Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Swimming Is My Thing..right

I have always enjoyed swimming.  As a young girl my mom would use the town swimming pool as a babysitter of sorts. We'd sell empty pop bottles at the grocery store and I’d spend all day there, showing up famished for dinner.  Because, nothing burns calories better or makes me more hungry than swimming.  
Here are some things that make this exercise worth while for me.

It's about the swim suit, first and foremost.  I like a racing suit, it criss crosses across your back. I don't want to be in the zone and listening to my jams and having to watch my strap slide off my shoulders.  Clean and care of your suit will make it last longer.  After a workout of an hour in the pool, I like to rinse out my suit in fresh water and then run it through a spinning force dryer.

When I was younger I got swimmer's ear a lot.  It's a very painful ear infection, I guess they all are, but, this happened frequently.   As an older swimmer, I learned to use earplugs.  I like these jelly type.  You can get them at the pharmacy in Walmart for about 3.00.  I also like these Finis Swimp3 headphones.  They sit along the bones near the ear.  It's a great sound.  I count at least 6 songs before I start to look at my Series 4 Apple Watch.  It count's laps very well.  I also get a kick out of completing that circle in the Activity read out.  

Last but not least at all, is the recovery effort.  I cool down and stretch in the water, legs and arms.  Then I shower, rinse suit and spin dry it.  When I get home, this is the first thing I do, drink a glass or two of chocolate milk.  Back when I was running a lot, this was recommended for a better repair of the muscles.  I don't know if this is true, but, I like it and it does seem to make a difference.  I also take 2 Ibuprophens before I go to bed to help with recovery too.  

So this post is for me.  I just turned 60 years old this year.  When I get in the old folks home and decide I'd like to swim again, and I've forgotten how I did it, this is to remind me. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My 2 Quilt Worlds...They both have their own jargon.

I belong to 2 quilt groups, one is traditional and the other is modern.  They are represented on this wall.  Traditional hand applique using a warm pallet on the left and my modern, japanese and other fabrics on the right.  

PUP is the acronym for Poor Unfinished Project on the left.
QAL is the acronym for Quilt A Long on the right.  This is an internet supported, for lack of a better word, Quilt A Long, using the hashtag:  #2019gypsywifeqal

My PUP is due on the February 12th meeting of the Collinsville, Ok, Patchworkers.  The pattern is The Raven, by Blackbird designs.  I use the "Quilt in a Day" method of applique.  This group is an older group of ladies with little interest in the internet support for their projects.  

My QAL is with the Tulsa Modern Quilt Guild.  The pattern is the Gypsy Wife, by Jen Kingwell.  This pattern is not for the faint of quilting heart.  It runs for several months. 

For both of these patterns, I can use my stash up, which is what I need to do.  I really enjoy using what I've purchased, especially if I can see some old quilts I've made in the scraps.  It's like visiting old friends.  

Friday, April 6, 2018

One of my quilting bucket list items can now be check off!

We lived in Kentucky for 20 years.  Out of those 20 years I probably attended the Paducah Quilt show, at least 10 or more of those years.  The first stop was the Bob Cherry Convention Center, where at the back was always on display the Hoffman Challenge.  The Hoffman fabric company makes some very nice quilter's cotton.  For the last 30 years, the company has been choosing a fabric to challenge people to make quilts using it.  This year I entered the competition and was accepted to travel the country.  I didn't win anything, the competition was fierce and those that won definitely should have.   
 Even though it was pretty wrinkled I still got a kick seeing it in person.  The lovely ladies from the quilt guild that had the foresight to snag one of the trunks of the Hoffman Challenge thought it kind on cool that I drove 2.5 hours to their quilt show to see my quilt.  Little did they 
   One minor thing is I sure would have hated it if my quilt had been draped over a rocking chair.  I guess space was limited, for the mini show within their show in Cassville, Mo.  The quilts were judged and displayed by the Ozark Country Quilters.   

Monday, January 15, 2018

Intarsia-the method I use for making a horse quilt.

I've made this same pattern, perhaps a dozen times.  It never gets old for me.  I really enjoy giving the horses life and movement.  Art is all about creating something that was never there before.  Creating is therapy and maybe a god complex of sorts.  We can't control things in our lives, but we can put fabric together and create things just the way we like them to be.  

I saw a new term at the the American Folk Art Museum in NYC.  I think it perfectly describes the method for making these quilts.  I took this photo of the description of the process.
Intarsia-is a method of butting fabrics up to each other to create something.  

When I make my horse quilts with the intarsia method, I butt the fabric next to each other and use a blanket stitch to carefully attach the pieces together.  The horse quilt above uses wool, cotton, and silks in the piece.  

It is going to be auctioned at a benefit for the Broken Arrow Baseball team.  In Kentucky, I donated a couple to the Mom's Closet for a benefit which was sold during the Kentucky Derby festivities.  #quiltersdoinggood

Friday, July 28, 2017

Mystery Quilt Obstacle Course! Are you Quilter enough????

In the wee small hours of the morning, the course is set.  Back and forth the quilter traverses, bin after exciting bin of holy stash fabric, that's rarely touched or has seen the light of day.  Like the treasure of the Sierra Madra dancing miner she bops and weaves and sings her maddening song as she tries to decide the fate of the fabric.  Oh worra, worra, worra, will this be a great quilt or a drag around quilt?  Attacking the first hurdle of the Mystery Quilt obstacle course, she must choose a Sofi's Choice: A, B, C, D, E and F of tiny 2 inch pieces of fabric attached to boxes that will determine the fate of her beloved fabric that she has, like the proverbial squirrel, stored for the WINTER IS HERE!  It's a commitment!!  She's turning it in and throws fabric stash caution to the wind...BWAHAHAHAHAH!

Monday, June 6, 2016

James Bond Quilt

 Quilting can be cute and traditional or edgy and modern, or completely original like this James Bond Quilt.  I made it for my brother, Don Blanchard, Jr.  In the best of worlds, quilting is relaxing and hobby that can be beneficial for your mental well being.  Art is therapy.  That is what I believe.  A pot of tea and a chance to work in my studio is, to me, like Radiohead and butter, oh so good when you need a boost of flavor in your head or your mouth.  Using your hands to create this or any work of art is also some soul food for your mind.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Twenty Years on the Shelf! They Never Go

This is a project I started over 20 years ago.  Thank goodness, fabric does not have an expiration date.  I guess maybe if you are shop owner, you cringe at that statement, as moving out fabric means selling fabric.  But, thankfully for us quilters, who are closet ADD folks, we can always circle back around and pluck it off the shelf and start again, right where we left off!

This is a pattern called Radiance, by Judy Curtis.  The pattern came out in 1985.  I was working at the world"s greatest quilt shop at the time, called Creatively Sew.  It was in Old Town Spring, north of Houston.  This was a wildly successful quilt shop.  When I worked there we sold a lot of material.  Of course, this was before the internet, and Houston has a few million people living there, so that helped.  

I chose the dark blue to be the frame for this wallhanging.  Whatever color you choose, especially for a wallhanging, it pops out the color on the quilt.  I also wanted to emphasize the contrast.  I would be a shame to work on such a difficult piece and not be able to see the design, because you didn't choose a good contrasting material.  


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