This is the “before.” Nice and flat, virtually no texture. I remember when I went to Road to California a couple of years, I noticed everything was machine-quilted within an inch of itself. Both hubby and I thought, just because you can doesn’t mean you should fill it up with machine quilting.
That was before I started with the 2012 free motion quilting challenge with SewCalGal and got hooked…..I’m talking seriously hooked. Now it’s not about the quilt top for me, it’s about the quilting. There are seven different quilted motifs in this quilt, and I LOVE IT! It is so much more interesting than if I had just done quilting in the ditch and stippling. Yes, at least 10 hours of fmq in the quilt, and a lot of bobbin thread, but did I say I LOVE IT?
So here are some of the “after” pictures. For some reason the blue wave fabric looks to be black and white, and it isn’t. I used Superior Silk Kimono thread in the triangle backgrounds, the outside black border, and the final border. Magnifico by Superior for the bubbled in the corner triangles, Rainbows by Superior in the border of blue waves, and Bottom Line by Superior in the bobbin and in the black backgrounds of the stars. I guess you could say I really like Superior Threads….
I LOVE THIS! I used the color adjustments in Photoshop to try and bring back the blues – this is pretty true to the actual colors. The maroon strips in the center are done in a cathedral square pattern. I gridded all the light blue triangles for the texture – I was only going to do the center panel but I fell in love with the effect. The bottom light blue triangles are done with a MAgnifico blue thread in bubbles – I was aiming for a stars at night over the ocean effect.
The ironic thing here in this picture is the bottom right corner is the one I picked out all the thread on – what I call the “war-zone” corner. The blue stars themselves have bubbles quilted into the with a Rainbows blue.
The wave fabric here has one of Leah Day’s fillers in it called Ocean Currents. I happened to be on her blog one day and said yup, that’s the one.
This quilt is for my yoga instructor, and so in one corner I did a free-motion “third eye” chakra symbol.
Now for the back….WHICH I LOVE LOVE LOVE – the texture is amazing!!
Note to self – time for some smaller quilts……….
Yes, I am anxiously awaiting spring – not so much here in the desert southwest, but as we travel back to New England in May, I’ll be seeing lots of what is “spring” to me. Color and lush greens – can’t wait!
In the meantime, I’ve been busy packing, doing photography of quilts, lots of loose ends, visiting the Saguaro National Monument to partake of cactus spring, working on some online classes about teaching online, and planning new art projects. As usual I’m finding lots of things on line for enjoyment or research.
The first is a glass artist, Jack Storms…..work is absolutely AMAZING!
Speaking of photography, because the work in that video is amazing, I peruse a lot of sites of phtographers. One I have enjoyed over the years and have come back to as a result of our trip to Yosemite, is that of Galen Rowell and Mountain Light. I bought a collection of postcards of his images during one visit to the Smithsonian and have loved his work. Enjoy!
Perusing photography sites gives me lots of ideas as I do more with my little camera. After the move, one of the items on my list is a new camera, a SLR so I can get really serious, but I will say my little point and shoot has given lots of material to play with digital manipulation. So when I see a site belonging to a photographer, I tend to check it out. On The Wright House Photography site, www.thewrighthousephotography.com/, I love that she bought her childhood home and now uses it as a studio. I am amazed at how photography sessions have taken on a specialized feel: engagements, maternity…….I’m used to someone just snapping pictures, and now I love getting new ideas!
there’s another photography site I found with a “digital evangelist.” Interesting term……She’s with Adobe, so I’m guessing she’s quite skilled….
From The Millions comes a timely article for those of you who write fiction – sketching out plot lines and characters, which I had to do with this first novel in the trilogy. I was glad to see that I intuited what had to be done.
Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time know I’m interested in licensing, and I read a lot about it, more so now that I can steer people in the right direction who are thinking about licensing. As with photography, I tend to surf a lot of sites dealing with licensing. Innovative Licensing and Promotion (http://2innovative.net/) had some ideas I hadn’t thought of, and I like to think I go outside the box. This is a sample of what they offer. I’m intrigued and plan to study more.
I haven’t done any posting of great unusual pics in a while, so here are some from BrainJet.
Because a move is imminent, and we don’t know where we will be living, we are looking at places in the Burlington/Chittenden County are of Vermont. Hubby is hooked on Rehab Addict, and we’ve often thought if we were younger and had the money, we’d like to rehab a place. We’ve lived in a couple that would have been great for This Old House. But when we were young we didn’t have the money…now we’re older and still don’t have the money, but now the knees are bad! Still, it’s fun to consider rehabbing a place. He’s surfing one day and discovers a business that does renovations. I Love Renovations (http://iloverenovations.ca/) has a whole slew of articles on what to look for if you are undertaking renovations on your own. Found a great article from their blog on getting your place ready for fall and winter…..which we may have to do again!
(Admit it…if you’re of a certain generation, you hummed along to the title……)
Ah, moving. We’ve been in Tucson nearly 21 years (it will be exactly 21 years the day after we leave town), and we have moved 9 times within the city. Different kind of packing as opposed to cross-country. To move here, hubby came out several months ahead of time, and I finished packing. It seemed like I would NEVER finish with boxes. This time for the major move, we have already started the packing, despite my wanting to wait until the beginning of April so I wouldn’t feel like I was living in boxes…no such luck. Once the urge hit, we started – BUT I am saving the studio for the second week in April – I still have a quilt to go for my great-niece.
In 21 years moving has changed a lot going cross-country, so we set out to do our research. Age and bad backs and other assorted maladies have eliminated U Haul and most any major packing ourselves. Since the internet has just about everything on it, we decided to just shop around movers and moving companies. It cost us $4000 last cross-c0untry move, and we wanted to keep expenses in the same range, even though we know movers would be more.
So we started shopping around for pricing. Thing is, things have changed so much. we weren’t really quite sure what to ask. So we checked out a couple cross-country movers, just to get an idea of what all was involved. Since we’re moving back to New England, we didn’t neglect Canadian movers. Titan Transline (http://titantransline.com/) is actually in the southwest. We used them to see about questions we should ask: like full load, partial load….we just assumed we would be paying for a whole truck, and we are divesting ourselves of a lot of bulky items. We are still investigating, but we are going into this whole move with far more information than we ever had…and we’ve moved 22 times since we’ve been married (39 years).
If you want more information on places we have lived, I remember a year or so back doing a blog post, using Google Earth, to look at various places I have lived. It was cool two summers ago to actually revisit some of these places. And…some of the places no longer exit….like the teacher cottages in Paia on Maui. They have saved one as a historical museum….wonder if all the termites are still there……You can check the post out here.
So it’s back to some of the many loose ends involved in a big move – changing our basic email, since Cox is not in Vermont, cleaning out old passwords – today’s task is to get the code book up to date, as well as revise parts of the website – long time since I’ve done that. Happy Monday!!
See that bottom left light blue triangle? Eight hours later, I have learned a couple of new lessons. One, there is something to be said for trying out a motif on scrap fabric and batting. Two ripping out teeny tiny threads can actually be meditative…..
That said, those bottom triangles were going to have a different pattern along the top and bottom. I was thinking a type of lotus blossom (a variation for me on a feather) with smaller feathers inside each petal. Because at this point I wanted a little relief from all the blue. I thought it needed some more color…..I was wrong, at least with the color I chose. I should have stopped after the first petal, rather than completing the triangle…..a lot of my decisions look way better after they are finished. But I was still wrong….maybe if I had left it all in the shiny blue….but it was still wrong. So I knew I had to take it out.
Were the quilt for me, I would have just put it aside until I felt like dealing with it. But no, it’s for my yoga instructor, and I want to get it finished before we have to dismantle the studio for the move. So I started with the seam ripper….three hours Wednesday night, music in the background….the petals were easy in the Magnifico thread – just slid out. NOT SO the feathers…..teeny tiny……three hours Thursday, three hours Friday (yes, a lot of tiny stitches, many on top of each other), and today after 20 minutes I was finished, with two very sore fingers for my efforts.
The fabric looks kind of like a war zone – it’s 16 years old after all, and nothing like that left in my stash – or I could have ironed on a replacement triangle and then quilted that. But the bubble stitching will hold it together, as long as the cats done find a few loose threads of the fabric. And the whole bottom looks much much better. Now for the triangles along the top, and then into the borders……I have to remind myself to plan ahead and if I want to do something fancy, try it ahead of time……..even if rippit is fairly meditative…….
Lots of items bookmarked and ready to show you. I so love all the things you can learn online – and all the places you can go!
First up, The Trouble with Bright Girls – being one, as well as teaching many of them, I can relate to this article. We need to be so careful of the messages we send.
“Researchers have uncovered the reason for this difference in how difficulty is interpreted, and it is simply this: more often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”
Animals playing around – gotta watch!
The art of Jim Dingilian – filling a bottle with smoke and creating art!
I’m always looking at business sites and mentoring opportunities for my own marketing. Came across Gary’s site and am thinking about buying the book as gifts for two friends looking to start small businesses. Check out Gary Bizzo – www.garybizzo.com.
Also in marketing, a new site I found on line for printing – looks like quality work, and they’re in Canada, which is great when I move to Vermont! PrintingPeach at http://printingpeach.com.
Absolutely LOVE this close-up of the creation of a Dior bag – amazing!
This next poster is really cool, even if you don’t understand all of it! Science and art together!!
10 Mathematical Equations that Changed the World – fascinating, again even if you don’t understand all the math.
You know I love math – The Magic of Fibonacci!
Once again, science, art and math – Dance on the Circle.
Till next time, enjoy the web!!
Marketing is taking on a different feel, what with the big move coming up the end of April. We are planning a large tray marbling session the end of February, for specific orders and also to load the Etsy shop for a bit. So I need to get a newsletter done and out. I am beginning to research guilds and shops in New England and the mid-Atlantic for marbled presentations – would love to work out one a quarter. That said, I need to look at marketing materials. I have a couple of places I’ve used, but I like to have a wide variety, especially since many of the online resources do good sales.
As a side note – I finished my NOVEL! Now it’s time to activate the site for the novel and all things related to it. So this becomes a priority, as well as my digital work initially for art, and to that end I am looking at some new ways to market. What’s nice is I am planning that whatever print materials I need, I will need them for both the book and the artwork. So I’ve been searching the web looking for sites that offer printing. I stumbled on this one today, and I want to put it out there for you to check out. Sometimes it just helps to have back-ups and new sites to use. Printing Peach(http://printingpeach.ca/flyer-printing/) is both in the US and Canada, so that is nice, given we will be two hours from the Canadian border! Check it out and let me know what you think, especially if you’ve used them! Here’s a sample of what they’ll do:
Concerning the digital work, one of the “must-do’s” before we completely pack up is get a new external hard drive to back up this computer, especially since the hard drive program I had for the old computer (3 years ago….) won’t work with this one. So along with have the Apple Store wipe the hard drive tomorrow, I’m picking up 1 terabyte of memory….who knew? I/m going that large because of all the digital work I’ve done so far, and all the photos, and all the many layers of work – you get the idea. The digital piece is going to become important, so I don’t want to lose anything.
It is a glorious day today in the desert Southwest, much like June in Vermont. We are prepared for the snow and cold of January, but there are so many advantages to moving back to a more rational state. The politics of Arizona – and the dwindling water supplies – do not make this a sustainable state. Plus, we’re both New Englanders at heart, and I really want to walk the Atlantic coast again. So let the packing begin!!
Lots of thoughts kind of rambling through the head these days, main one is that my novel IS DONE!!! (Insert happy dance!) I’ve set up a page through webnode.com to talk about various items related to the politics within the novel, as well as things I’ve discovered in writing fiction. I’ll post it when I’m ready to reveal it for comments. In the meantime I have my last round of editing to do, and then it’s query letter to literary agents. I rethought the ending at least five times, and then I said start writing and see what happens – let the characters talk to me, like they have been doing the whole time.
Another activity has been planning and packing for our move back east. I need me my four seasons! Since I’m retired, I don’t have to go out in the bad weather! We will need to revise how we shop for food, as in the winter months we need to be prepared for days inside. This has all led me to thinking about places to travel in the winter. We may just hop Amtrak to come west during a cold January. I’ve started surfing, and I stumbled on this site on Costa Rica- a place on my bucket list! One look at this place and I’m ready to pack now! Give me the ocean, water I can admire, some unique things to do, and a great place to hang and I’m there!! Las Ventanas del Mar – the ocean view looks spectacular!
The packing for this cross-country move has been interesting. We are downsizing even more from our previous local moves, planning on replacing some furniture when we find a new apartment. I realized my hutch wasn’t important, although I love it – it’s the mementos inside from years of being together. Today we donated tools, stationery, and other odds and ends to Live Theater Workshop, which has provided many years of enjoyable theater experiences. The best one to date has been “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Revised.” Loads of laughs and great visual gags. All 39 plays in 90 minutes!
All the art stuff – books, supplies, finished pieces – that’s what is really important, and they will be packed about two weeks before the move. I don’t want to look at empty walls and not be near my sewing machine for too long. Which brings me to another thought – Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. If you are going to be a professional and really great at something, you need to put in 10,000 hours of practice. I am so far from that! But I will say that the past year has definitely improved my free motion quilting and design skills with the amount of time I’ve been spending on my art. My days have settled in to a nice routine, and I no longer worry about keeping track of what I accomplish each year during retirement. Yoga, writing, sewing/quilting, sketching with pen and ink, walks – a very nice schedule!
Thank you, Cindy Needham, for talking about the hum-purr your machine makes when you are in the groove! And I have been in the groove this past month – another quilt under the presser foot, this one a 16-year-old top that I am giving to my yoga instructor. I haven’t done anything with the top prior to this, because there was an area I really wanted to do feathers in, and I wasn’t willing to hand-quilt them. So now that I can do feathers in free-motion, sounds about right to finish this top…..except the area I was thinking really needed something else…..so I did a grid pattern, and I LOVE IT! It makes the traditional top look much more modern.
Below is the quilt being basted – my safety pins have gotten quite the workout in the last few months! The quilt top originally ended with the blue wave border, but it wasn’t long enough to cover a chilly body. So I added another black and wine border – lots of ideas for quilting those – and yes, I will have feathers somewhere on this quilt!
Before I started in on this, I continued with the BOM from our local quilt store, four months to catch up on, and I’m pleased with how they look. Based on progress I’ve made with the amount of sewing over the last couple of months, I would probably do some colors differently in the original blocks. Here’s the new ones:
Photography really isn’t doing them justice!
Up after this quilt is a lap quilt for my great-niece who turns 13 in August, and I would like to have it done for when we see them in May. I’ve made the commitment that all 8 of my great-nieces and great-nephews will get a lap quilt from me when they turn 13. This means lap quilts for the next 11 years…….
In November I got a package of 8-inch squares from my maid of honor of many years ago. Her daughter was now pregnant, and could I take her work at put it together? I remember Shelby starting these squares the first time we made it back to Vermont in 16 years. Anything for my friend of oh-so-many years!
Kathy and I go way back – and I have promised many times to keep some of our more interesting escapades from her three children (which means a WHOLE LOT of interesting stories are sealed). But I think taking me in the Big Bird costume we built for our play stuffed in the front of my VW for Halloween dinner at KFC is probably pretty harmless. Oh, if only we had digital cameras then……a moment in history gone forever……(and that chicken wire frame did a lot of poking…..)
So on Tuesday I finished the quilt, took pictures, packed it, and shipped it off, where it should be arriving today, two weeks ahead of the baby shower. Here she be -
Shelby wanted an ocean theme, so the blue is an underwater scene, left over from another quilt project. Love this fabric, and in the light it is even more gorgeous. The border is a stencil of fish, and the two empty blocks (which is the only thing I would revisit if I were to do this again) is some free-motion quilting in a blue Fantastico from Superior Threads.
So much fun to do!! Now for the next quilt in line, for my yoga instructor…gotta get it done while it’s still cold enough to use!
…and we have learned nothing. We still kill with guns, we don’t deal with mental health issues. Four years ago three of us set up a website to look at the Tucson shootings. Suzan Drury, Anne Lockard (who is gone, but her indomitable spirit is with us every day), and myself to showcase healing art. You can name a hiking trail, a playground, or a new courthouse for one of the victims, but that doesn’t bring them back. What happened will always hurt. I have lost customers for Marble-T Design because of my stand on gun control. I am a firm believer in the Constitution – it is a remarkable document. But I also firmly believe that the National Rifle Association has co-opted rationality concerning guns and background checks. Just because “criminals will find a way to get guns anyway” doesn’t mean we don’t have background checks. And we are so far away from any rational dialogue on this.
But this isn’t a rant about gun control, although it very easily could be. Sarah Garrecht Gassen wrote an editorial today in the Arizona Daily Star that talks about how we refer to the victims of the shootings. They are not “lost,” they are “taken.” Here’s an excerpt:
So let’s follow Patricia Maisch’s lead and be more honest with our language in how we talk about guns. She’s the person who got the second clip away from the Tucson shooter before he could reload. She’s fought for gun law reform and watched as politicians have failed to stand up to the gun lobby. She hasn’t been shy in her disgust, and she speaks for a lot of us.
We talked on Tuesday afternoon. “Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. It’s always an emotional time of the year. I just think, how unforgivable it is that this could have happened,” she said.
Maisch doesn’t sugarcoat. She’s working diligently for law reforms. But four years in, something that’s fused into the sorrow and the anger gnaws at her: how we talk about gun violence.
She’s on a mission to change the words. “The horrible takings,” is how she talks about the people who have been killed with a gun.
“These people aren’t ‘lost.’ They’re never going to be found. They’ve been taken.”
If you would like to see artwork focused on healing, you can visit Art from the Heart. Here’s my piece, again controversial. Most of the comments I had was that the shooter was mentally ill, that it wasn’t politics that caused him to kill. And thus was ended what could have been a productive dialogue about the state of mental illness and access to guns. I already know some of you will stop becoming readers and customers. Because of this wonderful Constitution of ours, I support your right to do that.
You can read about my thoughts constructing the piece here. Ultimately the processing from the shootings has led to me pondering our lack of ability to discuss issues calmly, and now I have based the first in a series of novels on what happens when we can’t – or won’t – talk to each other.
Hawaiian Block of the Month from my local quilt shop, Quilter’s Market – which I will SO miss when we move this spring…..
This program is a monthly get-together through our local quilt shop, Quilter’s Market – one of the things I will definitely miss when we move. The theme for this year is Hawaiian Getaway. I’ve been keeping up generally with the blocks, but I will confess to being
four five months behind right now – it’s those deadlines for other quilts…. Forgive the pics – I was in a hurry…..
I decided after my first block that it was just too intense in color, so I made one that was softer, with more light fabrics. that got me started making two blocks a month, one saturated, and one that was lighter. The shop has what they call an “Oops Pack,” for when you make mistakes with the pieces of fabrics you get. I picked up both the light and dark packs, because I really liked the sherbet colors. So instead of 12 blocks at the end of the program, I will have 24. I’m planing to set them on point, with plain blocks in between that I can free-motion. For those I’m planning to use some of my adopted mom’s Hawaiian designs. I also really like the work Judy Madsen does (Green Fairy Quilts) with straight-line quilting, so I’m looking forward to designing the motifs.
Amazing how it used to be enjoying making the quilt top, but now I look forward to the quilting oh so much. The goal is to have the blocks done (April is the last month) before I completely pack up the studio for our move. I know it won’t get put together until the months after we are settled.
I confess to being very curious to see what I come up with for the whole quilt – I do know I am very much looking forward to quilting it!
Usually this time of the year I have my goals all laid out and ready to go. But not this year. I have really slowed down over the past 12 months – some from health, some from depression, and some from just wanting to enjoy every day. That’s a real change for me. I am enjoying each day tremendously, so when everyone was choosing their word for the year and posted it, I thought, “Nah, not going to do it this year. I’m content with the way life is going right now.”
Last night in bed, I was thinking about “content” and realized I have my word – actually two words – right there. Content with accent on the second syllable, and content, with accent on the first. The more I thought, the more I liked it.
So first, content, with accent on the first syllable. I want content in my life. I want to contribute meaningfully to people and causes this year. I want content in what I read and watch this year. I want content in my actions. I want to create content.
Second, I am content (accent on second syllable). I realized that this past month as I saw just how much my mental and emotional health – and consequently my physical health – was improving. My days are taking on a relaxing rhythm – quilting, reading, writing, yoga, being in the moment with hubby. Appreciating that I can do what I wish in retirement, without having to worry about finances too much. I enjoyed my nap this afternoon, the brief snow in Tucson this morning, and the fact I still have 10 hours ahead of me to write and quilt.
Life is content and full of content.
First, I have finally realized, after nearly three years of yoga, that if you seriously approach a daily practice, you will see results. After two-plus years of farting around with yoga, I started to fight through the depression this fall and discovered that I was firming up, getting stronger, and seeing progress. Now I’m doing a daily practice of movement and then trying to incorporate some restorative yoga in the evening before bed. What a difference it is making in how I feel – and the fewer number of times I need to go to the chiropractor! My yoga instructor has been a blessing.
Second, better living through chemistry. After being convinced my depression was something else, like a whacked-out thyroid, I broke down and when to the psychiatric nurse-practitioner. My OB nurse practitioner and my endocrinologist wouldn’t give me a new prescription. In talking with him about the various meds I’d been on, turns out none of them were really a therapeutic dose – which is what happens when you don’t use someone trained in treating depression. I cannot get over how much better I feel – physically, emotionally, mentally.
Third, I don’t need lists, and I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. As an obsessive list-maker, I would brain-dump on a regular basis and then try and get as much accomplished as I could. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and so much of it was small stuff. What needs to get done does get done. I’m not holding myself to all kinds of goals like in the past. My days are settling into a very nice pattern of yoga, quilting, designing, and writing. I am content, which is a feeling that takes some getting used to.
Fourth, I will keep writing, whether it be the blog or essays or continuing with my series of novels. I’ve learned that writing fiction – and the editing process – is much different from nonfiction. I like pulling all plot pieces together, and it is my way of dealing with all the craziness in the country. Since I joined a weekly writer’s group – whose sole purpose is to write for two hours – I have realized just how productive I can be. While I’m looking forward to joining a critique group in Vermont, I see the need for a “writing for the sake of writing” group.
Fifth, I did enjoy the math consulting. It still pisses me off that people running that business didn’t do what needed to be done, like training new people and doing the needed marketing. I realized I don’t want to do much more than the occasional part-time gig in consulting, because I miss not having my time to myself. The first 4 months of the year were tough, as my projects got put on hold (I STILL don’t have the seasons pattern finished). I will look for more math tutoring in Vermont, but I won’t overdo it.
Sixth, I battled with my body for control of my health. This will be a continuing battle for me, but the cosmic two-by-four finally made a dent when it comes to losing the weight – pneumonia a second time, stomach issues, bad knees, torn ligaments – and a lot of these related to what I was and wasn’t eating. Health is my word for next year. Now that the mind is in better shape, the body is following behind. And the more yoga I do, the more I realize how much I need to do, if I am going to take care of my knees.
Seventh, I need to make a difference, one person at a time. So many little gestures to others this year made me realize I can influence another person’s day, and hopefully I can continue to make those little gestures that will help on a global level.
Good bye 2014 – you’ve been interesting!
I must confess, by Tuesday evening I wasn’t sure I would have the quilt for our good friend completed……We had plans for Wednesday and Thursday, so last-minute was going to be Tuesday evening…..and I still had to finish a rolled hem on a silk scarf………But I made it, hubby photographed it Wednesday morning and finished cutting off miscellaneous threads. It was a HUGE hit last night at the presentation – everyone needed to take a turn snuggling under it! Originally I was going to make another nap quilt, since the first one I made for our friend turned out to be too short to wrap herself in. This ended up queen size…..