Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garden Gate

The garden is planted. After my trip to Chesterfield over Memorial Day Weekend, I'll plant the basil and lettuces. I want to be around to baby the seeds, water them twice a day, and give them pep talks. I am excited about how big my garden is, and how well it is growing.
   The raspberries and strawberries are getting flower buds. The peas are tall enough to need their second string, but not flowering yet. The elephant garlic is 2 1/2 feet tall. All of the feral rhubarb from French Creek is sprouting leaves.
   I finished the flannel lap quilt for Chesterfield. It is soft and cuddly, and very folksy. I am working at not being self-critical. It isn't top of the line as far as blue ribbon technique, but that isn't because of lack of effort. I measured and measured! The border/binding is just not perfect. But that little quilt has character. Old Reliable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chesterfield Foundation Auction Quilt

Tops made by Nancy Miller, from all top quality flannels. Size 45" x 60".  I pin basted it with a flannel back and cotton batting. Yesterday I machine sewed vintage white buttons all over it. Today I'll machine quilt it. One week till road trip time!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

   Living in an RV is cozy. Very cozy. It makes the new home look huge when in fact it is small by new American home standards. (1000 sq ft main floor, and 450 sq ft loft.) This morning I am meditating on the things for which I am grateful. I have a warm, safe cozy place to live. The new home will have a sewing loft about 4 times the size of my current abode! I will be set up in it within 2 months.  It will be spacious, full of natural light, and away from sleeping men and dogs, who should be left alone.
   At the moment I am perched on the edge of the couch/bed typing into the laptop on a folding TV tray. Mike and Abby(the dog) are asleep in the bed on which I perch. Mike has had a bad GI flu with aches, fever, and diarrhea for 7 days, and I am being quiet so he can sleep. I'd love to be sewing right now, I have 2 quilts that need to be finished on the machine. They will have to wait until maybe later today if Mike is outside or at least awake, and the bed folded up. I have hand sewing to do (always!) and can work on that for now. BUT! When I can go to my sewing loft at any hour of the day or night and not bother Mike, I hope I remember how lucky I am and how much I want to sew!! And I intend to get a lot done with the new space. By then I intend to have the rocks dug out of the garden so I'll have more sewing time, too.
   Many, many women I meet say they don't have time to sew/quilt because they work, have kids, no space, etc.. I have always asserted that I made time despite work and kids, because it is a priority and it is my sanity saver. I will have more time later this year, but I find time now... while we watch a movie at night, on drives..  and now it is time to get to it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Voila! Inspiration Strikes!

St. Quilta

   Quilt inspiration comes when I least expect it and am busy otherwise. I was typing a quick letter, describing Mike fixing the rototiller twice in one afternoon, (after I repeatedly asked him if we could borrow one for the garden, and he said no there were too many rocks, and sure enough there are) he was cursing a blue streak. Voila! inspiration strikes! As I dig up rocks with a #$%&** pickaxe this morning I will design the quilt in my mind.
   The north half of the garden was fairly easy to dig, compared with the south end which was prehistorically a basalt parking lot, apparently.My bingo wings should be toned up by the end of the garden excavation.

   Meanwhile, Mike has had the bad GI flu the past 6 days, and he has been the most seriously chronic malcontent I ever had the displeasure to live with. Good thing I haven't felt sick, it would be too damn bad. Women can't get sick.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Magnum Opus, Reconsidered

    Current Girlfriend here. I arranged these hand appliqued 18" blocks at a recent quilt retreat. I started sewing them August, 2010 and finished all of the applique blocks and border pieces March, 2012. Now I am cutting the 2 1/2" sashing squares, 574 total. There are also 76 - 4 1/2 x 2 1/2" rectangles in the border setting. My intention has been to have my sister, Pam, machine quilt this on her long arm machine. Yesterday I reconsidered hand quilting this, my magnum opus.

   Ok, my question is, why didn't anyone else at retreat use a design wall? My project was admired. A few said they had heard of design walls. This retreat, annual to the Pinehurst Quilters of Riggins, ID, is not so much about encouraging creativity. It is about bringing in a teacher and all doing the same projects, games, and devotionals. The same two women have organized this retreat for several years, I think 7 years.

   To me, a design wall is intrinsic to creating a quilt. Distance creates perspective. I want to be able to see the trees and the forest!

   I read about a psychologist turned quilter, Laurel Reinhardt, in the latest Quilt Life magazine. The article is titled, Finding answers in quilted labyrinths. She makes small quilts for finger tracing a labyrinth. Her quilts, patterns, and books can be purchased on her etsy site. Look for her at her website,