Out of My Mind - January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, Everyone!!! 2006 seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye--did it seem like that for you? I remember in early December 2005 lamenting, with other quilters, about the fact that Christmas seemed to come faster every year and that I was never ready with all the handmade gifts I had hoped for. After someone (rudely!) pointed out that Christmas is always on December 25, several of us decided to take action in 2006. So we started a Christmas Club where we would bank finished gifts instead of money and would be completely done by early October. I'm not sure how the others did--we seemed to lose steam about April--but my stuff was exactly like it was after I taught each Christmas Club installment. So I was scrambling like every other year to finish in time. What do you do to stay on track? The L.L. Bean catalog is looking better and better every year! LOL


In early December my website was virtually wiped out by a hardware failure at the host site. The only thing that saved me was that the web designer (different from the host) had a backup copy that was only a year old. (Who knew one could be so happy about something a year old--but the alternative was to build the site back up from scratch and lose 4 years worth of work.) If any of you have hard copy of the Out of My Mind newsletters from July and, I think September, please contact me at sharon@sharonstroud.com. I would be willing to pay to have copies made and sent to me so that I can rebuild that part of the site. For now, you will have to make do with the really old stuff and what you are reading now! In 2007 I want to make a few changes to the website and one of them will be to have an archive so that you can read the old newsletters whenever you want.


In November 2006 I went to Cote St. Luc, Quebec, to teach a wonderful group of quilters. We had quite a time getting me into Canada--it involved one aborted trip, numerous phone calls, tons of paperwork and much prayer and held breath. The ladies took classes in Dresden Plates and Hand Quilting Sharon's Way and made good progress on both days. Keep an eye out in the Gallery section of the website for finished projects; I'll post them as they come in. One of the funniest events of the trip took place at the Lacolle entry. The agent very politely said "Bonjour" and I, equally politely, answered "Bonjour". He then spoke very rapid French, to which I had to smile and say "I'm sorry that was all the French I knew; what did you want to know." He laughed and asked the questions in English. Apparently, depending on which language you use to respond to the greeting, that is the language they use to continue the dialogue. Unaware of the proper procedures, I was trying to be polite--but had to fess up really quickly!


For those of you wondering about the annual retreat that Anita and I host in August--we will be posting the information on our websites shortly. We are moving to a new location for year 5 and it has taken a long time to get all the details ironed out. We are looking forward to larger classrooms, later breakfasts (my personal favorite) and lots of time to quilt. We will again be doing all handwork. Stay tuned.


Lynnie has been here almost a year now and has settled in wonderfully. I've included two pictures of her at the end of the newsletter--one of her in the dandelion field and one with Tatty, the 20+ year old cat. Callie is her usual sassy self.


I'm still in love with the handwork and have included handpieced Mariner's Compasses in my repertoire. On the other hand, looking for some quick-to-make gifts, I designed a small Americana flag that is done by machine (including the quilting); I must admit the binding is sewn to the back by hand--I just like the way it looks! I actually finished a set of six placemats that I started at least five years ago--and wondered why I had even started them. (The biggest drawback to not finishing things in a timely fashion is that your taste changes--and then you don't ever want to finish it!) Also finished a tablerunner from about the same era--need I say more?


The journey with fussy cutting fabrics by hand continues--apparently the dresden plates were just the tip of that iceberg for me. I am cutting Mariner's Compass points to match each other, as well as other shapes. To me it's a joy to get exactly what I want in each piece and that they will all match precisely. Life is good!


Guess I'd better quit before you are all asleep reading this. My new year's wish for each of you is for peace, quiet, piecing, applique, and quilting--in any combination. Quilting speaks to our souls--be sure to take time to listen.