Creating · Quilts

Hide and Seek

Right now I’m playing hide and seek with my brain.  Like, where is it?

That was triggered by a hide and seek game for the fabrics which I need so I can make binding for my Christmas Quilt.  It’s been a looooong week at school, so I thought I’d shove all the grading to the side and make the binding.

But where-oh-where is that fabric, so carefully put aside back in July?

Not here.

Not here.

Nor here.

I thought for sure, this closet.  Nope.

Okay, now I’m checking the drawers.  Maybe I already cut the strips and tucked them away in here.

It’s about this point I’m beginning to get that despairing feeling, like where in the heck is this?  I’ve been through everything twice.

Of course, it’s always the last place you look–in a clear plastic box on the shelf in here.

Anyone want a lovely yellow lamp with a hand-cut paper lampshade? And that iron is one I bought two years ago because I was sure mine was on its last legs and the irons were on sale at Target.  I spent last week helping my sister clean out her (new to her) house–the first wife’s things were everywhere and the children had not yet claimed the possessions yet.  After our experience together, she sent me a link to this blog, where the woman catalogues the things she’s getting rid of.  I vowed to do a little cleaning out myself, but later–after I get the quilt bound.  It’s always later, isn’t it?

Found it.  Now to get busy on cutting and sewing before the guilt over ungraded papers takes over. Or the guilt over cleaning out.


A Visit to Mt. Vernon Quilters Guild

I’m out on the East Coast and one morning.  This past Tuesday,  I met Rhonda, a friend and quilter from the DC area, for brunch.  Afterwards we headed down to my old quilt guild for their first meeting of the year.It’s the Mount Vernon chapter of Quilters Unlimited of Virginia, which is a consortium of 11 different chapters like ours.  We’re the smallest, however.  Bert G. had written to me last year and asked me for a copy of my photo of Mt. Vernon, which she then used in the centerpiece of a new banner.  It was fun to see the completed article.  (The other squares were made by other quilters.)

There were several women there I recognized and it was fun to know that they recognized me.  I was known as the “one who gave us the blog.”  I had been there a year, fell in love with this little guild, and was asked by the President if I would consider being Newsletter Editor.  I told her I was moving home to California, however, after our yearlong sabbatical in DC.  She jokingly said I could still be Newsletter Editor.  I then said I’d do it, if I could create a blog for the guild and switch everyone over to a digital newsletter (we still had 8 women who received a hard copy, and someone local–Rhonda–took care of that for me).

So, our blog was born.  I did it a second year, but then passed it on.  I’m happy that they still like the blog format, and one quilter said that she did–and that all the other chapters were jealous!  We laughed, and I really enjoyed myself there.  It’s good to have quilter friends, and good to belong to a guild.  I really should join one in California–I’m just afraid that none will measure up.

Creating · Quilts

Am I Crazy?

The Material Obsession Quilt Shop in Australia just announced they are putting together a new Block of the Month group for Lollipop Trees, a fabulous applique quilt by Kim McClean.  I sent this picture to a friend and asked her if I was crazy for thinking about making this.

Yes.  You are crazy, she said.

She’s right.  It would take me about ten years to get it done, but it still lingers in the back of my mind as Something I Want to Do.

I’d receive two blocks every month for 10 months.  I assume the borders are included somewhere in there (I’ll have to ask).  So, ten years sounds about right.  Why is it that my eyes are always bigger than my Energy Level?


Love Dances on the Green

Today, after baking three loaves of banana nut bread, and two loaves of zucchini-cranberry-nut bread, I sat down and finished stitching the binding on this green quilt.  So that’s two done, in between everything else.  I am pretty tired today, having survived a week that never seemed to quit.  I was preparing the lessons for my classes, as well as getting the lessons ready for my friend Judy, who’s subbing for me while I’m gone to visit my sister in Delaware (thanks again, Judy!).  I should have been packing, but the bananas were rotting, and the zucchini had been waiting, so it was do or watch-the-bananas-die time.

I try to name all my quilts–maybe because I’m in love with words.  I haven’t yet figured out a name for the bluesy quilt on the bottom of my bed.  It’s that old thing of being too tired to allow for creativity to blossom thing.  I know it will come in time.

But I’d already picked out the name for this one when I was sewing the patches together.  I bought at a garage sale a very very old Quotations Book, with all sorts of old-fashioned little verses and famous quotes and one-liners. So I looked up “green” in the index, and came up with a little ditty by Scott, of which I clipped out the part I liked.

The quilt’s label (don’t hold your breath for when that will be done!) will read:

“In hamlets, [love] dances on the green.”

I have this memory of the tiniest little oval of green in a small town–hamlet–in Yorkshire, and on that little patch of green, some children were playing.  It was just after a rainstorm, and a couple of families were out walking, enjoying the nice cool evening air.  Dave and I sat in the car and watched, enjoying what we were seeing–knowing we’d never glimpse the same thing in Riverside, nor would there ever be this kind of green in our near-desert town.  I didn’t dare take a photo–not wanting to declare myself a tourist.  We watched, then headed on out back to our B & B (where I did take the photo below).  So, in a way, this quilt evokes that memory of our trip to Yorkshire, where children “danced” on the green.


This is the anniversary of when my daughter became engaged, her voice a bubbly fountain of joy on the phone as she told me.  It was a counterpoint to my brother staggering up Manhattan through the ash and horror, caught as he was in the events for which we remember this day.
Life is always a mix; I remember them both on this day, September 11th.

100 Quilts · Quilts-on-the-Bed

Blues on the Bed

There’s something to be said for old movies.

I watched Dead Reckoning with Humphrey Bogart this afternoon and finished getting the binding on.  That quilt is now sitting on the end of my bed.

I began buying the fabric for this quilt about three years ago, picking up fat quarters here and there, amassing a collection of blues that would coordinate with those lamps–as they were the first things I bought and my husband will tell you that they pretty much dictated the whole room.  One hectic Christmas, my son-in-law painted (we helped), we bought drapes, and this summer I had the little slipper chair redone in some exotic Amy Butler.

Anyone else build a room around a pair of lamps?

Creating · Quilts

Binding, Finally

I spent most of the day Thursday hitting the books, grading papers, logging in their grades online.  Friday, I taught, smelled a gas leak (called The Gas Company), taught, reported that our phone wasn’t working (again)(but now it is, no worries), came home, met the Gas Man (passed with flying colors-no leak), missed an appointment to see a friend, graded some more, wrote vocabulary lists, fixed dinner, ate, watched The Number One Ladies Detective Agency (two episodes) with my husband, crashed.  I also missed going to Quilt Night, a gathering of ladies that’s now going on about eight years.  I was just too tired.

I am ready for a break.

So, I cut strips of fabric–so good to feel them in my hands again, and got to binding those quilts I’d finished early in summer.  Hard to believe it’s taken me this long to get back to them.

The even-feed foot was on the machine, as this quilt came back from the quilter with mysterious gaps around the edges.  The quilt, overall, is quilted beautifully, but these gaps?  Turns out she didn’t want to go OVER the edge with her quilting, thinking she’d have to tie off every thread.  She’s always done traditional machine quilting and this new “modern” quilting–an overall simpler pattern–is new to her.  I do like my quilter because she’s willing to try something new, so I’ll just have to chat with her about heading to the edge and over.  So I quilted in the gaps (which is one reason why it sat for so long, unbound).

I machine sewed it all on, pinned the corners, and now it’s downstairs waiting for me to hand-stitch the back of the binding down while we watch more episodes of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency.  Can’t wait until tonight–bless Netflix.

More binding cut–but I ran out of the swirly greens, so had to use some other things.

This one’s going to go downstairs to the family room to join the other.

I also have some old movies that need watching.  So nice to rest my brain from school.  So nice to be touching the fabric again.  So nice to have a break to do some different kind of labor.

Happy Labor Day!