Monday, April 29, 2013

Laundry Mishaps, the Tissue Issue and Clothing Hitchhikers

I am sure that most of you have experienced and can relate to what I am about to describe in this post. Pulling your wet laundry out of the washer only to find that someone (me) left a tissue in a pocket and it is now in a million tiny pieces all over your freshly washed clothes! 

Having suffered with allergies most recently, it was bound to happen in my rush to get the laundry done, I had not carefully checked all the pockets to avoid it.  It amazes me how much of a mess one little tissue can make and how difficult it is to get the particles off your wet and or dry clothing articles.  I keep finding these little white 'tufts' everywhere. 

I thought that when I dried them in the dryer, the majority of them would be caught in the lint trap.
Well, yes, some did, but still a good number of them were not caught and were still clinging to the clothes.  I shook a lot of them off where they ended up on the rug and could be easily vacuumed up later.  However, a lot of my clothes, I hang up to dry, to prevent shrinkage and misshaping that happens with certain fabrics in the dryer.  I clip them to hangers and then place the hangers from the rafters in the basement near the furnace so they will dry naturally.  Its economical, it saves energy, my clothes last longer, and likely don't require ironing as much.  However, the Kleenex tidbits ended up sticking to these clothes and was not easy to remove. I tossed them in the dryer with no heat for a few minutes to try and rid my self of these nasty self inflicted lint bugs.

Another laundry disaster is one that my BFF reminded me of just this morning with a story she shared via email.  How many of you have been at work, only to discover that your dryer sheet or other article of a delicate nature  is secretly hiding inside your pants leg?  You feel something moving around in there as you are walking or sitting in a meeting with the new vice president, only to realize that the dryer sheet, errant sock or 'seat cover' has hitched a ride and now decides to show themselves.  While a dryer sheet isn't so embarrassing, other smaller pieces of hitchhiked clothing can prove to reveal themselves at the utmost inappropriate times.    Let's just hope if its of the pantie variety that it happens to be a new, nice pair and not your old holey ones that your mother always told you not to wear in case you got into an accident! 

Happy Rainy Monday!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Do you belong to a quilt guild?

I am a believer that Quilting guilds can be a very positive experience.  I believe that Quilt guilds can inspire and reward those that belong.  I love that I can go to a quilt guild meeting and see wonderful things created by other quilters that may or may not be finished.  I love to listen to the creator talk about the piece, why they made it, what inspired them, what they need help with, when it was finished and who is going to end up with their creation.  The only part I don't like is when someone openly criticizes their own work in front of others.  I wonder why do we do this? 

As a teacher, I have to admit that its easier to try and find something wonderful about each and every student's work and much more rewarding and inspiring to share those positive thoughts with them.  While sometimes I do not 'love' something, each and every piece of art has some merit and if one looks upon it with good intent, you can find the best in even the simpliest or less than perfect handmade item.  I would rather inspire someone by pointing out the good, than to criticize the obvious flaws.  I can only hope that we all try and do this to each other when we share quilts and works in progress.  The world would certainly be a nicer place if we did, right?

I enjoy it when someone approaches me and asks my advice on how to quilt or finish their quilt.  Its easier when you know the person well and have a good idea of their skills set and comfort zone.  But I am always willing to try and offer a variety of suggestions to the curious, after all, I received plenty of help from more experienced quilters in my early sewing career and I was always grateful for that experience and their wonderful ideas.  It really rocks my boat when I see they have actually executed a suggestion of mine and the idea works out well and enhances their finished item. 

Just this week, I received two emails with photos from friends that tried a new binding technique I had shared with them.  They were tickled pink with the finished quilt and I have to say I was proud of them for remembering to share their finished quilt with me so that I could see they had found the binding tips useful and workable for them.  Sharing the joy, the ideas and pictures of the finished items is a nice way to say Thank you to the source of your inspiration.  I think this is probably why I teach.  I get alot out of it from each and every student.  Being a inspiration to others is a really good feeling.

This is a partial picture of my latest super king size quilt top which I showed at the Modern Guild last night.  I call it My Zipper Quilt.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Quilting Retreats

One week from today I will be madly packing my supplies and suitcase to attend our annual Quilting Retreat in Lititz, PA.  I am happy to report that there has been a very excited and happy flurry of emails and instant messages between the attendees talking about what to pack, where to go, when to meet up and how busy they are planning their final preparations for this gathering.

We all look forward to the event from the date it is planned up until we all arrive and get settled into the house where we converge to sew, laugh, share, eat, sleep and be merry.  The ladies that attend this gathering are all pretty much in their 50's and 60's.  All are experienced quilters and each have a different style and favorite aspect to quilting that differ from the others.  Some are best friends, sisters, sister-in-laws, most are moms or aunts, grandmas and great aunts.  We leave behind the husbands, the kids, the jobs, the pets and the housework and cooking and come together to enjoy time doing what we love best.

We are lucky to have a nice group of 11 ladies that know each other through this event and everyone gets along very well.  This year we will make some charity quilts using a jelly roll race format.
And the rest of the time will be spent working on our own projects that we want to finish.  Some of us drag everything but the kitchen sink with us (the house has at least 2 of those) and others carefully cut everything ahead of time to expedite the sewing process.  Most of us shop while in PA, because there are many shops that offer first quality quilting cottons and supplies at prices that are not available locally to us in our native NJ, CT, MA hometowns.  We all try to leave a little space in our suitcases for treasures that we procure along the way.

On Saturday night, we gather together in one spot to do a show and tell.  We typically share items that we created and most of the time, ones that we started at the retreat in prior years or finished during the retreat we are attending at the time.  Its so much fun to see all of the items everyone else makes.  Pictures are taken and stories are swapped.  We memorialize the event in pictures that can be shared over the web and via email.

I love all the sharing of ideas and techniques that happen during this time together.  Its a special bonding between friends and we are often in awe of each other's accomplishments big and small.
If you've not tried a retreat in the past, I highly recommend it.  It is an experience that cannot be beat if the right people are involved.  I feel extra lucky to be able to do this every year and to have a wonderful group of ladies with whom to enjoy spending this time of creativity.
Year #3 in  April 2012-->

and with my baskets on their heads in 2012.
Below - in April 2011  Year 2
Below - in April 2010 - Year 1
Keep on stitching - anywhere you can!