What to Do in April – Best of the Valley Quilt Show

Beyond the Average Tourist Stop

Furrnando approves this post.

To enjoy the Best of the Valley, set aside one weekend in April to come to the Central Valley. There’s a lot to do and experience beyond the average tourist stops. Mark your calendars for early April of each year. The 2019 show took place at McDermott Field House, or McDermott X, an amusement center in Lindsay, CA.

The regional show of quilts and cloth dolls featured 163 competition quilts, 83 dolls, 8 challenge quilts, 8 quilters by quilters 80 years old or older, and 9 quilts by quilters under the age of 18 for a grand total of 271 pieces of stitchery.

Introducing Carmen Friesen, Featured Artist for 2019

Sylvia, Connie, Carmen, and me, Marsha pose at the Best of the Valley Quilt Show.

This year my good friend Carmen Friesen from Strathmore, CA was the featured artist with over 30 quilts on display. She started seriously quilting about the time I met her in 2002.

One of my favorite quilts, The Story Teller, she made during that time. The simple style appeals to the old kindergarten teacher in me. Carmen told many stories to students during her teaching and consulting career.

table display of quilts

What makes Carmen an interesting artist is that she stretches herself and moves from style to style. She studies her art and takes classes from master quilters all over the country. In the picture alone, you see dolls, pieced quilts and applique. She also raises iris, which you can see peeping up at the back of the table.

quilted boot latitce square quilt
Lattice quilt with boot applique

After she retired, Carmen also took up horseback riding, bought a horse and even took a dude ranch vacation or two. For this quilt she couldn’t find the pattern that she wanted, so she used her own boot as a pattern.

Most of her quilts, Carmen quilts on a long arm machine. These garden kitties got special attention while Carmen hand quilted this piece. Several people at the show asked her if she could quilt something for them. She snickered to herself.

“They have no idea,” she told us. She told them, “You can’t afford me.”

There are few people who hand quilt anymore since it is so time-consuming. Even at pennies-an-hour a bed-sized quilt, quilted as intricately as most quilts are today, would cost hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. Quilters today enjoy the modern conveniences of precise cutting, marking and sewing equipment. They turn out amazing works of art that their ancestors would have marveled to see.

My phone ran out of power before I could take all the pictures of Carmen’s quilts, but you can see more of her work in related articles.

Speaking of Ancestors

One of the quilts that caught my friends’ eyes was a Civil War-type quilt. I had to slow down and see what made them gawk. Trust me, those stitches were tiny, as were the triangles. Each tiny blue triangle that formed the larger triangle in the block had a different navy blue print.

Award Winning Quilts

This quilt, Heart of America, captured our attention for several minutes. The artist’s attention to detail made us go back for second and third looks. My friend Sylvia marveled at the flying birds. Connie loved the expression on the dog shivering in the snow not warm and cozy in the barn. Each square had too much to take in for a drive-by look. Artist, Sharon Engle won the Viewer’s Choice

Dolls

Girls love dolls, and there were some fabulous dolls at this show you would have loved to take home. My personal favorite did not win, but I kept going back to try to cheer him up. He had the same look as Furrnando, and my Puppy Girl. He looked little rough around the edges and needed a lot of love.

There were some wild women (dolls) at this showing and a few freaks! The third one over, Looking for the Isle of Guinea Pig, captured the Viewers Choice award for dolls.

Conclusion

The quilt show draws hundreds of viewers who love quilted art. If you are one of them, plan to come to the Central Valley in our most beautiful month of the year – April. Bring an empty suitcase because the vendors have some amazing gifts so you can stock up for Christmas and birthdays.

Find the Best of the Valley Regional Show of Quilts and Cloth Dolls on Facebook. You can learn more about the show on their website,
http://botvquilts.com/.

To make my day, leave me a like and share this post with other quilt lovers. ūüôā

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Travel theme: Benches

Today I went with my friend Connie to the Best of the Valley Quilt Show at the McDermont Field House in Lindsay, CA. ¬†It was so overwhelming, I decided to use challenges and themes to tell part of the story. ¬†I took over 200 pictures, and it will take me over a year to tell you the story, and by then it will be time for another quilt show. ¬†I can’t believe how MANY talented quilters there are in this area – not to mention the world.

Quilted bench
Quilted bench

One of my favorite sections of the show was at the back, and it was a challenge.  All of the entries had to use the same fabric.  In a future post, I will show you how different those entries were.

Benches 2

Another favorite was the doll section. ¬†This is a character from a children’s book. ¬†I’ll show you others later. ¬† To whet your appetite here are two entries in the show that fit this theme.

Scardy Kitty is comfortable here Prints an Greeting Cards for sale at Fine Art America
Scardy Kitty is comfortable here.   Unmarked prints and greeting cards are for sale at Fine Art America.

Benches and cats go well together.

Can I get on the bench, Mom?
Can I get on the bench, Mom?

This dog wants to get on the bench.

Benches everywhere, no matter what their composition, invite people and animals alike to sit a spell, and enjoy life.

Happy Ohio Star

A few months into retirement, my goals are slowly coming to fruition.  I started quilting with Carmen, my friend who retired last year, and wanted to bring My Ohio Star Quilt to completion.  That proved to be easier said than done.

Ready to Go Ohio Star

I proudly took my ready to go quilt to Barbara Graham, my wonderful quilter.  It was to be ready in a week.  In a little over a week, she called me telling me that there was a LITTLE problem, but it was correctable.  I sadly took my quilt back home, and ripped off the edge that unsquared my quilt.

Ripped Ohio Star

Now Ohio Star is back home, complete and beautiful, and Barbara Graham will be my quilter for whatever project I ever do from now on. ¬†She took pity on me when I returned my quilt the second time. ¬†When she put it together, she discovered that the back of my quilt was also not square. ¬†So instead of calling me again, she didn’t want to discourage me, so she had her daughter fix it for me.

Belavista Bears001

Now Ohio Star is at home on the bed, but just for a while. ¬†It is a summer quilt, and I just wanted to show it off to all of you. ¬†I couldn’t wait until summer.

Belavista Bears002

As I started showing it off, the bears got rowdy.  First the two that normally sit on the headboard, that at one time got into a terrible row with each other Рa story that is worthy of its own post.

Belavista Bears004

Nurse Rabbit and her baby jumped right in. ¬†Notice that they sat right next to boy bear. ¬†That’s part of the story.

Manny jumps in

Then of course Manny joined the fray along with his own little bear that came to keep him company.

Kalev is not pleased!!!

Somebody else was less than pleased about this bedlam.

Belavista Bears012

It wasn’t long before Sweetie Pie and her clan climbed on board.

Belavista Bears017

Then friends of friends, that hadn’t really been part of the original clan jumped off the mantle and came over. ¬†Another certain someone still wasn’t impressed.

Belavista Bears018

However, one of them smelled like one of her favorite girls, little Miss Chloe, better known as Mono, Choco, or the Monkey.

Missy Kitty and her baby joined in

Missy Kitty heard the excitement from the spare bedroom, and she carried her baby over to crash the party.

Manny, the gentleman

But Manny, always the gentleman, always concerned for the one who’s left out, went back to the spare bedroom and carried Mary Louise into our room so she wouldn’t feel left out. ¬†She was my Grandma Golda’s doll.

Dr. Manny

Unfortunately she’s seen some hard times, and at one point in her life she broke her foot. ¬†Manny, typical to his sweet nature, brought her foot to my attention, but Mary Louise quickly covered it up again. ¬†I tried to explain to Manny that Mary Louise’s foot has been broken for many years, and she’s been stubborn about going to the doctor to get it fixed.

Belavista Bears032

At some point the bears, rabbits and kitties, and even Kalev quieted down, ashamed that they had been so rowdy when poor old Mary Louise sat so calmly in spite of any pains she might have been having.  They all rallied around her, and then went back to their rooms.

Belavista Bears035

It couldn’t have been soon enough for the Little Miss Puppy Girl.

Featured Blog

Featured Blog

Guess who started a blog?  Sir!!!  I reblogged his first post, so that you would get to know him quickly.  http://wp.me/p31FPU-M

I’ve been reading stories about Sir for about 6 months now from his wonderful blogger daughter, the briny lass, Autty Jade. ¬†His first story looks like a hit, and I’m sure we’re in for some real treats as he gets his Blog legs under him. ¬†Welcome to the Blogosphere, Sir ¬†ūüôā

Sad Ohio Star

I took my Ohio Star to Barbara Graham, the quilting lady, to have it quilted. ¬†I had it all pinned ready to go. ¬†She said, “I should have it back in a week.” ¬†I was ecstatic.

Ohio Star Batted Down, Ready to Go

Quilting is like writing. ¬†You get your story or post written. ¬†It sounds good. ¬†You go to publish it and the WP editor says, “I have changes.” ¬†You make the changes. ¬†You publish. ¬†Your husband calls and say, “Listen to this, Blah blah blah,” and he reads you a sentence or two out of your post. ¬†It makes no sense whatsoever, and it’s out there for cyberspace friends to see! ¬†You rush back, open it up, and correct it. ¬†Now it is better.¬†

Sewing is the same way. ¬†In my case the border was too puckery. ¬†There was too much on one side, so the quilt wasn’t square. ¬†“There is ONLY ONE remedy,” Barbara told me. ¬†“Rip off the border and press the quilt in half, then remeasure.” ¬†Apparently I can expect the measurement to be different down the middle along the fold than along the side.

Rip Van Historygal

So last night I ripped until 1:30.  Even with eye surgery, this is hair-splitting, tedious work.  It would not have been so bad if I could see as well as the camera does, but those stitches look invisible to me.  And, of course, my sewing machine sews a pretty tiny stitch especially across the heavier chenille fabric.

Slow down on the corner, Speedy!

Ripping is a little like car racing.  through the thick fabric, it rips like going around a corner.  Carefully.  Down the straight-away.  Zoom.

Rip a few and pull.

I measured down the middle 80″, down the edge, 81″ – not good, but now I average, and cut my border 80.5″, and squeeze that along the edges of the fairly square quilt. ¬†The other two edges measure 80″. ¬†This precise tape measuring reminds me when my first husband went in for a hip replacement at age 27. ¬†They measured the length of his leg with a frayed tape measure three times and took the middle measurement, and that’s how long his finished leg came out. ¬†Very scientific.

All done ripping.

It’s not so painful if you put something away for several years, then have to go back and rip it out. ¬†I hope Ohio Star makes the grade this time!!! ¬†I don’t know if I could bear to rip it out AGAIN!!! ¬†I might be advertising one of¬†my quilts on Ebay if it doesn’t work this time!