Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Congratulations, Janet!!!

Janet Atkins' quilt "Kaaterskill" won the Best Hand Workmanship award at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival earlier this year! Having seen Janet's work up close and personal, I can tell you that it was well-deserved!

Janet started this stunning piece at a retreat Anita Shackelford and I hosted at Wiawaka in Lake George, New York, several years ago. This is the first time I have seen the finished quilt, and it was well worth the wait. The retreat project was the Mariner's Compass block in the center. Anita's design was translated to hand piecing by me, and Janet ran with it from there. WOW does not describe it.

Thank you, Janet, for sharing your work of art. It is truly an inspiration.

Next post: More student pics. And I feel a tutorial coming up! Stay tuned.


P.S. Just a reminder to those of you who are new to my blog--the horses are not mine. I am the Bucket Babe--I just groom horses, clean stalls, fill buckets--with none of the expense of keeping 6 horses! Gotta love that!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I See Horses

Believe it or not, I am hand quilting up a storm--but don't have anything ready to show here yet. For the next post I do have some student quilts, which are always a treat to see.

Mostly I just wanted you to know that I am still alive.

Here is Electra, the 25 year old mare. She is the alpha horse of the bunch and nobody questions it! She is the one who carries her tail so proudly--I love to brush it out. She is so regal in her carriage and gaits. (As you probably can tell, these photos are not my usual one-armed attempts!)

And here I am with Topper. I usually try not to get in the photos (to protect your delicate sensibilities), but this was an opportunity too good to miss.

Gotta run for now. I have to be up early to drive an hour to an all-day class on hand quilting. The handouts are printed, the quilt sandwiches are basted and I am set to go.

Hugs to all,

P.S. Have any of you been watching "Kitchen Nightmares" with Chef Gordon Ramsey? Yikes, talk about tense! I don't knit or quilt while watching. Around here it is on Friday nights at 9 pm on Fox.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nosing Around

Hide your eyes if you are tired of posts about horses--'cause this is another one. Guess who?

Yes, it's none other than Topper, the horse from the show last September. With the break in the winter weather we have been thinking about the new show season.

Topper, of course, is not the least phased by our thoughts and plans. He really thinks he is above all that!

And, just in case you get the wrong idea about Topper, here he is looking very handsome--and doesn't he just know it! His tail has been braided and wrapped all winter and we took it down and brushed it on Wednesday. It drags the ground by almost a foot--but will be shorter by show time.

Some of you may be disappointed that every post is not about quilting--and for that I am sorry. But I can't tell you what learning something different does to your entire attitude. Two years ago knitting re-ignited my creativity and now working with the horses is doing that in yet a different way. For over five years I did little but work--and now I am getting a life, literally. Think back to something you enjoyed as a kid or a younger adult--is it feasible to try it again? Or a different version of it? And remember, keeping your mind active helps to keep Alzheimer's away. I have some quilting stuff up my sleeves, so stay tuned--you won't be sorry!

Hugs to everyone who believes they are special (that should be all of you!),

P.S. You may notice some changes on the right side of the blog posts. I have added my picture (my eyes, my eyes!), updated my "complete profile" and added several more blogs to my list. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Things Come

Several years ago I taught a Dresden Plate class in Corning, New York. On Wednesday night, Penny came with her finished quilt. It is absolutely wonderful! Penny was a bit shy about being in the picture, so it's almost a Kilroy picture!

The bug fabric was a perfect fit for the blades. Great job, Penny; thanks for sharing!

I've been busy hand quilting and horsing around and raking and ripping down old vines and.... You can tell we've had a break in the winter weather. Alas, it is not supposed to last much longer.

Happy St. Pat's!

Hugs all around,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Turn Signals

When did the use of turn signals become optional? I don't remember seeing anything in the newspaper, on TV news or anywhere else. And I've noticed that the newer the car, the less the turn signals are used. Are turn signals optional equipment when you order a new car? Do the owners of any/all cars feel that there are only so many flickers per light and that they will be used up too quickly--thus requiring replacement?

Am I now supposed to be a mind reader and just KNOW that you are going to cut across three or four lanes of traffic to get to the off-ramp? And I love the "click turns"--you know, one flash of the light and then -WHAMMO, turn! I've been on the road a lot the last couple days and I am just amazed at the lack of turn signal use. For goodness sake, it's not like in the old days when we had to stick our arms out the window in all kinds of weather to signal a turn. We are warm and cozy or cool and collected inside our cars, requiring only a mere flick of the wrist to flip the lever up or down.

I guess the next thing the car manufacturers need to address is an intuitive system that will automatically know which way you are turning and will key the proper turn signal without your having to move a muscle. (Okay, you heard that here first just in case there is a royalty dispute over this invention!)

Thanks for listening. I just had to let that out or I would have to...well, I don't know what. But it wouldn't be pretty.

Hugs to all,

P.S. For you movie buffs: "Right turn, Clyde!"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mother Nature

just doesn't seem to want to quit this year. It did get to 45 degrees here today--"We're having a heat wave--a tropical heat wave." And the sun did shine!

Other than that, I've been getting new samples ready for upcoming classes and preparing for the blocks of the month already in progress. I am very thankful to be busy.

What I am reading: The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry (on CD) and Alligators, Old Mink & New Money by Alison Houtte (hardcover).

Short and sweet for tonight. Okay, who out there is special? Every one of you better have raised your hand! Don't make me come over there!



Monday, March 1, 2010

A Bit of a Tease

In an effort to find a small, do-able project to teach circle ruching, I have been working on this:

It's just a small portion of the whole--but I am quite pleased with it. I am hoping that it will be well-received as a two time class--one for the base design and one for the addition of those tiny ruched flowers. When it is done, I'll give you a proper look.

It's been a mixed day. My class tonight was filled with bits and pieces of lots of projects. A group dedicated to finishing! Quilts were trimmed ready for binding, backs were pieced for the next project in the queue for machine quilting, rows of flannel blocks were pieced and laid out. Projects were planned for the future--we are on a roll! I will eventually have pictures of the finished projects to share.

Tomorrow morning I am going shopping for more pink brushes/combs for my horse tool box. Yes, it's official--I'm a Bucket Babe. I am painting my tool box "Blue Suede Shoes" blue and decorating it with pink accents. I'll show you pics as the box progresses. I am quite excited! (Okay, I know I need to get out more--and I am--to the barn! Hee hee!)

Stay warm and keep quilting. This is the perfect time to be hand quilting a large quilt--it keeps you warm as you are quilting!

Hugs to all,