Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The quilt tour

I went to the quilt tour wrap up meeting last night. What a huge success the entire fundraiser was!  Naomi's goal was to raise $5000 and when she told us that a couple of months ago, she said it with doubt in her voice.  Well, little lady, doubt no more!  The tour grossed over $6000 and after the program subtacted the (minimal) expenses they'd incurred, they came out with about $5900 in their pockets!  All for a very good cause, and I (and the other group chairs) feel very good for doing our bit to help this very needed service in our community.

We learned that a neighboring community had their semi-annual quilt show the same day as our quilt tour and we think that drew visitors away to a certain extent. We decided last night that we want to do the quilt tour again next year, and then, on alternate years, opposite the other quilt show.  That way, its a win-win for both events.

Will I step up and organize the show for the guild again?  You bet--if they want me to. I had a lot of fun doing it and working with the awesome ladies of my guild.  And hearing all the positive comments from the visitors was so rewarding.  Yes, I'm in it again, I think.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan

I've been hearing bits and pieces of the news of the huge storm that hit the Philippines a few days ago but this morning, I sat down and read the NBC news article on the situation here: 


This article says it's estimated that 10,000 people have died but "Nearly 620,000 people were displaced and 9.5 million "affected" across the Philippines," according to the UN. How many more will die due to exposure and disease as they have to go without basic necessities such as clean water?

They are saying this storm is as devastating as the tsunami that destroyed so much of the countries along the Indian Ocean  in 2004! The storm was as big as the country of Germany when it hit the Philippines, for crying out loud! Maybe you already know these things but I'm just finding out this morning, so I'm horrified!

I worked with a Filipina over the past couple of years, helping her become a citizen and getting the benefits she's entitled to, and she has children and grandchildren still in the Philippines.  I called her today and she said they are okay but their house has been washed away. This is the second time her kids have lost their house in a huge storm in the past few years.  Of course, I will send some money to them, via their mother, to help them out.  I would encourage anyone who reads this to send a generous donation to the relief agencies which are trying to cope with this disaster.

As I read the above article, it occurred to me that Mother Nature has a way of solving her problems.  Several years ago, I learned that one of the signs of climate change or global warming, is an increase in severe weather episodes. It seems to me that it's happening these days.  But, when huge and disastrous events occur--such as record-breaking cold in Europe in 2011 which killed many people, storms like Sandy which hit the east coast of the US, and this most recent disaster--thousands of people end up dying.  Is this Mother Nature's way of coping with the human influence on climate change?  The fewer people there are on this planet, the less of a carbon footprint?  Is this nature's way of bringing climate back into balance?

It seems to me that we humans can assist in bring the climate back into balance without having to suffer these extreme weather events.  I'm glad I traded my car for a Prius. It's a very small thing, but it's what I can do to lessen my personal carbon footprint.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The First Ever Quilt Show

Yesterday was the first ever quilt show for my guild.  Last summer we were invited to participate in a "quilt tour" fundraiser for the local domestic abuse program and I was tasked with following up on the email. I actually moved myself into the position of coordinator of our part of the tour--something I've had no experience with at all!  Without going into the details, 5 of the 6 ladies who were on the team were real troopers and went full speed ahead and got everything done that they had to do--it was amazing to see it all come together. The 6th lady we'll not say much about other than even though she didn't attend the planning meetings and had no idea of our plans, she arrived on Friday night when we were setting up, and proceeded to tell everyone what they were supposed to do. That kind of thing really burns my butt!  Fortunately, the other ladies know her pretty well and for the most part, ignored her and went ahead with the plans we'd already made.

The tour was held yesterday and Yea, there was no snow, always a risk in November in NW Wisconsin. The turn out was overwhelming!  The thing was set up that 5 guilds or quilting groups set up quilt shows in 4 area churches. We were in one of the larger churches and shared the space with another guild which worked out very well.  People bought a "passport" and were allowed into all the churches on the one passport.  The domestic abuse program also had a raffle in conjunction with the tour and they had some wonderful items in the raffle. Each guild donated a lap size quilt and area businesses donated wonderful things.  I didn't win anything, but that's okay.

We had a store set up where guests could buy items made by members of the guild. We were given 1/2 yard pieces of fabric that the guild bought, and made items using the fabric--mostly table runners, pot holders and other small items. Almost everything sold and we shared the proceeds of the store with the domestic abuse program.

We also had a cafe where we had coffee, cider, punch and cookies for the guests. We set out a good will offering basket and again, shared the proceeds with the program.

I was busy all day on the floor of the show, mixing with guests, answering questions, and so forth. I was a "white glove lady!"  The last time I wore white gloves was when I still lived at home with my mother and we had to dress up for Sunday church--and that's a very long time ago! I heard so many compliments over how we'd set up our quilt racks and how beautiful the quilts were. We had a section of antique quilts that was a big hit. I displayed my husband's great-grandmother's quilt which looked so beautiful now that it's all quilted up.

When it was over and the raffle winners drawn, I helped take it all down and load everything in cars and trucks and came home with a very good feeling in my heart.  My hips and knees, however, had a very bad feeling in them from all the standing and walking as well as heavy lifting so I spent the evening in a comfy chair with my feet on a footstool.  Today, I'm back in the routine and hope to be spending some time working on quilts instead of looking at them and talking about them.

I think the quilt tour was a big success and I know our part of this show was a big success! I would definitely do this again, if we're invited next year.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Julia arrives

Look who came to live at my house last month!  It's a Sears Kenmore Model 1400 that I found at the local Goodwill store for 8 bucks!  I was so excited that I didn't even try it out before I bought it--at $8 I can't go wrong, can I?  I immediately took her to the world's area's best sewing machine guy--Jim Jerabek--and he worked his magic on her.  I brought her home but she's had to sit for a few weeks until I had time to play around with her, and that was today.

This machine, according to Jim, is a real, solid little work horse that will last a lifetime. Well, that's not that long considering my age!  She's a pale seafoam green and reminds me of a bride's maid's dress from the 90s. She's a little worse for wear--her electrical cord is wrapped with black tape and there are dings and wear spots on her from all the sewing that was done with her in her 40+ years.  Can you imagine how many pairs of pajamas and nightgowns that were lovingly made with this machine? How many back-to-school skirts and dresses sewn and how many knees of jeans were patched.  Probably a few Christmas, Easter, First Communion and Confirmation dresses as well.  Maybe even a prom dress or bridal gown.  I think this little lady has been there and seen it all, don't you?

According to the Sears website, the Model 1400 was only made from 1969 through 1973. So that makes her between 40 and 44 years old.  Not that old, I guess.  Today, since it is raining and windy and not a good day to finish my outdoor work, I took an hour or two and simply played with her and all her fancy stitches (There are about 10 of them!  My, how sewing machines have changed in 40 years!) When I put the pedal to the metal, she purred as though she had been waiting to be taken out on a good run.  She is completely sopping with oil--I think Jim wanted to make sure there was enough oil to soak into all the gears and joints--and smells very oily. I washed her exterior parts with a lavender scented cleaner so I hope she smells better next time I take her out.

I have to figure out how to mark a 1/4" line so I can do quilt piecing on her and I have to figure out what to call her.  I don't call my other machine anything but she came with the name "Lily 454" and I think I have to come up with something more suitable for this machine than "Model 1400."  I'm leaning toward "Julia."  I think Julia Roberts has played a few bridesmaid roles over the years but I'm not sure if she ever wore a seafoam green dress. Also, I loved Julia Child when she was cooking on PBS during the 70's and 80's so I think Julia is as good a name as any for this machine.