Oh, No! I've Been Thinking.....Again ~ !

Saturday, while at Nela MQG, aka Northeast Louisiana Modern Quilt Guild,  I led a  mini workshop on how I stitch up the Noodlehead designed wide-mouth zippered pouches.   On learning that one of the participants wanted to make five pouches for Christmas gifts, I shared with the group that when I had more than one to make, then I made an assembly line out of the process.  In other words, for all five I would
  1.  gather and cut all fabrics and find a zipper for each pouch
  2.  attach zipper foot to sewing machine and sew in all zippers
  3.  attach regular sewing foot and sew around the perimeter of each pouch,  leaving a hole for turning
  4.  box each corner of each pouch
  5.  turn all pouches
  6.  sew turning hole in lining of each pouch
  7.  press, press, press, press, press
  8.  top stitch around top of pouch
  9.  attach zipper pull
Yesterday, having nada much to do, I gathered, cut, zippered, boxed, turned and pressed all.  What's more,  step #8 and #9  has been completed on three of these nine.

It's when I lined up all the pouches for a photo opportunity that I started thinking.  How does one line up a number of items to get the best shot?  I tried this and then tried that and hold on a minute....it hit me:  When they are staggered with aisle-space in the middle, I could see more of each pouch in my display. 

And then it hit me again......quilt shows ~  The ones that give me the most pleasurable viewing are the ones that are open,  airy and light.  When I walk into a quilt show door, I don't want to walk into a black hole.   I want to stand for a moment and look into the room and see quilts, lots of quilts.   I don't have to see the particulars of each quilt at this glance, but simply want to enjoy a snippet of many quilts.   It's the placement and staggering and opening up of the area that gives me the best feeling about a quilt show and seeing the wonder of all those quilts on display. 

 Just a few arrangements that didn't seem to work for me:

The straight and narrow view.....very limiting visually

 Chaotic, closed in, claustrophobic placement....the dark hole with no way out 
taggered placement gives the best at-a-glance viewing
Yes! The open, airy feeling I wanted to achieve 
When the viewing pleasure if over, it's okay to say goodbye, farewell and amen 
Just Saying,


L is for Leaves that fall without sound

Fall Leaf Colors
Forsythe Avenue and Riverside Drive

What a spectacular leaf display we had this year.  Highly unusual for the deep south since we don't have drastic hot to cold weather changes to bring out the brilliance in leaf color.  We just take the drama of a season as it passes on into the next.  And, in most cases we have to make photo drama where there is none! 


As we sat in the car waiting for the light to change on the corner of Forsythe and The Park
one day last week

  Have a great day, whatever your season......Marty


It's a Cargo Duffle Bag - A Noodlehead Pattern

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason

 I was so excited to get this one made that I forgot to don my street attire for the picture.  Oh, well! 

My smart friend says it's easier to buy a Vera Bradley....and I most certainly can agree with her.  She's been enjoying the pleasure of her company today and I've been slaving over the sewing machine.  Making another bag.  This time, it's a cargo duffle.....a Noodlehead pattern that I downloaded a few months ago.  I guess it's the season to make heavy duty carry-all bags. 

It isn't a hard bag to make but it does take time and concentration and patience.

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason

and the back side of my cargo duffle bag, ready to hit the road. 

Cargo Duffle Bag.....a noddlehead pattern made by Marty Mason


I'm A Little Weekender Travel Bag

I seldom buy bag patterns anymore....you know how the mind works.....thinking if I can make one bag,  well, I can make them all.....almost.  Coming to my senses, I realized there was no way to make this one without a pattern with specific instructions.  So I bit the bullet and made the purchase of Amy Butler's Weekender Travel Bag pattern and am so glad I did. 

With just a few more details to the inside lining, I'll be finished.   It's a great travel size.....14" x 17" x 7".  Just can't wait for my next quilting retreat to show it off.  I can fill it with projects, or perhaps a sewing machine. 

Amy Butler Weekender Bag....made by Marty Mason

On a midnight lark?

The theme is "Flights of Fantasy" - and my fantasy is about a guy who travels around the world making light of a task that must be completed in a mere 24 hours.    Yes, I believe in Santa Claus.  I believe the essence of Santa is alive in the hearts of all children....children of all ages.  So, while Santa isn't a fantasy in my world, he is the heart of my "flights of fantasy" art quilt. 

Yes, I believe - Marty Mason
Santa is not to scale with the street scene and there's a reason for that.    More important than where we dine or what movie we see or how beautifully the large buildings around town are decorated,
on this particular night, Santa is top banana!  (That means, he's a keeper in my world.)
For all the little children of the world - Marty Mason
Here's where it all started. Kitty helped me pull and cull from my pile of scraps left over from a recent quilt project.  Loved Anna Maria Horner's 'True Colors' so much that I saved every scrap!
Better be good, better not pout - Santa Claus is coming tonight - Marty Mason
 and after sewing them together I cut out my bright little silhouettes  to strategically place on my midnight black with bright dots I imagined to be stars in the night sky. 

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?  - Marty Mason
While his reindeer isn't in the best of form tonight, he is a happy trooper, pulling his weight to make sure every child has a joyous Christmas. 
May your Christmas Season be filled with joyous love and peace.
We are a group Art Quilts Around The World - and we make art quilts based on a particular theme on a bi-monthly basis.  Our ideas and skills and tools and fabrics are very diverse. 
And, of the utmost importance -
May you always see the world
through the eyes of a child
Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas

Ooops....I forgot to cyber shop!

And now my chance is gone for another year.  Thankfully, my shopping is finished and the decorated tree is standing tall.  So, I can sleep in or relax over another cup of coffee or play with photos from a recent vacation.

A few weeks ago, we decided that  a long relaxing weekend was in store for us.  Found a beautiful Victorian-style bed and breakfast for the layover and then set out for three fun-filled days. 

The Buffalo River in Northern Arkansas
The Buffalo River near Harrison, Arkansas

The curves were short and steep and in abundance!
Eureka Springs

Up the Down Hill in Eureka Springs
Eureka Springs

Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves:  Little Buffalo River added the perfect backdrop

The Little Bufflalo River
Granny's river was just as I remembered it even after all these years
The Little Bufflalo River
Water rippling over the rocks and boulders

Granny's Hill, Parthenon, Arkansas, November, 2014
Parthenon, Arkansas
A view across The Little Buffalo River.  In her later years, Granny married and moved to the beautiful home place of Papa Claude Matlock  There once was a swinging bridge across the river at just about this point. 
As a child, I remember being terribly frightened
of the bridge
swinging to and fro. 

Seasons: There Are Four ~

Every season has its color and rural Autumn color is spectacular ~ 
 The crispness of the cool sky brings out the best of the drabness of the old barn in its dress of rust and aged wood
surrounded by leafless trees,  cut hay and withering grass.

The Colors of Rural Autumn:  Marty Mason


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Marty Mason

Happy Thanksgiving from a quilter's point of view.  One of my favorite vintage quilts I saw while at Houston Quilt Festival, 2014.....artfully draped over a prop in one of the vendor's booths. 


I'm having a snack attack!

Do I multi-task?   If I'm quilting:  YES.  I do enjoy having more than one delicious snack right at my fingertips to grab and stich on.  It's my snack attack buffet.   I enjoy gathering fabrics that might add to one project or the other  'cause one never knows when the attack might hit!

Here's Snack No. 1 all packaged and ready to bite into:

modern, improvisational - orange peel quilt block - Marty Mason
I've made up a few orange peel blocks in various fabrics to keep me reminded of where this idea is going.  It ultimately will be a modern improvisational orange peel quilt! 

 Snack Attack No. 2 will crunch down to be a very liberated quilt top.....not sure if this is trip around the world, log cabin, courthouse steps!!!!  I just know that these blocks are very much to my liking.   

modern, improvisational, quilt.  Mix of fabric...........Marty Mason

Snack Attack No. 3:

he block I'm calling "Fields and Streams" .........Marty Mason
I made a couple of blocks like this and added them to one of the Louisiana Traveling Quilts....in progress.  And, I called my block "Fields and Streams".  This block didn't make the cut for the traveling quilt, so I'll just enjoy it in a quilt of my own....somewhere down the road. 
Snack Attack No. 4....well, of course, you all know a house block when you see one.  A quilter friend and I want to exchange house blocks.  I got two made, one for her and one for me....then ran out of time.  If the clock keeps ticking, we'll eventually get back on track and crunch down on this fun swap-a-house-block-project.
house blocks for block swap - Marty Mason

And finally, Snack Attack No. 5 has made it to the design wall.  Very minimal, very modern, very much me.

modern, minimal quilt on design wall.......Marty Mason
Hope you enjoy your treats as much as I do mine. 

I'm not leaving this room.........

..............UNTIL I post on my poor, unattended blog!

It's not that I haven't been inspired

At the Art Tour

or that I don't have something to blog about

Street Musicians

or that I don't have enough pictures to add interest to my post

Street Musicians 

or that my life is uneventful

Abandoned Building in Parthenon, Arkansas


It's just........well, what can I say!  I just haven't posted lately. 

On The Road Again


What do you mean?

You really mean it?
October has come and gone?
October, Where did you go?

October, 2015, Quilter's Calendar - a quilt made by Marty Mason
Since I'm well into the next month, may as well look forward ~
and rejoice