Monday, July 2, 2012

Sue Continues To Focus On Wine

Another hot Monday Night somewhere Northeast of Billings MT and the Monday Night Quilters gather for some good food and spirits, oh, and quilt talk!

Carol can't make it, had to go to Hawaii for a couple weeks, (is this a trend?).  She was in a panic before she left because she didn't have the last instructions for the mystery quilt borders before she left, must have run out of packing and needed a "finish a quilt" fix.

Not sure what happened to Joyce though, no word, just couldn't make it we guess.  She probably had some other commitment, more important than Monday Night Quilting, although we're not sure how that could be.

But Sara made it, she was running a bit late because she had to get done with work and then go feed and water the animals before she could relax.  Betty brought her hand work instead of her machine.  She has a little featherweight for traveling, but struggles with changing machines on a project right in the middle of the quilt, should she get over it?
Wine this, wine that, should she just cork it?  LOL!

Sue continues to focus on wine fabric, oh, and the wine.  She pulls out her fabric find from her last trip to Washington State, and it looks like she's matched up additions to her wine collection with her new fabric.  If she starts booking flight to Italy, her quilt buddies are really gonna be jealous!

Saint Merlot

We really should tell you how this whole wine and quilt story got started for Sue.  Sue went over to Betty's house for Monday Night Quilting a year or so ago and brought with her some ready cut strips she was going to sew together to make a log cabin quilt for her guest room.  She laid out the fabrics on Betty's dinning room table and promptly went to the kitchen to fill her wine glass with a glorious red.  With the wine glass on the table, Sue puts her sewing machine on the same table and proceeds to hook up the electrical cord and foot peddle. 

Unfortunately, as she's talking and prepping her work area, she forgets about the wine glass and tangles the cords around the glass.  You guessed it, wine on the fabric strips!!!  Shocked and sad (the wine had spilled) Betty gathers up the fabric and fills the kitchen sink with really cold water and gives the strips a plunge.  Then the task of laying out the fabric on dry towels reveals an interesting color visual, the wine kinda matches some of the fabric!  Not to worry, the quilt takes on the name Saint Merlot!

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Quilt Room Paint Job

"We can meet at Carol's to park my car and ride together to Joyce's home up in the Pine Hills", Betty relays the driving plans for the Monday Night Quilting groupies.  "Carol won't be going, she has a hot date at the Mustang game".  Sue and Sara live just a few miles apart, so they get together and pick up Betty who has left her car at Carol's (it's on the way).

"So Sue, how was Seattle last week?  Did you get to do anything fun?"

"Mostly I was working, but I managed to hit a few fabric stores, one in a little town in the mountains Northeast of Seattle, we kinda got lost driving around, always a good reason to stop at a quilt store, you know, to ask directions.  I'll show you what I picked up when we get to Joyce's, oh, and I stopped by Missoula and picked up a growler of that beer you like, Cold Smoke, nothing like a cold beer on a hot night".

Sara and Betty glance at each other with a questioning stare, they both want to know how Sue can do so much traveling, and shopping.  Usually Sue only buys fabric on sale, but she sure seems to be finding more good deals, and in other States no less.

Joyce lives out in the boonies on a bunch of acres.  Her husband needs a lot of space for his hobbies.  Just to be fair, Joyce has talked her husband into turning their tuck under garage into her quilt room.  It's almost done, and she can't wait to show it off.  The quilters arrive and Joyce ushers them into her kitchen where she's prepared a light meal of tuna sandwiches and snacks.  "What are you doing with the crusts of the bread?" asks Sue (Joyce has cut off the bread crusts from the sandwiches)  "I eat all the parts of the bread, so you don't need to do that for me"

Joyce pulls out 2 bottles of wine from the fridge, but Sue hauls up the growler and says "save the wine for another day, we have dark brewed beer"  The ladies all dish themselves up for the meal, a part of the routine for the Monday Night Quilters.

Downstairs Joyce leads the group to her pride and joy, her newly painted quilt room:  "lime green, it's the new neutral" Joyce smiles!  "I have this quilt I want to hang in here, what do you think?"

The friends hold up the quilt, right behind the main sewing table, looks really good, go ahead, hang that star quilt!

Next thing you know Joyce is pulling out some striking Hawaiian fabrics.  Her Son went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago and he didn't know what to get her from the fabric store, so he just bought a yard of each one he liked.  We all roll our eyes, wondering what you have to do to get your kids to buy you fabric when the go on vacation!  I suppose we can all make some kind of strong hinting remark at the next family dinner table.

Strange to look at the picture and notice how many of the prints actually work with the lime green, weird!

Next thing you know, more fabric is coming outta the closet, next it's the new curtain fabric.  It may take a year or so to get the curtains done (quilts or curtains first, that is a hard question). 

Not a whole lot of sewing got done last Monday Night, but some people were able to brag about their quilt rooms and their quilt fabric.  Sometimes you just have to get support for your next project from your friends.

Next time, we're headed to Sue's house.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Where's Joyce?"

"Oh she's off on another "vacation", I don't know how she gets so much time off from work."  Carol keep pretty good tabs on Joyce, that's what happens when your friend drives by your house every day for years.  "Where's Sara?"

"She's on her way, she's working late again" Betty updates the small Monday Night Quilters group from one of her text messages.

Carol is the hostess tonight and she's laid out a feast of yummy looking chicken salad (she used some of that rotisserie cooked chicken) a light salad, rolls and chips.  The ladies had just had the usual discussion about poundage, you know, the kind of poundage we find right at the waistline.  At middle age, (you will not get any ages outta me) they are constantly fighting to keep their weight in balance.

"I work so hard and lose 5 pounds during the week, and then gain it back over the weekend, it's just crap."

"Carol, maybe you shouldn't weigh yourself everyday, just on Mondays, at least you wouldn't know how far down you went--just save yourself the pain girl!"  Sue makes the practical recommendation. 

Carol and Betty have swapped glances after checking out the necklace around Sue's neck, it looks like Sue has another high-end piece of jewelry, nothing too flashy, but definitely expensive.  Not quite sure where the money came from, she won't even buy any fabric unless it's on sale. 

Sara arrives, tired and worn out after working outside for most of this hot day in May.  She's brought a couple of her quilts to show, but doesn't want pictures taken, she's a little shy like that.  Carol talks her into having a bit of chicken salad, even though Sara is not a big eater, she's a lightweight. 

Carol's granddaughter has started quilting, and she's on her second quilt.  "Pictures please" Carol says, she wants Betty to take a picture of the quilt for the facebook page so she can document her accomplishment.  Betty looks around the house for a good spot to take the pic.

"Ok, right over here, hold that quilt up so I can get a good picture"

"I helped her with the binding" says Carol, "but now when I look, I can't tell which part was done by me, she did such a good job!"  This quilt is a gift, for a very special teacher.  The idea that a young person can grasp the value and sweetness of making a quilt for someone else warms the hearts of the group.

Carol found a sewing machine at a garage sale that was in perfect condition, even though it was old (some of those old machines are now the best).  Her granddaughter had been hanging around the kitchen while the Monday Night Quilters meet for several years, and she occasionally got into the middle of things helping with the ironing, the sorting or the holding of quilts for pictures.  None of the other ladies had kids or grand-kids that seemed to want to sew, at least not yet.  This warm heart'd young lady is a fiber artist in the making, we're sure you'll be seeing a few more pics of her projects.

"Ok Sara, it's time for your pictures" Sue guides Sara from her perch at the dining room table and sends her to the sitting room where the best pictures are taken.

"I don't like the colors in this one, I don't think I'm even going to quilt it".

"Oh good grief Sara, it's lovely, and after all that work to fold this beauty up and put it in the closet would be a crime."  The picture is snapped and looking through the digital image view, the drama of these 12 different blocks really stands out.  Sara did the flying geese around the border, even though some in the group skipped this part on their own projects.  This quilt was one of the group adventures, each picking different fabrics, fun and challenging.

"Ok, let's get to the next one" 

The next is one of the groups Soldier Quilts.  Turns out the Shepherd Montana area is well represented by men and women (our babies) who have become part of the 1% who bravely volunteer to serve our country.  Betty went a little crazy when her Son got orders to Afghanistan and thought making quilts for the local soldiers would be a good idea, and she drug her Monday Night Quilting friends along for the ride (they weren't kicking or screaming).

This quilt is for one of the group's Son who serves in the Air Force fixing planes.  He is currently on his second deployment to an Air Force Base close to the action.

Quilting is part therapy, for those who do the quilting, and for those who benefit from the gift of a quilt.

Stay tuned for more, next week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"If we open up our group to new people, what are we gonna do if we just can't stand the new person?"

"Oh for crying out loud Betty, I'm pretty sure there's something about me that you can't stand, and you show up every Monday Night!"  The gals at the dinning room table snicker, and you just know each one of them, Carol, Sarah, Sue and Betty are thinking about how Joyce never holds anything back, even when she should.

The Monday Night Quilters have been meeting at each others homes for over 10 years now, and once in awhile someone new pops in for a few months, but mostly it's just the same old gang of 5.  They are very project oriented, some more than others. Quilting has been an American pastime for, well, a couple hundred years (ever since there was an America).  And the quilting groups have gathered for these "work" events for just as long.

"Well I want to know, what would be the goal of inviting more people?  How would we invite them?  Do we say 'hey do you want to quilt with us?'  'By the way sometimes we don't actually sew, we eat and drink wine?'"  Sarah knows some women who might fit into the group.  She's mentioned the Monday Night Quilters to a few friends and posts her quilt pictures on her Facebook page; she always gets lots of comments about her work (she has an eye for color).

Sue looks at Sarah and in a haughty tone "we do too quilt, or at least we talk about quilting"

"And we solve at least one or two world problems per week, if only quilters ruled the world!"  Everyone laughs at Carol's joke, quilter's rule, get it?

"All right, what about our next project?  Shall we do that Friendship quilt we've been talking about for years?"

"Betty, if you would just organize the darn thing maybe we can get going.  I'm not gonna go hole hog on a new project till I get my garden going, plus I've got a bunch of company coming."  Carol has a very full plate, not sure how she gets everything done.  This summer her house is like a revolving door for her family who come to visit from all over the State of Montana.  We think they come for the cooking!

"Well how 'bout we make a decision on what we're gonna do and then start gathering our materials?"  Sue remembers having this conversation a couple of times over the last 2 years.  Even though the group has quilted projects from the same patterns, they haven't decided on their Friendship blocks.  "You know, we could do something like block of the month.  Everyone pick a block they like, and then once a month we all work on that block from our own stash.  Just see what happens.  Bring the blocks to the first meeting of the month and see what we get."

"And if you don't get your block done there needs to be some kind of consequence" says Betty, "something really traumatic, like you have to do all the ironing". 

"Ok" Joyce chimes in, "let's put some numbers in a hat next meeting and who ever draws number 1 gets to have their blocks done first".

Stay tuned for the next Monday Night Quilters episode.