The promised update on the results of my project4now experiment follows, but first a photo of the completed project is in order.
Now then, as a reminder, I decided to challenge myself by using different materials and assembly methods in this project. Those challenge-experiments are presented here with results noted in italics. Continue reading →
In my over 3 years of blogging, I have never, ever, been nominated for any type of ‘blogging’ award. I figured because I am WP.org (self-hosted) rather than WP.com (WP hosted) that my chances for those sorts of things were stacked against me. So be it.
Often when I am stalled out creatively, unable to work on my main music or writing projects for whatever reason, or stressed out in the midst of life’s issues, I’ll dig through my fabric bins and baskets. The rooting about itself often gives artistic satisfaction and aesthetic relief in the form of color and design eye candy.
As I mentioned in a prior post, I needed a creative outlet during the ‘four weeks here’ part of my new Dad-visitation routine. Something to pursue requiring less focus than my Swimming with Swans related endeavors. This lead me to begin work on the pre-printed quilt block fabric whole-cloth throw I’ve had in mind to do for quite some time. Continue reading →
please, enjoy the music while you read the following, I promise it is related to the main thrust of this blog post…and since there are several guitar solos, well, you don’t really need to watch the lyrics up on the screen
Okay, so I’ve been starting and stopping in the writing of several blog posts.
I need to feed the blog, yes, but I gotta say my focus has been a bit wonky since returning from my five weeks visiting Dad. I started to write about that in a post entitled “Spider Webs, Jacob’s Ladder and Losing the Strand” but could only get so far when I’d lose the strand…(to befinished and posted at a later date).
Then on to a relatively easy Shoutout about the great Maestro Ricardo (and my friend) receiving a prestigious award at the annual GFA Convention in Denver, held just one week after I left. I wanted to attend, but those plans got trumped (don’t know if I like that term anymore…) with the Dad-card. No regrets at all, but it does leave the “Shoutout: In Honor of the Maestro Ricardo” in the queue to be sent sometime whenever I can do a final edit on it…again, the focus thing is the limiting factor here. It may never get finished and sent out since it’s more (out)dated news.
I discovered early on that I didn’t have the energy required to return to my current Swimming with Swans projects. This of course lead to frustration because I needed something to do in the realm of creating while navigating this new pattern of four weeks here and two weeks there; along with the emotional stuff that goes along with end-of-life and long distance elder care.
So I picked up the needle…that phrase is loaded, eh? I first mentioned this phrase in my post “The Rusty Quilter” that describes my history and re-introduction to quilting and fiber art.
Whole-cloth quilt top basted and ready for straight stitch machine-quilting
That said, I began in earnest my new ‘now’ project totally unrelated to anything other than as a pleasurable creative outlet: the whole-cloth quilted throw; which will be discussed in greater depth in yet another WIP blog post, as yet unnamed.
During today’s immersion in some straight line machine quilting, I listened to an Amazon Prime Classic Rock Song List.
When ZZ Tops’ tune, The Sharped Dressed Man came on full blast in my earphones and into my brain, I remembered my Jo-Jo and his new obsession with dressing snappy for work.
Joe Lilly is the Sharp Dressed Man
Here’s Joe in his Tuesday morning duds, posing in the dining room of my folks’ house, with the telltale cleaning supplies and messiness in the background. One of the fantastic things I got to do while visiting Dad was to make dinner for our kids. Some of Ma’s cooking stuff is still in the kitchen and so I was able to throw together some makeshift family favorites.
Since Joe still lives in the Denver area, he purposely carved out time to stop by after work and/or pick me up for doing fun stuff together during ‘down times’.
One such outing was going to his gig at the Oriental Theatre. Actually, my sorella-amica Lisa and I went to see our sons* at this wonderful venue. Like most musicians, he’s in several bands/ensembles. This one, Heavy Medicine**, added a horn section recently, of which Joe is their main sax-guy.
The Sharp Dressed Man with his Heavy Medicine Bandmates playing the Oriental Theatre, Denver, CO 6/2016
Me and my son – the sharp dressed man
Lots more of this mother-son stuff is in the future with each trip back to visit Dad.
Oh and on the marquee behind us is the name Leon Russell, significant in that another blog post in the queue needing to be finished is called, “The Buena Vista Social Club, Leon Russell and Dad”.
Surrounded by Introducing Fractal Geometry and May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude, Julia Cameron’s The Sound of Paper sits amongst an elite stash of books which grace the backside of my desk work surface. Picking it up, I opened its pages to where I last placed a 2004 Barnes & Noble bookmark and began reading.
Searching for words to cup a myriad of incoherent and vague thoughts swarming about my heat-wave induced spacey-brain, I came across practical encouragement in my current state of conundrum. That state of wild productivity amidst desperate isolation, struggling to finish projects that are taking on the shape of completion.
Oh – so – slow – ly.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say my ‘Mojo stopped Mojoing’ but I have come up wanting in the energy department of late. The constant drain of daily in-ing and out-ing in this humid triple digit heat has taken its toll. The term languid suggests more than a glamourous lady lounging alongside the pool with margarita in hand to weather the weather. It conjures up a wild-eyed mad-hatter creative, scurrying from instruments to computer to manuscript paper to WORD documents to notebooks to research to pacing to exercise machines to eating tons of watermelon to striving to keep cool to…ad infinitum.
Oh – so – slow – ly.
Quilted design on backside of potholders
See here the fruit of my labors.
A set of potholders made from fabric purchased some 21 years ago.
I’ve been nominated by Geralyn of Where My Feet Are to take part in the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge. This is my first ever nomination for anything ‘blog’ related, so I’m tickled pink to participate. Thank you Geralyn!
The above quote was the inspiration for a friendship/housewarming quilt I created in collaboration with friends and family to celebrate moving into our new (at the time) home just spitting distance from our previous home. It now hangs on the wall beside our bed in our little rental house very far away from both homes as a warm reminder of those special times and people.
The rules of the challenge are:
1) Thank the person who nominated you.
2) Post a quote each day for 3 days.
3) Each day nominate 3 new bloggers to take part.
One day, years ago, Amy-next-door came to call. She often came to visit with her two little girls in tow to play with my youngest two kiddos as they were all around the same age. This time, she stood holding two paper grocery bags.
“Look what I found!” Amy said as she thrust the two bags into my arms.
Feeling light as a feather for all their fullness, I immediately knew they were filled to the brim with fabrics.
“I found these at a garage sale for $0.75 and I thought you might like to use them.”
More than just neighbors, Amy-next-door and I were enablers…always on the look-out for each other’s vices: she and her buttons, I and my fabrics.
As I began rummaging through the brown paper bags, I noticed they contained more than just scraps or random cuts of material. There was a huge piece of white cotton flannel, a stack of pre-cut 10 ½ x 10 ½ flannel squares, a handful of 3 ½ x 3 ½ ones and miles of uncut flannel fabrics of varying designs and colors.
Roaming about the unpacked boxes in my studio space, I came across this unfinished, but not forgotten WIP. Carefully set aside to be finished at a later date, this Mother-Daughter Quilt Project was started when my middle daughter was in High School. We worked on it through her first two years of college getting the entire quilt top center finished, with only the borders and binding left to sew. It got put on hold as our business of over 17 years was going through bankruptcy and major changes were shaping the course of our lives. Once we packed up stuff to go into storage a few years later, it was definitely a WIP that I figured would never get done.
Borders, Backing & Thread: Ready to Go!
What’s so cool is that in its recent re-discovery, I know that now is the time to finish it.
Moreover, packed alongside the rolled-up quilt top were the materials needed to complete the project; all cut and ready to go.
My Michelle’s favorite color is no longer pink. She has grown up, become a confident, professional woman and married a fine young man. But our Mother-Daughter Quilt still speaks of the ties that bind: times past, present and future; the good times and the bad; what it means to love and be loved; forever and always…Amen.
Thought I’d spice this up a bit with some of my good ole Italian…besides, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if there’s any question of what that title means, just take a gander at this:
Partial view of quilt back with label signed and dated
Yep, Coffee Beans Means Love to Me is no longer a WIP, but a completed project.
Last seen on the table ready to be basted a few posts ago, I experimented with using large quilter safety pins. In general, I liked the way they held the 3-layered sandwich together while I machine quilted. However, the holes they left in the fabric after being removed left me wondering why I didn’t just do it the way I’ve always done it.
Basting together pieces of (he)art*
Live and learn.
Perfectionist that I am, I feared I’d wrecked the whole thing. Then I remembered: part of our between homes experience was embracing the ‘strange life path’ He had for us. So what’s a few microscopic pin pricks?
Still living. Still learning.
Finishing Coffee Beans has been freeing. A sort-of final transition stage where our between homes past has been pieced together into something beautiful to be seen in the ‘now’ as a reminder while we proceed into the ‘next’…
The road between homes has ended for now, but the creative journey has not.
*creative confluence: Coffee Beans Means Love to Me (2014), my NaNo Novel, ‘The Woman Who Didn’t Belong’ (2013), my hand scored original arrangement of ‘Mo Giolla Mear’ written while I was ‘Swimming with Swans’ in IN (2010), favorite guitar strings and an old photo of me with an anonymous horse in Montana during Spring Break (circa 1977).