Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Avoid Getting Dressed

I know this is a funny title but think about it, don't you put off doing somethings because you have more engaging things to do? Like, for example, reading others' blogs and then being so sparked by what you've read that you just have to put it into words. I think that reading other's blogs does alot for me. It kindles memories of similar things in my life. For this I am very grateful as there are some interesting things about living that we all share in common.

I have been encouraged by friends to show some of my quilts here so I will be putting something together over the next week or so for you enjoyment (I hope). Having just retired I am finding myself again and reconnecting with those things that make me go and feel alive. Quilting is one of them and I think blogging has taken its place there as well.

Let's see, I have been quilting for about 15 years. That seems like a lot of years but it only feels like yesterday to me. The biggest change over those years has been the fabric. It has moved away from calicos to much more vibrant and exuberant colors and patterns. I like this as I've been drawn to that palette from the beginning. I remember seeing the first art quilt and I knew, I knew beyond anything else, that this was a place I wanted to go. I was drawn to fabrics by designers like Nancy Crow, quilt designers like Rachel Kinsey Clark. I took one of her classes and was so jazzed by it I could hardly calm down. I was sizzling inside by what she taught and the joy of putting fabrics together.

Like most quilters, I have spent much time building "Stash". Its the medium we work in and you just never know when you might need that wonderful, outrageous piece you found in Iowa while on a trip and don't forget that while some people collect memories by buying trinkets, quilters buy fabric. It actually doesn't take up near the space that some of those "trinkets" do and it always has a utilitarian aspect that shouldn't be forgotten.

Then there are those fabrics that we collect as pets. We take them out, stroke them, unfold them, crinkle, fondle and ponder what we will do with them. I had a number of them which, when we moved, found their way to my daughter's mom group. Lovely women with not so much money, but wonderful children and creativity that needed feeding. So Corinne (daughter) came over and together we went through my stash and I succeeded in parting with 6 storage cases of fiber. They were all delighted and so was I. I think my husband Dave was also relieved to have a few less boxes of fabric to move. I felt good because I was doing something for others that they really enjoyed as well.

So, fast forward to our new house, 267 miles away from anything familiar, all our friends and family left behind, and no one we knew waiting for us. Since Dave isn't nearly as social as I am I had a lot of adjusting to do. I love people, their vitality, their friendship and just chatting with them, always looking for that common thread. You know, even 267 miles from anything familiar I found common threads. But I think one of the biggest blessings of all is finding a group of women who share quilting in common, aging and a general delight in life.

I am going to add a photo at this point of the quilt I started fall, 2007, right after we moved here and finished this fall 2008. It's hanging in the spot I had in mind for it and does what I hoped it would, which is hang there and look beautiful, IMHO.

All the leaves that are on the body of the quilt are fused there, each one was buttonhole stitched by hand and then the whole quilt was machine quilted with echo quilting. I loved picking out all the fabrics, and I think I bought all new fabric for this one as it was my first quilt in the new home. It took much longer to finish than planned but that's another whole story for another time. It is interesting to me how much it made our house feel more like home.


meggie said...

So agree with you about the stash. The pets, the favourites, the fabrics that are just too lovlely to cut!
I love your quilt on the wall, love those colours.
My stash is threatening to overcome me, so I must get sewing again!

Rose Lefebvre said...

I love this quilt! I noticed the other day in the registration area of Roger Rook bldg. that they hung a very large sculptural painting above the computer area which looks similar to your quilt!!

Roxie said...

Splendid! You ARE an artist, you know!. Applique frightens me, but you make it look sooo good.

Pet stash. Yep, knitters have that, too. That cone of silk laceweight that I'll never use but won't get rid of because I love it so much, or the hand-dyed wool, . . .

And when I try to shrink the stash, my inner magpie discovers some awesome deal on something bright and pretty, or my inner three-year-old is charmed by something pink. I'm down to about a hundred and fifty pounds of yarn, now, and only three locations. But then Joanne's had a fabric sale and the yardage stash mushroomed.

You might enjoy visiting knitonequilttwo. She lives in Bend and makes some lovely quilts.

Ann said...

I love that you have fabric you bought it Iowa! And I have that fabric from Colorado, Kansas, Missouri....

Love the quilts!

Cloth, Yarn and Life said...

Thank you Ann for your kind encouragement. It is really fun to collect goodies as you go around the country.
Enjoyed your blog, hope your 9 day quilting retreat is productive and lots of fun!