Something To Sing About

Just Sing . . . Sing a Song: Quilt Full View

Okay, where do I begin?

I think I should begin at the beginning, which is the quilt you see above. Its name is Just Sing . . . Sing a Song. I made it in 2008, when I participated in the message board’s Scraps To Treasures Challenge, hosted by my dear friend Jean. Jean’s an enthusiastic quilter, message board cheerleader and master persuader, which is how I got involved in the challenge.

The Scraps To Treasures Challenge has been going on for several years now and is always entertaining and challenging. If you are looking for something to push you out of your comfort zone, then I urge you to join in this year’s challenge. If that’s too much for you, then check out the previous year’s challenge quilts, which you will find here.

I could tell you the story about the quilt again, but that isn’t what I want to talk about. If you are interested in reading the E: True Hollywood Story about the quilt, then you can find it here.

Today’s news is about Just Sing and what it has done since last year. Last year Just Sing was selected to be in Lonestars III, A Legacy of Texas Quilts. A book written by International Quilt Festival and International Quilt Association founders, Karey Bresenhan and Nancy Puentes. These two titans of the quilting industry most recently established The Texas Quilt Museum, in La Grange, Texas.

Lone Stars III: Book Covers

Lone Stars III is the last in this amazing series of books chronicling Texas quilt history. I feel honored have one of my pieces selected to appear in such an illustrious publication.

Lone Stars III: Spread Featuring My Quilt

Here I/we are on page 300. Just Sing got a whole spread and a marvelous write-up. I could hardly believe it when I first saw the book in November. When I took the photos for today’s post, I had to pinch myself because it is hard to believe that this is my quilt.

The honor of being in this book has left me speechless. I’m going to have to work really hard to top this experience.

Just Sing has had a surprising journey since I created it. I made it to take part in the Challenge sure, but I made it mostly to challenge me. When it was finished, I thought it was worth entering into competition, but I never thought it would win anything. I just felt that it was show worthy.

Just Sing has surprised me at every turn. It has been accepted into every show I entered it into and even walked away with a few prizes. Who woulda thunk that was gonna happen? Not me . . . that’s for sure. 

As far as surprises go, Just Sing isn’t finished yet. An added benefit to being in the book is that the quilt has the opportunity to travel around the country as part of the Lone Stars III exhibit. This mucho fantastico (This is the extent of my mastery of the Spanish language.) exhibit premiered last year during Houston’s International Quilt Festival.

Just Sing On Display At Houston International Quilt Festival

Here’s Just Sing on display in the special exhibit. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking . . .

“Hey Tom, so how D’ya get to take pictures of your quilt? That’s not allowed!!!! It’s a special exhibit for Christ’s sake!”

Then you went on to think . . .

“I tried to take pictures, but those hard-as-nails, Attica-Prison-hardened, white-gloved ladies wrestled me to the ground and scolded me for being a bad quilter.”

Then you shrugged your shoulders and thought . . .

“I think I still have a bruise between my shoulder blades from where they pinned me to the ground.”

Then you started to think . . .

“I think they put a hex on me, because I haven’t been able to sew an accurate quarter-inch seam since the incident occurred.”

Which led me to think . . .

You need to chillax a little and back away from the fabric. You have gotten way too worked up over this.

If you would just simma down now, I will tell you how I got the picture. I was given permission during a special book signing event that took place during Festival. See . . . easy explanation.

I learned long ago, don’t cross the white-gloved ladies, cause some of them will cut ya, if you cross ’em. They look all sweet and mild and gentle on the outside, but get your finger too close to a quilt and you could lose it. I’ve not actually seen it happen, but I’ve heard stories.

Speaking of being on display, I received this email the other day from friend and fellow Lone Stars III participant, Kay Marburger:

Hi, Tom!
We just hung the second exhibit of Lone Stars III in the Texas Quilt Museum and Just Sing . . . Sing A Song is in this group.

I’m sure you are planning on coming back to see it hanging!!

Kay and I visited for a bit during the Grand Opening of The Texas Quilt Museum, when the first group of Texas quilts were on display.

After Kay’s email, I received this one from the Museum . . .

Texas Quilt Museum Announcement

Kay also included this in her note . . .

If you come back 2/24 or 25, you can also come to our quilt show!!
xxxooo Kay (I added this line, because I knew she forgot to.)

What quilt show is this?

Well, it’s the Best Little Quilt Show in Texas, put on by the Colorado Valley Quilt Guild in La Grange, silly. Everyone knows that. You’d have to be living under a pile of fat quarters to not know about this show.

You know me and how I feel about all things quilting, so guess where I’ll be next weekend? Need to contact some of the peeps and prepare for a road trip. Look out La Grange, here we come!

Here’s a little BFF quilterly advice
If you are in the area, La Grange is worth the trip. The show is marvelous, the Museum is amazing, the people are friendly and most importantly . . . they love quilters.

Along with the quilt show and museum, there are several other fiber related events for you to enjoy while you are in the area. I plan to go to on Saturday, but if you have the whole weekend available, then you might want to check out these cool exhibits and shows:

Texas Czech Heritage & Cultural Center, at the Fairgrounds
February and March 2012: Czech Quilt Exhibit
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10:00-4:00;

Historic Faison Home, 822 S Jefferson (US Hwy 77 S)
Historic quilts from their collection plus local quilts.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday & Saturday, February 24 & 25, 2012

La Grange Chamber of Commerce (Old City Jail)
Exhibit of quilts by Brigitte Wittmann Mesecke of La Grange;
February 3-29; 171 S Main St., Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00;
Open Saturday, February 25, 10-3.

Quilts On The Square, La Grange,
Businesses around the historic Fayette County Courthouse will display quilts by local quilt makers; February 15-27.

Copper Shade Tree, Round Top, The Art in Fiber,
Feb 4-Mar 4, an invitational show that will focus on the works of 21 fiber artists from across the State of Texas,

Winedale Historical Center, Winedale, “Making Do with Little: Cotton Sacks and Cotton Sack Quilts.” February 13-25; Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9:00-3:00; Opening reception February 12; 1:30 p.m.

Well, it looks like I have covered everything for the moment. I enjoyed sharing my surprises with you and hope to see you in La Grange next weekend. If our paths cross please say hi, because I would love to see you.

I’ll have a hug and a smile waiting for you.


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38 Responses to “Something To Sing About”

  1. Judy Stadler Says:

    Every single award and every single show acceptance you have gotten for Sing is really well deserved, Tom. I fell in love with that quilt when I saw it at the Houston show, Truly, it made my heart sing and laugh with pleasure. Bravo!!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Judy, You are very kind to say so many nice things. It always thrills me to hear that the love and joy I put into the quilt is felt by those who see it.

      Thanks for writing. It was great to hear from you. xxxooo

  2. ForkYes! Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous work of art. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Denise Stewart Says:

    Congratulations. A truly beautifully quilt. I can see your love and passion all over it. May the kudos just keep on rolling in.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Denise! Thanks for dropping by to tell me that. You are most kind and I am thrilled that you took the time to share what you felt with me.

      I hope you have a joy and laughter filled day. xxxooo

  4. Eddie Landreth Says:

    Your quilting is, of course, spectacular, Tom, so none of the above surprises me in the least! Your mastery of color, design, technique, all of it, is perfection. Definitely something to sing about! Congrats to you!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Oh Eddie, I am not sure how to adequately respond to your post. Your praise far exceeds my ability, but I appreciate your enthusiasm and hope to one day be as skillful in my eyes as in yours.

      No matter how I feel about my continued growth as a creator, I am thrilled that you liked my piece and can share in my joy.

      Have a fantastic day!

  5. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Gorgeous quilt! So happy and cheerful. Makes me want to sing, too!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hello Eagle-Eye, Thanks for stopping by to say such wonderful things. Hearing those words (“Makes me want to sing.”) when someone looks at my quilt, makes my heart sing.

      My heart and I thank you for the gift of joy you have given us.

  6. Robin Says:

    Wow!!!! I guess I wasn’t yet following your blog when you first made this quilt, but you inspire me! Always! And this quilt is amazing! So happy! Thank you for sharing! And all the awards are definitely well deserved! Robin

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Robin, I made the quilt before I started blogging, so for you to find the back story, you would have had to read each and every post, and I don’t expect anyone to do that.

      I usually try to incorporate all links to previous posts, so don’t feel compelled to go back and read everything. As I move forward in creating, I’ll bring the old stuff with me.

      I do have a stalker (Hi Danielle!) from the Peace by Piecing Guild in Humble, TX, she is very sweet and will be able to fill in any details or add links if I miss them. Between the two of us, I think my quilting history will be covered.

      I am glad to hear that my work inspires you and makes you happy. I don’t think I could ask for higher praise.

      Thank you for making my day!

  7. Jackie Says:

    Love the quilt, you are so talented and should be so proud. I love the colours you used and wonder why I haven’t seen a pattern hanging in quilt stores yet?

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jackie, Thanks. I am proud—and surprised—and delighted by all the attention this quilt has gotten. I was a wonderful to create and more wonderful to see the joy is has brought to others. I am blessed.

      You haven’t seen a pattern, because I haven’t made one.

      Are you trying to tell me something? 🙂

      Have a wonderful day. Thanks for making me smile.

  8. Ami Simms Says:

    You are too wonderful for words. Smiling… 🙂

  9. Brenda Wall Says:

    So wish I could be there, but maybe if I get to go to Houston this year, LaGrange may be an extra trip I make.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Brenda, I wish you could be here too! La Grange wouldn’t be the same after we spent the day there.

      I am not sure where my quilt will be during Festival this year, but a trip to La Grange and the museum is worth the effort.


  10. Nikki Brackin Says:

    What can I say about this little quilt – the quilt that created our friendship. I will always love this quilt – it will always be my favorite and every last accolade and award you receive for it is well deserved. Congratulations on the book – well deserved entry!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Nikki, I will always look at Just Sing in the same way. A wonderful and cherished friendship was created because of it. I am SO VERY lucky.

      You are a blessing to me. xxxooo

  11. versana Says:

    Gorgeous quilt!

  12. Paul Leger Says:

    What a great fun quilt. thank you so much for sharing it with us. nice, real nice.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Paul, I’m glad you enjoyed the quilt and the story. Thanks for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to comment.

      Have a wonderful and action-packed day with your binding.

      • Paul Leger Says:

        the day was action packed (all good). did not get to the binding as planned.

        Enjoy your fun fill day.

  13. Jayardi Says:

    • • • Why didn’t you tell me you posted this? I’ve been playing since I got your e-mail and didn’t expect another post so soon.

    You know how I feel about this quilt. Absolutely love it ! ! ! ! ! I still can’t believe how you were able to take all those fabrics and create such a masterpiece. Congratulations on your latest achievements. I don’t think I have any more room in the comment area of my album to add more accolades. Will have to figure something out.

    Have a great road trip and take lots of pictures.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey there! It’s been a busy week and I have a lot of things I needed to share with everyone. My blogging will slow down a bit, but this week is all about catching up.

      All of this is your fault, so enjoy it. Without your challenge, this day would not have happened, so thank you.

      It will be a fun trip and the Magic Camera is looking forward to it.

      Enjoy your play. Can’t wait to see the quilt!

  14. lucy bobb Says:

    Tom, you deserve EVERY good thing you recieve. I know how hard you work & how creative you are. I took a few years “off” after my Dad died but re-joined SMQ again last year. It feels so good to quilt again. I’m still doing variations of your scrappy bouquet. Taking your class was one of my favorite memories. Keep up the creativity.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Well, Lucy Bobb, as I live and breathe . . . what a wonderful surprise to see you here.

      Your love is exploding off the page as I read this. Thank you.

      I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. Losing someone so dear is all-encompassing, especially for someone as sensitive and generous as you are.

      Both quilting and I are glad you have found your creativity again. Actually we are over-joyed that you are back to being the amazing soul that you are. I can’t imagine you without your boundless creativity and enthusiasm.

      Your words mean more to me than you can imagine. Bless you and thank you for being in my life.


  15. Patricia Eaton Says:

    My dear friend, Tom….oh, I remember seeing little bits of this quilt back when you first began work on it. You know I love your work and this one is just fantastic. Like you, I love DETAILS, so your work has always been special in my eyes….including the colors you use to create the piece. JUST SING….it sure does!!! And, it’s singing a very joyful song! You did good…….pat

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hello Love, Yes, we are so much alike when it comes to our love of details. When you appreciate the little things like we do, the universe is limitless. What a blessing that is.

      Your words fill my heart with joy and it delights in all the details.

      Much love to you.

  16. Mona K Says:

    Tom — I want to have Something to Sing About too. Really — I’m in deep lust for this quilt. It is absolutely magnificent and it deserves all the attention it’s getting. Kudos to you!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Mona, You are too funny. Thanks for the laugh and your kind words. I’m glad to hear that Just Sing brings you so much joy.

      Have a wonderful day!

  17. eileenkny Says:

    Congrats on the ribbons and for being in the book! Add it to your resume-award winning quilter, also in Lone Stars II. I’d say that’s pretty schnazzy!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Eileen, You are too sweet. I will add this to my quilting resume. If I add it the other one, I spend hours explaining how I got involved in quilting.

      That’s always a fun thing to discuss, but it rarely applies to any job I’m doing.

      It is pretty schnazzy indeed. 🙂

  18. Becky Mc Says:

    I love reading your blog. You are so funny and your quilts are awe inspiring! I’m going to have to dig out my cassette “Carpenter’s” tape. I love them, too!

  19. jessica Says:

    The special exhibit picture really captures just how colorful and beautiful the quilt is! Lovvvvv it!

    Congratulations! Your work deserves all these wonderful accolades!! Every quilt you’ve made has had an element of cheer & whimsy… they always make me smile (as does your blog)!

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