Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...back in the saddle again...(with apologies to all of you REAL Cowgirls out there!)

It's so exciting to be a Bloggeress again! THANK YOU, one and all, for waiting for this next entry so patiently. I'm determined not to let three months pass by again between our happy conversations, but lemme tell ya, these ol' brains have been smokin'! If I could make a truthful excuse and even blame just one Wonderful Person for such a lengthy lag, it would be Miss Valerie Bothell. Yes! It was her mind-blowing Victorian Fancyworks Retreat that made me spend the last two months, almost to the day, working on the "Mommy's Ties" Fancy FAN Blocks WORKBOOK (in order to have it ready for Saturday's class). Having lost almost all traces of my ability to "multi-task" in a coherent way, I knew I had to put away just about all other important things if I hoped to finish the 50-pager on time. Well, lo and behold, with more help from dear Lynn and Charlie and young son, Pete, the Workbook is a done deal and was debuted at the Retreat on Saturday morning. The ladies bought 23 of the 25 copies that we made, without even previewing the pages!, even tho' somehow two pages of the master copy got lost in space and time and thus didn't get printed. So in just a little while I must send the new owners of the book their last pages -- oh, and maybe a last few corrections or better-phrased descriptions of things. We'll see how well the dear ol' brains are behaving.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *

What can I say about the Retreat in Wichita? In the first place, it was much, much too short. It needed to be at least a week long. I really feel that we were under a special Blessing from Heaven. Almost everything went better than smoothly, from the time we entered the host hotel (which served a full breakfast every morning and which was surrounded by an 18-hole golf course!) 'til we went to classes and learned all of our new things, I gave the experience ten stars out of ten. Of course, hotel management could have been more understanding on the nite the ladies frolicked a little too boisterously. THEY must not have been used to concentrated joy in their common area. Still, the classrooms were so large and beautifully lit, and the shopping was wonderful, and Miss Betty and Miss Judith were very happy that they said "yes" to Valerie's early request to come to a first-time-ever event. That's a hard decision to make, you know, as it is for prospective students, when there's no track record to enable anyone to gain positive information about a conference or other gathering. Having ladies come from all over the country -- from Oregon to Georgia and Tennessee -- as well as locally/regionally is such a super thing, and I will never forget the gorgeous crazyworked items that the participants brought with them. So much talent came to Kansas! I really hope Miss Valerie will host another three-day-or-longer event in 2009, and I hope, hope, hope that I can come "play" with Miss Thelma and Miss Lonna and Miss Ginger and the extraordinary Lake Jackson Crazy Bee ladies, among the other amazing stitchers who shared our time together.

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *

Today's quilt portrait is offered in keeping with my promise earlier: to show you one of my very favorite old crazyquilts in the whole world. Please click on the Tamar North Mourning Quilt to enlarge the picture and see the quilt's overall structure and the perfection of the its coloring and decorative details. Can you spare the time it would take to apply the "profiling" proto-cols that I discussed to the quilt? When I first saw this, it was on a postcard from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I fell so hard for it that I took it to a commercial photocopier and had it blown up to fit an 11-by17-inch sheet of paper; then I laminated it and began my studies. This was the first crazy-quilt I'd ever seen with so much organization, not to mention being the first one with this particular palette -- a color combination that turned out to be very traditional to the times.


JoWynn Johns said...

Welcome back! A fabulous quilt, indeed. Amazing! I can see how one could spend hours and hours studying its details and reveling in the overall effect. Thanks for showing it.

Betty said...

Hello Miss Carole. Yes, the Wichita Retreat was great fun. What a fabulous bunch of women. This antique quilt is lovely! I can tell by the drool puddles on my keyboard...

LouAnne said...

I simply LOVE the way the maker used the plaid to border this crazy and then did motifs in each blank space. What a great idea!

Thelma said...

What a beautiful quilt Miss Carole. I had such an awesome time at the retreat. I would love that you would get to play with us too..that would be so fun!!

Barbara said...

As one of the Lake Jackson ladies I must say a heartfelt "thank you" for your wonderful comments about our group and the work we do. We are avid crazy quilters and have a passion for our art form.

We are still talking about the three days we spent in your class and all we learned from "the master" of beautiful stitches.

You must check my blog for pictures of you and my fan block. I haven't started the embellishments but I'm anxious to complete the block.

In several days I'll post some pictures of our little template boxes. What a great way to carry your wonderful templates.

Miss you!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Very, very glad to have you back here, Miss Carole!
And thank you for showing us this most stupendous quilt...

Candi said...

Sounds like you guys had the time of your life at the retreat! I know how happy Thelma was to get to be there with you.

gocrazywithme said...

Carole, I had never seen so much as a picture of this quilt until you mentioned it in a previous post and I googled it. It is the ultimate antique CQ, in my opinion; full of beautiful images and equally full of emotion.

It's my fondest wish to attend a retreat someday and meet you, the other teachers, and other CQers in person.

Susan said...

What a beautiful quilt. I love the center of each block and only wish I could see them up close and personally!

So where and when do the rest of us get to purchase this workbook? =)