Motivational Difficulties

I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things here, with very little success. Ever since I got off the plane on Tuesday morning, I’ve been trying to “get it together” and “get back to normal” and I can’t figure out why I’m not getting there. I just don’t feel like doing anything. Except reading. That’s about it, truly; I just feel like reading books. Which makes me feel like a total slacker…

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the last year and a half or two years being horribly busy all.the.time., with never enough time to do all the stuff that had to be done, much less all the stuff I wanted to do. So even though I now have some breathing room, I can’t for the life of me figure out what to do with it.

Maybe it’s because I know that there are still so many things I need to be doing right now that I just can’t even figure out which one I should start on. And that’s not taking Christmas or the impending house move into account either. Continue reading

AQS Quilt Expo wrap up

Wow—what a bad blogger I have been! Time has gotten away from me, and ten whole days have gone by without a blog post, though I won’t admit to being a complete lazy slacker since there were extenuating (and exhausting) circumstances to contend with. And now that I’m home there’s so much to tell, I’m left wondering exactly where to start!

I headed toward Des Moines, Iowa for the AQS Quilt Expo on Monday, 26 October after visiting with family in Nevada and Utah since leaving Quilt Festival in Houston. I say “headed toward” since of course, American Airlines couldn’t quite get it together and get me where I needed to go on time and with luggage in hand (for the second time in 10 days, no less)! Those turkeys stranded me in Dallas overnight after flight delays caused me to miss my connecting flight by 10 minutes, and then they wouldn’t give me my stinkin’ luggage! Perhaps they didn’t understand that I’m not the wash’n'wear girl, and never have been. So off I went to some not-so-great hotel near the DFW airport without anything to wear and not even a toothbrush. Yeah, I used to carry all that “what if I get stranded” stuff when I flew, but after 9-11 it all got too painful and I never needed it anyway, so now I don’t. Lesson learned. :(

I did finally make it to Des Moines a day late, but still in plenty of time for the show. I met so many interesting and FUN people at the show, students, vendors and other quilting professionals alike, that it would be hard to share it all without spending days at it! There were happy students in my classes and they left good evaluations of the classes with AQS, so I think the workshops were pretty successful. Shame on me though: I had my camera with me, but never had time to take any pictures during my classes! Too busy teaching, I guess! Continue reading

See you at the AQS Quilt Expo Des Moines!

For the last week, I’ve been visiting family in the States, since I didn’t go all the way back to Germany between Quilt Market/Festival in Houston and the AQS Quilt Expo Des Moines. I’ve been at my parents house relaxing for the last few days after visiting with my uncle and aunt the weekend before. Believe me, the peace and quiet has been sorely needed after the craziness and constant activity of Quilt Market, and I might finally be over the jet lag! But I’ll be back on a plane on Monday headed for Des Moines!

Will you be at the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines? I’d love to meet you!

I’ll be teaching workshops, presenting a couple of lectures, signing books, showing Inchie quilts and just having FUN! And I just might have some yummy German chocolate stashed in my suitcase too! I’m just sayin’! Continue reading

Shall We Meet in Des Moines for the AQS Quilt Expo?

2009 Des Moines Quilt Expo

Are you planning to attend the AQS Quilt Expo in Des Moines, Iowa this year in October? I am, and I’ll be teaching my newest techniques and projects there October 28-31! Check out the workshop descriptions here on the Workshops page, and then head over to the AQS site to download the Registration Guide for the show.

On the workshop menu are Inchie projects and a lecture, as well as workshops on embellishments, machine appliqué and there’s even a class for bloggers and those that would like to start blogging online. Online registration for the Des Moines Quilt Expo is coming soon I’m told, but if you want first dibs on limited class space, you can fill out the form in the Registration Guide, and fax it in to AQS! See you there!

Bright Lights

Deer Crossing

My parents live in a rural area in Southern Utah, about 40 miles from…well…anything. It’s a lovely area, mostly nice and quiet, with the expected wildlife like coyote, snakes, rabbits, squirrels, pheasant, elk and of course, the deer that wander all over and sometimes visit the yard. When we lived in Las Vegas (and when I’ve returned to the area on vacation since then), it was always imperative to plan arrival times at their house for the daylight hours, at least for me. See, if I headed for their house in the late afternoon, I was always sorry, because I’d be driving through the countryside on these twisty, curvy, two-lane roads at twilight or after dark, sharing road space with the deer.

If I didn’t time it right, I’d arrive at their house completely stressed out with aching knuckles from gripping the steering wheel so hard, just waiting for that deer to jump out in front of the car from the side of the road. What a great start to a vacation, huh? I never hit one, but I was always just sure that at some point I would, and I’d be facing those scared, shining eyes across the hood of my car as I came around a blind turn and the headlights landed on a family of deer standing in the road. My parents’ house is great, except for the getting there part!

There have been a few times in my life where I’ve felt a strong kinship with those deer though. I remember the talent show in high school, where I stood there with my platter of cookies that I’d baked, because I didn’t sing or dance or act or twirl a baton, and baking was the only thing I could think of as a “talent.” Yep, I’m sure I looked just like those deer as I stood on that stage.

I remember standing on another stage, this time in Lyon, France at the Quilt Expo in 1996. There was a show and tell gathering, where you brought your quilts or wearables to show to the audience gathered in this giant hall. Anyone could go up on stage and share what they’d brought, all you had to do was fill out a card and stand in line until it was your turn. Judy Murrah of Jacket Jazz fame was the emcee, and would read what you wrote on the card as you walked across the stage and showed your quilt.

I’m not sure what convinced me that I wanted to go up there since I’ve always had a major case of stage fright, but somehow I found myself up on that stage showing off my own Jacket Jazz jacket for all of the thousand people in the audience to see. My best friend Dawn was in the audience way in the back in the standing room only section, and even from there she could see that “deer in the headlights” look that I was wearing along with my jacket! I think I literally shook inside my shoes for a good hour after I clambered off the stage and made my escape.

And then there was last Friday. One of the things that happens when your book is published by AQS is that you are expected to teach at one of the AQS shows around the time the book is published, and I guess if all goes well, they’ll have you back for another round (or two, or more). I’ve been talking with the AQS show director about when this might happen, and she originally said that she had me on the schedule for the Paducah show in 2010, which sounded great since I didn’t have to panic about it quite yet. It was sort of “off in the distance”; in mind, but not right up front where I might start to get worried about it.

I mean, I’ve taught classes before obviously, but I think there’s a HUGE difference between teaching at the Gussy Goose in Stuttgart, or teaching for the local quilt guild, and teaching at one of the biggest quilt shows in the U.S! 8O So yes, I knew I was headed for this major thing, and I’ve been working on developing workshops that are related to the subject material of my book, since that’s what I thought AQS wanted for the shows.

Friday night, I got an email from the AQS show director saying that I’d be teaching at Des Moines in October, 2009, instead of Paducah in April, 2010. Not only that, but instead of 3.5 days full of classes related to my book, the show director only wants 1.5 days of classes related to the book, and will look at other classes that I teach if I submit them. Eeeek! There it is again, that deer imitation that I do so well.

I sat here, staring at the email, truly wondering what the heck I was going to do. Could any of my current workshops be reworked to fit into a national show format? Is there anything else I have waiting in the wings that would be suitable? I want to teach the full 3.5 days, since it’s such a long way to go for me from here, so I needed to fill out my class offerings with other techniques. I tend to teach long classes with multiple sessions which is not what you get to do at a national quilt show. Three hour focused sessions is the mainstay. I’d been developing book related workshops, but now they didn’t want as many as I had, and oh, by the way, they need my class descriptions NOW, since the registration guide has to be ready by April!

stuff for new classes

Since imitating a deer wasn’t going to fix it, I got to work. I spent the weekend pulling it together, and reminding myself that I really can do this! I worked on a couple of new workshops and reworked some current ones, so I’ll share some pics in the next few days. And of course, I’ll let you know how it all goes with the show director, but at the moment, I’m making plans to be in Des Moines in October! Want to join me? :)

Exciting News!

AQS

I’m packing like a mad woman getting ready to fly to Houston for Quilt Market, and at the last minute, I’ve received some super exciting news! While I was in Des Moines, I submitted a book proposal to the executive book editor for AQS, and I was excited to read What a Great Show on the AQS Publishing Blog. The pertinent part of that post was this:

My week was spent meeting authors old, new and wanna-be, and every single one was delightful. We received interesting proposals and scoured the vendors for what’s hot and what will be The Next Big Thing. Too much fun to call it work!

I spent the time since Des Moines, and especially since reading that blog post, hoping that my proposal was one of the “interesting” ones. The editor really seemed very receptive to my proposal and ideas when I met with her, and very friendly and easy to work with. I left our meeting feeling pretty good about it all, but you know how things like this are; sometimes you have the utmost confidence that it will all go your way, and other days are the exact opposite! Writing a book is a lot of work (and a lot of quilting!), but it’s something I’ve been working on and toward for a number of years now.

After what has seemed the longest week and a half ever, the editor emailed me this evening to say that AQS wants to publish my book!!! OMG! Can you believe it? I almost can’t! We were out for a family dinner at Wingers when I got the email, and I was so excited, I almost bounced out of my chair! I don’t know when it will be out (it’s not even ready to submit completely yet, of course), and I don’t know what they’ll decide the title will be or anything yet, but I couldn’t wait to share the news! The editor wrote in her email:

Congratulations! Bet you fly to Houston on your own steam!

She’s sure right about that! I’m off to finish packing now, and then go to bed since I have to be up soooo early for the flight, but I just know I won’t be able to sleep at all tonight! I won’t promise to blog from Houston (though I will try), but I will try to take lots of pics and notes to share when I get back…See you on the other side!