Friday, 27 October 2006

Quilting for art or comfort

I was listening to a podcast of "Driven to Quilt" today and I became very much caught up in a self-discussion of one of the topics as it is one that I consider often - how much quilting is the right amount of quilting for a project and how does my personal opinion fit in to what is currently quilting PC?

"Nadine Ruggles from DreamWeaver's Quilts is your hostess for the fun and informative Driven to Quilt Podcast every other week. "
Driven to Quilt Podcast:

Anyway, I think that the great proliferation of LA quilters, at home quilting systems and the pressure to have your quilts machine quilted to within a half inch of their life has resulted in beautiful stitch work but very un-cozy quilts.

I really do admire how very prettily the quilting dances across a quilt, very perfectly swirling and careening across the patchwork (oh is there patchwork there?). It is amazingly intricate and often beautiful but for my personal satisfaction there is a disconnect between the quilt and the finished quilted item. (I know I addressed this in a previous blog but it still is on my mind).

I understand the zealous toppers and piecers wanting to have finished goods to show for their creative passionate efforts, and I understand that there is a whole industry that can be dedicated to anti-procrastination tied in with this creative passion, and that people rightfully express their artistic talents as well as earn a living to eat or buy fabric from using these wonderful quilting systems.

What makes me feel a little saddened is seeing beautiful quilts that are not cuddly-cozy (yes Nadine!) when I want my quilts to give a cuddly-cozy well-loved feeling to those who find themselves tucked in or under them. I want to wrap people not walls.

So, is there some degree of difference between art and functionality? Should there be such classifying or generalization about the finished pieces? Why do we choose to heavily quilt or lightly quilt - or did we make a choice?

I do not know that there are real answers but certainly the points are good fodder for discussion with, not only other quilters but also with our friends, family and art aficionados.

For me, it may take me a while to get them done, and there may be a fistful of unquilted space occasionally, but I really feel complete when I own the whole process. I machine quilt and I hand quilt. I have done art pieces with extremely tight stippling, and other quilts with hand quilting outlining the piecing of my blocks. Would they benefit from more quilting, maybe, maybe not; but these are my quilts.

Monday, 23 October 2006

living by the lists

This is "Toony" the sock monkey. He was pretty near the top of my list of stuff to make for special people. My nephew Tyler is such a sweetheart - he has sock monkey pajamas and did not have a sock monkey! Can you imagine....? Anyway, in my quest to right as many wrongs one can while wielding needle and thread, I decided this summer that Tyler was going to get a sock monkey this fall, no matter how busy I was, he was moving to the top of the list.

And the lists of which I speak, are the lists that kept me sane all my life, keep me insane in my life, count my blessings and carry me through the day, week, month and year.

A list of some my current lists (definately not in any order of priority):

-What I need to accomplish at work today, expanded version includes what I need to accomplish at work within the next 3 days, and slightly related is the list of what I want to accomplish at work within the next 6 months

-My list of what I need to do when I get up in the morning that is not on my "A M Autopilot flight plan"

-my list of wines to try

-books to read

-messages on my answering machine

-resolutions for the New Year (which I reread many times over the new year to increase the possibilities of success, overall I am pretty good about being reasonable and facing challenges)

-priorities to attend to in my life for the next few weeks


-projects I want to start

-things that are going to cost me more money than what is in my change purse

-groceries to buy

-commitments I have made to friends

-jobs around the house

-plants I have growing in my garden and plants I wish were growing in my garden

-things I want to make for the special people in my life (friends and family)

-people I want to send Christmas cards to, and people who send me Christmas cards

-birthdays and anniversaries which are upcoming and past

-people I need to call or write (just to tell them I miss them)

-items I would like to purchase as gifts for my friends and family, related to the list of items I have purchased for them

-bills to pay

-sayings I have heard and want to remember

-websites to check


One very important past list was "THE LIST" my husband asked me to make very early in our married life, this was to be a list of anything I would ever want to have. He set himself to getting me everything on that list (That man makes me feel more loved than I can imagine any woman could ever feel). Somewhere about 1987 I wanted a microwave oven. This was a real topic of debate because it was not on "THE LIST". He actually saved the piece of paper that "THE LIST" was written on so he could keep track. I pointed out that microwave ovens had not even been heard of when I made that list so it should be considered a fair addendum. So we got the microwave. He lets me add stuff all the time now.

And the little lists..., all those little lists of sanity. When I was at home with little kids, lots of housework, broke, and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the vastness of responsibilities that I had in my life - I needed to count every action as a "win", every little success had to help me keep my head above water. I made lots of little lists about the tiny things I needed to do, the laundry, wash the dishes, sort the socks, dust, sweep the floor - I needed to validate that those endless, mindless, thankless household tasks were part of a path to success. The success of making it through a day, putting a meal on the table, navigating through the minutiae of life as a SAHM. It feels so good to cross things of the list and with great inner satisfaction I stroked a line through all the little tasks of life - DONE (and done is pretty close to perfect for me).

Friday, 13 October 2006

More Colour

This is my favourite storage piece. I love to see all the colours. I keep all fabric pieces that are smaller than a metre but larger than the scrap boxes in the separate sections. All, except my special collections (Orientals, Africans, novelties, 30's, landscapes, luminosity, paisleys)...

Oh look, 2 sections of green and the blue is filled tight. Purples.. I keep using them up so I never seem to have very much on hand!

(Historical note: This was rescued from DFIL's garage where he had stored nuts and bolts for 20+ years, previous to that it was a display unit at a hardware store. I always coveted it for this very purpose. When it became available DH helped me by scraping 40 years of crud off so I could paint it white and store all my bits and pieces. I coveted this before I even had a stash to put in it. I have a few more display units, in my studio, being used for storage and workspace with similarly interesting histories.)

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Snow and colours

It makes me smile so much. S N O W. I love the flakes, the frost, the shades of white, the endless ways to warm up.. wine, sweaters, quilts, cuddles, fireplace, tea, hot chocolate, kisses from my honey. I love the quiet, the veil. I love to see the way its whiteness silhouettes my environment, I can really see what frameworks surround me.

okay. it may have been just a few flakes, a quick white-out and a mere frosting on the lawn but there is the promise of more ahead.....

I might have to add white to my list of favourite colours.

I love green, anything is wonderful when it is green - there are innumerable shades of green everywhere. I love blue, the sky can exhilerate me for hours. Purple - no rational reason but I have always loved purple, from way back in 197? and right on through till forever.

What makes all this colour so alive? Looking at them with the contrast of white or black.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

How does my time go?

Ok another night and no further along on the 2 priority sewing projects. I need to finish up the RR, the perfect border fabric is great (thanks Maria). I wanted to add some celtic knots or vines so I am back to the original problem of the right green. It is monochrome. It looks great. I don't want to throw it off.
I feel sad but I may negotiate its completion by appliquing more of the shamrocks in the centre. That is my compromise to tardiness.
So many nights I have sat down commited to finishing that piece and moving it on - then the green debate starts and I cannot answer truly if I win or lose that one.
And so... Better touch base with the family email address (not too much personal there), then that whole yahoo address I use in public (filled with 800 spam), then check the groups photos - love to linger there.
Oh yes - now that I am blogging occasionally I have to stop in on some of my fave blogspots - - - where did this last 30 minutes go, I still mean to check the updates for Corrie, and while enroute, must stop and look at news items. Yes - now the new items sources...
What was I planning to do tonight - quilt??
What about H? Got to get a fix of H (Horatio) and Peter. I also need my news fix with Peter.
So- there I am 9 PM to 2 AM.
I did really also have the Tuesday night Bag Ladies over and we basted a quilt, I rolled the skein of beautiful hand-dyed wool into 2 balls, visited for over an hour with my honey, baked Pumpkin squares for the Bake Sale tomorrow and put on a load of laundry --- and now-- still not in bed but letting this string unroll through my keyboard....
Why do I feel I did not get the best out of this time???