Monday, June 29, 2020

Words Fail

      I am not a writer. It would be super to be one. I am a visual person, but I do a blog to document my process and thoughts, although difficult to keep up. Instagram is like croutons.
     After months, I am incredibly weary of all the covid stuff. I get it, it is dangerous, but seriously, life needs to be lived. I think we can think hard among us and figure a way to navigate safely and sanely. We have asked the grocery store workers, the pharmacies, and hospitals to do their jobs and they have done a superb job. We need to do what we do best.
     I discovered Marguerita McManus' site, Quilters Calendar that  connects, enables, and teaches how to use Zoom and other methods for quilters and guilds to connect, grow, share and all that good stuff I love. I attended a meeting she scheduled to learn what guilds are doing. She is going to teach some technical ways to use video and tech equipment for programs on Tuesday.
     After viewing, I contacted officers/program people from my guild and shared 4 pages of notes with them. We started making some plans and will start to move ahead and try things to bring our guild together. One of my dearest friends, Jan, called me after the Zoom meeting and we chatted for an hour about ideas and we were so excited to do something positive and not fear-driven.
     The next day, I got a call and received the stunning news that Jan had suffered a heart attack shortly after and died. No words to describe the loss and shock. No one knew I was going to have a heart attack two years ago either. Women have very unusual but deadly heart attacks. I know I was one of the few survivors.  
     Below is a photo of Jan (back to camera) taken at our quilt show in October 2019 when she was in front of her Polaroid quilt that we made for her. She had not read the label yet realizing it was for her. I don't have the picture where she was all out crying when she knew it was hers. She repeatedly called me and thanked me for designing and quilting it for her over all these months. What a gift Jan was to all who knew her. I mourn the loss of her.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Wonky Stars top

     I have had the completed Wonky Stars top on my wall for a couple of weeks. Been a rough couple of weeks. Today I took it down as I do need the wall to arrange blocks. It has been on the wall long enough for me not to like it, so I think it needs to go away for a while. I can't put it on the longarm because the basement area is going through a remodel (suspended ugly ceiling taken down, floor joists and such painted white and cleaned up, LED fixtures installed between joists, knotty pine panelling primed with Bin and then 2 coats of white paint, and finally vinyl planking). My longarm is swathed in sheets and coverings to keep clean. In the end, it will be like a loft space, all in white and high exposed ceilings, right now, not so much.
    I think quilting will improve it. I was excited at first because I thought it was a break through quilt with all the background values and bits of bright. Right now, brain fatigue is making it all unclear.

Friday, June 5, 2020

One very difficult quilt

     I love leader and enders. They changed my piecing life- thank you, Bonnie Hunter! 
     For the last 2 years, I have been doing wonky stars as leader/enders. I make the star legs, then my granddaughter lays the block out on freezer paper and I piece them.

     In my head, I saw this quilt as a tile wall or floor. It took over a year to find the design I was thinking about- a circle of stars with many neutrals like tiles. I finally completed the blocks- 12 of them- and put them on the wall. I thought about adding more neutrals between the blocks, but opted for sashing with a text fabric. 

     When I got it all sewn and up on the wall. I was crushed. It did nothing and the circle of stars had little impact. I consulted with Julie and she said rip out the sashing. I swallowed hard, ripped it all out very carefully, and inserted more 2" neutral squares.
      I did like it much better, but it did not look finished. I tried a bunch of ideas  and went with a skinny border of fabric that gradates to other colors. Ok, that is done and now I need to finish. 

     I thought again about the tile idea, and thought how some tile has a border of square in a square motif. I remembered an Anita Grossman Solomon book I have (ebook- big mistake, never bought another ebook again) where she makes square in a square blocks by cutting a stack of large squares. I made four of them and put them up against the skinny border. I am afraid I will have to make a lot more before I know if they will finish off this quilt like it is my head. 
     Sigh. I thought this was supposed to be fun. Could use some fun. Why do I have such a hard time getting what I see in my head out on the wall?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thank God for flowers!

     Spring took a long time to get to Buffalo, NY. There was snow in May. Finally, the tulips arrived and because it was cooler, they hung around a long time. The rain and heat later did the tree peonies in too quickly. 

     When I go outside and visit the flowers, I am in awe of the colors, textures, shades of greens and shapes. I marvel how they are all different and all beautiful (except those no good wild chives that threaten the perennials and garden). 

      I finished potting all the annuals in containers and they are taking off. The rest of the perennials need to be dug in, and hopefully I will get that done in the next couple of days. (I did). The smell of the ground, the plants, and the weather are so incredibly life giving to me at this time. I am so grateful for the flowers in my little plot of the universe.

Challenge Met

     I have been struggling to post. I have pictures and work, but struggle to write. I read blogs of my favorite people, and comment, but am unable to write my own. I am sweating just trying to write this one, but I promised to do the Hands2Help Challenge and I completed all three and they are in the mail to Little Lambs Foundation in Logan, UT. They are about 46" square and my grandchildren held them for me in my yard. I used Glide on the top and PremoSoft in the bobbin.