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This and That in My Quilty World Part ONE

Most of my blogs report on something involving my sewing room — finishing UFO’s, a tour of my studio, sharing my favorite tools. However, I don’t spend all of my time in the sewing room - although it probably seems like I do! There are some quilty and non-quilty things that I like to do when I’m not in that room.

In September I attended the fall meeting of the Midwest Machine Quilters. It was held in Fremont at Country Traditions - one of my favorite quilt shops! I have enjoyed these meetings because it is a chance to connect with other long-arm quilters and learn new ideas. Often they will bring in nationally known speakers for the day. For this meeting, however, the western president of the group gave the morning session and Leslie Main, the owner of Country Traditions, gave the afternoon session. The morning session was all about doodling - something I did quite a lot of before I got my long arm. I still draw new designs before trying them out on fabric but should probably spend even more time doodling just for fun. The afternoon session was all about pantographs - a technique that I often use with my long arm. All in all I was a little disappointed in the day as I didn’t leave with quite as much inspiration as I usually do.

September also brought the start of the new year for the Panama Quilt Guild. During the past three years of my membership in this group I have enjoyed participating in their annual project/challenge. The first year I belonged we created cancer blocks which were sewn into a quilt and donated to a Nebraska cancer clinic. Last year each member made a twin size scrappy quilt that was donated to Fresh Start. This year our challenge is to complete a UFO that has been sitting around for several years. Since I have been working diligently this year on completing my UFO’s I did not have a lot of projects from which to choose but ultimately decided on the English Paper-Piecing quilt that I have been working on for four years. I’m hoping that this will give me the motivation that I need to finally finish this project.

I find it interesting that several of my favorite quilting podcasters also like to read and often report on their favorite books. I look for books when we go to garage sales in the summer and I get a lot of great titles from my Dad who is a prolific reader. Lately I have read four books that I can highly recommend. The first is a book by Jeffrey Archer called “As The Crow Flies”. It is a long book but reads quickly because there are several unexpected twists and turns as it follows an English family as they navigate the business world. Another book that I have recently enjoyed was “Beartown” by Fredrick Backman who also authored “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry”. This book chronicles the lives of the citizens in a small town where everything revolves around hockey. There are some disturbing parts of this book but the characters and subject are easily identifiable. I also read “The President Is Missing” by James Patterson and Bill Clinton, an easy read with a subject that is probably closer to the truth than we would like to believe. I also read “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, a story about two families who are brought together by their children. The relationships that develop between the characters and a sense of mystery make this an interesting read.

Look for Part Two of this blog in January as I haven’t even begun to tell you everything that has been happening. And it looks like Part Three may be in my future as well!! Until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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