Monday, December 20, 2010

It DOES rain in southern california!

It's raining... It's pouring... the old man is snoring!  I love when it rains and it's been raining steadily for 2 1/2 days now, with at least 1 or 2 more days of rain expected... maybe more... I just can't get enough of it... I'm so glad my shopping is done.  I have one package to mail tomorrow plus cards to mail or give out... omigosh, I almost forgot about the cards - they will be late - new year's cards I guess, but I'm not gonna stress over them... no stress this holiday! 

My poor dog hates the rain... she doesn't want to go out ever... but she just has to have some potty time, yanno?  The cats never go out - they are indoor kitties, but they hear the rain and they get a little weird when the weather turns like this - like they're all stir crazy or something.... or maybe they are simply sensing the urgency in the air over the holidays.

Slowly I am getting done all the things I need to finish - I have a tablerunner to finish the quilting on, but I think it will be a 12th night gift, so it doesn't need to be finished until Jan 5th.  All the presents are wrapped and ready for gifting on the 25th, which is a relief.  Of course they are all wrapped with Chanukah paper cuz that's what we had left on a roll lol... It's all very festive and pretty so who cares.

I got a lot of nice responses from people who saw my quilts on 'The Quilt Show' gallery... that was really a pleasant surprise!

Today I am grateful for indoor plumbing esp. toilets.  I know that sounds kinda weird, but we don't think about it much.  Having indoor plumbing is such a wonderful thing... and not having to trudge out to an outhouse, esp. in bad weather?  I'm not sure I would have survived even a century ago... I'm so arachnophobic... not to mention this rain has put me in mind to stay indoors more than usual.  To have to run out in the middle of the night in the rain to pee... well, I'm just SO grateful for the porcelain throne sitting in the next room... 'nuff said...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Cheer

Wow... I haven't posted in forever... just been busy I guess... besides, I dont think anyone besides me reads this anyway.  So it doesn't really matter, except that like keeping a journal, it's a matter of personal discipline... not my forte.  But here goes...

Since August I've been going thru a lot of periods of depression.  I'm not sure why I've been on such a rollercoaster of moods - I've been taking my meds.  Was playing a lot of Evony, but I was before August too, so that's not why I haven't posted.  I've been trying to keep myself busy with mah jong, gaming, reading, watching TV (now there's a real mental vacuum if ever there was one), and other time wasters.

I went on one quilt retreat in November and finished one quilt 'Lucy in the Garden' for my friend Janet.  It was a surprise for her birthday, and she loved it.  I need to get a new photo of it however - this one was taken prior to beading and other embellishments.



I made one tablerunner, which I'm in the process of quilting right now.  Don't think it's gonna be done in time for the holidays, so it won't be the present it was intended to be - I will give it as a 12th night gift.

I am working on designing a new quilt (really not designing, more adapting) for my guild's fabric exchange.  Designing something entirely new and different is hard - every time I think I've got something cute and original, I see the same or similar pattern somewhere on the web.  Very frustrating.  This time I am merely adapting, so I know from the outset that it's not original. 

I did manage to get through Chanukah without major upset.  I thought it was very sweet that my son's fiance, who isn't Jewish, followed along with the candle prayers with us.  Since we are a multi-cultural household, we also have a solstice tree for the holidays - and that is finally up and decorated with Star Trek ships for ornaments.  They all light up and make sounds, so it's very festive (and noisy).  The cats are fascinated with all the wires and dangly things.  Lovely. 

On an upnote for me, we are expecting a week or so of rain...  I LOVE rain!  So far we've had a full day of drizzles - tomorrow should bring some real rain coming down.  I am looking forward to it.

Today I am grateful for family and unconditional love.  I suppose even among family, love is conditional, but so far, in our small nuclear family unit, while sometimes we aren't thrilled with each other's actions or decisions, the love remains unconditional... gotta love it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kitty Corners

Not a new finish, but I just got this quilt back from the Ventura County Fair, where it took a blue ribbon.  This is my first ever rag quilt and was a lot of fun to make.  I'm not sure I'll ever make another - all that clipping!  I love the kitty and all the paws on this quilt - and with flannel on the back, it is so warm and cuddly, I won't be able to use it til winter - right now we are in triple digits here in so cal! 


I'm grateful for movies and television.  I know people survived for millenia without them, but I don't know what I'd do without the comforts of old movies, tried and true, to enjoy again and again. 

Do What You Love

With all your heart....  I made this wallhanging as an opportunity quilt for my guild.  No quilting room is quite complete without a cat... Cats and quilts just seem a natural pairing.  Both are warm and comforting.  This quilt was a joy to make.  I had so much fun making and embellishing it.  I have to be honest, I didn't want to give it away when it was done.  They had to pry it out of my hands!  I even bought tickets for it, hoping to win it myself!  Sadly, I didn't win... but it was fun trying.


I am grateful today for the freedom to do what I love without having to worry about making a living.  To my wonderful husband who works hard and my parents who left me a small nest egg to subsist on, I thank you.

I've Got Hooters!

This is a quilt I made for a friend's birthday - she loves and collects owly things.  I really had fun sifting through my scraps and fabrics for interesting textures and colors to make the owls.  I've entered this in the 'Pets on Quilts Show' at SewCalGal's blog.  Please visit her blog to see all the wonderful entries and vote there.  Click here to view the Show and see all the pets and quilts!



Today I am grateful for humor.  Life would be pretty miserable if we didnt have the capacity to laugh with or at ourselves and others (not in a mean way though).  Humor makes the worst of circumstances bearable sometimes.  It helps us heal our hurts and forgive ourselves and others for slights, both real and imagined.   There's truth to the old adage "Laugh and the world laughs with you... cry and you cry alone."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Large Quilt Mojo

Sometimes it's really hard to get motivated to finish a really large quilt.  I guess I'm not alone in this, but after making a post about it on the Stashbusters yahoo group, I got a lot of ideas from my fellow quilters on how to get past that mental roadblock.  I have finally finished the king sized quilt I bought fabric (mostly batiks) for on the quilt run.  It is dragonflies (not microphones with wings, as my DH called them).


The pattern came from the book 'Positively Crazy' by Buggy Barn Quilts, though the colors are all my own choices and the border is my own (they didn't do piano keys on theirs).  It was tough to get past the block stage on this one due to its sheer size and bulk, but now I'm glad I did it.  Can't wait to get it to the LAQ (it's too big for my LA, which I'm not using anyway - another long story).

More on that next post...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So Cal Quilt Run Epilogue

I won!  I won!  I won!  lol... I've been on this quilt run many times and never won anything, but I just got a call yesterday that I won one of the Grand Prize drawings - a $500 gift certificate!  I'm can't wait til it arrives in the mail!  I can go on a little spending spree between now and December 31st, when it expires.  I'm so excited!  I usually never win anything, so this is a big deal for me..

Today I am grateful for hope... there's always hope for a better day, a lucky turn of events, a silver lining even on the darkest cloud.   

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So Cal Quilt Run

Well, the run is over... for us at least.   Two friends, a 4 month old puppy and I traveled 980 miles in 4 days, hit 38 quilt shops, collected charms and patterns and had a lot of fun.  I bought too much fabric, but it was worth it... I did manage to curtail myself and keep the purchases lower than in previous years, but I still bought more than I wanted to.  I bought 3 books of patterns and just a little of this and a little of that.  I'm looking forward to making the new Buggy Barn Dragonfly quilt with some of the fabric I bought.  I started tracing the pattern tonight... I'll finish tomorrow and start pressing and planning my fabrics.  I got my 'Idiot' pin (it really says 'IDIDIT!' but it's all smooshed together and looks like it says 'IDIOT'.

Thanks to Marlyn and Debbie for going with me, making it a fun trip and keeping me awake when I started to fade while driving.  It was really amazing that we traveled without plans or reservations... managed to get a nice room in nice hotels (that accepted pets!) both nights we stayed out.  I love playing things by ear, something my husband can't deal with at all - he's a planner and a 'stick to the plan' kind of guy.  Sometimes it's nice just to be spontaneous.

On a completely other note, I'm feeling very guilty.  I missed my sister's birthday and didnt send her a card.  I should send out a belated card.  I promise to do that tomorrow.  I didn't get my husband a father's day card either... even tho he's not MY father, he did get me a card on mother's day.  It still makes me sad and wistful on mother's day and father's day - with both my parents gone, those days don't carry the same feeling they used to... sigh.

Today I'm grateful for fun.  Sometimes dealing with life's roller coaster doesn't allow for a lot of day to day fun.  Nice to take a break now and then and have some.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Smile

This morning, I forced myself to get up and out of the house - late, but out.  I finished the borders on Victory Garden before I left for class...
and took photos of that quilt and the unfinished Stars & Strips Forever.
Now I just need to finish it (borders and quilting) and write up the directions for the quilt and 'publish' the pattern.  I also need to finish and publish pattern #2 for my guild's b&w exchange.

On the way home from class, I picked up some cheap fabric at the J-store for the back of Victory Garden and pieced the back when I got home.  It's all ready to send to the quilter (I'm not doing this one myself).

Tomorrow starts another quilt run that I'll be going on with my friends Debbie and Marlyn.  It should be a lot of fun - I'm looking forward to the run, the companionship, and four days on the road, away from everything...  should I take the computer or not?  big question, but I probably will... Need to get my email fix every day, lol.

Anyway, time to head out for the gym, get some exercise and fresh air.

Today I am grateful for the simple capacity to smile.  Even when everything seems like a chore, there is a smile in so many little things in the day - from spending a little time with one of my cats, talking to friends, making something even if I can't finish it (yet), finishing something, greeting my husband at the end of a long day, sharing a joke with a friend... even a little smile - given or received, can brighten a gloomy day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another Finish... almost

So a little mojo back, I almost finished another 'flimsy' - sans borders... I call the quilt Victory Garden.  It's from the book Gathered From the Garden by Cindy Lammon.  I did it in all red, white, blue and gold.  I'm thinking a red strip for the first border, then maybe a floral in patriotic colors?  I'll need to find and audition some fabrics for that outer border.  But at least I finished something.

Hopefully it will get quilted in time for my guild's quilt show in October, which is patriotic themed.  It will fit right in with all the other red,white and blue quilts.

Today I am grateful for being able to get up and get out of bed while I can.  There are a lot of people in this world who can't.  Be grateful for what we have - no matter what we lack, there are others who lack more.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Three Day Weekend...

So the three day weekend (Memorial Day in the States for anyone outside) is over.  I actually sewed this weekend, finishing a few blocks in an Americana Garden quilt I'm making.  I also got to spend a little time with my husband - playing D&D, walking, shopping.  I'm feeling a little better, but still depressed.

It makes me feel better that I'm actually working, accomplishing something.  Yet when I'm in the worst of my depression I can't work and that's when I most need to do so...  This half-depressed state is something I can literally work my way out of, which is a good thing, and I'm doing just that now.

So here is what I've done lately:
I made a bag for my guild's opportunity drawing last month - it brought in about $90, which isn't bad for my guild.  It was a lot of fun to make even though it was all very last minute - depression and all - I started it on Monday and the meeting was on Wednesday - I got it done - BARELY in time.  Pattern is called Tahoe Tote by Pink Sand Beach Designs.



I made a one block wonder quilt.  It's finally together and just needs to be quilted.  I call it Parrot Nebula because it reminds me of the Hubble photos of distant nebulae, and the original fabric was beautiful parrots on a deep teal background.

I also made some postcards for an exchange through Stashbusters.  They were supposed to be a floral design and represent spring.  I made cartloads of flowers, represented by yoyos which were made by my friend Marlyn. 

Today I am grateful for cats... and dogs... for all the animals with which we share our lives... while right now I only have cats and a dog, I know our animal companions also come with feathers, scales, carapaces and shells.  Right now I have a kitty stretched across my arm, trying to help me type.  Each with their own personalities and needs, they certainly add whole dimensions to our existence through their companionship.  What would we do without them?... I pity those who live without pets.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Progress

Tonight I am at the local senior center with some friends, quilting and chatting.  I am playing on the computer while they sew, crochet and applique their various and very diverse projects.  I sewed two blocks today, did a little shopping, went out to dinner with a friend.  I'm actually looking forward to going home and spending a little time with my husband... maybe watch a little tv.  Is my life boring or what?

I'm no longer working for the census bureau.  It was fun while it lasted, but the last few cases I had were difficult to close so it was time to hand them off to someone else.  I'm glad I did it, but I'm also glad it's over.  In a few days I will start worrying about election day - I work as an Inspector (basically a supervisor of Election Board Clerks) at a polling place.  It's only one day of work, plus a 1/2 day training, but it's a very looooong day of work  (basically 5:30am to 9:30pm).

Today I put together two blocks for a quilt I'm making... that's progress, and I actually enjoyed sewing, so maybe I'm getting my creative juices flowing again.  I have a lot more work to do on it, but I'm making progress.  I feel so slow and lethargic at it... A year ago, I would have finished this quilt by now.  I am SO all about instant gratification, so the progress, or lack of it, is making me frustrated even while I am actually working and making headway.  I can't win for losing...

Tomorrow I will try cutting a couple more blocks... I hope I get something done - I think it will make me feel better about myself and my work.

Now, if I can just get over being intimidated by my longarm so I can get some work done on it.... I need to talk to other people who have these blasted machines and see if they ever feel the same and how they get past this total paralyzation when it comes to using them.

If I don't use it, I think my husband might start having fits over what I spent on it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Quilting Mojo

I seem to have lost my quilting mojo for the time being.  Not sure what is wrong... the new job with the census bureau, a problem with my depression meds, just general ennui, addiction to Evony... pick one.. pick any or all.  Whatever it is, I force myself to do a little from time to time, but I'm just not up to my usual speed, determination or inspiration.
I DID do something fun this last weekend - I went to Renaissance Faire.  I attended their 'Queen's College' and learned how to make batiks!  that was SO much fun... probably more fun than I've ever had before at Ren Faire, at least since my 'going in costume' days.  They had all these crafty classes, and if I'd been there sans husband, I could have stayed all day making things.  As it was, I only did the batik class.  We got to work on muslin and on silk... oh my... that was fun and really made me want to work with fabric again.  I hope I can carry that inspiration back home with me.
Today I am grateful for being alive.  'nuff said.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gaga at Glendale

So I went a little gaga at the Glendale Quilt Show.  After swearing off spending money on quilting, too. 

I took a machine quilting class from Harriet Hargrave.  She's a hoot - had some great stories, and really made traditional quilting fearless.  I was amazed by her incredible quilting all done on her DSM.  She took a lot of the intimidation out of the process. 

Of course getting there was a total panic.... here's my story:  I was supposed to take classes at Glendale for all four days of the show.  Harriet's class (two days long) and two other one-day classes, plus a Saturday night class.  The two one-day classes were cancelled, and somehow I got it in my head that Harriet's class was on Saturday and Sunday.  I spent most of last week slowly prepping for Harriet's class, so I had SOME of the stuff we needed ready.  Still getting ready for the class, on Thursday morning at 8am, I cut out my show badge and looked at the letter that came with it.  The letter gave the dates of the class, which I glanced at but didn't pay much attention to... When I was done prepping for class, I sat down at the computer to fool around for a while.  This was 8am on Thursday. That's when I realized that 3/18 WAS Thursday, not Saturday.  I dropped everything, tossed a few more tools and supplies in a bag, ran off to shower and dress.  I grabbed a quick breakfast and raced off to Glendale. It was 8:30 am when I left the house, and I arrived, breathless, at 9am and slipped into the classroom.  I was already an hour late... sigh...  Not an auspicious start.. and I was embarrassed as hell walking in so late... but I made it...

Finally got into the swing of things by the time we started actually sewing, and on Friday, I brought the rest of the supplies I hadn't had time to gather up on Thursday.  I hate showing up unprepared for class.  So humliating.
Anyway, after two days of classes, I went back to the show on Saturday to actually attend the show itself, look at the quilts, and shop.

I fell off the no-fabric-buy wagon and bought two panels, a piece of cat fabric, a small piece of dark teal for the borders of my OBW quilt.  I also bought a kit of fabric that had bunnies, possums, raccoons, and squirrels - I'd been looking for this fabric for months and the only way they had it was in the kit, so now I have a kit I don't need that has fabric I wanted.  I bought a ruler and an iron cozy and a Laurel Burch bag, too. 
Most important, I had fun with Kathy and Debbie at the show.  We went to lunch at Momotaro's - awesome sushi.  And there were some really nice quilts at the quilt show, too. 

I'm glad I went.  I'm glad I'm home...

Today I am grateful for beauty in the world... in MY world... blue skies, the dark orange and pinks of sunset, the beautiful green of the trees that shade our house, for all the things that inspire what I do and what I love.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Work in Progress

So, after getting back from the Machine Quilter's Getaway in Trinidad, CA, I have been busy...
Playing Evony, sewing, avoiding practicing on the new longarm (more on that later), playing Evony, watching TV, reading, playing Evony.
I did finish my first rag quilt and took a class on One Block Wonder quilts - not quite finished, but the strips are sewn, now just have to sew them all together.
Here's my rag quilt, which I call 'Kitty Corners'.

And my OBW (the strip along the bottom is the original fabric):

This weekend I'm taking a class on Heirloom Machine Quilting from Harriet Hargrave.  So, the rest of the week will be prepping for that class.

Oh, and here's my 'quick star quilt' from Jan Krentz's book.  I made this on a quilting cruise I took last April.


I've been kinda depressed of late, which is why I haven't practiced on my longarm or updated the blog.  I hope to pull out of it and do more soon.  The leak in the upstairs plumbing, gophers on the lawn, broken dryers... sometimes it all seems too much.  Why me?

Today I am grateful for friends.  If I didn't have Debbie and Kathy and Marlyn, and yes, even Joe, I think I'd go out of my mind.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On Learning and Growing

Today I delivered my first 'paid' commission for a quilt.  She loved it.  I asked for $20 to cover the cost of thread and chalked the rest up to my practice on the machine.  She tried to convince me to take more, but I refused.  It's not that I think my time isn't worth more, simply that I am still learning so much about 'the Monster' (that's what I call my machine- a whole other story).  We agreed on $20, and she has more quilts for me (haha), and others in the class want me to 'practice' on theirs too!

I also delivered the two charity quilts I did for practice today.  I'm happy that I did them, got a chance to practice and develop my skills.  I know the quilts will be loved without anyone being critical of my quilting.

I tried to work on one of my own quilts as well, but wasn't so happy with the results on that one.  I'm not sure if I'm more critical of my own, or just didn't like the little design I was doing.  I will finish that one my Bernina I think.  It's one that simply needs me to quilt differently, smaller, slower... I'm not sure how to describe it, but it just wasn't working for me on the longarm. 

I am so happy that I'm not too old to learn new things, to grow in my artistic sensibilities.  I am learning, too, to be able to turn a critical eye on my own work without being consumed with perfectionism - a difficult balancing act.

I am grateful for modern dentistry - not that I'm exactly looking forward to tomorrow's appointment, but I know the results will be amazing once the pain subsides.  Just a hundred years ago, abcessed or badly decayed teeth were simply pulled, and replacements were crude.  So, hooray for root canals (I can't believe I'm saying that lol).

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

To My Sister:

An Open Letter to My Sister:

Terry - Please talk to me.  I know you're upset about something not to take or return my calls, but we are sisters.  We, each other, are all we have left of direct connection to mom and dad.  This is not what they wanted for us.  It's not what I want.  If I did something to upset you, I'm sorry.  I can remember times when we did have fun together when we were young and shared a room.  I can remember, too, that both of us couldn't wait til we had our own rooms.  It seems like ever since then, we've done nothing but grow further apart.  I know we haven't always gotten along well, and we aren't close like it would be nice to be.  Still and all, we are sisters, and I love you.  Life is too short to hold so much anger, and though both of us have sisters of the heart we can turn to, neither of us has any other sisters.  Please don't turn me away any more.  I love you, and I love my nieces... I miss all of you. - Your sister, Sandie

Today I am grateful for the chance to make amends and make peace.  I hope it gets reciprocated.  I could sure use a hug from my big sister.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Professional Longarm Quilter?

I swore I was buying this machine for my own personal use only.  I was going to quilt my own quilts... So I agreed to quilt a couple of charity quilts for practice.  I thought it would be good for me to experiment and practice on these quilts, as they don't need to be 'show quality' perfect.  I was quite pleased with my results, being they were the first real quilts I had done on the longarm.  (Up until now, I've just been practicing on waste muslin).  I took those charity quilts to my quilting class, mostly to return them to the classmate who made the tops.  She didn't attend class that day, but I showed them during show & tell time just because, well, I did DO the quilting, after all. 

Well, needless to say, another classmate liked them and asked me to do a quilt for her.  I don't know WHAT I was thinking, but I agreed to do it.  We didn't discuss a price - I figured I'd do this one for the practice too, but I should at least charge her for the thread... maybe $20?  This quilt is for her grandson, not an anonymous charity quilt.

I feel like I've abandoned a personal commitment to myself by agreeing to do this, but I couldn't say no.  It was something of a challenge too.  She had hand-basted the entire quilt with thick polyester batting.  The quilt had places where the blocks weren't even sewn together... and there was no extra backing or batting - they were both cut to the same size as the top.  Still - I managed to load it.  I stared at it for a good hour trying to get up the courage to start quilting.  What to put in the sashing and borders?  How to quilt the blocks?  But finally I started to quilt it... and now it's done!

Whether she actually pays me or we just call it a wash for my practice, I've done a quilt for someone else... I feel like a professional whether money changes hands or not.  I want to dance.. and cry...

I have so many tops of my own that I haven't started on yet.  Will I have the same courage to start those?  Will I care more (to the point of overwhelming fear?)  Or will I feel freer to let loose with creativity on my own quilts?

Today I am grateful for a body that even though it doesn't look the way I'd like, at least still does all the things I demand of it.  There are so many accidents and diseases and conditions that render people unable to control or move their bodies the way they'd like, or in some cases not at all.  The amazing network of interconnected systems that is the human body is a marvel.  I am thankful mine still works.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Road to California

I spent 3 days at Road to California... had a mostly great time.  I went with some girlfriends of mine.  Five of us shared 2 hotel rooms not far from each other in the same hotel.


The show itself was a lot of fun - the quilts were beautiful.  I had a lot of difficulty choosing my favorite.  It didn't seem like quite as MANY quilts as at previous Road shows, but they were all amazing.  A few really stood out though - one was called 'The Quilt Show', a pictorial quilt of viewers at a quilt show, looking at the quilts - which were all little real 'quilt-lets' done in miniature, including a crazy quilt.   Another that really impressed me was 'Medea Escaping' - an amazing pictorial quilt with an beautifully rendered dragon.  'Seasonal Sisters', a cooperative quilt made by three quilters across the world from each other also impressed me a lot.  There was a pictorial quilt of a prowling puma that I loved.




... and then there were the vendors.  Now that I have a longarm, I look at the vendors completely differently.  Booths I passed by with little interest before are now completely riveting.  And I bought two pieces of fabric - one as a gift and one a sepia hand-dye for a special project... that was it!  Usually I come home with a lot of fabric.  This isn't to say I didn't buy things... I spent way too much on thread, and a little on some plastic rulers for the longarm... and a little on jewelry.

I will post pictures soon - my software got corrupted, so I have to find something new to crop and edit them.

Today is Monday and it was POURING rain all day... the kind of rain people call 'driving'... it was coming in hard all day, at strange angles because of the wind.  Lightning wasn't visible but the thunder was evidence it was there.  Suddenly at three or so in the afternoon, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared, the sun came out (leaving a lovely rainbow).  It's 4:30 now, and I hope it stays dry until my DH gets home from work with dinner and Starbucks.  We have forecasts for heavy rain for the rest of the week.  We need it badly to mitigate this drought we are in, but I worry about my loved ones out in the rain.  (Me, I stayed home and played with my longarm all day).

I am grateful today for rain.  Water is in such short supply in southern California right now, and we really need to fill our reservoirs.  Rain makes rainbows and makes our hills green and lush.  Rain fills our arroyos and rivers and leaves the air smelling clean and fresh.  Rain brings life.  Life is good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Deliverance!

My longarm has been delivered!  It arrived this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning is setup and training time, followed by an afternoon for me to enjoy the machine.  Then more training on Sunday morning.  I'm really looking forward to the whole process... and terrified at the same time.  I hope this isn't all too much for me.

Today, I am grateful for the healing powers of rest.  My DH has been home with the flu all day, poor thing.  But he's feeling better now than he did this morning, so I'm hoping he will be over this soon.  Isn't it a wonder how miraculously our own bodies can heal themselves of so many things. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mystery Solved

Okay, I'm slow. It's already the 4th but I'm finally done with the center of the quilt. The first border is cut, but not on yet.  I have to say I love how it came out.  It's very different from most mystery quilts.  Not so traditional "all-over-patterny".  There is a star-like sparkle to it.  I almost wish I'd done it in light colors on a dark background... I think that star-like quality would have been enhanced.  While I love the quilt, I wasn't so thrilled with the process.  This was probably because of my own ennui, but still, I'm not sure I'd want to make a repeat of the quilt.  I sure would be interested in experimenting in EQ with this pattern though.  My husband even likes it, and he's kinda just neutral on most things. This mystery was from Kris Dreissen and more can be seen at Quiltbug.

It's pretty - I like how the colors work together, but I'm not sure the inspiration fabric looks right for the border... maybe I'll use it for the backing and find something else for the front of the quilt. As an inspiration it was awesome - with plums and greens and rosey-pinks and blues and creams - but somehow it just doesn't GO with any of the fabrics it inspired. How does THAT happen?

My longarm should be delivered on Friday - they are shipping fast freight at their expense due to scheduling difficulties with the set-up.

Today I am grateful for naps. We learn to rebel against them early, when we think we've outgrown them and our parents don't agree. I didn't learn the value of naps again til I had a child and I'd nap while he did - some days, this was my only rest. To this day, I still take naps. My cats remind me constantly of the value of naps.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mysterious Disappointment

HAPPY NEW YEAR to anyone and everyone who stops by and sees this. May 2010 bring you peace, happiness and fulfillment.

That said, I hope you had a great New Year's Eve. I went to two parties, had fun at both. Rang in the new year with some games, some fun, some new acquaintances and very little alcohol (yay! - I'm a very cheap drunk... doesn't take much to get me liquored up. a glass and a half of wine and I was reeling. DH drove home).

I had been looking forward for three weeks to a New Year's Day mystery quilt online. I got all my prep work done in advance... chose fabrics, did the pre-mystery cutting and sewing. I was REALLY excited about doing this - passed up on some other activities just to do this quilt. I don't always like mysteries, but I really liked the one Kris at quiltbug.com did last year, so I was really pumped about this one. It had paper-piecing, which I love to do, and I chose colors from my stash that I like working with - plums and purples.

I don't really know what happened, but I just lost all my initiative about halfway through the early morning. Step two of the mystery was just cutting background fabric and I barely got that done. Step three was some more paper-piecing - but it was strip piecing, so not very complex. I cut the strips, and it took me HOURS to get just the first two strips sewn. That started about 9 am this morning. It's now after midnight on the 2nd and I JUST finished that step... There are 5 more steps I haven't even started on.

I still want to make this quilt... I haven't lost my desire... but I feel so SLOW... what happened to all my excitement and resolve and ambition? I dunno... I even went out for a walk and a Starbucks at 8 am and still couldn't get any energy going. I just want to cry...

It certainly wasn't the fault of the quilt designer.. This looks like it's going to make a really pretty quilt... It's totally an internal thing. I don't know what's wrong...

Maybe, despite my desire to make this quilt, I'm feeling angsty about traditional piecing. There's this part of me that loves piecing (esp. paper-piecing). I love the precision of making NYBs and lone stars and even log cabins. There's another piece of me that longs to make more art quilts... just paint fabric and applique and make landscapes and be more evocative with color and mood. I don't get much chance to indulge that part of myself as often as I'd like, but lately I've been feeling very neglectful of that need to express the inner me a bit more.

None of this of course even brings up the heavy weight of looming deadlines, quilty and otherwise. I'm sure those have been nibbling away at my enjoyment of and initiative for new projects.

Ah well - I WILL finish it... finishing things is one of my resolves for the year. Doesn't mean I'll finish EVERYTHING, but I will finish this quilt top at least.

Restated, my Resolutions for this year are:

1. Finish the requirements to get my adult school credential
2. Catalog all my WIPs, PIGs and WHIMMs
3. Prioritize all my WIPs, PIGs and WHIMMs
4. Be on time for appointments and classes.
5. Finish AT LEAST one project for every new one I start.
6. Take at least one trip every 2 months with my DH, even if it's just for a weekend getaway.

Now... what I'm grateful for: creaky knees, painful hips, sore muscles... all of which are much preferable to the alternative... no knees, broken hips, MS or worse ... I may be getting older and showing all the signs, but at least I have all the parts, they all work, and are, despite their age, relatively healthy.