Saturday, June 20, 2009

Remarkable Women

bronze sculpture of Amelia Earhart
on the grounds of the Forest of Friendship
Atchison, Kansas

program bio for Aruna Kandarpa,
the first female commercial helicopter pilot in India

Aruna receives her award
(this is her first-ever trip to the US, and she was very excited about it!)

program bio for Norah O'Neill, the first woman pilot for Flying Tigers/Federal Express
and the 7th female commercial airline pilot in the US
Norah is also a fiber artist!

Norah receiving her award 
(she wrote a book about her experiences in the aviation industry called "Flying Tigress")

One of the subcultures I am fortunate to be a part of is the world of aviation, particularly the Ninety Nine's, an organization of women pilots.  Each year many of us come together in Atchison, KS, the birthplace of Amelia Earhart (the first president of the Ninety Nine's).  On the third weekend of June we gather to honor those that have made an impact on aviation.  Each year, a number of amazing and inspiring people are inducted into the Forest of Friendship, a lovely forest on the edge of the city.  The forest was established during the bicentennial celebration to honor Atchison's historical ties to aviation.  Each year, selected people or organizations are inducted into the forest, with a plaque embedded into the pathway that wanders throughout the lovely place. These women are two of the 33 individuals who were honored this year by the Forest of Friendship.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lunch with 98-year-old twins

Pauline and Paul, 98-year-old twins

Pauline with her sister-in-law, Dorothy, who 
will celebrate her 100th birthday in July, 2009!

My good friend, Pauline, asked me to drive her from Topeka to Salina, Kansas, in order to visit her brother and sister-in-law.  It was a pleasure to have enough time to do this for her.  Pauline was so good to my mother during all the years of her confinement in the nursing home.  I'm very happy to be her designated driver.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Buffalo Herd in the Flint Hills

Look at the buffalo calves!

After spending the night in Chase County at the home of a friend, we made a leisurely trip back through the area, stopping frequently to look at small towns and take photos.  As we crested a hill we spotted a large herd of buffalo near the edge of the highway.  We pulled over and watched the animals for awhile.  Some of the calves were clearly newborn:  very unstable on their legs.

More about the Flint Hills Symphony Event

A "crowd-photo" at the Flint Hills symphony 
(note the cowboy riding horseback in the distance)

A sample of little bluestem grass picked at the site

Musical selections for the concert

more info about the program

I consider myself very fortunate to have attended the 2009 Symphony in the Flint Hills.
Despite the prediction of inclement weather for the concert day, the weather was close to perfect.  Because of the frequent rains leading up to the day of the concert, the prairie was absolutely gorgeous:  lush grass peppered with loads of Kansas wildflowers.  
I loved hearing the calls of the Meadowlark and other Kansas birds.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Day of Kansas Perfection

The beautiful Flint Hills of Chase County, Kansas
and site of 2009 "Symphony in the Flint Hills"
The temporary shell housing the Kansas City Symphony
situated in the natural amphitheater setting

The crowd gathers for the concert

My friend, Billie, managed to secure tickets for the Symphony in the Flint Hills, a unique event that is located in a different setting each year in the beautiful Flint Hills.  This year the concert was in Chase County on a private ranch, miles off the nearest highway.  
The concert began at 6:30 in the evening, finishing just before twilight.  Sitting in this place, in a region I feel a deep connection to, listening to gorgeous music under the big Kansas sky, was pretty close to perfect.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Come See Me in Long Beach!

Although I don't have the open studios schedule for Long Beach, as yet, I will be there!
If you are planning to attend the quilt festival in Long Beach, please stop by the Quilting Arts Booth.  There is always something fun happening there!
Here is the recent QA email blast:
Save the Date!
Meet us July 24-26 in Long Beach

Pokey Bolton and Helen Gregory the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach last year.We're packing flip-flops and bikinis along with our art supplies for Make It University!™ with Cloth Paper Scissors® at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach July 24-26, 2009. Won’t you join us?

We'll kick off the festivities on July 23 with a not-to-be-missed luncheon, "Quilting Arts Uncensored: The Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know." Founder and editor-in-chief Pokey Bolton will share funny stories and divulge publishing secrets of how she launched Quilting Arts Magazine®. She’ll also be giving away free magazines and merchandise, so be sure to sign up early and save your place!

Serenity ATC by Melanie TestaAlso at Make It University!™ Long Beach:

  • Open Studios where artists Linda Blinn, Alisa Burke, Lisa Engelbrecht, Jamie Fingal, Leslie Jenison, Jane LaFazio, Melanie Testa, and more will create art and answer your questions.
  • Workshops taught by artists and exhibitors.
  • Back by popular demand: Our famous ATC (artist trading card) trade.
  • And a special ATC trade centered on Melanie Testa's new book, Inspired to Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt ImageryCheck Melanie's blog on for more details.
Find out how to sign up for Pokey's luncheon and get updates on the artists and other festivities on our website.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Indian Textiles

Box of colorful bangle bracelets from India

detail of an elaborate woven silk sari

detail of a linen sari
Danville Chadbourne and Diana Roberts 
Both avid textile and folk-art collectors, they collected folk and tribal weavings, 
saris, salwar kameez, and other items along the way during 3 months of travel 
in 2007. In this show-and-tell presentation, Danville & Diana will share some 
of the items they collected in their travels, with discussion about cultural 
background & travel stories.
One of the truly wonderful things about living in San Antonio is the Fiber Artist's Guild.  We have a juicy, eclectic, interesting group of artists in the community, and our programs are varied and exciting.  Above is the FASA newsletter description of today's program.
Today's visual treat:  a presentation of Indian texiles from the collection of Danville Chadbourne and Diana Roberts.  The textiles were acquired while Danville participated in an extended artist-in-residency in that country.  He and Diana had an opportunity to travel extensively to a number of areas, and their collection of antique quilts, every day cloth items such as bed linens and tablecloths, as well as beautiful men's clothing and women's saris reflects a variety of tribal color and pattern.  To say that we were served a delicious visual "feast" would be an understatement.  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My Grandmother the quilt-maker

Maude Tucker, circa mid-1960's

My paternal grandmother, Maude Tucker, was the town seamstress and a gifted quilt-maker.
She lived most of her life in and near the small town of Smith Center, Kansas.  She raised 5 kids and worked hard as a farm wife until she and my grandfather moved into town after he retired.
Although I was too young to appreciate it, I remember that there was always a quilt in a frame in one of the upstairs bedrooms.  My grandmother made all of the clothes my sister and I wore.
She frequently chided me that I "needed to use more color"!  If only she could see me now....

This is a rare photo of my grandmother using her sewing machine to work on a quilt.  I found this old photo recently and decided to scan it into my computer.  

I think about my connection to my grandmother through our mutual love of textiles and quilting.  She has been gone for over 20 years, but I like to think that she would be pleased about how much I love quilt-making, and how I treasure her old, wild, double-knit quilt.