Monday, April 28, 2008

Dear Sassy Jane underway and Giant Pears

Oh how I wish I had a quilt that I could name Giant Pears, Little Peach. Last weekend we went down to the High Museum to see the Georgia OKeefe exhibit. Of course an outside exhibit became more interesting to Rosy. This was a really cool exhibit. Georgia OKeefe was nice, but I guess I always thought her works were huge. You know wall sized. Nope. In real life they range from 9x11 to 36x48, maybe. It was interesting. Oh course, Hubbie had little patience for the art. But you have to give him props, he went and actually enjoyed himself.

I'm not sure if it was the OKeefe or just feeling crafty, but Friday I decided that the girls and I needed to attempt some tissue paper art. I did some for a bathroom years ago, and have been wanting to try some new ones. Here's what we have so far. Rose gave up after 6 or 7 pieces.

My attempt. Naturally I'm working with reds, turquoise, and greens. Those seem to be my colors of choice lately.
Lily is working in smaller shapes and the warm colors, red, orange, and yellow.

And finally, Dear Sassy Jane has been layered, basted, and partially quilted. I told you once the name was apparent everything else fell into place. I even found some silly Hawaiian cat fabric that I purchased on a whim to add to the back. I'm 2/3 done with the body. I'm quilting it with an all over stipple pattern with a vareigated thread. The borders will be done in black, I think. Here's the cat fabric.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's in a name...?

Six years ago when I started quilting, I was almost belligerent in my defense of not putting labels on my quilts. My theory then was, "If the person who has my quilt doesn't know who made it, then they don't deserve it." I know it seems like it was a hard line to take. And maybe, it was truly rooted in some self doubt or lack of confidence spawned by inexperience (I didn't want people to know that "I" had made that wonky quilt). Regardless, I have found myself more and more drawn to the process of naming and labeling my quilts.

The naming of a quilt has become part of the entire process for me. One that I actually mull on and worry (what me worry?!) about. It turns around and around in my head until it finally appears. And just yesterday, I realized it clearly affects how I work on a quilt. Perfect example, my Jane Sassaman quilt. After months of me anxiously looking forward to starting on it, it had stalled. As it draped over my loft railing with the border and backing fabric dangling next to it, I just couldn't make myself get back to it. As I have said before, I've been suffering from sewing ADD recently, and at first I was thinking it was that. Then I realized that I'll have to make yet one MORE trip to the fabric store, for more backing fabric, cause guess who calculated wrong again. Then I thought maybe it's because I'm not keeping it, I'm going to give it to my sister. That one made me feel REALLY selfish. But then something happened that made realize what was really happening...

A good friend of mine posted a comment about the picture I posted. Her comment was quite simple, friendly, and a cute play on Jane's last name. Something about the quilt being "sassy." Well, roll the inspirational music and cue the backlighting and lightbulb over my head. That's it...Dear Sassy Jane...that's the quilt's name. Don't know if the Revolutionary war and Korean war movies, with the Dear John letters caused the "Dear" part, but that is definitely it. That's the quilt's name. And the most revealing part to me is that now, I can't wait to put on some borders and start quilting.

There are many insights that this has provided me about myself on so many comical levels.
  • Apparently I suffer from another quilting condition, QNA (Quilt Naming Anxiety). Totally comparable to my OCD that appears in my day to day life. A quilt cannot be completed until I have a name to put on the label on the back.
  • It is more important to me to see the color and shape of a quilt before I name it. This was not true in the naming of my children. Their names were determined months before their births. So thank TPTB (The Powers That Be) that Lily was a Lily and Rose was a Rose (although I still maintain that she's really a Scarlett Rose, hubbie vetoed Scarlett).
  • Naming the quilts feeds my ego. Coming up with something that I think is clever, East meets West (Lily's Lassos), Fruit Loops, Swimming with Sunburn, Caribbean Dreams and it's child Caribbean Baby, makes me feel "oh so superior."
I'm sure more insights will present themselves over time, but those were the first few. So now I'm off, to try to streamline all the things I HAVE to do today, so that I can cut and sew some borders and binding. And maybe by week's end I'll have it basted...who knows....?

The biggest lesson I've learned is that there's always a reason for something. I know I'm Captain Obvious, a fact my close friends and acquaintances know. But really, look at Dear Sassy Jane, she wasn't ready to be finished until she had a name. It's all part of my creative process and the fun.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Jane....

Pictures of the obsessions

Here's the first block of the next art quilt. I keep adding and adding to it.
Here are the other fabrics I'm planning on using....reds and greens.....
The quilt that started it all, Swimming with Sunburn.

I'm so fickle

My munchkin's masterpiece! Technically it's her second quilt. She made it for her cat Sunny. The kitty cut outs she purchased with her own money at my guild's last quilt show. She selected the others on her own at JoAnns and used the gift card her grandmother gave her. And she designed the layout. I provided assistance in some of the cutting and measuring. I'm so proud of her! She's already working on another quilt for her cousin....dinosaurs!

Now on to my latest and greatest self observations......

I recently was talking to a friend of mine who is also a quilter. She and I were discussing our current projects and the projects we were looking forward to starting. I realized when I was discussing what I was working on how fickle my muses can be.

For the last couple of months, I have been forcing myself to work on finishing some other projects with the reward of working with some Jane Sassaman strips that I have been admiring and petting since I purchased them late last year. Well I started working on that quilt recently and have been burning through it. Then suddenly out of no where I became obsessed with the teddy bear/kitty pattern. And also due to a recent speaker at my guild and the large number of pink scraps, I cranked out a charity baby quilt with those. And then I designed an art quilt using a curved pieced technique that has been haunting me, started that. And finally, I found a pattern I purchased last August in Nashville for a back pack....started that. And now, I just can't seem to get myself back to the Jane Sassaman. And I find myself working on several things at once. Sew at seam on this, and sew a seam on that. Maybe it's just sewing ADD.

I just tried to upload some photos.....didn't work....I promise to add later....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How time passes

Believe it or not as of 9:11 am today I'm the mother of a 9 year old! We took this picture in January when we were at Disney--believe it or not I did have makeup on--but we had lots of fun.

Anyway back to the fact I have a 9 year old...I reminded my husband at 8:30 this morning that 9 years ago, he was counting to 10-entirely too slowly--and I was pushing my little Spunky Punky into this world. I would have never imagined the kid I got. She's way cool!

She's definitely my artist. She's loves her sewing machine and has completed her first quilt (pictures to follow in future blogs). And the sweet child that she is, has told me that once she gets another quilt completed, she was "going to make you a quilt, Mommy, because you make quilts for everyone else and no one makes quilts for you." She shares my love of art and is becoming more and more interested in learn about artists. She's always loved the Matisse goldfish painting which is one of my favorites, and yesterday she recreated it for my office(again more pictures to come). It's beautiful!

So Happy Birthday to my oldest Munchkin! And here's to looking forward to the next 9 years--even though that means TEENAGERS!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back to the grind...and I'm not talkin' coffee

Why does going back to work after vacation have to suck so bad?

Vacation hangover is one of the worst things in the world. I just don't understand why you can't just ease back into the grind. But expectantly, you wander blindly and hesitantly back into your office, turn on your PC, and hold your breath as you open your email. And then inevitably, there throughout your inbox, is a string of emails, obviously from "important people" wanting "important things". "Things" that need your immediate attention. Creepy slimy "things" that need to be your first priority.

And the cruel truth is, all you can really think about is how wonderful your time off was. Everyone keeps telling you how much they missed you, how quiet things were, how glad they are that you are back, and asking how was your vacation. All those things just reminding you of the greatness of not being at work.....

Oh well, I guess I should go get a cup of German Chocolate Cake coffee, close my door, listen to Green Day, and surf the web....maybe that will be close enough to being on vacation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Here he is.....

I'm such a blogger goof. I cancel the photo upload.

More Spring Break fun

As my Spring Break wound up, I decided to make another animal. Since my hubbie's birthday is around the corner, and neither he nor I can think of anything other than a Wii as a gift, I whipped up a kitty cat using my teddy pattern. I even added a tail.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Break, not what it used to be

All week I've been hearing about highschool and college kids on Spring Break at the beach and all the things they are up to these days. The good news is it doesn't seem like things have changed that much since I was their age. The bad news is that the bear above has been the highlight of my Spring Break. I know, compared to throwing up in the surf, eating sand, or baring my breasts, my Mr. Blue, seems pretty lame. But I guess as you get older, you're expectations change.