Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tombstone, AZ Quilt Show & Arizona Quilt Retreat

Bob and I had a five day holiday in Arizona, mainly there to be in warmer weather and to see cacti. However, if you're in Tombstone and the local ladies are having a quilt show, well, you just have to go, don't you?

There was a real variety of quilts, everything from tied, fortrel ones to ones that must have taken hundreds of hours of work. I loved the soft colors used in this one.

I took the next two closeups of a quilt to show you how heavily quilted some of them were. I'm sure they must be stiff as boards to sleep under, but they look beautiful. I kept checking the names of the longarm quilters to see if their guild had the equivalent of our Terry, but theirs were longarmed by many different people.

The quilt show was running for a month in a little gallery on the main street of Tombstone. The ladies have a show every single year and there were three members watching over the show while we were there. They were passing the time by knitting and crocheting so I asked if they hold a show for that too. They don't.

They had various prizes awarded as you can see by the next quilt.

Here is a detail of the quilting on the previous quilt.

The next one has such a wonderful blend of piecing and applique.

There were some quilts and wall hangings with a southwest theme and I wondered how long it took this quilter to collect the perfect colors.

This next one was my favorite. The workmanship was exquisite and it was another one that was heavily machine quilted as you can see from the details.

I like the next one but wonder how monotonous it was for the piecer to make all the identical blocks.

And Jan will be happy to know that the art of yo-yo making is alive and well in Arizona.

The one below was an award winner and I really liked it until I noticed something ...

... the birds on the top border are upsidedown so they look like dead birds! It's probably what the pattern called for, but I would have put them rightsideup.

Here's another with a southwest theme.

We headed back to Scottsdale where our hotel had a tree filled with ripe oranges. Yum!!

Bob is a good and patient man so the next day he drove me over to Mesa where there was a quilting retreat of 36 women who are members of the online quilting forum I frequent. The retreat has been running yearly for 10 years and is so popular that a lottery is held for the spots. Most retreaters are from Arizona but there are ones that fly in from Pennsylvania, Maine, Texas, and California.

The woman are all ages, from all backgrounds, and they are joined as we are, by their passion for quilting. Eight or ten local ladies organize it, and organize it well.

It was a pleasure to meet all the ladies, but I was particularly happy to meet Shelley, the woman on the left in this picture. She has a number of online tutorials which I use often. See the machine she is using? The local ladies lend old, reliable Singer machine for attendees who do not fly in with their own machines.

Ahead of the retreat the attendees can make lotto blocks if they wish and then a number of lucky winners take home enough to make a quilt. Here are those blocks.

Participants also make blocks based on specific patterns and with some material which is sent to each of them. These blocks (shown below) are being made into raffle quilts with the money going to worthy causes.

The retreat is held in a hotel meeting room which is very well organized. The ladies were getting a lot of sewing done, but were meeting to chat at the cutting tables, the ironing boards, and the snack table. The mornings and evenings are spent sewing and the afternoons are used for programs, show-and-tell, and visits to a great quilt shop (Three Dudes Quilt Shop) which is across the road from the hotel.

This final photo is of the attendee from Saskatchewan. Judy lives at Fishing Lake and winters in Mesa. I have known her for a number of years and it was a pleasure to visit with her.

Visiting this retreat made me realize the work that our organizers did last year to start the Crocus Quilters' Retreat. The date didn't work for me last year and, unfortunately, it won't this year either, but one of these years I WILL BE THERE. I encourage all of you who can make it to this year's fall retreat to be there to share in the sisterhood of quilting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7th Guild Meeting

Colleen R. does a great job as guild treasurer. Thanks, Colleen, for the good work you do.

Colleen S. let us know that Anna Hergert is offering a class here on October 27th and 28th. Here she and Jaynie are showing one of Anna's pieces that ties into this class. Anna is a first rate teacher and our guild is lucky to have her booked. Mark those dates!

Lydia showed the top of our raffle quilt. Seven members worked last Saturday and Monday to put together this wonderful Oriental top. Alma is getting it to Terry tomorrow to be quilted. Tickets will be ready by our next meeting and the draw will be made at our quilt show.

Then it was time for show-and-tell. Never hire me to be a psychic; I'd fail you miserably! I thought there would be limitless show-and-tell as everyone is finishing projects to put in the show. In fact, there were four pieces.

Helen made this rag quilt.

We all know Helen's love of gadgets which make quilters' lives easier. Here is a thread cutter she showed. (She showed it right side up, but I am showing it sideways. Forgive me!)

Lydia created this lovely brown and pink quilt.

Terry did a super job of longarm quilting it. She never lets any of us down, does she?

Lydia also created this cheerful bug and flowers quilt which will make a special child smile.

Barb has this romantic hanging ready for Valentine's Day.

After show-and-tell some had time to discuss the strip/twist blocks. How many of us will have those quilts completed for the show?

We also had time to sign up for the various quilt show jobs. All of you ladies who couldn't attend tonight, never fear, we left jobs for you. You can sign up at the next meeting.

Tannis and Verla ensured that we had coffee and goodies. Bob may become a quilter if Tannis keeps making lemon tarts! I took one home for him to enjoy and he just about swooned with enthusiasm. Lemon tarts are his favorite. Thanks to all the ladies who have been providing lunch for the meetings.

Coffee, goodies, and good conversation are a great ending to the evening.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fabric Centre Closing and the Guild Library

I'm sure most of you know this, but Rhonda is closing the Fabric Centre on February 24th. It's been open for 44 years, she's worked there for 23 years, and she has owned it for 10 years. Almost everything in the store is 30% off and some items and fabrics are 50% off so it's worth a look. Plus, if you are like me, you'll want to buy extra of any fabrics that you may run out of before your projects are finished.

Don't forget to browse through our guild library. There are lots of good books to borrow and you can do that by simply filling in the card and leaving it in the little recipe box. You can borrow any books for as long as you want.

We also have an interesting collection of dvds so check them out.

Here's one of our books; it's by Wayne Kollinger who is going to be the guest quilter at our show in April.

Yvonne mentioned that she recently read a novel that was about quilting. Our library contains some quilt-based fiction so Yvonne and the rest of you may want to check out those books.

I always look forward to the newest issue of "The Canadian Quilter." The guild subscribes and receives two copies of each issue so check that out too.

On a totally different topic, quite a few years ago, Heather Munro taught a number of us a class on stitching a New York Beauty bag. The pattern used is still one of my favorites and it is my go-to pattern whenever I need to make a gift or a silent auction item. I just finished this one which is going to a silent auction in Saskatoon. The pattern came from the Fabric Centre and I just bought some more copies of it to give as gifts to quilting friends (Lyn, in Australia, if you are reading this, you may wonder if one of the patterns will come your way. Yes, it will!) Quilt patterns and quilt books have really good clearance prices at Rhonda's.