of already lot of work of several volunteers, sorting them by size (so that they can fit on the 220″ long ceiling poles) and colors (so that they look good together).



Smaller quilts and wall hangings sorted on the tables – lots of beautiful colors, patterns and textures! It is work, but trust me – it IS so much fun being able to “play” with all these quilts up close and personal!




Now is the time to “clip” all the quilts! No, don’t worry, that doesn’t have anything to do with scissors or such – just putting on the bull-clips (lined with acid-free paper!) on to the top edge of quilts, so that they can be hung.









And then the heroes of the day come in – meet Lee and Tim, museum employees who help us do the hard part – hand all these beautiful (but large!) quilts. Mary and Colleen are the essential part of the team – handing them quilts, “driving” the scaffolding and  keeping them smile! 🙂


In the meantime, rest of us start working on the walls, hanging the wall quilts – look, Christmas corned is almost done and looking beautiful!!




Even while taking a rest, something is being done! Lori and Sue are stitching on the binding on the Raffle quilt!


And YES – that is that same room from the first picture with almost all of the quilts hung – can you believe it!!



Oh, look – the other side is done too! I am telling you – these ladies and two great, hard working guys are unbelievable!!

So today – just hanging the hand quilted quilts, Alice’s exhibit and some touch-ups, last minute changes to make it looking even better (if that is possible? 🙂   ) and adding enhancements…it will be fantastic!


Oh yes – the busy hands (Lori and Sue) also finished that binding and Raffle quilt is hanging and looking spectacular!! Have to say it again – well done ladies of AMQG!! 🙂




I am off to finish Quilt Show set up and will be back with some more pictures – but for all of you wonderful blog readers, you know: NOTHING is as good as seeing all these beautiful works of art in person, so COME ON OVER TO THE QUILT SHOW!! All the info you need is here!

Stay tuned and have a great day,









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what else do you like to do?

Hello again.

I have too many hobbies for the amount of time I have to spend. (and I have the supplies to go with them!) Just found out that my retired painting teacher is coming out of retirement and will again be offering classes. I haven’t done much painting in about 5 years. I think it might be the Irish in me, but I had just been thinking about how much I used to enjoy painting, wishing I could find another good teacher, when her letter arrived in the mail inviting me back to her class! Somewhat spooky, but not the first time something like that has happened.

I also enjoy rubber stamping-mostly making cards for myself to use and for Operation Write Home. Different, but related color skills, than those used in quilt making. Found this blog post at a site I’ve followed for a while now. I love, love , love the Japanese fabrics she finds and uses. She was living in the states when she began blogging; she and her husband are now living in Japan. (That explains the fabrics doesn’t it?) In this post she is including some stamping in her latest round of projects. Since I already have the inks and the stamps needed, all I need is a bit more inspiration–and I’ll have to dig around in the stash for fabrics that would be as cute as Ayumi’s choices. If you read Stitch magazine when it comes out, she usually has a couple of projects featured. Fun, fresh stuff.

Origami-paper folding. I did a lot more origami as a student, and then as a teacher than I do now. However recently I have begun doing the folding with fabric. Just taught a class recently using the new Clover gadget called a Kanzashi maker. There are several sizes and styles, similar to the yo-yo tool they have in several sizes and variations. The folds used in the Kanzashi flowers are just simple origami folds but of course the gadget makes the stitch placement so much easier. The flowers are impressive after you fuss with the folds a bit. I’m going to make some of the variations they suggest and try another style of Kanzashi maker. I think they could add a nice 3D element to a quilt or be used instead of applique on a border. Do you remember the folded flower quilts and garments that were popular a few years ago? I’ll have to get out some of those books and patterns and see what else these Kanzashi flowers might be adapted to do.

I could go on and on about other hobbies and interests that steal my free time-or is it free when it’s used for a hobby?

What interests do you have in addition to quilting?

PS: In case you’re not a member of our guild, please visit our website and read about our biennial quilt show which will be held this weekend. There will be about 300 quilts on display, vendors, a boutique of items made by our members, a “cafe”, etc. It’s a lovely way to spend some hours on a spring weekend. We’d love to meet you and share our love of all things “quilty”.


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