Well, it's nice to see y'all visiting! I'm glad there's interest in the latest book giveaway: Women of Influence. This is a great book. Sure, the quilt's beautiful -- but what I really enjoyed was its history. You will, too. Just leave a comment at the original post -- and if you 'follow' this blog or subscribe by e-mail, say something about that, too. (That'll get you three entries, instead of one.)
Deadline's Sunday night at midnight, and we'll randomly draw a winner on Monday.
I have been feeling a little sorry for myself this week, since there was no money (thanks to our basement troubles) or time (ditto) to go to the American Quilter's Society conference in Paducah, KY this week. This is one of the 'Holy Grail' conferences, as far as quilting goes. I've taught several years, and gone to a few, just for fun.
And the PAAQT appraisers' group is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a big splashy open house at the museum this weekend. I'll be hearing about that one, too.
This year is turning out to be much quieter than my usual -- and much more staying home. But I'm not unhappy about that. Some health problems made life miserable early in the year, and they're only now starting to disappear. (Who knew that a tooth infection would affect the rest of your body, as well!)The basement work, reordering Brickworks inventory, has taken a lot of time -- and needs more. And I've had some nagging writing deadlines I Need To Deal With. (If you're wondering, "Does that mean the Hanky Panky sequel," you're absolutely right! It's soooo close to being finished.)
So does it make sense that I stay home? Absolutely. Does it mean I miss the excitement, the chance to see what's new, and what people are doing with it? Of course. But there are things that help:
*Let yourself wander about the quilting sites -- especially AQS. By the end of the week, the winner photos will be up. Take time to study them. Have you heard of this person before? What's prizewinning about their quilt?
*Keep a quilt book by your chair -- or a quilt-related novel. (I'm especially fond of Sandra Dallas' work, and she has a new one out -- True Sisters. But I run back to a favorite, as well: The Journal of Mattie Spenser.) Take a half-hour or so, even if your schedule is busy, to relax and read.
*Go to a guild meeting. Or a group. What -- you don't belong to one? Kris Driessen's Quilt Guilds.com is a good place to start. Usually meetings are monthly, and most guilds have a wide variety of teachers (including yours truly) come to visit. Show & Tells are interesting, too.
*Start a new piece! Try a new technique, or print off a paper-pieced block you've wanted to stitch. (Here's a good place to start -- I'm partial to this Crazy Twist block, because it uses up so many scraps.)
*Make it small, so it doesn't take long to finish. Think of it as a 'study piece;' you're experimenting, and that's just fine. (In fact, 'fooling around' is how many new ideas got started -- including Hanky Panky.) This new little quilt will come in handy for birthday and Christmas gift-giving. If you love it, you can always make a bigger one.
A few hours of sewing makes all the difference in the world. (In fact, I'm going to give myself that luxury after I finish sanding down the basement walls today.) There are other big conferences coming up, including the Mancusos' Denver Quilt Festival. (That one, I may get to!) So, like all things-that-have-to-happen, this is temporary.
On with life.