My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Wednesday, May 30, 2001  
Tonight I spoke at my friend Pat's adult ed beginning quilting class, on machine quilting. I didn't bring a machine, we didn't sew. It was strictly "my spiel" about how to prepare for quilting (your quilt, your machine, you) plus lots of tips and lots of samples.

For show and tell I brought the quilting sampler squares I'd made for the class I taught - lots of different battings, washed and not, ditto for fabric. quilted all of them, serged the edges and washed them all. I also brought my little test pieces that I'm always promoting people do, for warm up, for machine testing, for trying out new things.

I also brought a selection of quilts. Pat suggested a few of my more "modern" quilts - she thought they'd get a lot out of seeing my raw edge applique landscapes etc. I also brought a quilt I'd made in 1997. Very simple piecing - large squares of navy and black TONS of quilting in both yellow thread and black in the background. That quilt really has it all quilting wise.

Answered lots of questions and stressed that it's all about practice. And more practice. Be as one with the machine grasshopper.

Went well.

Written at: 5/30/2001 10:06:00 PM

Tuesday, May 29, 2001  
My I'm just in a very talky sort of mood. That's probably the thing I miss most about working - the daily interaction with other folks. Actually, it's one of the things I missed while at my last work-attempt. Ha!

Anyway, I'm deep in procrastination. Deep deep deep procrastination.

I've pulled out mucho fabric for this new quilt, have the design clearly in my head and just can't decide on the mechanics of making it. Of course HOW you sew it all together has more than a little to do with how it looks in the end. This just isn't my normal modus operandi. So I keep moving piles of fabric around - YES! more blue! more brown! etc but it's not going anywhere.

Mainly, in a week, I've managed to make what was just messy, into VERY messy, on several fronts. Oh well.

Back to piling up fabric.

Written at: 5/29/2001 09:42:00 PM

OK Blogger, all is forgiven, since you didn't really eat my long post before. You just chewed on it for awhile.

kiss kiss

Written at: 5/29/2001 07:45:00 PM

Darn! Wrote a long long post and it vanished. Darn you you blog you!

Written at: 5/29/2001 06:22:00 PM

Another Tuesday!

Went to Home Depot and Staples for like the third time in three days. Yesterday was definitely the most memorable of the three visits. HUGE black clouds, downpouring rain, half inch diameter hail. I had to sit in the car a few minutes after the hail started and I realized that

  • the windows were totally fogged up inside because of the drop in temperature
  • the car was shaking back and forth because of the wind buffeting it
  • the hail was a mixture of 1/4 and 1/2 inch pieces and very firm looking.
  • the raindrops were huge
  • when it started it was like someone upending a bucket of rain overhead - whoosh!
  • when I finally opened the car door, opened the umbrella and stepped out, the water in the parking lot was over my ankles!

all this in just a few, maybe three minutes. Amazing.

Today's trip was looking for a storage something to go with my little computer desk set up. My folks had given me the student desk that was mine, well when I was a student. It's got a hardwood top and chrome legs and sort of a salmony-pink color metal storage unit on the left of the kneehole. Inside the top, horizontal section there it has a stamped logo that says "Heywood Wakefield."

Last night for grins, I put this into metacrawler and lo and behold, much of Heywood Wakefield furniture is collectible. It's even being reproduced! Most of what I saw didn't look anything like my little student desk. Most of it was steamed and curved wood furniture - very modern in a 50's-60's sort of way and reminiscent of deco and scandinavian stuff. No I didn't find that people were willing to pay large sums of money for my little desk.

Anyway, it's a pleasure to have a desk to put my powerbook on and put my knees under. Much better than perching on the edge of another desk with a desktop on it. But I need a little more storage than the old desk can give me. I will say that my travel case for the laptop fits just so into one of the two vertical slots in the desk. Perfect!

So I'm on the look out for a storage unit that will fit within 20 X 21 inches or so. I thought one of those tall skinny units would be just the ticket but no one was willing to sell me one today. LOL - if I weren't looking for one, they'd be dime a dozen.


Written at: 5/29/2001 06:20:00 PM

Saturday, May 26, 2001  
Spent the week poking around - puttering through the boxes of NYQuilts! stuff that I store. it was wonderful this year that things were in the box as indicated on the outside of the box - all I had to do was peek inside and verify that nothing needed replacing. Stayed up one night and came up with a new quilt design

Since I'd gotten my mid-term installment of grant money, I decided that a trip to the local quilt store was in order. A little stash building. Came home with about 9 yards of fabric, all beige-y and in half yard pieces. Went to kinko's in that same trip and enlarged my drawing so I'm good to go as soon as I decide whether to turn-edge applique, strip piece etc.

Pat has asked me to be a "special guest" at the last class of her beginning quilting course next week. That should be fun. And I'm really looking forward to Vermont this year as well. Better find my paperwork - that quilt needs to get shipped soon.

Til later!

Written at: 5/26/2001 05:07:00 PM

Monday, May 21, 2001  
So after getting in last night from the show at 11:30, I rolled outta bed this morning and off to work I went. Things seemed a little funky. The assistant, "Class of 96" came to tell me that my boss wanted to meet with me at 2. She added, almost as an afterthought that the HR director would be there too.

Hmmmm - did they want to discuss new web pages or did this sound grim? Martha gave me a one word answer to my cheery "so are you all packed for your trip to Italy?" Part of me wanted to believe it was just another poorly defined meeting. Part of me started putting small items into my totebag.

So anyway, I've become one of those people that comes to work one day and then goes away - just disappears. No big scene, no tumultous troubles. No reason really. Just gone. "Mutually un-beneficial." No comments over the past month or so that my work was unsatisfactory. No "don't do that" or "do that" or "do that NOW" or "do it THIS way" etc. Nothing. No reprimands, no warnings. Just gone.

Although I was a little teary, I was majorly relieved. Working for more than a month without a plan of what to do short and long term is HARD. You (at least I do) want to work hard and do good work to show that I can be valuable to the group. I want to be part of a team and make a contribution. The people that I did small things for seemed very pleased. I felt like they were glad someone did their small but important to them job quickly and well.

So on to the next, but I keep thinking about the people I knew in my last job who just "disappeared" one day and how very strange that was. Now I am one of them!

Written at: 5/21/2001 09:58:00 PM

Wednesday, May 16, 2001  
Today we started setting up NYQuilts! - Looms for months and then BANG it's here and then even quicker - it's over. Our week goes like this:

Wednesday: Get racks out of storage, bring them to Sage and set the racks out on the floor where they'll be during the show. Start bringing other things onto site as well including office stuff. Head up to the registrar's house and pack quilts for delivery to show on

Thursday: Quilts arrive at show. A bevy of volunteers take them off the rental truck and into the gym, finds where they go and then starts to put them up. They have about an hour and a half head start before the judges arrive. The quilts go up pretty quickly although it's a lot of work. Our racks make it easier than banging wood racks together, but if you haven't used them before it's not obvious how it works.

Thursday evening: judges and any instructors who have arrived, and committee folks who want to go out to dinner somewhere in Troy. quiet night because we're usually pooped

Friday: more judging, this time with the friday night preview looming. Invitationals get hung - these are antiques and special groups of quilts that are in the show. We also have an annual special display of "Featured NY Quilter" - a resident NY quilter who has a body of work. We want not only to display the quilts but to have the quilter come to NYQuilts! for the weekend to meet show goers.

Vendors arrive and set up. Many set up details to attend to.

Judging done - run around putting ribbons on the quilts (after everyone else has left. Grab a quick dinner (usually we bring in Boston Market) and get changed for the opening. Preview is 7-9 pm for registrants and quilt registrants. Special awards are announced.

Collapse quietly. Oh no - wait - usually the board has a small private celebration.

Saturday 9 AM - doors open. Class(es), Lecture at 1, featured quilter at 3. Hopefully no crisis along the way. Show closes at 5. Dinner and then show and tell with ice cream social following at 7:30.

Sunday - 9-5 show. Take down looms large. Much to do in a very short time. Whereas set up takes several days, take down happens within about an hour and a half. Keeping things controlled is a priority - to make sure that quilts go home with people they're supposed to and others are ready to ship back. Thankfully, people coming to retrieve their quilts are good about helping take down.

when the last quilts are packed and everything we brought is back in the cars, we're off to bring quilts back to registrar for pick up by UPS. normally we leave some vendors still packing up.

SO many things happen during the weekend - so many problems big and small to resolve. Many people make this show possible and understand what it takes. Some show goers just enjoy the quilts and don't have any idea. That's OK, but it's good to know the labor involved as well. today for instance, 9 people moved 180 bases and 400+ pieces of conduit from storage, moved it out of the truck and into the gym and set most of it up on the gym floors. Didn't take a long time but it was very physical work. All of that has to go back into storage on Sunday night. The people who did the work today will be very tired on Sunday.

There are many jobs which need doing. I've come to especially value people who take on jobs and do them reliably without prompting, without worry, who keep me occasionally informed about where they are. Priceless.

One of my main jobs at the quilt show is to listen to folks who have questions and complaints. I listen and I explain. I find that many times these people have no understanding of what's involved or why things happen a particular way. I do my best to help them understand. Often I ask them to volunteer in the future. :-)

Written at: 5/16/2001 11:50:00 PM

Monday, May 14, 2001  
Yes, I fell off the earth. NO actually, I fell off the earth into a new job. I'm working as web editor at The Sage Colleges and between that and the upcoming (eeks!) quilt show, my brain and my body are about fried. Remind me next time to not start any new job or project until September of any given year. That way the show has come and gone, VQF has come and gone etc.

Right now there's a huge pile of stuff in the dining room. Although it looks messy because there's so much of it, it's actually pretty organized. Thank goodness one of my few organized moments is each year AFTER the show when I go through each box making sure everything that's supposed to be in it is in it and that the box label reflects what that is. Otherwise the super super busy time of pre-show would be complicated by trying to FIND all this stuff. eeeks. OK back to work now.

Written at: 5/14/2001 10:02:00 AM

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