Posts Tagged ‘Quilts’

Sleepless in Sienna Plantation

July 16, 2016

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and I cannot sleep. It’s still dark outside in Sienna Plantation. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week we were out the door by 7 AM on our way to MD Anderson for blood work, review, and transfusion or appointment with my oncologist. On Thursday, I was on my way to La Grange, Texas for a Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee meeting. Today was my day to sleep in. I love to sleep late, but not today. There’s too much on my mind.

Was it the excitement of yesterday’s blood work revealing  my  platelets count went up since Wednesday’s results? Or was it the fear of needing a stem cell transplant if my numbers don’t elevate to at least 20,000 over the next few weeks?

Yesterday’s results were reason to cheer and hug with my two favorite Physician’s Assistants. However, just last week we were nervous and worried about dipping to 3,000 platelets until it got to 1,000. Starting back up, instead of dropping lower, was reason to cheer. I was on a high when we got home even after a stop at the Quilts, Inc. office for a few hours of work.

Over the last few months I haven’t felt like concentrating on anything in my studio other than an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for collage cards and design packets. When I got home yesterday late afternoon, I went into my studio and decided it was time I spend some time creating or catching-up on adding merchandise to my etsy shop. Or maybe I start with straightening my design wall clutter and work table mess.

Design wall

Design Wall in my Studio

My whole studio is a far cry from the order it was in for the photo shoot of my work space for the publication, Where Women Create. My studio is featured in the Nov/Dec/Jan2015 issue. What a fun day with my kind friend, Jo Packham, the editor of the magazine.

So last night I had the energy and desire to add to my etsy shop two little frocks I made early this year. When our children were here for Easter, our granddaughter, Madison Murrah modeled the frocks while another, Lindsey Huebner photographed them. The garments have been hanging in my studio since then. It was good to get those posted last night. The pattern I used is Simplicity 1080. The frock on the left is made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth. The frock on the right features a 1930’s embroidered hostess apron I imagine was worn by the hostess for a bridge party. Both pieces are in excellent condition.

I have collected vintage linens, laces, patchwork, and trims since I started having an interest in sewing and embellishing when I was in my twenties. I have boxes and closets full of everything you would ever need for a lifetime of stitching and creating. Madison would take all those things in a heartbeat, if she weren’t just 19 and going to college.

Where did all this begin? How did a young woman with a degree in Elementary Education, who just wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and wife to an executive husband have a life-time career as a teacher, author and show planner?

It all started when our youngest son, who is now 41, was an infant in arms. His brother was 6 and his sister 2 1/2. I was sewing fabric squares together to make quilts when I had a few minutes to myself. There were no books to follow, but occasionally an article in Women’s Day or Woman’s Circle on quilting.

One lucky day I learned of an antique shop teaching quilting classes at night. What joy I found that one night out each week that I could be with other quilters and learn how to make a quilt. In a little over a year, my first full-sized quilt was hanging at Great Expectations Quilt Show, and my quilt was featured on the advertising postcard. There was no turning back.

Quilting and creating became my passion. I started teaching classes in a Continuing Education program at our church while Todd was in second grade, Holly was in pre-school, and Troy was in the Mother’s Day Out program at our church. I was actually using my degree. As a thirty-three year old young woman, I loved teaching women many years older than I how to create something beautiful. They were of a generation where women did not work outside the home. For many it was the first time they were so proud of their accomplishments. It became a mission for me.

Quickly the word was out and I started teaching at a couple of small shops. I sewed well into many nights once I had the children to bed. I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh, to have just a little of that energy today.

sewing

My Sewing Corner in the 1970’s

It wasn’t long after that that I had a meeting with the owner of Great Expectations, Karey Bresenhan. She had added fabrics to her antique shop and wanted me to make some samples for her. That led to teaching classes for her on how to make tote bags, bibs on pinafores, notebook covers, etc. from the quilt blocks I had learned while taking classes from her mother, Jewel Patterson. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t taken that first meeting with Karey. I have worked for her for 40 years now.

My career took off. Wait a minute…I didn’t plan to have a career. Remember I am raising three little children. I’m a mom. Somehow I was propelled and soon teaching at Quilt Fair ’78, designing a garment for the first Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show which later became the Bernina Fashion Show,

IMG_2970

Patchwork and Lace Jacket for the Fairfield/Concord Fashion Show

designing and creating large fabric pieces for a debutante ball, being published in magazines, becoming VP of the Greater Houston Quilt Guild, part of a two-woman fashion show,

Holly

Holly Modeling for Fashion Show

creating special decorative items for antique shops from vintage quilts and linens, designing and making rodeo vests for a trendy dress shop, etc.

Then in 1982, my husband moved us to Victoria, Texas, so he could run an independent bank there. Did my career or my association with Karey Bresenhan end there? Guess again. She did not want to see me go, but that didn’t mean she let go. Shortly after we moved, I came back to Houston to a wonderful surprise going-away party Karey had in her shop. I was presented with a quilt full of hearts and signatures from my students at Great Expectations Quilts. I continued to go back to Karey’s shop to teach a full load of classes.

What’s next? It wasn’t long after I arrived in Victoria, Texas that I started teaching quilting and related decorative classes at the Open Door Creativity Center.

IMG_2976

Open Door Creativity Center

Quilting caught on quickly. The classes were popular and it wasn’t long after that that Susan Manning and I formed the Quilt Guild of Greater Victoria under the umbrella of the Nave Museum. I was their first President and remained active in the Guild for 20 years. I also became very active in the Victoria community. Soon one of the Guild members opened a quilt shop where we gathered for classes. I taught there and in a shop in Edna, Texas on a regular basis for many years.

During that time teaching picked up in other towns, more of my designs were published in books and magazines including Virginia Avery’s book Quilts to Wear. In 1983, I took charge of the Education program for Quilt Festival and Quilt Market and became first President of South/Southwest Quilt Association which is IQA today.IMG_2977

Later in the 80’s we started taking Quilt Market to other cities in the summer. Not long after that, we took Quilt Market to European countries along with Quilt Expo. That made for lots of over seas travel for 20 years, but what a delight to see all those European countries and to meet so many wonderful people. Life was busy and children were growing older.

In the early 90’s I was approached by the Editor in Chief, Barbara Weiland, of That Patchwork Place to write a book on the garments I was creating. I had started a series on collage patchwork jackets about that time. After much hesitation, I did write the first book, Jacket Jazz. A series of 6 more books and a pattern line followed over the next 10 years. The first two books put me on the teaching circuit map. I began teaching all over the country for many years. That was gratifying, but hard, exhausting work. I also designed a line of fabric with a Jacket Jazz flair during this time.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Kids continued to grow, went off to college, graduated, married, had babies. I quit teaching in 2006. We moved back to Houston in 2007. Since then my life has been filled with being with my husband, VP of Education and Administration for Quilts, Inc., mother and Grammy, and active in our church.

Now my focus is on getting well so I can enjoy these golden years, play in my studio, be with our family and travel with my husband. I want to be able to manage MDS. I know the only cure is a stem cell transplant, if it’s successful. Please keep praying for more platelets. Your prayers sustain me, and I am so thankful for you, my friends. God bless you all. Judy

golf

Our Family

 

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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 10 Jello Fruit Salad

September 26, 2015

When Troy, Michelle, and Thompson were here for a visit recently, we went through old photographs of my family. It was interesting to see history repeat itself. My daddy was six feet tall. That was tall for a man born in 1912. My mom wasn’t quite five feet tall.

Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad in Love

Troy, our younger son, is 6’3″ tall. Michelle, his wife, is not quite five feet tall.

Troy

Troy & Michelle in Love

I love family photographs and family traditions. For many years everyone in the family came to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving Day. It was not unusual for her to welcome thirty-six people in her home. My husband’s parents joined us the years they did not go to College Station for the A & M vs. Texas game.

Mom’s Red Jello Fruit Salad was always on the menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Our children grew to expect it for holiday dinners. When Mom moved from her home to independent living, we no longer celebrated in her home. It was time for me to make these holiday dinners for our family.

It’s rare now that we have Thanksgiving dinner in our home, as none of our family is here. Everyone does come together for a few days before Christmas for our Christmas dinner. Red Jello Fruit Salad is on the menu. One or more of our grandchildren is usually on hand to help me make it. Julie, Lindsey, and Tommy are the biggest fans of Red Jello Fruit Salad. They always have more than one helping.

Red Jello Fruit Salad

Ingredients

Following ingredients can be doubled easily to serve more than 8 people.

1  six oz. pkg. of strawberry Jello

1 can 15 oz. fruit cocktail (drained)

1 yellow banana (firm)

Cool Whip for topping

jello

Jello Ingredients

Instructions

Use the following speed method for making jello in a mixing bowl that is heat-resistant.

Dissolve gelatin mix in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Add 3 cups of ice cubes. Stir into jello until slightly thickened. Remove any  ice pieces that didn’t melt.

Fold-in drained fruit cocktail and sliced bananas. Pour into a pretty bowl.

Put  in refrigerator to congeal completely. When ready to serve, top with Whipped Cream. Mom made the real thing. My family is just as happy with Cool Whip added to their own helping.

jello

Jello Fruit Salad

I made jello fruit salad for our dinner last night. Tommy grilled steaks and fixed everything else. He takes good care of me. I am so thankful to have him. He brought this heart home as a surprise for me recently. I hung it in my studio and look at it every day.

brave

Brave Girl

Tomorrow will be a month since my last blood transfusion. In the last 6 months this is the longest I’ve gone without a transfusion. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that when I’m at MD Anderson for my weekly appointment on Tuesday, the news will continue to be good. When I saw my oncologist, Dr. Garcia-Manero, this month he said the chemo is working on my MDS. I see him again on October 12. I should start the sixth round of chemo that day.

The good news is I won’t be on chemo when I move downtown for Quilt Market and Quilt Festival on October 23. Will you be there? I would love to see you. I usually can be found on the third floor of the George Brown Convention Center. That’s where the classes, lectures, luncheons, and special events take place. Come by for a hug and a chat. Until we meet again, blessings to you and your family, Judy

 

Play Date #14 Button Cuff Bracelet

March 24, 2015

Since I was a little girl I have loved buttons. I can remember hanging-out with my mom while she sewed in her bedroom in sunny California. I’d sit on her bed and go through her round tin button box time and time again. She had one large flat box and a smaller round taller box. I preferred the larger flat tin. It was black with small colorful designs on the top, as I recall. This was the beginning of my love for buttons.

I Love Buttons.

I Love Buttons.

Needless to say I have collected buttons since I was a young woman. I spend time sorting them, choosing the right one for a design, and gathering an assortment in a specific category for another project. I never stop buying buttons at Goodwill, flea markets, and antique shops. The price still has to be right. If you could see all the buttons I have, you would wonder why I need any more.

Button Jars

Button Jars

Button Boxes

Button Boxes

So when the founders of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make button cuff bracelets for the Museum gift shop, I was intrigued. They had each received such a bracelet from a quilt friend in Paris. I examined their bracelets and how they were made. I had to decide if I could part with some wonderful buttons, old and new, I had collected over the years.

Original Paris Bracelet

Original Paris Bracelet

It took many months before I decided to give it a try. The first one took me many more hours than was worth my time. I was happy with the results, but it was a tedious job.

My First Attempt

My First Attempt

The second bracelet went a little faster as I made some changes to streamline the foundation process. I also added batting to make the foundation sturdier for hand sewing.

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

Pastel Buttons on Second Attempt

The third bracelet took two nights of hand-sewing and watching the Season Two DVD of Downton Abbey. It had more buttons than either of the other two I had previously made. The original bracelet had a gold lame fabric for its base. I followed this same idea thinking it made it dressier. However, with the red buttons it was hard to hide the fabric peeking through.

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

So on my fourth attempt I chose fabric for the foundation the same color as the buttons I was going to use. Now that was much better. I’m very happy with the results and the amount of time I spent making the bracelet.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Bracelet

I feel comfortable enough about making these Button Cuff Bracelets that I can now share the instructions with you.

Materials Needed

  • Matching button color fabric for top, backing, and facing
  • Light weight batting such as Warm and Natural
  • Buttons small and large
  • Beads and trinkets
  • Strong thread such as carpet thread
  • 1″ piece of velcro

Instructions

1.  Make foundation template. Draw a rectangle 2 1/2″ X 7″. On one end mark in 5/8″ on both sides. From here draw a tab closure 1″ tall. This is the finished size for a 6″ wrist. Make template longer for a larger wrist.

Make Template

Make Template

2. Using template, cut a top and backing 1/4″ larger than template. Cut a lining same size of template without the tab. Cut batting same size as template.

Cut Matching Fabric

Cut Matching Fabric

3. Pin top fabric to facing fabric right sides together. Pin batting to one of these wrong sides. Stitch close to batting. Leave an opening for turning. Clip off corners. Clip to stitching where straight edge meets the tab.

Stitch Three Layers Together

Stitch Three Layers Together

4. Turn right side out making sure all edges are out and flat. Turn opening to inside and stitch. Cut Velcro round at one end. Pin one half to wrong side of the tab. The straight edge will extend into the foundation. Stitch.

Velcro to Tab

Velcro to Tab

5. Match the other half of the Velcro to the right side of the foundation. Straight edges of foundation should just meet. There is no overlap. Cut off excess on straight edge of Velcro.  Stitch with machine.

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

Add Velcro to Front of Foundation

6. You are ready to stitch your buttons to the foundation. Depending on size of your buttons, you will need 30-40 buttons. Get them together with a few beads and trinkets in a flat box big enough that you can spread out your collection.

Collection of Black Buttons

Collection of Black Buttons

7. Thread your sturdy hand-sewing needle with double strand strong thread. Knot. Starting in center bring the needle from back side to front. The side without the Velcro on the tab is the front side. Start with largest buttons in the center. It’s OK for knots and threads to show on the wrong side. It will be covered with facing fabric when you are finished. Stitch through each button three times. Back tack before moving to the next button. Feature your most impressive buttons in the very center. Sew through buttons that have holes on top through each hole once. Then sew again with beads or smaller button to cover button holes. Add smaller buttons on both sides tucking them under the larger buttons you stitched down the middle.

Cover Foundation with Buttons

Cover Foundation with Buttons

8. When you are satisfied with the look, turn bracelet to wrong side. Turn under raw edges of facing fabric and pin to cover all the button stitching. Hand-stitch to edge of cuff using matching thread.

Facing Stitched to Back

Facing Stitched to Back

9. Cuff bracelet is complete and ready for you to wear. The closure will not show so you can choose to wear the bracelet turned the direction which is your favorite. Or, you can alternate the sides with each wearing.

Black Button Bracelet

Black Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

Red Button Cuff Bracelet

I have an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for more button cuff bracelets. My next one is going to be made with mostly gold buttons. I’ve collected them and can hardly wait to get started.

Gold Buttons

Gold Buttons for Next Cuff Bracelet

Tomorrow I leave for Chicago for the Spring International Quilt Festival. I would love to start stitching on this fifth bracelet, but I need to bid you good-bye and pack. I’ll be teaching in Open Studios and Make It U on the show floor and have a few more things to gather and prepare for that. So it’s time to put this away and get my head focused on a really great show. I hope to see you there. Bye-bye.

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Chicago Quilt Festival or Bust

Where Have You Been?

March 9, 2015

I’ve thought of you often and wondered about sending you a post on different things I’ve done since Christmas, but nothing seemed interesting enough to write more than a Facebook hello. So here I am with just a newsy letter as a catch-up from the last two months. I’ve missed you.

We have spent time with our children and their families here in Houston, in Dallas and in Long Beach, California. Our daughter’s daughter, Lindsey Huebner, played basketball on Saturdays, and we made many of her games. Often Holly was off with Sydney at competitive cheer venues, and Scott was with Ashton at his very early basketball games.

Lindsey Huebner after Basketball Game

Lindsey Huebner After Basketball Game

Lindsey is playing softball now. I love watching her play softball, but the weather has been so cold, my husband has gone to the games without me. I’m having trouble with Sciatica right now and hoping for relief when I see my internist this Wednesday.

In January, we made a trip to Long Beach in California to see our son Troy, and his wife, Michelle. He has recently renovated their duplex in a charming historical neighborhood, California Heights. We loved seeing what he has done and also seeing Michelle pregnant with our sixth grandbaby. When the baby comes in late May, we will have three granddaughters and three grandsons. We are so excited and so blessed. Troy and Michelle celebrate their first wedding anniversary today. You can look back to my March 2014 blog post to see their wedding on the Queen Mary.

Troy and Michelle in their in process Renovated Kitchen

Troy and Michelle in their “in progress” Renovated Kitchen

We have had unusually cold weather in Texas this winter. We weathered ice and freezing temperatures to make it to Dallas last week-end for our son’s daughter’s Senior Presentation in the National Charity League. It was a lovely Dinner Dance and a special time with Todd, Julie, Madison and Tyler. I loved seeing Todd and Madison dance the Foxtrot around the dance floor with the other four senior girls and their daddies.

Madison Murrah at Senior Presentation

Madison Murrah at Senior Presentation

During the week we have continued our usual schedules with Bible Study on Tuesday nights, church on Sunday, me at the office twice a week or in La Grange at Texas Quilt Museum board meetings or for Quilts, Inc. Executive Committee Meetings or Staff Retreat last week. (Note to self: Need to photo-shop Bob, Rhianna, Vicki, and Marcia.)

Quilts, Inc. Staff Retreat

Quilts, Inc. Staff Retreat

There is still time at home for entertaining and creating. The house was adorned for Valentine’s Day and a sweetheart dinner for our pastor and his wife and two other Sunday school couples. It’s time to decorate for Easter now.

Decorated for Valentine's Day

Decorated for Valentine’s Day

Tommy and I get together most evenings for dinner and a movie or documentary on Netflix. Every Sunday night we have been glued to the TV for the latest Downton Abbey episode. He loves it as much as I do. Since the season is over, we have started watching the DVD series for Season 1. We are surprised at some of the things we have forgotten. It’s good to see Sybil again.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

During this cold winter (Yes, I know I don’t know real cold living in Houston, Texas.) I have had some delicious studio time. The Texas Quilt Museum orders my collage greeting cards on a regular basis. I love making these mixed-media small pieces. I recently completed another order of 24.

Anniversary Collage Card

Anniversary Collage Card

Embellished Lady

Embellished Lady

Sweet Anniversary

Sweet Anniversary

Recently I also completed an order of 18 embellishment packages for the Museum. I enjoy making these packets of the same types of things I use for making the collage cards. I understand people buy them for crazy quilting also.

Embellishment Packets

Embellishment Packets

Something new I have started making for the Texas Quilt Museum gift shop are button cuff bracelets. Scads of vintage and “not-so-vintage” buttons are sewn to a fabric cuff which closes with Velcro. It’s fun to use buttons from my endless button collection. This means I have to sort and examine my collection which makes me quite satisfied.

Bracelet in Brown and Black

Bracelet in Brown and Black

Bracelet in Pastels

Bracelet in Pastels

Yesterday I made the first set of six strip pieced blocks for a block exchange with some of our support Education staff. Barbara Black has organized us and will demonstrate how to make these blocks in Open Studios at Quilt Festival in Chicago at the end of this month. You can go to her blog at bbquiltmaker.blogspot.com to see a tutorial on how to create these blocks. We each will hang our completed blocks made into something in the Education Office at Fall Quilt Festival in October/November.

Tanya's Blocks

Tanya’s Blocks

I am making kits to teach also at the Chicago Quilt Festival in Make It U on the show floor. If you are attending, please join me. I will teach it two different times. Check out the Make It U schedule. If you won’t be there, stay tuned for Play Date #13 where I will post a tutorial on how to make these darling pin cushions.

Triangle Pin Cushion

Triangle Pin Cushion

So that’s the update for now. I’ll see you again much sooner with a little class time. Until then, have a great time creating, enjoying family, and staying healthy. Love and stitches, Judy

 

Thanks for the Memories

September 6, 2013

A graduation, a marriage, birth of a baby, a new job, a move to a new town are all things that are reminders of where we were when we look back and remember. This past week-end brought back many memories of my career as a quilting teacher, designer, author, and most especially a part of Quilts, Inc.

In 1976 when I first interviewed for a job with Karey Bresenhan, owner and President of Quilts, Inc. I had a one-year old baby on my hip. I also had a 4-year old and 8-year old at home.  Karey wanted me to teach in her shop projects using the quilt blocks I  had learned from her mother,  Jewel Patterson. I accepted, and the rest is history. My family and I have grown up with quilting being a major part of our lives.

The Murrah Family 1976

The Murrah Family 1976

Starting to work for Karey Bresenhan in 1976 has expanded into 37 years of International Quilt Festivals and Markets all over the United States, Quilt Expos for 20 years in Europe, and most recently the Texas Quilt Museum.

All of these accomplishments were dreams of Karey’s that she turned into a reality with the help of a dedicated staff of long-time employees. Many of those have come and gone, but many have stayed for the long haul. It’s been a life-time of adventures. In 2014 Karey and staff will celebrate the 40th birthday of International Quilt Festival.

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

Quilts, Inc. Staff 2012

On Saturday, August 31, 2013 many of those long-time staff members were present to help Karey and Maurice Bresenhan celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The festivities started with champagne at the Texas Quilt Museum which is located in a pair of beautifully restored, historic 1880’s buildings in La Grange, Texas.

Texas Quilt Museum

Texas Quilt Museum

After a little mingling and greeting, family and friends were seated to witness the renewal of Karey and Maurice’s traditional wedding vows under two Double Wedding Ring quilts. You could hear a pin drop as the officiant started with “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, to witness and bless the reaffirmation of the marriage covenant of holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate established by God.”

Renewal of Vows

Renewal of Vows

After the ceremony, the guests departed for the Bresenhan ranch which is about 10 minutes away. We first went to their house for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served on the deck and in the house. The Texas evening was nice and the lighting and setting were enchanting.

On the Deck

On the Deck

But we hadn’t seen anything yet. The Creativity Center, where we hold our monthly leadership meetings, seminars, and Quilt Camps, was transformed into a Cinderella wonderland. The draped ceiling with twinkle lights, the red table cloths,

Creativity Center Transformation

Creativity Center Transformation

the plethora of family and friends’ bridal portraits with red and white vintage quilts,

Red & White Quilt & Bride

Red & White Quilts & Wedding Portraits

Red & White Quilts & Brides

Red & White Quilts & Brides Portraits

and childhood photos of Karey and Maurice placed on all the tables with their beautiful table settings were a feast for the eyes. Everyone was in awe.

Lovely Table Setting

Lovely Table Setting

Great music was playing as we all entered, and then came the Bride and Groom. What a beautiful couple.

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Maurice Bresenhan & Karey Patterson Bresenhan

Among the very special guests were Karey’s cousin, Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, who is Executive Vice President of Quilts, Inc. and her husband, Carlos Puentes, whose company has provided our enrollment system since 1995.

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O'Bryant Puentes

Carlos Puentes & Nancy O’Bryant Puentes

Willie Hart, who was in charge of Quilts, Inc. Show Operations for more than 20  years, is now VP of Special Projects. She does huge banners of quilts photo-shopped on buildings  for our shows.  She printed and mounted all of the photos for the Anniversary Celebration. Gene Reynolds, CPA, and owner of the company that has taken care of our accounting for many years, was among our Quilts family.

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Gene Reynolds & Willie Hart

Bob Ruggiero, Director of Publications & Public Information who has been with Quilts, Inc. for 17 years, was the DJ for the evening. He played mostly tunes from the ’60’s for our dining pleasure and then for dancing. That’s me with Bob. I’ve worked in the Education department for Karey since the beginning. I am VP of Education and Administration.

Bob Ruggiero & Me

Bob Ruggiero & Me

In the last 10 years, we have added many employees who are coming up along beside us long-timers. Marvin Paz has worked his way up to assisting Ruth Polanco in Show Operations. Pokey Bolton came on board almost two years ago as Chief Creative Officer. The company is changing and growing, and lots of new things are on the horizon.

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

Marvin Paz & Pokey Bolton

After a scrumptious meal catered by Bistro 108 and dancing, we adjourned to seating outside the Creativity Center to watch a fabulous display of fireworks in the Cow Field.

Those who spent the night were  treated to Sunday Brunch in the Creativity Center after beverages under the oak trees. I enjoyed seeing Trix Buhlmann-Epple from Switzerland for the week-end. Trix has worked with Quilts, Inc. Special Exhibits since we started doing shows in Europe. We couldn’t do without her.

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann

Chatting with Trix Buhlmann-Epple

With the celebration completed around noon Sunday, we drove out of the ranch and back home with many more magical memories of Karey Bresenhan and Quilts, Inc.

Leaving the Ranch

Leaving the Ranch

May you have many memories of love, loyalty, and faith.

Your friend, Judy

Create…bring into being

August 29, 2013

This past week has been a fun week of creating in my studio with my sister Suzanne. Each summer, she visits me for an extended week-end, and we have a sew-athon. With the exception of Sunday, we avoided putting on nice clothes and make-up or fixing an elaborate meal. We were fortunate to have my husband who most nights ran to the grocery store, fixed a yummy dinner or  brought dinner home.

One night, Suzanne’s daughter brought dinner to us. She knew we wouldn’t be all “dolled-up” and told us so. She reminded us of the sewing marathons we had at our family lake house when she was in elementary school, and I was in college. She called us “sea hags” then, and she wasn’t expecting much more than that the night she came over. We had a laugh over that. Some things just don’t change.

My Sister Suzanne

My Sister Suzanne

Suzanne spent our time together getting many projects ready for her booth, “Apples of Gold”,  at Quilt Festival/Houston. She cut pumpkin wedges from dyed cutter quilts and stitched a few together. We have been making these pumpkins for at least 10 years, and they are still popular among her customers. Suzanne has made hundreds of them. Being the big sister (actually she’s much smaller than I am) she of course knows how to make the best pumpkins. She told me I wasn’t using the correct color of dye or strong enough solution on my cutter quilts. Being the “little sister,” I took it all to heart and, after a day at the office on the day she left, I dyed my quilt scraps in my jammies. It’s important to make my big sister proud.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

Yesterday, I cut and sewed patchwork pumpkins from those “dyed-again” cutter quilt scraps. I put one in my etsy shop, but there will be more to come in six different sizes and from different quilts. They are so much fun to make and decorate. They take a little more time and effort  than the pumpkins cut in a circle that I showed you in our last Play Date #7.

Dyed Patchwork Pumpkin

Dyed Patchwork Pumpkin

Each time Suzanne comes for a visit or I see her in San Antonio she gives me linens, fabrics, laces, and trinkets she has cleaned-out from her collections. I never turn down any of it,  because it’s very possible I will use it and often I do. I just keep adding it to another cupboard, drawer, or closet. I told her I hope I have an opportunity to give-away all my collections before my children have to deal with it. My three granddaughters would take a lot of it home with them now, but I know their mommies wouldn’t be happy about it. Oh, well I accepted another full bag of goodies. My husband had to carry it upstairs it was so heavy.

Another bag of goodies

Another bag of goodies

Suzanne isn’t the only one who cleans out her closets and brings me what she wants to get rid of, but aren’t I the lucky girl? My good friend Teresa brings me boxes and bags of fabulous sewing supplies. It’s like Christmas. The latest batch of discards was all kinds of ribbons and trims. I love them and had a great time stroking them as I sorted them and wound them on cards for neatness.

I love ribbons and trims

I love ribbons and trims

I’ve read recently that you are not a hoarder if your collections are organized. Just want to show you proof that I’m not a hoarder, as each of my ribbons and trims are categorized and labeled in boxes. I do need to add some larger boxes, however.

Ribbon and trim closet

Ribbons and trims closet

My friend Sheryl also gives me decorator fabrics and heavy trims that are left from her very successful custom drapery and bedspread business. Do you think these friends feel sorry for me, or are they glad someone will take the excess off their hands? Sheryl sent me a box of goodies recently, and I was able to coordinate them to make large tote bags. I have put four of them in my etsy shop recently. Sheryl chose some of her left-over fabric for a tote for her and gave it to me in Long Beach. I’ll make it and give it to her when I see her again in Houston. She comes to our Festivals and is a great worker on our Education Team.

Grey/silver combination

Grey/silver combination from Sheryl

And ta-da, here’s a tote from Sheryl’s scraps. “Waste Not, Want Not” my mom always said. Maybe she shouldn’t have taught me that mantra. I do live by it. Oh, dear.

And here it is.

And here it is.

While Suzanne was here for her visit, I finished that tote plus a couple of others and fall table runners and toppers that are in my etsy shop or will be for sale at our church’s Festival on November 9th. I’ll share a booth with my dear friend Joan Hill, and I hope it’s full to the brim and that we get lots of shoppers.

I do love to create and am reminded often of it’s importance by my friend and mentor, Lesley Riley. She will be teaching and coordinating some Artist Development classes at Fall Quilt Festival/Houston  that I highly recommend. Check out her blog for lots of inspiration. Her recent post, “Did You Forget Where to Look?” on August 26 hit home with me. This paragraph in particular was another one of those a-ha moments.

“I am again on a search for myself! Yet, as many times as I’ve found myself, I seem to always forget where to look. Why do I go seeking elsewhere when the very thing I desire can only come from my heart, my soul, my hands?”

When I get it right, I feel like my granddaughter Madison who has no problem finding her true self. She has created from her heart since the day she could move and talk, and has let that creative energy flow and take flight at any time all her 16 years. Love your creative spirit, Little MEM.

Myself

Myself

Another place I look for inspiration when I know I need to create with my hands is my most favorite magazine in the whole world, “Where Women Create.” Jo Packham, another mentor and dear friend is the Creator and Editor-in-Chief of this quarterly of inspiring work spaces of extraordinary women. Jo will also be teaching at Fall Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. Check out both schedules on the Quilts website.

This issue was given to me in a welcome basket from our sales person in Long Beach. Even he knows it’s my favorite magazine. I was so delighted I would have it to study on the flight home.

When I got back to the office I had another copy of this issue from Jo. So, now I have two. One has lots of writing in it, and the other one is pristine. Would you like to have a chance to win it? All you have to do is answer this question at the end of this post where it says “Leave a reply” and “Enter your comments here.” “Where do you get your inspiration to create?” I’ll randomly choose a winner on Tuesday after Labor Day. 

My most favorite magazine

My most favorite magazine

I devour this magazine from cover to cover and have since the very first issue. I literally read every single word. On the inside cover, I write page numbers I want to refer back to. Often I have underlined or starred parts on those pages. Page 91 was so important to me that I wrote the number on her skirt on the cover of the magazine so not to miss it.

Important Page Numbers

Important Page Numbers

So what was so important on page 91 of the August, September, October 2013 issue? It was a tip from Jessica Swift, a painter, surface pattern designer, and author from Portland, Oregon. I’ll leave you with her words.

“Follow your intuition wherever it takes you, even if it’s scary or feels confusing. Listen closely to your inner voice because it’s pointing you in the exact direction that you need to go. You never need to listen to what someone else is telling you you’re “supposed to” do. The answers you need are already within you. Get quiet, listen, and then act accordingly!”

Until we meet again, I wish you lots of “bringing into being.” Judy

Good Bye Long Beach Quilt Festival

August 8, 2013

Quilts, Inc. has held a Summer Quilt Festival in California at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center for the last six consecutive years which included exhibitors, special exhibits, classes, lectures, tours, and special events. We held the last one in this series to an awesome crowd of class and show attendees August 1-4, 2013.

Looking out from the Long Beach Convention Center

Looking out from the Long Beach Convention Center

While we have enjoyed the years producing International Quilt Festival/Long Beach and meeting all the wonderful quilters from this area, our non-Houston-based Festivals are regional shows that we periodically move to different cities. This allows a wider audience of quilters and quilt aficionados to enjoy what Festival has to offer. However, it is hard to say good-bye to such a magical area with delicious climate and the good friends we have made. Our many thanks to the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau for their partnership and friendship. We hope to see you again another time.

My job with our multiple shows throughout the year is VP of Education. I choose the teachers, classes, and special events and spend most of my time at the shows in the Education Office or the classrooms. The Education staff that comes to our shows are all quilters and crafters, too. Barbara Black, quilter extraordinaire, had two quilts in the Special Exhibits and showed Vicki and me how to use a new tool to make a simple, but complicated looking quilt. I plan to use the pattern to make Fall and Christmas table toppers for our church Fall Festival in November.

Barbara Black showing Vicki and me a new technique

Barbara Black showing Vicki and me a new technique

Because of a well-balanced, trained staff in our home office and at our shows, I am able to spend more time in the classrooms now than ever before. This year, I attended a half- day button bracelet making class with Vicki Thomas and taught by Kaari Meng whose shop is located in Los Angeles. Last year, we toured her unique shop, French General, that was full to the brim with home fabrics designed by Kaari, vintage paper crafting materials, books, jewelry and notion kits and much more. If you live in the area, put a visit to her shop on your bucket list. If you don’t live in the area, visit her website for a smaller treat.

In class with Vicki

In class with Vicki

Several of us also took Kaari’s half-day Beaded Embellished Cuff Bracelet. So much fun.

IMG_2114

Sheryl, me, Vicki, Marcia

Sheryl, me, Vicki, Marcia

Check out Kaari’s July 8, 2013 blog post, The Warp and the Weft for better bracelet pictures than I have. You’ll also enjoy her blog.

Awesome classes went on for three days taught by Esterita Austin, Wendy Butler Berns, Patt Blair, Melinda Bula, John Flynn, Jane Hall, Katie Pasquini Masopust, and Judith Baker Montano to name a few. The final Special Event for the show was held on Saturday evening and was as active as a three-ring circus. The Iron Quilter Challenge was sponsored by Bernina of America. Three teachers and their hand-picked teams battled it out for bragging rights as they were challenged by time and the provided fabric palette to create a spicy wall quilt. Attendees mingled, ate and drank, danced, cheered on their favorite team, won door prizes and waited to vote on their favorite quilt. With a drum roll and plenty of excitement, it was announced that Charlotte Angotti’s team won the challenge followed by a drawing for the winner of the Bernina 550QE sewing machine. Thank you Bernina. Check out rayssewcrafty.com for more details with pictures of the Iron Quilter Challenge. It was a lively way to end our last event at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.

Debbie, Gyleen, Charlotte with their quilt tops

Debbie Caffrey, Gyleen Fitzgerald, Charlotte Angotti with their quilt tops

Our Quilt Festivals are not complete without doing some shopping, learning, and looking at the Special Exhibits on the show floor. I don’t spend as much time there as I’d like, but on the last day I get a little time for the fun and excitement of shopping and visiting with our excellent exhibitors.

Show Floor

Show Floor Shopping and Education

On Sunday I did a little early morning power shopping and made purchases at sew-blessed, Helen Gibb Design Inc., Walk the Walk, Cupcakes and Cartwheels, and Mary Jo Hiney Designs. My husband, Tom, had joined me by now for a little vacay away from the Texas heat, so he was a super bag carrier.

sew-blessed

sew-blessed

He has joined me at the end of the Long Beach Quilt Festival a couple of other years also because we have a son, Troy, who has lived here since he graduated from college in Texas. It’s hard to believe that I started working for Quilts, Inc.  37 years ago when he was one year old. I also had a preschooler and a child in elementary school at the time. I had a lot more energy then than I have now, there is no doubt.

Troy is a musician and custom design contractor in the LA area. We were able to hear his band, Restavrant, play very late one night at the historical Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood just yards from Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Jill Benge, who works in the Education Department full-time, never misses a chance to dance and went with us. We had a great time, but it was one in the morning when we returned to Long Beach. I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t have missed it.

Jill, Vicki, Tommy, Me, Troy and Meesh

Jill, Vicki, Tommy, Me, Troy and Meesh at Roosevelt gig

The two days after the show were a whirlwind of adventures in the Los Angeles area with Troy. He and Meesh wanted us to see and do as much as possible. We spent several hours at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park.

Abalone Cove

Abalone Cove

Friends, I climbed down and then back up that hill with a lot of help from Troy. Everyone else with us had no problem. I need to start walking again for exercise, but it’s hot in Texas and when is there time? What do I give-up to do that? My sewing? My crafting? Dinner with my husband? Maybe I should retire…

We spent time at the Natural History Museum especially to see the “Becoming Los Angeles” exhibit. The Museum  is an indoor-outdoor museum with 3 1/2 acre Nature Gardens. We didn’t see those, but did see Dinosaur Hall, Age of Mammals, African Mammal Hall, and Gem and Mineral Hall, but there was much more.

Museum

Natural History Museum

Early evening we drove to the city of Lake Elsinore to see the minor league baseball team, Storm, play. Our boys and Tom played baseball in high school, and it’s almost always on our list of activities when we are together. The home team won, the hot dogs were good, and it was a nice evening to be together.

St. Elsmore

Lake Elsinore

We also made a stop at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum so Tom could see where the Summer Olympics were held several years ago.

Los Angeles memorial Coliseum

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Troy is starting a new company called “Olafson Creative” in LA. His middle name is Olaf and my maiden name is Olafson. Do you think that makes a mama happy? We visited his warehouse and his office he has constructed within his warehouse. It’s an exciting time for him with new beginnings. We are so happy for him.

Troy outside his warehouse

Troy outside his warehouse

Troy in his office

Troy in his office

We flew out late Tuesday so we were able to fit in one more adventure. We went to the Queen Mary for lunch in Diana’s tea room and did the Glory Days tour with James as our theatrical tour guide. The ship is magnificent and caters to weddings and receptions for really special memory makers.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

Queen Mary

Queen Mary with my boy

Our last Quilt Festival for now in Long Beach is a special memory I will keep with me always. Love you Long Beach.

Love you, too, Friends,

Judy

Quilt Festival/Chicago 2013

June 25, 2013

We were pleased to take International Quilt Festival back to the Chicago/Rosemont area and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Since we’ve been gone the area added the MB Financial Park–a new district with many restaurants and entertainment facilities located within walking distance of the Stephens Center. We enjoyed many of these places at the end of each show day but show first and then play. So with workbook and name badge in hand on June 20th, it was time to start Preview Night for the 2013 Chicago Festival. Let the fun begin!

Jill Benge and Judy

Jill Benge and Judy

The show was composed of Special Quilt Exhibits, Education on the show floor, and Exhibitors. It was hard for attendees to decide where to go first. Many started with the Special Exhibits to find their quilt or one they have heard about among the more than 500 quilts and pieces of fabric art on display. I checked out the quilts made by my friend Barbara Black in Traditional Treasures. This is a juried exhibit and Barbara’s quilts “Lone Star Garden” and “If it’s Purple…”were both among those accepted in the exhibit. Barbara’s work is perfection. They were a joy to see hanging in the exhibit.

Barbara Black's Quilts

Barbara Black’s Quilts

Among the other many quilt exhibits hung one of the masterpieces made by Libby Lehman from Houston, Texas.  I said a prayer for Libby as I stood in front of “Ripple Effect” and thought about Libby and the friendship I have had with her since the 80’s. If you don’t know, on April 30th Libby suffered a stroke after a ruptured aneurysm and is now in rehab. If you want to know more about Libby Lehman and how you can support her go to Caring Bridge for updates. God bless you, Libby. We all love you and miss you.

Libby Lehman's Quilt

Libby Lehman’s Quilt

There was much talk and delight over the “ChiCOWgo” quilt exhibit. From a pattern in the book “Out of the Box with Easy Blocks” by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie McFarland, friends and students customized the “Purple Cow” into various themes. The cow quilts were accompanied by cow photography done by my dear friend Wilma Hart. I loved looking at her photography of Texas cows as much as I enjoyed the quilts.

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

ChiCOWgo Exhibit

The greater part of my time was spent in the Education segments held on the show floor. There were opportunities to create a project or learn a new technique in ‘Open Studios” and “Create on the Spot” areas. “Create on the Spot” was a great place to sit down for an hour and for $10 you could complete a simple, but fun project such as a Poppy Brooch and Light Up Trading Cards.

Create on the Spot

Create on the Spot

I taught one of the segments to a group of fun-loving students. They each went home with three “Cut and Paste” greeting cards and materials to make three more. It was a fun hour.

Teaching at Create on the Spot

Teaching at Create on the Spot

“Open Studios” had presentations on modern quilting techniques, hand piecing, machine quilting, dyeing and painting fabric, stamping and silk screening fabric and more. Over the course of the show, four quilt artists demonstrated simultaneously under the categories of “Embellish,” “Stitch,” “Quilt,” and “Paint” in four specially designed studio rooms. There were 40 sessions of demonstrations over the duration of the show. It was a busy place.

Open Studios

Open Studios

Each day I spent time demonstrating my “Collage Greeting Cards” to a group of interested attendees. I never tire of making these cards using vintage photos and embellishments.

IMG_1799

What would a Quilt Festival be without things to buy? There were rows and rows of 300 booths selling everything from sewing machines to beads to threads to fabric to patterns and much, much more. Lisa and Nick Bongean, the owners of Primitive Gatherings have everything you could possibly need for your wool embroidery.  Check them out at their quilt shop in Wisconsin or visit them again at one of our upcoming shows.

Primitive Gatherings

Primitive Gatherings

A visit to our Commemorative booth is always a must. We have show totes, t-shirts, pins, and programs for sale there among other fun items. Barbara Youngflesh and Patty Teufel keep this booth running throughout the show. Stop by and visit them. They always have smiling faces and great things to sell.

Commemorative Booth

Commemorative Boot

Not that the time at the Convention Center isn’t fun, but it’s always enjoyable to relax at the end of the day with friends and co-workers. This night Karey, Nancy, Trix and I enjoyed a steak dinner at Morton’s. Even though we are out for the evening the topic most often turns to how we can improve on the next show. We hope you will join us back at Rosemont/Chicago in 2014. It will be fun!

Dining with Friends

Dining with Friends

Please join us for one of our upcoming shows.

August 2-4, 2013 at Long Beach Quilt Festival

October 31-November 3, 2013 at Houston Quilt Festival

April 3-5, 2014 at Cincinnati Quilt Festival

June 20-22, 2014 at Chicago Quilt Festival

August 14-16, 2014 at Portland Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

What’s Up?

April 29, 2012

Life has been busy around here with a little of this and a lot of that.

The International Spring Quilt Festival in Cincinnati, April 12-15, has come and gone. It was a delightful show with entertaining Special Exhibits, much shopping with the exhibitors, and fun learning in the education department.

show floor

Cincinnati Show Floor

I loved shopping with Charmography where I chose the charms, and Robin put them together for me to make a dazzling three strand necklace full of glitter and favorite things. She and her husband were exhibitors at all three of our Quilt Festivals last year, and I didn’t get time to visit their booth or they were so busy I couldn’t get my turn. I was determined to enjoy a visit or two at this show and I’m glad I did. I love wearing my necklace, and every time I do I get lots and lots of compliments. Thank you Robin. Hope to see you at the Long Beach Quilt Festival.

Charmography

Charmography Robin and Robin

The quilts in Special Exhibits flowed so beautifully in their setting this year. I took several pictures, but after looking at the ones Tom Russell posted on his blog I decided to guide you there for a much better view. Tom knows how to capture the most intricate detail with his “Magic Camera.” Check-out “Cinn City: 2012 International Quilt Festival Show” after you go to his blog.

The Special Exhibits department is led by Carmen Valls and Amanda Schlatre with a great team of helpers, and they do a smashing job getting those quilts selected, hung, and presented to all the viewers.

Carmen Valls

Carmen Valls Special Exhibits

Amanda Schlatre

Amanda Schlatre Special Exhibits

The Education Department has been my responsibility for more than 30 years. We have a great team led by Kim, Jill, and Marcia who come to all 5 of our shows. Some shows we have as few as 2 extra helpers, but for our long-standing Quilt Festival in Houston we need 17 extra helpers to get through the 6+ days of classes taking place morning, noon, and night.

Education Team

Quilts, Inc. Cincinnati Education Team

Among the outstanding teachers at Cincinnati Quilt Festival 2012, we introduced Heather Thomas to our staff for the first time. Heather is an artist, designer, instructor, and author in Mixed Media. I had the privilege of taking her full-day Mixed Media Collage Techniques class. She is a gifted teacher with an understandable art theory approach to guide her successful students. I continued to follow her classes throughout the 4 days in bits and pieces. What a treat to have her among us. I guarantee you if you select one or more of her classes at one of our other shows, you will be glad you did.

Heather Thomas

Heather Thomas teaching

I came home from the Cincinnati Quilt Festival on a Monday evening to an order from the Texas Quilt Museum for 20 more Treasure Boxes and 20 more Collage Greeting Cards. I love making both of those items, so it was exhilarating to have a reason to be back in my studio the minute I walked into the house again. I was able to complete 15 boxes and 15 cards by last Friday delivery. I need to collect more small boxes to finish the Treasure Box order, but I’m itching to get back in my studio to complete the other collage cards.

Treasure Boxes

Treasure Boxes full of things for collage making

Friends and Birthday Greetings

Friends and Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday

Congratulations and Happy Birthday

Miss You

Miss You

Congratulations and Travel

Congratulations and Travel

Get Radical and Smile

Get Radical and Smile

Friends and Wish You Were Here

Friends and Wish You Were Here

Seriously?

You've Got Talent collage card

Also when I arrived home, I sent the last of 15 Vintage Lace Challenge Packets requested. If you received one of the packets, it’s time to get a picture to me as Tuesday, May 1, is your deadline. On Friday, May 5, I will post the winner in my blog. To date, I have received two lovely photos of your completed challenges. It’s fun to recognize the laces I sent to you. I’m looking for a lucky 13 more photos as someone will be the winner of the little wooden sewing drawer full of vintage laces.

Pillow

My Grandmother by Debra Bentley

Wilma Hart for my sister

For My Sister by Wilma Hart 14" X 18"

Do you have a hard time throwing out fabric you have cut and stitched, but then didn’t use? When friends and family find out you are a quilter, do they give you their cast offs or those of another family member? I can’t part with those things, and I always say yes to them. I can’t ever throw out something I used for a class sample or strips, squares or triangles that never made it into a project. I grew-up with the quote, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.”

If you have this same malady, I  have another challenge for you.  You will receive instructions for making something simple and useful. There will not be a prize, but I would love to post your results.  So join me again next Wednesday when we will be together for Play Date #5.

Use It Up

Use It Up

Until then keep stitching. Hugs, Judy

Thinking of you

March 3, 2012

It’s been two weeks since I’ve had a chat with you. I’ve thought about and missed you, Friend, and I hope all is going well in your life.

Mine has been busy, but good.

We’ve spent a part of the last two week-ends with Holly, our daughter, and her family. We’ve cheered-on the little girls at cheerleading/tumbling competition, sang Happy Birthday to Ashton at his 4-year old party at the park and fire station, followed Sydney with a fist full of tickets at the school Carnival, and watched Lindsey play in her first soft ball game of the season. We feel blessed to have them just an hour away, so we can participate in their lives with lots of hugs, chatter and giggles.

Holly and family

Holly and her husband Scott, Sydney, Ashton, and Lindsey

During the week, besides spending time at the Quilts, Inc. office, I’ve been in La Grange, Texas, the home of the newly opened Texas Quilt Museum. Recently, two days were spent on a Museum planning session. Lots of great ideas for continuing exhibits, education, and activities came out of that meeting. I hope you will have a chance to visit the amazing Museum. Check out the website often so you don’t miss anything.

Texas Quilt Museum

Texas Quilt Museum Mural on Side of Building

Two other trips were made to La Grange for meeting purposes. One day, the entire Quilts, Inc. staff met  in the Creativity Center for a corporate retreat. Lots of good  decisions were made to make Quilt Festivals even greater for all of you.

Quilts, Inc. Staff

Quilts, Inc. Staff Retreat

Before the retreat, I made a birthday card box for our  President of Quilts, Inc. to keep cards from everyone at the retreat. The instructions and supplies for this Trinket Box came  from Julie Craig of Attic Heirlooms in Kansas. It was great fun to see the transformation of a cigar box into a pretty card holder. Julie is scheduled to teach this class at International Quilt Festival this fall. Check out the class catalog when it’s available this summer.

Birthday card box

Decorated Cigar Box for Birthday Cards

I also made a Chocolate Sheath Cake for the birthday celebration, but realized I left it at home when I was an hour from home. Oh, boy. I was back in the Quilts, Inc. office the next day so everyone, except the birthday girl, could  enjoy the cake one day late. This was a really easy, popular recipe for brides in the 60’s. I’ve included it here so you can make it, taste it and enjoy it, too.

 Known as ‘Sheath’ Cake in the early 1960’s

Do you think it was supposed to be ‘Sheet’ Cake? I’ve often wondered.

This recipe came from my sister Joanie McDonald before she died on June 1, 1989. She was the most generous person I’ve ever known.

 Cake

Sift together in mixing bowl:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

Put in sauce pan:

4 rounded T cocoa

1 cup water

2 sticks margarine or butter (1 cup)

Bring this to a boil. Pour over sugar mixture. Stir well.

Add:

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 heaping tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

½ cup butter milk to which has been added ½ tsp baking soda

Mix well. Pour into well-greased and floured 8” X 12” cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees 30 to 35 minutes.

Ice cake in pan while it is still hot.

Icing

Melt and bring to boil:

1 stick margarine (1/2 cup)

3 rounded tablespoons cocoa

6 tablespoons sweet milk or butter milk

Remove from heat, beat and add:

1 box powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Mix well. Pour over center of cake in pan. It will melt to the sides.

Try not to eat too much of the icing before it’s on the cake. It tastes like yummy fudge.

Chocolate Sheath Cake

Chocolate "Sheath" Cake

Yummy…Thank goodness I can fit three sessions of Dahn Yoga into my weekly schedule. I’d be forgetting more than putting a cake in the car if I didn’t have that time of exercise and meditation.

Also being a member of First United Methodist Church Missouri City and a Stephen Minister makes meaning of this life I’ve been given. It’s a great way to start off each week.

This week, I plan to get back in my studio and to create something fun for the coming Easter season. I leave you with a hint of what you’ll see in my next post and a wish for a great week.

Dyed Chenille

Dyed Chenille Bedspreads

I promise to visit you again in a few days. I’ve missed you,  Judy


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