Wednesday, February 20, 2008

quiltyness baskets

Nonsense title, I know. Here they are from the book I love (Collabarative Quilting) I had a great class with Freddy Moran last week- the rumors are true: she is writting another book with Gwen Marston. This is the quilt we were making:No surprise, I'm having a wee little bit of a problem with following a pattern, and so I think my girls are going to go in a row by row setting, where there is a row of one kind of block followed by a row of another kind of block. I have been free piecing fruits and vegetables to that end.

The class was a revelation for me, and not just because I've never taken a quilting class before. Quilters are not like knitters. Quilters need jello shots, in a bad way. People kept say, seriously, that this was really hard for them, not because they didn't have great skills, but because it was all too free, too bright, too much color.
"should we use a quarter inch seam ?"
"If you want to"
you'd have thought that Ms Moran had advised that they eat a raw chicken.

I was getting along pretty nice with one quilter who was seated at the same power strip ( another difference: knitters rarely need to plug anything in.) and it was going great until she felt the need to witness her faith, at which point I remembered that I should not get friendly with people wearing massive crucifixes around their necks. They are mostly not ironic about the Jesus guy. MMmmm, good times for the agnostic Jew.

After that cheerful exchange I pretty much stuck to my sewing. I got a lot of blocks done, comparatively, and Miss Elna 1958 behaved herself. I wish I could gush over the shop it was held in, but I can't so I won't. Still have the class with Ms Moan and Ms Marston to look forward to next month. I'll be bringing jello shots, but I'll probably have to eat them all myself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cool Shoes

Did your high school have cool kids who laced their shoes in a particular way? Mine did, and even if I could have figured it out ( and Lord knows, I spent enough time staring floorwards) I would have never dared to encroach on cool territory. Ahh, but today I went to Piedmont Fabrics and they had shoelaces made of vintage kimono fabric. And, I have google to teach me cool tricks- who knew there were sites devoted to shoe laces?

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Pace of Things

It is significantly more challenging to blog about quilting than knitting and spinning. All of the craft blogging is more difficult than nurse blogging. Other than needing to let nurse stories age a bit, and change names and details, their is a nurse story for every day that I work.

Anyone who ever listened to two or more nurse, firefighters, paramedics, cops, EMTs, anyone who helps people weather they want to be helped or not- if you have ever been in a room with two or more of us folks, you have heard stories. It used to bother me, as a holier than thou young nurse how the veterans had stories that they told, and the obvious enjoyment of hashing over old patients, old times, old procedures. I had this image that as a nurse, I became a vault for all that I saw and heard and did and felt, and all that my patients did to me or to themselves. After about a week, I was full up. I slipped a little, and started to listen into other nurses talk. The best don't talk much, and never say anything where a patient or loved one could hear them. The best also don't practice one up man ship of the you think your patient was crazy, honey, mine was crazier type.

But we do talk. More about what our patients made us feel, than about the patients themselves. We are too frail a vessel to hold all of that in, and we are patients, too, under the surface. Every young woman we see with cancer- well, there's no reason she has it, and there's no reason we might not be next. Every car crash, every random shooting, every meningitis, every twisted ankle, we nurse could be next. And we know it. So, we talk, we tell stories. I have a Hawaiian fried who calls it "talking story" and that really resonates with me. Telling stories is a basic human need, and I'm not ashamed of it anymore. It may be why we came up with language in the first place.

But I was going to write about quilting, and how slow it seems compared to knitting. I read an article lately that referred to ten quilts a years as "cranking them out". Really- only ten? Well, they are rather big, you know, a lot of them. I'm still a quilts for beds maker, reasoning that even the ugliest quilt is still a serviceable bed cover. I know art quilters make smaller quilts. I'm in between baby booms at the present, without much scope for crib quilts at the moment.

I made my first quilt in 2006. I think it was in the fall, but I'm not really sure. That was nine quilts ago, and I'm getting more productive and not less. At some point, they may endanger the foundation of the house, by sheer weight alone.