Friday, August 24, 2012

Biggest Beatles Fan Quilts

It's not every day I meet a quilter that diligently translated her undying devotion into Beatles quilts.   Quilts, that right - not just one Beatles quilt, but two!  Meet Lynda Martello, affectionately called loco Beatles fan by her friends and colleagues at The Sewing and Vacuum Place in Santa Rosa, CA.  Wow!  Lynda's Beatles quilts have won all sorts of ribbons and its no wonder, these two quilts are outstanding.

Lynda's quilt blocks represent Beatles albums and .....

song lines...  

Lynda collected fabrics for 12 years ...

After having her original Beatles quilts stolen, Lynda diligently labels ALL her quilts. 

Lynda's quilts now hang in the safety of The Sewing and Vacuum Place in Santa Rosa, CA. 

Pam holding the SCHMETZ "Super Needle and Lynda 

Next time you visit beautiful Sonoma Valley, drop by The Sewing and Vacuum Place - a Baby Lock dealer - to take a look at these remarkable quilts.  Pam Cortese, owner of The Sewing and Vacuum Place, and Lynda love to talk about sewing and quilting.  Without a doubt, you will be inspired!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

4-H Fashion On The Runway, Penn State

Over 100 years ago 4-H Clubs were organized by agricultural schools to educate youth and their families in rural communities.  Today through 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension Services, 4-H programs reach more than 6 million kids in urban, suburban and rural communities.  With over half a million volunteers, 3,500 professionals and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H kids from elementary to high school "learn by doing."

Last week I drove through lush gentle mountains that wound into a green well manicured valley.  After making a few wrong turns and attempting to avoid street construction, my 4-H journey began at Penn State University in State College, PA.

4-H is about learning and sharing.  Gabby was my ever cheerful and helpful assistant.  Growing up Gabby was an active 4-H member with many sewing projects and today was a walk down memory lane.  Even now while studying to be a physician's assistant, Gabby took the time to help with the 2012 4-H Fashion Review.

Fashion Review day was conducted with precision.  Sandra, Maureen, Linda and the 4-H volunteers set -up a terrific day of learning.  From 9:00am to 2:45pm 4-H participants attended workshops on careers in fashion and design, pattern making, a design challenge, wool felting and SCHMETZ needle education.

My first students of the day with the SCHMETZ Super Needle.

60 Fashion Revue contenders won their local and regional sewing competitions before reaching this state level. The young ladies - no guys this year -  filed into the auditorium for their preliminary walk through on the stage . . .

while the official judges also preview garments for the first time.

Competition was tight.  Workmanship, style and sewing techniques were high. Judges announced winners that evening at a formal runway fashion show with lights, music and narration.

I taught 6 SCHMETZ classes and fielded questions from the astute audiences.  The girls were certainly present to learn and to meet new friends.  Being part of the day's excitement I recalled the 4-H pledge: 
"I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world."

4-H is a terrific organization for kids to learn new skills, develop leadership, serve communities and build confidence while expanding their worlds.  It was a joy to be among these attentive and friendly 4-Her's that were eager to learn and explore.  To find a local 4-H club in your community and to learn more about 4-H visit

Thursday, August 2, 2012

4-H Blue Ribbon Sewing

Sewing is a year round activity, but many 4-H members have been power stitching during the summer heat in high anticipation of upcoming county and state fairs.  They have scoped out their local quilt and fabric shops in search of the perfect fabrics, while 4-H leaders all along the way provide learning activities and guidance.  A few have probably become quite proficient with the seam zipper too, but really who is not master of the seam ripper?  We all do it.  Ripping out is part of the sewing process.

Amanda Power Sewing with Perfect Posture
Amanda is sewing a dress for the Keith County Fair in Nebraska.  After finishing one dress, she moves on to the next project . . .

Fabric selection, precision cutting, precise matching, straight seams and some laughs with friends, Amanda finished her quilt in only 3 days.

With thoughts of blue ribbons, meeting new friends and checking out competing projects, the season of complete 4-H projects has arrived.  Next week I will be part of the excitement at the Pennsylvania 4-H State Fashion Revue.  60 participants that have already won their regional event, will again compete for top state awards.  During the day they will attend workshops on garment construction techniques, design, and careers in fashion and textiles, while I will Get To The Point with my SCHMETZ needle class.   Stay tuned, I will post my PA 4-H day.  Until then, good luck to Amanda and all her Nebraska friends on their 4-H sewing projects!