Monday, September 22, 2008

Have You Hugged an Energy Worker Lately?

When you don't have electricity for a week or more, you really appreciate what it provides: lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, medical care, stop lights... the list goes on and on. For those of us who "weathered" Hurricane Ike and the damage it wrought, getting power turned back on was a big deal. The power company workers continue to exercise heroic efforts to get power back to folks in Texas. In addition to those workers, the first responders across the Gulf coast have been incredible in bringing supplies, services, and support to those in need. My heart goes out to those who suffered losses from the storm. Whether it was the loss of a loved one, a home, irreplaceable personal items, or a sense of safety and security, the storm placed enormous physical and emotional burdens on people. Nobody along the Gulf coast is a stranger to hurricanes or hard times, though - those in the Lone Star state know that even a storm like Ike cannot break our spirits. Things are tough right now, but I am so thankful that things were not even worse.

Following Hurricane Ike, the big job was removing storm debris from the yard (and the oak tree from our roof). I found that when I needed to rest and rehydrate, quilting was my respite. It felt like the only "normal" thing in my life for a while. I haven't blogged for a while, so here are a few
pictures of what I've been working on. I don't work on a single project; I seem to thrive on working on several projects at a time... including some that aren't even in the photos. The items pictured will eventually show up as patterns, so be on the lookout: when I finish each of them, I'll post new pictures. Quiltmaking makes me so happy!

First, here is the second Bouquets for a New Day that I am quilting for Ricky Tims' and Alex Anderson's online quilting community, The Quilt Show. I needed a second quilt that could hang at the Houston quilt show, because the first Bouquet quilt resides at my local quilt shop. Cross-hatching across all of those stems and berries may not have been my brightest idea - it is incredibly slow work.

You've seen this quilt before - it's Lily Rosenberry. I'm making it in pink and green on a chocolate background -- I am a glutton for punishment with all those berries! The only thing I have left to do is to sew the berries on two borders and then assemble the blocks and borders. It will be a thrill to have this one finished!

Here's a brand new quilt that I've started -- I saw an antique quilt block that had a ring of triangles around it; it was very eye-catching. Naturally, I sat down and designed the block so I could reproduce it in today's fabrics. This will be a paper-pieced quilt and it will be fast and fun to make!

And finally, another quilt that I've started is an Antique Rose quilt. I designed a variation of an antique whig rose block and will put a dozen of these blocks, already basted and ready to applique, on point. I designed the pattern earlier this year and one of my guild's bees made the quilt for the guild auction (see photo on the right); the only problem was that I liked the quilt so much that I decided I needed to make one for myself! I had no sooner cut out all the pieces for the blocks, than the purchaser of the auctioned quilt made me an offer I couldn't refuse: she would give me the quilt if I would quilt a couple quilts for her. I was thrilled - so now I'll have a pair of Antique Rose quilts!

Take care, hug your loved ones, and thank your energy company for power.

(c)2008 Susan H. Garman

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Washington Medallion Quilt

As promised, here is a photo of the finished Washington Medallion Quilt. It feels great to finish a quilt, doesn't it?! After I finished the quilt, it took two long days to machine quilt and another 3 hours to bind. A sleeve remains to be attached, along with a label. Quilters, please don't forget to label your quilts; when I look at vintage antique quilts, I always wish I knew their story... don't let the next generation of quilters wonder the same thing about your quilts!

Happy stitching -

Sue Garman
(c)Susan H. Garman 2008