Finishing School Friday · Something to Think About

The Done Manifesto–FSF

Since, during summer, Friday is my FSF–Finishing School Friday, I thought I’d mention this idea of the Done Manifesto, created when “Bre Pettis, an inventor,  and collaborator Kio Stark gave themselves exactly 20 minutes to create a manifesto encapsulating everything they knew about bring a creative vision to life.” (from Infographic of the Day: 13 Rules)

I read about this some time ago, but parts of their manifesto haunt me, as I read your blogs and hear you talk about the struggle to craft a balance between your time blogging/interneting and quilting.  Here’s the full list; focus in on number 12:

Some of my “done” quilting is ghostly, existing on pinboards, and websites and floating around on the internet, and on this blog.  You have to take my word for it–my quilts exist  in real time, with the soft hand of cloth, quilting, and batting, sewn together with the whir of a finely tuned machine.  I love reading your comments, interacting and forming online friendships with you (one of the good things about blogs!), but look at Number Nine.

This one notes that to dig in and get the work done is what’s right about things (“People without dirty hands are wrong.  Doing something makes you right.”) All of these can be applied to quilting.  One of my friends completed a quilt top, hated the borders, unpicked, resewed.  Another friend had begun quilting her son’s wedding quilt, hated it, unpicked, resewed.  Both of these quilters embodied Number Eleven.

Number Seven?  Throw it away is sometimes good.  And so is to give it away–to a charity, a quiltless friend.  Some quilts are made to go out into the world and not hang around in your closet.  And Number Six?  Will I ever finish the list of quilts I’ve dreamed of?  We all know the answer to that one. But that brilliant Number Thirteen nails down the reason why doing the *real* quilting and sewing and creating is so much more satisfying: “Done is the engine of more.”

I loved all last summer when I could easily post something “done” every Friday.  It’s a different satisfaction that I get from quilting than from most anything else I do in my life.  My quilting stays done.  I can touch it, be warm underneath it, point to it when I hang it up on a wall.  It defines me.  It’s my favorite work, for when I enter my quilting zone, time just flies.

This week’s finish: Doll Quilts.  I heard from Kim, my daughter-in-law and they have arrived!

Something to Think About

Is Pinterest in Our Best Interest?

The recent brouhaha about Pinterest, a current addiction and tool, and its copyright issues, the internet and blogging made me confront some interesting and sometimes painful realities.  I love the internet, but I must admit it was pretty amazing to discover that a lot of this website had been lifted up onto Pinterest.  I was flattered.  I was amused.  I was surprised. And a touch dismayed, but I can’t really claim any part in it because it had been done by lots of other quilters who found my blog and my work interesting enough to them to pin to their wall.  And I’m sure you’re not surprised that eighty-percent of Pinterest users are women. (How many of them are quilters?)

So some of my quilting exists on pinboards, and websites and floating around on the internet, where we, readers and bloggers, attempt to capture these photos so we can make more and better and more fascinating and The New and Next Big Thing! in quilt-land. To be truthful, I spent some time how to “capture” my apparent presence on Pinterest (albeit a pebble in a lake in terms of numbers, I’m sure), but in the end, failed.  Late to this particular party, I set up my own Pinterest site, and started to dabble in it.  I recognized that this could be a helpful tool for me to note which fabrics I liked on Spoonflower, as well as quilt ideas.

But given the copyright issues that have been raised (here and here), perhaps I should more cautious about appropriating other’s images onto my boards, even if I am thinking of this as a tool.  When I talked to Cindy last night, she asked, “How is this different from the thousands of images that are lifted from Google every day?” (Like the one above.) She has some thoughts on this, too, on her blog today.

So if I don’t use it as a tool, maybe it could act as a virtual quilt show, displaying my own wares on my boards, as I noticed that some have done, acting as sort of an alternative to Flickr. Interestingly, many Flickr sites disallow “Pinning” to Pinterest, through the use of a snippet of code.

So, what do you think?  Should we have more control over our own images?  Or once we publish them to our websites, it’s as good as done?  Are you, like I am, flattered that others like your work and are spreading your quilting gospel throughout cyberspace?  Or are you someone who is trying to make a living off their own work, and are dismayed to see it distributed far and wide without your permission?

Pinterest may or may not be the next Napster, as the Wall Street Journal noted.  But I’d be interested to hear what you quilters have to say about it, given our particular penchant for community.  Does this enhance our quilting community?  Detract from it? Weigh in with your thoughts and reflections.

100 Quilts · Quilts · WIP

WIP–Roses and Doll Quilts

I brought along my third block of the rose window block series — still working on it — but I think a friend of mine wants to try doing this too, as she’s a “Band Mom” and needs something to keep her hands busy while she whiles away those long hours at competitions.  Good luck, Lisa!

Before we left, I was also able to finish a series of doll quilts for my son’s daughters: Emilee, Megan, Brooke and Danielle.  Their mother Kim got them the most adorable doll beds for their dolls for Christmas, and I’d been wanting to make them little quilts ever since I returned home.

Somewhere along the way, I had purchased Moda Candy Bars, which area pack of four stacks of fabric (measuring 2 1/2″ by 5″) and while I liked having the variety of pieces, I had no idea what to do with them.

One little stack makes the perfect-sized doll quilt.  I was thinking I’d do four different quilts, but ended up with three different patterns (the two on the top are the same–a variant of rail fence).

I tied them up with some silky double-faced satin ribbons (hair bows for my granddaughters?) and sent them off before we left to our Spring Break vacation.

I hope these girls like them!

Many thanks to Lee, for hosting us on her website, Freshly Pieced, every Wednesday.  Return there to see what others are working on.

Quilt Shops · Something to Think About

Spring Break/Mind Break

I took off for Spring Break early.  My colleague and friend Judy is covering my class and after class on Monday, we high-tailed it out of town.  When you see the above photo, you should probably know exactly where we are.  Yep.  San Francisco.  And yep, it’s raining.

So, like any self-respecting quilter, I tracked down a fabric store.  Actually, I grew up in this area and have come to Britex fabrics many many times.  I needed some replacement buttons for my raincoat (check), picked up another color way of the typewriter fabric, and also bought a 1/2 yard of fabric from Guatemala, which I was assured that when washed, would shrink and bleed.  But while I can get just about any quilting fabric online, I wouldn’t be able to get Guatemalan fabric, or so I reasoned.

I spent the rest of the day with my brother, going to lunch at Cafe Claude, then to Japantown, an mini-indoor mall where I hunted down small Japanese plastic figurines (weird, I know) and that cool decorative sticker tape that I read about on one of my favorite blogs: How About Orange.  You pull it along like those hand-held adhesive tapes, but instead of glue, it lays down a line of flowers.  Or hearts.  Or whatever, and the cartridges are refillable.

For those of you who want some, the shop keeper said he did mail order.  It’s from MaiDo, in Japantown, and the phone number is either 415-567-8901 or 415-567-7073.  Try using the name “Deco Rush Pens.”  How much?  $5.95 each, which is high if you think you could probably buy them in Japan for three bucks, but then there’s the airfare and the hotel and meals cost to factor in.  So maybe under six bucks is fine to have a whole lot of fun decorating your paper.

Here’s a few shots of San Francisco’s Union Square.  In the rain.

A change is as good as a rest, my mother always says, and this change is a nice one.  While I don’t have anything necessarily quilty on this post, I must admit that sometimes you just need a change to make you think about your work, your craft, again.  Like those berries above.  Plummy blue, pinky-purple, yellow-green.  Those colors, found here in nature, might be the beginnings for an interesting quilt scheme, veering away from any ombo I might usually try.  And when it’s raining, I’m forced to rest, or to try indoors things, or what else?  To try something new.

Blog Strolling

Comments, Blogger, Frustration

For some reason, Blogger has been playing with me.  Not my blogger–YOUR Blogger.

Which means that I’ve not been able to leave comments unless someone had enabled the new blogger (a confusing mess if there ever was one) so that the new format for comments showed up.  I am an avid commenter when I’m not grading (which is what I should be doing now, but hey–it’s lunchtime and I’m taking a break).  But for about the past two weeks, I can’t leave comments.  So I tried to switch to a different gmail, thinking maybe Google had it out for my old one.

Surprise!  They’d deleted my alternate gmail address.  Just because they can.  And no, you can’t have it back.  Not even if you click through at least 25 very unhelpful screens trying to figure out why, but getting the same message over and over and over:

Give It Up.  We Rule the World. You Can’t Have Back Your Other Email. Now Go Away.

Sigh.  So I set up another email to match the web name on this blog, and tried to comment.


I have to set up a BLOG in order to comment.  It’s not enough to have a gmail address–YOU HAVE TO HAVE A BLOG.  I already have a blog.  Like I have about nine blogs.  Like I love the digital world except for when I hate it.  Which is about now.

But remembering that Google rules the world (which is why when I have to search for a sensitive topic, like why mothers-in-law are the most hated people on the planet, or should I hand piece or machine piece, I go to a new favorite: which has a no-tracking policy. You’re welcome.), I knuckle under to their incessant demands that I set up another blog, which if I do all my stuff right should mirror over to this site. And so far, it does.

So if you see a new name on your comments, say like, with the above Gravatar picture, it’s me.  Elizabeth E.  The one and the same.

And now maybe I can stop banging my head against the wall, and finish up grading those student essays.


Roses Bloom on a Wednesday

Last week we were all hosting the Leap Day Thread Giveaway, but today I’m back in the saddle with those Works–in–Progress (WIPs) and linking up to Freshly Pieced.  Thanks, Lee, for hosting us all!

Today’s WIP is both a finish and an acknowledgement that I’ve got miles to go before anyone sleeps under this quilt!  It might soon be morphing into a wall-hanging, and let’s hope I finish it before I run out of good televison and movies to watch.  Now that Downton Abbey‘s off-season, I’ve resorted to The Big Bang Theory.  Which is pretty funny, considering I’m married to a scientist and we both work in academia.

Here’s block two, all finished up.  I left the papers in the outside pieces as I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet.  I did put block one as the wallpaper on my laptop, and I smile every time it pops up.  It’s both digital and tangible–digital on the screen, yet the satisfied feeling I get when I see it, is tangible.  (I have another quilt on my phone as wallpaper for that device.  I’m populating my universe with my quilts.

And here they are–the twins.

I looked in Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns to track down the real name.  In 1935, The Old Chelsea Station Needlecraft Service, a mail-order company, published a variant of the block as the “Rose Star One Patch.”  Later on, other names were “Canadian Conventional Star,” the “Colonial Flower Garden,” and simply “Hexagons.”  I trend towards calling it the Rose Window Block, only because it reminds of. . . what else?  Rose windows.

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Here are some from our travels in Europe and Canada. (With a couple of others you’ll recognize.)

I wanted to focus in on one shown in the slideshow above.
While not technically rose windows, the sweet little rounds on this wall of windows in Santa Croce (in Florence) are quintessential Italy.