Darlene Miller's Cloz4u Blog

What an enjoyable weekend. Even got my “snow fix”. Do think my roommate Pat needs a new yardstick – she said there was 1/2″ of snow and really there was 1″. Very pretty on all the trees however it did not last and it was very muddy – was pretty while it lasted. Sure made for staying inside and sewing, sewing, sewing!

There was so much going on, so many beautiful quilts and wall hangings being created – very inspiring. Pat Murphy finished her Cheetah quilt top for her granddaughter; Laura Plute made up Miss Rosie’s Schnibbles little house wall hanging (I’m not into houses, however, that one was so neat) Laura’s colors (all scraps) were beautiful; Fran Jackson was working on her Stack and Whack that has been a past retreat project – it is gorgeous – she selected such a beautiful fabric; my tablemate got all the scrappy blocks finished for two quilt tops; Susie Erickson made a stunning top using linen hankies, was fun to watch it develop as she pretty much created as she went; Sue Johnson put together two really cute baby quilts – bright and cheerful; Carol Mosley showed her Eureka quilt that she made and Judy Parkins quilted – talked about beautiful, I’d take it in a minute; Judy Parkins present a demo on dying silk with permanent markers, fun, creative and beautiful; Judie Rizzo was working on her Christmas fabrics; I stitched up six charity quilt tops – and that was only the beginning.

Threads and fabric pieces all over the floor, good food, lots of laughs – what a fun time and it was over way too soon. Oh, we all shopped at the two fabric stores – stopped at Blackfoot Trading Post to see what we could not live without and then on to Deer Country at Seeley Lake – such an awesome display of fabrics. Thank goodness I didn’t have more time as their fabrics are irresistible. Some of the ladies got some awesome fabrics. Will be fun to see what they create.

Then this week it has been fun to see the winner at Houston and follow all the comments on Facebook. Must admit I miss being there where all the activity is. The years I taught and vender at the festival and market were very rewarding. Met so many awesome quilters and always came home with new friends. Seeing their comments and posts on Facebook has been a treat.

My nose is now to the needle finishing up several quilts so they can be mailed off to their new owners. Got the raffle quilt for the Missoula Community Chorus done last week and this week it is gifts – making great progress so I am pleased. Think I need to learn how to post pictures so you can see them – I have the pictures. Guess need to stretch the brain and learn how to post. When I get the next one finished, I will do that!

In the meantime it is to the quilting machine!

Another beautiful quilt show that was well organized with many awesome quilts on display, including two trunks from the Hoffman challenge. That guild sure knows how to treat the vendors.

A special treat at the show was their featured quilter, Terri Kohlback. She had a near-death experience that lead to quilting – what a lady. It was so fun to have her on the other side of the building with all her beautiful quilts, peaceful energy and awe in what she has experienced and can share with everyone – it was pretty amazing and wonderful to visit with her.

My presentation “How Your Body Shape Influences Your Quilting” was very well received with many of the ladies thinking “I have never thought of that”. However, from now on, I’ll bet their quilting takes on a new look, new design and their quilts will be a notch up on the ladder of quality. I would be so much fun to see their progress.

Teaching at Glacier Quilts is always a treat. How can it not be when you are surrounded by that much fabric – and samples – and patterns – and etc. Came home with more fabric, more ideas and more enthusiasm to get to work on some new designs for the pieced jackets – suddenly all these ideas were there so had to get fabric to put them to good use. It is going to be a lot of fun to develop them.

And, my bed and breakfast (a ssewing friend, Judie Silcox) was a special treat. Great cook and awesome seamstress so we had each evening with our sewing machines sharing ideas, helping each other and in general talking fabric, threads and projects. What more could a person ask for?

The weather was a bit of a shock – the first week it was in the 70’s and the next day it was 51. And, it hasn’t warmed up yet. I’m cold!

Now it is time to plan for next year, the shows to attend – how many and where and choose the classes I’d like to teach. Taught some new ones this year with phenomenal results. Now we know the body shape extends way beyond our clothing – it includes our jewelry and how we were our colors – still working on the concept, however, it is so accurate and rewarding. A winter project will be to continue to develop how to present the information.

I hear the sewing machine calling so think it is back to work – have a commission quilt to make for a friend that will be used for a raffle for their choral group. Will try to post a picture when it is finished – it is going to be colorful, bright and cheery – no doubt about it.

A great show, awesome quilts and a good time. Taught a new class on color – how color relates to the body shape. It was awesome, so fun and the ladies left with a new confidence in their ability to select colors for their future projects.

The Sew Batik lady was there so those that purchased the Wrap pattern were able to find fabric to make their wraps. As usual she had some beautiful rayon batik fabric very reasonably priced.

Following the show I taught for three days at Mill House Quilts – a great shop in an old building in Waunakee – huge classroom so we had lots of room for cutting out. The jacket and pants classes were great, actually the pants class was outstanding – the ladies went home with awesome fitting pants – it was so exciting and they are ready to have a new wardrobe of pants. Their pants fit perfect!

I am now preparing for the Flathead Quilt Guild show Sept. 28 and 29 in Kalispell, MT. I will be a featured speaker on Friday afternoon with “How Body Shape Influences Your Quilting”. Taught the class at the WI Quilt Expo with excellent results – the ladies were amazed how something so simple can make such a difference in the finished project whether it be wearable art or a quilt. No more pet quilts, only treasures to love and use. Looking forward to the Flathead show. If you are in the area, stop by and say “hello”. Will have a booth there.

Last weekend I had the honor of working with my friend Deb Wentzel from Illinois in making jewelry for our wardrobes that are our color and shape.  It was fascinating as we put beads, bangles and blocks together to create the perfect “look” for the outfit.  Deb has been experimenting with colors that repeat the colors of the fabrics; shapes that repeat the body shapes, shape of garment and shape of the prints with astounding success.  Her pieces were outstanding and will complete the look for the person wearing the garment.  It was a rewarding and fun experiment.  Our conclusion was – it is even more important to understand the body shape concept of triangle, square, circle or oval when designing jewelry in order to create a finished look that is so perfect – and it is all so easy.  The perfect jewelry is the frosting on the cake – and many times was made from inexpensive beads and yet they did not look it.  Fascinating.

We will be showing the jewelry at the Indianapolis American Sewing Guild conference in a couple weeks.  Looking forward to some fun comments and oohs and aahs from the jewelry.

It was a very good weekend in hot Denver for the Rocky Mountain Sewing Expo where there were many garment sewers – lots of quilters, however, ladies interested in garment construction, also.  My classes were very well received and it was good to see several vendor friends.  Taught a new class on color which was fun – how to select “Color by Feel – Not Wheel”.  Somehow it seems to me the color wheel is too complicated to try to understand. So, I am working on a concept of developing our own feelings about color when we understand the color analysis theory and how to use a focal whether it be fabric or a picture.  It seems to be very accurate and sure lends to working with a variety of colors. I even have a new piece of sweatshirt fleece – gorgeous gold.  One of the vendors was selling fabric so could not resist. 

As usual the students were disappointed there are no classes for them following the show – perhaps another year we can schedule classes when we know the students are wanting to take classes. 

On our way home we visited several Arizona friends with a tour of a ranch in northern Wyoming which was a treat.  It sure is dry all through Wyoming and Colorado and it was hot! 

The next show will be the Indianapolis American Sewing Guild conference in late August.  Deb Wentzel from Illinois will be joining me with her jewelry.  Her newest venture is designing and making jewelry specifically for the body shapes, features sizes and colors of the garments.  Anxious to see her work as I know it will be very special.  I’ll probably want one of each! 

The next projects are getting new classes prepared, samples made and maybe even a new shirt or two. 

My week quickly filled up when I had the opportunity on three occasions to work with five beginning quilters – several have taken classes many years ago so it was very rewarding to be working with these ladies again. What they accomplished and their enthusiasm was catching.

Saturday I headed north to Ronan to teach the Free Motion Quilting class to the Mission Mountain Quilt Guild. Those ladies and one man came prepared and they worked – I was very impressed with their quilting ability, some of them are really good. It was a rewarding day and certainly inspired me to get to basting some of those quilts waiting to be finished. That drive north is always breath taking as I drive up the hill and get the first glimpse of the Mission Mountains – never ceases to amaze me at their beautiful and size, almost feel like I can touch them. Of course, the mountain tops were covered with snow – makes me realize winter really is on the way.

So since getting home I have basted three quilts, have another ready and made 2 1/2 gallon of carrot soup today – can we actually eat that much? Sure be healthy! Got my color fix when walked through Albertson’s parking lot this morning to look at all the bright read trees – they are changing colors daily, such a treat. Wonder how much they will have changed when I check them out in the morning?

Just returned from my last show of the year, four days of teaching and a 4 day quilt retreat. Now it is time to unpack, put things away and start thinking about next year. It was a fun year with many new adventures.

The Creative Sewing Festival in Cincinnati in June was a fun show – had some great help and we had a good time. Connected with ladies that I had met several years ago and we are making plans for Indianapolis in late August of next year for their American Sewing Guild conference.

Then it was the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in Loveland, CO. It was a special show as a friend had a wall hanging in the Hoffman Challenge and my hairdresser had a jacket – and, I could see both of them from my booth. The following week I taught in Ft. Collins at The Sewing Circle – ladies came out of the woodwork to take classes so it was a very full schedule. Beautiful area and great hostess.

A couple weeks later I was in Madison, WI for the Nancy Zieman/WI Public Broadcasting Expo. What a great show! Over 17,000 in attendance and I have never seen attendees stay so late in the day. The show closed at 6:00 Saturday evening and they were still sitting for the free demos at 5:15. It was amazing. They said they’d be there another two days if the show was that long. It was truly a rewarding show.

I flew into Chicago where friends picked me up – spent the night with them and was off to Madison in my fancy little rental car the next day. On my way back to the airport I got to spend another night with my friends and share their new home which is beautiful. What a fun trip.

While visiting the friends we just had to make a trip to Hancock fabrics for my friend to order some upholstery fabric. So her mother and I tagged along (now she does not like fabric stores) – well, her mother happens to covet the square wraps I have made for her out of polar fleece – so we went polar fleece shopping. She loves hearts and we found many fabrics with hearts – we had such fun, laughing and giggling before we finally made our selection. At the cash register the other customers were wondering what was going on, however, in a few minutes they were smiling and by the time they left the store they were laughing with us – the lady at the cash register said she sure wouldn’t want to change shifts and miss all the fun. Needless to say, we had a good time, laughed a lot and provided entertainment for the rest of the customers.

Last show for the year was the Flathead Quilt Show in Kalispell, MT. A nice show with some awesome quilts. It is always fun to have time to visit with the other venders. Then spent the next few days teaching at Glacier Quilts – man sure can spend a lot of time in that store – they have everything!!! Found things I have not been able to find so it was a good time. The highlight of my trip to Kalispell was spending time with a special friend that is an awesome seamstress and cook. We sewed late into the night and talked sewing. Can’t beat that. Then the retreat – what a way to wind down the season. The theme was a cruise so we had a delightful cruise on Flathead Lake with lots of fun and wine. Some of those ladies laughed and told stories – with all that was going on it was amazing at how much got done and how many projects were completed – beautiful projects.

So, it is now time to get the fall projects done. First on the list is my grandson’s Eagle Scout quilt made – it is only a couple years late. Partly his fault as he and his mom didn’t get the pictures to me – however, he is asking about it so it is next – waiting for the pictures printed on fabric to arrive any day – then it will be time to start. Have all the fabric – scout fabrics, really neat stuff.

In between I might finish a charity quilt or two – might even sew up something for myself – have many garments ready for me and the sewing machine.

It is now time to get back to the sewing machine – get my business Facebook page with a picture and get busy on it. Way too many things to do in my few hours each day. Looking forward to a few days of teaching locally – so fall will pass quickly.

Cloz4u the book

Your Shape, Your Clothes and You -- Secrets of a Successful Wardrobe by Darlene Miller In this book, you will discover how to look great, whether you're dressing for work or play. Darlene teaches you to see yourself as you really are, not as you think you are. You will discover how to be attractive, whatever your shape or size. By the end of the book, you will be able to develop a "look" that is stylish and uniquely you. The book contains a 12-part questionnaire to help you determine your exact body shape. There are more than 500 illustrations of clothing, each categorized according to the correct body shape, and there are 90 photographs to show you how to make it all work. With this information, you can build a well coordinated wardrobe that always looks great on you.

Your Shape, Your Clothes and You -- Secrets of a Successful Wardrobe book

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