Saturday, November 27, 2010

Catching up -- Sully Quilt Show (September 2010)

On September 12, i went to the annual Sully Quilt Show, on the grounds of historic Sully Plantation, which is now a county park. We'd had much needed rain the night before and early in the morning, so some of the vendors had to set up in the drizzle. Also, the usual exhibit of antique quilts for sale, hanging up on clotheslines, was missing, probably because the vendors didn't want to risk their quilts getting dripped on by the trees or actually rained on.

I knew in advance that i wasn't going to buy much in the way of stash is already overflowing my sewing room, spilling out of baskets in the living room, and piling up by the washing machine, and i already bought more fabric than i intended to this summer at the Vermont Quilt Festival. However, some interesting fabrics still followed me home and i found some interesting patterns and fell for a couple of new books. And i bought a gorgeous basket from Ghana from a Ghanaian gentleman who's sold baskets at my town's Farmer's Market before.

Here are some of my goodies proudly displayed on my garden bench
I couldn't resist a fun new book "It's Quilting Cats and Dogs" by Lynette Anderson, with lots of fun projects incorporating a lot of embroidery plus piecing and applique.

I got two patterns (and the accompanying fabric packs) for Helene Knotts' continuing hilarious series of "Garden Patch Cats." These two are "Mushkit" (kitty as a big mushroom) and "Catus Romanus" (kitty as a Roman emperor...and head of Romaine lettuce!).

I got an interesting self-published pattern from a local quilter, Barbara Wise, under her "Aunt Lilly's Attic"'s a pattern for making a market bag from a calendar tea towel. More clever quilters than me could probably figure out how to do it themselves, but i really like the security of having someone else's pattern at least as a jumping off place. Her booth had all sorts of things, especially bags and purses, made from repurposed linens of all kinds and i really thought the reuse of old calendar towels was especially cool. Inside the pattern envelope are some cool old shell buttons that i also bought from her.

The other book i bought is "500 Art Quilts" edited by Ray Hemachandra and Karey Bresenham. It's great "eye candy" of 500 contemporary art quilts from 1989 to 2008. Not much technical information on any of the quilts, but great selections and good photography. I'm enjoying leafing through it at leisure. It's pretty amusing that about half the reviews on are from quilters proudly proclaiming that they have a quilt in the book. They're all worth seeing!

The last item on the bench is a "potato chip bag" that i made from Paula Hughes' pattern of that name. These are really fun little bags to make...i first got the pattern and a striking batik fabric kit from the nice people at Traditions at the White Swan at the Sully show last year. I made one for the mystery gift exchange at quilt retreat this Spring and people practically fought over it...the woman who managed to hold onto it is my quilt guild's program chair and (easily) talked me into teaching the group how to make them. This one is the one I made as a class sample.

And this one I made as a teaching sample as well, and then completed it as a gift for my sister's birthday in October. I added the three decorative buttons in honor of the new mama kitty and her two little orange kittens who my sister rescued from a life of dumpster-diving.


I'm so grateful for my family and friends, near and far, including those of you who i've met only through this blog or your own blogs...and those of you who i've had the pleasure of meeting in person. As winter approaches, i'm increasingly grateful for a roof over my head, a well-paying job with health care benefits, and the unwavering comfort of my cats.

I went to visit my father at Thanksgiving...the place where he lives does a very nice buffet, combining tradtional Thanksgiving dishes with regular breakfast buffet items. The dining room was full of people from the oldest residents (there's one gentleman who's 101, still plays tennis, sings in the choir, and plays flute) to the youngest visitors (there were quite a few babies, toddlers, and even some teens). My father was telling the people who we were seated with that the day was something of an anniversary for him--it was at Thanksgiving dinner two years ago at my uncle's retirement community in southern New Jersey that my father realized he might actually consider moving to such a place. And not long after that that i told him if he was planning on moving, he might as well move closer to my sister or me...and that i happened to know that there were two similar retirement communities right here in northern Virginia. I'm so grateful he made that decision! It's nice knowing that he's safe, comfortable, happy...and nearby.

The weather on Thanksgiving Day was typical of late November...chilly, gusty winds, with dark grey rippled skies. Most but not all of the leaves are off the trees now. I saw lots of turkey vultures and black vultures soaring and kettling in the wind...think they were making up for lost time because it had been rainy and bleak the day before. And there in between two big turkey vultures was an adult bald eagle! I thought i could tell the two kinds of big birds apart, and then the three birds drifted over the intersection where i was stopped at a red light, and sure enough, there were the unmistakeable white head and tail of an adult bald eagle. Thrilling!

I've got oodles of pictures in the cameras and few stories to tell...will try to catch up on the blogging before work and holiday preparations close in on me again.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!