A New Direction


Welcome 2020!

The last time I made an entry in my blog was right before my solo exhibit; I’ll share more about that in the future. 2019 was a year filled with boundless activity. I had the awesome privilege of experiencing several enriching classes. The first was in May taught by Susan Lenz. Then came Lisa Binkley and Kevin Womack at the Columbus, Ohio College of Arts. In August I attended a two day class at Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton; the instructor was Sherri Lynn Wood. September gave me the opportunity to not only learn from Sue Benner but also Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Both of those adventures were at the Woodland Ridge Retreat. My year of learning then drew to a close with Susan Carlson, which was also at the Woodland Ridge Retreat.

All of the classes touched me in ways I won’t soon forget. My exposure to the world of fiber arts was expanded and as a result so too was my enthusiasm. The friendships I made through the interactions with my fellow students will be with me for the rest of my life. I was awed by their amazing talents.

With 2019 behind me it is time to look ahead to this years excursions. Once again l I will return to Woodland Ridge Retreat to learn from Kathy Doughty in April and Sherri Lynn Wood in July. Both classes will stretch me in ways I have yet to experience.

As you may have noticed the title of today’s post is A New Direction. The new direction I am referring to is the decision I made in 2019 regarding the substance of my business. In 2012 I bought a long-arm quilting machine and began using it to provide professional long-arm quilting services to my many loyal customers. Late last year I decided to terminate my long-arm quilting business and utilize my machine for my own purposes. The closing of that door did not mean In A Stitch Quilting would cease to exist, however. Rather than pack everything up and call it quits I decided to focus my attention on selling my art to the public.

My studio has been a flurry of activity preparing, creating and finalizing the items I hope to market. As of now my plans are to offer mainly small works of art (8” x 10”) along with a line of greeting cards. Potentially included will be items from my existing portfolio. I hope to begin offering them sometime in February. The location(s) will be announced when the details have been finalized.

One never knows what tomorrow or even today will bring. Let’s hope my new direction will be a smashing success.

With warm regards,

Solo Art Exhibit


Late in 2018 I received an invitation from Gael, the owner of Blue Bar Quilts in Middleton, Wisconsin, to display my art quilts in a solo exhibit. My response, after overcoming the shock, was absolutely! September of this year was set aside for my event. Yesterday the two of us sorted through, organized and put on display 64 of my art pieces. The experience was exhilarating!

I am overjoyed to proudly announce the official opening of my solo art exhibit titled Transformation. The event will run from September 1, 2019, until September 30, 2019. A reception with refreshments will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Please stop by on the 14th to say hello and share in my excitement. I would love to see you. If you are able to stop by during the exhibit, please don’t forget to sign my guest book and leave a few comments.

Before departing I must say thank you to the individuals that have had an impact on my art. First on my list is Gael from Blue Bar Quilts. Thank you Gael for giving me this awesome opportunity! Your interest in my art has brought me so much joy! Next I would like to extend appreciation to the individuals that have had a profound impact on my journey. They are Rayna Gillman, Lisa Binkley, Judy Coates Perez, Pam Beal, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Susan Carlson, Cindy Grisdela, Heidi Parkes, and Maday Delgado. Your amazing talent has helped me to expand my horizons and become the artist I am today. The last and most important person is my husband Gary. Without his unconditional encouragement and financial backing I never would have had this opportunity.

Now, make plans to visit Blue Bar Quilts some time between September 1 – September 30, 2019, to observe my solo art show and of course do a little shopping.

Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 4


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story, of our adventures, several weeks ago.  So far in the rendition there has been part onepart twopart three and now the final installment, part four. Without any further introduction let’s get this final chapter rolling.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Going On Vacation Is HARD Work!

You know it’s hard when you make plans to go on a vacation to anticipate just how successful it will be. So much time is invested in making the preparations to leave that it’s not unusual to be exhausted even before you lock the door behind you. Then there is the travel from your home to the destination; whether it be by car, train or plane, that adds even more stress. Let me tell you, this was a stressful 8+ hours of travel.

Lets Head Out

At the front of our caravan was a Suburban and trailer. That vehicle was loaded down with 3 adults, 2 children and a dog. Bringing up the rear was our truck carrying 2 adults and 2 dogs. Of course there was all the luggage, toys, food and beverages that also had to be loaded onboard.

Before leaving we had been keeping a close eye on the approaching weather. Not knowing exactly when we would make our acquaintance, with the looming winter storm, made us a bit uneasy. We were on the road and headed west pretty much within our projected time-frame. Our hope was that we might be able to skirt the storm and avoid potential delays.

The Winds Were A Blowin

Hopes and reality are two different things. We did not miss the storm. Nope! Instead we ended up adding an additional 2 hours to our travel time. While passing through the wintery mess we encountered almost everything you could imagine. There were strong, blowing winds, rain, sleet, snow, and ice to contend with. All of those conditions made for dicey driving conditions.

Along our route we passed by many, many vehicles stranded off the road and in the ditch. Some of them must have happened not long before we passed because we could see people inside with bewildered expressions on their faces. Thankfully we kept our vehicles on the road and safe. We were so thankful when we reached our destination and the long ordeal of travel was finally behind us.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Over the course of the next six days we managed to sandwich in as much activity as possible; saving only enough free time to sleep. During our vacation we experienced the building of a swing set for our grandchildren, numerous celebratory meals, hikes, rides on four wheelers, a trip to Liberty and Hamilton, Missouri along with the wonderful companionship of our family and friends.

When I look back at the oodles of photos and videos and contemplate the many memories that surely will be with me for years to come, I simply must declare this vacation a complete success.

Before signing off I thought it would be fun to assemble a montage of the photos I have shared. Please enjoy!

A Wrap-Up

All-in-all we have very fond memories of our trip to the restored log cabin. The lack of pleasant weather didn’t keep us from having a wonderful time. By the time the last day arrived we were all exhausted and ready to head home. Who knows whether the opportunity to travel to MO will arise again? If it does, awesome! If not, we had a grand time!

Thank You!

Thank You so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by. Before I sign off I have one more thing to include. I just have to share this funny excerpt from the conversation between my husband and myself in Hamilton, MO:

and then there were these chairs…!

Talk with you soon!

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Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 3


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story of our adventures in two earlier posts part one and part two. With so much to share I decided to divide up the recount into multiple sections. As the title above states, this is part three.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Next Stop…Hamilton, MO

After leaving Liberty, the home of Angela Walter’s Quilting Is My Therapy Fabric Store, our next stop was Hamilton. Hamilton is the home of Missouri Star Quilt Company. I’ve mentioned them often in my blog posts as one of the vendors I purchase fabric from. MSQC has a major presence in Hamilton. Their complex includes numerous buildings; each containing a different grouping of fabrics. On the exterior of some of their buildings are gigantic murals depicting various quilting themes as well as the life in small towns. Here is a photo of two of them.

The first shop we visited was their main store.

MSQC Storefront
Missouri Star Quilt Company Main Building

Inside were samplings of the inventory stocked at each of their locations. Also available was a map identifying where each of the buildings were located.

MSQC Brochure
Missouri Star Quilt Company Brochure

After choosing which shops I would visit we decided to pause for a quick lunch. The restaurant we ate at was right outside MSQC’s main building. While there we enjoyed a delicious deli sandwich along with a scrumptious chocolate muffin brownie. As you can see by the bite taken from the brownie we couldn’t wait for our sandwiches to arrive. We just had to get a sample. Funny thing about the brownie was that the outer surface was so crunchy I couldn’t bite through it. Believe it or not I had to ask my husband to take the first bite. 😋

As you can see from the above photo of MSQC’s brochure, on my list of shops to visit were the:

  • Batik Boutique
  • Backing & Trims
  • Machine Shed
  • Modern and
  • Penny’s Quilt Shop

Of course leaving without a stop at Man’s Land (the shop specifically set aside for comfort) would be inexcusable. Somewhere along the way I got separated from my husband. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew we would eventually meet up in one of the shops. We were also in contact via text message so it wasn’t too hard to keep track of one another.  We also both use the Find Friends app on our phones so that made it even easier.

At one point I texted him to find out where he was at. This is his reply:

Man’s shop…thought you’d like pictures

I replied:

I’ll come when I’m done

meaning I would meet him there.

He replied:

and then there were these chairs…!

He was really thrilled to find the comfy chairs. LOL! These are the photos he sent me.

5 Shops

I had a great time browsing through my five designated shops. Of course I would have to also admit that I didn’t exactly stick to the plan. I strayed from the path ever so slightly. How could I pass up on peeking inside the adjoining buildings?

Did I Buy Fabric?

Now you are probably wondering if I left without purchasing fabric? I’d be lying if I said I did. I’m registered to take several classes during the summer and late fall of 2018. The first is taught by Pam Beal called Minimalist Design, Maximum Impact. Before leaving for our vacation I received the class supply list in the mail. Pam works only with solid colored fabrics. My inventory of solids is pretty dismal because I lean toward bright, bold prints. Penny’s Quilt Shop was filled with solids from several different manufacturers. I grabbed several solids to use in the class.

Solids from Penny's Quilt Shop at MSQC
Solids from Penny’s Quilt Shop at MSQC

The other two classes that I shopped for are the Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Double Wedding Ring Improv and Susan Carlson’s class Fabric Images. I’ve been trying to settle on a color theme for Victoria’s class. I figured MSQC would be an awesome place to start. Susan’s class supply list called for lots of BIG, bold prints. The prints that I currently have aren’t necessarily large. Once again why not look for candidates while in Hamilton. I came home with all sorts of new fabrics all ready for my classes.

Bold Prints from MSQC
Bold Prints from MSQC

 

A Little Tula Fun from MSQC
A Little Tula Fun from MSQC

For some reason I qualified for two free charms for purchasing fabric. Don’t know why, but I’ll take them. I think they are kinda cute.

MSQC Charms
MSQC Charms

Our time in Liberty and Hamilton, MO went so incredibly fast. I’m sure if we could have set aside more time we would have. As it was we left at 6:30 in the morning and didn’t return until almost 7:00 p.m. Not wanting to miss out on too many of the adventures at the cabin we chose to do it all in one day and not extend it by staying overnight in a hotel. If I had it to do all over again I would do it exactly the same.

Thank You!

I think it is time to call it quits for today. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by.

Talk with you soon!

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Westward Ho or Can You Hear Me? Part 2


A Restored Log Cabin

We went on an excursion recently to parts west of our home. Our destination was a restored log cabin hidden amongst the trees in a quiet part of Missouri. The purpose of our trip was to relax and unwind with family and friends.

I began telling the story of our adventures in an earlier post. With so much to tell I decided to divide the post up into multiple parts. As the title above states, this is part two.

Cabin From A Distance
Cabin from a Distance

Liberty, MO

Midway through our week we traveled further into Missouri to visit two fabric stores. Now who would think that a visit to fabric stores would be on our itinerary? 😁 Why, me of course!! The first one, located in Liberty, was the home of Angela Walter’s shop, Quilting is My Therapy.

Quilting is My Therapy
Quilting Is My Therapy

Upon entering the store we were warmly greeted by one of the employees. After obtaining permission to photograph the stores interior, I took advantage of the opportunity to capture these pictures.

I’ve been a follower of Angela’s blog for many years. Since the opening of her shop, I’ve been wanting to visit. Being so close made the opportunity finally possible.

Angela’s fabric store is a quaint little shop located in the heart of Liberty. From my photos you can see that the shelves were nicely stocked with an array of modern fabrics. I enjoyed browsing through her selection of fabrics and notions and even chose a few to add to my own collection.

Quilting Is My Therapy Purchases
Quilting is My Therapy Purchases

At the urging from my husband I added one of Angela’s tee-shirts to my shopping bag.

QIMT Tee-Shirt
Quilting Is My Therapy Tee-Shirt

Visiting Angela’s shop was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience.

Before leaving Liberty we made a quick stop at a nearby coffee shop. The store called Hammerhand Coffee looked inviting from the outside. Leaving Liberty without acquiring a warm cup of Jo was absolutely unheard of.

HH Coffee
Hammerhand Coffee

While I didn’t take photos of the interior, you simply must take my word for it when I say that the interior was just as charming as the exterior. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the air with its pleasant scent. We purchased a cup of coffee to warm us as we traveled to our next destination.

As we left Liberty we lamented at how nice it would have been to spend more time exploring the town’s amenities. Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule and couldn’t extend our visit.

Next Stop…Hamilton, MO! But not today! Ha, Ha! I’ve already taken up plenty of your time and besides I kind of enjoy making you wait. So, this is where I’m calling it quits.

 

Thank You!

Thank You so much for taking the time to visit today. I’m so glad that you were able to stop by.

Talk with you soon!

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