Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Hazy But Not Lazy Days of Summer

In 1963 Nat King Cole
sang about the
 "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer
the days of soda, and pretzels and beer. 
You'll wish that summer could always be here."

We are in the midst of
 the hazy days.
 Most of this thick haze is due to 
wildfires to the south or north
depending on which way the wind is blowing.

There wasn't much time
to be lazy this week despite the hazy part.

I  spent several days helping
my daughter set up her second grade classroom
for the start of a new school year.

Last year she was in 4th grade, so once again, she had
to change classrooms and
 get ready with a new curriculum. 

It was good to have a helper with us to
 keep us on task.
"toot sweet"

Having been an elementary teacher
a looooong time ago, there's energy
 when the bulletin boards start going up.

I spent another day last week
being a "quilt judge" for the
local county fair.

It's an interesting and challenging task.

The quilt makers come to listen
 to your critique and comments both positive
and the suggestions for improvement.

You get to see a lot of fantastic work.

I did noticed the lonely little pile of 3 quilts
in the hand quilted category and nothing
was hand pieced.
It's an almost extinct area for 
some shows.

I know hand quilting isn't something I do as
much as I use to.
I did hand quilt my Mountmellick quilt last year.
(I'm giving myself a positive nod)

There was one hand appliqued quilt entered
and no hand embroidery quilts. 
Binding for the most part were
machine finished.
(There's a real skill to do that well, 
I'm just saying).

It all must be a sign of the times.
The slow quilting movement either needs
to pick up speed, (hahaha) or 
come to my area of the world
or those special categories will soon disappear. 

With all that work behind me
maybe this week will be the
lazy days of summer.
I can't speculate
 about the
crazy part.

Until Next Time-


  1. Quilt judge! How fun! I too look for those hand quilted quilts at the quilt show, and take an extra moment to admire them. I love the layers of mountains, where you live!

  2. Oh boy, that must have been fairly hard what with the makers of the quilts listening. What a busy world we live in. I think many folks barely have time to make the quilts by machine. It is fun to come across a hand made quilt. Lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing Kyle.

  3. How interesting to be a judge at a quilt show! You'd sure get a good look at all of the quilts. I'm a little sad there's so little handquilting and hand piecing. It's so relaxing to do - don't people like to relax and slow down? Not everyone is the same but I'm so glad for the online connection with hand quilters, appliqués and piecers! Your Montmellick is fabulous!! :0)

  4. So interesting that the judging is done in front of the entrants - that's great, but I would suspect also a little intimidating. Interesting too, ans a little sad, to see such a move away from the handwork that was (and in some cases still is) a big part of this art for so many years. I'll do my bit to keep the hand stitching category alive and well. p.s. Fun to see your daughter's classroom setup - it must have been a bit of a walk down memory lane for you Kyle.

  5. You have some lovely family photos here! That's a shame in regards to so little hand work showing up at the quilt show. Our local one is every two years, versus every year, which is probably why there is still a nice amount of hand quilted and hand appliqued quilts...sometimes those take longer than a year. Love seeing your hand quilting closeup here :)

  6. O how I love the part of the States were you live! My husband and I visited it several times, love those mountains!
    It must have been such a fun thing to judge all those beautiful quilts! I love teachers, they really can make a difference in a kid's life. Our granddaughter Rosa is going to second grade this month. Kids go to school here when they turn 4.
    Happy Stitching!

  7. Is this the first time you've judged quilts Kyle? It sounds like it would be a difficult job! But on the other hand, fun to see the quilts close up and personal! My DIL is switching from teaching 4th grade to 3rd grade this year - I've helped her set up her classroom before and it's kinda fun - especially doing bulletin boards! Our skies are hazy too - so many fires burning all over the place! Ugh!

  8. Just living a bit north of Gayle, I am in the hazy skies, too, though not as bad as Boise was when we left it on Friday.
    Changing two grade levels can mean a lot of extra work to adapt to the new level. I think of all of the teaching games and visuals I used to create and how grade specific they were. Maybe they don't need so much handmade stuff anymore--it is a different world now, I'm sure.
    Wow--judging quilts is a big job. At our fair all of the judging takes place privately. I think it would be scarier to have people watch. I have never judged, but have helped record judge decisions, attach ribbons and hang the quilts.
    Let's hope you get some of those lazy days now!

  9. I learned to hand piece when I started quilting, but not hand quilt properly. I have only ever hand quilted a few items and now to be honest would outsource all of my big quilts if I could avoid it. My friend calls it quilting by cheque book, but I am a "piecer" more then a quilter! I do hand stitch my bindings, love that part!

  10. Your daughter does such a wonderful job of making the classroom a fun place to learn. It's great you get to join in and help. How interesting to be quilt show judge. I enjoyed hearing your observations about hand work vs machine. I've been hand quilting a quilt and I'm at that halfway point where I'm wishing I'd machine quilted it because it feels as though its taking forever. Reading this blog post makes me feel better about it.

  11. I am sure your post today gave all of us "used to be teachers" a bit of a twinge, Kyle. Your daughter looks like the kind of teacher anyone would love to have for second grade. Thanks to her and others like her for making learning fun and rewarding for our future leaders. Have a wonderful year, Mrs. Wolfe!

    1. That is the sweetest comment! Thank you!! I can't wait for this new year to start! :)

  12. Where did summer go? Here you are helping to get the schoolroom ready! As we travel homeward we have seen wildfires to the south of the Alaska Highway in the Yukon and evidence of the terrible fires from 2015 in British Columbia
    Agree with you, the hand work categories of quilting grow smaller to none at shows - our local area is the same.

  13. You were certainly excited and honoured to be a quilt judge ! What responsibility !
    In France, quilters are most of the time, working by hand : pieced and quilting ! I recognise sometimes, I am using my machine but i love to quilt all by hand .
    You had a sweetie helper ! :)

  14. A hand quilted large bed quilt won Reserve Champion at our county fair this year! No hand pieced quilts though. Your hand quilting is exquisite! The smoke has not made it down here...knock on wood.

  15. It's wonderful to see your daughter's passion for teaching, her students will be lucky to have her!
    What a great experience it is to be able to judge quilts at the county fair!
    I agree, so sad to see hand piecing and quilting becoming a dying art here in the states.
    I hope a few of those lazy summer days come your way soon!

  16. I didn't know that you used to be an elementary school teacher. Classroom teaching has changed a lot over the years with the inclusion of computers. A big wide world opened to the kids.
    It is sad that handwork in quilting is not as prevalent as in the past but then to be expected with the instant world we live in today.

  17. It takes lots of energy and patience to be a school teacher. How great to be a quilt judge. You get to see so many beautiful quilts. Hugs

  18. Such beautiful scenery in your part of the country even with the haze. I bet your daughter is a wonderful teacher and your little helper is SO adorable. What a great experience it must have been to judge all those quilts and offer suggestions :)

  19. I am totally lazy too! How fun to judge a quilt show!

  20. I hate to think that hand quilting may die out some day. I do my part to keep it going, but it does seem that fewer and fewer quilts are hand quilted. Our show made adorable little wool "hands" to clip to the quilts that were hand quilted. I was amazed at how many there were!

  21. Couldn't have set up my room without you!!

  22. I hope those fires are soon under control and stay well away from you. Best wishes to Jessica for the school year. So sad that hand work is not making itself felt around your area; it's alive and well Down Under! You'll have to do some local promo work!

  23. I love to hand quilt, but confess that I only do it on about every fourth quilt. The time required although very relaxing is a much slower process and it seems that many of my quilts are gifts with deadlines involved. I have to laugh at lazy, too . . . summer is nothing but work . . . I do love it . . . I'm an outdoors girl. Quilting helps keep me sane in the winter months when being outside is just too cold, LOL.
    This is a lovely post, thank you for sharing :)

  24. I loved seeing your daughters classroom - so creative. My son's a middle school teacher so I really appreciate all that goes into making a good learning enviro.
    How fun to do judging! I'd like to try it one day.
    Your quilt is so beautiful. I taught a little mini lesson to a woman at our quilt on hand quilting - I offer a whole day workshop on hand techniques - no takers yet - but I'm hoping! Everyone loves it, but so few still do it.

  25. Looks like a fun classroom, so nice you could help out. I still love all hand sewing and love that I can hang out with hand sewers.