The chads have been examined, the ballets have been counted, and the Name-That-Quilt is officially "Ice & Fire." Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and votes.
Better yet, I had a little consult this week with master quilter Mom5000 (which reminds me, I should do a post on Mom5000 one of these days) and she gave me the advice I wanted to hear: call the quilting on, um, "Ice & Fire" mostly done (there's still a little detail work left to do), and bind that sucker! So it looks like it will be the first finished project of the season.
I've been doing a little bit of sprucing up around the blog. It looks a little less spartan around here with a background in the masthead, for instance. Did that a couple weeks ago.
I've just added two new lists of links down the left side. The first one, "Community and Quilt Shops," will seem perfectly normal to quilters but maybe a little strange for non-quilters. Why a list of shops? Well, you have to understand that a good quilt shop is not only a place to buy fabric and gear, but also a hub of quilting culture. It's where classes are taught and ideas are exchanged. They are kind of the -- to get a little overwrought -- spiritual homes of the craft.
The second new list is of quilt shows that I've either been in before, or would like to enter pieces for in the future. I'm adding this list partially for your information and edification, of course, but even more as a challenge and reminder to myself. It's fun to put quilts in shows, and it's good to remember that you WANT to put quilts in shows. It keeps you focused on improving.
The shows I've listed are a real mix. A couple are larger, regional affairs, and several are of course in or near the Portland area, where I live. The last three, though, are on the South Coast of Oregon, where I grew up and where my parents still live. I like to keep a toe in the quilt scene down there. The larger quilt shows have their own websites, but for the smaller shows I've just linked out to sites that mention them. If you happen to know of other shows in the Portland area, I would be interested in hearing about them.