There’s No Business Like Show Business…



I don’t know how many of my readers are old enough to remember those old Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney movies – the ones where Judy and Mickey always find themselves in a bit of a pickle and the answer to their dilemma was putting on a show.  This decision invariably led to the next thirty minutes of great music that showcased their dancing skills and left the viewer feeling entertained and remotely better about life in general.

It’s kind of like that in guild life.  Every couple of years or so, some guilds find themselves replenishing their coffers by putting on a quilt and vendor show.  My local guild is no different and this year it was my turn to head things up and I’ll never do that again.  It’s a job that requires pulling together a lot of people and muscle and organizing a lot of committees.  Then you kind of toss it up in the air like a pizza crust and hope for the best and pray it doesn’t land on your face or you fall flat on another part of your body.  Just sayin’.

Our show was August 12-13, 2017.  However, the planning began a year ahead of that and the show activities began on August 6, as we took in and registered the quilts at Karen’s house.  Lorraine Covington, a local NACQJ judge, presided over the judging on August 7.  This was our first judged quilt show and I really wanted to make it special for all our members who were brave enough to enter their first judged quilt event.  So we held a reception for those members that evening at the church where we meet.

Aren’t the quilts beautiful?  Isn’t this the best set up ever?


See this face right here?  This is Sarah, my friend that is moving to New York to work at Columbia University.  She’s been quilting about three years now.  She just found out she won best handwork and first place in small wall hangings.  I really hate to see her leave this area, but I will always remember this face…

On Friday afternoon, the we begin to set up for the show.


It does truly take a tribe to do a quilt show.  I am incredibly thankful that our guild never disappoints when it comes to volunteering. These folks are the best. We got the gym taped off in record time and then the quilt racks arrived.



And the quilts were hung.


And yes, I did win a ribbon.


After 5 p.m. the vendors began to arrive.  By 9:30, they had, for the most part, set up.  Then we all went home and rested up for the next two days – which are a blur to me at this point.  I had a wonderful time, bought some beautiful stuff, and was dead tired by Sunday night.


So, my guild’s 2017 Reach for the Stars! Quilt Show is now in the history books and on the treasurer’s spread sheet.  Financially, it was a huge success.  Guild-wise, everyone worked their collective tukuses off and had a great time doing it.  For me, it was wonderful working with the quilts, our members, and our vendors. However, I am glad it’s over and I am more than happy to have more time to quilt again!


Love and Stitches,

Sherri and Sam



The Precious Patchwork Called Life

I celebrate the art of quilting.  This is what this blog is about – quilts, quilting, making the art better and preserving it for the future.  But for right now, I don’t want to talk about quilts.  I want to talk about people.

I have never sold a quilt.  I have made plenty, though.  Some of these are put back for my children and the grand darlings.  Some I give away to local cancer patients, kindergarten kids, and the scouts.  To sell a quilt would hurt my heart.  I pour not only my time and resources into a quilt, but pray over it and the person who will receive it.  It’s as much a ministry as standing behind a pulpit.

The week prior to my guild’s show, my aunt and cousin came up from South Carolina.  The cousin that came was Kemp.  You may remember me writing about him.  He had cancer and I made him a red, white, and blue Disappearing Nine Patch for him to take with him during his chemo treatments.

He’s well now.  He still has to go for maintenance treatments, but he is cancer-free.  That weekend was the first time in a zillion years that my kids, my grand kids, my mother, my aunt, my daughter-in-love and son in-love had gotten together.  For some, it was the very first time they had met.


This folks.  This is what life is about.  Laughter and love and family and the way it is all stitched together in that precious patchwork gift called life.


Besides the show (which went of fine, thanks…pictures to come as soon as WordPress will let me load), this week also marked a time of good-byes in my life.  See this little group here?


This is my tribe.  These are my sisters in every way but blood and shared DNA.  This is the group that decided to form High Point Quilt Guild.  This is the Tuesday Night and Sew.  And we’re losing two very important members.


Sarah is our youngest member, the daughter of Karen.  Sarah is primarily a hand-piecer and a hand-quilter.  Her mother taught her.  And she is moving to Columbia University in a few weeks to work with the graduate students.  She is inspiring.  One of my greatest fears is that we will lose the next generation as quilters.  She gives me hope that my fears are unfounded.


The other person we will lose is my partner-in-crime, Shelle.  We have gotten into more trouble together than I will ever admit.  Quilt shop trips, Pigeon Forge Quilt Fest, Guild Meetings…she, Janet, and I have always been there together.  She has been a force to be reckoned with in the guild and has helped me tremendously with my long arm.  If I had screwed something up royally, I could always hear her voice in my head “Don’t worry about that, honey.  It will quilt out.”


I’m going to miss that.


She’s moving back to Minnesota.  Her children and grandchildren are in that area and I certainly cannot blame her for wanting to get back home to family.


I will miss both of these ladies tremendously and right now I  am exceedingly thankful for Skype, texting, cell phones, airplanes, and Amtrak. Distance cannot break the Sisterhood of Stitches.


So right now, I am thankful the show went so well (pictures to come, I promise).  And I am sad that two of my friends won’t be so near-by anymore.  But more than anything, I am grateful for quilters and the quilts they make and the love and friendships that stitch us all together in this crazy quilt called life.


Love and Stitches,

Sherri and Sam



Running on Empty….


Oy-vey, what a week.


My guild’s show is next weekend.  Have I mentioned that I’m the show chair?  Because if I haven’t mentioned it before, let me inform you now:  I am the High Point Quilt Guild’s Show Chair.  This little event has been percolating in my brain kicking my butt for the last 18 months.  It has taken over my kitchen, quilt studio, entry way, and back hatch of my SUV.  Quilt take-in is Sunday at Karen’s house and then the show is August 12-13 at the Hartley Drive YMCA in High Point.  If you’re in the area, please come by.  We have 30 vendors and a boutique that is to die for.


That said, my schedule has been very busy and between the show and getting Mom better and work and having out of town company this weekend, I’ve been running on coffee and adrenalin most of the week.  The past show chair, Shelle, told me it’s kind of like riding a bull.  All the fuss and worry as you strap yourself onto the beast is the prep work.  The day of the show, you just hang on and ride the monster.


It’s been an experience and it’s actually been fun talking with the vendors and other guild presidents who are bringing their guild’s raffle quilts in to sell tickets.  And talking with our judge, Lorraine, has been a blast.  In the middle of all of the hoopla and exhaustion, I got a phone call from a good quilting buddy that doesn’t live in my area.  She was checking in, mainly to see how Mom was doing, and to make sure I hadn’t worked myself into the ground.


“So, how’s it going?” she asked.


“Not bad.  The show is nearly all complete.  Vendors seem happy, guild president is happy, guild members are volunteering…it’s all good,” I replied


“Had your judging yet?”


“Monday, August 7.”


And she snorted. I mean, my friend actually snorted.  “I hope your guild’s quilts are better than my guild’s were.”


I immediately got defensive.  I quilt with a great group of women and their work is awesome. “What do you mean?” I asked.  I knew she could hear the suspicion in my voice.


Now keep in mind this woman is a teacher.  She has taught quilting and piecing for a long, long time and when I was a beginner, she took me under her wing and really mentored me in the art.  So, anything she says, I listen to with almost reverence.  However, this not my first quilting rodeo.  I’ve been doing this for 28 years.  I’ve seen some things and made some quilts.


“What I mean was our quilts were boring,” she replied.


“I’ve seen a lot of quilts,” I replied.  “I’ve made quite a few myself.  I’ve never considered any quilt boring.”


Deep sigh on the other end of my iPhone 7.  “What I mean is, I saw the same quilt pattern over and over again.  And the same fabric lines.  Doesn’t anyone have any imagination anymore?  Where has all our creativity and bravery gone?  I swear if I see one more pattern by _______ in a show, made with the same line of fabric from _____, I think my head will explode. What happened to making up your own pattern and being courageous enough to pick your own fabric?”




What has happened?  Have we lost our imagination to Pinterest and social media?


I haven’t really thought about it before, but my friend may be right.  In the last three quilt shows I’ve attended, I’ve seen the same patterns in different color ways.  And while I do quilt with a several different groups, I’m not sure how many of us go off the beaten path and work from our own imagination and creativity.




May I insert at this time that our grandmothers and great grandmothers often did not use a pattern?  Could we not only be losing our creativity but also sacrificing our heritage?


I want to explore this idea further in the near future, after the show.  In this year of quilting fearlessly, I think we do need to ask ourselves are we dancing to the same band or are we (at times) brave enough to leave the quilting dance floor and try a little yoga?  When I started quilting seriously back in the early 1980’s the rotary cutter was just being introduced in some areas. Most quilt instructions came with templates you had to trace around.  There was no quarter-inch foot for sewing machines.  The internet was still somewhere out there in the future.  And home computers were nowhere to be found.


Yet in many ways, I feel this was when I did my best, most imaginative work.  I had nothing to compare it to and no influence on style or color.  The end product was really mine and not just a carbon-copy of a picture on a pattern.  And while I’m more productive today, I fear I’m not turning out an art that is really my own.


It’s something to think about in the upcoming weeks.


For those of you that have inquired about Mom, we had a doctor’s appointment with the hematologist last Wednesday.  He was very informative and encouraging.  Despite all the tests, he’s not sure why Mom’s body isn’t absorbing iron.  He said sometimes this just happens.  But he did schedule her for iron infusions and the first one was today.  She may not feel the results for several days or it may even take the next infusion to make some difference.  I just know she’s ready to feel better.  Continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.


Remember there will not be a blog next week as I will be in the thick of the show’s final details.  I will tell you all about it soon.


Until then…


Love and Stitches,

Sherri and Sam