Momma Says Quilts Speak

Momma Says Quilts Speak

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---