My Family- and Quilting-Filled Memorial Day Weekend Recap (And Free Fabric Giveaway!)

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend!

I partook in my 21st B.F.R (Bolton Family Reunion). Since the Boltons took pity on me in 1991 when I was  a junior at Boston College from San Francisco stranded in Boston over Thanksgiving (which happened to also be the time of their BFR), I have been fortunate to attend every BFR since. This is a very, very special family…

A family that indulges in celebrations, including Memorial Day.

A very patriotic bunch…

Each year the BFR is held in a scenic New England locale, this time in the Sunday River region of Maine. It was so gorgeous. I miss mountains as part of my daily landscape, so I just really enjoyed the beauty of Maine.

And covered bridges, too…

On the big day of the BFR lobster celebration, most of the men can be found sporting BFR collared shirts (every year the shirt color changes) manning the steamer and lobster pots.

The first course is a tasty steamer repast. This year we enjoyed wine with my in-laws on the label.

I have always tried to find a way to bring in quilting/ crafting to the BFR. In 2010 I poured almost my entire studio onto my backseat of my car so I could introduce my nieces and nephews to quilting…

And I got them going on my Bernina!

This year, however, coming from Houston with only carry-on luggage, I couldn’t bring anything to stitch or craft with the kids. But the first day I was itching to do something so I went to the nearest quilt store in Newry, Maine, which was a bed and breakfast that had a quilt store in the backroom. The clerk told me that the owner was out of town and she seemed  a little stressed I wanted to go back there. She asked, “Um, do you know what you may want?” And I responded that I’m sure I could find my way around and get something.

And look what I found!

Polka-dot fabrics!

As well as the Clover yo-yo tool! I had been curious about this tool (which proved very easy to use), so I thought it would be a great weekend activity: to make polka-dot yo-yos. I am not a huge fan of yo-yos, but polka-dot yo-yos are a different matter all together!

Imagine my surprise and glee when I learned my fabrics matched the women’s BFR shirts. I wish I had made yo-yo necklaces in advance!

All in all a good time. Lots of family down time with some stitching thrown in.

Johnny, my godson, posing with me.

I hope you enjoyed a fantastic weekend. In honor of Memorial Day, I thought it would be timely to give away some more fabric from Sample Spree from this past Spring Quilt Market. I was very delighted with this new line of “Bella” fabrics distributed with Windham.I will be honest; I want to keep this fabric because it is so whimsical and fun, and I have a hundred ideas for it in a quilt. However, I know it will go to a good home if I give it away.

All you have to do is answer the following question and I will pick a winner randomly on Thursday.

Question: Did you incorporate any quilting in your Memorial Day weekend? If you didn’t have time, it’s ok. Be honest and tell us what you did!

I have read through all of the responses from my last question about studio space and will post something about those later along with some pictures of my new studio. In the meantime, congratulations to Becky Greene! You were randomly selected to win the Riley Blake jelly roll. Please email me your mailing address to pokeyb@quilts.com.

Take a Peek Into My Quilt-y Office (…And Announcing This Week’s Fabric Winner!)

I’ve received a number of emails from people wondering what my new digs at Quilts, Inc., look like so I thought to blog about how I decorated my space.

I wanted to create an office that was welcoming, creative, and clean (not cluttered!), so comfy chairs were on my list of wants. I found a pair of vintage chairs quilted in blue velvet at an antique store, but I didn’t care for the color of the arms and legs, so I painted them black.

I also got an off-white desk at a hotel consignment warehouse, but since I’m so picky about color, over the holidays I painted it charcoal gray:

Green plants also keep a place cheery, so I bought plenty of them. Surprisingly, I haven’t killed any yet!

I made a patchwork bulletin board a while ago, which I mounted onto foamcore, then framed. I like to work three months out, so I always have three calendars up. Now that I’m looking at it, I realize the International Quilt Festival/Cincinnati is only three weeks away! Yay!

Patchwork bulletin board with my calendars. Quilt by Bonnie Ouellette who knows I have a slight obsession with The Sopranos.

Mixed-media assemblages with whimsy keep me smiling:

Assemblage with found objects made by Patricia Chapman of Boulder, CO.

As does handmade art. A few years ago artist Debbi Crane made a box for me with my initial on it and gave me a bunch of mini-handmade books inside…

Box made and given to me by artist Debbi Crane.

So I thought to repurpose it to store my business cards.

Right behind me, I keep some things that have meaning to me…like the picture of my godson, art by Lesley Riley, Beryl Taylor, and Kelli Perkins, and my “That was easy!” and “Insult” buttons. (Fortunately no one has made me mad yet, so I have not had to push the insult button.)

And the one item I love to gaze at throughout the day, what makes me smile most, would be the quilt my former Interweave colleagues made for me as a going away present. It is a reminder of what an amazing crew they are, and what they will always mean to me.

And I needed something to make me laugh, too, so I got a magnetic chalkboard that I have hung right by my door so I can leave important, time-sensitive messages for all my coworkers:

And Announcing The Fabric Winner!

First things first! Congratulations to Mary Brown! You are the winner of this week’s Maudlin-Free Monday fabric giveaway! Mary, please email me at pokeyb@quilts.com with your shipping address, and I will have the fabrics sent to you next week.

Fabric Winner Announced & I Need Studio Suggestions…

As promised, today, on this eve of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m giving away some of my Marcia Derse fabric from my 1st Maudlin-Free Monday Giveaway.

In my very first blog post I asked you:  What makes you happy when you create? More than 100 of you responded, and I agreed with all of your sentiments.

Some highlighted responses:

“Creative time? It takes a bit of self-cajoling – but once I actually begin the ‘making’ process – whether it is cutting into the fabric, applying the paint, moving things around on the design wall…. it feels so good to be IN the creative process. I have no idea why it is so hard to make myself get there.”— Lyric Montgomery Kinard

“My happiest moments are when I stop ‘creating,’ take a couple of steps back and look at my work from a distance and think: ‘I made this!”— Laura Gamaleri

“I will say that I am happiest when I have my sewing room looking like a tornado hit with my stash surrounding me – that inspires me, and I am happiest when I am in contact with my hands wrists deep in fabric!”— Nancy Chaddick

“What I enjoy most? The fact that when I create (like a York Peppermint Patty) a blast of clean air whips through my brain and leaves it empty. Nothing wrong with that!”— Melanie Testa

Thanks a lot, Melly, now I’m hungering for a York Peppermint Patty.

1st Fabric Winner

Congratulations to Dixie McIntyre ! You are the winner! Please email your shipping address to me at pokeyb@quilts.com and I’ll get your fabrics out to you faster than you can say “I LIVE and  BREATHE quilting!”

Taking Studio Suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, I am going to put on my favorite Capercaillie CD and do what I’ve been dreading. I am going to finish unpacking my studio, but I am afraid I am going to need the luck of the Irish to get this sorted:

If you have suggestions for me, I’m listening…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,008 other followers