Have you heard of the "Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth"? I have. Every July since my family moved here from St. Catharines, Ontario when I was two years old. For ten days, Calgary goes a little nuts as we celebrate our western heritage in cattle ranching & agriculture. You can read about it here if you're interested.
In my younger years I was a frequest visitor. I went as a kid a few times with my grandparents. The parade is fun with little ones. Then as a teen with friends. It was always a fun place to go on a date or with all your college buddies. I also volunteered a few years. More recently we've taken our girls a few times. I'm not much for carnivals and midways and too many people and noises and heat mixed with thundershowers and weird smells and crazy overpriced corndogs. But we went again last week. And I had a particularly special mission.
The Calgary Stampede and Exhibition includes an opportunity for people to showcase their arts and crafts - including quilts. And they are judged.
Now I happen to have a very special group of friends - we call ourselves the Applique Circle of Friends - who meet once a month to spend the day chatting, eating, and doing hand sewing of almost any description - hand piecing, embroidery, applique, quilting ... you name it, one of us does it. And we're quite talented the lot of us, if I do say so myself.
Actually, it's not just me who says it. From our little group we earned two 1st Place, and two 3rd Place ribbons. My Farmer's Wife Quilt won 3rd in the paper-piecing category.
And our resident longarmer, Laura - who did all that gorgeous work on my Farmer's Wife - her skills were very well represented there. She's just that good. (Actually, to call her "good" is kinda insulting. She's amazing!!!)
Here's a closer look at Heather's Yoko Saito Houses quilt - it was a Mystery Quilt done thru Quiltmania. I was privileged to see Yoko's original at Quilt Market a few years ago. I dare say this one is its equal - nothing short of stunning. And she quilted it herself too.
I am so proud and honoured to call all these talented and lovely women friends. Heather, Judy, Laura, Fran, Elaine, Liz, Avery, Cheryl, Michelle, Elisabeth (& Leeanne) love & hugs to you all! You ladies make quilting just that much more fun. :)
PS: Thanks for being my quilt mule, Judy! I owe you one.