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Archive for the ‘Be Happy!’ Category

The Janome HP foot and throat plate, or…The not-so-little things

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Sometimes it is the little things, that turn out to be not-so-little, that make the difference in life. In my life, watching the bubbles form and the water boil gives me joy…what can I say, I live a rural life LOL! Another one is tools that make my sewing life easier like the Janome M7’s HP Presser Foot and throat plate, which are available on select other Janome models. It also turns out, you can teach someone who has been sewing for about 57 years new tricks!

Yes, I like to watch water boil! No, I am not chanting “bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” over the cauldron! (chortle…..)

I have never been precise at piecing like my friends Krispi Staude on San Juan Island or Joan Herrick, Tori Manzi and Karen Miller here in Maine. I try, but I just never quite get it perfect. And I am Type A enough that it Really Bugs Me. Either go totally improv OR Get It Right. A couple things introduced into my life recently have helped a lot. The Janome M7 Continental (I’m a Janome Artisan, get to borrow this machine for extended periods for free, but I’d say all this good stuff if I paid full MSRP!) is one of them. I’ll share another next week or so. I’m also trying to improve my skills and learn to shoot and edit videos, so I’m practicing on these short clips.

Here I’m showing and explaining Janome’s HP system, which I think must mean Heavenly Perfection. I need to get better at holding the phone and zooming, but with each video I improve. Lookit the titles and comments I was able to add! AND I did TWO transitions! Maybe by summer I’ll be adept enough to consider online classes.

Anyway, the automatic / magnetic throat plate is one of those “little” things that make my life easier. So yeah, it’s the not-so-little things that make life good! Thank you, Janome! Here’s the video…if for any reason it cuts out part way through, click on it to go watch on my YouTube Channel.

The HP foot can be used for piecing, garment construction and quilting. I’ve just finished a somewhat “quilt Modern” top–about 34″ square–that I’ll share over the next couple of months. Next week, I’ll share a video with me actually piecing! Who me? FUN… a total and much needed mental break in the Time of Covid-19!

Kindest Website Comment in the past year or more

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

This morning I was checking my spam folder, because the spam filter (I get at least a hundred spam messages most days) frequently leaves spam in the inbox and puts a few “good” messages in the spam folder. Today’s discovery is WHY I do check diligently….sometimes I’ve found inquiries from guilds asking me to teach, but this is even better.

Coach’s Clipboard: Win by Fall, which was just on display in the Better World Exhibition at the Mancuso’s Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival. It shows my husband, the coach with the clipboard, and younger son Eli about to get a pin. It celebrates those adults around the world who give of themselves, their time, knowledge, wisdom, and example, to help young people grow into fine human beings through the avenue of athletics.

I’ve X’d out some of the details to protect the privacy of the person who wrote, but it brought tears to my eyes.

 “I just saw your quilt “Coach’s Clipboard: Win by Fall” at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Show in Hampton, VA. I can not tell how much joy I felt when I rounded a corner and saw it. It was worth the xxx hour drive to Hampton and back just to see it!! I looked for wrestling themed fabric or patterns for ages and had given up. Wrestling was the best thing that ever happened to my socially awkward ADHD 5th grade son (now age 2x) and his first coach in particular was an inspiration and mentor to both kids and parents. Since graduation my son now referees for youth league and JV matches. I now especially enjoy watching all the girls who now wrestle, learning to be strong and fearless. Olympic wrestler xxxxx xxxxx, who originally attended my son’s high school, has inspired a lot of kids in the area. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful work and thank your husband on behalf of all the moms out there whose children have benefitted from having another adult in their lives who care about them and help them be better people.”

THANK YOU, L.P. in the mid-Atlantic….you have no idea how much your comment means to me. Our older son was ADHD and is also in his 20s, and wrestling benefitted him. Our younger son, pictured in this quilt, has just finished is senior year in college, including four years on a D1 wrestling team. To his dismay, between lack of top training before college and three major injuries/surgeries/recoveries, his college career wasn’t what he had hoped. But he has learned and grown, and I know that every minute of his athletic career has helped make him the amazing young man that he is.

So THANK YOU AGAIN L.P.! You have given me something that I will remember for a very, very long time.

Check box! TWO Ribbons!!!!!

Friday, February 28th, 2020
for Lupines and Rose Hip

And yes, I meant every single one of those excessive exclamation points. Usually I’m lucky to get two out of two quilts juried in to a given show. This time, not only did both Lupines and Rose Hip get in to the Mancuso Brother’s Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, they BOTH RIBBONED!!!!!! That is a bucket list item that I never, ever, Ever, EVER expected to check off! Guess what…done! To the judges: THANK YOU for making a dream come true!

Rose Hip, by Sarah Ann Smith (c) 2019. 36″ square. This quilt won Best Use of Color in the Wall Quilts division at the show. One of my favorite quilts, in part because it is of my beloved Maine, but also because I’ve been able to meld my personal hand dyes, a hand dye by Lisa Walton, fabrics printed and over-painted by me, to create a cohesive image.

I’ve never won a prize such as Best Use of Color at a national level show, so I am particularly pleased–my work is about color, and then about the quilting. Next August 5-7 I’m going to be teaching a three-day workshop, Exploring Paint on Cloth, at ProChemical and Dye in Fall River, Massachusetts. I’ll be sharing the techniques I used in both of these quilts in that workshop and hope some of you can join me! Details in the hotlink. I’m deep in the planning for the specifics of what we can do in three days and getting so psyched for it!

Lupines won Third in Wall Quilts…given the quality of the quilts I am surprised, delighted, honored…. there are some mighty fine quilts in this show! And once again, to the judges: THANK YOU for making a dream come true!

I’m on The Quilt Show #2508

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

WOOT! Check an item off the Bucket List!!! I will be on The Quilt Show (TQS) with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson as of October 6th! The promo video went live last night, and you can see it right here! Members of TQS will be able to see the show starting the 6th, but for non-members, there is ONE week where you will be able to view it for FREE from October 13-20, 2019. Of course I’ll post this again, but here is the link to use–remember, the link won’t work to view the show until the 13th. I share my quilts, my crazy “previous life,” and using paints and other tricks on my art quilts. And to those of you who are new to my website, please use the sign ups in the right sidebar to subscribe to the blog and/or to my newsletter. Thanks and enjoy!

To say that I am delighted is an understatement! Here are some photos from taping in April. My show is #2508, so click this link to take you directly to that show. Remember you do have to be a member of The Quilt Show to view it unless you are watching during the one week it is free to all.

I surprised Ricky and Alex (and Justin and John) with special TQS Logo aprons for use on the set, made with thermofax screens I did up special for them. And yes, I gave them the screens, too! Thanks to Producers Shelly Heesacker and Lilo Bowman for helping me pull off this surprise. Thanks to Adele Merrell for this and the other shots …. they are perfectamundo!
On the set with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims (and Mary Kay’s hands LOL) going over my next segment — this is where I explain how I thread color my work.
Seeing the production room was so cool…it was so professional…look at all those displays, about six people working at desks, with headsets to communicate with the crew on the set about positioning lights, cameras and whatnot.
And here I am with the four principals, with aprons in their favorite colors. Left to right Justin Schults, Alex Anderson, me, Ricky Tims, and John Anderson.

The Quilt Show likes to say that Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims bring you the friendliest interactive online community for quilters worldwide. Join today to learn, share create, connect and watch Alex and Ricky in brand new episodes of The Quilt Show! As you saw in the promo video, I joined on Day One when TQS launched many years ago. I am so glad to now be a part of the TQS family–THANK YOU!

The ocean goes to Sapphire Celebration!

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

I’m delighted to report that my ocean quilt, She persisted in her quest to reach the shore and sing the anthem of the sea, will be a part of the Sapphire Celebration at International Quilt Festival Houston 2019 and any additional venues! WOOOHOOO!

2019 is the 45th anniversary for International Quilt Festival. Five years ago, they had the Ruby Jubilee celebration for their 40th anniversary, and shortly thereafter decided to have a similar celebration for their 45th. This time, the traditional gem for the 45th anniversary is the sapphire, so what is better than an exhibit full of glorious blue and white quilts? The call for entry wanted traditional, modern and art, and from the announcements I’m seeing and messages I’m receiving from friends, it is going to be a glorious exhibit. So delighted to have made the cut and be a part of it!

If you’d like to learn more about the quilt, visit its gallery page, here.