Friday, October 19, 2012

The Boonslick Quilting Guild...and Amish Country

Friends, being a traveling quilt teacher can bring so much joy in so many ways: from the students who love to learn, the audience who is interested in your work (unlike, perhaps, the beloved guys in your family whom you live with), the hosts who treat you like a princess, meeting new friends and old....and from the chance to explore new areas too.

I had all these experiences in my recent trip to Columbia, MO to teach my "Pretty Crazy" class and "Essential Crazy Quilt Embroidery", as well as to give a lecture about my transition from sane to crazy quilting.

I came home filled to the brim with great are a few pictures from my trip:

What's a better sign that you are in Missouri than having some mules come visit?  They live next door to my host family and greeted me my first morning there.

Here we are setting up for my Friday night lecture.  This guild made sure I had every thing I needed, one person even bailing me out when my PowerPoint got stuck.  *whew*

The students worked hard all day in class on Saturday.....

...and I was thrilled with the variations on my pattern and method that they discovered.

This gal said she was going to try very hard not to enjoy the handwork she is starting to add here....I loved that, and good luck!

My sweet hostess, Corrine Remeika, is learning some new embroidery stitches in Sunday's class. She brought in that lovely CQ you see in the foreground of the picture.  Nice fan there!

Another true highlight of my trip was my visit to the Clark County Amish community.  My old Point Bonita friend, the master handquilter and hand piecer Bettina Havig, took me there.  Bettina has long ties to the community and some dear friends among them too, so she knew where to go and what to show me.

We did indeed have to share the road.  A couple of buggies being driven by women intent upon their errands passed us by along the way.  They each gave us a serious nod and wave.

You don't photograph the Amish people, so I couldn't capture the utterly charming school children at play in their schoolyard at lunch time, in colorful long dresses and wee bonnets (the girls), and the straw hats, black pants, and bright shirts (the boys).  It felt like stepping back into an earlier America.  I was dazzled.

But I did photograph the little corner store that one family had on the side of their house.  Come inside and see....

Please note the minimal packaging (food is bought in bulk and then bagged in manageable sizes), natural lighting, and absence of advertising.  It felt so good in there.

Front and center, the fabrics for clothing and quilts!

...and the threads, of course.  Note the Bag Balm in the green tin above.  That's ointment for udders, so the teats don't get cracked or for cuts the cows get.  As dairy farmers, my husband and I used to buy that stuff in gallon tubs!  Fun to see it here.

Everything needed for the plain and simple Amish life was for sale here, including the straw hats worn by the men and boys.  The woodstove is ready for winter, the broom on the wall for sweeping up ashes from the floor....

It was hard to leave such a peaceful and interesting place....but it was back to the 21st Century, albeit in retro fashion...

Bettina took Corrine and me here for my last breakfast before heading south to the airport in Kansas City.  Good coffee and conversation, not to mention those hash browns.

A special thanks to Bettina, for hiring me and squiring me about.  The private quilt turning of her masterpiece quilts in her home was something I'll never forget.
Bettina is dedicated to the "made by hand" school of quilting, in applique, piecing, and quilting.  Her work is unrivaled, she teaches it here and internationally, and has published 7 books on the subject.
And her friendship is a treasure to me...

Home for a stop, Wichita!  There is still time to sign up for my classes.  Looking forward to it!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harvest Season

It's been a month since I've checked in here, and I miss my blogging friends and readers.
But my posts are going to be few between now and May 1, 2013, which is my deadline for a top secret project that I have been sewing madly for since last January. It is hard not to share what I've been doing, but I hope you feel it will be worth the wait.
There are some big surprises in store!!!!

There has been a whole lot of gardening going on by my Food Supplier in Chief Robert, and harvest season is upon us....

The deal is, he grows it and I process it.  Pear sauce and tomato sauce have been cranked out in mass quantities, with more to come...

I don't add a thing to this sauce, and I don't peel those tomatoes, either!  They are simply terrific as is off the vine.

Thankfully, once the onions are cured we just store them in the basement.  It was a banner year for the onions!

Same goes for the winter squash.  For some reason (a pre-natal tendency is my opinion), my husband is compulsive about growing all sorts of winter squash: Delicata, Carnival, Ambercup, Marina de Chiogga.  We will be eating off these til next summer. (Shown is a fraction of the harvest, believe me.)

The potatoes are all stashed away downstairs...

But we are still waiting on the Bosc pears...

This is only a part of the tree...I'm amazed at how great a crop we have, considering the weather is so lousy while the trees flower in the spring, and the bees are down in numbers...These will go into the chutney, along with all those peppers we also have coming ripe.  I'd like to try drying some, too.

And after planting some Asian pear trees 18 years ago....we have our first decently sized crop of them.  They are incredible...and it's nice to know we didn't completely waste our time with those trees!
Here's Robert filling a bucket for us...

There are also some out-of-it apple trees that we don't harvest...but our neighbors here are waiting for me to chuck some windfalls over the fence.

That big cow with the horns gets first dibs on everything, that is for sure!

I will check back in with reports of some upcoming to Columbia, MO next week, and then Wichita, Kansas for the Victorian Stitchery Retreat in November (there are still openings in the classes by me, Judith Montano, and Candace Kling, so contact Valerie Bothell if you can come.)

But....a few more moons will pass before I can blog about my studio is a little glimpse though...can you find the Big Dipper?

Happy Harvest to you all!