Momma Says Quilts Speak

Momma Says Quilts Speak

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I am supposed to be packing for California

As usual, I am procrastinating. To tell you how much I like packing, well I have been cleaning under my kitchen sink!

Then I had an idea.
Taking my trusty camera, I toured my house taking pictures. There were 81 shots taken.
Here are a couple of samples in my quilt room.
The first picture is of the cutting table area. It is such a mess, that i have been cutting on the ironing board. The second picture is taken just inside the room, across the work station and beyond the long arm to the back wall.

The whole idea is that I took 81 pictures all around my house including views from the back doo, which is usually the entry door instead of making New Years Resolutions. As I improve, change or eridicate, I plan to take a new picture as proof to me that I can do it.
Lets see, 81 pic's divided into 52 weeks????
Back to prepping for packing--

Monday, December 30, 2013

Just Checking

How On Earth, I signed for ads on my Blog I will never know!
So this post is just to see if my attempts to eradicate it worked. So Hang on there folks- but this I do not like.

Whew I am exhausted

I had promised that I would get something off to put in a quilt to be raffled off.

My vision was wonderful. I cut and sewed and cut and sewed, Tossed and started over. Lots of trial and error and moving and changing color design. Then a friend came down that needed to work on it too , and she tossed some stuff, too dark. This needs so color, This needs a border and so on. She tossed me fabric,
and left to take her daughter somewhere.
I sewed. I sewed. I forgot about the mitered corners and sewed on squares. I put on an applique. Not perfect, but still in the direction that I wanted. Then I added a vine on the tree and used fray check on it as I always do. But something happened. The fray Check turned milky and plastic like. Was It too old? What?
That wasn't ok. I couldn't use this one. Sooo==

Go to bed and see what the marrow brought.

Tomarrow, came and I drug out my fabric and cut 5 "Right Hand of Friendship Blocks" and sewed and seam ripped and sewed, and seamripped. Isn't that the way it goes when you have to do something!
Anything!! But you are so tired, forget to stop and eat and walk around, and so it goes.
This is what I came up with--

Not enough steady contrast here. Mushy areas. But now that is not my problem. I Hand it over and the scraps, some poss usable fabrics and wave it out the door. 

Moving right along.
Celtic Solstice Part 5
My orange and yellow squares are all made and hanging together on strings like speggeti.
My Blue triangles are all cut and counted also.
My meutral triangles are not done. But I cut 10 or 12 out and borrowed a few to make sample blocks with.
And that is it folks. The sewing room is absolutely thrashed and then thrashed. Time is flying. Tonight and towmarros I wash, pack and clean what I can and do some odd chores. Wednesday is New Years. My momma always told me, do what you want to do on New Years and that is what you will do all year.
Well, I hope that I don't travel all year, but I can stand with doing what I want to do. We are heading to Portland, and then Eugene and then to Central California and then to the California Beach. Sweet!
You all have a great New Year!.

Friday, December 27, 2013

John Gould says "You should start sooner"

Good idea. I gave myself one day to produce a pieced quilt block for a raffle quilt. No one else of our group had time to spare right now and the quilt top needs done, before the end of January so it can be shipped to another group for quilting.
No problem. just one block right?
I started with a Tree of Life pattern and cut several pieces and pieced.. This was a week ago. I didn't get very far when I knew that I needed to scrap that one and put it together with a total new color scheme and fabric plan. BUT I had also realized that I wanted to do that one for myself. A KEEPER.

So checking around my quilt stash, I found some batiks that had the feeling that I wanted, though Batiks can be difficult to use. If you are not careful, Batiks will bind you down to a limited scheme of what you can use

. Over the last couple of years and with some experimentation, I have been able to break out of that mold. I really do not like quilts with --oh, lets say, less than 20 fabrics in them, and I don't like pinned down to what fabric that I want to use. I don't think that people that plan and match their fabrics so carefully do bad work, after all, its really all in the finished product. Does it please YO?. That is about all that is really important unless you are giving it away as a gift or planning it for somebodys decor, taste,  or new house.

That said, several years ago, I started refusing to even thinking of  making quilts for people, for requests, for their taste etc. I told my kids, when I am gone you can pick and choose and do what you will, but life is too short for me to make "decor" for someone else. I want to be free, and you can be free to keep and toss as you will. And likewise, I do not want fabric and materials to tell me what I have to do either. Not all fabrics fit together, of course, but mostly that is dictated by How you use them and WHERE.

Hmm, back tot ht Tree of Life pattern. For me I want something funky, mystical, and  "unseen medievial forest feel with a little Disney thrown in for fun.
 For this group quilt, I wanted strength, bright light, mixed fabrics with moving light and spiritual integrity. I do get carried away-don't I?

I scrapped the first two and half rows of the second effort and then it started coming together. Only now, I am hogging to much of the quilt. Where do I stop? So I first talked to my daughter so that she could counsel me ( how that I knew she would) and try to curb my impulses. Then I called a comrade to give me her slant on what I have and what I can do to it to lift it up, but also to let it rest on its on merit and be released for someone else's endeaver.

Today I ordered another yard of a fabric designed by Angela Walter for Art Gallery Fabrics. It looks almost antique, it looks almost modern. It is a transitional blue that looks slightly greyed but in daylight, it is not greyed at all. Of course, I told :The Fabric Patch  quilt shop that I needed the fabric yesterday- which I did. And please rush.

My battery is dead on my camera so I am using my husbands super camera and I am not a technology whiz, more a technology neanderthal!

These are auditions for a framing fabric.Which brings up another note.
I am in the process of changing my lighting in my sewing room to LED DAYLIGHT Bulbs.
So right now it is a combination of Obama's edict and an upgrade to LED. At 9$ and up apiece it will take a few for me to get it all changed over. The light directly over this set here is 2 LED lights in a ceiling fan and one of those nasty florescent screw in types  with the nightmare taffy  wrap look. Yuck. But, you know, it takes time. Tomorrow when  my artistic eye arrives, hopefully we can have some daylight. But-its 95% humidity out there and mass fogg at 23 degrees right now ---.
Ahh! But there are piles and piles of unironed fabric to  root through. Oh JOY! I do like fondling fabric!
Maybe we will find something in the stash! A treasure hunt!

Monday, December 23, 2013


The gifts are all wrapped-- but two.
I can see the floor in my bedroom again and get into my jammie drawer and so theres still HOPE for another several months that life will proceed more orderly.
What happening in the QUILTROOM?
I have been cutting and sewing like crazy. ALL the neutral tri-recs are cut and sewn. Over half of the orange and blue tri-recs are done and all are cut out.
I still have to cut the green squares for the chevrons and sew them.
The half triangle squares and pinwheels have a problem getting sewn. My machine is sucking them into the
feed dogs. I talked to Lynn at Needlentime today and she has one of the plates I need so that I can sew them up. So I will be making a trip up valley today for that. She is holding it for me. This is a new machine, so we are still getting aquainted, you see.
The squares and 4 patches are cut out and several of the four patches are sewn. That was truely fun and informative. I appreciate the informative instruction. It makes it great.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another aimless Day

On Wed we had two BB games back to back at the Town Toyoto center. So I got up early and did the poultry, and we started out at 9 am for the city. I shopped, ate lunch, shopped, went to the games, started to shop, and my grandkids wanted to join us for supper,. We took a leisurely time with them enjoying our Italian night out, and then I shopped and we got home at 10 min after midnight.

Guess thats a little too much for an old lady, because all I did today was sit and read and sleep. After everybody went to bed, I recounted all my neutral tri-recs and made sure they were sewn properly, fininshed up  what I needed to do to complete them. Resorted my piece boxes and now I am headed to bed. I feel fine. I could probably work another two or three hours and get more done. But---. Tomorrow I have to take a computer in to be worked on, pick up my new glasses that are late coming in, and pick up the stuff for DH side of the family's Christmas potluck and get together out at my oldest sons.

So- though I would love to sew, will try to go to bed and sleep and hopefully get alittle more back on schedule.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I have just been reading " Patchwork Times" blog and the post today  was about stashbusting.
This is a topic that keeps coming up on a lot of the blogs that I check out. This is really quite a puzzling
thing to me.
Why would I want to bust my stash? Its the colors in my paint box. Its joy and good vibrations. Oh there is the rare occasion that I toss something, but it is indeed rare, and usually the things that get tossed were low quality fabric, something that threatens to fade badly or really grayed or drab with not much to offer in any composition.
Yes, my quilt room is piled high here and there and every where with some neater stacks in the 8 foot closet.
But this is all stuff that I love. Stuff that sings to me and whispers possible partnerships and flights of fancy.
You never know when you will need that particular color or directional of fanciful peice. And I am not stingy!
If somebody needs a peice to fit and can't find it- if I have something that works- I am usually delighted to find a happy home for it in a work of progress.
I guess, and probably many people think that I am just totally unrealistic about fabric. I am perhaps a fabricoholic.  But thats much better on the pole than an ahcolholic! Or a wasting your time type thing.
I can go into my stash and fold and hum and sing and get inspiration. I buy different fabric because of what it is doing, where it takes me, how it inspires me.This weekend I found a wonderful multi, unreal paisly with dots and swirls and fairland feeling that will be delightful, in my tree trunks I am planning.

For me a quilt is like a village I am building. It takes a lot of different types to round out, or fill out the empty spaces, to compliment each other, to lift one up to the heights, and sooth one down to live with mere mortals.
Fabric is song and dance and music of all types. Why do I want to choose and toss and limit myself?
I just don't equate with stash busting. I have more fabric than I will ever use. I don't need fabric right at the moment. But I often do need a soft clear blue for peace, or a jazzy orange for vibrato.
It is my passion, my vice and if my husband does not mind because I prefer it to antiques, or paintings, or home decor-- whats the problem? I call it insulation.
I will keep my stash. I will build my stash. And when I die, if my children cannot use it, then give it away, donate it, advertise it on craigs list and sell it all for $10. Who cares? It makes me happy.

I didn;t get back into the quilt room this am. It was deadline for Christmas cards. Oh I hate deadlines like that, but they are necessary for me to operate in the real world, to touch base with my freinds and loved ones and should be loved ones, and occasional friends and all like that.

Then we took our youngest grandaughters gift over to her to put under her tree. It is  important for kids to build up some anticipation, to guess, to hope, to imagine. She is opening her gifts early before they leave on a trip, so the timing is just about right for her to handle the package, feel, it , poke her finger next to the tape and  enjoy all the "wonder" of Christmas. There is a proturding button on it and if she happens to find it, she will hear a doorbell ring and then a dog barking. What Fun!

Last night was a sick night, so I was just totally not with it earlier today. But yesterday evening I  got over half of the neutral triangles done and now with practice, they are flying and the chore became a great  experience. Love it.

Tomorrow, is a basketball game in the city. A must be there thing. So we will go early and hopefully I can finish off the several small items that I need to get. It is coming together, I am almost ready to wrap.

Think that I will go shower and wash my hair and let it dry while I work on some more triangles. My hair is slow to dry so this should be fun.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pretty Pathetic showing here. Way Behind. But---. We shall not give up.

Let me explain--.

Back in the day when Lyndon B released started releasing the boys from the big NAM thing, and we
gladly packed up and moved from Navy Life to back home, we were sure that all things would be lovely.

DH went back to his factory job with the good money and worked at it for a couple of months or so.
He was working the three shifts, graveyard, swing and whatever the normal one was called and changing them every two weeks. It was not a happy time. He soon found that he could not stand working indoors anymore, his family life was nix and I was out spending whatever money he made out of sheer boredom!

So he quit the good money and we limped along in the middle of winter trying to survive while he tried to do construction work. It is now a wonder to us, but at that time in central valley California when the temps dropped below 32 so did the construction work. We struggled. It was also a rough time to be with the family. We loved them and spent a lot of time with them, but it was hard watching the travails of his sibblings growing up and to keep your mouth shut.

So we moved. to Washington state just before Thanksgiving in 1974. Then we really struggled- but it was interesting and fun and we were happy.
That spring when work was up and running and looking up, I convinced DH that I needed a REAL SEWING MACHINE. I had earlier bought a Singer because that was what I had grown up with. But SINGER was now a problem child and it wasn't working for me.

I bought a BERNINA 830 on payments and high interest and it was the smartest move that I have made..
Bessie and I weathered alot of things with Joy and Singing.. I made all the clothes for my skinny -slim girls in a time when they still didn't understand that all children weren't built for just sizes and chuncky. So Bessie made jeans, shirts, pj's, jackets  and home decorating. Thankfully the fashion industry got smart and I didn't have to do that anymore. So when my 4th child was in junior high, I made my first quilt. It took awhile before I made another one. But Bessie continued through the familys growing up. She mended jeans ad nauseum, repaired zippers and tried to make a flattering tent or two for me. She stayed busy. My husbands knees wore out doing concrete work and Bessie and I put leather patches on the knees and the levi gave out before that knee patch ever did! When we opened a retail nursery and I left home several hours aday to plant seeds and such, Bessie peiced shade cloth to cover the greenhouse roof.

I am not sure just when I started piecing quilts and promoting quilting and harrassing a group of the gals at church into quilting, but it was probably about the late 1980's. I would have to count it up and it is not necessary for this tale..

Bessie and I played then, and played hard. We had some real exhilerating times. Bernina said that Bessie would never die with her steel cams and innards and I looked forward to a marriage of good times with Bessie for life. But Bessie finelly just kind of couldn't keep her tensions to gether anymore and I was constantly trying to adjust her.She would only use Egypts finest cottons and then Italian threads and after a long struggle, it became apparent that she must retire. What a sad sad day for me and my closest friend.

The new machines were computerized and slick and sleek and so tech. The prices were pretty mindless too.
Granted, I had paid a fortune for Bessie in the day on our wages, but realistically, with my age, health and eyes how much was reasonable to invest in a machine now?

So after much web study, reading, and soul searching, I purchased a Phaff 150th Anniversary edition Expression. Her name is Susie. We really haven't had a chance to get to know one another. Life plunged us into working on two baby layettes and many receiving full speed.and like a new marriage-- this  just wasn't my Bessie. She seemed to have all kinds of quirks and doing the daily with her was kind of irritable. She wasn't Bessie. It will take a while for me to adjust to her rhythumns and needs so that we will be a satisfactory partners and we can share that exhiliaration that quilting brings..

The type of triangles that are in the Celtic Solstice Quilt are nearly new to me also. I have done very few of these before, though I have a quilt on the want board that uses lots of them. So, practice, practice and seam ripper,  at hand, Susie and I are moving toward a better understanding. Celtic Solstice is hardly moving at all.
But there is yards of fabric available and I can always toss these and make new. Life has choices. Susie and I are kind of doing dates right now.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Well, We got through it

We did get through it, the funeral and all. It went well.We have a wonderful family and I just feel so incredibly blessed to have them all. So thankful, that they were there to help and distract. and-- Well,
until the moments come, which from experience, moments appear without warning- well, until then we are doing fine and are counting our blessings on every finger, toe and eyelash so to speak.

Today, I went into the sewing room, to whip out a block for a round robin quilt that I am supposed to have done SOON. The pattern is picked out and most of the fabric, and I planned on cutting sewing and getting it out of the way. and clear the mind for the Celtic Solstice Quilt and a few more things. But, I had a nap attack and when I woke up my DH wanted to take me miles away to dinner, shopping and basketball games. Sounded like alittle light relief and so we did.

There was a "slight stop"at a quilt shop that I had only been able to go to one other time this year. He dropped me off while he went shopping. Quick Santa! Bring me some money! I think I spent mine in that quilt shop!

Looking for fabrics in my stash for the Celtic Solstice Quilt, found me surprised and disappointed at a lot
 of lacks,a good array of greens and yellows.was one of them. Can't say that I found any of those, but  I did replace some neutrals that I had used, and this time they have more interesting directionals. I added some pinks, a grim stripe, a quirky multi -color print that I have plans for, and much, much more else! Very fun!
I made resolutions to be a much nicer person for the rest of the year, to be more adventuresome and to stretch my boundrys, to enjoy people and give more hugs. Surely , I can manage to abide by that for 15 days or so, can't I?.

When we got home, some of our kids had come up to the house and with their sister had drug out boxes, set up the tree  to be trimmed, hung lights, strung tinsel everywhere (with quite a bit of humour involved) and just
truely gave us smiles and laughs as we inspected the "damage"- er decorating!" One sons large pucture is decorated with shotgun shell lights, and the decoraters wife, draped his own picture with lots of golden tinsel. It was all fun and love and again-- I am so very thankful for my family.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hanging on

Sometimes life takes hold and just runs and you have to fight to keep your head above it all.
That is how it has been.
We have had a series of sad events in the past four years, very troubling times, wrenching the heart.
It been difficult to maintain any kind of steady energy level and productivity. Having never done a mystery quilt before that I didn't design this experiance really appeals to me and I determined that I would do the Celtick Solstice project by Bonnie Hunter.

I was already a week behind when I ran across the project but I printed off the sheets and decided to stick with  JUST using my stash. I have one of those seemingly bottomless stashes that glaze the eyes of non quilters, and some quilters. Never in my natural life could I ever use it all up.

I have my blue recs cut out and though I really appreciate the ruler, I did not enjoy doing those recs. But they are all cut and done. My orange triangles are done and were a breeze. But sorting through my fabrics I needed, really needed, some more neutrals, my greens were un;bearable and the yellows needed help..

Then my brother-in -law had a stroke. In the past four days 5 days I made about 6 trips to the "city", 60 miles away, sat in the hospital for hours and tried to keep my head together. Very tense times. He did not make it through recovery and so-- now its funeral and more of that adjusting period to loss of loved ones.

I feel like I REALLY need this project even more now. I dashed into the Attic Window on my way to the hospital one evening and  dashed up and down the aisles making instant decisions and gathering up 1/4 fat quarters.

 Now I have all the cutting done todate for everything but the green rectangles.
This morning I sewed a handfull of Triangle blocks, getting the feel of them.

Now I  am dashing to the city again to do an appointment for new glasses and some more Christmas Shopping as it looks as if my days are going to fill in by themselves. Its a good thing that I can climb in bed and sleep, wake up at 3 Am and work for a few hours and then back to sleep again. I really, really need to quilt.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

About time

Time has scooted by while I have been a total lethargic creature. Something has to happen for me to break lose again.---. So I have been reading other peoples blogs, hoping for a blast of energy but it hasn't happened.
Then yesterday I was reading a blog and it mentioned Bonnie Hunters mystery quilt. Hmm. I had noticed that sometime ago. Lets go look.

Well, why not? I am a whole lot Irish. I have done a few mystery quilts, but it was always me that organized and presented them. This would give me a new slant.
 I am a little behind but not by much.

So I zipped into  the quilting room disaster and started through my quilt stash.
Anybody who likes fabric, anybody that can't resist buying it or hoarding it has been constantly abused with those comments about, they could start a quilt store with all of that fabric, it makes good insulation and so on--. So it was time to get an upclose  look at my collection again.

First I printed off all the instructions up todate to start my Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt..
Now to read them.
1st problem.. Lowes is 60 miles away and so there is not any paint samples. I jot down the color chart, knowing that I will just go from the written word and creativity
.1. High end orange to rust. 2. Blues, not greyed on the Bristol end of the specrtrum.3 Sparky Yellows.. 4.Blued greens to lime greens. and  5.Cream based neutrals.

Neutrals are hard for me.. I hardly ever spend much on them. The patterns are usually, repeat shapes over and over, swirels, leaves and allover prints. Not much to get my attention. Nothing to fall in love with and so I only buy them because I need them in my stash. With careful sorting I find a handful, neatly folded and prepped, forever. Slipped those in a Wallie- world bag  becasuse I can see that for now this project is not going to neatly fit into a project box.

Yellows. . I have just been working with Yellow and mostly with new material. I love yellow but all I seem to have left in the stash is buttery stuff. Pull what I can. (I am not buying for this project!!!)

Oh, my goodness! My greens are old and terrible! Where is the good stuff? I pulled and pulled. But it is 90% questionable and yucky. Where can I go with this stuff? Well, it will have to work. Use it up and get rid of it. Collect a stash, put it in a bag. We will study it all again, later.

There are Bluess, but mostly smaller patterns in variations of the same shapes. I need variety. I gathered all the possables and stuffed them in a "Wallie" Bag

I love Orange.. But I have put it in many of my last quilt tops. So we are going to use a wide, wide range here. Rust is not my color, but here is some stuff that might work.if I push into the red range.

Over all I am not impressed. But I now have the bags lined up at the quilt room door and I will pick and choose from those prints.

My rules.
1. I will not buy anything but border and backing- if I actually get that far.
2. This is a scrap quilt and I will use as may different prints as I can and hope it works.
3. With a close up view point now of my stash, I know that I need more fabric to update my stash.. Oh Joy! That I can work on. But I will not buy it to use for this project. I will use what I have.

I have the easy angle ruler, but not the tri recs. I called the quilt store up the valley and they have one left that they will hold for me.

So today, I am buying a quilt ruler, and doing some shopping for Christmas and the pantry while I am 40 miles away in the Northern reaches of my valley.

Oh and light bulbs. I need a mess of lightbulbs so that I can see out there.

The quilt room door is open, a fan blowing in there to air it out and the heater turned up just a tad, to even the temperature with the rest of the house. I have been gone too long-- but there is hope for my survival.
Thank you Bonnie.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dangerous spaces

Quilt rooms are really dangerous territory. If it is someone else's quilt room, its a journey into their physique . If that is even the right word. And then its a marvelous journey of discovery, enjoying new finds, getting ideas and sharing idea, and coming away, refreshed, and that back corner of your mind is thinking all the time of your space, your organization, your candy.

But if its your quilt room and it needs a complete hand of love and care, addressing re-organization. display, use and just clean it up mode- then it is doubly dangerous.

I went into the quilt room two nights ago putting off the inevitable bedtime, just to see what kind method of attack on the cleaning problem that I should use (if I was still motivated the next day).
First of all, I need to clean the doorway so that I could get in safely. And there was lots of unused space lurking under the longarm machine, and checked out the cutting table  and the moveable work table. Shuffled through some quilt books and picked up a stack to lull me toward sleep from the tangled mess on the book rack, and , well, look at that. Theres that quilt box from Fons and Porter that Cynthia gave me for Christmas. Wonder what I stored, if anything, in it. It was full of quarter triangle squares.

I rememberd the morning I  was wading through some of the ironing and storage of prewashed fabric. This stuff was a large percent of stripes so I pulled out the stripes and looked at them. I dug through the stash to find complementary and neutral colors that went well with them. Some time later I had cut a mass of quarter triangles and even later, I had made these stimulating quarter triangle squares.
The next day, I fondled them, ironed them and found that box to store them in. I was too busy to do anything more on them at the time and my mind was already moving on. It moved right out of the tangled quilt room too.

Two nights later, I can't get them out of my mind. So this am I pulled them out and spread them around and laid them out with the piece of fabric that I had tucked in with them.

And I can't get them out of my mind. They are not on my priorty list. DANGER!  Lets put them  away and see if they keep bugging me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I should go to bed

Its morning and I am still up. Kind of unwinding.
I have been studying double wedding ring quilts tonight that I have found on pinterest, putting them together and into a collection of the ones I think are good ones for me. To each his own, but these have to be good for me.
But then, I have been studying each one trying to see what makes it click, what makes it special, what sets it apart from all of those beautiful quilts that loop my eye around and around, until I have a headache and I just want to go hide the quilt in a tote somewhere.
If I decide to make one, EVER MAKE one, what should I realize about them that I relate to, that I might want to repeat, play with or build on??
Its been a fascinating discovery and probe.
Now I can sleep.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Life, love it but can be frustrating

My brother and his wife Jean are visiting. I am SO happy to see them, and want to spend every moment that I can with them, as we haven't been all together for about three years or so Jean joined me for a week two years ago to take in a quilt show and sight see(QUILT SHOPS) but with my brother here is is QUILTS  and GENEALOGY and memories and on and on---. We are Washington state and they are Oklahoma. Thank goodness for phones, cell phones and the internet!
But on the downside, and there is always a downside, I do not have time to spend in the quilt room though Jean and I talk a whole lot of quilt talk!
We are headed out today to hit some local quilt shops before I take her to visit her uncle. So I am looking forward to smelling and fondling alittle fabric today and  will no doubt come home with a fat quarter or so to add to the stash that is washed and needing ironed and put away into the MAIN Stash. Oh me!

Have cut out the first cut of the background blocks. Jean and I went to Waterville quilt shop this week to see if she had any more of the background fabric that I had bought. I do not really like or need a super abundance of small quilts and this quilt is supposed to finish up at 59 by 76. I am willing to buy another jelly roll also -- if I could find the background fabric.But, I had all but wiped her out of that particular fabric.
. I do not think that this pattern is compatible with  borders, Though I am considering that I may be able to add a header or bottom border if needbe. You have to  keep your mental options open at all times. This pattern is METRO RINGS by SEW KIND of WONDERFUL.

I was browising through a "Double Wedding Ring Quilts" book last night, It was published by the American Quilters Society at Puducah Ky and  edited by Vicotoria Faoro. It certainly takes the Wedding Ring pattern into all sorts of new directions and mindsets for me. The mind is working even as I visit, eat and sleep.

In our home quilting group, my daughter had introduced us to a challenge of working in a simple pattern and then make a series of three more quilts with the same base pattern but expanding it in differant ways each time. I chose the drunkards bath for that one,just using a simple 1 part block of the 16 blocks for a real Drunkards Path and the whole process of working and designing those quilts was a very valuable learning process. So I am looking at this "easy" modern straiight strip peiced  ring and seeing all sorts of possibilites on the horizons.
I want to be with my family but if I wasn't worn out from all the talking and laughing, I would also be sneaking into the quilt room to sew, stack, think, dream and ponder.into the night while other people slept the sleep of the just!  Sigh-----.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When it doubt --quilt

Today, I thought about all the hundreds of things that I need to get accomplished this week before my brother and sister arrive next week from Oklahoma. This place has more than gone down hill and not even the great outdoors will save me because we are rapidly moving into a  messey autumn after too much rain and wind. This is supposed to be DRY country and the rain caused alot of mildew and stuff in the leaves .
Or something.
And what with the events of this year, well, I seriously am thinking about hireing someone to clean my house, at least the public rooms. Not the Quilt Room. After thinking that all over--
I went into the quilt room .

These are a few of the 18 sets of jelly roll strips that I have cut out. I really really need to get them going before I lose them or something. Right. There is always the weekend to prepare for visitors.

So I searched and found and ironed my back ground fabric. It seemed like it took all day to cut it out. And then I realized that it was just the prep cut. Every peice that I cut today, all 144 of them will have to be recut and shaped. MM.
There may not be alot of variety here but I do like the colors. They go with my orange back entry wall!

Now its 3 pm almost and I had better get back to thre real world. Get your jeans on granny! Its time to bootscoot !

Monday, October 14, 2013

What do you do?

Life has just taken me for a spin the last 5 years since we lost our son. Somehow you muddle along, but nothing is really me any more. I am not in charge. If destiny waves its finger everything drops into a void.
Yes we go ahead and go to ball games, birthday parties, make baby blankets and do a half way job of the essentials of life-but something, everything is just so out of wack.
I am beginning to think that there is hope that the real me is still here, a little changed, a little torn and wounded, but still here, and if I want to create anything any more- really create then I need to get a hold of myself and somehow take charge of what I can so that I can go forth with singing.
So this morning, I went into my quilt room. It was time to take a blunt look and where it has ended up on this disasterous void that I have been living in. So Lets see------
This is really sad. Once this was the doorway to adventure, fun and smiles. Now its just a receptical of what ifs.?
How on earth did I slip so far into oblivion?
There is still a cutting table there!
This moveable work table just needs some order restored and putaway party.
There is something on the design board so it looks like I sneak and  crawl into this cayotic room and try to work.
Now . NOW. Its time to get a handle on things, start clearing my mind and really, REALLY work again.
And thats just what  I need to do.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Things I remember

This morning, well, it was to early to get up and to late to go back to bed.
So I went in to the quilt room to sew until daylight. Nothing to strenuous. Just finish up those Jelly Roll Strip blocks.
It has been steadily growing on me that this idea is not going to work well. The jelly rolls are
too limited, even though I snuck in a fabric strip or more to add some diversity. And this morning, while sewing up the last four sets, I was just about ready to quit and throw them in the garbage.
But then that cunning  inner brain reached out to me and said, "Remember? We have been here before."
It seems like most every quilt I make has stages. An idea, the collecting of fabrics, the growing sense of yes, its coming to gather, sewing, dismay and the discovery that something is wrong or it is just incredibly hideous. The hideous can hit at almost any point. Sometimes I even start with it as a challenge to my self. Often it is when I am looking at the completed quilt top and the disappointment wells up and disgust. Sometimes I just need to tweak it a bit, add something, study it for awhile and then take away something, change placements, whatever hits me that needs to be done. Sometimes, you just finish it up and when its quilted, it sort of comes alive again. It just needed more dimension.
Quilting does wonderful things for a quilt and sometimes just not much.
I have went through the stages of being in total awe of  a lovely machine quilted quilt. And I have envied their  talented joy of adding that depth, that dimension. But there is a change growing in me that is dissatisfied with that picture perfect quilting. I want to use instead a heavier thread,  a more primitive stich. Just something that says I made this. It did not come from a store display.
I need to iron these strip blocs and put them up on the design wall. But I was not supposed to start
this quilt yet, I still have my Portland Patches blocks on the design wall. To to hurry that process along some, I did what I have been procrastinating doing, I cut out the few half blocks that I needed to do from blocks that I have already sew and put them up on the wall. Ok. Its working.
Of course, I still have not found the material that I unpacked when I got back from Portland. The material that I need to do One MORE Melon block. Grr.
Its time for that nap.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Getting back into the quilt room

I somehow think of living my life in chapters. There have been a lot of needful commitments for the past year and now that they are done-- Next chapter.
Quilt room.
Its like stepping in the door and saying "I'M HOME". mmmmm. What a mess.
So this morning I started cleaning my quilt space. Ugg. I am not a cleaner, straightner upper person.
It actually only took about 40 minutes to get a space cleared, wiped down, machine, new battery in the wall clock, machine plugged in. Looked good!
So I started sewing---. Will get to the rest of the room, sometime later, in sections.

We had just had an area shop hop here in Eastern Washington State. Quilt shops are few and far between so they gave us 10 days to do this one. I decided that as I hadn't done a shop hop for a couple of years, that I should just go for the fun of it, look things over, have a good time and spend very little money. That's like putting 9 bottles of whiskey in front of an alcoholic. Need it be said-- I LOVE FABRIC!  That's why we quilt isn't it?
So I did Twisp first, just a few things because I had been there not too long ago, CHING. and then lunch and the rummage room. Then headed north. There was a new shop on the list that I had never been in, specializing in precuts and all Moda. Hmm, Lovely. Just this and that and some ideas. CHING! Head back to Omak and stop at Lyn's,just been there too- Oh that's nice. CHING.

Well, now that's enough. I don't really need to finish up do I? DH drove and I rested and chatted.
Almira Nanna's had some odd browns and Bur-Plum colors that would be, well, different to use. And there was a pattern and a cutting tool that maybe I should try. CHING! On to lunch, then Reardon and Buggy Barn. CHING! We made Odessa with half an hour to spare, CHING and they gave us Carmel corn to keep our energy up for the drive home..
Sunday was family day.
Monday I started at Wenatchee. CHING! Then Waterville. By then the brain had been spinning with an idea for this pattern that I had picked up and wanted to try out. CHING. Do lunch, and then Woven Threads in Lake Chelan. I can shop here anytime. Oh, look at that. CHING!.

Now I am so broke that I HAVE  to stay home. Wonderful. Love it.

So with the machine plugged in and the table cleared off, I had to see if my machine still runs. An Hour later I had made 6 strips that are ready to cut and learned something. The jelly roll that I bought to try out with this pattern. I confess that I cut a few more strips of this and that to liven it up too, well, mmm I don't think so.

Heres whats wrong with jelly rolls.
 I picked out the one with the most varied prints of fabric but even with that, it is not doing what I want. The fabric is from a whole line of fabric and quite a large line at that. But the fabrics, while all different were created by the same designer, as a set, and they do not have enough variation. You can "SEE" that the same mind created them and even though I have thrown in a couple of this and that, it is just not enough. When you look at the world about you, the landscape, the people, there is just so much depth and texture and infinite variations that it is so interesting. This precut jelly roll is like trying to hire people out of the same hospital ward or something! So, NO MORE JELLYROLL PRECUTS.
But-- the 2 1/2" size strips are good to handle and a size that is large enough to  relate a reaction too, but small enough not to overwhelm. THAT I like.
So- from now on I vow to buy a little more fabric each time. CHING! And I will cut my own 2 1/2 " strips  from each piece I buy, for making scrap quilts, or jelly roll quilts, or  dunkin donuts. Yep. That is a winner of an idea.
Kind of costly learning, but, hey, what ever it takes and is still fun.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When I was a young teenager

When I was a young teenager and dreamed of being a writer, not to be famous but just for the ability to make the words flow, describe and tell a story. I would plan and plan my places to write about the people that I would use, and populate my town, the bakery, library, cop,hero, the nice girl, the not so nice girl, spoiled and pampered  and so on.

Now I realize that I do the same thing with fabric. My quilt is a community of people and it takes all kinds to click and lots of kinds to add interest. There is the little bit wild, the fubsydubsy,  the physco, the erudite, the prim, the sparky, the dancer, the teacher, the speedster, molly over the back fence, PTA star, and on and on, all variations of drive, activity, movement, restful places, moods and co-stars all out of wack but still with a balance. I am still doing that, crating a community only now I really have found a story to tell----- sometimes.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Have you noticed?

Have you noticed that thre are lots and lots of terrific fabrics out in the market place?
I have just finished a Shop Hop. Hadn't been for a year or so, usually make it every four years and
really just went to look at fabric. Unfortuantely, I did not leave my $ or credit card at home. So now-
well I have lots more insulation for the walls in my quilt room. And a new pattern to redesign or maybe not. Its very simple, so I may let'er be.
My daughter asked me the other day--Have you noticed what interesting and oftoen similar kinds of people run quilt shops. Little shops in the country, in small towns, in old law shops or whatever seems adaptable for housing. It must have to do with the dryness of their voice, the calculating glint in their eye and their fervid  blending of selling what they really like, with the probably will sell stuff so they can stay afloat. These shops have their own little specialties whether it be jelly rolls and precuts, specialty  threads for hand quilting, patterns for avante guarde MODern, old sewing machine collections and or cats.
Whats with cats? I love cats but I notice that lots of sewers have cats as do book sellers. It must be the calm and soothing lifestyle that we live. ? You think? Or maybe we just are trying to escape the force of pace of everyday life.
This year I found some interesting stuff, several pieces of orange. Just couldn't decide if I wanted dots in even pattern, circled medallions in even rows, or rain splattered batik dots with some blues,purple and greys thrown in. They kind of made my heart song purr.
They I bought something that I call bur-plum. Its not burgundy, or claret, or plum  but somewhere darker, less light and almost flat. Now why would I want flat? How will I use flat. I always look for alive and intense so maybe I am trying to soothe my pace alittle.
And I that always stay away from browns in general, bought tans, and browns, and chocolate and browny greys. Maybe its just a problem that I created for my self to stretch the horizons.
Its been nearly a year since I have been really quilting. Baby quilts do not really count with me. I like larger canvases than that. But  watch out quilt room. I am a coming. Therapy time. Love time. Soothe time. Design time. What if time---