Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms and “Other” Mothers!

My "Other" Moms taught me how to sew!
My “Other” Moms taught me how to sew!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s out there! I saw this cute saying today thanking one’s Mom for teaching them to sew. My Mom is extremely creative, actually she is a fabulous artist using oil, watercolors and pencils as her medium. Fabric and thread not so much.  But lucky for me, I had two wonderful neighbors, one who I called Aunt Del and the other Anna who instilled in me the love of sewing. They both were quite accomplished seamstresses, from buttons to zippers to inset sleeves and darts – you name it they could do it! At the time I thought they were crazy with their insistence on cutting the patterns so precisely and that measuring the straight of grain was ridiculous. I was just a kid and wanted it cut out in no time flat! I remember learning to sew at my Aunt Del’s sewing machine that ran with a knee switch in the little sewing closet her husband had made for her. Anna on the other hand, had a designated sewing room with a beautiful Singer sewing machine with Flexstitch cams to create various stitches. I thought it was one of the coolest machines I had ever seen. They both made me rip out stitches and re-sew seams to their liking. They had me baste and then sew sleeves and zippers. No short cuts! I have many fond memories of spending time with them on fabric shopping expeditions. Anna my was quilt groupie and trailed around with me to countless quilt shows and shops! When I first opened my quilt shop, they both helped me make samples to display. They both have been gone for some time now but every time I sit down to prep fabric for a quilt or cut out my pieces and sit at my machine to sew, I hear them in my head guiding my every stitch. Aunt Del and Anna were not my Mother nor were they even a blood relative, but their interest and love in me as a child has helped shape me as an adult. Their love of sewing was instilled in me and I am forever grateful. For all you fellow sewists and quilters out there, mentor a child today, you may never know the impact you may have! Happy Mother’s Day!

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Thinking Outside the Box and about Helping the World!

Here is my final post from the Northern Star Quilt Show. It was a special exhibit from the FiberArts NorthEast collaborative. Their exhibit was called Outside the Box. These mini art quilts were displayed on cubes. Each had a varying theme. I thought they were very cool and extremely creative. Here are a few of my favorites…

FiberArt NorthEast presents OUTSIDE the BOX
FiberArt NorthEast presents OUTSIDE the BOX
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
True Vision
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Random Leaves
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
Spring Hope
All Wrapped Up
All Wrapped Up

You believe in helping the world, right? I do…I believe one act of kindness creates a ripple affect. Who knows what affect you might have on someone. Well, last year, with four of our children grown and out on their own and just Grace at home, I felt it was time to do a little more for my community. I saw an advertisement recruiting for volunteers for The Center for Safety and Change in New City, NY.

http://www.rocklandfamilyshelter.org

This is our local family shelter. I contacted them and was amazed at all the services they provide to our community – from a shelter for those escaping domestic violence, a 24 hour Hot Line for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault to providing counseling and  SAFE nurses at local emergency rooms for rape victims. I was shocked by the incidences of violence and sexual assault of local women. We tend to think that happens in far off places, not in our backyard. Did you know that every 107 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted? That 68% of these assaults will not be reported?

I was thrilled to be accepted into the Rape Crisis Advocate program and went through three months of training on sexual assault and rape, misconceptions, flashbacks and how we can help them. Since last year at this time, I take 3 shifts each month to cover the Hotline at night and if necessary go to the Emergency room to meet a survivor and assist them through this difficult time. Last night, the Center honored its volunteers. Several of my fellow counselors were acknowledged for their years served….several have been giving of their time for over 14 years! I am so proud to be part of this organization. Who might you help today??

Center for Safety and Change Volunteer Appreciation
Center for Safety and Change Volunteer Appreciation

Northern Star Inspiration Part 2

Here are a few more of my favorite quilts from Saturday’s quilt show by the Northern Star Quilt Guild. I thought Diana’s “selfie” was awesome! I met Diana several years ago when she came to my quilt store. She had brought with her a quilt that was a portrait of a cat. It was fabulous and her work always is impeccable. What I loved about this quilt is the quilting. Her quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, added a special touch quilting in Diana’s name into the quilt.

Selfie Stash by Diana Sharkey. It received an Honorable Mention!
Selfie Stash by Diana Sharkey. It received an Honorable Mention!
Selfie Stash bu Diana Sharkey
Selfie Stash bu Diana Sharkey

Image 31

Diana's quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, quilted her name right into the quilt
Diana’s quilter, Wilma from Christian Lane Quilters, quilted her name right into the quilt

I found myself draan to many of the Modern quilts displayed in the show. The quilt, “Going my way”, struck me. I think it was the a combination of the colors and the quilting designs. I think the curves of the quilting designs are a beautiful juxtaposition to the pieced cubes in the quilt. Don’t you agree?

Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor
Going My Way by Claire Victor

This inspires me to start working on a Modern Quilt design I have rolling around in my head. What inspires you?

Northern Star Inspiration

On Saturday, I attended the Northern Star Quilt show in Somers, New York. Usually, I attend with a few fellow quilters, but this time I decided to go it alone and take my time viewing the quilts in the show. I found it refreshing to wander the floor by myself and study each quilt and was inspired by so many beautiful works of art. I will share with you some of my favorites over the next few days. Hopefully you will find some inspiration too!

I was thrilled to see my quilting BFF, Debby Siccardi, won 1st place in large bed quilts and best machine quilting! It was well deserved and I know how much time and energy she put into sewing and quilting this quilt!

Debbie Siccardi's quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi’s quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi's quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers
Debbie Siccardi’s quilt:: Dreaming of Alaskan Glaciers

Best of show, “Marvelous Martha” was a fabulous piece. Donna Chambers really out did herself using mixed media – cotton and silk fabrics and texture magic and an exquisite hand painted face. Donna also received a 1st place ribbon in the Wall quilts category and a N.Q.A. CJ Award of Merit for Outstanding Achievement in Quiltmaking.  The quilting on the piece was just beautiful and I really loved Donna’s use of the striping in the border fabric. My photo does not do it justice.

Best of Show: Donna Chamber's Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber’s Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber's Marvelous Martha
Best of Show: Donna Chamber’s Marvelous Martha

Welcome to the Adventures of ColQuilts!

Hello! My name is Colleen and quilting is my passion! And so is fitness and running, hiking, cooking, and reading! Hovering at the half century mark, I have embarked on a journey of new growth the past few years. I’ve been working on improving my free motion quilting skills and have had quilts in Machine Quilter’s Exposition (MQX) which is a nationally juried quilt show. It was quite an honor to have my quilts accepted and I even won a faculty ribbon !

I have always been a bit of a klutz so when my friend, Genn, suggested I join her for a Zumba class, I thought she was crazy! Yet, it was a life altering event for me. I became a Zumba and fitness groupie, expanding my classes to include RIPPED and POUND. You can find me most evenings at ZLifestyle classes at the Clarkstown Reformed Church. I was inspired further by my friend, Jane, when she ran a triathlon. I decided if she could do that I could try to run a race. So I ran my first race with my daughter, Deven, and my husband, Michael, in November 2013. It was an amazing feeling pushing myself and challenging my body to cross that finish line! A year and a half later, I just finished my first half marathon!

Hiking is another love of mine and it is a family affair. Luckily, we’ve passed that love onto our kids! Even our dog, Tucker, loves to go with us. Mike and I decided to try to climb the tallest peak in each state. So far we’ve accomplished Mount Washington in New Hampshire and Mount Marcy in New York. Mount Katahdin in Maine is our goal for this year!

I plan to use this blog as a way to share mainly my love of quilting but will occasionally interject a post or two about a hike,  a fitness event, a great recipe or family fun! I hope you’ll follow along!

Where beautiful quilts are finished!
Where beautiful quilts are finished!

Computerized Quilting

Turkey Trot - Nov 2013
Turkey Trot – Nov 2013
We made it to the top!
We made it to the top!