March has been on heck of a month! Every member of our family was sick for at least a week, including me. We had our last big snowfall of the season on March 2nd. I managed to get the shop up and running that day as well. Managed to attend two quilt shows in the area. Helped to run the Cubscout Pinewood Derby Races. Hosted 2 dinner parties and finished piecing the top for Dandelion Wine.
Last week I even snuck in my annual physical. I started this routine ( including my annual mammogram) when I turned 40, in hopes of catching any mid life issues early on. Until this year, I went to the doctor with no issues to complain of. This year I went with a list! After a thorough examination and bloodwork – all the tests came back perfect – the diagnosis “you are just getting older.” I turn 45 tomorrow. I guess this is my midpoint year – is it downhill from here? I hope not! I am still waiting for the onset of menopause, but I can feel my body is starting to act a bit different. As long as I am medically fit, I guess it’s a matter of mind over body! I have to work on that!
I hope April is kinder to our family. The kids have spring break the middle of the month and I am tired of being cold. I am ready for spring! The squirrels ate my tulips that started coming up, but the deer have left the daffodils alone. Maybe I’ll go buy some pansies for color. Do groundhogs eat pansies in pots? I guess I’ll find out!
The last time I lived in New Jersey, the thought of attending a quilt show in Manhattan would have been very foreign. Having discovered quilting in the midwest, the heart of the traditional American quilting world, I am still amazed at how much quilting is going on the NY metropolitan area. As quilting began its resurgence in the 80’s, I’m sure it was here when I last lived here, but somehow I was oblivious to it, even though I thought I was aware of any sort of fabric store within a 100 mile radius.
Anyway, on Saturday a couple of friends and I drove into NYC to attend the Empire Quilters’ “Urban Inspirations 2009 Quilt Show.” It was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in midtown Manhattan. (I volunteered to drive because for some strange reason I am one of the few people who actually like to drive in NYC. It’s my one risky behavior, I tell everyone!)
I have to say it was the most colorful quilt show I have ever attended. It was great! Much to my friend Linda’s chagrin, there wasn’t a traditional quilt to be found. On the other hand, the quilts weren’t at the other extreme of avant garde art quilts either. They were mostly in the middle – transitional, I’d say (right up my alley!) with a healthy helping of color. The lighting was also very nice which accented the quilts beautifully. There were probably 250 – 300 medium to small size quilts.
As part of the $10 admission, there was an hour long presentation by Paula Nadelstern on her quilting journey and her beautiful kaleidescope quilts. If the quilts weren’t enough, that was definitely worth the price of admission. Of course there were vendors – with quite a large array of imported fabric from all over the world -just what I’d expect from a NY quilt show. If my weekends weren’t already full with family activities, I’d definitely consider joining the guild which meets once a month on a Saturday afternoon.
Here are a couple of picture I took at the show to give you a glimpse. Check out their website: www.Empirequilters.net
It’s been a busy week! Last weekend my son’s cubscout pack had their annual Pinewood Derby Race. His den leader was in charge of the event, so needless to say my husband and I were involved in helping to run it Friday night and all day Saturday. It’s a lot of fun for the kids and parents. Even my 6 year old made a car. This pack has what I think is a pretty elaborate set-up with metal tracks hooked up to a computer to capture the time and speed of the races to the third decimal place! It’s like watchingthe Olympics! The times and speeds for each race were even projected on a screen as the cars finished. Pretty cool stuff! Stephen did not win a trophy, but he was quite proud of his car – which he made by all himself. Unfortunately, I can’t say that all of the cars were made entirely by the scout, as they should be.
Hubby left for Chicago the next day for a 3 day business trip and as usual, that’s when children get sick! Stephen came down with a stomach bug on Monday and didn’t go back to school until Friday. This was a lot longer than usual for him when gets a stomach bug. So watch out – there’s something funny going around out there. I was told that there were quite a few kids out last week
On a quilting note… somehow I did manage to get the quilt top finished. I am very pleased with “Dandelion Wine” – but you will have to wait just a little longer to see the final result! Cross my fingers that everyone stays healthy this week and I can finalize the quilting design, get it basted and start quilting!
When he was feeling a little better, Stephen also worked on his quilt. This is his first piece made on the machine. Not bad for a beginner! I gave him free reign over my stash – obviously he is influenced by Mom’s color preferences! He still wants to put a border on it and then I will show him how to quilt it.
Don’t let the stomach bug bite!
I’m a bit late in getting this photo up. These blocks have been done and on the design board for a while. Thought I’d better get a picture before I start sewing it all together. There’s a bit of a surprise ending that I didn’t want to spoil. I am working on putting all of the pictures from the quilt and it’s story on one of my website pages to keep it all together. So soon you’ll be able to see the progression all in one spot. I am still on track to have the pattern available mid-May. Stay-tuned… If you think you may be at all interested in a kit, let me know that, too. If there is enough interest, I will figure something out!
I think I finally have a name – “Dandelion Wine” keeps dancing in my head. The dark orange blocks are made from a dandelion block print. It is my favorite fabric in the quilt. Growing up in an immigrant neighborhood, I have lots of memories of neighbors making salad and wine from the weed that most people now spend a lot of money on herbicide trying to get rid of! 40 years ago, it was practically a crop in our neighborhood!
The blocks aren’t sewn together, so they are just a bit skewed.
Evidently I am still experiencing blog issues. A friend of mine asked me why I hadn’t posted any of her comments. “What comments?” I replied. Based on every option I have looked at in my control panel, comments should be getting through. So, dear reader, if you have posted a comment, I apologize for not having seen nor posted it. Please try again! I would hate to know that I’ve missed any well meaning comments!
I had tried turning off the spam protection, but that certainly is not advisable again, after all the obscene links and comments I received!
Hopefully I hear from someone so that I know this is working.
P.S. Please don’t forget to check out the website – I have added a few new pages, not to mention the store is now open. Please tell a friend!
Sorry for the ominous last post. Having been a customer service manager for many years, I have very little patience for customer service reps conveying conflicting information. I shopped around a bit and decided that despite the challenges I was having with my hosting site’s contract department, they provide a good package for a do- it- yourselfer at a reasonable price. So for now, I’ve decided to stay the course with them.
Having said all that – I finally finished the store portion of my website!!! YEAH!!!! Please go www.HelleMayDesigns.com and take a look around. Selection is limited right now – but it will grow! I made a test purchase myself today, and everything seemed to work fine. I’m sure I’ll keep refining as I go along. As my friend said, if I wait until it’s perfect, I’ll never get started!
If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear.
P.S. For the beginning of March – it certainly looks a lot more like January! We have at 5 inches on the ground! It’s the snowstorm I’ve been waiting for all winter to really go sledding with the boys!