Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Birthday Gift From Alan

I'm sure everyone is expecting photos of our vacation in Arkansas but I absolutely have to show off my Birthday gift from my husband. I have wanted a spool cabinet for as long as I can remember. While we were in Arkansas we met Lamar, the brother of our good friend Donald. As soon as we entered Lamar's house I was so impressed by the fact that on each side of their sofa was a spool cabinet. I had never seen two cabinets in one place before. When Donald showed us the Victorian bed in their bedroom I was even more surprised to see three more! Now, I thought that was the largest collection anyone could have until I found out he owns about 20 of them!

Lamar and Alan came to be very good friends and when I wasn't around Alan found out the Lamar was willing to part with a two drawer cabinet. I had heard the price at one point and knew we couldn't really afford it so I didn't even bother to want to look at it.

Donald had a huge Hog Roast on my birthday (pictures will follow in another post). Later on in the day Alan asked Betty, Donalds wife, if he should give me my gift then or wait until everyone got there. I thought I had already bought my gift the day before at a Martha Pullen event. They decided I should have it then so when they went into the bedroom to get my gift, I cleared off a spot in front of me at the table to open it. Was I ever surprised when Alan came out with this spool cabinet. Needless to say, I started crying. Alan ALWAYS gets me great gifts and they always seem to make me cry. The funny thing was that we had gone to an auction and when Alan told me there wasn't room for me to get these two Victorian chairs I didn't believe him and bid on them anyway when he wasn't looking, knowing they would easily fit in the car. After I got the spool cabinet I told Alan, "Now I understand why you didn't want me getting the chairs!" Everything did fit in the car on the way home but it was a tight squeese.

We had a good time in Arkansas but I can honestly say that besides the wonderful friends we made, the spool cabinet was the best part.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kenzie & Vince Watching Happy Feet

Mike brought Kenzie over to Cody when he went to work on Good Friday so we could all dye eggs for Easter. Along with Kenzie was the magic back pack that seems to have everything you'd ever want in it. When Shelly and I mentioned the movie Happy Feet, Kenzie reached into her magic back pack and out came her hand with the movie in it as she announced, "Here it is!" Kind of made me think I should have asked for something like money... but since the magic was used for the movie, I would be happy with that.

Vince really seemed to like the movie even though his attention span wasn't really good. Kenzies wasn't either but Grandpa and I really liked it. Shelly had rented the movie a couple days before so I had seen it already but Alan had only seen part of it. We really liked watching it the second time especially because we knew the outcome of the scarry parts.

Oh, and a special Vince update: He can now roll over from front to back AND back to front. He's getting to be such a big boy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hawaiian Quilt Makes It Home

I'm guessing it's been about 8 years since I started the Hawaiian quilt on the bed in this picture. I designed the applique myself. Since my knees are so bad and I couldn't baste the quilt on the floor, my dad made an 8 foot square platform on a couple of tables in his basement for us to baste on. The applique is cut out like a paper snowflake so all the edges are bias. It took several days for friends and family to help baste the applique to the background. While we were working away one day, the neighbors had given my dad some garden tomatoes. He was so excited as he bit into one while standing there watching us work. Yep, you guessed it. Tomato went everywhere! My poor dad felt so bad. He ran to the store for cleaning products and we got the mess out but that was just the first of many mishaps for this poor quilt. At one point so many disasters had happened to this quilt top that I wasn't sure if it was ever meant to be a quilt.
It took over a year of working off and on for me to finish the hand turned applique. It took even longer to quilt. Tradidtionally a Hawaiian quilt is hand quilted in echoing lines around the applique design. Since my quilt wasn't a true Hawaiian I decided that the area between the border and the center would be perfect for a trapunto feather design. I started hand quilting and after thinking I had really accomplished a lot I realized I had only done about one foot square. It sat for quite awhile because I was so discouraged and I finally decided to machine quilt it for a show. I gave the quilt to Jeanie Knudson to quilt and had it finished in time to hang at the show.
Between the time of the tomato incident in my Dad's basement and the hanging in the show, my Dad had a stroke and had been in the Long Term Care Center. My father-in-law had one too and was his roommate. I had asked the LTCC if they could bring the dad's to the show for me so that my dad could see the finished Hawaiian quilt that had started it's life in his basement so long ago. They brought my dad's and several others to the show that day. I was so excited for my dad to be there that when a TV News Crew wanted to interview me about the quilt hanging above on the wall, I refused because my dad was there. Jeanie Knudson did the interview for me and I had my picture taken with my dad in front of the Hawaiian quilt by Jeff Banks. Both quilts won first place in their categories by the way but nothing compared to having my dad see that quilt.
The quilt had still not been on a bed when Michelle Quick asked for quilts to be hung in a crisis center type place where the police take children of abuse for intervewing. I offered this quilt since I thought it had a calming effect and it hung in the interrogation room for over a year. Michelle brought it back today after I told her I finally had a place for it. I am so happy to have it home. She told me it had been very loved where it was hanging.
I'm so amazed that a quilt that had yet to be on a bed can hold so many dear memories for me. No other quilt I have ever made, and there are over 300 of them, has had the impact on my life that this quilt has. I hope the stories of this quilt will live on and grow for my family forever.