Spring has Sprung!
Spring officially begins tomorrow, March 20, and the bulbs in my front yard decided to make an appearance to help celebrate its arrival. Almost all of the snow has melted in Henniker; we've had several consecutive days of sunshine and blue skies. A little windy, but still... spring is definitely on the way. My friends in Florida and Southern California won't understand it, but seeing 'green' in the yard is a real cause for celebration in snow country in springtime!
It was a tough winter for me physically. Not because of the snow, but because I injured my right knee just days before heading to the Road to California quilt show. I wish I could say my knee injury was due to a daring or exciting event, but, no. I thought it would be a good idea to rearrange ALL of the fabric in my stash and re-organize my fat-quarter rack. Then I thought it was time to put a non-skid mat under the incredibly heavy aforementioned rack. I balanced that monster on my knee, lifting it up to slide the mat underneath it.
Within 24 hours, I was finding it difficult to walk and headed to the emergency room the next day, when my knee wouldn't bear any weight at all. Good grief. After being outfitted with a knee brace (which seemed to be as long as my hobbit-sized leg), I headed to Road to teach seven sold-out classes. Thanks to Matt Reese for putting me in contact with the local medical supply house so I could rent an electric scooter for the week. I only fell off the scooter once. So not too bad, overall. Thankfully, my knee is now back to normal. And I'm back in the studio working on a new project that I hope to be able to share with everyone later this year.
I've discovered some incredible new fabric prints that I couldn't resist acquiring. While teaching at Carolie Hensley's shop, The Cotton Patch, in Lafayette, California, I found Jennifer Sampou's new line of Chalk and Charcoal - deep, rich colors with a dark grid overprint. These are wonderful textural prints from Robert Kaufman fabrics. Here's a link: fatquartershop.com
This week I was browsing through my friend Carly Mul's website, webfabrics.net, and found Kaufman's Atlantia collection. I had been looking for a new emerald green fabric to buy in yardage for collating into the Summer Gardener hummingbird kits for my hand-applique classes. The deep green is gorgeous and PERFECT for the hummingbirds. This line features vibrant colors with a dark overprint of a scalloped 'fish scale' pattern. I suppose you could make a lot of fish and mermaid appliques with it, but it will also work wonderfully for bird feathers and much more. Again, great textural prints. And, yes, I got it in every color.
May in Santa Fe
I am thrilled to be teaching for the Madeline Island School of the Arts at their new venue in New Mexico. MISAWest retreat workshops are held at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza! There is no place quite like Santa Fe, with a vibrant arts community offering museums, galleries, fine art crafters, the open-air Santa Fe Opera House... I could go on and on.
MISA offers more than the typical workshop retreat - the staff goes all out to make sure your time spent at the workshop is complemented with excellent accommodations, delicious dining, and superior classrooms. I can't tell you how excited I am to be there in May -- on my birthday! MISA also allows for small class sizes, so there is plenty of one-on-one time with the instuctor. Registration is now open, and spots are still available. If you want to learn my applique technique, but are not wanting to undertake your own project, I'll be supplying free hummingbird patterns. You supply your own color inspiration. The pattern is basic, but covers all the bases of my layered applique process. This is also an ideal venue for repeat students to finish up their projects from previous retreats with me. Register online at: madelineartschool.com
Spring workshop retreat
There are a few spots available in my spring workshop retreat - also in May - in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. The workshop is held at the Valley Inn and enrollment is limited to 15 students. Register here: Valley Inn.
I'll be on the road again in the coming months. First, I'm headed next week to Watertown, Mass., to present my lecture and workshops to the Quilters Connection. In early April I'm off to Connecticut to teach at "The Bolt" in Monroe, followed by a guild visit to Connecticut Piecemakers in Turnbull.
On April 13, I'll be back in my emcee role at the Fabric and Friends fundraising event for the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado. The event is held at the Arvada Center. Get your tickets now at rmqm.org. It's a fun-filled afternoon with a plated lunch, hundreds of silent auction items and an exciting live auction hosted by yours truly. Don't miss it!
I have classes at Holly's Quilt Cabin in Centennial, since I'll be in Colorado, and a presentation and workshop later that week for the Delectable Mountain Quilters Guild in my old stomping grounds of Steamboat Springs .
I've received disappointing news from the Clover company. They have discontinued my favorite iron - The Wedge! I believe it is the perfect small iron for applique work. I have been selling them in my classrooms for the past year. I placed an order with my supplier and was told the irons were no longer available. I emailed Clover inquiring about this, and received a reply confirming their demise. The Wedge irons are still available in retail stores and on some websites, so get one now before they're gone forever!
My students know how much I love the letter-size, freezer paper sheets from Gypsy Quilter. What is great about them is that they are made from a heavier weight freezer paper. They run beautifully through my inkjet printer. I include freezer paper templates in all of my applique patterns. The Gypsy Quilter brand paper is double thickness of Reynold's on the roll. Earlier this year, a package of Gypsy Quilter I had purchased seemed too thin. It was not the same quality I've come to expect. I emailed the company and they investigated. Sure enough, there was a mix-up at the paper house and the wrong weight was being packaged under the Gypsy Quilter name. The company shipped me replacement packages at no charge! How nice is that? I received a new order this week from my supplier and all is right with the world. Whew!
All the best,