Archive for October, 2006

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Ohio Star

October 30, 2006

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I made this little tablerunner back in 1995. It’s the second quilt project that I could call finished. It is hand pieced and hand quilted of cottons. The edges are finished “pillowcase style”.

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I kept it on our dining room table for many years, until someone spilled soy sauce on it…

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Little Drawers

October 27, 2006

When I was a kid my older sister had this wonderful desk. It was similar to a roll-top desk but it didn’t roll, it folded. It was a very old desk made of walnut, I believe, with turned legs. The top would fold up to reveal the writing surface and all of these little cubby-holes and drawers across the top. I loved to sit and explore all of those little cubbies and drawers. I don’t remember what items were in those pigeonholes, I just remember that the fact that they were in those spaces made them precious treasures.

While I was in college I loved going to the library and going to the card catalog. Remember card catalogs? They were banks of little drawers full of a different kind of treasure; the names and locations of books! I would slide the drawers open and shut. I can still imagine the feel and sound of the drawer sliding, wood on wood. The names of the books inside were that more precious because they were in a special little drawer.

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Little drawers still hold that fascination for me. I have created my own bank of little drawers on my sewing table. Stacks of little plastic drawers from Sterilite. They don’t have the warmth and quality of the wooden drawers. But the treasures stored in those drawers are more precious because they are in little drawers; beads, buttons, ribbons, lace and found treasures of all kinds. I still love to sit and explore all of the treasures, contained inside, made more precious just because they are in a little drawer. Some things I’ll just never grow out of.

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Shimmering Waters

October 25, 2006

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Shimmering Waters is a small quilted pice that I made in 2005 and is one one my favorite pieces that I have done using a traditional pattern in a contemporary fashion. The finished size is 12″ x 12″. I played with the initial pattern, enlarging and reducing it and overlaying it. Then I filled in the spaces with different values. The fabrics are all  commercial cottons.

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For the quilting I experimented with McTavishing, a freehand meandering procedure. This quilt was finished before I got my longarm so it was quilted on my Husqvarna sewing machine. I finished it up by highlighting some of the quilting lines with beads.

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Deb, the Librarian

October 23, 2006

Last Saturday was my guild’s monthly meeting. I played librarian at the meeting because our regular librarian was riding in a rodeo (a rodeo-riding librarian- only in Texas!) I had always thought that I would like being a librarian and I did enjoy it. But I learned that maybe I wouldn’t make a very good librarian. The problem is I would have all the books set aside for myself and there would be no books left for the patrons!

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During a slow period while playing librarian I was browsing through the books and found an interesting one I had not seen, Making Antique Quilts by Rita Weiss. I checked it out to myself and set it to the side. Wouldn’t you know it, not more than 5 minutes later a woman walked up and started looking through the books.

“Do you know,” she asked, “are there any books on antique quilts here?”

“Gr-r-r-r,” I thought to myself. “I already checked it out! She can check it out next month!”

But, no, that’s not what a good librarian would do. I reached over, picked it up and handed it to her. “Is this what you had in mind?”

Yes, I’m probably better off not being Deb, the librarian.

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Lone Star

October 22, 2006

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Debra’s Lone Star is finished and in the mail! Here are a few more shots that I don’t think I have shared with you yet.

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Pumpkins

October 19, 2006

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It’s pumpkin time!! Even though it still feels like summer here in Texas, I pulled out the pumpkin quilt for the front door today. It is a fairly small quilt at only 12″ x 18″.

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The pumpkin at the far right is stuffed so it is in relief.

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The blocks between the pumpkins are make up of 4 Maple Leaf patches. The squares in the centers of the leaves are only 1/2″ square. I love piecing itty-bitty little pieces!

Enjoy fall!

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What Season are You?

October 17, 2006
You Belong in Spring
Optimistic, lively, and almost always happy with the world…You can truly appreciate the blooming nature of spring.Whether you’re planting flowers or dyeing Easter eggs, spring is definitely your season!

What Season Are You?

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More Lone Star

October 16, 2006

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This shield in the corner of the Lone Star was Debra’s idea. I think it works great here. But I’d like to get some opinions about it. There will be one shield in each of the four corners of the Lone Star. There is a thumbnail picture of the quilt in my sidebar. Now, what do you think, if the quilt were hanging on the wall as you were looking at it, would all of the shields be right side up? Or would the two top ones be right side up with the two bottom ones upside down? Or something else? I’d love to hear what you think.

I planned to show more photos but Blogger is not cooperating. Maybe next time.

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Lone Star Progress

October 14, 2006

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I thought you might like to see the progress on Debra’s Lone star.

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We decided on Continuous Curves for the stars.

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And in the border I am doing this pattern, I believe it is called Coffee Bean.

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A Lightbulb Moment

October 13, 2006

I had a lightbulb moment yesterday. You know, that moment when the lightbulb goes on in your head and you say, “Oh, I get it!” It is a lightbulb that I’m afraid should have been turned on many, many years ago.

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While I was in college, I took a class for realistic drawing. I enjoyed the class a lot. I found drawing to be very calming and relaxing- almost hypnotic. And I felt that my drawings were fairly successful. Mr. Drawing Professor did not share my asssessment of my drawings, however. “You drawings are technically perfect,” he said, “but they don’t ‘speak’ to me.” So, gradewise, I did not do well in the class and he never would hang any of my drawings in the class shows. I have puzzled for years over just what it was that he meant since he could explain it no better than “they don’t speak to me”.

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Just down the hall from the drawing studio was the weaving studio. It was in this studio that I truly was in heaven. I loved weaving. I didn’t find it relaxing, but invigorating. I wanted to try all of the colors, all of the different weights of fibers. I wanted to mix them all with wire, with plastic strips, with what ever I could find to see what happened to them. My work came out in all kinds of shapes and sizes, 2-D and 3-D. Ms Weaving Professor was thrilled with the work I did, so I did well in that class.

It wasn’t until yesterday that the lightbulb came on as to why my weaving was so much more successful than my drawing. I read a quote from Robert Frost about creative writing and it went like this:

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.
No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.

Isn’t that awesome? In the drawing studio I was taking no risks. I was not experimenting, I was not learning, I was not struggling, I was not developing. I was safely doing the things that I had been taught to do with a pencil and pushing it no further. I was not putting anything of myself in to the drawings and it clearly showed to Mr. Drawing Professor.

However in the weaving studio I poured my self into it. I tried new things. I experimented with vague ideas in my head until they became reality. I struggled. I pushed. There were tears when things didn’t work out the way I wanted. And there were surprises when something happened that I didn’t expect. It was much harder but it was all pure joy for me. And Ms Weaving Professor saw it all.

I am so glad that I finally am coming to an understanding of what Mr. Drawing Professor meant when he said my drawings didn’t speak to him. I have finally learned something from that experience and can move on and apply it.

I love lightbulb moments!