Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grandpa was Right

This may be the only picture there is of my grandpa, Homer Ivan Poore, playing baseball.

He played when he was young. On minor league teams. During the roaring '20s. Out west somewhere. I've always thought the teams must have been like the one in the movie Field of Dreams ...

Grandpa and other ghosts of baseball are surely beaming down on Kansas City today. The home team, the Kansas City Royals, is in the World Series.

Grandpa had a lifelong love of the game. Year after year, we went to the games with him, first cheering the Athletics in municipal stadium, later the Royals at Kaufman Stadium. He listened to every game, often on the radio, sitting on the back porch. My little brother would ride his bike over and listen with him (but he had to be home by dark, he reminded me recently). Grandpa taught all of us to love the game.

Grandpa didn't talk much, but every year when we lost, the refrain was the same as he shook his head: "Pitchers. We need a good pitcher."

Grandpa, we got one. Tonight, Big Game James Shields is our starting pitcher. He's supported by a stellar bullpen. We're in the World Series.

We'll watch Buck O'Neill sing the song. We'll get teary-eyed. Go Royals!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

QuiltMania Visits Next Door

Linda's silk quilt looked perfect. 
This was an exciting week - a team from French magazine Quiltmania was coming next door to visit the new neighbor.

We were invited to be part of the mania. BB welcomed our quilts into her much larger new digs. We hung out quilts, new group projects were on hand to show. What would the editorial team want to see?

Of course, they wanted to see quilts from BB's collection, the older, the better. Off to the closet they went ...

Quilts were flying as Carol Veillon and Barbara looked through a storage closet. That entire pile on the top ended up on the floor during the hunt.

Then the quilt show began. Luckily, Linda brought a quilt stand. Our photo shoot skills came in handy as one quilt after another went on the stand for photography.
Living room photo studio

I snapped a photo of the lovely team at the end of the session. Left to right: Guy the photographer, Barbara, and publication director Carol holding Dottie Barker. It was a lovely day - we'll be eager to see the resulting article in Quiltmania in 2015.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nifty Nailed It

Enough of these silly men in coats - we all know we want to read about our beloved thrifty sewing!

One of the true joys of writing a blog like this is connecting with like-minded people, and I've found a wonderful community with all of you. There is a group in Seattle that really knocks my socks off. I don't blog nearly as often as they do and I am not nearly as prolific as they are, but their inspiration and kindred-spirited-ness is truly wonderful.

Check out Nifty's recent post about Falling in Love with sewing.

Oddly, I've been doing the same thing recently. With little time to prepare a project, i've just been carrying around a bag of small small scraps and playing. I take along pins and pin them together. When I get a few minutes, I run to the sewing machine and stitch together a pile of the little pieced parts. I scratch my head and wonder what the heck I am doing, where am i going with them. I'm not sure. But in the meantime, i'm having so much fun!

I've added a few photos of them (under construction) here. None of them is larger than 5" square. You'll find a little bit of everything in these blocks: shared current fabrics, vintage pieces, and of course some from old shirts.

I just stumbled onto one of my favorite quotes of all time, which sums this up nicely:

To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wiggs Fashion Trend Redux

You might recall I commented on Andrew Wiggin's suit choice at the NBA draft last summer. Well, sure enough, he started a fashion trend.

Photo by Nick Krug, Lawrence Journal World

Look! Coach Bill Self copied the look at last night's Late Night in the Phog celebration at Allen Fieldhouse! And best of all, Self reported the jacket came from a THRIFT SHOP:

“We went to the thrift shop, and they only had one jacket. We had to make it one-size-fits-two. Basically, we got it together. I’m going to send it back to him,” Self said jokingly of Wiggins.
Read more about it in a piece by Gary Bedore in today's Lawrence Journal World.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Big-time for the Big Tomato

I am not sure if I have showed you this quilt before.

Let's just call it the Big Tomato. The block pattern is from my 2003 book (with my dear friend Frances Kite), Quilting a Poem.

It was my first book and I still love it. Frances drew the designs, I wrote instructions and made sure they would work for quilters (Frances is an artist, but not a quilter). I like to imagine being locked away with some of those designs for a while - I would be well-entertained. This design was originally made to be a grape, to illustrate Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem, Feast. I always thought it would make a nice tomato too. I added the border myself (meaning it's not in the book). This is a small quilt, 25" x 24".

I got to meet with a group of modern quilters recently and it seems they like the idea of taking patterns and making them modern. Woa! What would this look like larger, in modern fabrics and colors .... my head spins.

Check out a nice entry about this and other quilts today on the My Stars blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

You Need Robots

You know I have the best job ever. I get to work with quilts, I get to work with words. You get to work with very fun people.

One of the very coolest books I've worked on lately is Robots in Space!, a Kansas City Star Quilt book out just a few months ago.

The very talented Linda Frost created the robot designs for our local guild block-of-the-month. Guild members loved them and made a pile of robots quilts, mostly for their grandsons. Some of their quilts are featured in the book.

Linda just donated this cool quilt to our quilts-for-kids program. Some lucky kid in Lawrence gets these robots to nap with ...

I say buy this book. It has cool designs, wild photos of robots, great instruction.

You can keep up with Linda's work on her blog. She is one of those people who never stops creating.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Her Husband Thought She was Crazy


Proof that Denniele is a good listener in class.

I taught a class a while back, about improvised quilts. One  lesson was "No Scraps Too Small." To prove our point, myself and my teaching cohort saved the scraps from everyone's projects - we all worked with them to improvise.

Denniele Bohannon was in the class. Since that class, she made a quilt that became a book, "Where Poppies Grow." It's the Kansas City Star block-of-the-month quilt book for 2014, a great achievement. What that means is that Denniele's blocks and the stories about her quilt, which honors the memory of her great-grandfather who fought and died in World War I, were featured in the paper once a month all this year.

The book is now out. It contains patterns for all the blocks. Recently, Denniele sent me a bag of scraps:

She saved ALL HER SCRAPS FOR ME. Does that explain why her husband thought she was crazy? Yep, every single scrap, I can tell. large ones right down to shards.

Well of course, i am delighted! I will make all kinds of things out of these scraps. Some will go immediately into two small improvised quilts in progress. Even smaller ones will go on cards I make and my business cards:

Ruler added for scale.
I must admit, the shards are too small for even me ... check out Denniele's excellent book, written with co-author Janice Britz, when you can. I love the stories about her great-grandpa.