Saturday, November 19, 2011

Final Swamp Fox Quilter's Workday 2011 - The Regis Effect

This Thursday my tenure as Workday Chairperson for Swamp Fox Quilters ended. It has been a wonderful year and many members of the guild generously gave of their time, effort and shared materials to teach and demonstrate quilting techniques for the workday. We often had multiple activities going on after our demonstrations. I can't thank them enough because without them Workday would not have been successful. These members included Francis Kelly & Hari Sue Cockfield (together for Marvelous Miters) , Karen Kirkland, (Trapunto ) Graham Baker ( Crochet and Beading Techniques, Rita Studdard ( Fabulous Fractures) Sara Simon ( Strip Quilting) and Rita Tompkins (Origami Flowers, Invisible Applique, Woven Quilt Background, Creative Cloth Doll Making) and Rita Tompkins and Donna Chapman for Little Dresses For Africa. Karen Kirkland said quilters started getting nervous around me because I was asking everyone if they wanted to do a Workday.
Here's Karen doing her demonstrations for workday.
     And lastly to all the members of the guild that generously devoted their time to the charity projects this year: Citizen Sam Quilts, Pillowcases, and other guild projects  you did during Workday this year. Members like Jim Fahey, Shirley Fahey and Francis Kelley who sewed tried just about every technique that was demonstrated.
         The November Swamp Fox Quilter's demonstration was Exploring Machine Trapunto given by Karen Kirkland based on Hari Walner's book. Karen did a wonderful explanation of this facinating technique.
This book is available in the Swamp Fox Library hopefully on the Third Shelf.
You can get a very good used copy of it on

I found a website called Quilting Classes on Demand and there were articles and pictures of Hari Walner quilts, books and courses on it.
Everyone was very interested and took
lots of notes.

These are the basic steps that Karen taught us.
 1. Trace the pattern on the fabric block  using a water soluble pen (Blue Marking Pen).  Karen used white fabric for her award winning quilt Sunshine On My Shoulders.
 2. Pin high loft batting to the back of the fabric block. There is no backing.

3. Sew the design with water soluble thread - available from YLI on the internet.
Lorene Arnette is doing her best imitation of Vanna showing the wash away thread.
4. Cut away the excess batting from the back of the block from where you don't want it to be puffy. The block is two layers, the top fabric and the high loft batting.
The picture is colored blue to make it easier to see.
Trim the excess batting from the edge of the design and inside the petals.

5. Assemble the entire quilt blocks. Build the quilt sandwich, - you can spray baste and use pins.
Regular Back
High loft batting
Top (the trapunto block is two layers - High Loft Batting and top)
6. Quilt the entire top.  You can sew either directly on top of the blue line which has the water soluble thread stitiched in or outside that line. Using stipling will make the trapunto design stand out.
7. Soak or wash your quilted quilt top to dissolve away the water soluble thread and the blue marking pen marks.

Lorene then showed us blocks from comfort quilts she is making for Breast Cancer survivors and friends. The quilt blocks are cut with scissors and the effect is like a rag quilt.

I love Lorene's stories, she always makes us laugh.

Akemi shared the rest of the pictures for this blog. Thank you Akemi for your generosity,
Karen and I then helped another new member Latrelle Fowler learn how to make a pillowcase dress.  Please notice my pointed finger, this is the only time that Karen would have allowed me to tell her what to do. Notice we are both laughing.
We are trying to figure out which way the fish are swimming. Latrelle almost finished her first dress in less then an hour with a little help from her quilting friends.
Martha Herbert taught her how to use a rotary cutter effectively and even shared her eyeglasses as well.
Patsy Williamson one of our newest members brought two dress to share for Little Dresses for Africa. There were so sweet.

The third part of our workshop was working on the pillowcases for the Swamp Fox Quilters' Christmas Project.
Beth Twidell was organizing all of the quilters working on the pillowcases.

This is Daisy's favorite job. She ironed most of the pillowcases as her contribution to the sewing of the pillowcases.
These are some sampling of the pillowcases that the quilters finished.

Happy Holidays and Good Quilting to All.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jekyll Island - Dedicated to Barbary who encouraged me to continue my Bucket List.

I visited Jekyll Island years ago when I was teaching Science. The entire 6th grade stayed there overnight and we attending various programs about the Tidal wetlands and inhabitants. So when my friend Leslie whom I have known for many years ( best friend to my daughter and still is) invited me to come with her and another friend I decided to go. Little did I envision what adventures Leslie was going to take me on and Little did Leslie envision what adventure I was going to take her on.
Leslie recently visited Russia and said that the Russian Tourists take Glamour Poses in front of Buildings, horses, churches etc. So Leslie now takes a glamour pose every time I took her picture. GWY stands for Glamour With You.

The First place that Leslie took me to was The Georgia Sea Turtle Center where they rehabilitate turtles and release them back into the ocean if they can, keep them if they can't or find a new home in a zoo or aquarium. 
First things first in order of importance was visiting the gift shop. They had this cool carving of turtle in a pumpkin because it was Halloween Weekend which we did celebrate. Here is another glamour pose with Leslie showing off her haute couture recycled plastic purse she got for her birthday present which keeps turtles safer (recycled Plastic Purse not birthday present). Turtles get caught in the plastic and suffocate or they eat the plastic thinking they are jellyfish and get very sick.
There was a giant fossil turtle hanging from the ceiling and then we went in.

Leslie is looking at her adopted Turtle Test which is not supposed to be there. You can adopt a turtle and help pay for their rehabilitation. You get twitter and emails concerning the turtle you adopt and can follow their progress with their homing device once they are released for about a year until the battery wears down or the device falls off. Test apparently liked the good life at the center and found his way back after twice being released from pretty far distances. Right now his guardians at the center are re-assessing the situation.

This is Ziva the Acrobatic Turtle. She came with some serious issues concerning the inability to dive and surface successfully ( I believe caused by some kind of injury) So her rehabilitation is to have weights put on her so she could learn how to balance again and surface and dive. You can see the black tape that holds one of her weights. She adores her TPT or Turtle Physical Therapist. She came right over to him and let him change her weights. Who knew that Turtles have personalities. This little turtle could be part of Turtle Cirque Del Soleil. Because of her in-balances, she has learned all kinds of acrobatic maneuvers that would put a dolphin to shame. This little adorable performer is going to Tempe Arizona to a zoo or aquarium there. They are constructing her new home right now and she will be an instant success. 
You can watch a video of Ziva here. Lower the sound the feedback is very loud. Don't worry if you can't understand the Naturalist, she is speaking Turtle Latin.

You can see the medical facility and even observe operations when a turtle is being cared for.
Rita, Judy and Leslie, 3 compatriots waiting outside The Stable for our first adventure of the weekend.  Leslie is very interested in paranormal activities.
Every Friday night in October, you can go on a tour of the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District. You are allowed to take pictures which is not usually allowed. The guides tell stories of the historical characters and ghosts and reported sightings.  We didn't see or hear any ghosts on the tour, but some of our pictures had the orbs in them.

The circles of light are the orbs. I googled orbs and some are dust and some are orbs. They used the stable to make a gift shop and even put a public bathroom in. You can see the numbers of horse stalls opposite the people stalls.
This is the master Master suite. The bed was tiny
 The master and mistress had separate suites.
I have no idea which houses we went into because I was too busy trying to find a spirit with no luck.
Leslie decided she didn't have enough excitement so off we went for
 an unguided tour of one of the oldest and spirit visited cemeteries on the Island. Guess who went with her into the cemetery.

This is the Du Bignon Burying Ground late late late late at night.
We had no light except for Leslie's cell phone and the flashes of the camera.
Judy stayed in the car and did put the headlights on about 1/4 mile up the road and then decided to let us see what it was like without the car lights. (no comment)
This is the gate to the ceremony. I did open it and then the gate would not close. I told Leslie that we were being invited in and in we went.
The cemetery had several graves and marble slabs with very long inscriptions rather like this blog. After a while I had enough and off we went .
Leslie in another Glamour Pose at the ruins and remains of the Du Bignon Homestead across the street.

Have you ever seen the advertisement on Television for Jamaica where they are riding horses on the beach?  Well welcome to one of the secret desires on my bucket list.
This is my sunset ride on the beach at Jekyll Island
courtesy of Three Oaks Farm Equestrian Services.
It did start off a little shaky  IE.... I had to get up on the horse.
A tad bit nervous..... My Horse's name was Lucky and he was a wonderful horse. He promised to be a gentleman and I promised not to be a nag. 
This is Leslie with Prince her horse in shining armor. Leslie is smiling here because she is off the horse. Needless to say, being on a horse on the beach at dusk was not one of Leslie's bucket list wishes. She did however decide to go thru with it and here is Leslie on her horse.
Our leader was Alex and she was training a horse. Her horse kept refusing to go anywhere and would back up in refusal into my horse. My horse's ears would change direction and I had to back up. Leslie's horse Prince decided that my horse's backside was the most interesting object on the planet. Leslie's horse now became known as Prince, aka Whoa Whoa, OK, Good Boy, Whoa Whoa. Gee haw was never a problem.
This is the sunset off the beach towards the end of the ride. It was spectacular.
Here is a picture of Leslie smiling once again against a beautiful sunset.
She really overcame a lot of fear to accomplish what she did.

The following day we visited a Light house and had lunch on Saint Simon where we visited yet another cemetery.

This one was on Sunday Morning.Judy and Leslie in front of a beautiful marble angel in the oldest part of the cemetery.

And finally one last item on my bucket list.
I wanted to hold another baby grandchild and that wish was granted as well.

Whats on your bucket list?