Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's a challenge

Last week the Challenge Committee for Prairie Quilt Guild met at my studio to have all the quilts judged for entry in the AQS Guild Challenge at the Knoxville Show next summer.  The Guild entered the Challenge for the first time two years ago and won Honorable Mention.  This year it was decided to bring in a judge from outside the Guild to choose the quilts for entry in the show. The quilts were really wonderful and creative, it took most of a day for Carol Elmore to judge the 38 entries. I can't show the winners because they won't be announced to the Guild until April.  At the March meeting the Guild membership will do their voting for the quilts they like best, so there will be lots of winners!

Peter and I spent most of Sunday getting tax stuff ready for our tax accountant.  I dread that job all year long!!  We see our accountant on Thursday and that part is no problem, it's the preparation that is the killer.  I always vow to be more organized in the coming year but it never works.

I was excited to learn that my miniature quilt Sugar Plum won a ribbon at Road to California in January.  I have been waiting until they posted the winners so I could include a link; ttp://www.road2ca.com/2011winners/road/winners.html.  The quilts look spectacular - I would love to attend that show someday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Enough already

More snow, even more than last time.  A foot of light fluffy sparkley snow.  It was pretty, but enough already!  I had to cancel another Prairie Quilt Guild meeting!  I will go down in history as the only President of the Guild to cancel two meetings in one year.

I had plenty to do.  I finished this quilt (at the top of this post) for Catherine - it's from a pattern in McCall's Quilting by Rebecca LoGiudice and has a lot of hand work.  Catherine said she had fun making it her own by adding the little details.

The weather is looking up - 60 degrees next week.  I'll have to dig out my shorts!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A short road trip

Last Saturday it was 70 degrees.  In the past week the temperatures dropped to below zero and a nasty blizzard blew through.  Here is my deck in warmer times:

Here it is last week after I shoveled a path to the studio. 

 I think we only received 5 or 6 inches of snow but the wind blew it into big drifts.  Rosie had cabin fever and was determined to go outside in single digit temperatures.  She came back inside quickly.  Rohrschach however is apparently a Snowcat and stayed out for long periods before coming in to warm up.

Today I guess we had cabin fever and decided to make a short road trip to the little town of Alden, home of an amazing shop called Prairie Flower Crafts.  They were having a Superbowl Sale this week - about the only good thing I can think of associated with a football game.  Alden is really tiny - this is basically the main street with the shop on the right and the grain elevators at the end of the street. 

The shop was started in 1970 in the old Alden Mercantile and eventually it took over the whole block of buildings.  It is a maze of rooms filled with fabric going back many years; it's kind of a trip through the history of quilting fabrics!

It's a cool old building, with wood floors and high ceilings and many of the original store fixtures.  This is the entrance room which has craft items and knick-knacks in addition to fabric:

This room is the brightest of all (It's really kind of dark everywhere else) and has Jinny Beyer fabric dating  back a few centuries, well, decades anyway.  Also a nice selection of Liberty cottons and a huge range of imported Japanese cottons.  The older fabrics have the old prices on them - I bought some Jinny Beyer fabric that was $7.00/yard,

This is the flower room, with flowered fabrics and baskets.

In here are kitchen and food fabrics with cool old shop cabinets. 

Here is a room full of solids:

In here are Christmas fabrics, fabrics sorted by color and black and whites. 

Another old store fixture;

I bought a few things and enjoyed my trip through the history of quilt fabric!  They do have a website: http://aldenfabric.com/.  The lady that owns the store is getting along in years and I hate to think of Alden without her shop!

On the way home we stopped at a cafe in Sterling for a hamburger:

Then admired the wintry Kansas landscape;

There were lots of Red-Tailed Hawks, Marsh Harriers, camels and ostriches.

CAMELS AND OSTRICHES!!!!!!!  Yep - there is an exotic animal park outside of Hutchison where we saw them in the field.

I have been finishing up a quilt for our guild challenge, but I can't post pictures for a while - we're supposed to keep them a secret...