Sunday, March 12, 2017

MQA's 25th Anniversary

We celebrated 25 years of Mississippi Quilt Association at the February Gathering in Brandon on February 17-18. Quilts made by former presidents were hung all around the hall, and what a stunning display it was. We recognized many presidents and charter members, awarding lifetime memberships and talking over memories and joying in our accomplishments. Had it not been for Carol Vickers heading up the search committee, our documentation project and resulting book, Mississippi Quilts, would have never come to fruition. We admired the quilts on display and caught up on news of people who were no longer able to attend. We laughed about the story of Sandra Plummer and her preacher husband coming upon an overturned truckload of buttons on the highway. She had him pull over and park (in the driveway of a beer joint), and they picked up as many buttons as fast as they could before a church member saw their car. We reminisced over some of the great memories and celebrated friendships that we are thankful for today.
Ellen Hall, Linda Flanders, Martha Ginn, Cheryl Owens
Former presidents and charter members
My quilts, Mississippi Friendship Album and This Is My Story, This Is My Song,
behind a table of pictures and scrapbooks

Sunday, February 26, 2017

What Happened to Winter?

After two days of weather in the 'teens, we are enjoying spring-like temperatures and a profusion of blooming azaleas, camellias, Japanese magnolias, and quince. I made a trip to Austin, TX in January, and my brother's quince bush made me want to plant one.
We visited a Mexican meat market where there were more varieties of peppers than I'd seen in one place. And customers brought their own shopping bags because plastic bags are forbidden in Austin. This makes me want to remember to bring my own bag here in Hattiesburg.

My azaleas are nearly in full bloom at the end of February.

Speaking of growing things, my experiment of watering paperwhites with a diluted mixture of gin was a total failure--no blooms at all. However, in re-reading the information, I discovered that this was suggested for bulbs planted in water over rocks, not in soil.

Friday, February 10, 2017

SEW WHAT? Textile Exhibit

My latest news is being a participant in The Hattiesburg Arts Council's SEW WHAT? event on February 4 at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center.
USM mezzo sopranos Cymon Davis and Angelica Sewer sang two numbers to open the program.

Janice Hunter from Atlanta was the featured speaker, showing her African-inspired storyquilts. Pine Belt Quilters displayed 30 quilts and I spoke about the guild's history and activities.

USM's Apparel Construction and Design professors described the new certification program, a joint program of the Departments of Theatre and Marketing/Merchandising. Several costumes were also on display. A section of the AIDS quilt was hung, along with three locally produced panels that will be submitted to the project. Beejee Jenkins gave information about the panels.
Section of the AIDS quilt with Mayor Johnny DuPree
There was a good crowd, and this historic building offered a beautiful setting for the costumes and quilts. The building was our public library until 1996, when it became the Hattiesburg Cultural Center. It houses offices for the Arts Council and the Downtown Association and is used for many interesting civic events.

Janice Hunter with her storyquilts
Martha Ginn

Janice Hunter and Martha Ginn

View from second floor

Rise and Shine, Inner City

Oh, What a Summer by Ellen Hall

Oma's Blues by Vivian Plummer

Round Robin Pathways
Althea Jerome and Claudia Cartee with Finding My Way
The exhibit will come down for a Mardi Gras ball this weekend and a wedding next weekend, and then go back up for viewing Feb. 21-22-23. I said the building was used for many events!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Barn Quilts and Paperwhites

What we refer to as "Christmas Holidays" passed rather uneventfully here in Hattiesburg. Weather was warm and humid, reminding me of living in Corpus Christi, Texas. But we finally had a few days of teens temps and icy roads. My geranium and croton plants had to be covered, but we're back in the 60-70s.
Linda and I planned to eat Christmas Dinner at Cracker Barrel since they are always open on holidays for travelers. Not! So we warmed up homemade soup and worked on her barn quilt patterns. She has become fascinated with this idea and plans to rotate her signs seasonally. She doesn't have a barn, so the quilts are for the front of her house. The Noel/Christmas tree hung during December.
The Friendship Star is up now, with the Star of the Orient ready to follow.
She bought an 8' square of 1/4" plywood and had it cut into several pieces. The Noel/Christmas tree is 2' wide by 4' high; the two star blocks are 3' square.

Meanwhile, back in the studio, I've been having lots of fun working on my Indian Orange Peel design by Karen K Stone. Here are some of the parts laid out on the table, not sewn yet--just working with color placement. These little arcs are addictive! They create a huge mess of fabric on the floor.

I had six bulbs of paperwhites last fall that made a beautiful show of flowers. Doubting that it was worthwhile, I dug up the bulbs (which had multiplied into lots of smaller ones) and stored them in the refrigerator until around Thanksgiving. I brought them out and planted them in fresh soil and began watering. My garden center guru mentioned that gin would cause the foliage to only grow about 1/2-1/3 as high while still producing regular-sized flowers. I researched to be sure I heard him correctly, and after some growth took place I began to water them with 1 part gin to 7 parts water. Here is the pot just beginning to put up leaves in mid-December. Next picture is today, January 10.
Mid-December when I started the gin/water

I'll report back later.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and my geranium just loves this cooler weather. My thermostat has been changed from heat to cool several times. It's hard to believe the beautiful snow scenes I've seen when my yard is sunny. The geranium plant in my last blog post has added several blooms, with that November bloom finally beginning to wilt.

In the back yard is a huge sasanqua bush that really rewards me every winter.

I enjoyed finishing a wall quilt that daughter Linda had begun several years ago. She was quite surprised to see it tonight in a gift box. The HQ16 made this a quick project.
The Christmas season has been filled with music--live performances and radio and CDs--and this helps center my thoughts on the true meaning for the celebration. I had fun making some fabric postcards for special friends and family.
My decorations center around a Santa in a quilt robe made by a friend. Elizabeth has been keeping him company in a box that's not quite large enough for her. When I'm at the machine, she is in my lap or on the machine, trying to bite the threads. Recently I accidentally snipped her right cheek whiskers, which did not change her fascination for thread; she is growing some replacement whiskers and I try to be more careful..

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

It's a beautiful sunny, crisp Thanksgiving in Hattiesburg and I celebrate the blessings in my life! I made these pilgrim dolls while I still lived in Corpus Christi, meaning before 1971. Guess that means I can't deny being a pack rat! The turkey family cookie jar can be seen in the background. Thanksgiving is usually a time for families to gather, and I have wonderful memories of these times at my mom's house and later at my brother's. We usually had to travel rather than hosting. But they were happy, joyful times, more like the ones in pictures rather than the horror stories you read about!

My geranium has a huge bloom on it, with buds promising more beauty.

My maidenhair fern was originally from my mom and it gives me a home-sweet-home feeling when I see it.

I recently read an appropriate quote that brings our thoughts under control at this season:

Do more than belong:  participate.
Do more than care:  help,
Do more than believe:  practice.
Do more than be fair:  be kind.
Do more than dream:  work.
     ~William Arthur Ward

Meanwhile, back in my studio I have been having fun lots of fun sorting and arranging fabric for my Indian Orange Peel blocks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fall is Here, also Karen K Stone

Wheeee! It's really feeling like fall, and that huge moon adds to the joy. My neighbor's persimmon trees were loaded. I had a crew do massive clean-up in my yard. My barn quilt sign was hidden and is now prominently displayed. It's nice being identified as a quilter.
Karen K Stone was in Hattiesburg for a lecture/trunk show and workshop last week; her unique color sense is so exciting and her quilts were eye candy.
Karen's Indian Orange Peel

I could hardly wait to get started selecting fabrics for an Indian Orange Peel. Here's my first arc. Karen's method makes these much easier than they first seem. And getting to play with and coordinate fabrics makes this so much fun.

Friday, November 11, 2016

My Favorite Veteran

Roy Ginn, 1950
Remembering my favorite veteran on Veterans Day. I didn't meet Roy (on a blind date!) until he came home from the Navy, but he looked just like this. Who wouldn't fall in love with those blue eyes?
     This picture was taken when he was on a ship headed for Japan after a year in radio communication school on Bainbridge Island, Washington. His training was in decoding radio transmissions in Russian.
     We married when I was 18 and he was 24--good thing at least one of us was an adult. Our 57 years together were happy and fulfilling. We were the perfect example of "in sickness and in health," each taking turns caring for the other as needed. He was a wonderful father and friend and we raised two outstanding children. Parkinson's robbed him of his last few years of activity, but he never gave up.
     Thank you for your service and your love of country, family, and all things good.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November--Pensacola Program and Wood Sculptures

I enjoyed presenting a program/trunk show for the Pensacola Quilters Guild and staying in the lovely home of Cena Harmon (and seeing her quilts like this New York Beauty). The technology gods were cooperative, so I got to share some pictures of my 2013 China trip and since it has come home, I had the Rise and Shine, Inner City quilt to show. When I left Pensacola, Cena directed me to the most unexpected fabric find--at A&E Pharmacy! It's a traditional drug store with all the usual products, medicines, pharmacists, and gifts. But there was also a huge section called A&E Fabrics featuring first-run fabrics from well-known designers and more batiks than I have ever seen in one place.
Batiks as far as the eye can see!
I stopped at the Florida Welcome Center and took several photos--a jet plane and some of the carved birds that a talented carver, Marlin Miller, has created from the oak trees killed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. These are truly amazing and give tribute to the indomitable spirit that rose from the Gulf Coast after the devastation.