Out There, Still

Posted February 6th, 2015 by Ellen and filed in Exhibitions, Family, For Sale, My collections, My Work, Personal, Teaching, Travels

My drafts folder is full of out-of-date, half-written blog posts.  The last 13 months have been busy, busy, busy with kitchen remodeling and home repairs.  What began as a 90-day project (which went seamlessly) turned into us realizing what others have known:  You make one room in your house really nice, and everything else looks like kaka.  We ended up painting most of our lower level’s rooms,  up the stairway and  the upper hallway.  Roofs of our house and garage were replaced, garage doors rebuilt, and many minor repairs completed.  Two days before Christmas, just as we thought things were settling, our furnace died.  After two weeks without heat, a new, energy efficient natural gas unit was in place.  The main AC unit is also new, as the refrigerant for the old one is no longer made.   We are, in a word, exhausted.  But we love our new kitchen and are happy to have so many overdue items taken care of.

After 33 years of travel teaching, I retired at the end of the year.  I’ll miss that part of my life, but want to concentrate on my own work and ideas.  I also want to spend more time with our two adorable grandchildren!  They are already 2 and 3, and I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

Lev Ira Rotate2Our grandbabies in their Grammy Jammies!

I have big plans for this year which include downsizing my “collections” and getting super organized, writing decent blog posts, making more quilts and most importantly, spending more time with friends.

Wishing all of you a belated happy Groundhog Day and an even later Happy New Year!

 

A Long Absence

Posted November 12th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Family, My Work, Personal, Teaching, Travels

Windows, Side Light

When I began blogging in 2007,  I wrote almost daily.  I was excited to have a forum in which to share my life through thought and photography.  A lot has happened since then.  Not only am I busier than ever, I’m not at all the same person I was seven years ago.

Great joy has come to me, through the birth of two adorable grandchildren.  Leven and Ira, 3 and 2, are my heart, the center of everything I do.  Friends who were grandparents had said, “Just wait.  There is no way to tell you how wonderful it is.”   How very true were those words.  Blessings be!

I view things differenetly now, with an entirely new perspective.  Things which seemed important to me in the past now seem trivial.  My greatest  treasures are my family and friends.  They’ve all been lifelines.

“If I ‘d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,”  attributed to Eubie Blake and others.  Aging brings wisdom, but also health issues.  I’ve now  outlived my father; my older sister has outlived both our parents as well as her late husband.  We all have the usual aches and pains.  I have a host of issues, most of which I don’t even think about.  The exception is macular degeneration, which threatens central vision.  But after almost three years of treatment, I can still see quite well.  I am so thankful for my wonderful retina specialist, Rick Weidman, and the researchers who developed the miracle drug Eylea.  I’m counting on being able to watch my grandbabies grow up!

I’m sewing once more, following a sabbatical in which I underwent three hand surgeries.  Finishing Ira’s quilt is my top priority.  After 33 years of travel teaching, I’ve decided to retire at the end of the year.  I want to work on my own projects now.  And of course spend a lot more time with the grandbabies.

Thanks to those who still check my blog occasionally for “something new” and not giving up when you see the page is unchanged.  Watch this space!

xo  Ellen.

Appearing Near You

Posted February 14th, 2014 by Ellen and filed in Exhibitions, My Work, News, Quilt Events, Teaching, Uncategorized

I’ll be presenting a lecture/trunk show Monday for the York County (SC) Quilters.  I’d love to see you If you’re in the Charlotte area.

YORK COUNTY QUILTERS

Grace Lutheran Church, 426 Oakland Avenue

Rock Hill, South Carolina

LECTURE:  Journey of a Quiltmaker

February 17, 2014 – 7 p.m.

SWTaffyDet2

On the Road Again

Posted April 18th, 2013 by Ellen and filed in My Work, News, Quilt Events, Teaching, Travels, Uncategorized

“His Eye is on the Sparrow”

Hand-dyed and hand-painted fabrics by the artist with a bit of upcycled cloth.

I’ll be giving my “Journey of a Quiltmaker” lecture tonight to the Foothills Quilters Guild in Shelby, NC.  Saturday we’ll have a day full of fun creating whimsical villages in my “Gimme Shelter” workshop.  Hope to see you there!

Photo credit:  Suzie Guerrant   mattandsuzie.com

My Friend Carol

Posted March 16th, 2013 by Ellen and filed in Exhibitions, Garden, Other Artists, Teaching, Uncategorized

Carol McLaughlin with “Blue Winter Star Flakes,”  judged  Best of Show/Traditional

Carol is an inspiration!  I first met her when teaching my Quilting 101 beginner class at Sewing Arts Studio in southeast Charlotte.  From the very beginning, Carol showed great enthusiasm, jumping right in with both feet.  Always smiling, her bright spirit was contagious.

Carol is a great example of why I love to teach.  She was like a sponge, wanting to soak up every bit of knowledge I would share.  In watching her, I was taken back to the day I was introduced to quilting, studying with the late Ellen Eanes.  I had left class  looking for an all night fabric store!  I never wanted to stop quilting and knew I had found my life’s work.

I tell all my students about the Charlotte Quilters’ Guild http://www.charlottequiltersguild.org/ and encourage them to attend a meeting of like-minded artists.  Ever enthusiastic, Carol not only came to meetings, she became actively involved, volunteering again and again.  All this time, she kept quilting, honing her skills.

I was so proud of Carol when she shared her traditionally pieced “Blue Winter Star Flakes” quilt which had won 1st place  and Best of Show/Traditional in last weekend’s Charlotte Quilters’ Guild show, “Through the Garden Gate”.  I am in no way taking even a wee bit of credit for Carol’s success.  All I did was open the door and give her a little nudge.  How’s that for a fabulous payoff!

Congratulations, Carol!  Here’s a big “attagirl” from me to you.  xo