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


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 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.