Friday, October 30, 2015

A quick "thank you"

Dear Judy Martin,

Your inclusion of Peace Quilt 1 onto your Pinterest account page called "Postage Stamp Quilts (Exceptional Ones" totally made my year.  I am honored you liked it enough to add it to those other lovely quilts you admire.  The description you gave the collection was equally groovy:

"I love a Postage Stamp Quilt! Traditionally, these were made with patches the size of a postage stamp, and that's the way I like them! I especially love a Postage Stamp quilt with hundreds or thousands of different fabrics and some pattern besides the scrap squares. I'm making one now."

I am doubly honored that you also liked my Reading Rainbow quilt, and added that one to another of your Pinterest pages.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for that Titanic-sized boost of confidence.  Good luck with your own postage stamp quilt endeavor - I am looking forward to seeing it in all of its glory in the future.

Again, MANY thanks for the tremendous compliment of my work.

Best regards,

Beth Waldon

Already a better day

There are over 40 pieces in place - nearly fifty, even - and much more sun to work with today, so I am going to "get jiggy wiff it"...I hope.

However, my son brought to me another several sets of jeans requiring mending.  Those will need to be done toot sweet to get them off of my pile of needful things, and out the door with him when he and his girlfriend move into their own place!  So, some of my free time will be given over to three sets of jeans.  Boo!  I feel it's a worthwhile loss of time on the quilt (if there can be such a thing), but it's still a setback.

Ah, well.  Let's get back to a little more searching and placing before I need to step away from it for a bit.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What is it good for?

Today is a Thursday.
Another day in the week.
Another week in another month out of the year.
Another year coming to a close.

October is spent and just limping to a close.  It's a cold, blustery, inevitable end, covered in leaf-strewn yards, bare trees, nearly dormant plants, and chimneys puffing madly at the approaching November chill.  Soon enough, crates of pumpkins at the supermarket will be replaced by red kettles and bell ringers.  The smell of Thanksgiving diners will be overtaken by the aroma of pine trees and baking cookies.  New Year celebrations will give way to school kids wistfully dreaming of the end to the school year, while parents long for a more tangible mid-winter break.

Me, I simply see the day as a way to spend several stolen hours either FMQing or - since it's mostly sunny - trying to finish up G2.  Hey, there are only 75 inches or so to find.  LOL

Of course, there is a trip to the bank, some cleaning to get knee deep in to, jobs to search for and apply to, and undone yardwork to attack.  Decisions, decisions.

A semi-sunny Thursday...what is it good for?

What will you do today?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happiness. Happiness. Happiness.

G1 completed within the last twenty-four hours, and 24 inches are in place on G2. [happy sigh]

Sweet dreams in this little one-inch-square corner of the world.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oh, bother and dagnabit!

This photo shows where I began this morning, but not where I ended up.  Three niggly pieces stand in my way.  THREE.  Wasting a couple of precious daylight hours on a couple of things completely unrelated to this happiness is what kept me from meeting my goal, too.  Darn.

And tomorrow will be a total drag since I will not be able to finish this up as I would like to.  Darn, darn, darn.

What are you working on?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why so much cleaning?

To put it simply, if your workspace looked like this, and you had gone from a color palette of golden browns and ooshy-colored oranges, tinged with green under- or overtones, to lightest smokey lavenders and baby-to-sky blues, you'd have to make room and find the bottoms of your piles, too.

I've been amassing and putting aside particular bits and pieces, swaths of perfect background material for quite a while (well over two years), and now I am getting the chance to use them!  Wheeeeee.  Unfortunately, that means clearing space and shifting piles - and finding the stuff my dreams were made of.  [groan]

The palette board is going through a huge change, and I have very nearly collected and stored most of the unnecessary inches.  All of that (now-no-longer-needed) meticulously cut material will have to go somewhere a bit more permanent, but for now I am only concentrating on forward motion.  I began assembling the layout of G1 in earnest, but have taken some time to also (smartly) sort and clean along the way.

Who knows.  Maybe I will get everything back to a state of very little confusion and piles of perfection (as when I began this whole undertaking)...but even I wouldn't hold my breath.  Happiness is knowing most of everything I will need is down in that area somewhere.  LOL

One smart thing I did do was move my machine out of the work space and to another location entirely.  There is now quick access to more of the table for cutting and sorting, and the machine doesn't require a clearing off when it's time to sit and sew.  Also, I won't be turning on four bulbs overhead for three hours at a time whilst I stitch the 100-piece blocks together.  That should become a bit of a $aving$ factor from my wallet to the power company, and in costs for replacement bulbs.  We shall see.

For now, G1 is better than one-third complete, and I am tickled to be so close to the halfway point.

What are you working on?

Monday, October 19, 2015

I think it's time

Time to invest in the experimentation portion of VS thread painting.

My little postage stamp monster will have a two-fold thread/quilting finish - each step to be completed at different points during the quiltmaking process.  Even though there is progress in the piecing, I am feeling  a need to 'color outside the lines' a bit.  Just to do something a little different...beyond the routine and monotony.

Now is the perfect time to investigate whether my idea for accomplishing a brushstroke-effect is possible using a method I've not encountered before - either in print or in person.  I'll let you know how it goes.

In the meanwhile, here's a neat image of the goings on today.  Pinning and sewing rows E and F together.  Don't you just love it!?

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Mop that sweat off your brows...I've OOHHH-ficially moved on to RowG!

[cue the marching band and acrobats]

Sadly - it will have to wait until tomorrow.  :v(
Today will be taken up entirely by working in 'that dreadful place'.

What quilty happiness are you creating today?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Eight more to go

However, the lighting has become hideous, so I am finished for the day.

Tomorrow will see this block - and row - at an end!

Holy moly

Whoop-eeee! Seventeen to go.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Down to a scant twenty-one missing inches for F11.3.

Picture Snoopy dancing over his food dish.  That'd be me right now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happiness comes in small bites

UPDATE: 12:29PM -
Currently at 101 in place, missing twenty-nine.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
We begin the day with only 35 missing inches.

"Only?" I hear you questioning.

Yes, "only" - and here's why.  Remember, I am at the last block and one-third of the row.  All the rows are comprised of eleven full blocks, and a final three full columns of ten pieces.  One-hundred-thirty pieces to finish the row; and way back when I began assembling these as one whole block instead of the normal 100-piece block...and then the last thirty pieces.  It's just more expeditious (sometimes).

Anyhow, I am thrilled to have located and placed several more at the end of the day yesterday.  I am filled with hopefulness and cheek, and have decided I am finishing this row TODAY!

What are you slaving over?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Using my 'free time' without guilt

Heading down to my little sewing hole and licking some emotional wounds.  In the meanwhile, I will find and place more of F11.3, and hope to get within the strike-zone of assembling it today or tomorrow.  RowG has been mocking me mercilessly forever.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In the 'Notfernuthin' category

Have you ever had a moment when you felt as though what you did actually meant something?  I mean, "meant something to someone else other than yourself?"  Not just to your friends and family (who we all know love us, but say things to make us feel better) - but we understand their admiration and compliments are maybe not representative of the general population.  Oh, it's appreciated - and well-intentioned, sure - but a little, shall we say... 'suspect' in its objectivity?

That sounded a tidbit harsh (- sorry), but I want to remain unflinchingly honest here.

If you are a creator of some sort, and you put time and energy and creative juices into something, and it comes out at least as well as you planned for it to, you admittedly enjoy receiving positive comments (of some nature) from those who encounter it.  Right?  Let's face it, even though we should be creating for the sake of making ourselves happy, we like the adulation from others to validate the whole thing. [feeling others nodding vigorously in agreement]

So, when I say I like to know that something I make (or do) has a meaning or purpose, or finds a thumb's-up from another person, I am decidedly pleased and do feel completely validated.

Case in point:
For the second time this year, something I have made (or am in the process of making) has been featured in a very public way before a group of like-minded creators (quilters).  When I found one of my photos of an unstitched blocks from VGS as the banner image for an online group, I was astounded.  At least the administrator for the group said she "admires" my design work.

Earlier in the year, she posted another image from my current crazy quilt project as the banner image.  That one she said was "exquisite", and that it added "class" to the group.  The whole of the group is not the least bit effusive, so it garnered not much n the way of comments, but I was pleased that it should be given so prominent a position by someone - and to receive unsolicited praise.

The fact is that she chose to look through my work of her own accord and select some of it to lead with, well... it meant something.

[happy sigh]

Friday, October 9, 2015

Over the hurdle and past the bend

Happily, happily, happily I have cruised past the halfway point of F11.3.  Currently the block is missing a 'mere' 47 inches!

Yes, I know - I am excited, too.

That's still a lot to have to find, but I am happy at the progress.  No, really.  REALLY.
I am.  I promise.  There hasn't been much time dedicated to working on it (as I would like), so my thought is that for the time that has been afforded, it's not too shabby.

My desire is to get RowG underway as soon as possible. But I suppose that is always the desire after the seventh or eighth block of every row.  Yellows are nearly a thing of the past (thankfully), and pretty soon oranges will be a once-in-awhile thing, too.  Can't tell you what a blessing that will be.

Been thinking of creating a much larger layout board to put future blocks together on.  The forward thinking seems to spur me on and work a little freer, especially when I run across a wealth of certain colors that are perfect for one section or another.  Perhaps allowing myself the fun (read: "luxury") of assembling a block in totally far-flung colors (compared to a current area) might be a boon - instead of always making little piles for 'later'.  I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a try, eh?

What are you working on?

Only managed to place five more measly pieces before turning off the lights for the night.  Sadly, I found myself swapping more than placing new - and all due to the lighting.  I may be in for a sorry shock tomorrow, when I find I don't like what I've rearranged.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As for F11.3

I haven't worked on it over the last two days, but I did scout out several more colors for the shadows I am currently trying to piece together . . . and for the multitude of shadowy pieces to come.  I didn't score a very large haul of necessary delicious bits, but I did find (perhaps) enough to get me through this painful portion.

So it's off to the salt mines I go.  There's a little feeling of justification in my decision to burn a little daylight today.  There are 2.5 pounds of seared country pork ribs becoming dinner in the slow cooker, and a second load of laundry churning - so as to keep me from feeling too lazy.

The block is currently half there - exactly half!  I am buoyed by this revelation, but hardly satisfied.

What are you working on?

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Sixty-one down, sixty-nine to go.

But who's counting?

Progress on 11.3

Fifty-one of one-hundred-thirty pieces are in place.  I should be happy, I know, but it's a drop in the bucket.   It feels like a drop in the bucket.

I really want to move on to the next row.

I really want to be working with the coming new color-ways - the tortured texture of the skin and the lovely soft tones of the background.

I need to be away from the yellows and oranges which have consumed so much time and effort.  The yellows and oranges that have become muddied and greened; smudged and grotesque.  It too closely resembles an emotional state for me.  Somehow it mimics a mental reflection of loss - mostly from this summer, but also of my life over the past several years.  I want to run from it.

Run and run and never look back.

But, I know if I walk away from this block for the time being and focus on a new start, I will find it even harder to return at a later date to finish; to drive the final nail into its 'coffin'.  Somehow, I need to find more pleasure in the completion than pain in slogging through it.

Fifty-one down, seventy-nine to go.  Happy thoughts from any of you would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

F10 done!

F11.3 is still in the layout process...but that is to be expected - I mean, it is 130 pieces.

As of last night (10/2), I had thirty inches in place, so I really only have one hundred more to find.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Oh, geez. Wrong direction

Last night I ended my search for completing F10 relatively early, mostly because my foot was a-hurtin', and partially because the light was hampering things.

Then there's the whole aspect of: I began to remove (and replace) pieces I wasn't 100% happy with, causing the count to climb to nine missing pieces - up from seven.  WTHeck?!

Today, I am back on track (for the most part), and have redeemed myself with 'counter-insanity' measures.
Here is an image of the melee.  On the bottom left is F10 with those four missing inches (evident by the white spots), and to the top right you see the beginnings of F11.3.

Bottom right you can see I clearly have not made myself clean up and adjust the color palette by much - this is making the process move more slowly than necessary.

For those of you looking for my crazy quilting items, please go to

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Grammar lesson (yes, in regards to quilting)

One thing I have been pondering lately are the words "quilting" versus "quiltmaking".

I saw that someone had read the entry entitled "I think, therefore I quilt", and thought to myself how wrong that seemed.  I began to realize what I actually meant (and should have written) was, "I think, therefore I am a quiltmaker".

For those of you who don't make quilts (either at all or on a regular basis) you may not think there is a difference, but believe me when I tell you that there is.  There really is.

A quiltmaker is exactly that - a maker of quilts.  I am a top-to-bottom sort of quiltmaker...from beginning to end.  I cut and piece the top; I sandwich the top with batting and the backing; I quilt and then bind the piece, and regularly add a sleeve, too.

I take part in every aspect of the quilt creation.  
I make quilts, I don't simply piece the top and get the backing together then hand it off to someone else for the quilting portion.  

I am a quiltmaker.

I am also a quilter.  I quilt my quilts, and I quilt other people's quilts as well.  That is to say, I do that decorative/utilitarian/very necessary stitching you see all over the quilt.  You know, that stitching that keeps the layers together and embellishes the quilt piecing.  Yeah, that 'stuff'.  I quilt.  

But make no mistake.  Quilting and quiltmaking are two different things.  Quilting is an act of quiltmaking - a very important piece of the quiltmaking process - but it is still just one component of the overall activity which is quiltmaking.  

Do you see the difference now?  Can you get behind the theory and the practice?  Good.  I knew that you could.  It's a very big distinction, don't you agree?

So when someone tells you they are a quilter, you can feel free to ask them if they quilt for themselves or if they quilt for others, as well.  Otherwise, you could (if you were so inclined) feel free to press the point by letting them know they are, in fact, a 'quiltmaker' of the very highest order - and not simply a 'quilter'.  A very good thing indeed.

Oh, and before I forget, I am seven inches away from completing F10.  Seven inches of torture, but I will persevere.  ;v)  What have you been working on lately?