Thursday, October 31, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board...

When I was ready with strips of rainbow batiks to add between the two squares, I just wasn't happy with the look.  Now I have to refigure the measurements and the mental work of that took quite a bit of energy.  As I looked at the strip I decided that was all that was needed between the four quadrants.

Here are two:
I made an order for more of the deep purple, but the gal was at the quilt market and couldn't process the order right away, so I'm waiting for more of that in hopes the colors won't be off and I don't want to sew more until I get the new as they had two different color names.

So I quilted.

I finished these two small quilts for Project Linus:

I enjoyed just doing free meandering and got them whipped up in no time.  I have two more quilts that I quilted while at it, but the binding isn't completed yet.  These two quilts used up the balance of my "No Girls Allowed" fabric and the cowboy boot fabric.  Hardly a dent was noticed in my stash!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Just a Seam Here and There

Funny how inspiration to quilt comes and goes.  I've been rather stuck on my commissioned quilt lately.  I've just not wanted to sew on it, so I finished a couple of UFO's seen in my last two posts.  I finished up a quarter blocking of the quilt and just didn't want to sew it together as the seams have to be so perfect!

Here's one row completed.

Here's the rest of the big block on the design wall.

I finished up the foundation papers I've had for a few years.  I purchased a 100 piece set from That Patchwork Place and they are thinner than copy paper, but still a bit hard to remove.  I do notice I'm getting better as I go along at removing all the little pieces of paper.

I needed some more, but the shop I got them from is a good 40 minutes from here, and I kept putting off going to the shop.  I did find some June Tailor Foundation Sheets at a nearby JoAnn's and I used a coupon to purchase them.  I was a bit hesitant to use them, but oh my I do love how they sew.

I haven't yet tried to take the paper off from the fabric, but I'm sure that I will love it.

Here's a few blocks I have ready to add the finishing in order to make a block.
It was amazing that after I cut some orange to add to these
I was more ready to sew more blocks!  I was getting tired of the greens and the blues with just that bit of red as a counterpoint of color.

I have a few blocks ready to square up.

And, then you know how hard it is to make that first cut?   Well, I was having trouble taking my strips and making the beginning of a piano keys type sashing, but I made a few seams on these.
Today, I plan on getting the big block sewn together and the piano keys sewn and cut and then assemble the two big blocks I have ready and make it


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another UFO Bites the Dust!

I thought I'd do one more quilt before getting back to making blocks for my commissioned quilt.  It's always fun to have a finish.  This one will go to Project Linus.

As you can see, the quilting is done with Organic Lines--that means the quilter doesn't worry about whether or not the lines are straight.  It's a fun way to quilt if you don't have a very big throat on you DSM, which I don't.  I think it would be even more fun with a bigger space in the throat area.  But, it's done and hopefully I can get it to the drop off place either today or tomorrow.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Beautiful Fall Day and a Quilty One at That!

The crisp autumn air and the clear skies are a great combination for a newly completed quilt.

And, another shot
And one more spot in the yard
and my wonky quilting

 This quilt will be a gift for a friend.

I also got some blocks ready to send to Sunshine Quilts for the monthly Lotto.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm reminded of the story of...

The Starfish

The Boy and the Starfish

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water.
Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied,

"I made a huge difference to that one!"
~Author Unknown~

Thanks Helen of UK that story can be applied to quilts can't it?

Monday, October 14, 2013

...and have not charity

I ask myself.  "What is charity?"

I've asked that many times.  I've made many quilts and I've given many away.  I have all I really need, except for when I grow tired of a color or maybe just need a new look for my table.  So, I've spent many hours giving quilts to those with whom I resonate.  In a small southern Utah town, I gave to the women's shelter because I felt some sympathy for many women who are put in situations of being dependent on others for help.  I've had friends in those situations.  To me it would be a horrible place to be.  I wonder why as society in the United States we can't find better for those who have less.  But, then I think of whole countries who have less.  I am only one and cannot make up the difference for a whole society.  What is it that makes up what has become a charitable contribution?  Do they really help?  What about those who don't get helped?  We love to feel we've helped somehow.  Sometimes I think that it makes us feel better about ourselves.  It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling.  But, I continually ask, "Does it really help?"

These questions cannot be answered by society as a whole.  We segment things and make barriers and then offer scraps.  What if a child is hungry and is dieing and the pain of the hunger has subsided, and I in my ignorance give him food that can only start the starvation over and make his life on earth longer but with no change?  Have I done any good?

I don't have answers and I've looked many places and the only thing that makes any sense at all to me is this:
Effects of Poverty and Hunger

My questions remain and I patiently await a sleeping world to awake, knowing I've been asleep for most of my life and still find that I return to that slumber we call mortality.  I still make quilts, but somehow the urgency is gone as I know it's really just a way of my own need to keep busy, when I feel so helpless.

Swiss Government has it Right 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ha! A quilt is Quilted! Yes, Feathers are Unforgiving!

After quilting in snatches of time between other things going on, I finally got my table topper piece quilted. 
I have several different ways of quilting the feathers.  I started out using one way and then after watching a video--I wish I could remember which one my feathers looked a little more should I say, rounded or flowing and not quite so jerky.
I still seem to have trouble.  Granted these little spaces for feathers don't leave a lot of room to free up.  But, I continued until the piece was done.

I have to say, I don't like clipping all the threads!  I think I should have chosen a bit darker thread for the feathers part.  But, I went with what I had on hand.  It was a practice piece!

I do like the backing.

Now onto the place mats and then I'll do binding on all.

I found this picture in my camera!  It shows the colors much better than my iPhone.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend and if you're so lucky a Monday holiday too!

Exchanging Hate for Love

Zi gong (a disciple of Confucius) asked: "Is there any one word that could guide a person throughout life?"
The Master replied: "How about 'shu' [reciprocity]: never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself?"

 Knowing this or at least coming to this understanding, how would I choose "hate"?

 I don't really remember the first time I used or heard the word hate.  I don't know if I used it towards another, or myself or an object.  It seems to me there is lots of hate in the world today and I'm not sure just why.

For me personally I have to take the concept down to its most personal form and learn to change any hate that enters into my realm and change it.  But, that is much easier to say than to do.  I grew up not liking myself or my body which to a young child is the same.  Then grow into a teenager and body image is a huge factor in acceptance of oneself.

The dictionary defines hate this way:






[heyt] Show IPA verb, hat·ed, hat·ing, noun
verb (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.
verb (used without object)
3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.
4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.
5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.
Origin:  before 900; Middle English hat ( i ) en, Old English hatian  (v.); cognate with Dutch haten, Old Norse hata, Gothic hatan, German hassen

If one dislikes oneself then of course one is going to dislike others or maybe choose to like others who gives back to that person some sort of  value. So, with that in mind, what if instead of looking at the opposite of hate as love, let's just for now skip all those ambiguous meanings of love and replace hate with value.

What if for just a moment in each day I could value myself.  I could then give value to another human being knowing that they have just as many hang ups as I do.  They may even have more.  But, if for just one moment I could value them.  My imperfections can then be equal to their imperfections and then we both have some sort of value.  I can then extend that to looking for benefits of each human, myself and then others.

If I practiced valuing myself consciously then extend that outwardly, I could somehow come to an equalization of both beings. That is of course assuming it is just one being that I'm concentrating on.    (Lately concentrating on the political aspect of the United States is another whole round of concentration in trying to give them value).  insert smiley face here!  :)

Anyhow, just for today, I will concentrate on returning value for value.  Valuing myself is an important part of giving value to others.  Maintaining balance today in just giving value to others and to myself...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Who Am I?

I'm taking a bit of a break from my posts about my quilting to write some thoughts.  This is a bit of a stretch for me to bare my deep thoughts this much.  I usually feel that I can only do so after gaining the trust of someone.  However, my thoughts of recent weeks have been scattered and I feel like a hunter gathering lost arrows. 

Who am I? 

This morning as I was reading from the book The Mark of America , I pondered for quite awhile about one thought on p.101 about the symbolism of the word "crown".  This word is symbolic for the power that each of us has to gain knowledge for ourselves.  I wondered after reading, "When we listen to others, whether they are religious leaders or those to whom we look for wisdom, we have given away our 'crown'; or in other words they have taken it from us."

As I teenager, I like many went through my rebellion.  I grew up in a Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) home and when my parents couldn't reason with me there was an answer from them that I came to hate, "The Church says."

This to me brought up a cry for an answer that made sense to me.  I wanted to know "Who exactly is 'The Church'".  I never got that answer from my parents.  All they could do was try to persuade me into falling in line with whatever Church teaching they were wanting me to follow at the time.

I realized this morning as I read from the 666 book that I had wanted my own power.  As I grew into womanhood, I thought that my power had been taken by men.  I want my own power.  I realized upon reflection that most people do not have power within. I realized that assuming one's own power takes contemplation and for lack of a better word to describe it, work.  Spending time with oneself in contemplation takes a diligence I haven't yet mastered.  What I'm striving for is a balance in a world that is in gyration, not just from the rotation around its axis, but from mortals who are so out of touch with who they really are. 

From the 666 book, "An emotional stability, calm, and peace will radiate from within... each of us." 

I'm an observer of people.  I wonder how many of us have stability and calm and peace.  Often it is transitory, moment like snippets of time that we experience those emotions, and then like a thief in the night, they seem to flee from us. 

Why, I ask.

The answer is not simplistic, but one that requires the desire to maintain oneself amid the fluctuations and babbling of the world around us. 

Each day, I look forward to those moments alone with myself.  I realize that there is within myself a power that is more advanced than I am in my current mortal state--I just can't remember.  Sometimes though, I feel the cord that connects to her from my dream existence on this planet.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Short Trip

We spent many years in Moab, UT and we often return there for a visit.  We used to spend many Saturdays in the off season going to different spots just to watch the sunrise.  We did so on our trip.  These are taken from my iPhone.

 Before the sun comes up, north of Moab on the way to Dead Horse Point.

The sky slowly changes

Dead Horse Point was open because it is a State run park and the town was filled with visitors.  Arches was closed however because of the Government Shutdown.  We saw many motor homes parked near the road and I wondered why until we found a campground that stated that it was closed to camping.  My shot of the billboard was extremely fuzzy so I can't post that photo.

We decided to take a day and go into Durango which was one of our favorite day trips.  Found a couple of cute shots there before we returned to Moab.
That's how I felt on this trip, from the Poor House.  Didn't even go by the fabric store which is one of my favs, but I didn't want to be tempted.

We did see this odd sight in the middle of town.
The deer didn't seem at all scared.  It was almost as if they felt they belonged.  There must be a story to go with this photo.

We are now back home and I hope to get to the sewing machine today.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finally, a Post!

I've been so busy with stuff like this:
that I've hardly had any time at the sewing machine.  I feel like I'm going into overload.  I still have some peaches in the fridge that could be made into Peach Salsa which I tried this year for the first time and found that we really really love it!  Ron brought in some tomatoes last night, and I'm still trying to decide.  Eat the tomatoes or make salsa.  Right now we are hoping that tomorrow brings some kind of warm so that we can get some paint on the bare wood molding around the back door.  He's sanded it all down and we bought the paint for that and then the deck oil so that we can get that north door ready for our cold Utah winters.  The snow just seems to pile on that back porch!  Sometimes he gets it off and sometimes---well not quite!

I made deep fried chicken and then fried green tomatoes on night and we felt like we were in the South with all that Southern cooking.  Both of us remember chicken coated in flour and then fried in lots of grease for Sunday dinners.  Haven't fixed chicken like that in such a long while.  Kentucky Fried Chicken just can't compare.   And do you know, that the first Kentucky Fried Chicken sit down restaurant was in Utah?  In Salt Lake City even.  I remember going to it as a kid when the folks brought us to the big city--oh way back when!

I did get this quilt finished and sent off to my partner, Margaret in England.  It was supposed to be a quilt within a quilt.  I just couldn't think of how to make a quilt within a quilt so I just did a September quilt.

Margaret found the quilt within the quilt on the back!  (Oh am I ever lucky she's so resourceful!)
I tried just practicing some of my quilting learned last year so that I could still be in practice with it and with that said, it does take practice and I haven't.  But I did try!
Some closeups of the front:

I got Margaret's package from England today and it is just amazing.  It is truly a quilt within a quilt!
First for the quilt with

Her piecing is just perfect and I love the silk string the clothes line is made from and the quilting within that quilt.

Now for the bigger picture:
And a closeup of the trees:
And the way she made her label into a hanging sleeve:
This is just so much fun to receive!

Also received in today's mail was from a friend in Salt Lake City:
 the doily!  Isn't that a great one!  I would love to make this into a whole cloth quilt.  Has anyone had experience putting a doily on a quilt.  Been wanting to try that for awhile and now with this doily I'd like to do that and gift it back to her.