Between Sunrise and Sunset


This is not a very good picture – in spite of trying to correct it in Photoshop  – but it shows the blue ribbons and that’s all that matters. I bought a new camera a few days before I left and didn’t really practice very much – other than to figure out how to turn it on and off, zoom and scroll through the pictures. I must have done something terribly wrong because a brand new 14 megapixel camera cannot possibly take pictures that are unacceptable unless they have been Photoshopped!

Many people at the show asked about the two ribbons – the category was Large Pieced Duet which means that one person pieced the top and another person quilted it. My amazing quilter Margaret Solomon Gunn  brought this top to life with her stunning quilting – it was a team effort!

Entering my quilts in the Jax show gives me a deadline to work towards – a goal and a sense of purpose. I look forward to the once a year trip – being in the same room with lots of pretty quilts and mobs of other quilters is thrilling. I work in isolation here in Panama. We have no large active quilt guilds (just our little group of 3 or 4 people), no quilt shops, no quilt shows or quilt classes.

I spent a lot of time hanging around near my quilts – because I love talking to other quilters and it is just easier and more natural to strike up a conversation in front of my quilt instead of going up to somebody and saying please talk to me about quilts and quilting :-) I talk so much I am hoarse by the end of the day!

I have friends and family in Jax so it is always a fun-filled mini family reunion when relatives from other states fly down to join us. Looking forward to next year when I will be entering 4 quilts – all quilted by Margaret.

Margaret’s recent blog post titled Jax Quiltfest & other quilt show musings is very interesting – I will let you read it for yourself.

If you’d like to see the winners in all the categories the 2013 Show Winners Gallery is at SmugMug

I also entered my Besos Y Abrazos in the Intermediate Duet category – the Japanese x &+ done in 386 different Kaffe & Co. fabrics. It didn’t win anything. Which was surprising – because the show attendees LOVED it!

Besos Y Abrazos

It looks a bit tired and floppy – it’s been to Germany and back – to the quilt show that never was. God only knows what happened to it while it was there for several months! I made it for an Homage to Kaffe Challenge in Merzig Germany in the Spring – months passed and the show that was supposed to be judged by Kaffe himself never happened. I was lucky to get it back in time for the Jax show.

I am glad to have both well-travelled quilts safely back home. Speaking of well-travelled –  I must share the saga of the Between Sunrise And Sunset quilt with you. This quilt has quite a back story.

Some background:

I send all of my quilts to the US for quilting, then the quilter sends them back to Panama and I block and bind them and return them to Jacksonville to my friend Carol to wait for Quiltfest.

This quilt had a special detour to Massachusetts where it was  professionally photographed by Jeffrey Lomicka for an article Margaret has written in the November/December 2013 issue of the Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine.

After blocking and binding I sent it via DHL to Jeffrey for the photo shoot – then he was going to mail it to Carol in Jacksonville.

But… when Jeffrey was setting up the photo shoot he noticed a slit/rip/hole on the back of the quilt and he emailed me to ask  “if this was a known issue.”

No – it definitely was NOT!

This is from a letter I sent Jeffrey and Margaret:

This is what I know for sure:

Preparing the quilt for shipment I cleaned every single thread and piece of fluff off both sides with the tape lint roller. While doing that I was able to inspect every square inch of the quilt – front and back. There was no hole in the quilt. I would have noticed.

I folded it in half with the backing side out. Then I folded it in half again and in half  once more. Then I folded that in thirds to make a nice compact bundle. I placed it in the bag I had made especially for it and I fastened the top with a piece of white elastic. Then I placed it in a clear plastic garbage bag in case it got wet en route.

My husband David took the package to the DHL office. He did not just drop it off, fill out the forms, pay and leave – he wanted to see how they were going to prepare it for shipment. When he saw that they were wrapping yellow tape around the package and were preparing to stuff it into an envelope he said STOP –  that was unacceptable – he even told them that my wife will kill me if this doesn’t arrive safely. So he left – taking the quilt with him –  went to our warehouse and got a sturdy box. Came back to DHL with the quilt in the box which he taped closed himself. Only then did he leave.

This is what I think happened:

Look at the tracking info below. On July 11 at 2:25 am it was processed for clearance at Cincinnati, Ohio – then there is a clearance delay of almost two hours. Clearance is customs. I know only too well that anything or anybody coming from Panama is always given extra special attention from US customs. Panama is a well-known route for drugs from Colombia (our neighbor) to the US.

So…. I imagine the conversation among the US customs officers in Cincinnati went something like this:

“Here’s a box from Panama – what’s in it?  A bedspread. Hey – look at this Joe – somebody paid $235 to ship a stupid bedspread to Chelmsford MA! Don’t they sell bedspreads in MA? This is weird – something’s up here – let’s have a look. Yeah it’s a bedspread alright but what’s inside? Let’s take a look.”

Either they made that hole on purpose or they damaged it accidentally as they were inspecting it. I can just imagine it being handled, poked, prodded, sniffed by people with dirty hands. Draped on a dirty table in a warehouse – maybe even dragged on the floor.

Have you seen the reality TV show “To Catch a Smuggler” on the National Geographic channel. It is about customs at JFK.  Believe me they don’t treat your stuff that they suspect may be hiding drugs with respect. A well know way for small time smugglers is to soak clothes in liquid cocaine. Just google soaking clothes in cocaine.

That is the only scenario that makes any sense. It was never opened until it went through customs in Ohio.

If that is indeed what happened at least I am thankful that they went through the backing and not a more visible spot on the front. And that they didn’t cut through any quilting stitches.

I am eagerly awaiting your opinions on what to do about the hole.”

After the photo shoot Jeffery sent it to Margaret in Maine and she got a piece of the backing fabric from Jackie Kunkel at Canton Village Quiltworks – thanks again Jackie.  Margaret patched the hole and sent it on to Carol in Jacksonville. The next time I saw it was at the show sporting it’s two blue ribbons. I wasn’t able to see the patch until I got the quilt back to the hotel room on the last day of the show. Margaret did a great job – you wouldn’t be able to see it unless you knew where to look.

Just wanted to let you know my blogging will be slowing down as I try to finish the Alabama Beauty to get it to Margaret ASAP. I must have it back in time for Quiltfest 2014!

Please stay tuned…


7 responses to “Between Sunrise and Sunset

  1. I knew this was a winner!! Fantastic job and I was happy to be part of it in a small sort of way! Can’t wait to see the next one!!

  2. The quilt looks great. I am anxiously awaiting the magazine article…in another week or so! Please keep me posted on that next quilt, as depending on it’s size and when it arrives, it may be harder to commit to having it completed by early summer. What’s up with the borders?… The white crosses will be done soon (once xmas stops consuming me!). Can’t wait to have that other blue ribbon :-)

  3. Sherry Minkowski

    Congratulations, Carol! I love both of these quilts. Having followed your progress on them for so long, I’m delighted to see you getting the acclaim you deserve (at least for one of them). Your new quilter does stunning work.
    And what a nightmare tale about Besos y Abrazos going through customs. I don’t doubt your hypothesis. Customs officials are, thankfully, vigilant and hard-working, but not always well-informed. In 1970, I was detained briefly by customs at JFK for “smuggling” unknown substances from Morocco – turmeric, cumin, saffron! Fortunately, they recognized the smell of cinnamon and decided they were spices after all and not drugs. I’m glad your quilt is home safely now. And a well-deserved blue ribbon!

  4. WOW!!!!!!!! Carol, muchas muchas felicitaciones, tienes unas manos MARAVILLOSAS, te mereces ese premio y muchos mas!!!!!!!!

  5. Gorgeous, and congrats! You are braver than I am. After seeing the haphazard “security” for a roomful of precious quilts at a local show, I determined never to show my quilts that way. Instead, I’ll bring them personally to show and tell at my guild meeting, show them to friends, and display them online or at home. But I am grateful to those of you willing to risk your precious babies in shows like these, because I love going to them. I guess that makes me selfish, but we all have to do what we feel called to do. Once again, your work is amazing!!

  6. Jo Major Ciolino

    Yay for you! Yay for the blue ribbons! Well deserved, your quilts are always spectacular.
    As to the case of the hole in the quilt – I’d bet the farm you are absolutely correct. They may have snipped a sample to test it for drug saturation! Either way, it’s wonderful that it was repaired so quickly and beautifully. Can’t wait to see the Alabama Beauty quilt finished – that is the block that got me hooked on Inklingo!

  7. Congrats again! I just noticed that your quilt coordinates beautifully with the blue backdrop used for the Winners Row.

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