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This year the quilt show falls on the weekend of September 22 and 23. Featured Artist: Valorie Wells and YOU as well as a retrospective of the past ten years. I can't believe that this year we are celebrating the 10th annual Alden Lane out door quilt show in my home town of livermore CA. It seems just yesterday the concept was a twinkle in Daddy's eyes. The event has grown from one to two days and there are several festivities and classes available for your enjoyment. Space is limited so visit Alden Lane's website and register today. www.aldenlane.com I'll see you there!

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Story Submitted by: sewcolorful

04/15/2007 McCormick, fellow quilters display work in quilt show By Kris Winterton For Midlander Stephanie McCormick, making a quilt is like putting together a puzzle. She particularly enjoys piecing geometric shapes into pleasing designs. A prolific quiltmaker, she’s not afraid to modify patterns or create new ones. McCormick’s handiwork will be featured in an upcoming show of the Midland Quilters Squared Guild. The quilt show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carriage House Hall. In addition to McCormick’s quilts, many other quilts made by guild members will be on display. The Midland Quilters Squared Guild has grown to include more than 40 members. McCormick joined in 1997, not long after she became interested in quilting. "1996 was the year of my grandson’s birth, and my daughter requested a baby quilt as a gift, instead of an afghan, which I’d been making," McCormick recalled. "I joined the guild to learn. The first few years I used patterns, but almost immediately I started adjusting the patterns of others. I use their ideas and go off on my own." That’s the fun part of quiltmaking, McCormick said. "Some that I’ve made are OK, and some are ‘Wow!’ Construction is fun for me – figuring out how the pieces will go together. I like angles." She prefers piecing to appliqué work, and about 80 percent of the things she makes are wall hangings. A visit to McCormick’s home confirmed the fact that she has an artist’s eye for color and design and loves to create beautiful things. "This is my favorite full-sized quilt," she said, indicating a striking bedspread whose batik half-square triangles are set off by black strips and black-and-white fabrics of several different prints. The intricate machine quilting was done by someone else, she said. She machine quilts her own wall hangings but doesn’t have time to do larger items. There are too many new ideas she wants to explore. She constantly has several projects in the works. There’s a piece whose colorful concentric triangles form an octagon. She calls it Trippin’ Triangles. There’s one with tumbling blocks of several sizes and colors that form a three-dimensional design on a black background. There are photo quilts with photo transfers showing vacations with family members and a trip to Australia. There’s a snowflake motif whose shapes were transferred onto fabric using freezer paper. A large star pattern has jewels hand-sewn onto the fabric. In many of her works, bright colors and jewel tones are set off by black. "Black brings out bright colors so well," she said. McCormick loves being part of the Midland Quilters Squared Guild. "I get ideas from it," she said. "The group has allowed me to do what I wanted – you don’t have to do what everyone else does. I think our group is very inventive. Everyone seems to not be afraid of putting themselves out there." Members issue challenges to each other. A recent one that a dozen members took up was to create a Mexican-themed quilt. One woman depicted jumping beans with sombreros; another used fabulous Aztec signs, McCormick said. Four guild members formed a smaller group called JNKS, which reflects the members’ first names (Jana, Nancy, Kathy, Stephanie). They take an idea and show it in four different quilt styles, and together they present lectures to quilters in various cities in Michigan. McCormick likes to keep busy creating things. She also weaves rugs, using leftover pieces of fabric. She and her friends have a good time expressing themselves through fabric art. "Most of my friends are quilters," she said. "Just being around people who are enthusiastic is fun." Reprinted by permission from Lori Qualls, Midland Daily News, Midland, MI

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All "Dear Jane" lovers will be thrilled to know there will be a Dear Jane chat each Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST (6 Pacific) All are welcome! 

This chat was organized by members who were waiting for Alex to enter the chat this past Tuesday night.  We love that our members are finding ways to connect with one another!  That is what this site is all about. 

If there are any other members who are organizing chats, fabric-swaps or what-have-you, click the contact button, select news/events, and let us know!  We are happy to get your information "out there".

Pictured above - "The Quilt" by Jane A. Blakely Stickle, completed in 1863 

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The web tour of last summer's quilt show in Blue Earth, Minnesota is up at www.blueearthchamber.com/expo2006/expo2006-main.html. Hop over and check it out! 

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Story Submitted by: Ibereeree

In cleaning up afterHurricane Katrina Carla Crane found her quilt top amoung ruble and destruction unharmed along with her Grandmothers Bible. I picked it up from her when we were in Pascagoula, Ms trying to help them drag wet, muddy, ruined parts of their lives out the door and to the street. The blocks in this top were made by her grandmothers, aunts, cousins and friends many years earlier because now so many of them are no longer living. After I got the quilt finished and gave it to her thru tears she said it gave her much comfort thru the troubles and trials of the aftermath of that devestating storm. She said it was if her grannys all had their protective arms wrapped around that quilt top and Bible protecting them.

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Today I taught a class called Scribble Applique. These are two examples of the work accomplished by two of the students. Each student worked from a photo or original image to create their own drawing and freely cut the fabrics to create these wonderful masterpieces. Aren't they wonderful? Everyone did spectacular work and it was hard choosing just two to post for you to see now. Sorry, the photos are a bit blurry, but they were taken with a video camera instead of a still camera.

I'm also sorry you will be missing my great adventure for a few days, but I cannot edit and post video when I'm on the road. However, I am really excited about being in St. Paul, Minnesota for the annual quilt show put on the the Minnesota State Quilt Guild. This show is one of the most organized and well-directed quilt shows around and it is all done by volunteers! It rotates each year to one of four cities in the state so that the travel is more easily distributed for the members.

If you don't know about my great adventure - click on the Rhapsody Reality BLog on the upper right of The Daily Blog and start from the very beginning.

If you are attending the Minnesota show be sure to visit me and say, "It's a New Day!"

Ricky, in unusually warm St. Paul, Minnesota. "Yah, it's warm fur shoor! You betcha!"

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Wow - Did we have the numbers or what? At one point 55 people! I have to admit that it got a little wild at times. thank you for putting up with the positive chaos. We at TQS will be talking about how to achieve a bit of order...........if possible. Wink However, one discovery was that we have several Janiacs on site. Please note that Bob has added both a chat and forum for you. We aim to please............And by the way: Ricky, "come home" we need more fishing blogs and DID you see the BEARS?!

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The Sewing Machine Project was conceived in early 2005, following the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. “I’d read an article about a woman who had lost a sewing machine in the storm, a machine she’d saved for years to buy, and, in losing it, she lost her means of making an income. I began collecting donated sewing machines here in Wisconsin and shipping them to Sri Lanka”, says Margaret Jankowski, founder of this project.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in September 2005 she decided to shift her focus to that area. Since then, she has made four trips to the city, taking over 275 machines. These machines are distributed to individuals as well as schools and community centers. People are using them not only to rebuild their lives but also to start small sewing-related businesses.

Another facet of the Project is the Pay it Forward program. Margaret partners with groups in the New Orleans community who need volunteers for sewing-related projects. Some groups need sewing teachers while others simply need people to help sew little infant caps for the local children’s hospital. When an individual receives a machine, they are asked to volunteer with one of these groups. In this way, they can use their new tool to help their own community.

Community is important no matter where you live. It becomes even more important in the aftermath of a disaster. The mission of the Sewing Machine Project is to give people a tool that will not only help them mend their own lives but also will give them a way to take an active role in the rebuilding of their community. People grow strong and their community grows strong as well.

If you are interested in assisting with any aspect of this project, please visit www.TheSewingMachineProject.org. 

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Yukon, OK – June 10, 2007, Studio D-og – Wearable Art has gone to the dogs!  Well, the dogs have gone to Virgie Fisher for fabulous doggie Wearable Arf.   After nearly 20 years of designing and creating wearable garments for the Fairfield Fashion Show and Bernina Fashion Show and fiber art wall pieces for private and corporate clients, including Wells Fargo, Virgie Fisher has begun to create Wearable Arf.   Applying the same intricate detail and techniques, she creates mini masterpieces for truly pampered pooches. 

At the begging and pleading of her daughter, Rachele, Virgie joined her daughter’s luxury pet business, Studio D-og Boutique. She began creating commissioned doggie wearables for Rachele’s Beverly Hills and Hollywood clientele. The tiny jackets and dresses range from stunningly beautiful to fun and funky. Regardless of the style, each piece has hours of surface design and remarkable embellishment.

The two Fishers combine a love for animals and a love for creating. They use their work to support various charities by designing special pieces for fundraising events. This labor of love has helped save numerous pets from euthanasia and has sent many children with cancer to camp!

You can check out her work at:
http://www.studiodogboutique.com  or call her at 979/417-3174

Interview Contact: Virgie Fisher
Telephone: 979/417-3174
http://www.studiodogboutique.com
email: studiodboutique@aol.com
 

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Story Submitted by: SDQUILTER

It was a beautiful spring day, actually summer like as it was 77 degrees outside & all was bustling to get the farm cleaned up for spring. The 1st order of business was to clean out the old hog house which will be burned down so a new and improved building/shop can go in its’ place someday. Yes, we were hit by Tornado Tues 2004 and things on the farm have changed tremendously since then and this is the final clean-up to be done from that scary night. As I walked over to the hog house, dad (my dear father-in-law) called me to a box that was reeking of mold & mildew. Here’s something for you he said as he pointed to the open box. I looked and on top there was a thread stand with 5 small spools of old thread & then 2 mildew ridden sheets. I pulled them back for further inspection of the contents and to my amazement I found 2 quilts made with love no doubt by a loving grandma somewhere. I gave them a quick once over and there was not a stitch of mold or mildew on them, just some odor that the washing machine took care of after a few runs. One was a patchwork of various fabrics & the other was a cute little Sun Bonnet Sue & Sunny Jim quilt that surely was happy to be back in the sunshine. We don’t know when or why the box got put in there as the hog house hasn’t been used for anything but storage since the early 70’s, but I had a mission to do now that the quilts were found & saved from the pending fire. With no labels on the quilts & the only other immediate quilter in the family that I knew of had passed at the glorious age of 101, I was off to do some investigative work, starting with a closer inspection of the quilts. Grandma’s father had bought this farm in 1893 after coming over from Sweden & she was born here on the farm in 1899. She was a teacher, a farmers’ wife & Pastors’ wife during her lifetime and I was blessed to have many opportunities to learn from her so I could pass down her stories & traditions to our children & grandchildren. The patchwork quilt was the only style quilt I had ever seen her make as she was a thrifty woman who never threw any good piece of material away and always took in others’ scraps that were offered to her, so I am positive that she had made the patchwork quilt. With some reluctance I have to admit that the 1st dead giveaway in it was the old heavy nylon stocking she used to make the brown patch in the bottom left of the quilt bigger so it was the same size as the other squares; 2nd, each square was made of several pieces of the same fabric sewn together and lastly, the backing was an old bedspread that had been pieced in 3 long strips and brought around the front for binding, another trade mark of her quilting. I’ll be giving the seams some attention, but other than that, it will go proudly on display for future generations to see & learn from. The other quilt is a panel and looked to be made of fairly newer fabric (within the past 20-25 yrs) and is the one I will find myself doing some further investigative work to find the quilter, but if my hunch is right I won’t have to travel far for that either. So to end this story, the hog house went up in a “Blaze of Glory” and by some Devine intervention as if Grampa Paul & Gramma Esther, previous owners of the farm & a Lutheran Pastor & Pastor’s wife were standing by close to make sure everything went ok, a steeple appeared in the front of the hog house as it burned and I’m sure Gramma was smiling with joy to know that the lovely little forgotten quilts are now happy, safe & sound and catching up on all the love they missed out on when they were left to live in a dark dingy box in the old hog house.



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