Tuesday, February 7, 2017


“Hi, Ida Rose,” Anna Mae said as she walked onto the screened in porch. “Are we meeting out here or inside?” It was such as beautiful day that Ida Rose had set up the porch with comfy chairs for everyone. 

“It's so nice out, Anna Mae, that I thought everyone would enjoy being on the porch.”

“I agree. Just smell those lilacs. Why, that bush reaches your second floor windows, Ida Mae.” Anna Mae said as she looked out toward the side of the house.

“Yes it does. That's why I leave the windows open. It can be as still as the leaves before a summer storm but the smell from the lilacs fills the rooms.” Ida Rose laughed.

“I guess I'm the first to arrive today. Everyone's coming, although Wanda Kay may be a few minutes late. I think she has a doctor's appointment.” Anna Mae looked around and then choose the wicker rocker with cushions covered in big splashy pink and rose flowers to sit in, placing her quilting bag next to her. “So, what did you think about the Guild meeting? And our lack of a venue for the quilt show? Any ideas how we are going to handle this little problem?”

“Well, it's not really a little problem, is it?” Ida Rose responded sitting down next to Anna Mae.

“No, it really isn't.” Anna Mae sighed. “It's not a little problem at all. I guess one thing we can do is cancel the quilt show.”

“We'd lose a lot of money. I know the deposit for the venue will be refunded but not all the advance money to the teachers...and some of them were pretty high. Then there's the judges we hired. And the vendors who signed up." Ida Rose was silent for a moment. "It's bad enough being on the publicity committee but to be on the committee in charge of the quilt show. I sure don't envy those ladies. Not one bit...” Ida Roses's voice trailed off softly as she sat deep in thought.

Just then a car pulled up and out tumbled Martha Kerine, laughing so hard that tears were streaming down her face. “Elsie Jean Lundgren,” Martha Kerine gasped, “If you don't stop with that story, I am going to...to...well, have an accident. And you will have to take me home so I can change.”

Anna Mae and Ida Rose looked up as both Martha Kerine and Elise Jean walked hurriedly up the walkway to the porch.

“Well, it's true Martha Kerine. You know I wouldn't make up a story like that...I couldn't if I wanted to.” Elsie Jean burst out barely controlling her laughter.

Martha Kerine got to the screen door first, opened it and then quickly went through the porch to the...

“Remember where it is, Martha Kerine?” asked Ida Rose.

“Of course I do...”

“Just asking, Martha Kerine, that's all.” Ida Rose chimed. “Okay, Elsie Jean what's so funny? I've never seen Martha Kerine make a beeline that fast to the privy before.”

Elsie Jean went over to the mission rocker and sat down, waving a fan in front of her face and trying to catch her breath at the same time.

“Well, I was just telling...” Elsie Jean stopped and took a couple more breaths before breaking out in laughter again. “Well, I was just telling Martha...”

“Stop right there, Elsie Jean...” Martha Kerine said in a very loud voice as she walked back unto the porch.

Now, as Martha Kerine was usually the quiet one, and raising her voice was way out of character, the rest of them just looked at her with their mouths open and their eyes as big as saucers...

“What's going on?” I asked quietly pulling the screen door open. “You all look like deer caught in a headlight.”

Martha Kerine began laughing as soon as I asked my question.

“I guess I still have a little surprise left in me!” she declared. “Go ahead Elsie Jean and tell everyone the story.”

“Well, as I was telling Martha Kerine,” Elsie Jean began.

“Wait a minute, Elsie Jean,” I interrupted. “If this is a long story, let's wait for Wanda Kay. I think we could all use a good story after our last guild meeting.”

“Yeah, that was a bummer of a meeting.” Anna Mae added.

Rumors of a possible problem with the upcoming quilt show had made the telephone gossip line, also known as texting. What none of us knew was the extent of the problem...that is, that our venue had decided to cancel our contract.

We did find that out at the guild meeting and why the contract had been cancelled. The roof leaked!!! The earliest it could be fixed was well beyond the date of our show. We could have chosen to run the risk of a leaky roof but the venue would not take that risk. Thus, no place to hold our quilt show.

Lots of suggestions were made but for the most part, none of the buildings suggested were large enough. There was one suggestion that kind of made sense, but also had a great deal of risk. The park. There were several pavilions and covered shelters for lectures and classes, but hanging the quilts outside. Well, that could prove to be a problem.

On the other hand, lots of quilt shows were hung outside. The Annual Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon, for instance.

“What do you think about the idea of having the quilt show in the park?” Anna Mae asked.

“Well, we would not be able to collect a gate fee.” Ida Rose said, “But, I bet we would get a larger turnout. That is, if the weather was good.”

“Most of the newer covered shelters have electricity so they could be used for classes. The tables, though are probably not the best for sewing.” Elsie Jean added. “And we would have to limit the show to one day, I think. We really couldn't leave the quilts up overnight.”

The rest of us just sat there shaking our heads in agreement.

“I'm sure glad that I don't have to make that decision.” I said. “It's certainly not a win-win situation.”

“More like a lose-lose one.” Anna Mae agreed.

“Well, while we wait for Wanda Kay to get here, let me show you the pattern I came up with for Jenny's quilt.” Ida Rose quickly got up and gave each of us copies of her pattern.

Ida Rose had created a simple pattern that looked complicated. All the elements looked straight forward. For instance, the vines which wound around the center flower were narrow tubes, made out of green fabric, cut on the bias, sewn, turned and pressed. Because of the bias cut, the vines were easily curved.

“I used a single pattern for each corner and the center of the quilt.” Ida Rose continued. “Then using the bias cut, I can easily weave the vine around the center with trailers going off toward each corner. There are only three different leaf patterns. Varying the fabric will give the appearance of a much larger difference.

"And I choose to make the flowers on the vine similar to the center and corner ones but with a more realistic look. I have three different patterns. One is a bud. One is a flower beginning to open. And the third is the flower completely open. What do you think?”

“Wow. That's not only a beautiful pattern, Ida Rose. It's one that I think could easily be finished before the wedding.” I said.

“You know, we could all help with the applique on the whole cloth. Then Ida Rose could add the borders and corners before beginning the quilting.” Elsie Jean added. “I bet we could get the center finished in a couple meetings if Ida Rose has the pattern on and the vines pinned in place.”

As Elsie Jean was talking, Wanda Kay drove up, got out and walked toward the porch. We all turned a to see how she looked. To say good would have been inaccurate. She looked great and best of all she was smiling ear to ear.

“Before you ask,” Wanda Kay began as she entered the porch, “the doc said I'm as good as new and can continue on with life as usual. Although, I must say, it was nice not to have to be in charge of everything in the house.”

“That's great news Wanda Kay,” I said, “but knowing your schedule, I would take a bit of time coming up to full speed.”

“Believe me, I am.” she said. “Now that I know what David is capable of, I think there will be a little more helping out at home.” She added brightly, “That will leave me with more time to do some quilting,”

Everyone on the porch was all smiles to see one of their friends in such a good mood, a change from the way she had looked and acted at the last couple of meetings.

“So,” she asked, “what are we going to do about the quilt show? I really don't think that there are any places in the area big enough to hold it. I'm open to the park, but what about you guys?”

“Well, it could be a really big gamble holding it outside. On the other hand, we could publicize it as a free community event for everyone. And we could set up places for children to sew an easy block together.” Anna Mae responded.

“And we all have orphan blocks.” Ida Rose added, “I think I have at least two or three dozen floating around here. We could set up quilting stations and let folks quilt a block. We could even finish it off for them with a simple binding...”

“Or show them how...” Wanda Kay added

“Yes, show them how. Then they could take home a finished little project.” Ida Rose continued.

“And I bet we would wind up with more folks interested in quilting.” I said. “I think this park idea has some legs to it, Ida Rose. Why don't you let the quilt committee know about our suggestions and see what they have to say about them.”

“I will at the next meeting which I think is this Friday. You know, maybe this could work out for the best. That is if the weather holds.” she responded.

We all pulled out our quilting projects and continued talking while working. Anna Mae had a really unique little project..

“What in the world are you working on Anna Mae?” Elsie Jean asked, looking a bit puzzled.

Anna Mae held up a piece of work that measured about five by eight inches. “It is a bit different from my normal quilting.” She laughed and then went on. “Well, it all started with my youngest grandson. He brought his laptop over last week and showed me some quilting sites.

“Well, you know me, I had to check them out myself...I think I spent about five hours on the darn thing. But some of those quilting websites are really great.

“Anyway, I found one that did swaps, postcard swaps, but the postcard had to be completely covered in fabric and stiff. I thought it was an unusual swap so I decided to join. And this is my postcard.”

“Are you going to send it through the mail?” Ida Rose asked.

“Yep,” Anna Mae replied. “That's why I have a really stiff piece that I reinforced with some fusible interfacing.”

“Think it will go through?” Wanda Kay asked.

“Well, it will have to be special handling, but they said it would, so I am going to send it. What do you think of the design?” Anna Mae asked.

Now the postcard was a scene, made totally out of fabric, of the western desert mountains with rusts, oranges and peach coloring. The back was just as beautiful and had places for the addresses and note.

“That's really something, Anna Mae. Did you make a pattern or did you create it freehand?” I asked.

“Well, I had a picture that I patterned it after. I can draw up the pattern if you like.” She offered.

“I for one would like that...” I said as several others added that they would also like the pattern.

And with that Ida Rose brought out the refreshments. We put our quilting projects away and helped ourselves to the spread that Ida Rose put out.

“I thought some tea would be a refreshing change.” Ida Rose said, “So what goes best with tea is scones with butter, jam and clotted cream; a few assorted sandwiches and strawberries dipped in chocolate.

As everyone was filling their plates with the delicious goodies I said, “Okay, you all know your coming to my house next time. Don't count on anything this spectacular...just hope I have some crackers, coffee and store bought cookies!”

“Right, maybe we'll BYOL, that is 'bring our own lunch'.” Martha Kerine laughed.

And with that we stopped chatting and stuffed ourselves.

As we were leaving, Martha Kerine reminded Elsie Jean about her story.

“Well, it all started when my sister...” Elsie Jean began

Anna Mae's Postcard Pattern