Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Embarrassing musical moments and the winners!

Thanks for playing along with telling your embarrassing music stories...we've ALL got them, even if we play nothing more than the radio.

I thought it wouldn't be fair if I didn't share some of my better bloopers.  I still work part time as a musician, so there are endless opportunities to screw up.
My earliest one happened when I was 6 at my first piano recital.  I was supposed to play a one hand, one finger version of the Christmas carol,  "Good King Wencelas"...memorized.  When it was my turn, I reluctantly walked to the piano, curtsied, sat down, stared at the keys, went completely blank, got up, curtsied, and left the piano.

OK, secondly...when I was a very naive freshman in high school, the first chair trombone player, a senior, was named Sam Bates.  I was very shy.  One day when I walked into the bandroom before class, Sam was sitting with a bunch of the other guys that played in the brass sections.  Sam stopped talking with his friends and said, "hello" to me...I returned the greeting, saying, "Good afternoon, Master Bates."  I was trying to be cute, not vulgar...I had NO IDEA what I had just said.  I don't even think I knew what "masturbate" meant.  The boys thought I was hilarious...I was mortified later when I figured out what I had actually said... a naive freshman in the Auburn University Marching Band, we were on our first road trip to an away game (LSU, I think...).  About 30 minutes before we were to arrive at our pre-game practice location, one of the baritone sax players was walking up and down the isle of the bus, offering brownies.  I accepted one, thinking to myself, "those rough guys aren't such big thugs after all..."  Well, 30 minutes later I was stoned out of my mind (first exposure to pot, which was apparently baked into the brownies...).  There I was, stumbling around the 400-person marching formations, trying to perform the marching drills, remember what end of my clarinet to blow, and not fall on my keester.

Number 4...I was so proud my first rehearsal as the principle clarinetist in the Auburn University Symphony Orchestra.  For those of you who don't know, in an orchestra, the clarinet players play two different clarinets, an A clarinet or a Bb clarinet, depending on the key signature/arrangement.  Because attaching the reed to the mouthpiece can be so fussy, we often just take the mouthpiece/barrel joint off and put it on the other instrument.  The A clarinet is almost identical...just a tiny tad longer than the Bb horn

Well, sometimes you have to make this change quickly between songs, sometimes quickly between movements or within the same movement if there's a weird key change.  I got all confused in one rehearsal with a ridiculously good-looking visiting conductor and I started playing a solo section on the wrong horn, which sounded AWFUL!  It took me a little while to figure it out...I just thought I was horribly out of tune.  I kept trying to adjust.  I'm SO glad it wasn't during a concert.

Number Five...sometimes when I play hymns in church, I start daydreaming and either stop one verse too soon, or keep playing when everyone else is finished.  But that's NOTHIN'!  

One time when I was singing a solo and accompanying myself on the piano, I forgot to turn the boom mic that was right in front of me to the "on" position before I started.  I didn't want to quit and start over...I thought that if I just got to the end of a phrase, I could just quickly turn it on and keep going (hoping no one would notice that I had screwed up).  Well, I tried to do it too fast, and I ended up knocking the whole mic and mic stand over, which hit the piano and then the floor with a HUGE, OVERLY-AMPLIFIED double thump.

OK...enough humble pie.  Let's announce the 3 winners who each get to pick 4 of my music block patterns!

My daughter helped me get the names in a Bundt pan and she picked the 3 winners.

The winners are:

1)  Kathleen C
2)  Regan
3)  Frog Quilter

Congratulations to the winners!

Thank you to everyone for playing along!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Monday, July 29, 2013


We are celebrating this morning in the quilt cave!

FIRST, our little online store front is finally open to sell the musical instrument quilt blocks that make up the "BALTIMORE RHAPSODY" project!  You can find it by clicking on the "badge" to the right of the top of this post (

SECOND, I've been working on some NEW applique doodles in anticipation of our 20th wedding anniversary later this fall.  Last week we celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the "day we met" (does anyone out there celebrate those kinds of milestones, or are we just hopeless, goofy romantics??).  It prompted some little doodles...

After my creative journey through the Civil War Bride Quilt project, I've always wanted to explore a project that depicted our journey, a quilt that would tell our story.  

Lately, I've been studying and thinking about the "The Reconciliation Quilt."  Have you seen this old beauty?

Apparently it was just on display earlier this summer at the Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska.  The quilt was made in 1867 by Lucinda Ward Honstain of Brooklyn, New York. It was made right after the civil war and depicts 40 scenes of hope and compassion that depict the country trying to reunite and heal.

I love quilts that tell a story, and the folk art style of quilting has always appealed to me...a style where applique pictures can be a little less precise, and size and scale can be distorted, unreal, and a little whimsical.

With that in mind, while I was recently out of state, I started doodling.  I was trapped away from home and quilt cave, with few quilting comforts...just a little sketch book...

I started thinking about the life changing events of all our lives and things we value above all else.  At the time, these events have perhaps seemed small and unremarkable, but after the passage of some time they prove monumental.  Those are the kinds of things I want to capture and record in quilt blocks, if possible, and make my own story quilt...and maybe prompt you to do the same...

When I look at The Reconciliation Quilt," I find that I wish I knew what Lucinda was thinking as she drafted each block.  I wish I had a name, or a date, or some tiny clues.  That is why I am toying with whether to include tiny appliqued letters and numbers depicting names, dates, or places.  Will they add?  Will they detract?  

I think I will prep all the applique shapes and place them on the background first before adding letters and numbers.  I am aiming for 10-inch finished blocks, so I dare not make the numbers and letters much smaller...but I don't want things too cluttered.

THIRD, a give-away to celebrate the release of the patterns!  How about 3 winners, each getting to choose 4 music blocks?  Leave a comment revealing your most embarrassing musical moment EVER (musician, or not...if you have one) and I will choose 3 winners by random number generation at 6PM EST Wednesday evening, July 31.  

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)

p.s. - Our little store site is very simple.  Right now we can only mail domestically.  Soon I will have the patterns available to be purchased by "electronic download" (the large format applique picture will be "quartered" so that it will print on four 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper, then can be taped together).  This will eliminate postage for those interested and able to print a pattern at home/work from email, and ESPECIALLY will avoid all the annoying customs requirements that seem to be different for every head is still spinning from THAT little discovery!  We are definitely learning to walk before running with this project.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

 Well, the "Baltimore Rhapsody" music blocks will be available in 10 days on our new little website.  If you go there before Monday, July 29, you will see Weasley watching over things until we get back in town (we are taking care of some family matters...).

Penny emailed and asked if I would lump all the blocks together in one post so she wouldn't have to go searching through my blog to find them.  The brasses are shown above and the woodwinds below...thanks for the suggestion, Penny!

I wish I could say that I will be quilting on the symphony quilt where I am going, but it is a little risky to take a basically white quilt into that environment.  We will be pretty busy while away anyway.

Here's the string section...
Next, the conductor, percussion, and the solo instruments...
And the first three "general" music blocks...
I like the way the sections look together in 4-block arrangements...hmmm...future projects...

I mailed "Folk Art in the Vineyard" off this week to Paducah for the August Grand Rapids show...anyone out there going on Friday, August 16?  It's so hard leaving the box at the post office and trusting a quilt to go out into the ether.

It only took as entire lint roller brush to get the cat hair, etc. off the quilt before sealing he box.  Zeesh!  My cat follows me everywhere I go, and now, this time, he is preceding me.

Last year there were 80 vendors for the first year of the AQS Grand Rapids show...I heard a rumor that there will be 200 there next month.  (Note to self: must leave credit card at home...)

On the Monday the store site opens, I will be hosting a give-away here at the blog...come back and help me celebrate!  Maybe by then, I can show you what I am doing with the next 2 instrument blocks...the banjo and the accoustic guitar.  Yee-haw!  (or maybe more appropriately, "Hee-Haw"!)

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Shipshewana Quilt Festival, Part Six...

I hope you aren't tired of the quilt show yet...there are more quilts!

For some reason, I did not get a picture of the label for this next quilt (if you know whose it is, plese let me know)...

 Very nice hand work...

This was my other quilt entry for the show.  I started with Corliss Searcey's Civil War Bride Quilt pattern and used half of her blocks, re-drafted the other half and changed the borders.  I wanted the quilt to represent my daughter and our family (including Weasley the cat and a family self-portrait!).

We all had to come up with our own "groom" block, as the original top at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC had no groom.

I loved this little froggie...

Whew!  That was a workout!  Happy 4th of July!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)