Monday, June 22, 2015

Proud Maker

Things in the Mo House are returning to some kind of normal.  While John went to the Elkhart, IN Jazz Festival, I attended a couple of artsy events.  One was at Lill Street Art Center.  A Maker's Salon featured a sketch artist, a miniature mosaic artist, a quilter, and a potter.  I went to hear my fellow guildster Tricia talk about her quilts.  She has a loud, colorful aesthetic and brings a sense of pragmatism to her quilts.  She has repurposed clothing for quilts, found and used vintage fabrics, and creates like no one else in our guild.  The following day several in my guild and I drove to Park Forest to the Tall Grass Arts Association where one of my blogging heroes, Chawne Kimber of Completely Cauchy, had a small exhibit of her quilts.  She and a metal sculptor were featured. 

There was so much talk about art and the artist and would would the audience like to see and how to help the audience understand the art.  I kept thinking about Kafka's "The Hunger Artist" which deals with the artist's dilemma of following her art or pandering to the masses.  But what I really kept going back to - and what separates quilting from some of the other arts - is that quilts are pretty AND pragmatic.  They are a combination of form and function.  So many of Chawne's quilts are political and thoughtful.  She is a genius at word play, as evidenced by her quilt "In essence, I am a cotton picker," a nod to both her heritage and her avocation.   Yet, they still are quilts. Here is a link to just some of her quilts.

I am a proud maker.  I love that some of my friends spent the night at my house and slept under my quilts/craft/work.  I love that my grandson will take one of my quilts back to college with him.  I love that John and I, regardless of season, sleep under quilts I have made.   And I love that people like Tricia and Chawne and others in my guild and in the blogging world inform and inspire my quilting.

These days I am calm.  My to-do list is long, but I am not frantic.  I will just plug away and enjoy each day of craft as it come.  Tomorrow?  Getting back to a t-shirt quilt.  The mom spent an hour on her hands and knees creating the layout for this quilt.  This photo is to help me reproduce her layout because it's not on the floor anymore.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lesson Learned ... Again

After being in the hospital for three days, I came home to this lovely reorder of an Art Gallery fabric in the Hello, Bear line by designer Bonnie Christine.  This fabric is my new crush, and I cannot cut into it unless I know I have more coming. 
But that's not the lesson.  (Note:  stop reading if you don't want the details...)  Last Tuesday I had an upper GI scope to see what's up with a recurring issue with my esophagus.  I came home that same morning, but later in the day my throat began to rage.  We called the doctor; he sent us to the ER and called the ER to explain what I needed.  A CT scan was performed, I think to make sure that there wasn't any damage done during the dilation.  The ER doc gave me the good news - my throat was fine.  But the bad news - pulmonary embolisms in both lungs.  And so I was admitted to LaGrange that evening (and I was just thinking I would go to the ER and get some good pain drugs).  A venous Doplar that same evening revealed blood clots in my legs.  My fabulous doctor Prachi Patel came to the ER and has helped navigate my way with the GI and pulmonologist.   IV Heparin to thin my blood, Lovanox injections for the next two weeks, and an oral regimin of Warfarin.  And I am home and able to resume my normal activities (and when I am doing a lot of sitting, I must put on compression stockings - lovely white open-toed thigh-high stockings).  I'll see Dr. Patel Monday morning. 

So, the lesson?  I had to ask John to go into my closet and get some pj's and t-shirts and various toiletries.  He found what I needed, but I could see the judgment in his eyes about what a mess I function in.  Last New Year's I was going to spent 10 minutes a day in my closet.  That lasted three days.  And so now I am horrified by how I have been ignoring something I tried to help my mom with the last 15 years of her life:  if you bring something in the house, then something else has to leave. 

In the past two hours I've been on a tear and will continue over the next few days to be ruthless.  I either wear it or it goes out.  I'm feeling lighter already...  Below are two Hazel Hipsters I finished last Monday and a new t-shirt quilt in the making.  Back to my closet!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Small, Happy Life

This title isn't mine. It's David Brooks's title of a short commentary in the New York Times, published on May 28. This commentary is about how people define their purpose in life - and how they found it.  Read it.  It's short and good.

So today my purpose in life?  To make the world prettier one purse at a time.  Hardly a lofty purpose, but for today it's mine. 

These bags are Hazel Hipsters

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Happy Girl

 This is Colette.  She just graduated from Lyons Township, and she is happy.  While she is happy for many reasons, in these pictures she is happy because of a quilt her mom gave to her.  For a couple of years Colette's mom has been playing dumb whenever Colette would ask about  certain t-shirts.  "Gee, I don't know what happened to it..." 

While I know my quilting is important, to get an email and these pictures from Colette's mom on the same day as the graduation party was a neat treat.  Janice said her daughter kept saying repeatedly how much she loves this quilt.  Part of the charm of this quilt is that these meaningful t-shirts have all been used and are nicely soft.  The other part of its charm is the batting and long-arm quilting done by Terri and Frank Karls.  This quilt is soft and a perfect weight.  It also helped that the temperatures were in the 40's when Colette received her quilt. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

In the Queue

Just sold my Molly Market Tote, so I must make another.  Love that comma fabric by ZenChic

This kit featuring Noodlehead's Trail Tote in Carolyn Friedlander's Doe fabrics was half-priced from Keepsake Quilting.  The pattern and the fabric for under $30.  Yes, thank you!

The Hazel Hipster by Sprouts is a fun pattern with several options and goes together quickly.  Marcia Derse fabrics are perfect for this cross-body bag.

This little bundle of fat quarters of Allison Glass's Handcrafted was made available through MassDrop and delights me.  I don't know what I am going to do with these yet.  I'll figure it out!

John is slowly recuperating, and the house is returning to some semblance of normal.  He's sad to miss our granddaughter Nikki's graduation from Crystal Lake Central today - a nice milestone for her as she prepares for the Indiana University in August!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Eye Aye Eye

John's second caratact procedure did not go well. His retina detached, and he now has a silicone bubble in the back of the eye to promote the healing - he is miserable and we are both pretty terrified about the prospect of him regaining vision in that eye.  I've been too distracted to blog about Colette's quilt - she  is a terrific young lady who went to St. Xavier in LaGrange and then Lyons Township for high school. She's thoughtful, talented, and busy - that's what comes through these t-shirts. Her mom assures me she will be thrilled with this quilt.  For now all of my attention is on the first floor with John - amusing, feeding, keeping up with house chores. I amquietly doing handwork on this quilt top.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I Get Crabby When I Don't Sew

There.  I've said it.  I am not saying it's right or wrong:  it just is.  John's had a complication with his second cataract - we are hoping that tomorrow's procedure will correct the issue.  So, John does everything in the house.  And when he's unable to, I have to do all these things.  And I'm exhausted.  I can sew or I can take care of the food and house.  Clearly I cannot do both.   John really does do it all.  Meanwhile, I sew in little bits and snatches, which just isn't enough.  And do you believe we ran out of the little cloth Mors bags.  So I have found my too ugly to live batik pile and am making several of those.  They are simple - just haven't been able to get to them.  Meanwhile, I dream of the projects that I want to do and projects that I must do.

See?  Too ugly to live
But perfect  to keep in the car or back pocket for those little trips to Walgreen's and Trader Joe's
Shades of Grey for an October Wedding

These Marcia Derse fabrics are out - perhaps for another October wedding present

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

All Together

Not me.  This t-shirt quilt top!  Just delivered it to my favorite long armers Terri and Frank (actually, they are the only long armers I use...).  Now I can go back to my Trapezoid Tote! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Guess what time it is?

It's Graduation T-Shirt Quilt Time!  These 30 shirts are all 12.5" x 12.5".  Ready to go!