Category Archives: Quilting

Falling Leaves

quilt designThe goal: to bring this pencil sketch into quilt reality.

It took all of an afternoon to bring what was in my head onto graph paper. And then a while longer to make the math add up so every piece of fabric will nestle precisely against the other.

It may now only be pencil lead on white paper, but in the unshaded areas I see a light green background upon which fragile leaves softly undulate as they fall.

I see rich brown borders, bronze in tone, depicting a boundary of welcoming soil upon which the leaves will land, knowing they only have so far to fall.

Within, the Flying Geese will move, resplendent in a wild array of fall colors, from blood red to golden yellow. The colors symbolize inevitable change as the geese fly to and fro along the confines, mimicking the ebbs and flows of life itself.

quilt fabricsThese fabrics will help me paint.

As they go through the auditioning process they will speak to me, or not. And as happens in life, they won’t all make the literal cut. But all will not be lost for they might foster ideas for another time.

And I know this lot will not suffice. Therefore, I will set out to hunt and gather additional fabrics as I search for more color, more vibrancy, more life.

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In So Many Ways

I’ve settled into a Tuesday and Friday Tai Chi class routine. Granted it’s only been one week. But it feels good. I’m renewing friendships and meeting new people. I met the lady who won my Native American Culture themed quilt at the raffle. (See my post, Done!) She was ecstatic and stopped the class to verify I was the quilter. “I love it!” she said. Talk about a shot in the arm, gave me renewed vigor to finish the class.

I’d wondered if my legs would hold up. It’s all a matter of shifting your weight from one leg to the other as you dance your way through the 108 moves. All this weight-bearing helps build bone, something mighty useful to me now. But I needn’t have worried, my legs remembered. They held up admirably, while the rest of me had a harder time remembering some of the hand moves.

Though they started the same week, these classes are independent of each other. That means that on Friday I get to repeat what I learned on Tuesday. This works well as I am a perpetual beginner, having yet to complete all 108 moves. Monday and Wednesday classes start in two weeks and I plan to take those too.  There’s nothing like reinforcement. And camaraderie.

And I have another reason for taking all these 10:00 AM classes. They will help me to structure my day so I can fit the most into it. Freelance editing is occupying more and more of my time, and that’s a good thing. But working from home, I’ve let myself maintain a non-schedule schedule, working all hours of the day or night. There’s been no clock to punch, and no boss but my lenient self. As long as the deadline is met, your client doesn’t care when you work.

But now, I need to adopt a daily discipline so that I can accomplish all I want to do. Such as my own writing (my WIPs won’t write themselves, sigh), and then there’s my quilting. I do want to keep up with it, and I plan to make a bunch of children’s quilts for the homeless shelter our Tai Chi Branch supports. For Christmas.

So you see, Tai Chi to the rescue. In so many ways.

Done!

The quilt I promised for my Tai Chi group’s fundraiser tonight is done. With minutes to spare. I was so jet lagged I regretted having promised, but after a week of recuperating, I put the pedal to the metal (my sewing machine foot pedal) and pounded it out. In less than a week! It’s a new record.

The theme is Native American Culture.

QuiltThis is a panel quilt. I didn’t do any of that exquisite fabric painting. I merely trimmed it with borders.

quilt 1The back. I like this fabric. I think I’ll make some throw pillows with the rest of it.

machine quiltingDue to time constraints I had to resort to crazy, undulating machine quilting.

Hope they like it and I hope the raffle brings in a lot of dough. Now I gotta go deliver it.

Off-Kilter

And so it begins. My succumbing.

To Bisphosphonates, that is.

I have resisted for over two years, or longer. It’s been a tug of war between my rheumatologist and me. I am the first to admit, I am not the most compliant of patients. I didn’t like what the literature had to say about these drugs and I chose to abstain, after consuming them sporadically for a few years.

His one complaint about me, to my hearing at least, is that I read too much. But, I believe your health care is a compact between you and your doctor. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with my being a nurse. I always saw doctors and nurses working in partnership, in tandem, though they didn’t see that way for the most part.

Now this particular war is over. My bone density test wasn’t pretty. Wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, excuse the partial pun, but it’s come time to grit my teeth and swallow. I don’t even know what he ordered. If it’s something I have to take once a week, or once a month, or . . . never? I just know it’s ready and waiting because my pharmacy texted me before I even reached home from his office. “Irma, your order is available for pickup.” Shouldn’t that be ‘pick up’? Two words?

Digital-age surprise awaits me tomorrow. A little pharmaceutical gift. Another modern medicine marvel to join the ones that already make themselves at home in my medicine curio. One positive in all this is that Prednisone gets kicked to the curb. Or I should say, gently eased to the curb. It doesn’t like any rough stuff, but as it likes to eat bone, it’s got to go. We might have to add another ingredient to my RA cocktail to replace what benefit I derived from it, but time will tell what and when.

I can’t complain, though. The other thing he says about me after every visit is: You’re doing very well. I suppose everything is relative. To him. But, I do feel a little askew. And maybe that’s why I subconsciously chose to place the borders to my panel quilt off-kilter last night.

quilt

Oh, Ye of Little Time

Half of February is gone already. Where did it go? What did I do with it?

All I know is that my to-do list gets longer by the day. Though I don’t always know which day. It’s my own fault somewhat. This past week I got to spend two whole days with my Cutie. She came laden with Valentine’s Day candy and she brought me my own Valentine’s goodie bag. M&M’s, yum!

Chocolate candy

Happy Face!

Chocolate candy

The look of love. For chocolate

Valentine's Day

Then we got cleaned up for dinner out.

 

Though by the time we left the restaurant, it had turned cold and rainy. What kind of nasty trick was that? This is Miami!

And this morning the cold persists. My hands don’t appreciate that. I have a quilt to finish. I’ve let it simmer for almost a week or so and it’s due Saturday.

Quilting

I’m not too sure about it, but too late to change it. Have to sally forth.

Yesterday I spent the day recouping from following a toddler around. That is an activity best reserved for the young, not the young at heart. And while I rested up, I did get to accomplish one of my New Year’s resolutions. Update my blog(s) a little. I have to say it was fun.

But now, back to my list of things to do. First up, finish that quilt!

Anatomy of a Quilt

I spent most of the day yesterday speed-quilting. Due to time constraints, I had to choose an easy-to-piece design for our Tai Chi Chinese New Year‘s party which is on the 23rd of this month. I try to make something to add to the raffles that we have at every celebration. We are a non-profit group and are working to have our own building with a kitchen that has running water. All we ask for is water! Anyhoo, I ran into a quilting speed bump.

This is the basic block of nine pieces, unsewn.

The basic block of nine pieces, unsewn.

The 9 x 9 inch squares attached to the 3 x 9 inch strips to make a row.

9 x 9 inch squares attached to 3 x 9 inch strips.

The 3 x 3 inch squares attached to the 3 x 9 inch strips to make the alternating row. My floor is so handy to lay my quilts out on.

3 x 3 inch squares attached to 3 x 9 inch strips to make alternating row. My floor is so handy to lay out my quilts.

All simply happy together.

All simply happy together.

To break the monotony, I planned borders. And this is where it all went awry.

I decided to give it some pizazz by adding a nine-patch block at each corner.

To  give it some pizazz, I decided to add nine-patch blocks at each corner.

I made all four blocks, cut all the border strips and went to bed. I wanted a purple/print/purple border, with the corner blocks as contrast. So it would look like this:

I was so pleased with myself!

I was so pleased with myself!

And then, I woke up. Woke up to the fact that I hadn’t considered the color contrast between the body of the quilt and its adjacent border.

Major clash!

Major clash!

So, it’s back to the cutting board and the sewing machine. My border will have to be reversed.

And the corner blocks will have to be reversed as well. Ahhh!!

And the corner blocks will have to be reversed as well. Ahhh!!

Oh, well, I’ll have to focus on the bright side. I have enough leftover fabric to play with. Worse would have been if I’d used up all the fabric and Jo-Ann’s was out. Don’t even wanna think about that!

(Note: the stated measurements are finished size. When cutting, you add a half inch all around to allow for quarter-inch seams. A 9 x 9 inch square would be cut 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches.)

By the way, this is last year’s Chinese New Year’s quilt. I had a little bit more time to spend on this one. It’s displayed as a wall hanging in the next county’s Tai Chi Center. The lady who runs that Chapter won it in the raffle.

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