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Thimble Tales
 encouraged me to try these new to me techniques.  National Quilt Shows are even more amazing with an abundance of innovative designs and amazing workmanship on display.  Wouldn’t it be an honor to have a bit of my quilting included in a national quilt show that would encourage others to expand their quilting horizons? These encouraging statements about expanding my horizons come from my sister.  Now I have four sisters.   All of them quilt to one extent or another.  We all appreciate quilting as an art form and as a tradition.  We come by it naturally because our mom was a quilter and lifelong seamstress for her big family.  The one sister I want to mention specifically is Dr. Sharon.  She has always tried new things and has accomplished the unexpected.  She went back to college while married and raising a family.  Sharon’s goals were huge.  She earned a PHD and became a teacher at the college level.  Now retired, Sharon has expanded her art from pottery, gardening and landscaping to quilting.  Sharon enters her work in quilt shows.  Not just local shows but some national quilt shows.  Sharon encouraged me a year or two ago to enter a national quilt show.  I thought “I will someday when I have time to make something really unusual, creative and flawless.” Well that creation just hasn’t happened.  I am always swamped with restoration work, charity work and making quilts to include in my next lecture/trunk show.  Recently, I was appraising a very stunning quilt.  The workmanship was excellent.  The design and fabrics were beautiful.  I mentioned to the maker that she should enter it into the American Quilter’s Society, Daytona, Florida Quilt Show.  She was surprised at my suggestion and asked, “Do you really think so?”  She became excited and said, “I’ll do it!”  This would be her first ever national quilt show entry.  That weekend she went online to find out how to enter her beautiful quilt.  She quickly filled in the online application, attached the required photos and documents, and pressed enter.  She was so excited she emailed me several times during the process.  “I’ll keep you in the loop!”  “Yes, please do!” I responded.  Her excitement was contagious and I began to ask myself the questions that Sharon always posed.  Why don’t I enter one of my quilts?  What is the worst that can happen?  Take that next STEP!  I told myself to at least enter and see if my quilt is accepted.  I too went online.  I filled out the application.  I took photos of my quilt and had my hubby, John, take a head shot of me.  That head shot was probably the hardest part.  I am not photogenic.  I emailed the quilt designer to receive permission to enter her design, my quilt.  I paid the entry fee with a credit card. The deadline for entry was the very next day, so I did not have time for someone else to professionally appraise my quilt (I cannot appraise my own quilts for legal reasons) so I agreed to the $1000.00 value.  Now I anxiously wait to hear if my quilt is accepted for exhibition and competition. It is exciting to contemplate the possibility of seeing one of my quilts in an AQS show.  I told my husband and others that this entry was to familiarize myself with the entry process so I could inform others but truly this is for ME!  I am expanding my horizons! Picture title: “Mill Girls-Away From Home”- inspired by the Lowell Factory girls.  Pattern by Nancy & Oliver Rink. 100” X 100”.  Machine pieced; hand needle turn applique; hand quilted by Brenda Grampsas , 2015.                                                            ---------------------------------------------------------
Blog Spot Four  12/1/2015 “EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS” Try something new.  Take the next step.  Do something you never thought you would or could do.  Put yourself out there.  Take the risk.  What is the worst that can happen?  These statements have been rattling around in my brain for years.  These statements were the beginning to becoming a Certified AQS Quilt Appraiser ten years ago.  These statements continue to nag at me to expand my horizons before my horizons disappear.  Bucket list material! Quilt shows are so inspiring!  I’ll never forget the first quilt show I attended as a new quilter.  There was “eye candy” on every isle displaying a wide variety of quilting techniques.   At that point I had only attempted hand and machine piecing with hand quilting.  The needle turn applique with embroidered details was really appealing to me.  I thought, “I can do that”! That little show