Friday, May 15, 2015

The Chair Challenge

The "Uncommon Threads" Group which recently invited me to join proposed a first challenge:  12x12 inch block on the subject of Chair.  Maybe it's a bit perverse of me but I immediatly thought of "The Chair" and created the block you see.  I also did a little bit of research and wrote the following poem which is on the back. I know no one is likely to see it but then I know that most people really don't want to think about the subject of The Chair. Likewise I added to the front some simple facts about The Chair, printed in size 10 font and added to the white strips. These are a bit hard to read, again on the assumption that, in fact people don't really want to know. 

Need I add that other people have more expected chairs on their blocks?  Only one was finished at our meeting. A couple were more traditional depictions of chairs and a couple were somewhat abstract or "artistic".  All five will be shown together as one exhibit at the Bayberry show in August.

Edison vs Westinghouse

“The French have their guillotines,”
said Tom. “So bloody. So ugly.”
“The English have their chopping blocks,”
said George, “So medieval, so evil.”
“Firing squads are not sure fire
And hangings are primitive and pioneer,”
Tom and George agreed.
“The world is changing, yes indeed,
in every way, we have electricity today.”

Both set to work, each designed a chair,
dependably fatal and bloodless anywhere.
 Tom patented his invention first in 1888.
“Well,” said George. “I’ll sell more bulbs,
appliances too, just you wait.”
From 1890 to today, twelve long decades
“The Chair,” was the nightmare of death row,
emptying prisons and murderers and traitors.
For twelve long decades, in US prisons,
“Old Sparky,” or “Smoky” held sway
but lethal injection is mostly used today.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring Imperative

April is National Poetry Month and I have not put any poems on this blog, some are on my Big 7-0 blog.  Mostly I have been writing poems. Here is a very recent one - not about this morning, but this morning the same thing happened.

At 3:30 -- believe it! --
Birds were loud.
Not a hint of dawn
for a full hour, yet
they were full throat
into their mating calls!
I pushed myself up
onto an elbow to squint
at the red LED number.
So long and hard has the winter
been they must be desperate
to recoup and preserve
their species.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Barbie Project

 I'm calling this the Barbie Project.  Lynn, the woman hiding behind the bird cage (there's a feathered Barbie in the  cage) was gifted -- reason a mystery-- 32 naked Barbies. She asked our group which does various sort of crafts and creative things to each take a Barbie and "do something" There were seven of us -- three didn't get into the photo. But we all followed the directive and dressed (or didn't -- in the case of the Barbie sitting in a tub of bubble bath). Perhaps I will add the other Barbies  tomorrow. Tonight I haven't time to write much or add more photos.  The Barbie in turquoise tulle is a "Spirit of Spring" Barbie.

The Barbie below spring in my Barbie who has gained 50 pounds now that she's 56 years old (she is wearing an "invisible fat suit" hidden by the house coat I made for her.  She's had a not at all good hair cut and her hair has turned gray.  I'll explain the other Barbies in another post. But I'll say that Beverly --in gray sweater and hat -- wrote a monolog for a Barbie who spent her money on cosmetic surgery and I wrote a monolog for a Barbie who has come into self-confidence now that she's over 50.  But she still seeks her fortune and fame at the hands of a powerful man. She does lip service to feminism but doesn't, in her heart of heart, choose to be a fully realized person.   I am thinking that there is more to this story.  I will write about the other Barbie transformations tomorrow.

In the photo are Lynn, Beverly, Helen and Miriam.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Started something new, having fun

I saw a selvage quilt like this on the Selvage Blog (see side bar here and scroll down a few days). It had a red center star but when I got the selvage triangles sewn I saw a scrap of blue on the table, so I used it. And liked it and pulled out a few other blues and light purples.  The design will be a spider web of selvages when several blocks are put together. 

The block Karen showed on her blog was in process so I could see how it was put together. I made my own template out of cardboard after making a careful drawing of the block on some cheap paper. To my delight the template was right (added 1/4 inch for seams).  Putting the block together was a bit of a puzzle, it's done in halves which are triangles, instead of the usual block within a block method.  A tad harder than usual because of the biases but not difficult.

I love working with selvages.  For these I used drier sheets as foundations, a favorite foundation not only for the sake of frugality but the residual bit of perfume.  I'm not sure how large the final quilt will be, probably not bed size unless I just can't stop sewing selvages. I find it very fun to work with them and I like the idea of stars in these various shades of blue and purple.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Woe is Me

This my sewing room in a normal state of mess. The photo is from more or less a year ago. The quilt on the wall has been finished, shown at our guild show and I just took it down from a six-week display in the lobby-gallery at the Academy of Lifelong Learning.  On the floor is a quilt (hiding the  dhrui rug) that was given to the guild's Quilt Bank, which backed and tied it and gave it to a vet (as they do donated red, white and blue quilts).  The bed is always a catch-all, no apologies. Often the pink covered ironing board is stashed in a closet. The picture of Rachel and Finn is well loved failure in portrait quilting -- from this distance that's not so obvious but, trust me, it's very obvious closer up. 

I moan "woe is me" because missing at the moment and for probably a few more days, is the sewing machine. It had an undisclosed illness. I could tell it was not the motor but something in the thread-feed system so I took it to the one and only place on Cape Cod that has a regular repairman. That was last Tuesday. As of yesterday I'm told it was on the repairman's table "taken apart" which can only mean he's waiting for a part. I am bereft, as if a good friend who stops to chat for an hour or two a day has gone to Florida to escape the cold. I don't know when it'll come home. Not that there aren't plenty of interests  to keep me busy but I like a little sewing time. Ah well, it will return.

This post has nothing to do with the weather except that while I sit here bereft, I see on the lawn the first robin of this season. He seems perky taking little dashes across the brown, but greening, grass that is surrounded by melting snow.   I guess the moral to this is not to become fixated on the absences in our life; notice the serendipitous simultaneities and be glad it's another morning with a promising day ahead.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A bit late, but the weatherman doesn't know that

but the snow lingers on.  Stella's red
umbrella is little protection.  Baby!
it's cold outside.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Working on It

I haven't posted anything for a while but I am working on this flying geese quilt.  It's on the design wall, as is obvious.  Actually I got it all put together yesterday and it is now on my sewing room floor. I've decided I need another row or two on the bottom and then a six inch royal blue border. 

Making the geese has left me with a pile of cut off triangle sets that I will sew into half-squares and turn into another quilt. It's already planned. In fact the flying geese were inspired by Leisure Arts' book Devoted to Scraps (best of Quiltmaker) although the arrangement is all my own doing. But the next quilt in the books uses the half-squares in a Rail Fence pattern which I will do. These are super simple quilts and are satisfyingly quick and easy when I'm suffering increasing bouts of cabin fever here where the snow just doesn't know it's time to stop and let the crocuses start their pilgrimage up to the sun.