In Honor of 2014, My New Year’s “Word of the Year”

Some people have New Year’s Resolutions, some have anti-resolutions (i.e. “I refuse to diet this year!”)…and some simply find one word they hope will guide them through the next 365 days.

While on my last 2013 run yesterday morning–and realizing as I get older I’m not as spritely a runner as I used to be–my word came to me.  I thought about how I could best illustrate this word in a blog entry, and one of my very favorite children’s book came to mind. Remember Charlotte, the little arachnid, who, through her love of linguistics and weaving webs, saved a pig’s life?

9780064400558

Channeling my inner Charlotte, here’s my word:

Acceptance

Acceptance is understanding where you are in your life…and you Accept. To me, Acceptance is celebrating your achievements, taking stock of your life, and accepting your disappointments and mistakes along the way. With Acceptance, you don’t capitulate, you Accept, and if necessary, you recalibrate. And you learn to take one step in front of the other with grace and humor.

My New Year’s wish to all is to Accept where you are in your life, to recalibrate if needed, do what you love–and to make sure above all else–to surround yourselves with the people you love. Accept nothing less!

Wishing all a fulfilling, accepting, (and of course a stitch-filled) 2014!

Pokey

Wishing you Happy Holidays!

It’s Christmas Eve, and from one quilter to another, I thought now is as good a time as any to share my five favorite decorating and stress-relieving holiday tricks and tips this holiday season.

5. Embrace quirky.

Fruitcakes welcome

When I decorated my home this season, I wanted to make sure friends and family would know they’d find like-minded company inside.

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4. Be inclusive! Make certain the pets participate in the holiday festivities too.

NellieBad Christmas sweater

This costume was on sale–I’m pretty sure because it was too reminiscent of Thanksgiving with that Pilgrim belt.

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3. Make sure your pets are faced with edible temptation over the holidays–just like you–every single day.

dog wreath

Spray paint and hot glue some dog bones onto a wreath. Then hang the wreath in the dog kennel just out of reach from the dogs so that they look at it longingly all day long. (Wreath credit goes to Marilyn Barrow.)

2. Remember that the holidays can be for the birds, too!

holiday owls

With the owl craze over the last few years, don’t we all have some fabric owls lying around? I strung holiday lights in my wishing owl bird cage and installed a tiny Christmas tree, too. (Owls are by Lynn Krawczyk that appeared in Quilt Scene a few years ago.)

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1. If you are feeling a little blue at times over of the holidays, then my greatest advice to you is…GET THYSELF INTO THY STUDIO and surround yourself with all of your favorite (quilt-y) toys!

Studiox

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Wherever you find yourself over the holiday break, I wish you a peaceful and festive time with friends and family. And, of course, I also hope you can find some time to stitch.

Hugs to all this holiday season,

Pokey

A Happier Holiday for the Homeless Pooches and Kitties of Houston

Guess what got delivered recently?

Quilt money 2013

Left to right: Meredith Wierick, Pokey Bolton, and Salise Shuttlesworth at Friends For Life headquarters

The $40,000 (+) is twice the amount of funds raised from last year’s edition of Quilt Festival’s Pet Project, so if I do my math correctly based on last year’s amounts, it means that the money will approximately:

• Vaccinate 8,000 cats

• Vaccinate 10,500 dogs

• Neuter about 700 tomcats

• Provide heartworm treatment for 100 dogs

• Provide 2000 Project WARM feral cat shelters for distribution to colonies all over Houston.

It will also help dogs who otherwise would have been euthanized like Nemmy to heal and find forever homes…

Friends for Life

From Friends For Life’s Facebook page: Nemmy, the dog who was found with a rope tied around her waist and embedded in her skin, has developed quite the fan base. We appreciate everyone rooting for her and continuing to inquire about her progress. Medically, Nemmy is doing well and her wounds have healed nicely.

 Our volunteers and staff have been working on socialization at the pace she sets. As any dog who had been mistreated at the hand of a human would act, Nemmy is still hesitant of people. In a room set up all for her at the shelter, volunteers have been taking turns reading aloud to her. This helps Nemmy get used to the sound and presence of humans. She is not ready to be touched or petted but we’ve seen her playing with toys, walking around and sniffing humans. The progress is slow but tremendous. As our behaviorist Melissa puts it “the fastest way is the slowest way.” We will continue to help Nemmy at her pace and keep you updated along the way.

Thanks to ALL who made and purchased pet postcards, and for those who additionally donated money! This is truly a revolutionary shelter that will be a model for other shelters around the country. Check out this recent story in the Houston Chronicle about how Friends For Life is a finalist for a District Council of the Urban Land Institute’s 2014 Development of Distinction Award!

Every animal does indeed matter. Thanks everyone…

Introducing Quilt!Knit!Stitch!

As 2013 draws to a close, you may think we are sitting here at Quilts Inc. headquarters tossing back eggnog, resting on our laurels, and playing reindeer games. But alas, we are not. Why?

Because we are not only working on our Quilt Festivals and Quilt Markets next year, but also planning for our brand new show: Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

Q!K!S!_large

Quilt!Knit!Stitch! will be premiering August 14-16, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, and we’re planning for an exciting and dynamic celebration of our collective love for all things related to textiles and fiber.

A sneak peek of some of the highlights:

  • Full- and half-day classes, workshops, and lectures taught by highly sought-after teachers in quilting, knitting, crochet, and sewing.
  • Open Studios™, where over the duration of the show, more than 40 fiber artists in mock studio spaces located on the show floor will be demonstrating quilting, knitting, crochet, and sewing techniques.
  •  Make It University™, where attendees can sign up on the show floor to take hour-long workshops from their favorite designers, authors, and teachers.
  • A daily Fashion Show called “Street Style” celebrating the latest trends in inspiring knitted, crochet, and fiber wear.
  • A fiber garden installation called the “Community Garden” that will grow daily as attendees make and plant floral-themed pieces. (More on that in an upcoming blog post.)
  • “Scrappy Hour, an after-hour reception with cocktails, food, and some pretty desirous fiber loot.
  • Numerous exhibits featuring outstanding works in quilting, knitting, embroidery, stitch, and crochet.

A lot more information will be forthcoming in the new year, but in the meantime, save the date!

 

Giving Thanks

It’s late afternoon on Tuesday, the eve of the eve of Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday all year.

I am yearning to take a few days off, gorge on turkey and all the fixings (or as they say here in Houston, the fixins’) and vedge out for a few days. I have no plans except spend some quiet time at home, continue moving my studio upstairs, and haul out the holiday decorations. (And hey, if I can swing a ticket to the New England Patriots-Texans game on Sunday…all the sweeter!)

Emily

Thankfully today I had a little visitor come to my office for a short while. Her name is Emily, and she is my coworker Rose Reyes’ six-year-old granddaughter. Emily wanted to join me for “arts and crafts” and although I had stored all of my Open Studios supplies for the year, I was able to quickly find some Great Art Finds in the form of googly eyes, neon pompoms, and a glue stick. She pulled my blue velvet chair up to my desk, grasped a handful of Sharpies from my pen mug, and put her industrious self to work pretty quickly. Admiring my chalkboard and colorful chalk sticks, she then proclaimed that she first needed to create a “Thanksgiving mural” before she could add a “pompom googly-eyed turkey.”

google-eyed turkey

It was a great visit, and one that reminded me how fantastic this time of year is.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope yours is lovely,

Pokey

My Bright (Studio) Idea This Past Weekend

Since I am still recovering and regaining my strength from the fall shows, I was a totally home body this past weekend and I loved it.

I unpacked my goods and adorned my bar with some of the pet postcards I bought:

Postcards on Wine bar

I unpacked a vintage quilt top I bought at Festival and mulled over what I plan to do with it. (Have any ideas?)

quilt top

And I found a warehouse furniture sale in my neighborhood and bought a vintage hutch from Belgium to put upstairs in my house. Khaleesi gives me the “paws” up on this purchase…

HutchGetting this hutch got me thinking. I have not shared my studio space yet on my blog, because frankly, over the past two years since I moved to Houston,  my studio space just has never gotten to the point where it has worked for me. So I am going to gut the room it’s in currently (and turn said room into a super swank TV den/library), and put  my studio upstairs in a larger area that has more promising lighting. This means I have a PROJECT, and I am very excited to create a new space that will work! It’s not going to be easy, I am going to have to tear down (rather carefully) an enormous custom-built shelving unit for my quilt fabric to then re-mount on a wall upstairs. I will have to move several tables plus a fragile vintage pantry unit upstairs  (but hopefully I can find some brawn to assist). I will have to do a lot of painting, possibly re-wire some lighting to get the lighting where I need it to be for working, and gut a closet/ redo the shelving to turn it into a storage room for equipment and dye supplies.

As soon as this idea came to mind, I knew that my studio space was going to be so, so much better, and I cannot wait to embark on this project.

So that was my weekend. I can’t wait to get cracking on this…

Breaking news! How much money did the 2nd edition of Festival’s Pet Postcard Project raise?

Clarence

My Friends For Life rescue pooch Clarence was just as nervous as I was to hit our goal of $40,000 in our second year of Festival’s Pet Project.

 

I admit…when I set a goal of $40,000 in our second year to raise funds for Festival’s Pet Project where 100% of the proceeds go to Friends For Life, Houston’s only no-kill animal shelter and rescue organization, I was rather anxious (and a little dubious) that we might hit this goal.

 

But thanks to the generosity of quilters from around the world who made more than 1400 fabric postcards, to those who purchased postcards at Quilt Festival, and to those who additionally donated money, in total we raised…

 

 

 

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Are you ready?

 

 

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Are you sitting down?

 

 

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I just want to make sure because…

 

 

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WE RAISED $40,666.18!!!

 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR HELPING US GET TO THIS AMOUNT!

 

Thanks to your support, animals who wouldn’t have had a chance at life, will. They will be spayed/neutered, medically attended, cared for in foster situations, and find forever homes.

 

We will break down these numbers and give more information shortly of where exactly this money will go, but I just had to share this really fantastic news!

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

Clarence Nellie

With Gratitude: Book Giveaway for Pet Postcards Donated!

Update:

Winners for these books are:

Pauline Salzman

Debbie Williams

Laurie Russman

Please email me your address and you will each get one of these books!

 

Quilt Market and Quilt Festival are now over, and yes, I had every intention of blogging during the shows, but I was constantly on the go, running all over that massive George R. Brown convention center the entire time, and when not on my feet…I simply crashed.

We will have the final numbers for the Pet Postcard Project early next week, but in the mean time, I want to express my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who sent them in! At the last tally, we received more than 1200 postcards, but that was before so many people dropped off postcards at the show, too.  I can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time to create them and everyone who made a monetary donation!

In thanks, I thought to host a book giveaway, and give away three books to three different recipients.

100 Modern

PatchworkPlease

Inspired

I am giving away these books to three people who either created and sent in a postcard, made a donation, or purchased one (or more). If you did one or more of the above (and yes, this is on the honor system), then answer the following question and I will pick three winners on Monday.

Question:  We are now officially entering the holiday season, and Thanksgiving (my very favorite holiday) is just three weeks away! So what are you thankful for?

Me: I am thankful for my family, including my quilting family. That includes my coworkers (past and present), as well as all of the quilters who have been a part of my life over the years.

You?

Quilt Market Just Opened! 3 Things That Caught My Eye So Far…

Quilt Market just opened a few hours ago, and by the looks of my view of the show floor, things are busy!

show floor

PIcture of the show floor just after the doors opened.

I took a quick walk earlier on the exhibitor side and thought to note three fun things to check out for those who are here at Market:

 

1. AccuQuilt (Booth #844) has some new die cuts out that the hexie lovers and modern quilters of the world will want to check out: new English paper piecing hexagon die cuts, including ones for teeny tiny 1/2″ hexies. They also have die-cuts for  clamshell quilts:

Accuquilt die cuts

 

Here’s a clamshell quilt top in progress made with the die cuts:

Clamshell quilt

 

2. Also make sure to go play putt putt in the Aurifil booth (#944). I am serious…you can really play for thread and the stakes are high!

put put

 

3. And lastly, BERNINA has some pretty exciting news: they are debuting their very first long arm machine!

Bernina

You can go check it out at the BERNINA booth, #1144.

More soon!

In Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a Pink Fabric Giveaway!

UPDATE! Congratulations to Julia Hyll! Please email me at pokeybATquilts.com to send you the pink fabrics! Thanks for answering, everybody!

 

When October came around, I noticed in my health club’s women’s locker room they hung laminated fliers from the shower heads with diagrams for conducting a breast self exam. I thought to myself that was a good reminder ‘cuz I sure hadn’t done one in a while. However, I am good about getting my yearly mammograms, and I hope all of you are too!

In honor of all of you who have had to battle breast cancer, and in honor of our loved ones who have lost theirs, I thought I would do a small something and conduct a pink fabric giveaway. All you have to do is answer the following question and I’ll randomly select a winner later in the week.

Pink Fabrics2

Question: In addition to conducting your monthly exams and getting your yearly mammograms (if you are of the age), what is a healthy habit you have recently adopted?

Mine is pretty basic: I’ve cut down my caffeine intake to (at most) two cups of coffee each morning, and I drink a lot more water during the day.  You?

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