Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Other Life

I am a person who is never satisfied doing one thing only.  As a college student, I sang in an opera chorus and did some community theatre in my spare time.  As a teacher, I nannied, did a little community theatre, worked as a dresser/nanny at the Lyric Opera, and worked on the musicals at the high school I taught at.  As a pattern designer, I am still helping out with the musicals at the Willows, 15 years after I started teaching there.  I LOVE it!  But, it makes me busy and sometimes keeps me away from my other obligations.  These days, that means that I do not get to sew as much as I need or want to.

This year's production was Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella.  It's always a challenge to do a full scale musical at an all-girls school.  We have to hire out a prince, and many of the girls play male roles and well as female.  Luckily, in the 'Cinderella days', the men probably wore low pony tails, so no one had to cut their lovely locks.

Of course I am constantly looking for links to quilting in every aspect of my life.  During this show, I was able to help with not only the students and their rehearsals, but also the set and the costumes (See the stone wall in the photo above and the pumpkin carriage in the photo below).

It really is a fun change from my normal day.  When else would I go to JoAnn Fabrics and buy 50 yards of orange tulle?  I mean, who even knew they sold orange tulle??  And in multiple shades of orange?!  And when else can I go to Home Depot and purchase spray paint in every shade of beige, brown, cream and gray that they have with no questions asked?  (Either I don't look like a graffiti artist or graffiti artists don't favor the "neutral-castle wall" color palette)

The bottom line is, I got to help out with the musical AND talk a little about color and design as well.  And the best part?  Maggie got to tag along almost every day.  Working at home has been the best gift ever because I get to spend every day with her!  Here she is with the Fairy Godmother--one of her favorites.  She can't wait until she can be in the play...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the work continues on the basement.  It got a whole lot better looking...and got a whole lot worse.

But the fine details are now being taken care of and we are on the home stretch--or so they tell me.  I have happily taken over the ENTIRE house at this point with my fabric and now that the play is over, the days find me furiously sewing at the dining room table or cutting at the kitchen island.  But, more on that later!  It's late and I have to rest up for a big day of sewing tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quilt Camp!

This past weekend, Janine and I had the honor of joining the ladies at Camp Tecumseh's Quilt Camp in Brookston,  Indiana. We were invited to camp at quilt market last May!  At that time, it seemed like so far in the future.  We made all of the arrangements, and put the date on our calendars.  Whenever I schedule things a year in advance I have a hard time believing when the actual date arrives.  But, it always does, and I found myself packing up pajamas and a pin cushion on Thursday evening.

Honestly, I had no idea what expect as we drove down Interstate 65.   We left Chicago behind, and as we drove south the landscape became more and more rural.  As a city girl, I really do love to drive on a highway flanked by cornfields.  When we pulled into camp, the first thing we saw was our name on the welcome sign.  How cool!  We've never had our name in lights before!

From that moment on, we began a weekend of sheer bliss.  We sewed, talked about sewing, ate, sewed some more and met some really wonderful ladies that I hope we have the honor of seeing again.  Here is some of the exciting things they were working on:

Lydia and Caroline started a Gemini with a cool palette.

Judy worked on these applique flowers.  She told me this was her first try at machine applique.  You really couldn't tell--she seemed like a pro!

Cheryl made this cool Mod Quads out of pink, red, black and white fabrics.  Both Janine and I want to make one of these soon!

Jayne made this funky little quilt out of fabric she bought when she arrived at camp.  She made the entire top AND a pillow case while she was there!

Christine started this Around the Block with reproduction fabrics.  Gotta put one of these on my list, too!

Ruth made this top that she calls Wild Child!


And look at these cool blocks Liz made using chopped up police patches and pants from her husband's uniforms!  Super innovative!

I sewed a ton, and was happy as a clam!  However, I was suffering from a severe case of 'head in the clouds' syndrome (yes, this is real...) and I had to rip almost every seam I sewed except on my name tag! In fact, putting my name tag together might have been the most fun I had sewing this weekend.  Beth, who organizes and runs camp, gives everyone new a small piece of fabric with their name embroidered on it.  You have to personalize it and make it your own.  I used a stack of shot cottons that I have been moving around my studio for a couple of years waiting for the right moment to cut into them.

Frankly, I couldn't stand it any longer!  I saw the opportunity to cut and piece these fabrics randomly and couldn't resist.  Here's the result.

 When you leave camp, you file your name tag in a little baggie with your name on it.  That way it will be there when you return.  I like that idea!  It's like insurance that you'll come back.

The weekend went very fast.  Before I knew it, we were packing up and heading home.  I will always have the fondest memories of this camp--my first quilt camp.  I can't wait to go again!