Friday, December 26, 2008

I Think I Have a Teenager

Because when I said " Oh, you look cute! Let me take your picture!" I got this. If he's anything like I was, I am in deep, deep trouble.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Little Girl Sewing

Sorry about the night time pictures- the top picture has two pale pink fleece lined coats. The fabric is an Amy Butler design. The bottom one is more my style- whack-o polka dots in multiple scales. I know the family better for that one, and know that the mom shares my color sensabilities. Sewing for little girls id FUN!!! Boys, well, not so much, and mine have long since passed into the land of jeans and sweatshirts. I think I will make more of these, but I may have to resort to giving them to charity, because I only know three toddler girls and they now all have a fleece lined jacket.

The kids are off school for two wonderful weeks. We are planning to do....nothing. Late sleeping, visits to the beach, some kind of nature/ hiking thing, and nothing else. Maybe up to the mountains for a snow day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Conversation

I had a conversation at work today that blew my mind. I was talking to a family member of a patient, and she recounted a- the medical error- medical error that now defined this patient's life. She was giving me comfort, as I hadn't been able to start an IV on this young man, and she said this:
" When the doctor called me, and told me what had happened, and I ran back to the hospital, well I saw that nurse who made the mistake, I saw her and I saw her tears, and I knew that this was all in G-d's hands. I went to her, and hugged her, and said I would pray for her. ANyone can make a mistake. Anyone. We just do the best we can."

I was touched beyond belief. I have chills thinking of it. I don't know if I could have shown the love and forgivness she had shown, but I hope I could have.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Well, I was just reading Bonnie's lament that she is in charge of all the Christmas decorating at her house, and dozens of commenters agreed. We don't decorate for Christmas. Firstly, we are not Christian, so it's not our holiday. There are Jewish holidays that people decorate, some, for, but nothing like what the Christians seem to do. In anycase, I don't decorate for any of the Jewish holidays that I could decorate for.

I don't think that this is because I don't enjoy holidays, because I do. But, decoration doesn't seem to add meaning for me. I keep the stuff the kids make, and try to remember to stick it to the walls during the appropriate season, but that is about it. I will have to check in with the kids in twenty years and see if they found their mother's lazy- faire ( snort) approach to be somehow lacking. I do like cooking or buying seasonal foods, like latkes and hamentacshen. I don't like even the idea of having boxes of stuff that I have to keep track of and haul in and out during the year.

I think much of this comes from a very conscious decision I made as a young adult, and that was to Not Freak Out About Every Little Thing. Those of you who know Me in real life know that I have a ways to go on this goal. But basically, I saw a lot of women in and out of my family spend a lot of emotion on making things just so. I see it with brides, I see it with young mothers, I see it ( a lot) with my own mother, and you know, it doesn't make the people around them happy. I would rather that my kids remember that we had lots of art supplies ( that they are allowed to use ) than that my house was clean enough to do emergency surgery in. I would rather my friends never worried about shoes on or shoes off when they come by, just so they come by. ( I am a nut about the use of coasters, but I married into that.) I hope that every day I improve in that regard.

I know that my exposure to death and suffering as a nurse has made me very aware that Stuff is not important. Stuff can be fun, entertaining, useful, or comforting, but at the end of the day it is you and your deity , and the people around you. Rich or poor, we all come here with the same thing and we all leave empty handed.

But Christmas cookies? That I am completely on board for. One hundred and ten percent for the seasonal baked goods. Pass the milk.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Amy Butler Bags

Two bags from the Birdie Sling pattern. I have trouble following pattern directions. I think it is because I think have better ideas! That said, this pattern was very worthy of the price of admission. The shape is lovely, and the bag is very nice to use. Big, but not too big. Easy to find things, but nothing falls out when I slam on the brakes and the bag tumbles off the front seat. I did not sew a dividing line down the middle of the large pocket, so it fits a knitting pattern very nicely.The first fabric is Marimekko, the second from IKEA. The lining is a sheet from IKEA- they are nice cotton fabric, and come in good colors. Very cheap, too. I just tear the hems off to square up the fabric, wash and dry hot, and press.

Thanks for the kind words on the quilt. I wasn't clear- I left the failed wave blocks out of the quilt. I used plain squares, instead. The failed blocks will show up again, of course. They are just filed away in my parts department, biding their time. I love the parts department.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kuaii Quilt

I sort of used Lisa Boyer's pattern, Little Honu. But, and I can't blame the pattern for this, I missed a few directions on the wave blocks and they came out more pineapple than wave- ish. I know, they were paper pieced, so how could I screw that up? Well, by not paper piecing, silly. I'm sure the directions are fine. I also made red turtles instead of green ones. Doh. I backed it with fleece ( polyester, not sheep) and did very little quilting to hold the whole thing together. Son one is pleased, and that's what matters. Not sure I have it in me to follow a pattern, no matter how much I admire the pattern.

I am in denial that school starts tomorrow. Not for me, for the kids, but then I am the one who gets them there. It has been a nice five days, that's what, and I am a little let down that real life starts again so soon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Turkeys Here, Just Move Along

Here are Sally and Lucy, happy I'm sure that they are pet chickens with names. When I got them, I wasn't much invested in the idea of pet livestock. I didn't envision harvesting them for meat, as that is a messy job and harder than it seems. ( I learnt this watching hunters clean game birds.) Now, I realize that if they were sick or hurt, I would find a chicken vet. If there is a chicken vet, that is, but I imagine there must be.

We are having Thanksgiving tomorrow, on Friday. This is what comes of high self esteem. Instead of working today, in the hospital, and running home to eat a lukewarm held over bird that had been solely prepared by Mr Woolly, while dealing with packs of children. (I know, there are only two, but you have never seen them on school holidays.), instead of this stressful tableau, we have opted for a Friday Thanksgiving. It's not a matter of the cards you get, it's how you play them.

Next week, my darling husband has final exams, and then he has a an entire month to relax and do home repairs. I for one am looking forward to it. He is looking forward to half of it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pillow Doll

Back, though I wonder if the bow was just a cop out.
Darling, ( if I do say so), needle felted foot. I like the way I connected the leg to the shoe, to make it all more stocking like.
With her even flatter sister. Inspired by this artist. I love, love, love her dolls- all made of felted wool.

On the knitting from, I am slogging through a Tomtem jacket, and a shawl. I also took a good look around the sewing machine and am clearing out some random unfinished projects. BUt, I am also working more lately, and it seems to be cuttting into the art time.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Chicken Coop Revealed!

Here's for my friend P, who I am slowly convincing to keep chooks. The upstairs is sleeping and egg production quarters. Under the shelf that holds the nest boxes is an open hole that has a ladder down to the eating and digging quarters. They let themselves down and that's where they spend their time when I am not home.

I had planned to move this around the yard, but really the yard is too tiny. If I could move it, then I would probably just leave the chips on the ground floor in place. As it is, once a week I shovel it out and spread those chips plus poo on my roses, who seem to like it. The majority of the manure seems to be produced at night, and that goes to a friend's compost.

In the evening when I am home, I let them out to roam the yard, so maybe four days a week they get time out of the coop. The advantage of letting them out in the evening is that when it is dark they put themselves to bed. I still need to figure some way to hang the water, as they sometimes dump it over. When that happens they do not lay the next day, and they look so pathetic drinking quickly and thirstily when I discover them.

Chickens are probably the easiest of the pets in cages I have kept. They have a lot of personality, or maybe I just had low expectations of them, what with the bird brain thing. Much more fun than a rat or a parakeet, and they lay eggs.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hello, Dollys

Inspiration left, woolly dolly right. I made a jacket out of the purple wool and so she is scraps. I needle felted the flower, and I might yet needle felt more design. Also her hair, which I am not sure of. I think I either need to make the head bigger or the hair smaller, or switch back to the fabric hair.

These little dolls are started to become a lovely doodle for me- a way to work in small scale and try things. I am somehow adverse to small quilts. I made a Hope quilt for the Alzheimer's initiative, and I came home to find a family member using it as a pot holder. ( Yes, this really happened, why do you ask?) It about summed up my own ambivalence for making small scale quilts. What, exactly, are they? How do I display them without putting a lot of holes in the wall? Where do they live? How do I store them? How is storing them in a box different from throwing them away?

Somehow dollys, while being clutter in their own right, are different. Perhaps it is because they represent the human form, the more sacred from of human, the baby. Maybe it's because I am accustomed to dolls doing nothing and being nothing- they are just dolls. You just look at their little faces, and smile at them, and put them in little groups.

Now, I know that there are doll haters out there. I had a childhood friend who's mother went to a great deal of trouble and expense to make a collection of dolls of the world for her daughter, starting in babyhood. They creeped my friend right out, to the point that she stood on a chair and turned them all to face the wall before she could fall asleep at night. She hated the little staring eyeballs. Yes, she did grow up to be a normal person, why do you ask?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dye Day- Cochineal

The first photo, being, of course, the "after" photo. The mordant- a chemical that you soak the wool in before putting it in the dye bath- was cream of tartar and alum. The cochineal- tiny little red bugs that live on cactus- were soaked and steeped for three days prior. We bought ours from Solvang Spinning and Weaving, in case you need some bugs, too. We were able to dye three pounds of wool with only four ounces of bugs, and the bugs seem to have plenty of dye left.

E and R dyed with me- it was a lovely day. I didn't look up mordant or method for cotton, so no fabric came out of this dye day. E did dye two silk scarves- the first came out deep crimson, the second, put in at the end, a pale rose. R was quite please with the new, over dyed color of the Lamb's Pride.

I have always thought that natural dyes were a PITA and not worth the extra step of mordanting. I am on record as saying that I. Was. Wrong. Cochineal is completely, totally worth it. The red is complicated and luminous. It is a blue toned red, which is what I prefer. I have to take another look at this.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I'm not much for house decorating, although I appreciate those that do. The seasons seem to move too fast for me to get decorations up and down in a timely fashion. I also am quite judgmental about those houses where they NEVER take down their Christmas lights. But plant eyeballs? Right up my alley. Bitter Betty tells us how.

Other wise, I am actually following a pattern for a quilt, from Modern Quilt Workshop
It is a book shelf quilt, where the books are strips of fabric. Here's a link, but I'm not sure it will work.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Well, Time Flies

Whether you are having fun or not. Most of the month has been fun. Some has not. Son two has had some school problems that seem to be sorted out. I have a new computer and can get back on the internet. I haven't got any pictures on it, yet, but my Technical Support Husband Unit has rescued the pictures off the old computer. The chickens are still laying and egg each, every day. Practical magic.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Fishy Happiness

This was my second original quilt. The fish are raw edge appliquéd, and I was able to cut four out of a quarter yard. Each fish has a block, four blocks are a section, and here we are at a king sized quilt. (Click on the picture for bigger.)

I think that this was the beginning of preferring scrap quilts. Of course, I had no scraps, so I had to go buy them, but one does what one can. I'd like to make another fish quilt, maybe playing with the arrangement so that the fish are swimming in streams of different colors. I think I'd ditch the border, too. This is my first, and last, mitered border. I'm more of a butt joiner. (snicker)

I can see that I was not afraid of color, even in the beginning, but I did stick with plausible colors- blue water, orange fish. I think it would be a much more interesting quilt with, oh, say, forty five more colors. What was your early original quilting like?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chickens on the Housetop

The center fabric is the chickens. I'm pretty pleased with this quilt. The bottom border, though, I don't think I'll do again. It is just a sawtooth, with the two inch strips in between- interestingly, though, it no longer has the sawtooth feel and instead has more of the look of an arrow. I am completely happy with the top border. That I will do again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quilted Words

It is the cock that crows, but the hen that lays the egg.

I didn't realize how much I missed pattern fabric until it came time to quilt. Then, flowers appeared. Ironically, I would not have quilted flowers on floral fabric. I think I like solids.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Blame Kay and Ann

of Mason Dixon Knitting, for this new obsession with dishcloth cotton. Above is the towel from their new book, below is the string bag I made up. I have four balls left of this stuff, from stash, and hopefully my fever will have cooled, by the time it is used up.

Otherwise, I am crabby. Not crabby in an enjoyable way, where I have constructed a mental fort underneath the card table or behind the sofa, but crabby in the unfun way, where I am startled at how irritable I am, and how much my children are getting on my nerves.

The dogs have a new toy, and it is excellent: a squeaker toy that they haven't been able to rip up. It is this one, the Kong Wubba.

Otherwise, I am knitting along.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Solid Colors, Again, and some shopping

New Pieces has moved to a new, huge location in Berkeley. They are closing out this thread, which my machine and I agree is nice, for one dollar.
Then there were some solid colors and a sale batik that also followed me home. Funny story: While I was shopping, there was another lady shopping. She was dressed to the nines, talking of trips to Asia and Europe to the sales lady, mentioning expensive retreats and classes she had taken. She bought a fat quarter, after much agonizing. I, on the other hand, in clothes that I had napped in......The owner was very nice. She enthused about the quilt top I had brought along, and about Gwen Marston, and apologized for the small amount of solids she had in stock. She was planning on rebuilding that section. It was a very nice visit. I may take a class there, but I don't know. I worry that the wrong teacher would be dispiriting, and a waste of money. Plus, a lot of quilters a re kind of mean about the free form stuff.
Here is the quilt layed out to baste. I am having trouble getting a decent photograph indoors. I'm not sure what I think of the bottom border- it was an experiment.
Here is the backing, and a view of the top border. I remember Gwen saying that if all the borders are the same, you only have to look at one of them. But if they are different....

Note to the new reader who wondered if I was aware that I spelled "Wierdos" wrong in my header. Well, yes, I noticed it the second or third day. But it is such a typical me kind of thing- the misspelling- and sort of weird, so I left it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Solid Colors

One of my favorite quilters and authors has put out a new book. You can buy it here. It is a small book, with color photographs on every page. I inhaled it when it arrived, and immediately got to quilting.

Here we see the very formal design process I use, with my faithful assistant:

Now we have the careful studied intermediate phase. Note than I cannot give up on having some prints in my solid colors quilt. Also, I have been feeling blue, and I hear that chicken quilts are good for that.
And here we are at the phase where I have run out of fabric, also known as nearing completion. It is only about fifty by fifty inches. I wanted it to be much bigger, but I don't know whether to keep doing the same thing, or to move on into a new idea on the edges. This portion could serve as a medallion, and I could just start with border after border. Not sure. That's ok, it's almost bedtime. I'll think about it in the morning.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My Little Dog

Here is little Annie, on the porch, with my very first quilt. She was a very odd little dog- already five or so when I got her and distrustful of many things. She was also very endearing, charming, feisty and sweet, but always on her own terms. She died two weeks ago, peacefully, while I held her. As inevitable as it was, I still miss her very much.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I like sugar

Especially sugar that involves bread. Edited to add the recipe:

Pull Apart Bread ( more of a method than a recipe, but it's how I do it.)

One loaf's worth of bread dough, prepared to the point of being ready to shape, or two cans of refrigerator biscuits My favorite is the King Arthur recipe .

One and one half cups brown sugar, mixed with one teaspoon cinnamon

one and one half sticks of butter, melted and cooled but still liquid

Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle the bottom with a tablespoon of the spiced brown sugar. Form the dough into small balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball, or cut each pre-made biscuit into quarters. Roll each dough ball into the melted butter and then the sugar. Continue in this way until the dough is used up. Pour the remaining butter over the balls of dough. Bake at 375 for about forty five minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then hold a plate over the top of the pan and turn the whole thing over so that the bread will un-mold onto the plate.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Dollys

Look who showed up! Isn't she lovely? I predict that she will have many sisters.
Here is her sweet doodle face. I drew quite a few, many more elaborate that this, but I found that I was most charmed by the simple drawn features.
Here are some of the quilt girls. I cracked under the pressure of all those naked foreheads and have been embroidering hair and some do dads on the babushkas and skirts.
Luckily, since I have not embroidered in years, I was able to re learn using my left hand instead of my poor right hand. If I am careful, I may eventally be able to learn to hand sew again.

Here they are, flung over a salvia that has turned shrub like. The sashing is red with pink dots. I am finding sewing the sashing to be really boring and slow. It has been a few days slog, and I have four girls left By contrast, I machine appliquéd all of the girls in only two days. I t makes me realize that my usual high speed piecing is about being completely entertained and absorbed. I think the sashing will be worth the trouble. If it is not, I am not taking it out. I am hoping to work in a series with these girls, because I love them so much. SO this first effort may not be the best one. They really are fun. The embroidery goes slowly, of course, because I am learning it in the other hand.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Polish Dolls

Yes, I know that the rest of the world thinks of these as Russian dolls, but they make them in Poland, too, and that's where ours come from. My Grandma brought them back from a trip she took there in the 1970's to look for relatives that might have survived WWII. There are a bunch of the dolls , and they nest, one inside of the other. We have a Father doll, too, but I haven't made him in fabric yet.. I will have to ask my mom how the name of the dolls is spelled in Polish- she's the last one who speaks or reads any Polish. Phonetically, it is ma- trush-ka, emphasis on the middle syllable.

ANYhooooo, are they not cute? I have to work on getting the faces rounder. If someone tells me how to post the pattern of the cut outs, I will, but I don't know how to do that, yet. I left the edge of the babushka ( scarf) raw so that it will fray in the wash. If I stirred myself to embroider, I could do the faces, but as you see I just used pigment markers. I machined appliquéd, as usual. It would be a fun pattern to embellish. I am using it as a scrap bag pattern.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Egg Day!

Well, we're very proud of our city chickens! Only one egg, so I'm not exactly sure who's the dud, but hopefully, tomorrow there will be two eggs. We shall see.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is this couch you speak of?

Look who got busted, being up on the couch! Cute, yes? I have a lovely week off work- I had planned to paint the kitchen, but the arthritis has other plans. I did put a little paint up on the wall, to see what I thought of the color. I think my days of doing my own painting are over. I only worked for about five or ten minutes, and I'm still icing my wrist. It's odd that that makes me sad, because I really never enjoyed painting. I enjoyed the results, though, and the cheap thrill it can be to put color on the walls. I guess I have to figure out how to hire a painter, as my husband doesn't know how and doesn't want to learn.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Not too bad from far off. (Scroll down a few posts to see the link to Tonya's fungly challenge.) I like how the half square triangles combine to make a bigger pattern of sorts. Of course, we kept it from being too consistent. My friend and I laid it out on my Design Floor. She ironed, I sewed. If you don't have a friend who finds ironing relaxing, I recommend you go get one. ( I also have a husband who can untangle yarn. Don't hate me.)
BUT close up, oh my. I have to say, when the call went out to work from ugly fabric, I thought to myself, self, we have no ugly fabric. We have fabric that is best used sparingly, or in really small pieces. Really small. The clock fabric...what was I thinking? Was it free? I don't remember. I bought the stained glass stuff at the LQS, just because other quilters were being mean to it. The daisies...hmmm. The strawberries, well, not so bad.
The frogs, well, my six year old has a pair of pants made out of that. I thought they were to be pajama pants, but they were so beloved that he wears them as pants. A lot. He's also agitating to own this quilt. At least he won't be able to wear it out of the house.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Darling

Oh yes, Mr Woolly, too, but hey he can talk on the phone. I'm not so far gone that I asked to talk to my sewing machine. She is beautiful, yes? 1956, a fine year to be born a Singer. The week before I left, my niece was visiting, and as she is a newly minted teenager, I tried to not always be walking into the sewing- err- guest room. That left me casting longing glances at the machine while either waking her up or making her turn out the light. Then, of course was the family reunion, which was better than I thought it might be but took me into a craft unfriendly zone. Hardly the kind of thing that one drags ones sewing machine too. In fact, I was in the same shopping center as both a fabric and a yarn store, and was not able to convince my family that even a five minute stop was do-able.

I cut some fabric and started working on Bonnie and Tonya's Fun plus Ugly quilt challenge. Perhaps I will manage a photo. Perhaps I will just go sit in the yarn store, and then lie on the couch. Nice to be home.

Remiss in my duties

(posted by Mr. Woolywoman)

Woolywoman returns today. She handed me the keys to the blog prior to leaving and requested that I guest post (except she took the camera). She has reportedly survived the trip intact and the visit was reasonably successful (no thanks to USAir - our new worst airline in the country surpassing Southwest Airlines which held that title for 10 years after trying to send our 8 month old infant to a different city than his parents on a return flight and then charging $200 to change the ticket and then threatening dad with arrest when he raised his voice - no obscenity - just a frustrated increase in volume. Whew, tried to get that all in there. Imagine what USAir had to do to beat that!), but our kids are not good travelers which surprises me since I have always been. It's not that the trip was ruined or anything, just that some of the more trying parts of their personality were more prominent; son #1 can be overly impulsive and son #2 can be overly rigid. Not really a good combination when those qualities are the strongest element especially with no moderating influence of a second parent (Woolywoman having to do all the parenting by herself), the inevitable grandparenting interference (the poor dears should never have to suffer criticism or discomfort), and unfamiliar territory.

There must be some fabric arts metaphor in there about some really good fabric with some stimulating undertones that should NOT be emphasized in the final product and a border that did not do the job of pulling it all together in a project where you are trying a new technique.

Give us your worst airline story in the comments. You know, the one that you can laugh at now or make a great story at a party, but was close to making you homicidal, suicidal, or both as it was happening.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Let me start by saying that I am uncomfortable even thinking about this family stuff, so it's amazing that I have the chops to write about it. I am a firm believer that childhood is just a time in life, not necessarily the one true best time in life. I am fortyish, and I have been an adult longer than I was a child. I am also blessed with a wonderful, fulfilling life, and I give myself some credit for having made it here, as well as some really good luck. So, onto the painful part: my family.

No, no, not my real family, not my husband and my boys and my friends and my friends who are like family and like that. The other family, the one I came from. My mom is having a family reunion next weekend, and I and the boys are flying cross country to go. We leave on a Friday and return on a Monday, and it took all my will power to go at all. They are all nice enough people, but they don't mean a lot to me. I was talking to my brother about this, and I realized it boiled down to two questions I wish I could ask.

For those of the generations older than me, I have this question:
"Remember when my dad walked out on my mom and she had to pretend to her boss that she was still married and she had to work full time and finish school full time and keep up the house and me and my brother were left a lone a lot and had to play by ourselves with the door locked and the curtains down so no one would know we were alone and no one was allowed to play with us anyway, because we came from the broken house? Remember how I had to wear a lot of hand me downs from my brother and how he was sick in the hospital a lot and when we left the milk out and it spoiled it was hard for my mom to buy more? Remember then? Where the hell were you?"

For those of my generation:
" You know how the economy of this state has been horrible for as long as anyone can remember, and it's really hard to keep a job or make a living and it's hot as hell in the summer and cold as hell in the winter and the sun doesn't shine for more than sixty days a year? Why are you still here? Are you stupid, or something?"

I suspect it would put a damper on the small talk, though, so how about those Tigers? ( Oh, wait, the sports teams are losers, too...)

edited to add: non of them knit, quilt, crochet, rubberstamp,scrapbook or anything else. No beaders, no sew-ers, nope, nope, nope. Grim. I should have DNA testing done...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun plus Ugly equals Fungly

Tonya and Bonnie has been on a secret giggle mission. They mixed their oddest combinations of fabrics in really big blocks just for the hell of it. Go see, I'll wait.

Ok, so the knitting world has been free of Knitting Police ever since, I think , Elizabeth Zimmerman. For those of you who who are not knitters and not quilters why the heck do you read my blog again? Oh, right because you love me. Any way, EZ was the knitter who told us all that we were smarter that we thought, that we could be the boss of our own knitting, and that there was no wrong way if we liked our results.. She was a genius for coming up with methods that served as a canvas for the individual's creativity, while still producing very wearable garments. Quilting doesn't have that.

Quilting has a stuffy, holier than thou, perhaps well meaning at one time but currently waaayyy over the line of civility vibe. There are lots and lots of people out there who feel perfectly justified in saying that there Is One True Way to make a quilt, and it's there way or the highway. They are not a subtle group of critics. These are people who will comment unfavorably on the color combination of the fabrics as I am buying the fabric. These are people who feel your binding ( the edge of the quilt) and say, shaking their head, that you need to put more batting, or less, or that your stitches are showing. Right while I'm standing there. These are mean people, and they are somehow deeply ingrained in the culture of quilting. This is the reason that I am not involved in a guild on a local level, and that I rarely take classes. I just don't need the crap, and there are a million reasons why the Quilt Police are wrong, not the least of which is it's mean!

Now, the whole world of quilting is not like this. Gwen Marston, Freddie Moran, Mary Lou Wiedeman, Mark Lipinski, Lisa Boyer,Tonya and Bonnie all spring to mind as kind voices in the quilt world. Good artists, too, and good quilt makers. These are the fellow artist who fill my cup, and I try to hang out with the good guys, at least virtually, as often as possible. And now, we have a new strike against The Quiltzillas: The fun plus Ugly quilt challange: Let the clashing begin!!

I have to wait until tomorrow to post a photo, as I am away from the home computer. That's ok, though, it will give you time to purchase some sunglasses. You're gonna need them!

Friday, August 01, 2008


My own little bit of spiderweb, making a corner square. Alison at SpinDyeKnit has waved a shawl pattern in front of me- I am helpless, of course, to resist. Fortunately, we have a guest and the swift is in the guest room. So I am slogging heroically on the hairy nightmare of a shawl, made in weird colors that I plan to over dye. I won't make the garment first, again. I'll dye the yarn and then make the garment, as this is so ugly that it is hard to work on. And, even though I have dyed yarn hundreds of times, I have nagging doubts that the shawl will still be ugly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back at it

THis my second, or maybe my third quilt. I came home from the Gee's Bend exhibit, put my feet up and drank a glass of water. Then I got in the car and drove to the fabric store, and found this flannel. The Gee's Benders used corduroy, and my fabric store didn't have any. I didn't own a ruler or mat for cutting, yet, so I tore the strips. I think I looked at the knitted version in Mason Dixon Knitting, too. It's not often that I can pinpoint exactly when I went over the deep end into a new pursuit, but that exhibit, and this quilt, mark my jump over the cliff EXACTLY.

Knitting was more insidious- just a few baby sweaters for the second baby, a little something to pass the time on bedrest. Fourteen Rubbermaid tubs of yarn later, I realized that this was not a phase. It crept up on me, one skein at a time. Sort of like knitting itself- all those tiny stitches, one after another, and suddenly, or not so suddenly, I am staring at a sweater, a shawl, a sock.

Well, this is where the summary of those two thoughts go, but I don't have one. Leave a comment if you can tell me what it all means. I have to go to work tomorrow, and in a weird way, I am looking forward to it.