Momma Says Quilts Speak

Momma Says Quilts Speak

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why is it?

Sunshine, glorious sunshine outside, glistening snow all over Billygoat mountain.
I can do what ever I want today--. Not. There has to be some goals, and some determination.

So as I set firmly at the machine and sew my mind is not on my business. It is tumbling, asking questions.

Why is it such a soaring pleasure to sew some days. You feel like you have air under your wings and you can do almost anything and like it?

And some days its just kind of grime, counting the amounts finished and counting the amounts to be done.

I have been amazingly well as far as virus's etc go this winter. All about me people have been sick and dragging and I have done pretty well. But its impossible I think to get by in the winter and not have some virus, or  quite a few hit you. I mean, you have to buy groceries and so does the sickly ones and so you meet and intermingle among the cabbages and romaine and zip, you come away with a little icky bug that will get you down in the dumps soon. And it finally happened to me. When it was over, I shopped frantically. Was I searching for another bug to bring home to get me down?  And when all was said and done, the aisles wondered up and down, there wasn't much I brought home except for food supplys.

Yesterday I approached the dreaded deadline ahead, must do, get this done forever quilt. I had worked on it over the weekend and the backing was almost done. I had hunted and hunted for a special backing fabric for this very scrappy quilt that I had pieced for my granddaughter  but thinking baby quilt I hadn't purchased enough fabric. Now I had to piece on side boarders and hope they looked alright. I didn't want it patchy too, so decided to borders down the sides of  the back of the quilt.It was soon, hurry hurry get this done, and the peices ironed.
I duck taped the backing to my table top and marked the center ( just on one end, mind you. What was I not thinking?)  I cut and laid out the white warm and natural that I prefer to use. Stood back and looked at it . My son GW came in and asked is that the quilt? You want some help. And he called his wife to come and help.

Pinning is a merciless job. Its bad on young backs and old backs alike. I used to have to do it on the floor and am really thinkfull to have this 4' x 10'table to work on. But it is still hard on the back.
When everything was pinned about 3" apart, we turned it over. As always there are some boo boos.
One on either side to be unpinned and redone and even oops a little resewing.   The quilt is resting in the living room over couches and chairs. It should be warm enough in there. I hope so anyway, as I had went ahead and marked it while it was stretched out with a friXion pen.. And we rerely use the living room this time of the year, so thats ok. Our REAL LIVING room is the dining room with the pellet stove and the lazy boys in it.

My back is rested, but the memory remains and I will give that quilt and me, a few more days to relax.

Back to the Celtic Soltice blocks. Now what it different? Why are they not fun anymore? Why are they kind of just a chore?  I am getting tired of the fabrics. I cut most of the pieces and pieced quite a bit. Then had to cut more because I can't count properly. I still had enough variety I thought-- but now I am wishing that I had even more variety. "Remember that for the next scrap quilt".
I just made my self sew anyway. It wasn't fun. It wasn't uplifting.. I wasn't happy. Was it really the Celtic Soltice Quilt? Or was it the painful chore of pinning the day before. Maybe I am just lazy.

I now have 15 of the 54-40 or fight blocks done. Nine more, I promise my self and you can switch gears and take a break on something else. But not for long. I do not want this to be another UFO.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Home again

We got home Tuesday night. What can I say. Love, Love, Love my home state. The air is different.
Before I went to bed, I walked all around the house and touched home, The office, the quilt room, the laundry, all my work spaces-even the kitchen. It was wonderful.

Wednesday morning I got out of bed and went straight to the quilt room and made three celtic solstice 54-40 blocks.

This morning I made 3 more.
Then I looked over the  design board and at what was auditioning.
This was just not going anywhere at all. I started to the laundry to pick up the new fabrics that I had picked up in Newport to see if they would work better, and as I walked by a ironed and folded stack of stuff to "put away" I spotted these peices and just hung them up to try.
I am liking this better. Not so in your face with a modern color combo.

The lighting in my quilt room is awful. Even though it is sunny outside this morning the room is full of shadows. I have two lights out in the room. Very slowly I am changing out my light bulbs for daylight, LED light bulbs. Hope that is the answer. It is certainly tough on my pocket book. But I am hoping for an invested improvement. Hate the florescent light type light bulbs. Whatever they are- they look like florescent even if they are not. Light is extremely important if you have bad eyes.
And that is it for sewing today. I am still not unpacked or laundry all done and we are leaving early today to travel to the district basketball games. It is going to be a long one. But I know a quilt store in Ephrata that just might make the trip worth enduring, and there is a fantastic Mexican Restraunt with devine flavor that I can already taste the blend of flavors!

Friday, February 14, 2014

We came to the coast yesterday, but it was a late start because the guys job was not done. We will have to go back and finish it Monday. But I was already to go when DH was and hoping to stop at the quilt shop in Florence.

Bad news. The lady at Joy of Quilting, sold her stuff and retired.
I finally found "the only other quilt shop left in Florence". They had bought some of the stuff from Joy of Quilting and had a stash of their own. I found a "maybe" green for my vintage fabric, a few support fabrics if I use it, and a yucky intriguing old looking fabric that I can hardly wait to add as a back.
This morning I took it all out and looked at it, moved it around abit and again. Hope something jives when I get home.
Can't get too excitied, yet--
I had went back to Piece by Piece to get templates. My mistake. I talked to the class teacher of this Sump Punk or whatever it was that is calling my name. She said, she made her templates out of cardboard. There was a place in Eugene that would make them for me, really reasonably, cheaper than I could order them. She had finally ordered hers from Australia and guess that is what I am going to have to do. You need a pay pal which I have never sat up. Don't know how hard it is. And the Bank is wanting to close all accounts and start over with cards and stuff to avoid credit card rips.

Hmm. Maybe I'll be home soon? Tuesday? Weds? Oh me----

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Here in Oregon

Well, its raining. Surprise!

The wall work is progressing with the help of a tarp, but I am hearing mutterings about being behind schedule, and old muscles not enduring the work push as well as they might.
The grandkids, kids, food and hospitality is great. We will probably gain a few pounds as we do each time we come and stay. I so admire my daughters boundless energy and wish that I still had a larger portion of the same.

Yesterday, while Em was taking AL to the rock climbing class, she dropped me off at a quilt shop near Rei. This is a great quilt shop ( aren't the majority of quilt shops great?) because it has a different variety of stuff than I am used to looking at and I have suddenly decided that I need a key fabric for that vintage print, something that I just haven't seen yet.

Well, the weather ruined those plans. The shop was still closed since the last storm, awaiting power restoration. So out of sympathy, Em ran me by "Piece by Piece" quilt store near the University. 15 min mom! We had the whole gang due over for dinner that night.

Now it is really difficult to walk through a favorite eye candy, fabric store, with both eyes squinted trying not to see anything that was not in the shades of color that I am seeking. Oh, me. And I didn't find the shades of colors I wanted. Probably because they are slightly older colors than what are being used right now. So I grabbed a couple of new patterns and ran back to the car. I had fell in love with the shops "Steam Punk" quilt that they are doing a class on, so had to have that pattern and there was a nifty cut one from Sew Kind of Wonderful that caught my eye and would expand my use of the template that I have already bought.

Now, friends, I am begging to go back to the shop and buy a template that I barely glanced at yesterday, to use with Steam Punk.This is a Jen Kingwell design that makes me WANT to tackle my scrap mess and cut it up into some great body parts!

Tomorrow we head to the beach. It is on a rain cycle there and that is fine. Water belongs on a beach and if it gets alittle stormy, that would be great too. We are looking forward to the "Driftin" with live music, great food and relaxing. And I will probably wrangle a stop at a quilt shop that sees me every time I see that section of coast at Florence. Think I will leave my wallet in the car though and just take a designated handfull of cash inside while I do a quick browse. Its a small shop, but I always, always find stuff there.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Packing AGAIN

I am such a grouch.
DH is going to Oregon again. This time to add the rock to my daughters backyard wall. Our son GW is going to with wife and their daughter. We will visit, they will build walls for three days and then my daughter EL and her family are taking us all to the coast for two days on the beach at a house they have access to. A Vacation. I should be esstatic. Instead of course I am the groundhog grump that wants to stay home in my den and do my own thing. OH Well--

So I threw a load of wash into the machine and headed to the quilt room. There is some stuff going on out there.
 I have been working on all the body parts for my Celtic Solstice 54-40 or fight blocks. I worked a set, counted them and only had a little less than half. Made a second batch and what? They wee two sizes! Luck would have it that the 2nd batch were the right size and the first batch just needed cut down. Whew! There has been a whole lot of trimming and squaring going on. for sure. Then the body parts made, those blocks were ready to sew..
I have had the center medallion square cut out for sometime for
my Vintage type dream quilt and hanging on the wall. Have hung some fabric up to audition also.
But nothing is really happening with it. I decided to change the boarder around it and now--nothing is happening. Nothing seems right. I may just take it down and put it away for awhile. We will see what happens when I get back from this trip.

And do you notice that shiny acrylic insert around my machinge? Oh pure heaven! I had tried to order it before from Dream World but  I wasn't sure that I understood how to give the Horn cabinet opening demensions. They kept reminding me that if I made a mistake that I would eat it. Then they had a sale and I called to place my order. The girl told me that my machine was a custome order, the sale would not apply and it would be $106 plus tax and shipping. I really did not like her attitude, voice and snippy tone. So I thanked her and said, not today.
Late last month I remembered that if I didn't get my insert that I would not be able to finish my granddaughters OVER DUE quilt before her 3d bithday.  Hmm. I went to the computer again and this time tried Sew Easy, and it was-so EASY. There form to fill out was very self explanatory. Much clearer than the other forms I had looked at, so I got it ordered fed-ex to the house, tax and all $86. It is a dream. I had a moment of panic when it wouldn't fit, but I didn't realize that the accessory box was an attachment and would come off. Oh, I do love it. It is a dream to work with now. in spite of all the perils of Pauline that old ladies have to face.

And then I made the first 5 blocks of the Celtic Solstice Quilt. They went together very nicely.

So now, a happy camper, I put them away, cleared up the mess on the ironing board, sewing table, and a small section of floor, blessed my mess, turned off the lights and left.

Sigh!! I guess I need to start packing now-- or maybe after lunch, since I missed breadfast!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Back among the Living

Well, I see that its been awhile since I posted.

The good old flu bug struck, nasty business. Kind of drained me. And though I have been back in the quilt room working alittle. Well, it hasn't been with much devotion.

This morning I drug out the camera to do an update of the "chaos room" and it looks like the last time
that I used the camera "somebody" left it on and the battery was dead.

"Oh Well"  I think that, "that " is a Tony Bennett song and not my favorite, but it kind of expresses it all!

The Celtic Solstice quilt needs work. So I have drug that out, and counted my blocks to date and started fine tuning them, starting with the neutral /blue star points. They surely needed a lot of fine tuning. Mercy Sakes! I was in a rush wasn't I?

When I was about in the 7th grade, my mom let me loose with her sewing machine. It was an old treadle singer that my brother had added an electric moter for her. It was also the only machine that
my mom ever had that I knew of. She showed me how to use it, taught me what grainlines were about, the importance of a consistant seam, bought me a pattern for what ever it was I wanted to make, and turned me loose. I could go to her and she was helpful, but basically, it was kind of a self taught thing as progress was made. Trial and error. When I needed clothes, I made them. No $ for shopping for readymades. In those days,(those words are the mark of an old person) it was cheaper to buy fabric and thread and make your own.

As I fine tuned my sewing, I read, studied and sewed a lot.

My mother had been busy with a needle, all my life. She crocheted, tatted, sewed and quilted. I remember a yellow to gold on cream, Lone Star quilt, and especially a green scraps drunkerds path that I especially loved and drooled over, but they were company quilts and thats the only time that they came out onto the bed.When mom was in the nursing home, I searched and searched for that quilt, but she had already passed it on to a needy grandchild or horrors! It had been used for padding to move a refrigerater or such!

Sometime when my 4th child was in the 7th or 8th grade, I made an applique, red plaid scotty on black pillow for my 5th daughter and decided that it would be better if it had some hand quilting. Shall we just say, that my hands cannot do a consistant stitch. I grew up with my mom having a quilting frame full , rolled and hanging over the top of her bed, and in the off garden season, she had a quilt in it most of the time. There were no quilting bees at our house, just mom, her frame and meditation. She always complained that she just couldn't do the perfect stitch. Well, I inherited that! In Spades!

So, not satisfied with my quilted pillow, I felt the need to make a bed quilt, for that 4th child. I had been looking at quilts in the lady's magazines and it didn't look too hard. So off I went to the local "everything" store in our country town that carried a fabric department. I had decided to make an Ohio Star pattern and was sort of prepared, mentally anyway. I bough some pink, blue and off white. I don't remember the  fabric very well, and the quilt is long gone, I think. I later mended it for her so many times. It was her quilt that she took on the bus on cold winter nights with the basket ball team, the one she took to young kids do's and sleepovers. It got a lot of wear and tear and she loved it. She was in her twenties at a house party when she realized that her quilt was really pretty full of holes and just plain wore out. And thats when she decide to Make HER a replacement. But that is a story in itself.

I remember terms that I used alot. Wing it. Fudge facter. Just do it. So as you can imagine, I never had lessons except from books, never had an instructor. Oh the home ec teacher tried, but she was so demanding of excellence, slow,and boring. It would take a week to get you new pair of shorts cut out and another week to get a zipper in. That was BORING and not my style at all.

So now what I am that I am turning 68, I am trying to fine tuns some skills and it is not boring, but it is not exciting either. It is feels good  to learn new ways, short cuts, and how to use the tools that I have been collecting. So lately ,thats where you find me a few hours a day. taking out, resewing or tossing, and fine tuning. I am pleased (though yawning).

To keep my Celtic Solice neutral/blue blocks company, I have decided to finish the four patch blocks, a snap for sure, and then I can put them together and lay the stars aside and start on the other block. But, I have been unpicking and resewing and recounting and hmm. It is taking some time.

About this mystery quilt, Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice Mystery. I had never done a quilt before that I did not know where it was suposed to be going. I say supposed to , because if you are a quilter, you know that when you create a quilt, at some point it takes over and tells you what it wants and needs. Looking at some of the blocks others have done, I worry that my scrappy quilt will not come together and meld properly. I  have saw a few that look lovely but with control and some that have the eye jumping all over----at once. And I wonder, really wonder how I will like this thing once its done?

And on another note-- There was this frenzy to do some work, get so much cranked out, Christmas, Fuenrals, concerts, basketball games and shopping all thrown together mad dash and then a trip to California. When the REVEAL came. It was kind of--oh! Ok. Is that It? The pattern is essentially a Tennesse Waltz quilt that I have had on my board for about 4 years now-- to do. I bought the pattern for it and the material in a lovely little quilt shop in Duvall Wa. when  I went over there and stayed to attend  the Tulip Festival. I sought the right and unusual fabrics and had  it all planned with browns with a purple tint, yellows and some really odd prints of deep purple violets, acid greens and more yellow to gold ranges. They spoke to me.

So, do  I even want to do this quilt again? Will I be happy with this in scrappy? And will I want to use those odd prints in anything else when I see them so clearly in this quilt?  I guess that time will tell.

Oh Well---