Made to Withstand the Proof of Time

from here; more about this in a minute

As quilters, we have an relationship to time. We begin something, knowing it won’t be done for days, or months or even years. We work towards a daily or weekly goal of finishing the quilt, even though we might sometimes abandon the effort. But there is always this gap from beginning to end.

I started this quilt in December 2015, the design inspiration taken from an antique red and white quilt I’d seen in a quilt show. I couldn’t figure out how that quilting sister from 150 years ago put her quilt together, so I modernized it, and then in January 2016 sent the instructions to a bee I was in, asking them to make some blocks. Then I made more blocks, thinking about how that woman so long ago might envy our ability to have such an array of fabrics, to sew like the wind on our modern machines, to have such a distant circle of friends still gather together in a quilting bee.

I wrote about the finished quilt top, and then it sat. Time passed.

I wrote a pattern, but when QuiltMania accepted the quilt for publication, I took it down from my PayHip shop.

Time passed. And then some more time.

This week I received this picture in an email, along with the picture of the cover:

From December 2015 to August 2020 is nearly five years. In that time I’ve counted off changes in our family, health issues, deaths in our family, births and birthdays, personal highs, and personal challenges, a pandemic and now extremely grateful to have a quilt published in a respected quilt magazine. And to quote a common phrase seen in our quilty culture: I have #allthefeels.

Which brings me back to that photo at the top of this page. Several designers and architects were asked to “reflect on a changing world, their creative process, and the future of design.” I enjoyed reading their thoughts, as they echoed some of my own feelings about the creative life. Here’s two:

Pierre Yovanovitch (Provence, France) said: “I try to look at the silver lining and see this as an opportunity for a creative reset, taking a pause from our overly scheduled lives to tap back into what inspires us.”

Milanese designers Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli, who designed the room of plates at the top of the post:

“Regarding the future effects of this pandemic, on one hand it has been recognized the importance of the house as a center, a place of the soul in people’s life. On the other hand, the inevitable economic impact that will follow this situation will, we hope, generate among people the idea that the house isn’t just an object that follows the trends to be discarded and replaced for the next upcoming thing. You should aim for an object of beauty, made to withstand the proof of time.”

I guess that’s why we quilters are willing to start a quilt in December and nearly five years later, see it completed. That’s why we pick out fabrics and squirrel them away, knowing that sometime in the future — maybe even in a pandemic — we will pull out the projects we’ve collected and start the long process in the midst of the distraction, the sorrow, the uncertainty.

And as always, we will send our quilt out into the world as a veritable declaration of hope, our handiwork created to withstand the proof of time.

Happy quilting. Yes, especially now.

Summer 2016 Goals

Pattern Cover SpectrumTo introduce my newest goal, I need to talk about my new pattern covers.  I made them in a new software I’m trying to learn, Affinity Photo, fearful that any day my upgrades on my Mac will render my old copy of Photoshop more obsolete than it already is.  And no, I don’t want to pay a monthly fee to use their software (are you listening, Adobe?)  I just heard that Affinity Photo is launching a beta version for PC users, too, although it was developed as a Mac software.  So this is the first of my summer goals.

affinity_photo

They also have Affinity Designer, which I’m also trying to learn, but since I don’t know Adobe’s Illustrator very well, it’s like banging my head against a wall.  When my friend recovers from getting her daughter married off, I’m going to bug ask her to teach me a few things.

Long Man Novel Cover

To keep reading is another summer goal, and this was the latest book I finished, while quilting up a few things for my Riverside Sawtooth post.  It set me down so carefully in time and place.  No, it’s not a grip-you-by-the-throat novel, but a quiet one, filled with well-drawn characters from a time in our past.  I listened to it on Audible, which I would recommend, as the narrator really gets the sound of the voices and it adds another dimension to the story, I think.

Cal Primaries 2016

Can I mention Summer Events?  Here’s about the only political statement I’ll make on this blog: we recently (and sadly) lost our ability to have a primary election here in California.  We’d all been so excited, actually asking everyone “who are you going to vote for?” and really getting interested in politics in general.  We are one of the final primaries on the Presidential Election Schedule, and for once, we were going to Have a Say!  Except now we aren’t, because of the recent events (which has made great theater, I have to say).  So, hope everyone else in the United States had a great time voting–as usual, our votes won’t count.  H o w e v e r. . . I will be watching the conventions. After teaching Critical Thinking a few years, and having my students watch the conventions and have them analyze the speeches, the rhetoric, looking for the logical fallacies and spotting all the weakness in candidates’ arguments, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  It’s going to be a long, hot summer out here, and hey! we need something to compensate us for not getting a Primary Election.

rio-2016-logo-header

And it that’s not enough excitement (!), we can always watch the Brazil Summer Olympics, although with all the talk lately, it may end up being like our primary.  Click on the link at the end of the post to see this colorful Olympics design in action.

In other news, my garden is growing well, I’ve got a few more projects in the pipeline, but my main quilty goals this summer are as follows:

Small WorldMagScreenShot

1. Finish My Small World.

Shine_Quilt Top Final800

2. Quilt Shine: The Circles Quilt

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

3. Quilt Riverside Sawtooth

Rosette #5

4. Keep working on this quilt.  Remember this?  It was one of the units in the New Hexagon Millifiore Quilt.  I’m halfway through, and my friend Laurel is all done with hers.  And her quilt is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, so I need to perserve and Be A Finisher. (However, notice I didn’t say “finish this quilt,” but instead wrote “keep working on this quilt.”  I am reasonable.)

halloweenqal_pattern cover

5. Finish this quilt top, and if possible get it quilted, too.

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6. And… this one, too.
I am all done with the hand-stitching.  Now just to figure out the borders, and get it quilted.
Easy, peasy.  We are coming right along in our Quilt-a-Long, with Step 5 coming up on June 2nd.

ChristmasTreeLogoSM

Other summer goals:

7. Be a good citizen and follow the national political process.  Every other week ought to be about right.
8. Visit my kids and their kids. And my parents.  And my husband’s family.  That’s about eight car trips right there.  I’d better work on #4–if only to have some hand sewing for car travel.
9. Celebrate my one-year anniversary of recovering from my surgery.  I think a night in front of the TV would be appropriate, in my nightgown with hand-sewing on my lap, to memorialize where I was last year at that time.

Voting booths
10. And oh, yeah.  Vote in California’s Primary.  I’m so excited, yes yes yes.

Riverside Sawtooth, a finished quilt top

Riverside Sawtooth_labeled

Riverside Sawtooth, the name I’ve given for this original block of mine, has been finished — or at least the top has. It is a compilation of bee blocks from the Mid-Century Bee, as well as several of mine.  I started making these in the Alison Glass blues fabric, but trying to describe what color of blue that was to people all over the United States was a challenge: I finally settled on “painter’s tape blue.”  I like this quilt not because of that color and that block, but also because it’s a scrappy two-color block.  Have a bunch of greens, or pinks, or reds that need to be gathered together into a quilt?  This would work great.

Riverside Sawtooth_small1

Through the process of arranging and cullling and making more blocks to balance colors, I had enough blocks for another small mini.

The genesis came from seeing a similar antique quilt, but that maker had done a more traditional construction (and sorry–there was no name on that old quilt).  I wanted to see if I could make it as a block, the sawtooth incorporated into the construction process.  It took me several weeks of working on it, then testing it.  I wrote up the pattern and sent it as a test block out to my beemates and incorporated their tips and tricks into the pattern wording.  Now thoroughly tested, I tweaked the pattern and at long last, have it available for download in my shops at Craftsy and PayHip (for EU customers).  The pattern includes lots of detailed photos and walks you through it the process, so it’s good for anyone’s set of skills, beyond the what-is-a-rotary-cutter-and-how-do-I-use-it barely beginning level.
Riverside Sawtooth_small2

Here’s another mini full of full dotty blocks.  I loved working in this tonality of blue — hey, I love blue in any tonality — but the inspiration of Alison Glass’ fabrics kicked me into finding blue fabrics that coordinated with hers.  The large quilt (72″ square) is in the line-up to be quilted, and then I’ll probably label it and get it up on the 200 Quilts list, but for now, I wanted to make it available to you, if you want to try your hand at an updated fun version of a block.

Riverside Sawtooth_detail1 Riverside Sawtooth_detail2 Riverside Sawtooth_detail3a Riverside Sawtooth_small3I’ve been working on a few more patterns and I’ll roll them out one by one over the next several weeks, as I get the typos expunged, the photographs completed and then uploaded for purchase.Riverside Sawtooth_small4

tiny nine patches