Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Dance!!!!!

I just had to post this!!!!  The picture is light since my sewing room has high intensity lights that wash out, but I think you get the idea.  The thread is a really good match (as it should be) so you see the texture.  It isn't perfect, but more "organic"---my word for 'some of the swirls are sorta messed up" :c)!  ---but you gotta start somewhere right!   It is just a little corner, and I have a LOT more to go, but I feel so good!  I just wanted to share!

Thanks for your patience!!


Practice Quilt!

Excuse the wrinkles, but Coal had just run across the quilt.  This is my practice piece from my Craftsy class.  It was a little tricky---you really have to be careful with the layout, but I didn't have to "frog" not one seam!!
Everything came from my stash or scrap bags.  The solids are scraps of my hand dyes, and the grey is actually two different pieces.  They are off just a little, but I am not going to obsess about it.  I gotta be honest though, my stomach is a bit queasy to begin the actual quilting.  I know it is just a practice piece, but I have long admired and wanted to do custom, and am a little apprehensive about beginning.  I am going to let this vegetate a little.  I received my practice panel from Spoonflower and I might just load that first, plus I still have a little room on the piece already loaded to practice a little more.  I have some work I need to do first, so I have a little time to figure it out.  I think I am going to use a poly batting, rather than the expensive cotton I have for this (and I don't really feel like piecing batting pieces together) and just a plain muslin backing.  Nothing fancy.

Well, hope your week ends on a positive note, and you have a great week-end.  I have to work tomorrow----I have simulation lab for 40 students so it will be a LONG and busy day.  Next week clinical rotations begin, so not a lot of creative time will be available.  I though will check in as often as possible.  I see I have another "Follower".  Thank you so much---hopefully I can contribute something to your creative journey.  Just by becoming a "Follower of my blog", you have added a lot to mine.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect!!!!!

I loaded a practice piece on today and started practicing my custom quilting.  Not bad for the very first time I ever tried any of this.  I am using a contrasting thread so I can see my mistakes, but on the "real" practice piece I will use coordinating thread so my thread tracks aren't so visible.  I certainly have a LONG way to go, but you gotta start somewhere.  Maybe one day I will be able to have a prize winning freehand custom quilt like my friend Lane! 

Have a great day and give someone a hug!  You never know what someone is feeling and that hug may just give them the uplift they need.  Of course, make sure it is someone you know or at least who you are in conversation with----you can get in trouble for hugging random strangers :c)!


Sunday, September 23, 2012


I met my work goals and now  have the ability to work on my "fun" stuff, guilt-free.  I finished binding two of the three quilts, including making the labels.  One more to go.  I am also almost finished with quilting Diane's quilt, so I will hopefully send it off next week.

I also decided to do something I hadn't done before, take a on-line "class".  I have been purchasing fabric from Craftsy for a while, but never explored more than that.  At the last Guild meeting, there were several members who recommended their classes.  I have really wanted to "notch-up" my quilting.  I am pretty good with panto's and boards, and am the "meandering queen", but I have been afraid of branching out into more custom quilting.  When I tried it with the help of books, it looked---well bad!  When Craftsty had a sale recently, I decided to take a chance, and boy am I glad.  To date, I have only been quilting on paper, but I am at a point where I am now ready to try my hand on fabric.  Wish me luck!

It is beautiful outside!  Fall is clearly here---and although it is really beautiful here, I am a little sad.  I love the summer, and don't really feel the same about winter.    It is funny--- major decisions in my life come during fall.  The decision to move to Chicago, to Florida and to Tennessee all came in the fall.  At this point, other than getting our bath redone, there isn't any major decisions involving moving looming ahead, so I am safe there.

Well, I just wanted to check in and recommend the classes at Craftsy!  Hopefully I will have something to show soon.  I also want to add, they have great customer service as well!

Have a great day!!!!!


Thursday, September 20, 2012


I am always amazed at the way my life goes sometimes.  How my belief that everything happens for a reason always plays out.  How often when I am at my lowest point, and feeling hopeless, confused or just plain sad---something happens to pick me up and let me know it really isn't me after all. 

I have been in a very painful altercation that involved what I had begun to think was a "safe" place for me.  It isn't so safe after all, mainly because there is still too much unknown and distrust.   I assumed something when I shouldn't have and we all know what happens when you assume.  The catalyst was essentially the meaning of the written word---namely the contents of an email.  I wrote that email without malice and used a phase that I thought was innocent but actually wasn't taken that way.  The more I tried to make it better, the worst it got.  I finally decided that I couldn't do anything about how someone interpreted a word, all I could do was try to make myself clear and after that it was no longer my responsibility.  I can only change myself etc.  That change included NEVER, EVER writing anything more than the very basic information in a email, particularly in the context of this group of people.  Lesson learned, lets move on.  Even though I came to an appropriate decision, based on validation from people I trust and  who are important to me, I still worried because it is hard to get over really mean words, that used this opportunity to say "what was really on their minds".

Now this brings me to what happened today.  Our oldest son has two Phd's---one in English and another in Philosophy, from prestigious universities, so I would consider him an expert in the written word.   He teaches in a large University system.  He called me this morning while in class and put me on speaker phone.  Guess what they were discussing-----the meaning of words, and how it is important to understand the context of those words.  How important it is to receive verification of their meaning--either through formal ways (like a dictionary) or through conversations with the speaker/writer.  That although the writer writes these words in a context, that context is specific to that person.  The reader receives those words, but in a context specific to them.  We hope that the context is the same, but given "where" the reader is, the reader's context becomes the important variable.  Both share a responsibility, but it is the reader who has the responsibility to get the true meaning, not the writer!   I feel vindicated!  Now, my son knows nothing about the "situation"----he is a literature expert---has the initials to prove it!  I am "truly blessed and highly favored"!

So what is on my schedule today?

This first----lots of work involving writing (I am going to read, re-read and get validation before publishing of course), reading, creating, figuring and planning!  Whew---I am tired just thinking about it---BUT.......

later---binding quilts.  Still work----but so much more enjoyable!

Have a great one---take care, and take time to "smell the roses".  It is getting cold outside and those roses will be gone before you know it replaced with snow!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

All Done!

Sorry---I can't figure out how to turn the picture of the quilt around, but I am all done.  I couldn't sleep last night and was up early this morning so I am finished quilting it, and have the binding on 3 of the sides.  I have clinical today, so when I get home later this evening, I will try to complete and sew down the binding.  I love this quilt!  I like the "organiceness" ---is this a word?   The back shows the quilting------straight lined CL board.  The back is a aged muslin that continues the look.  The tension was perfect! and the thread matched perfectly.  Exactly what I needed in what is going down in history as an awful last couple of days.   I am hopeful that the remainder of the week will be better and so am using this as a sign of good things to come.

I am going to load one of Diane's quilts on this afternoon and quilt it with the same pattern board.  I will have three quilts then ready to send so Di I will keep you posted! 

I love quilting!!!!  It really is the pleasure in a journey that is often full of stress and tension.  Maybe because it is basically a solitary art, as I quilt I find myself having conversations with my inner voice and finding a path.  That doesn't mean that you don't need the consult of a "real" person sometimes, a friend who knows and cares about you no matter what.  Someone who will tell you when you are wrong, but in a way that doesn't leave you feeling devalued or disrespected.  Who knows you!  In life you hardly ever find that person.  Diane is that person, she will tell me to "get a life", but will also say, "do I need to come down there"---or in this case "up there".  I believe her when she says, "you were misinterpreted",  just like when she says, "you were wrong".  Thanks Diane for listening to me and giving me guideness without tearing me down.  You are truly my sistah and I appreciate you more than you will ever know. 

Okay--enough "touchy" stuff.  Have a wonderful day/week.


Friday, September 14, 2012

I Have Been BUSY!

I have really been busy!!!!  I hardly have had time to do anything other than work!  Up early and to bed late.  My house is a mess, but I don't have the energy to do what needs to be done. 

One of my Guild Sisters shared her Bento Box for Show n'Tell and I remembered I had started one, so today I stole a couple of hours and did some sewing.  I actually started this quilt because of this same person, she had some really interesting batiks and she said she had purchased them from Joanne's so off I went, purchased them, cut a few up, and then put them into a box and there they sat for quite a while.  The pattern is the traditional  Bento Box and I added my hand dyed scraps with the batik FQ's.  The batik isn't the best quality but with the hand dyes, I like the look-----sorta "organic".  The areas of color variation, makes the batik look "hand dyed" as well. I found the perfect backing in my fabric closet,  I had purchased also about 2 years ago--an aged muslin, that will really complete the look.  I ran out of the batik, and so had to go back and get a couple more FQ's, since you know I want a BIG quilt, so I need to do a little more cutting.  At first I was going to give it away for Christmas, but now I am rethinking that.

It's funny, but I had a scrap of every color I needed to match the batiks.  I did a lot of experimentation with dyes, just dyeing small pieces.  Some of them I really like, I just don't know what I did to get the effect, so I can't reproduce it.  I have got to start writing down my recipes.  I hope I get an opportunity to dye more this season, but things are so chaotic right now, I am going to concentrate on getting rid of my stash.

I also submitted some quilts for inclusion in the Modern Quilt Show (QuiltCon).  I was  so very hesitate to do so, but with my DH insistence I went ahead and took the leap.  They certainly wouldn't win given some of the work I have seen, but it would be really nice if they were accepted.  If they do though, I am not even going to be able to go to Austin----a really bad time of the year for me----but I know I can count on someone to check it out for me.  Well, I don't find out until December, so I am putting it out of my mind.

Just wanted to check in and let you all know I haven't fallen off the end of the earth.  Take care and thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 3, 2012

I Am Proud of Myself!!!

So we they just took DD to the airport.  Lots of tears----but I said, "dry them up.  See you next year".  I knew she would broach the subject of not only not coming home, but when she does having such a short stay.  I did my "when you think things are important, you make them happen speech".  I was calm, tried really hard to keep the "ohh please" out of my voice and enjoyed her visit.  That was why I needed to vent first.  We had a really nice visit at the fine arts museum here and she met some of my Guild sisters.  We went shopping, and I was even not rattled when she laughed hysterically at the jacket I bought (I don't think her taste of clothes is always to my liking either), but I reminded her that I was an adult, as she was, and since I was purchasing it, it was only important that I like it. 

Now, on to some therapy----quilting!  Hugs and have a great day!