I can't believe I haven't posted since April! Now to try to catch you up on what has happened since then!
The last time I posted, my cat Caramel had just had kittens and I was leaving town to teach in Paducah, Kentucky at the AQS show. Well, since that post, the father of the kittens (Moose) was killed by a copperhead and a week later Caramel had to be put down because she had Feline Leukemia, which is untreatable and fatal. It was a bad week for us.
We couldn't take a chance of having her have more kittens and didn't know if she would survive spaying. I know that sounds awful but we didn't want to spread the disease anymore. The vet said that the kittens most likely also had Feline Leukemia and offered a variety of scenarios. They could never exhibit the disease but be a carrier, they could get ill at some point in their lives, or they could be disease free. At 12 weeks old, we couldn't think of putting any of them down so we, of course, kept all of the kittens. We couldn't give them away, possibly exposing other cats. Since this was my first litter, I was not thrilled about giving any of them away anyway so I got to keep them all! The good news is they are all doing great! Let me introduce you to them. They were about 16 weeks old when I took these photos. Since they lost their mother and father, my husband and I became their parents.
I will add more photos later.
A lot more has happened this year. I had many traveling adventures with my traveling companion Rosemary. The AQS show in Paducah was wonderful. I had fantastic classes and met so many nice quilters.
In June I went to a great guild in Spring, Texas and also got to visit my son who lives in Austin. He came to pick me up in his new (used) Jeep which had no doors! I traveled for 3 hours at 70 mph on the highway with the wind blowing my hair in my face (you can see he doesn't have to worry about his hair blowing). Not the greatest experience but I was glad to be with my son, who I hadn't seen for a couple years. I had a wonderful visit with him and ate a delicious lamb dinner at the restaurant where he works.
In July I lectured and taught a workshops to a wonderful quilt guild in Altoona, Iowa. In August I taught a workshop and lectured in a quilt retreat center in Danville, Illinois called Threads of Time. If you live near there you need to go see it. The owners (a husband and wife) bought an old nursing home and turned it into a shop and retreat center. It is a great facility and all of the staff were so nice.
In September I went to Stillwater, Oklahoma. I was suppose to go there in March but the weather prohibited me and they were nice enough to reschedule it. I also taught in Springfield, Illinois that month at the Machine Quilter's Expo. This is the first year they brought it to the Midwest. They started with one show on the east coast, then to one on the west coast. They always have such a great show of machine quilted quilts. Being a teacher in the show, I got to present a ribbon to a quilt of my choice. As I was putting my ribbon on the quilt, I realized that the quilter was standing behind me and she started crying! It was a great feeling to be able to be there when I did it so I could see her reaction. I know what it's like to get a ribbon and I remember what it felt like when I got my first one. She was so thrilled and said it was her first ribbon. I'm glad I was the one to give it to her.
In October I taught at our state guild retreat (Missouri State Quilter's Guild) in Jefferson City, Missouri. Ricky Tims was one of our guest speakers and he always gives such a great show. He is so talented, not just as a quilter, but also as a musician. I was having a wonderful time until Saturday morning when I was setting up my classroom. I tripped over a extension cord and hurt my foot. I taught class, but after class realized that my foot wasn't getting any better and thought I should go to the emergency clinic. That's when I found out that I broke my foot! I did stay the rest of the retreat being wheeled around in a wheel chair so I was able to get through the weekend. After seeing a local doctor I was given boot and told that I had to stay off it until at least Dec. 10. At least I didn't have to have surgery.
Now down to business! In the following weeks I will be having a variety of drawings for fabric bundles and other items. I will be showing you some of my design work from this year and sharing some free patterns. I have been collaborating with eQuilter.com and designing free patterns for them. I also entered a challenge with Clothworks Fabrics using their new American Made Brand solids. As soon as I am able I will be posting information regarding the 20 quilts (including mine) that were displayed at the IQA show in Houston, Texas. I will also be blogging with Electric Quilt company who will be offering free downloadable designs from a variety of quilters. Please share my blog with your quilting friends so they can join in on the fun.
Starting tomorrow I will be having a huge fabric clearance sale. I have fabrics starting as low as $5 a yard and will give a 20% discount on all regular priced items purchased. Please stop by to take a look at Gateway Quilts & Stuff and tell all of your quilting friends about the sale. The two links on my webpage, Fab ShopHop and Quilt Dash both have drawings for participating. Your name might be drawn to receive a gift certificate to my or another quilt shop.
On to working on more patterns. More great news to follow. Remember; always love what you do and do what you love. Toby Lischko