Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Working class

Working.  Labor.  I'm lucky to be doing something that I enjoy so thoroughly and that lets the right side of my brain take a turn.  For over 55 years of my life, I functioned with the left side very dominant, and that's a good thing.  People want their docs to be left brained/exacting/knowledgeable/pragmatic.  So I happily worked with women in their labors for over 20 years and loved every minute of it.

However, people want their longarm quilters to be just the opposite: artistic/tuned in/appreciative of the appeal in each quilt and able to enhance the quilter's often lengthy labor of piecing it all together.  They want someone who can see beyond the blocks and bring something unique to the quilting.  And that's where "class" comes in.  I get to be the person who brings the quilt to life, complementing the piecer's efforts and color scheme and patterns.  I get to have a go at giving each quilt something special, so that it's in a class by itself -- if not to the world, then to the quilter. 

This quilt was a labor of love.  Every day that I went to my lurkim and worked on it, I felt happy to see it.  Phyllis McK did me the honor of asking me to quilt this beauty for her.  I loved the color scheme!  I never think to use black in my quilts, which is a serious shortcoming on my part, because it makes the palette stunning!

So I did continuous curve in the cream spaces of the blocks and a wonderful orange skin pattern for the solid blocks.  Click on this picture to see it magnified for greater detail.

The borders were just at the top and bottom of the quilt -- a nice touch.  I put in tailored piano keys there, and voila!  The quilt just sang!  And my customer was very happy with the end result.  Me too.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I have a honey-do list a mile long.  That's because for six months out of the year, honey isn't home on weekends -- at least, not so as you'd notice.  He races go carts, an expensive avocation in terms of time.  In terms of money, too, come to think of it.  But that's not the issue.

When we moved here three years ago, alot of junk was "stored" in our garage.  You know what I mean -- all the stuff that I didn't instantly KNOW where it was supposed to go.  Add to that all the stuff that DH believes he needs to accumulate "just in case...", and you have an overwhelming pile of extraneous material that couldn't possibly be necessary for life on Earth.  Everyone said that we would NEVER get it cleaned out, but this fall DH admitted that he was unmotivated unless I was riding herd on him, so I decided to dedicate every single weekend to this task once the races were over.

Silly me!  The blasted races are NEVER over!!!  However, DH's participation in them is -- until the garage is clean.  At the rate we're going, he'll be 70 before he can go racing again...  No, don't feel sorry for him.  It's his choice:  clean it up and go back to racing -- or NOT.

After working all day one weekend, this was the sum total of the clearing out process.  There were eight mounts all told that found their way up on one of the walls in the garage, and I have to say that they look pretty neat up there.

Today I built two cabinets for tools and supplies.  They go under a huge, 16 foot long workbench that DH built a few weekends ago.  We also now have a four foot path from the bench to the door of the house -- a major undertaking!  Meanwhile, DH built some shelves of his own, put up long fluorescent lights above workspaces and attached cords with multiple outlets to the fronts of two more work benches. 

I also found the time this week to finish a quilt for one of my guild friends.  Vanessa G brought me a crispy clean looking springlike quilt made from 30's fabric, and I quilted it with a pantograph of feathers and flowers in the middle and put stippling around the applique in the borders.  To enlarge this picture, just click on it, and you will see the details better.  I can just see this pretty thing in a light filled room with white wicker and pastel hooked rugs.

And now off to the showers.  What a productive day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Catching up

 Do you remember wearing corduroy when you were little?  How it seemed just the right amount of warmth on those crispy fall days?  Well, I came across some corduroy pants in a catalog the other day, and they were in all sorts of colors!  So I bought my favorite -- teal.  However, I have a problem with my measurements.  Besides being queen size, I am also relatively tall, and the 29" inseam measurements of most "store-bought'n" pants are just a scant bit too short.  So I bought the tall size.  They sat on my dresser for weeks, waiting for the sewing bug to hit, but I was taking a hiatus that lasted almost two months. 

Then, finally, last weekend, I dug them out and hemmed them -- just in time for a visit with my inlaws!  And, of course, if you are wearing teal pants, you must have a coordinating top, so I dug out the catalog and got a light teal top to go with them.  Woo hoo!  I'm beginning to feel like I'm in the fashion throes of adult Garanimals! 

On the other hand, this little bit of sewing finally got me spurred on to finishing some of my longstanding and longsuffering projects.  This quilt is called Americana by me, but is called Betsy Ross Sampler by McCall's Quilting (August, 2003).  It was waiting for its outer border, which is now on! 

Although it's hard to see, the beige border is muted writing of the words to the Declaration of Independence.  I have four customer quilts to finish, and then I can quilt this little beauty.