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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Next Door Neighbors

In 4 hours I'll be getting a "wake-up" call from the front desk to start my journey home. I have enjoyed my stay in Nantes tremendously but am excited about going home. I thought I'd give you a short run through of my neighboring "houses" at the exposition.

First is Petra Prins. I posted the link to her book Treasures from Holland the other day. I don't have her picture with her quilt here because she had a booth too. Her quilts and Petra who I've known for years from Market, are indeed a Treasure.

And don't we all know who this is. Becky wasn't in her house and the picture of Linda didn't turn out well - camera problems - but I did get a couple of pictures of their awesome quilts.

And everyone in Europe is looking for a couch like the one Carol found to go with this quilt.

Bonnie Sullivans "house" and book are awesome as usual.

And this is Shuziko Kohuro - I hope I spelled that right - and some of her awesome indigo quilts.

Across from my house was the house of Yoko Saito. The detail in her quilts just blew me away.

Yoko Saito.

The title of her book is My Quilting Life, Past and Present. This is one of the cover quilts. I'm honored to have been apart of that, however small.

And this is Caroline Courtier. I worked closely with Caroline in the publication of my book. I showed a picture of Carol Veillon - the editor of Quiltmania the other night with Petra. It has been a joy both working with and visiting Quiltmania and the people of France. Thanks to you all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding Day

It was pretty quiet today at our exhibit. The main exhibit over here was in England and everywhere else people were glued to their TVs. We few however were in class learning the basics of Needleturn Applique. And they don't have freezer paper over here. I'm not sure how quilters survive.

The lady in the pink shirt is my interpreter, Valerie. She is a jewel. She's French but lived in the United States for awhile and working with her has been really great. Thanks Valerie.

And the man taking the picture with his big camera is Guy - the Quiltmania photographer. And he is pretty awesome too. I know from past experience how difficult it is to photograph my quilts with the brown and grey tones. The pictures of my quilts in the book are right on - just plain excellent. Thank you, Guy.
This is what happened when he stopped by class for a picture. All of us handed him our cameras. If you've got an expert in the area, utilize him.

Here are the last 2 of my quilts that are hanging on the outside by Yoko's house. This is Coming Home Again.

And beside it is Flower Patch. Tomorrow I'll try to go across the hall to Yoko's house and up to the other houses. I may have to wait until I get home to post them all. It gets tired out here :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 2

My - what an awesome experience this is. I just came back to my room after the party for exhibitors given by Quiltmania. Lots of good food and drink. After a day of sitting and stitching and talking with quilters from all over Europe (with the able help of Marion - my sweet interpreter. She's just finishing her studies and eager to improve her English).

Here's the inside of my house - or at least the quilt part. All of the quilts except the one on the bed are in my new book "Country Quilts for your Soul" by Quiltmania.

Brian's Quilt on the left and Noah on the right.

Miami Valley, Christmas 101, Sophie and the Rose Trees, Lilly's Stars, Moon Garden Snow and Winter Star.

Ring Around the Posie, Monkey Wrench, Homespun Stars and Sunny Days
The quilt on the bed is Jubilee. Its not in the book but was featured on a Quiltmania cover.

Blessings Baskets, House on a Hill and Cockscombs and Stars.

And here are Marie Claude (left) of Quiltmania, Petra Prins (middle) author of Treasures from Holland a new Quiltmania book and Carol Veillon (right) editor of Quiltmania. Petra had just won best booth in the show (she also has a shop in Holland and had a booth at the Festival. She won a weekend vacation as the prize for best booth. Wow!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's time to get some sleep

I just caught myself nodding off while reading my email so this is going to be short tonight. I've gotten about 4 hours of sleep each night due to the jet lag thingy and I am really tired. So mostly I'll blog and show you pictures later in the week. I hope to finally sleep tonight. But first, this is a closeup of the awesome quilt at the entrance. I don't think I need to tell you that the Piece of Cake girls are here, now do I?

Here's a view of part of the 1st floor from the top of the escalator.

And here's the entrance to my "house" where Carol wants to make sure I feel at home. And I do.

The people (and the food) here are all awesome. I'll tell you more later, but for now, I'm going to sleep.

Setting up Day

At the beginning of the day the best thing for me to do was stay out of their way. Which I gladly did. I went in search of a cooler for my room. They have a refrigerator in the room but it has no freezer and no ice. I like ice. There's a supermarket close by but the one that would have something like a cooler was about a 20 minute walk away - so they said.

It was a beautiful day so I took off walking in the general direction of the store. You need to be careful where you walk. This is the general size of cars. A lot of places that seem to be sidewalks are really one way roads.

I thought this was awesome. A good ole Kansas windmill by the river in Nantes - two of them in fact.
I never did find the store - I'll just go to the front desk and get a big glass of ice whenever I need it.

When I got back to my "house" this table was sitting in it along with some awesome furniture and my quilts. I must say, it raised my eyebrows a bit. Carol is good but I wasn't sure how she was going to fit this in with my things :)

Walking around the booths I found a "not pink" booth and stopped to chat. Most people here speak some English.

This looks like a booth Cherie might like to visit - pink or not.

At the end of the day the welcoming booth was up and I found my chandelier and feathers. Looks much better here than at my place.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I made it and the computer works!

Boy, do I need sleep but I'm here. Kansas City to Chicago - 1 1/2 hrs - small plane and bouncy flight. Don't particularly like bounces when I'm that far up in the air but we made it - really with no problem.
Then I walked at least 6 million miles to the gate for my flight to Madrid. BIG plane this time and a very smooth 8 hour flight. Had an extremely nice seatmate name Jessi (or Jessie). She and her husband live in Spain at the moment - they're originally from Puerto Rico. He's in the Marines and presently stationed in Spain. She speaks Spanish fluently and took me under her wing during the flight and aiport in Madrid experience. Thanks Jessi and best of luck to you and your husband and cats. The flight was smooth and they served us both dinner and then breakfast. The dinner was yummy and I nibbled on the fruit and drank coffee for breakfast. They're 7 hours ahead over here so it was breakfast time but not according to my body. Only a few hours sitting up sleep on the plane.

This is the airport at Madrid. I thought that all airports were pretty well alike but this one sure made short with that theory. I had to stop and get my camera out of my carryon to take this picture. The only problem with the awesome ceilings is that you can get messed up with the moving sidewalks if you're staring at the ceiling. :)
Then another short flight to Nantes. Another small plane but the weather cooperated -not so bouncy. I slept most of the short hour flight.

I'm in Nantes. After a shower and a short nap, I got the computer up and running and talked with Pep on Skype. He's usually with me and I sure miss him. But he need to drive me to Salt Lake City for Market when I get home.

The Quiltmania group is running around like busy bees setting up for the Festival. I would help but I would only get in the way. I did make Carol open one of the boxes and give me one of my books.

They did an awesome job. I just love it to pieces. I'm going to make all of them sign my copy - I'm really thrilled with it.

I'm trying to stay up all day to get accustomed to Nantes time so I took my little legs that look like sausages after the plane trip for a walk.

Here's a couple of things I'd like to explore if I have time.
And it's 7:30 here now so I'm going to eat dinner and go to bed.

And thanks, Max, for all the work you did so I could figure out how to blog over here. Believe me ladies, it wouldn't have been done without him.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There just aren't enough hours in a day!

Since I'm leaving for France on Easter (not my idea, but we do what we have to do) we decided to have our Easter dinner and egg hunt on Palm Sunday instead. Michele (Max's significant other) had never seen or heard of a Lamb Cake before. Pep and I both lived back East when we were young and Easter wasn't Easter without a Lamb Cake. Michele and Zoie and I decorated the cake Pep and I made. The purple eyes were Zoie's idea but Michele liked them too. I had already vetoed red. :)

Dinner was a lot simpler this year. Usually we have the whole nine yards with ham, etc. This year Pep grilled a turkey he had brined and jerked. With lots of salads and deviled eggs we had a nice buffet that fit into Grandma's busy schedule.

Then out into the garden for the egg hunt. Unfortunately Brian was sick so their family couldn't come but I'm taking them little Easter Egg cakes on Friday, God willing and the creek don't rise.

Part of me is really excited about going to Nantes for the quilt show - and to sign my new books. I'm taking some kits and Max is setting up a laptop for me and I'm going to try to take pictures and blog.
And part of me is somewhat sad to leave my garden right now. Between the trip to France and then to Salt Lake City I'm going to miss a great deal of my spring flowers. Bluebells and bleeding hearts don't last that long.

Nor do the blossoms on the crabapple tree in the front yard.

But I have my Crabapple Farm pillow to remind me.
Better run, I need to get a quilt block or two ready for the plane. It's a 14 hour trip so I should have time to stitch a little :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

150th Aniversary of start of the Civil War

April 12th, 2011 is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. I designed this quilt out of our Classic Wovens homespun line using the Lincoln's Platform block to commemorate the event.

After making the quilt, I thought to ask Barbara Brackman about the history. Here's what she said: The block was given that name by the Ladies Art Company, maybe at the end of

the 19th century. I think they were trying to draw a block off an old quilt

and got confused by what was block and what was sashing. It would be better

drawn as a regular monkey wrench with a sashing and cornerstone, but it

turned out so interesting with the four-patch behind it I'm glad it's an odd

block. As far as how old is the block? Those Monkey Wrench Churn Dash quilts

seem to turn up about the time of the Civil War (maybe the 1840s) but when

did somebody start calling it Lincoln's Platform?????

My friend Tori did most of the piecing. She's brand new to quilting and this is a visually complex quilt so a couple of the blocks are a little wonky but I think it adds to the charm. The piecing is easy - just triangle squares, squares and strips - but when you make the blocks, each corner churn part goes to a different churn. It can mess with your mind. If you'd like to buy a kit, click here.
The free download for the pattern was on April 12th.

Either way, let's stop for a moment and reflect on the lives that were lost, families and friends that were torn apart and the horror that the war brought to our country. Now it's interesting history - then it was not. You can follow the course of the war on Barbara Brackman's Civil War Blog by clicking the blog button on the right.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wow! Look at what we did!

This is "Favorite Things" the Girl Gang quilt from a couple of years ago. It was made by a member of my Girl Gang Toni Peerbolte. She added the piano key border and outer border to make it bed size. Awesome work Toni. (I should say, as usual, - she wins ribbons at shows and fairs all of the time.)

This is "Max and Josie's Wedding Quilt". It was done in blues and whites for Josie in my book Say it With Flowers. This version was done by Raedene Frost. I almost like the colors better but then I love fall.

This quilt was made by Wendy Held. She used a quick piece center and added applique from Garden Dance in the border. Great combination of piecing and applique, Wendy. And I really like your color choice too.

Thanks ladies, for jpgs of your work. It's all beautiful.

And finally I am so excited. My new book, Country Quilts for Your Soul, by Quiltmania is out at last. When they asked for 20 quilts (Carol said to use some of my older favorites as well as newer ones) I was a little flabbergasted. I mean most of my quilts are pretty pattern intensive. It's 244 pages! Somewhat of a Russian Novel.

Well, back to work. I still have the next Girl Gang to finish as well as the quilts for Market. I leave for the show in Nantes, France on the 24th, get back on May 1st and leave for Salt Lake City on the 9th. And I still have to keep up on the Bible Quilt and Over the Meadow. Believe me ladies, applique blocks go where I go. To order the book from Quiltmania (I'll have them for sale later but right now I haven't even gotten one) click on the title of the book above or the picture in the gadget to the right. Thanks.

Friday, April 1, 2011

We're not Fooling Around

Happy April Fool's Day. Does anybody know why there's an April Fools Day - what it means? Anyway, we're combining April Fools Day and Friday Freebie to bring you a special.
Today only you'll get a free book (excepting KC Star books) or 2 new patterns with the purchase of any kit. This includes the Cockscombs & Bird kit and Mary's Basket kit that are on special. Just write the name of your book or patterns in the comments section if you buy your kit through the store or email Byron at if you want to use your credit card at other than the google or paypal sites. Don't forget we'll need your updated card information and security code.

This is our latest Wallhanging Club kit. It went into the store today so it's included in the offer. Club members, we'll be shipping your kits next week but you can be in on the Freebie. Besides your 15% discount you can get the free book or patterns too. But you have to email Byron today to tell him what book or patterns you want. This is an April Fools Freebie Friday only.
Have a great day and a good weekend.
I'm going to my Girl Gang in Lee's Summit tomorrow and will bring back pictures. Toni has Favorite things quilted and it's awesome.