At Home and Away

We are half way through May already! Quilt Festival in Chicago was a long time ago…

Stephanie and I hot footed it to Rosemont for preview night, arriving just after opening time. It’d been a long time since I tried it a Make it University so I decided to try Kristin Rodriguez of Fiber On a Whim’s Mixed Media Needlecase Class. It was fun once we’d worked out the irons would work better if the socket was turned on(!), combining layers of fabric, Mistyfuse, tulle and all manner of ephemera to make the cover before stitching in felt pages and adding a button closure. Kristin knew what she was doing and everyone went away happy.

I spent the rest of the evening checking out the vendors (but buying nothing) and saying hello to Gwen at the Stewart Gill booth. It was good to know she had arrived safely before the volcanic ash cloud disrupted European flights even if the merchandise was still on a FedEx truck!

Sheila flew in from California Thursday evening while I was out having fun so Friday I was back in Rosemont. Gwen had come in all on her own to represent Stewart Gill so we made ourselves somewhat useful extolling the virtues of the best fabric paint money can buy…

Here’s Gwen and Sheila… I’m not sure where the money came from for this picture but it looks good!

One of the planned activities for Sheila’s visit was to complete our City and Guild projects left over from our class in January. So Saturday we set to work painting, sticking, writing, sticking, packaging, sticking, finishing our folders and our design project. Here’s my toddler t-shirt…

and packaged for a “high-end” children’s boutique(?)…

We actually worked quite hard and got everything ready for our return to the show on Sunday.

This visit we spent some more time as “booth babes” and then looked around the quilts. Here is Sheila modeling the official International Quilt Festival souvenir bag in front of the quilt Hearts and Garlands made by Liz Jones from the UK

We found a few small items for our bags… certain small boys will be getting fabric play mats for their cars and trucks sometime in the future…

Sheila and I spent the rest of her stay visiting quilt stores, going to a baby shower and knitting… I think Sheila spent more time knitting than I did which felt a little surreal. She finished a bag and went home to felt it. I hear the felting process went well. Go Sheila!!

Sheila went home and the guest room was cleaned and ready for the arrival of the new great grand parents… Here is Benjamin getting to know his great grandfather while everyone else was out of the way…

They looked pleased to see each other.

That volcanic ash cloud stayed away from Heathrow for just long enough for a return flight and the guest room is ready for more visitors…

I thought I would leave Julia in peace for a week but then I got a phone call requesting a baby sitter. Who could resist getting to hang out with this beautiful baby?

I’m still waiting for him to say “grandma”…

Ann Calland was until recently the curator of the Marie Webster home and Headquarters for the Quilters’ Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana. She came to Riverwalk Quilters Guild last Tuesday to deliver a combination lecture and trunk show of her brother Fred’s quilt designs. The quilt tops dated from 1944 to 1999. There were some wonderful, graphic designs for us to enjoy. Here is one based on a log cabin, one of Fred’s favorite blocks.

Then Thursday I loaded up the car and set off for Punderson Manor Resort and State Park, just the other side of Cleveland, Ohio. I set off in thunderstorms, drove through fog but arrived in beautiful sunshine which held for the rest of my stay. Here is a view over the lake.

I was there to represent African Folklore Embroidery at the Doll Gatherers 2010 Gala and speak at their dinner. I set up my booth and was all set…

There were a lot of interesting people at the conference. I got to hang out with the teachers whose artistic abilities and professionalism were inspiring.

We were vending for a total of 12 hours which could have been a very long time were it not for the delightful Sue Spargo and her lovely daughter Amy who had the booth next to mine. Sue is well known for her embroidered wool applique quilts and she had the most wonderful merchandise on offer. I couldn’t resist some hand dyed wools, Madagascan silk ribbon and interesting Japanese threads. Amy chose an AFL kit and sat working her chain stitch cupcake. What a great advertisement!

Mary Kochevar was responsible for the Open Classroom at the conference and she had made all the table centers for the Saturday evening dinner. Here is one of her African dolls.

My Safari through African Folklore Embroidery talk was well received (people laughed at my “story”) and I went to bed tired but content…

Sunday was spent driving the 400 miles home. The roads were clear and NPR kept me entertained. Having a companion on a road trip is definitely more fun but it really was an OK journey. I spent a little while balancing my books and they did… so all in all it was a good trip, a happy adventure into the world of doll makers!!

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