"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mother Pus Bucket

That's a horrible phrase, is it not? It is just one of the things I learned in the longarm quilting classes I was able to take from Karen McTavish, this week. She says it is one of her favorite phrases because it sounds like she's cussing and she's not. Karen was a fun combination of tough and traditional/offbeat artist and her parents' daughter. She's got lots of hair.

She's also got high cheekbones but when I asked her if she was Native American (hey, I'm from Oklahoma) she informed me she was Jewish.

I guess "McTavish" as a last name should have tipped me off.

Coming from Oklahoma, "jewish" as a "look" isn't even on my radar.

At any rate, I'm delighted that I was able to take a few days off to attend the "Wild Women of Quilting" tour in which Karen and Sue Patton are wandering around the country teaching longarm classes. I learned so much and now I get to see if I can apply it. I took Karen's McTavishing class, the Victorian Feathers class (loved, loved, LOVED it!) and her class on heirloom quilting that addresses trapunto. Someday, someday. (for the benefit of my kids - trapunto is a technique when you stuff the quilt so it poofs out and takes your breath away - don't hold your breath that you'll get one for Christmas). I didn't get to take her wholecloth class because I had a custody trial waiting for me on Friday. I would have loved to see her work on one.

I didn't take any classes from Ms. Patton but I understand from a friend that she is an absolutely fabulous teacher. I walked in at the tail end of one of her classes and the energy level was amazing. I'd love to take a class from her in the future. Her daughter, Jessica, was on the road with them to help out. Isn't she a cutie?

I checked with her mum before posting the picture and she said as long as it was decent I could. So there it is.

Karen is an amazing artist. I just wish you could see her go to work. It's incredible.

She likes to work barefooted:

When she saw me taking a picture of her bare feet, she slipped on her thongs. Which to tell the truth, don't seem that much more substantial, to me.

But I suppose that is just good parenting coming out d'ya think?

As long as we are discussing feet and footwear - here's a picture of Sue Patton's shoes:

Here is some of Karen's work - she whipped this out and made it look as easy as inhaling chocolate.

Karen made the classes fun - I really liked her. But I worried about her driving all over the country. It is the mom in me. That has got to be exhausting. She'd just driven in from Oklahoma and is heading out to Michigan when the class week is done.

Karen has some pretty impressive tats:

That's TATS!

Karen's website tells more about her.

Here is a link to the gallery on her site. Have I mentioned that she does amazing work?

I broke down and asked her to autograph my McTavish books. I have most of them. She's the first person for whom I ever ditched my dignity and asked for an autograph, which tells you how much I admire her. Well, and she was there with a pen and I had the books, I suppose that was part of it. The books are worth every cent and they have DVDs. Go check them out.

I'm back home, today, and the custody trial that made me have to come home early was cancelled. The letter that I sent to both counsel telling them that I was going to recommend to the court that the parents get counseling, anger management and parenting classes must have worked its magic. They now hate me more than they hate each other, if that is possible. Perhaps it is the beginning of a reconciliation! So even though I had a bunch of fires to put out this morning, this afternoon has slowed down. I should be up quilting but I am blogging, instead.

Pearl made it clear that she was glad her mom was home:

I was so glad to see her. I got lots and lots and lots of kisses.

And nondemonstrative Evelyn wouldn't eat while I was gone and had an upset tummy. I believe it was from stress. Poor thing has had a lot of losses this year and was NOT happy when she saw my suitcase. She's more relaxed, today, and back on her feed:

Gotta love natural light when you have a camera in your hand. That flourescent stuff stinks.

I'm off to clean up the sewing room and throw some fabric on the longarm for a go at some Victorian Feathers. I also want to order some stencils, thread and a new laptop. This one has started to cough up blood and I want the new one here in time to recite the eulogy.

Happy Spring!


Anonymous said...

Glad you made it home!

I'm not a tattoo person...but her's are pretty cool!


Anonymous said...

Pearl looks like she's grown a lot!

Thanks for the recap and the photos. Now, greedy person that I am, I want to see lots of beautiful quilting from you. :)

Holee said...

I'm not a dread lock person or tattoo person. I don't understand why women want to make themselves look like that and then add the black nails...being who you are, if you didn't know who she was and walked into court trying to get custody...wouldn't you wonder, at least just a little?

Pearl is just getting too cute.

ranette said...

I think the "tats" are awesome! If I were a famous quilter I'd get some just like Karen's. As it is there are some days that I'd like to have dreads so I wouldn't have to wash my hair...lol

Don't you think that Sue's daughter looks like Jennifer Aniston a little?

Glad you had fun and learned a lot. Can't wait to see your Victorian Feathers!

Paula said...

Having only met Penny online, for all we know she's covered in tats herself. It's more fun to get to know the person on the inside. Penny, can't wait to see what you learned in the classes. And sure missed seeing pics of the girls.


Pam said...

Thanks for sharing your photos, Penny. Can't wait to see your course inspired work after you get settled back in. I agree that Karen is wonderful. She is just so herself...kind, generous, humble! I took a class from her last year at MQX in NH.
I missed seeing the girls while you were gone too! Love watching them grow up.

bingo~bonnie said...

I bet you had a very fun time! I've never seen "feathers" in a tat before - only a quilter :)

Is that a photo of Quiltaholic with her in your post??? If not - the gal in the red sure looks like Quiltaholic.

Thanks for sharing your fun day with us! Love from Texas! ~bonnie