Wednesday, June 23, 2021

June Travels

On Wednesday, June 9, we drove to Kansas City, and returned home Wednesday, June 16. 

In Kansas City I got to see my dad for the first time since visiting last October. This time I actually hugged him - more than once! -  and on two different occasions, sat in his living room for a good chat. It was so great to see him!

From Kansas City, we went to Iowa for four days, our first extended visit since moving to Florida nine years ago today! While in the West Des Moines area, I had the opportunity to meet with Hope Quilters and see how that group has grown - and what a huge stash they have! - to become an extremely giving organization.

Hope Quilters began in about 2010, when I first taught a series of beginner quiltmaking lessons to a group of women at Lutheran Church of Hope. This is also when I wrote my book, First Time Quiltmakingbased on the many beginner quiltmaking lessons I taught in area churches. The first blog post for Hope Quilters was written by me back on February 24, 2012.  As they say, "The rest is history." So, it was a real treat to be with them again.

I also got to worship in person at my beloved church, attending the traditional service at 8 am Sunday morning. What a joy to be in that spirit-filled place again!

On June 11-12, hubs accompanied me to my high school reunion in Newton, Iowa. Our class has held a reunion every five years, so this was the tenth time we've gotten together. I attended eight of those ten times.

Hubs took a blurry picture of classmates being photographed for a formal group shot. But, you get the idea that of my class of about 380 students, 73 of whom have passed away, the turnout of 151 classmates was great!

When we drove back home, we brought our 11 year-old grandson, Tay, with us. Though the car ride was long and tedious, he was a good trooper.
playing putt-putt

At the moment, his preferring method of travel is by golf cart! Daily swims at the pool are a must...

... unless it's to go to the ocean, which we did for two days. He was absolutely thrilled to play in the Atlantic Ocean at New Smyrna Beach, and had a grin on his face the entire time we spent being knocked around by the rough waves. I can attest to the grin and the rough waves, because I was with him 100 percent of the time. I have the bashing and spotty sunburn to show for it!

Tay also proved his love for oysters by eating an appetizer's worth of them. 

We're spoiling him rotten while we can! Trix, Grape Crush, pudding parfaits, and key lemon pie are favs.

Needless to say, I haven't accomplished much. Stitched just a few of these English paper-pieced Prudence blocks while in the car.

While the fellas watch soccer or wrestling on TV, I did some more braiding on my rug. In Kansas City I raided our daughter's clothing donation pile, and found the perfect, orange-colored long-sleeved knit top to strip-cut. My rug is about 34" X 37", near to being finished.

Happy News!
In May I chose two of my quilts to submit for the MQG's Modern Quilt Exhibit at the International Quilt Festival (IQF) in Houston this coming October 28-31. Each year the MQG allows its members to submit two quilts (at no charge) for exhibit consideration. If a quilt is accepted, it's automatically entered also into QuiltCon the following February. 

I didn't anticipate the email that arrived last Thursday, letting me know that a quilt of mine was accepted! "Illusions of Victor," the quilt I made in April 2020, for the Central Florida MQG Mid-Century Modern Artist Challenge, will be displayed at IQF in October, and at QuiltCon 2022 in Phoenix! 
"Illusions of Victor," 48" X 65½"

I've been beside myself with excitement! This means SO much to me, having attempted two previous times to have a quilt juried into the MQG's special exhibit in Houston. 

My only regret about making this quilt is the backing I chose. Because we were in the midst of pandemic quarantine, I made do with whatever large chunks of fabric I could pull from my stash. The back does nothing to enhance the quilt.

If I could figure out how to cover it up, or do it over again, I would! But at this point, it's part of the quilt's story. "Illusions of Victor" won't be winning any prizes, but I'm honored that it will be displayed among the quilts of other, much more renown modern quilt makers: Michelle Wilke; Steph Skardal; Katherine Upitis; Karen K. Ray; Sarah Lefebvre; and Patty Dudek... to name a few. Our new Central Florida MQG media coordinator, Rosemary, wrote a nice blog post about it

I'm also excited to begin teaching again, in person, and have begun scheduling guild workshops. I have three solid bookings, so far, through 2021. See my Programs and Workshops tab at the top of this blog homepage. 

Book Recommendation 
The Four Winds
 by Kristin Hannah is the author's latest release. (Remember her other great titles? The Nighingale and The Great Alone.) Interestingly, she finished writing the book during the pandemic.

The story, ironically, is all about hardship due to the Dust Bowl, in the early 1930s. The story follows Elsa a well-to-do young woman who ends up in a shotgun wedding, and learning the life of a hard-working Texas farm family. When drought and dust storms threaten her life and those of her children, she makes the difficult decision to go west to find something better way. Yet even in California, she suffers ill-treatment as just another of thousands of migrant workers who have fled the Great Plains. Elsa's story is sad - a long-suffering woman who endures her husband's desertion, and her teenage daughter's aloofness and rebellion. Though this story is depressing because Elsa's life is so full of hardship, there's always hope for the next generation.

At the conclusion of the book, it was helpful to listen to an interview with the author and narrator, Julia Whelan. Ms. Hannah's process for researching and writing a novel, giving voice to her characters, and then bidding them farewell is enlightening. And it was fascinating to learn how Ms. Whelan researches and prepares to give voice to and act each character. I have a huge respect for what a skilled narrator can do for a book!

Linda's score: 4.6/5.0

Today marks the ninth anniversary of our move-in to this house in Central Florida. On June 21, 2012 we moved in just as Tropical Storm Debby started. I can't believe how quickly the years have flown by, even with a tediously long year of Coronavirus. We're very content in this house with no itch to change anything, or relocate. The weather suits both of us, and though the distance from family has not always been easy, the wonderful visits we've had - back and forth - help ease that gap. God is good! Linda


Grammy said...

Tay’s legs are so long and he looks more like Jill than I remembered. Cutie! Enjoy your time together!

Patty said...

Your grandson looks like such a sweetheart. I'm so happy you are getting to spend so much time with him!

Deb said...

Wonderful trip. Looks like T is having a wonderful time. Glad you have this time with him. Congrats again on your exciting quilt news.

Jenny said...

How wonderful to have that trip "back home" and spend time with family, church friends, old school friends and quilters! And bring your handsome grandson back with you for a while. Many congratulations on having your quilt accepted, how thrilling! And a nine year anniversary on your move, I can remember reading about that!

Quilting Babcia said...

Congratulations on your wonderful news of your quilt heading for Houston and QuiltCon! Your grandson is a handsome young man, and living the good life this summer with you and your hubby. Have fun!

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

The trip back home looks like lots of fun and how wonderful that you got to spend time with your dad. Your grandie will enjoy visiting with you so much, he won't want to go home. Congratulations on having your beautiful quilt chosen for the show.

Susie Q said...

Such great news..... the whole blog......!!!!

Sandy said...

I absolutely loved The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. This was my first of Kristin Hannah's books to listen to and I felt as though I was actually experiencing the dust bowl and the great depression. Although the book was long, it was also full of emotion and history. An excellent read!
Congratulations on your "Illusions of Victor" quilt. I love it! And not many will look at the back!

Marti M said...

Love your Illusions of Victor quilt!! Do you have a pattern?

Susan said...

I was just looking at downloading The Four Winds from my library to listen to! I must go back and see who the narrator is, then borrow it! Congratulations again on having your quilt accepted in Quiltcon! And happy, sunny days with your grandson!

Nancy said...

It looks like the pay off for Tay's long ride has been quite worth it! A summer to remember. How wonderful you could see your Dad and attend your home church and class reunion. Life resumes! Congrats on acceptance of your quilt- it's quite an honor.

FlourishingPalms said...

Hi Sandy! You're a "no-reply commenter" so I can't send you an email response. Please let me know you've read this here. I'm glad to know you enjoyed "The Four Winds" too. Being your first read of Ms. Hannah, I'm sure you were impressed. I highly recommend her other books. I found "The Nightingale" very compelling too. I hope you enjoy it and her other titles. I haven't come across a "bad one" yet! Thank you for your congratulations on my quilt too. Gosh, I'm still in amazement that it was selected. Believe me when I tell you that I'm feeling totally honored about it. I'm smiling too, hoping you're right about no one looking at the back... except the judges. Darn it.

Debbie said...

So glad you got to travel and see family! And yay for the quilt show acceptance. Congrats!!

Mary said...

Gosh, the Prudence blocks are beautiful! And how nice that you could visit family and even bring some home with you :)

Courtnie said...

So happy that your beautiful quilt will be included in the show!

FlourishingPalms said...

Hello Courtnie! Thank you so much for taking time to say congratulations. I’ve felt totally honored by this quilt’s selection into two shows, and your congrats make it even better. So sorry to reply to you here, but your Google profile is set to “no-reply commenter,” so I’m unable to email you directly. I hope you see this and know I am grateful.

Sterntaler said...

I love reading your blog! Thanks for putting all that energy into it! What a wonderful trip description and such a sweet grandson. Congratulations on having your Illusions of Victor accepted to Houston. What a wonderful accomplishment and well deserved it's a fabulous quilt! Do you think judges look at the backing and judge whether it fits with the front? I just listened to VQF judges talk and unfortunately that question wasn't asked. I also had to recently finish one of my favorite quilts with what I had in my stash and sometimes think 'if only...." but then it's okay as it's in yours - it really tells the story about shortage during this past year. Love it!

FlourishingPalms said...

Hello! What a lovely comment you left, but you’re a “no-reply commenter,” so I cannot directly email you my thanks! (Your Google blogger profile needs to be changed to add your email address… if you want responses to comments.) But many thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I do think that judges consider the backing when giving awards. Otherwise, winning quilts wouldn’t be displayed on a rack so people can view both sides. I am not holding out any hope for a prize, but simply feeling honored that it will be in these shows. It’s been especially nice to have a grandson with us, and his brother will be coming for his turn in August. Having a busy summer that’s whizzing by!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

So excited for you to have your quilt selected for the MQG showcase! It's a beautiful quilt. Looks like you had a great time in the Midwest too. I have never gone to a class reunion and at this point doubt I will. Small graduating class of only just under 100. One of these days it would be nice if you and I could be in the KC area at the same time. Next year it will probably be the beginning of May time frame just in case . . .

Michele said...

It sound like you've been having a lot of fun lately and I'm so happy for you on the quilt acceptance.


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