Tuesday, May 17, 2022

CAMP is a Baby Word

Convenience culture seduces us into imagining that we might find room for everything important by eliminating only life’s tedious tasks. But it’s a lie. You have to choose a few things, sacrifice everything else, and deal with the inevitable sense of loss that results.
~Oliver Burkeman in Four Thousand Weeks

Quilting


So many things have happened here. Many have been long expected though long delayed. At first I simply stopped blogging but still kept mindlessly sewing Coins in the evenings. They were a good way to meditate. I made more than I planned; the stack was enormous. Then I injured my arm. Physical therapy is almost done so I am turning the comments on again although typing is still hard. I may not answer everything. Sorry.

Our niece is expecting. The adorable wallpaper/mural for the room has a row of  stylized deer, fox, bear, and rabbit so I chose these colors. Then discussed words with my sister: Wild, Free, Camp, Hunt... Wild and free sounds great together but not so good individually. I wouldn't want anyone to think the baby was either free for the taking or a wild one.

CAMP baby quilt

There are quite a few browns in my stash but I had to work to soften them.

And the binding was supposed to be the dark green on the left. However, the brown on the bottom looks so much better. I can't tell you how long that piece has been in my stash. I had to buy it but could never find a home for it. Who'd have thought it could be a binding?

Two binding choices for CAMP baby quilt


The back is mostly two greens: a half yard and a yard. Of course, that wasn't quite wide enough so the dark brown print makes a good inset.

Back of CAMP baby quilt

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Metler tan cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Perhaps because I'm from Texas, I read about Admiral McRaven's address to the 2014 graduating class at UT. Here are his ten suggestions in a short book starting with the admonition to make your bed well every day. 

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Hidden Message Baby Quilt

In stripping time of its illusions, in seeking to find out what is the heart of the day, we come to the quality of the moment, and drop the duration altogether. It is the depth at which we live and not at all the surface extension that imports.
~Emerson

Quilt


It's not a hidden message if you're a Razorback fan like my son. WPS stands for Woo Pig Sooie, the chant used by fans at sporting events. The original suggestion was WPS! but once I realized OOIE created its own quadrant, it made perfect sense to add that to the fourth block instead of an exclamation point. 

These are the same fabrics as the two previous Arkansas baby quilts because I calmed myself by sewing long columns this winter. Now they need to be sewn into something. And the same fabrics accepted fugitive dye when they were first washed... even with color catchers. 

WPSooie baby quilt

The back is another half yard of pig fabric from my sister. She goes hog-wild when I ask for her help. ;-)
And the red and white is the last of that yardage from her stash. 

Back of WPSooie baby quilt

The binding was supposed to be red but my remaining bits didn't look right. Then I pulled some black and white prints. Most were too strong but this funky print with large-scale telephone poles and wires worked very well. Since it languished in my stash for several years, I'm delighted to find the perfect place to use it... and use it up.

Detail of WPSooie baby quilt, folded

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi explains another side of American history - how racism persists through the years. He notes that every group of humans contains good and bad, diligent and lazy, smart and dull. And then he explains the moving targets set up by racism that keep people from obtaining equality. It seems to me that the most pernicious idea is that Blacks need to improve themselves to become worthy.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Baby Word for Arkansas Fans

The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.
~Julia Child

Quilting


Of course a second Arkansas baby quilt is needed. Have you noticed how frequently friends do things together? From sports, to schools, to buying houses, and having babies. This is not exactly a word but it toots the University of Arkansas. 

UARK baby quilt

The background fabric is Kona Snow and Red. Over the years I've found several pig fabrics of my own that have white backgrounds so they are in both white letters. 

Details of UARK baby quilt

The back is another half yard of pigs from my sister, this time on green. The quilt is a bit wider than a WOF so I added black and white fabrics from my stash above, below, and on each side. The binding is another black and white remnant. Each time I think there will be nothing left in my stash but good stuff still appears. However, I hope to be able to shop in person soon.

Back of UARK baby quilt

It's good to be able to continue making a few baby quilts even with all the events going on here. I sewed scraps into Coin columns this winter and now try to find ways to incorporate them when possible.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Things are going slower than ever for me. When these scraps are gone, I'm not sure what I will do. My arm hurts using any tools - quilting, cooking, gardening, or cleaning. Not that I will miss cleaning.  ;-) The specialist sees me this week. 

Reading


Critical care doctor Daniela Lamas wrote You Can Stop Humming Now to highlight the results of our choices. Some patients don't survive an emergency but others do. Some of those return to their previous lives while others... don't. Their lives are altered in small or extremely large ways. What kinds of rehabilitation is required? What modifications? A thoughtful read as we age.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Monday, March 14, 2022

Happy Pi Day 2022

It's strange that one of the definitions of "empty" is: to remove from what holds or encloses. And one of its definitions of the word 'freedom" is: not bound or confined or detained by force.
~Dorothy Gilman

Happy Pi Day! Every year more and more schools and companies celebrate this odd little holiday. Two friends told me their companies started this year with free pizzas and pie for lunch.

Here are the circles I finished this year. Most are one I worked on last year. At least they are now done.

The Wheel quilt is on the guest bed...

Wheel quilt

while Shadow Star is the summer quilt on our bed.

Shadow Star quilt

There are a few circles in the improv String Tulip quilt, too.

String Tulip 3 quilt 

The only other circles are the Os in some baby word quilts and they don't look much like circles.  Nevertheless, here are LOVE

LOVE baby quilt

HOPE

HOPE baby quilt

and HOGS.

HOGS baby quilt

This year is so upended I have no plans for future work. Just sewing when time permits. Stay safe and have fun today.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

How is HOGS a Baby Word?

See the light in others, and treat them as if that is all you see.
~Wayne Dyer

Quilting


Just one letter change and it’s a whole new quilt. This one for the baby of a University of Arkansas graduate {and friend of one son.} Lucky me. These are all easy letters so everything can be rotary cut.

Cardinal red and white are their colors and Razorback {feral hog} is their mascot. All of these were red and white fabrics but something ran in the wash. Funny how only a couple of the whites picked up a pink cast. I washed it four times {including twice with colorfast bleach} but they stubbornly remain  tinted. 

Arkansas HOGS baby quilt

The border is a stripe purchased a few years ago. I thought it would be the binding but it worked perfectly here.

Lots of hogs on the back. My sister sent this half yard when she found it on vacation. It was supposed to be the border but didn’t look right. The red and white print is yardage I commandeered from her, too. She purchased a couple of yards for backing but when I told her how perfect it would be, she graciously allowed me to take it. I need to find something special for her in return.

Back of HOGS baby quilt

Now the binding is leftover red strips. They were the right widths and easily available.



Quilt Specifics
Size: 46" x 46"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Mountain Mist Cream Rose cotton batting
Thread: Superior 50 wt white cotton thread
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

Over the past few months I’ve read three “bookshop” books, generally a light and easy genre: a woman buys or inherits an old bookstore and finds love with a new life. Definitely escapist since we know how few bookstores exist these days when even the large box retailers struggle. Nevertheless…


In Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan after being laid off as a web designer, Clay starts working the night shift at this store and notices how odd the books are and how the few customers come in regularly to borrow very obscure books. He decides to investigate along with some code writing friends. I enjoyed the San Francisco/tech company setting. A male protagonist and not a love story.


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs is also set in San Francisco. Natalie inherits her mother's struggling store as well as the care of her elderly grandfather. She finds amazing items inside.


Jenny Colgan’s The Christmas Bookshop finds Carmen trying to rehabilitate an ancient Edinburgh shop whose owner really doesn’t want to sell his merchandise. 

Physical therapy takes much of my days so quilting is even slower.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

HUGS is a Baby Word

Remember that art is about being interested, not about being interesting.
~Julia Cameron

Quilting


Apple pie without some cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze. Although that saying was in my grandmother's Betty Crocker cookbook, I never put cheese on apple pie. However, my family never gives a kiss without a hug. How could I make a kiss quilt without a hugs one, too?

HUGS baby quilt

With my excellent analytical skills I chose to make quilts with difficult words first. Haha. The letters in this one are all vertical/horizontal. So much easier to sew than V, A, R, and K. Why didn't I think of that earlier? OTOH, I have less time these days so perhaps it's better to sew easier letters right now. 

Partially completed spiral quilting

This one went together like a piece of cake. I used the same spiral quilting because... why not? It's a natural plan for me now, looks good, and required no decisions or marking.

Detail of letter G on HUGS baby quilt

If you read my posts regularly, you may recall the backing. It's some of the leftovers from a skirt I made last summer out of some old Kaffe Fassett yardage. 

The binding is a beautiful coral with arrows. Not that you can see them. I liked it so much I purchased the fabric twice. Shesh! And it's sat in my stash ever since. 

Binding, back and spiral quilting on HUGS baby quilt

Now it has a home where it will wrap a baby in hugs. 

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Metler cotton thread in pink
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading


How have I missed this author until now? The Guncle by Steven Rowley is well-written and engaging. Actor Patrick lives/hides in Palm Springs. When a series of tragedies strike his family, he becomes the temporary guardian of his young niece and nephew. In helping them cope with their losses, Patrick begins to face his own. An insightful story that is both warm and funny.  

And... he's written other books that I'm adding to my list.

Gee’s Bend Quilts

Improvisational quilts are stylish these days and few are more recognized than the Gee’s Bend quilts made by many generations of Black women in Alabama. Most of the makers still live in poverty. The proceeds of their quilts usually go to the purchasers and almost everyone feels free to evoke the name for their personal use. Now Gee’s Bend quilters have an Etsy shop. Read the article here.
 
Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

KISS is a Baby Word

It is the cardinal difference between gift and commodity exchange that a gift established a feeling-bond between two people.
~Lewis Hyde

Quilting


Here's another word used for babies. Don't we all want to kiss and cuddle them! 

While there's not much free time here, it soothes me to sew random strings together. Working a few minutes at a time, sometimes only a few minutes a week, I've finished a pile of string sets in a variety of colors. Making the letters takes more effort though. The K took some thought; it was made on New Year's. The other letters ares easier to make with tiny bits of time. 

As I run out of one print, I can usually find some more in similar values in the stash... or not. But the solids are a different story. There's never many of them in my purchases. With both yellow and pink used up, there's only this tan left. It actually looks good here. Maybe. 

Fortunately there was enough peach for most of the border. It just needed some cornerstones.

KISS baby quilt

After four years, my quilt (gardening) gloves are peeling at the fingertips. I treated myself to a new pair this week. These will never be used in the yard. They grip fabric well and last so much longer than any marked just for quilting... at about a quarter of the price. 



New gardening gloves for quilting

What else but spiral quilting. I do like the way it looks. It's easy to stop and start once the tight center is done. 

Detail of letter K on KISS baby quilt

The back took a yard and a quarter of this gorgeous print. Somehow it reminds me of those 1960s Peter Max designs. That's all of it and it needed just a bit more for the width. Hello, green. Always nice to find a remnant in the scrap bag. 

Back of KISS baby quilt

The binding came from the binding scrap box. It's a mishmash of most of the blues there.

Binding, back, and spiral quilting on KISS baby quilt

This one is staying here for a bit but I'm sure it will be needed soon. It will be nice to have one quilt waiting in the wings for a change. 

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: Coin or String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Aurifil cotton thread in blue
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading

I read and enjoyed Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax series over the years but never realized she wrote a memoir about her time in Nova Scotia. A New Kind of Country begins with the purchase of an old house on ten acres. She discusses her {long past} divorce, the contrast with suburban America, and learning to live quietly and simply. After that I read her first adult novel, An Uncertain Voyage, about a woman asked to deliver a book to Majorca by an American spy. Many of the same themes were there although the novel hasn’t aged as well as her autobiography.

Dorothy herself passed away in 2012 from complications of Alzheimer’s but her last book was published in 2020.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Goodbye to Dutchman's Puzzle

It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.
~unknown

Quilting


Things move in fits and starts here. A couple of events have been postponed so I may be out longer than I originally planned. As time permits I'll try to post here but still have the comments off. Sorry.

One of my great-aunts made this Dutchman's Puzzle quilt top. I always loved the Dutch blue polished cotton counterpane blocks and saw it every day because my mother used it as a table topper by the reading chair just outside my room. 

I'm not sure who caused the red stain on the side but admit I laid my scissors on it until I poked a hole in one of the blue blocks.

As we got ready to move I checked it carefully. Although it's not visible in this photo, many of the triangles are shredding. 

Dutchman's Puzzle quilt top circa 1930

I called my sister, took photos, and donated it. Perhaps someone will find something to do with it.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 81" x 81"
Design: Dutchman's Puzzle top
Made by one of my Great-Aunts 
Year: ~1930s

Reading

The Music Shop has been on my list for a while and I finally took the time to read it. Rachel Joyce has an eye for misfits and a deep joy in discovering the best of us when we work together. On Unity Street a group of misfits and outsiders find common ground when the woman in the green coat faints outside Frank's record store where he uses music as therapy for his customers. 

The storyline is good but the way Rachel weaves her knowledge of composers and musicians into the story elevates it to a captivating tale.

Enjoy the day, Ann








Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021 Quilt Review

If the only prayer you ever say is, "Thank you," that will be enough.
~Eckhart Toile

Quilting Review 2021


Personal matters still occupy most of my attention but there was time this weekend to pull this post together. I'm not doing anything new but I occasionally read some of your posts. They are welcome reminders! Hopefully I will be back by summer. We'll see.

Staying home again this year gave me the time to finish several long term projects. DH is delighted his Giants baseball quilt was finished in time for the playoffs. What fun to watch the games under it.

SF Giants baseball quilt

And the back... because you might forget what Giants fans we are. ;-) Two-sided quilts more than double the fun. I've made a few but need to figure out how to make more.

SF Giants baseball quilt back

What a delight to see the Shadow Star quilt  on our bed {where the applique shows up nicely}

Shadow Star quilt

and the Wheel quilt in the guest room. 

Wheel quilt

I quilted the baseball quilt on my domestic machine {hey, it's smaller} but sent the two behemoths to my friend, Peg Collins. What beautiful work she does.

The rest of the year focused on clearing my excessive stash by making  kawandi placemats and baby quilts. 

Kawandi placemat

As usual there were several styles of baby quilts. When I get a new idea I like to reprise it. Small changes help me explore the usually easy designs. It's a way of slowing down even when I make several during the year.

This time, there were Hatchets

Hatchet 4 quilt in blue

and Hourglasses

Red and yellow Hourglass quilt

and Crosses

Cross quilt 3

and more Scrappy Trips/ Postage Stamp quilts

Scrappy Trip in green

and Strings

String Tulip 3 quilt

along with  new style. Is it Coins or Strings or simply a scrap quilt?

LOVE baby quilt

Reading


Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a joyfully meditative series of reflections on the natural world blending her Potawatomi heritage with her botany degree. In addition to looking at plants with scientific tools and questions, she also acknowledges them as our oldest teachers. There is much to consider in this book, not the least is viewing the abundance of nature as a gift to be treasured and reciprocated rather than a resource to be collected and hoarded. It's an excellent example of why we need to listen to multiple viewpoints.

Wishing us all a safer and more constructive world in 2022.

Enjoy the day, Ann

Friday, November 12, 2021

Taking a Break

Many things need attention now so I will be stepping back from my blog for a while. Hopefully there will be time to read some of your posts. Enjoy the holidays ahead. I wish you lots of time with your beloved families and friends, as well as time to quilt, read, or whatever keeps you engaged. Stay safe. 

Ann

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I Hope This is the Start of the Baby Words Series of Baby Quilts

Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before.
~Rachel Joyce

Quilting


Since this is the third baby quilt with a four letter word, it must mean a new series has begun. The Coins will make words suitable for babies... even if they are  FLWs {four-letter-words.} I wrote down several then used an online Scrabble dictionary to find others. {There were amazingly few appropriate ones in the that dictionary.} Now ideas come day and night. 

My DIL highlighted the ones she thought her friends would prefer and I've {sort of} prioritized them. Of course sometimes a word will pop to the top of the list depending on who the quilt is for. 

This is HOPE as a top...

HOPE baby quilt top

and again when it's finished. 

HOPE baby quilt

The border is supposed to make it a bit larger and set off the words better. Not sure if this version succeeds with the second task. With solids running low, two were combined to frame the center. {It does look better in person.}

The quilting is a spiral.... again. I enjoy this {now} easy design although sewing and watching the circling sometimes makes me dizzy.  I'm also using up all the thread that's been hanging around for years. There's no selvedge on thread so no way to know how old they are. This time I used two partial spools of pink. 

Detail of letter P, spiral quilting,
and binding of HOPE baby quilt

The back contains a reef print. Is is sea fern? I'm not sure, but the colors are quiet and the fabric was on sale. To make it wide enough I inserted an ombre remnant from my sister and, since that remnant wasn't wide enough either, I added a small scrap of pink in the center. 

Back of HOPE baby quilt

The background solids each use about a fat quarter. I purchased them for this quilt since there is none in my stash {Hallelujah!}  It's obvious I'm out of those soft pastels of the previous two quilts because the prints are mid-range values. Some more fabric, both solid and printed, will be required soon if I keep up this series. I see shopping in my future.

HOPE baby quilt, folded

As soon as the last thread was buried and the quilt washed and dried, it was off to my DIL's house for a friend of theirs.

Quilt Specifics
Size: 45" x 45"
Design: String quilt
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Premium Natural Cotton
Thread: Aurifil and Metler cotton thread in pink
Quilting: Spiral with walking foot
Approximate yardage: 5.5 yds

Reading


Stories like Becky Chambers' are creating a new genre - Hopepunk {like Steampunk.} Her first was intriguing and engaging; each subsequent novel has been better as her talents strengthen. Although most consider her a science fiction author, A Psalm for the Wild-Built has no aliens, weapons, or space travel at all. Instead, Becky's populated a world with humans who realize they are destroying it. As their robots gain sentience, they {the robots} put down their tools and head into the wilderness never to be seen again. Two hundred years later a tea monk encounters a robot who asks him, "What do people need?" 

This is an insightful and thoughtful book as the two characters begin to learn from the other. Hopefully it is the start of a long series, too. 

Enjoy the day, Ann