Saturday, August 5, 2017

Summer Busy-ness

August is here!  Do you know what that means?  Yes, it’s hot outside, at least here in Houston.  But, that’s not what I was aiming for.  We’re a month closer to the Houston Quilt Festival!!!  And this year is a very meaningful one for us because there will be a special exhibit, displaying 75 of Mom’s beautiful quilts.  It will be a sight to see, and will probably bring tears to my eyes.  She’d be completely embarrassed, I’m sure, for there to be such a show of her talent.  This will be the first time that so many of her quilts have been hanging together, which is really exciting!  And, wow, it was no small task to get this all going.

Back in January or February, Quilts, Inc. sent us a note, saying that they were thinking of doing a special “Sue Garman” exhibit with maybe 20 or 25 of her quilts.  That number changed over the months, but the thought of having the exhibit stood firm.  Then, one Wednesday last month, I got an e-mail with THE LIST!  I was giddy!  Then, I read further and saw that they wanted to pick them up the following Tuesday.  EEEEKKKK!!!!  I called over some quilting friends to come help me sort through the quilts to see which we had, which were finished (or not), which needed sleeves, which needed labels, and which ones we thought were missing from the list.

Stacks of quilts...
And more stacks of quilts...
 And even more stacks of quilts!
That Saturday, the same ladies came over and helped Mary and I sew on five sleeves and thirty labels.  Holy moly!  That took us around six hours start to finish.  Thanks a million to Jerrianne, Cynthia, and Marsha for saving our hides!

 Mary and I stitching away on labels and sleeves.
Tuesday came, and a group of six women and one man went to work.  It was amazing to watch, and although I did get a little choked up watching the quilts go into boxes, I was impressed with the care that they took with each of them.  There were two stations set up, with large tables covered with clean white sheets.  They all wore white gloves, and they stuffed acid-free paper into the folds to help keep the quilts from creasing.  They also used long boxes to keep the number of folds down, and didn’t “stuff” the boxes, so the quilts didn’t get squished down.  It took twelve boxes total, and one big white van, to get them up to the Quilts, Inc. offices!

Twelve boxes packed full of Mom's quilts at Quilts, Inc. 
The next step was to write up all of the blurbs that are posted by each quilt.  For many of them, I was able to pull language from the quilt pattern or from this blog.  For a couple of them, I had to come up with something on my own, or use the phone-a-friend method and call a quilting buddy who knew more about the quilt.  We’re also going to participate in the Guide by Cell program, where Festival guests can listen to Mary and me and give a short little talk about a particular quilt… something extra that’s not on the written paper by the quilt.  That’ll be next week’s task!

If you haven’t ever been to Festival, it’s quite an event.  Thousands of quilters and thousands of quilts (plus lots of fun quilt-related shopping to do) all in one place.  This year, the Houston Festival taking place November 2 through 5, in the usual George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown.  If you have the opportunity, please come see the exhibit! Mary and I look forward to enjoying the show and amazing selection of classes.

On to other happenings...

I don’t remember if I wrote that my family sold our home and moved into Mom’s house earlier this year.  If not, well, that’s what we did!  Mary and I have been diligent about cleaning, clearing, and dividing, with only a few rooms left to go… the quilting studio being one of them.  What I wanted to share here, though, is that there was a quilt rack in one bedroom that I just adored.  In the dividing, Mary ended up taking it to her house, and I asked my husband to make me a duplicate.  I absolutely LOVE the result!  I may even like it more than the original!  The quilt that’s on it is an antique top that Mom purchased and quilting and finished herself. 

A work on progress by Mark...
 The finished product on the wall, and the original on the floor below.

Last, but not least, I have to share this adorable photo of our old dog, Jackie.  She’s as sweet as can be, but she also loves to find small spaces to cozy up in.  Usually, it’s in my closet, under my clothes, but I started closing the door because it’s not easy to get dog hair out of anything knitted!  She found a new spot in our gameroom last month… too much cuteness! And don’t worry – it’s not one of Mom’s treasures…

Jackie in her quilted nest.
Happy quilting, and we’ll see you in a month or two!

Jenny (and Mary)


  1. That is going to be one awesome exibit! I have been to Houston twice and it is just amazing.

  2. Thank you for continuing to allow your mom's lovely quilts to be seen. I wish this exhibit was coming to the AQS Des Moines show so I could see it. Your mom continues to be an inspiration through the legacy of her work.

  3. It's a dream to get to attend the AQS show in Houston - and because of the display of your mom's quilts, this year's show sounds especially wonderful! Thanks for sharing about your preparations. I love the color of your and your sister's matching quilt racks.

  4. For a fleeting moment I pondered how to get to see Sue's quilts in Houston, but the logistics of a trip from New Zealand are a bit overwhelming. Looking forward to seeing the photos of the exhibition when you get a chance.

  5. Now, was it Jerriane who was making Sue's New York Beauty pattern? I'd love to see that one finished! In any case, I'm sure this will be a wonderful exhibit at Houston! And I agree with Alison -- take lots of photos!

  6. What a wonderful lot of quilts your mom made, and how generous of you and your sister to let her quilts be shown. Gosh, wouldn't it be great if they could make a book of the quilts so more people could see her work?! Thanks for keeping up her blog and letting the old posts remain. They are a treasure.

  7. What a magnificent exhibit this will be! I am so looking forward to seeing all these quilts in person and meeting both of you.

  8. This is the reason I was bound and determined to go to Houston this year. I love your mother's designs and have done Afternoon Delight. Thank you for continuing the blog. I visit the old entries all the time.

  9. So glad to hear from you again! This is my year to finally make it to Houston....and the highlight will be seeing the exhibit of your mom's quilts! Thank you both for sharing her quilts with all of us!

  10. This is wonderful news. I have never been to "Houston" but this year I just might make it. With 75 quilts it would be lovely to have a "book" or snap chat do it your self or some such. Has anything been suggested????

  11. As I have made most of the festival events since the days of Shamrock Hotel, I am always planning to go every year. This year will be special and cannot wait to see the exhibit.

  12. Oh how I wish I could go to Houston this year just to see this fabulous exhibition of your mother's work. I wish you every happiness as you both revel in the wonderful comments you will receive from show goers. I hope there will be lots of photos to share with those of us stuck in the north! Thanks for making this happen.

  13. What a wonderful exhibit this will surely be! I wish I could be there to see it. Thank you for continuing this blog. Your mother has been such an inspiration and I see she will continue to be through you!

  14. Happy Summer - I so wish I could see the special exhibit in Houston! Maybe you'll share some photos after the show.
    Your quilt rack turned out great

  15. So good to see that you are caring on your Mother's blog.

  16. Wow, this is a wonderful tribute to your mom. I can't wait to see it in person. Your parents raised 2 beautiful ladies. Best wishes, Lisa