Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Day Paradise Burned Down!

Here is our #CampFire story. I was Houston, TX teaching 6 classes at the International Quilt Festival. This is the largest quilt show in the world.  Joe was planning to meet me there, bringing more patterns and books and to help me sell stuff at the Saturday Samplers.  I think he was afraid I would lose all the money I’d made before I got home or trade it for magic beans!


Thursday morning, after packing his suitcase, he was watering my new dahlia garden when he saw dark clouds in the sky. His cell rang, it was our son, Matt, who lives in Bakersfield (7 hours away) saying, Dad, I just got an alert for Paradise -  you’re under mandatory evacuations!  Joe got no warning, very few got any warning alert.  Then the phone went dead. Matt thought Joe was dead when power went out and the call dropped.   Joe saw large ashes falling from the sky and it got really dark really fast.  He started grabbing stuff and throwing them in the back of his truck.



 Now the miraculous part of this story. Two weeks before the fire we where watching TV and had a conversation about what he would do if there was a fire here and I was out of town. What would you grab?  He remembered that conversation and grabbed the meds, cash, computers and hard drives, financial papers and then got my quilts and wearable arts.  Some were in the studio but the award-winning valuable ones where rolled and stored in a closet in the guest room. He then grabbed the photo albums. My hero!  He thought he had time for a sewing machine or 2 (I had 7) when he saw flames across the street on our side of the creek advancing toward our home.  He jumped in his truck and started to turn to go out towards a main road we always used when he saw 2 good old boys in their lifted 4WD trucks  (his angels) doing about 50 miles an hour coming the other way to take the back way out of our little development.  He figured they knew something he didn’t  so he turned and followed them out and down Pentz road to safety at the bottom of the mountain.  He said that when they where filing down the hill, the car in front of him had a personal plate that read, wait for it..,  “itl b ok”.  He said he reached for his phone to take a picture and fat-fingered the camera into selfie mode and only got a poor quality picture of himself.



We are now feeling very blessed that Joe was so protected.  Yes, I lost 7 sewing machines, all my fabrics and many other projects, paintings, and quilts but it’s only stuff and can all be replaced.  Good news is,  I don’t have any UFOs (that’s unfinished projects in the quilting world) so I guess I win the guild challenge!  We are not sure what we will do or where we will live in the long term but, as everyone has seen,.  Paradise is devastated.  It will take years to rebuild.  There was already a shortage of builders in Northern California from the Santa Rosa fire last fall and the fire this summer up in the Redding area.



Everything is gone but we have each other and a new sweet baby girl to focus on. We are so blessed.  I’ll keep you posted on our progress and I send my love to all of you who have offered houses, sewing machines, fabrics, and even to do our laundry!  Thank you!  Please keep praying for us and you may want to talk to your family about what to grab if you only had 15 minutes to evacuate. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Renegade Thread Play class


I know I haven't posted in a while. Oh you lucky people I'm back and ready to blog.
I just got back from a week teaching at Empty Spools Seminars session 2. I taught a new class this time. Renegade Thread Play it was a hit if I do say so myself.


They got so much done and went home feeling more confident about "how to" finishing those nagging projects that they where afraid of  completing.
Most of the students have taking one of my fusible classes either Beachscapes class of the Fusible Flower class.





  When they got home they either froze on how to finish it or when they get home they have to go back to work and wont have the time to quilt.
We started out with a practice piece where they were allowed the freedom to make mistakes while learning a new technique.It’s very easy for me to give them permission but harder for them to relax and know its OK to make ugly stitches while you are figure this out and no one is judging them. 
Then they went to my simple flower pattern the Sunflower. Its broad petal are perfect for quilting and using what they just learned.
Then when they felt ready they went to their unfinished projects and with my guidance. They made great progress.

These are some of the quilts they now know how to finish!



I once asked some very skilled and talented quilters this question. “Did you start out with great stitch right from the beginning? And they all said, “NO, we have closets full of ugly quilts.” 


 So my new mantra is, You have to make ugly stitches to get to the beautiful stitches!  
We all have crapy quilts in the closet only no one is telling! So I'm telling you! 

So after 5 days of non stop quilting these gals where changed and a lot better at quilting than when they arrived. 
Cant wait to teach this again.