Posts Tagged ‘Texas Quilt Museum’

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

 

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 25 Wausaukee Gullion

March 5, 2016

This is the last recipe in my family favorites recipe book. You have a total of 26 recipes in all. Remember, I gave you page 26, Hot Wassail, in December 2015.

Today’s recipe came from Carrie Dee Murrah, my husband’s mother.

Carrie

Carrie Dee and Tommy

She gave it to me at a recipe shower before Tommy and I were married. It’s one he liked as a child. It’s so easy to make for a newly wed. And it is so quick when you have hungry children at dinner time.

Wausaukee Gullion Alaskan Dish

Ingredients

pan

Ingredients and Frying Pan

1 pound of ground beef

1 can 16 oz. whole kernel corn  (do not drain any of the cans)

1 can 28 oz. diced tomatoes

1 can 16 oz. Ranch style beans or Kidney beans

½ onion chopped

2 slices of bacon

Instructions

Since we were married, I have used an electric skillet to make many of our meals. Over our almost 50 years of marriage, I have probably replaced our original electric skillet four times. This was a typical wedding gift in 1966. Now many young women haven’t even seen an electric skillet. I make Wausaukee in my electric skillet.

Fry bacon. Remove from skillet. Add chopped onion and sauté. Add meat and brown. Break-up meat and cook until no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper, and minced garlic to taste. Break-up fried bacon into small pieces and return to skillet. Add beans, tomatoes, and corn. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Wausaukee

Wausaukee Gullion

You can serve with rice and a salad for a hearty meal.

Eat

Dinner is Ready

That’s it, folks. When we meet again, I will have Play Date #15 for you. Learn how to embellish a vintage glove made for hanging. A small card for Mother’s Day is inserted in the top of the glove. Oh, so sweet. I’ve made six of them for the Texas Quilt Museum and three for my etsy shop, which I’ll add to the shop tomorrow.

glove

Mother’s Day Glove

My mother and mother-in-law are no longer living, so it makes me happy to be making these mementos for someone else to give to their mother. Think of your mother today.

Mother

Mother Love

Love and hugs to you until we meet again, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 22 Taco Soup

February 13, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since you heard from me. When I’ve been home, I have spent time in my studio every spare minute. I had a big order from the Texas Quilt Museum that I finally finished yesterday.

I made 20 collage greeting cards,

birthday

Happy Birthday, Jennifer

thanks

Thanks

thirteen Design Packets,

design

Thirteen Design Packets

and twelve mug rugs or hot pads.

pads

Twelve Mug Rugs or Hot Pads

I loved every minute of the hours in my studio. There are only a few other places I would rather be.

Now let’s think about cooking. We are getting near the end of my family cookbook. Here is the fourth from the end.

Taco Soup

In the middle 90’s, I went to Seattle to teach several of “That Patchwork Place” employees how to make the second five Jazz jackets. The jackets were pictured in my second book Jacket Jazz Encore. Marta Estes made this soup for our lunch one day. My husband loves this and will eat it for several days. Thank you, husband. I don’t feel guilty when I’d rather be creating in my studio than cooking in the kitchen. The soup is very easy.

soup

Taco Soup

Ingredients

1 ½ lbs. hamburger

16 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can kidney beans and juice

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can chicken broth

1 can corn

1 chopped onion

1 small can rotel tomatoes (mild)

1 can hominy

Toppings

Tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped avocado

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

Fresh cilantro

Instructions

In large kettle sauté meat and onion, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

Add taco seasoning and stir. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, hominy and broth. Stir and simmer for at least ½ hour or up to a few hours.

Serve by mounding broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl; add a dollop of sour cream, then the soup. Top with grated cheese, sliced olives, and chopped avocado and cilantro.

Ummm…I think I’ll make a pot this week. Those of you who are looking out your window at snow would love this hot, tasty soup.

Happy cooking and creating to you until we meet again, Judy

Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 21 Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

January 26, 2016

Hello Friends,

I know it isn’t Saturday, and I know I am two weeks behind in my blog posts to you. I’ve thought of you, though. My every free moment at home has been at our kitchen table going through many interesting teaching proposals for our 2016 International Fall Quilt Festival.

files

Teacher Selection Files for Scheduling

I’m happy to report I completed the class and curriculum selection at midnight Sunday. The four crates went with me to the office yesterday. Our Education staff is busy now getting everything in order to send out teaching contracts. Those of you who eagerly await the class catalog will be happy to know you will have well over 100 qualified teachers with over 400 special events, classes, lectures, and luncheons from which to make your selections. I’m excited now with the line-up, and it’s still 9 months away. That’s like waiting for a baby to be born once you know it’s going to happen.

office

On the Way to the Office

February is soon approaching. What better recipe to offer you this week than my tried and true sugar cookies. I make these sugar cookies at least every Valentine’s Day and Christmas season. Last fall, I added another occasion and that was our whole family tail gate party before the first Texas A & M football game. Todd’s family thought Grammy should make “Gig ’em” Aggie cookies for this momentous get-together. Of course I did.

madison

Madison Murrah Freshman at A & M

This recipe is my most requested recipe from friends. I got the recipe with some Tupperware cookie cutters when Tommy was a Lieutenant in the Army. We were stationed in Joliet, Illinois, at the Army Ammunition Plant during the Viet Nam War. Lucky us, he stayed at APSA for his whole tour of duty.

You’ll find this same recipe in one of my early posts. I thought about referring you to it, but decided to be consistent with the page numbers for those of you who are keeping count.

Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

cookies ready for tea

Please come for tea.

Ingredients and Instructions

Cream together:    

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

Blend in:

2 whole eggs

Sift together and add to mixture:

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

4 cups flour

Add to mixture:

1 tablespoon vanilla

After mixing, do not refrigerate. Divide into 3-4 balls. Roll one ball at a time. Use left-over dough from each rolling all together for last ball and roll.

Dough part

Turn Dough on Floured Cloth

Roll out dough 1/8″ thick on floured pastry cloth using a floured sock on rolling-pin. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Some fans will request baking cookies until they are barely browned. Others want theirs crispy, and some others like them slightly burned. Go figure? Cool on waxed paper.

bake and cool on waxed paper

Crispy or Barely Browned

With teacher selection complete, I have earned some time in my studio. It’s all set for making collage greeting cards and design packets for a Texas Quilt Museum order. Oh, be still my heart.

studio

My Studio with Work in Progress

Love you all, 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

 

I Cannot Tell a Lie

August 3, 2014

 

As I think about the upcoming feature of my studio in the November issue of Where Women Create, I cannot tell a lie. The photos Jo Packham and her photographer took of my studio show it in its best light. It’s kind of like the lyrics to the old song, “If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake.” Many of you will remember this song, but you young ones will have to Google it. Well, I knew they were coming and I didn’t bake a cake, but I did spend time preparing my studio for them.

Studio Ready for Company

Studio Ready for Company

I love my studio. It’s my sanctuary. I love to create. It sustains me. However, my studio is a working studio. It gets messy and unorganized and I love it just the same.

Cutting Table During a Project

Cutting Table While Assembling Design Packets

It is the truth. I am highly organized, and everything does have a drawer, or a plastic container, or a shelf or a slot, etc. Everything is labeled and put away neatly AFTER a project or order is complete. However, in the midst of a project, containers come out of the closets, down from the attic, off shelves and onto the floor or on to one of my work tables. I need it all there and easy to choose from as I work. Sometimes I have multiple projects going on at the same time. That’s not my favorite way to work, but it happens when I have more than one thing going on.

Studio Work in Progress

Studio with a Work in Progress

Having a reason to go into my studio each day, even if it’s only for an hour, energizes me and gives me purpose. I’m grateful for the orders I receive from the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. Each time I get an order from Julie Maffei, the Museum Director, I’m delighted. She’ll order 24 of my embellishment packets at a time and almost apologize, but I love it. Being able to coordinate threads, trims, buttons, yo-yos, silk flowers, vintage photos, quotes, trinkets, etc. is fun. I love choosing the elements and attaching them to a card covered in a piece of silk, sliding them into their cellophane envelope and sealing it for someone else to caress and love.

Design Packets

Design Packets

Also, the Museum has been selling my one-of-a-kind collage greeting cards since the day it opened in November 2011. To date, I have made over 200 cards for them to sell in their gift shop. I LOVE making these cards. I am thrilled when I get another order from Julie. Each card I make is a special little collage with sentiments from my heart for someone I could know. Two of the workers for the Museum have told me mine are their favorite cards to give to family and friends. That made my day.

If you want to know how I make these cards, go to my blog post on January 6, 2012, to Play Date #1, Making Valentines. The only thing I do differently now is to use Temtex or Peltex as the foundation and zig zag the outside edges. Following are a few of the cards from the Museum’s most recent order. Maybe they are still available.

For a Good Friend

For a Good Friend

Seriously?

Seriously?

For Life

For Life

Miss You

Miss You

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

It’s just about time to gear-up for making pumpkins from dyed vintage quilts, dyed chenille bedspreads and from white candlewick or chenille bedspreads for a more elegant look. My sister orders the latter from me for her booth at the Houston Fall Quilt Festival and her shop, Apples of Gold, in Artisans Alley. If you refer back to my August 13, 2013, post, Play Date #7 , there are instructions on how to make the chenille pumpkins.

Chenille Pumpkins

Chenille Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Smaller Pumpkins

Starting in September, I’ll also have the white pumpkins and orange dyed pumpkins in my etsy shop and my booth at the Old Alvin Emporium in Alvin, Texas.

Orange Pumpkin Family

Orange Pumpkin Family

Pumpkin Assortment

Patchwork Pumpkin Assortment

Last October, I started renting a tiny booth in Alvin, Texas at the Old Alvin Emporium where I can play shop owner on a very small scale. I sell things I’ve made, but also things I have collected that I no longer need. Yes, I’m a collector of stuff other than things for creating. My husband also loves to collect. God bless our children when the time comes to get rid of all our stuff.

Tommy, my husband, is so kind to humor me in  my passion for creating. He patiently looks at my latest projects and tells me his favorites or comments on the bright colors or the humorous vintage photographs. He also carries, loads and unloads for me without a single complaint. Last Friday he helped me move a new shelf into a vacant spot in my little shop booth after a display piece sold.

Tommy, My Helpmate

Tommy, My Helpmate

After moving the heavy pieces around for me, he left me alone to sort and play. He knows I can concentrate and enjoy much more if I don’t have any distractions. He doesn’t even warn me of the time or that we need to be somewhere. He’s a kind man. When he returns, after I’m finished, he says it looks great and takes my picture.

Ta-Da. It's finished!

Ta-Da. It’s finished!

What do you think? Sometimes I like something I’ve made so much that I shop in my own booth for a gift. Silly me.

Come See It!

Come See It!

My thanks to you, dear friends, who support my creative spirit with your compliments, your purchases, and your interest. May your creative juices flow. Love and hugs, 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

A Challenge For You

March 20, 2012

Last week my son, his wife and children were here from the Dallas area for a great visit. My daughter-in-law and granddaughter had been introduced to Pinterest by my daughter last Christmas and encouraged me to sign-up. I had heard about Pinterest from several people, but wasn’t convinced I needed another distraction.

Todd and family

Todd with Julie, Tyler, and Madison

Silly me, I did need this distraction because it is so much fun, plus I’ve learned so much and seen beautiful pictures of things I love. Also, I’ve  tapped into sites of friends and acquaintances. The most wonderful thing I found on my search is my former editor’s board which had a link to a blog FULL of vintage lace. Oh, my, my, my, my, my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. This link led to other sites with vintage lace. I shouted, “There are people out there who love vintage lace as much as I do!” I have one closet in our home which is devoted almost exclusively to lace.

Closet

Closet Designated for Lace and Trims

Yes, I know you are saying that is way too neat and organized. I have been collecting vintage lace for 30 years. It would take over our house, if I didn’t organize it. But I cannot tell a lie. This is what my studio looks like right now when I start pulling out those boxes. I love to surround myself with all things that may possibly need inclusion in the project of the moment. I will eventually pick-up everything and put it in its place again so I can pull-out the next boxes of important sewing stuff.

Studio

Studio During Creative Stage

After looking at the vintage laces on Pinterest,  I knew that I had to blog about my collection and my love for vintage lace and vintage linens. About this same time, the manager of the Texas Quilt Museum asked me to make some pillows for the Museum Store using vintage lace. She did not need to ask me twice. I had been making collage greeting cards for the Store, and I could sew on those every day of my life and never tire of making them.  Making a pillow just added to my excitement.

A few days later I had my weekly call with  Art Coach, Lesley Riley, and she had a fun suggestion for me to do for my blog readers. It’s an on-line challenge! I hope you will join in the fun. Starting today, while the supplies last, you can sign up for my challenge to make an item using a packet of vintage lace I will send to you for $5.00. I promise you that what you receive will be well worth its cost. Each packet will be different, but will  include an assortment of four different pieces of vintage lace. Your challenge is to make something using the majority of the lace you receive from me. How you use the lace is up to you.

Here are pictures of several things I have made recently using vintage lace. You can also see more items in my etsy shop. If you don’t have an idea of what you would like to make, maybe these projects will trigger an idea for you.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Quilt Card

Journal Cover

Journal Cover

Pillow

Special Order Pillow

Pillow

Special Order Pillow

Postcard

Postcard

Postcard

Postcard

Bits and Pieces of Lace

Bits and Pieces of Lace Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Wedding Pillow

Are you willing and able now? Here are the particulars.

  • Send $5.00 to me at 3815 Oakland Circle, Missouri City, TX 77459 by April 17. I will send your laces immediately to you. Be sure to include your address. If you would like, you can pay by paypal to your paypal ID.
  • Email a picture of your finished project to my email address at judym@entouch.net by May 1.
  • Post picture on your blog, if you have one, and link to my blog. I will post listings of all those who have a challenge photo on their blog.
  • There are no restrictions to what you make, how you make it, or what you do with the lace. It does, however, need to be recognizable.
  • There are two independent judges who are willing to choose the #1 entree.
  • I will post the winner, along with other entree photos on my blog, on May 4. The winner will receive this 4″ X 8 ” by 3″ high vintage sewing drawer full of vintage lace.
    laces

    Laces from Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Laces in Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer

    Sewing Drawer for Winner

I really hope you will join me. It will be so much fun. I can’t wait to see how you incorporate what I send to you into something wonderful.

In closing, here I am happy for another reason. Our son from LA was here for a day and night this past week. He’s our artist/musician whom we don’t see often enough.

Troy

Troy

Now you have seen all of my family. They make my heart sing as do you. Happy Creating to you, Judy


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