Just in the Nick of Time
I returned home on Monday night from a teaching trip, and just in time. News of the pandemic broke soon after and has only intensified in the days since. I’m thankful to be safely back home. I have no travel plans for a while.
My daughter and I were reflecting on all the news last night. We concluded that only a handful of times in your life does something touch everyone in the country, or in this case, most everyone in the world. The last time I felt this way was 9-11. That was more horrific but this is unsettling and it’s not over yet.
On a happier note, the images for coronavirus particles are inspiring. I think they’re artifically colored for effect in the media, but all I can see is a quilt with embellishments.
Let me tell you about my trip to Hawaii. I’d never been and it’s every bit as beautiful as I’d heard. The people in Maui Quilt Guild were delightful one and all: generous, kind, helpful in every way. I made new friends and reconnected with old friends, too.
One Hundred Small Quilts was the program for the guild’s March meeting. This was the first program I developed and I gave it steadily for years. Then I came up with Make Extraordinary Scrap Quilts, and One Hundred started to book less frequently. But it’s still a reliably entertaining trunk show and I love giving it. It tells my story, sure, but it shows the progression of the fabric industry, the growth of quilt design and the evolution of many techniques as well.
Do you see the flower necklaces I’m wearing? They were gifts from the quilters! They put a lei around your neck, give you a little hug/peck and say “Aloha.” For real. I guess I thought that was a myth!
And this: There are chickens roaming free all over the island. Hundreds and hundreds of chickens in bright colors—roosters crowing all the time. They are wild and it’s just so weird and unexpected.
The venue for class was a picturesque church on a mountainside. St. John’s Episcopal in Kula sits high up on Kula Highway and has amazing views.
The best part was that it smelled like heaven. I don’t know what was so fragrant but it was blissful. The fellowship hall is in a separate building and that’s where class was held.
My students worked on Tango blocks in the morning, and some tried string piecing in the afternoon.
It’s always fun to see everyone’s style emerge.
I nicknamed this project Volcano, which seemed appropriate for the locale.
This quilter’s strings matched her auburn hair and her glasses. Everyone was in a good mood.
I love watching the light bulbs come on for people. We talked about value, contrast and scale. We talked about stitch length and presser feet and ironing for increased accuracy.
My hostess for the guild portion of the week was Nancy Meyer. Before we parted, she gifted me a quilt I will add to the small quilts program. Separate blog post coming soon.
When work was over, I stayed for a few more days and met up with a friend. Mellisa Mahoney was the photographer for all the quilting magazine titles during my time in the industry. She shot quilts for Quilters Newsletter, McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker and many others for several decades. She told me, “You just enjoy Maui and I’ll take the photos.” I didn’t argue.
We watched whales from a small boat and saw a lot of breaching and fin slapping. You could see many whale spouts as they breathed at the surface, even when you couldn’t see the whales.
An adult humpback can weight 30 metric tons and is roughly the size of a school bus—it’s impressive.
We hiked through a tropical forest and drove north to see the famous Maui Blowhole. The scenery was mind boggling.
In the evening we watched the sunset from Mellisa’s lanai. Earlier in the day, I’d watched sea turtles swimming lazily just below the same vantage point. It was magical, and I can’t wait to go back.