Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday poem

Beth of the One-Minute Writer choose weekly winners -- she gives a different prompt each day. I usually write something although sometimes I can't think of anything so skip it. A recent prompt was to write a poem about Sunday [or sundae] which proved to be quite easy because the day before [Saturday, obviously] had had a Sunday feel and I had gone walking on the beach -- a did many dog owners who, this time of year can let their dogs off leash. I love watching dogs who are cooped up indoors most of the time enjoy the freedom of a Saturday -- or Sunday afternoon. So I wrote the following poem which Beth chose as writing of the week:

On Sunday

The dogs take their people for long walks,
showing them how to use the freedom of being out, off-leash.
Dogs always rejoice at freedom;
their people more often will not cavort and dance and skip.
People have taught dog "sit, stay."
People refuse to learn from dog
"Leap. Laugh. Wag your tail."

I may spend some time making it a better poem. It's something I feel like saying well.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two more painted quilties

I liked the acrylic painted/ Sharpie drawn pear quiltie I showed a couple of posts ago and I sent it away in a swap. So I decided to make another and experiment with a different quilting pattern. Actually I think the pears on the former one were better and the diamond quilting didn't work as well. Live and learn -- that's why experiments are done.

I prepared two squares -- both of these are 6x6 inchies -- in the same sewing session. So then I tried the moth on the second one. I guess I got carried away with the bright colors -- neither moth nor butterfly look like this. I'll call it "impressionistic" and pretend this was the in my head -- but it wasn't but again I was experimenting. I have another experiment in mind on a bigger scale. That ones not ready t.o be attempted

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another inchie quiltie

I protested but I did it again. This is a second quiltie made with twenty inchies. This time no buttons -- I literally used all my really tiny buttons on the first one. These squares mostly have flowers so that will serve as the "extra added attraction." This time I brought the backing around to the front to make a border a little over an inch wide which is meant to give a bit of substance to the quilt -- oops, quiltie. This is for a second swap and, I think, will not be repeated.

I admit I'm beginning to see some attraction of the little squares but I prefer something a bit bigger and have, as I wrote before, something in mind that I will work on in the near future. Right now I have a couple other projects in process and those brightly colored paper-pieced stars are still on my design wall waiting to be quilted and put together and I'm working up the ambition to do that.

I look out at nice blue sky and think I should be getting some exercise walking. Then I look at the tree tops which seem to be suffering the arboreal version of shaken baby syndrome. The wind comes in mean tempered gusts and slaps around whatever it can find -- I actually watched as the decently weighted metal lids of two garbage containers flipped up and over -- these are not little garbage cans the likes of which are in danger of rolling down the road. These are containers about 5x5 square and 5 feet tall in front, 6 foot in back and the lids covering that expanse are sturdy. In short, it's not a day to try walking in that wind. We're promised it will die down by Sunday and also be warm -- sounds wonderful. I hope it comes true.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quilties, inchies

Recently learned terms: Quilties. Inchies. I don't like them. Cute-ifying things isn't my style. Making miniature quilts, yes. That I understand and have seen some very amazing ones both new and antique. The journal quilts and the postcard quilts, these also I understand and have made many. But why this apparent need to infantilize a craft or art work? Do people think it makes quilting less serious? Less frightening? Does it sound like fun as opposed to a bit of work? Maybe other people have other feelings. It's words and what words imply that bother me. I believe profoundly in the importance and power of words and definitions for what we do. I prickle remembering how the women's movement of the '60s and '70s struggled that women and their work should not be marginalized as unimportant. These words seem a regression that we are sheltering under like wet cats in the rain.

BUT I have made what is called a "quiltie" with appliqued raw-edge "inchies". And I love it. I enjoyed arranging the colors, enjoyed using the smallest buttons at the bottom of my button collection as embellishment. And I'm going to go cut out another set of inchies for a second one on the same background fabric and I have plans for a third that will not be inchies but different and larger and I won't call it by any diminutive, I'll call it a little art quilt. These names as I'm using them here are for swaps in which those are the operative words and most of the above is my not at all subtle protest.

Confucius said that understanding begins when we have 'rectified names".

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

UFO for now

Mostly blue, somewhat Log Cabin-ish in constructions, this crib sized quilt needs another border, probably a narrow one which may be a fold-over of the backing fabric ... WHEN it's finally sandwiched, backed and quilted. I finished this much today and ironed it and it goes into the UFO bag for the time being. I don't feel like doing the finishing right now.

I may look for a place that accepts crib size quilts and does the backing and quilting -- the Empire Quilters to which I used to belong did that. I could always send it to them. They present dozens of quilts to homeless families every year. I'm sure others do too. I'll explore what Bayberry Quilters do. I'm too new to know all the projects yet. I'm glad to have used up some fabrics I'd cut into for other projects and felt somewhat bored with. There are a couple of mega-boring calicoes in it. I'm happy to have made a teensy-weensy dent in the blue stash. I'm always curious how something will look when it's finally together because I just don't have the visual imagination to figure that out in my head.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A little more organized

Last week I found a couple of closet organizers at half their original price. Both are for jewelry but one has zippers on each pocket. That one I will use to organize some costume jewelry. Because I forget about this or that bracelet or necklace I don't wear it even though it might have sentimental value and go well with what I have on. Now, I'll be able to see it when I am making choices.

The second organizer is also for jewelry but doesn't have zippers on the pockets and I decided it would do well to keep my thread in view since I have a nice size closet with shelving, boxes, etc. where my stash and oddments are happily usually hidden behind the folding doors. This organizer has an equal set of pockets on its other side and so holds about 2/3s of my thread collection which had previously been kept in a couple of jumbled boxes. I've envied people with those neat thread organizers with pegs for each spool but I've never found one [nor, I admit, gone shopping for one]. This will do very well. The 1/3 left is whites and odds that are arranged now in a single layer in a box and the odd-ball threads are in a plastic bag. Not much to brag about but an improvement.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Yoyo weather

This is a wonderful photo from the local newspaper of the marshes hereabouts -- sans snow. The snow is disappearing again because it's raining again and the temperature is in the low 40s. The weather swings from day to day, sunny but very cold yesterday, gray and wet and warmer today. Who knows, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny ... I'll take what I get. And if it's nice enough I'll go walk someplace. If not, I'll carry on with the projects in the sewing room and the writing project here on the computer.

A recent discussion on another blog about dressing differently when one gets older was on my mind today as I carefully checked out the racks of end-of-the-season clothing at a store in the mall. I saw many bargains, some things I'd have snapped up ten years ago, just my style, fun to have and to wear. Sigh! today I pass by. Not only would many of those garments look unattractive on me today, I simply don't need them. Some are too dramatic, some are too tight fitting, some are too glittery, and some have too deep a neckline -- not so much because of modesty but because I no longer put up with the mild discomfort of being a bit chillly for the sake of looking a bit sexy. I found a cornflower blue, totally simple, totally classic cashmere turtleneck. That was my only purchase after over an hour of combing the racks.

Many other women claim not to enjoy shopping. I don't understand where they're coming from, never have. For myself, I love to see what designers, even unknown peons working for minor brands, come up with in line, embellishment, fabric, fit. Maybe it's because I began sewing for myself with I was in high school and was always fascinated by what a seam could do, how a textile could drape, how colors work together.

My quilting attitude is much the same. I can play with line, color, shape, embellishment. My favorite quilting is scrape patchwork quilting when I can make fabric/color choices each time I add a new square or triangle or piece. The spirit of play captures me. Maybe the people who hate to shop are the people who most enjoy quilting from kits; they feel safe with the choices of others. They make beautiful quilt, often more successful than mine. And I think they feel great pleasure doing so. Likewise I feel great pleasure in my spontaneous way. Takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Groundhog Day

This obese groundhog is not Punxatawney Sam of Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania. If any groundhog could cast a shadow this guy surely could. I think they're only that fat when they begin their hibernation.

Groundhog day is not something I usually pay attention to but I noticed a blurb about it when I turned on the computer a little while ago. Around here it's going to rain all day washing away much of yesterday's snow fall. As it's supposed to stay above freezing, the rain should not turn to ice -- a very good thing for drivers. Anyway, no local groundhog will see his shadow which is supposed to mean spring will come early. To which I say Bah-humbug. I'm psychologically prepared to wait two more months before the crocuses pop up and the leaves pop out. I have a bunch of quilt projects to work on during that time. I've been accumulating UFOs - or maybe they're mostly WIPs -- for some months now.