Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On the Road, Again!

Well it looks like 2015 is shaping up to be another traveling year.  January started off very nicely with almost the whole month at home and time to work on RCQ quilts, but the beginning of February changed all of that! Paula and I were scheduled to go on Quilter's Emporium cruise on the Carnival Magic, but unfortunately Paula's mom developed pneumonia and she had to back out.  I was tapped to be the teacher and our dear friend, Phyllis Anderson (author - Diamond Quilts from Landauer Publishing) was able to join me. Now I have plenty of classroom experience, but it has all been with children and this was my first time with adults.  They were wonderful (and very kind and gentle- LOL) and we had a great time. We made some wonderful new friends, visited some great places (Key West and the Bahamas) and by the number of umbrellas in the picture, apparently had a number of fruity drinks!!
Our home away from home for a week!
Lots of umbrellas = lots of fruity drinks or generous bartenders!!

I've been home for a week and a half and tomorrow I leave for LaPorte, TX and Ronda's new retreat house - Pieceful Stitches.  Gloria organized a group from Jacksonville and we're going to christen the house!  I can't wait.  This is a great group of ladies and we will have a fantastic time.  I'm also a little excited about maybe getting some Tex Mex for dinner at least one night.  I need my queso and of course, a margarita.  Plans are in the works for a trip to Painted Pony Quilt Shop, also in LaPorte.  I'm back home again next Monday and then it's off to our Camp Blanding retreat for the weekend. Same great group of ladies and about 100 more!!

In between all of the traveling I've been working on finishing some projects.  All the baby quilts have been bound and some have even been sent off to the babies!!  I received some help on one of the pillowcases I was making for my nephew from my 12 year-old niece.  She is taking a sewing class in a free period at school and she has asked me to help her.  She's come by a couple of afternoons and we've made headbands and a couple of pillowcases.  She is really enjoying the whole sewing thing and I am so glad!  It is so nice to see someone so enthusiastic to learn.  She has a list of projects she would like to tackle and last night she added a quilt to the list!  YAY!!!  Future Quilter of America!!!

Paula has been designing all sorts of new fabric collections and as the fabric arrives, I've been making the quilt she designed to go with the fabric.  We've made two quilts using the Border Companions and if there was time I think we could make a new quilt using each of the 15 borders.  I shared the Blue and Grey quilt already - pieced, quilted, bound and off for its photo shoot - and then I completed a re-do of Old Abe using one of the border prints as the sashing.  It's is also pieced, quilted, bound and heading for it's photo shoot.  It's hard to take a good picture in the house, so here's a close up of the border and some of the blocks.  We replaced the eagle stripe with the border stripe and it has a totally different look.
Old Abe re-do with Paula's Border Companions
The next collection that came in was Tanner Crossing and that's the quilt that's going with me this weekend.  I've done all of the prep work for the blocks and have even completed 3 of the blocks.  I'm hoping to have all of the blocks done and ready for Paula to arrange for Saturday at our retreat.  Next on tap is Historical Stripes.  Paula has designed a new template for this one and I'll get my demo this weekend.  This one will probably go to the Camp Blanding retreat with me.  And just when you think there's a moment, another collection arrives and this time it's the fabric for our 4th Block of the Month. Oh and in between all of this, we were editing the manuscript for our book!!  Yes, we are writing a book with Martingale Publishing Co.  We are so excited!!  It will be in your local quilt store in October, 2015 - more details to follow, as we get more details!!
Tanner Crossing collection - another pretty stripe in this one too.
Center star blocks

3 blocks done! 27 to go!

The suitcase is calling!  I had better start packing soon because I have a 6:30 AM flight and have to leave the house at 4:30 AM.  All I can say about that is UGH!!!  I'll share pictures of the retreat house and what everyone was working on when I get home.  A lot of the girls will be doing handwork - EPP, rug hooking, cross stitch and probably some wool applique.  I'm bringing my machine, of course, and maybe some EPP.  I need to get some more of my 6 pointed stars finished!

March is also shaping up to be a busy month - Dallas Quilt Show, new fabric collection and Block of the Month quilt!!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

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