Wow Bernina!

I’ve recently acquired an “antique” Bernina. It is a model 830, built in Switzerland, so it’s the “real thing!” It is sturdily built, and it has a metal casing. It is a beaut.

The old 830

A friend had it and never used it, didn’t even know if it worked, but it was supposed to have a problem with skipped stitches (never verified). I recently gave it a test drive and found no problems or issues with it. It sewed like butter!

I’m very glad I got it, not because I need a new sewing machine–I don’t!–but because I wanted to own a truly quality machine, one that would be the workhorse that it’s been built to be, one that could be my backup if my spiffier 530 model (seen here)

The spiffy 530

which I love, ever goes down, or is out for maintenance, or just plain doesn’t work. Computerized machines are a lot more susceptible to glitches and problems, they are much more delicate and “prissy.” True, my computerized friend has a ton of bells & whistles, it sews like a dream, has umpteen different stitches–which I hardly ever use–many different settings, etc. etc. I do love it. But I think the old “Bernie” will work just fine as well, and I can’t wait to set it up in my studio and start sewing in it regularly.

Now all I need are a few accessories for, so I’m on the hunt for a slide table and a few feet, also some bobbins.

Asheville Quilt Guild Show

Whoever says that women are shallow, weak, or unfocused, hasn’t seen us in action when fully motivated by a common cause, or goal.

The Asheville Quilt Guild opens its 31st Annual Quilt Show this coming weekend (Sept. 27-29, 2013), and the Western NC Ag Center in Arden, NC was abuzz with activity today, as the final preparations get underway prior to the show opening on Friday.

This event mobilizes the entire guild, comprised of over 250 members throughout Western North Carolina, several months prior to its opening, with the formation of committees, assignments of tasks, fund-raising activities, publicity, reception of quilt entries, and myriad other activities.
Quilters from around the country submit their work for entry into different categories, with the potential to win anywhere from $50 to $1,000 in cash, plus merit ribbons and other types of recognition. This year the entries totaled 216 quilts, and they came from as far away as Colorado.
But as exquisite these quilts are, I am mostly impressed by the extraordinary energy that surrounds this event. Whoever has had to plan a wedding, a party, or any kind of event involving large groups of people surely can relate to the extraordinary amount of planning, organization, and attention to detail that go into these things.

Today, as I watched this enormous and empty exhibit hall come to life, I stood in awe of this seemingly unassuming group of women, grandmothers, mothers, homemakers mostly, getting it together in such a harmoniously orchestrated way.
Today begins the culmination of many months of hard work, work that will conclude on Sunday, as the last quilts come down from their racks, the last tables and chairs are folded and put away. Until next year. Until tomorrow, when planning for the 32nd show gets underway again.
For more information, please visit the Asheville Quilt Guild website: http://www.ashevillequiltguild.org/show.html

My Latest Project (and a shout out)

Shoo Fly, designed by Phyllis Hoffman & Beth Hayes

Isn’t it wonderful that there is this craft (quilting) in the world, which allows us so many wonderful opportunities to express our love and care for others?

My newest project has to do with my son Arturo and his wife Jennifer’s endeavors to adopt special needs children from Eastern Europe (http://www.fromhouse2home.us/). If you visit their website (link above), you’ll see that they are adopting a 12-year-old girl (Shawna) and–hopefully–a 6 of 7-year-old boy (Seth?). So I’ve decided to make quilts for them, to welcome them to their new home.

I’ve started to work on Shawna’s quilt using the pattern on the picture on the left, using orange as the main color, since her room is decorated in oranges and navy blues (navy blue being the unifying color between Shawna’s and Seth’s rooms). I didn’t incorporate navy blue in this one, however, since I couldn’t find a fabric that had both colors in a harmonious way without being too “grown up” or in some cases too dreary. I wanted something cheerful, so I nixed the navy blue and chose yellow and white as contrasting colors instead.

I’m hoping to finish this quilt soon though, since I have to get started on Seth’s next. His will be the subject of another posting. Suffice to say that I’ve run with the blues in his case, and there is a bit of whimsy to the fabrics I chose.Meanwhile, here is a preview of what the blocks for Shawna’s quilt will look like.

I’m very excited to be doing something like this, with a specific purpose in mind, and not “just because,” as is the case sometimes. But this also means that I have to hustle and work quickly, because there are deadlines to meet!And for the shout-out: I invite you to say a special prayer that the adoption process goes smoothly and the children can come home soon. Special prayer days are the 3rd and 17th of every month (but you can pray anytime you wish!).