Thursday, February 21, 2008
Close to Nowhere
Quilts of Valor great project
My “boon traveling companion” Jane and I hit the road again last weekend for another quilt gathering.
Neither one of us had ever been to Natchez before and actually, we really haven’t been yet, even though the gathering was at Copiah-Lincoln (Co-Lin) Community College in that historic town.
My Garmin once again was a problem — Jane and I have named “her” Earnestine, in honor of Lily Tomlin’s portrayal of the telephone operator. My Earnestine is about as helpful!
In town, Earnestine is wonderful. She got us through Natchez without having to look at a single street sign. We just turned when she said to and kept right or left, as she instructed.
Which is perhaps the biggest reason we didn’t see any of Natchez. We didn’t get lost and we didn’t have to look for anything.
On the interstate or any highway, Earnestine is quite a bit of a problem. She wants to go back roads and I want to go on the straightest four-lane around.
Jane and I didn’t see any of Co-Lin either. We stayed in the one large conference room except for the occasional trip to the restroom. We even ate in that same room.
Why would we want to leave? There was a quilt vendor in a corner, the walls were hung with quilts and people were standing at the microphone telling us how to do various “quilty” things — such as draft a Mariner’s Compass.
I am not math or geometry oriented. Neither is Jane. The Mariner’s Compass pattern is a complex puzzle of angles, lines and intersections that all have to meet just exactly “so” or you don’t get a Mariner’s Compass. You get a mess.
After a considerable amount of help from an elderly woman and her husband (who is the newest guy to join the Mississippi Quilt Association), I managed to get a reasonable facsimile onto the freezer paper for a pattern.
One of 100+ ladies there asked me how many of the Mariner’s Compasses I was going to actually make. I replied, “One, if I’m lucky.” I think it’s going to take more than luck to get one successful block done. They’re so beautiful though, I really am going to attempt at least one.
I’ve already made one of the projects demonstrated — a 30-minute tote bag. It quite literally took 30 minutes Sunday morning before church to make one.
And the bags are the perfect size for another project discussed — Quilts of Valor. This is a nationwide effort to make a twin-size quilt to give to a returning, wounded American serviceman (or woman!).
I hope the Quilt of Valor is one of those “roundtoits” that I actually get around to. Want to help with one? Call or email me.
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