Another One Finished and Gone ~

Oh, how lucky am I to have the freedom to sew and donate to those in need.  This is just one of 15 quilts  delivered to CASA headquarters this morning.     Making quilts for others is a much more enjoyable way to spend time than getting into debates  over the who, what, when, where and why....and sometimes how? of  politics. 

Keeping it simple, this one is stitched with 5" squares that were donated to me.  Just the right size for a toddler to drag about or cuddle down with. 

a quilt for community service - Marty Mason

My Town ~

It's quiet in my town this morning. 

What a wonderful feeling to have a finished that is heavily quilted in a random big stitch design.  Each evening  the quilting began, not knowing where it would start, where it would end.  Freedom to enjoy the hand-quilting moment. No cares, no stress, no critique. 

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason
"My Town" a finished quilt by Marty Mason
Big stitch on Japanese Echino fabric
50" x 70"

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Big stitch on Japanese Echino -Marty Mason

Now that we've gone full circle and around the block in my town, sit down and rest a spell and have a wonderful day.

A good read ~

I've been reading more this summer than ever before and just finished the last Louise Penny in her Gammache series and I cried.....not while reading the book, but in her acknowledgments. 

You see, this book A Better Man was dedicated to her deceased husband's best friend, the dog Bishop.   Bishop passed away during the writing, leaving Ms. Penny alone. 

How do our animals know?  How desperately we can need a friend or someone who listens....truly listens to what's being said?   If you've ever had a dog, then you  know the dedication and depth of understanding and the comfort their presence provides. 

Here's looking at you, friend. 

Who am I?

Many faces, I wear.  But who am I?  Really?   A vulture!

Yes, that was my name for the day a couple of weeks ago.  Why:  because I took away a quilter's fabric to save it from being dumped curbside.  Yes, I did it then and will do it again.  Because I know that when I take, I also give back.  Of the 24 yards + of fabric, I made 24 pillowcases for community service and the remaining yardage went toward quilt backings for the children in need.  Enough.....

The quilting group finally got to meet last Thursday and what a pleasure it was to be among kindred spirits.  But lo, as the meeting was closing, the group leader laid a fat quarter at my fingertips.  The sane part of me wanted to scream "NO"  since there were knowing eyes upon me.  But the vulture won out.  With no shame, I came home with more than I took with me. 

My happy ending is that there is now a zippered pouch made from that fat quarter ready to be given back....hopefully with a smile. 

PS:  The leftovers are mine.  

Nattering About ~

My big outing for the week for which I showered, dressed, even applied makeup, was to go to the Farmer's Market.   Heat and humidity is humbling so it was a quick trip.  Tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe and watermelon are still plentiful but there were no peas...perhaps this week, I was told.

Now comfortably dressed and back in the sewing room, I've been nattering about.....chatting some quilts in stages of finished or not  that have been stacked helter skelter for way too long.   Now I'm nattering to them and sorting into piles.

A pile that is quilted but needs binding.

 A  pile of finished quilt tops stacked with backing and batting - some pin basted....some not but all are screaming to be quilted.

A pile of quilt tops and backing but no batting. By far the largest stack!    Batting is on my 'to be ordered' list.  In the meantime, I really need to use some restraint here and play catch up! 

and finally those totally finished that needs to be fondled one more time, then put away until the next visit.

Perhaps I've been in seclusion too long!

Starting.....Again ~

Why is it that when one thought gets finished, another just pops right in?  Oftentimes the pop-in rudely interrupts the not quite finished previous thought.  What the......?  Can't they wait their turn! 

The same is true  in the case of making pillow cases:  one can't get finished before another one just begs for a chance.   When I have a yard of fabric, 27" gets cut for the body of the pillow case.  So I need 9" from another yard for the cuff.   Now I have 27 inches left over from that second yard!   Can you see where this is going?  One pillowcase just leads to another and another and another.   It's as if one piece of fabric is grabbing onto the fabric just left behind. 

hand made pillow cases - marty mason

Imagine a trail of pillowcases marching  into the battered women's shelter or gleefully running into the arms of children in distress while being removed from unsafe conditions.   

hand made pillow cases - marty mason

What the....?   Another finished project just popped right in....scrappy triangles!  One leads to another and another and.............!  Can you see the red polka dots left over from a pillow case or two?  I have no shame  (nor do I apologize) when it comes to interjecting left over fabric where needed. 

improv quilt scrappy triangles by marty mason

Reading and quilt-Making ~

What a life!  The sun is shining on a new day and I just finished another book and I cried.  Yes, I feel strongly that animals talk and also have feelings.  They are sensitive to our needs and to the needs of their fellow-kind.  I've seen pictures of a chicken nurturing kittens or a cow allowing a lamb to suckle.   It's us human kind that are most insensitive to our fellow man that is so often bothersome to me. 

Speaking of chronicles....the quilt tops continue to roll out  after watching  Sarah Bond's Scrappy Triangle  MQG webinar.    Two down and my scrap bins still overflow!  These scrappy triangles were so easily constructed and are so versatile in the design process. 

improv scrappy triangles - marty mason

.....and an improv background piecing work-in-progress. I didn't run out of fabric, just the pastel lavender stripe!  The red polka dots will finish the improv job nicely. 

improv scrappy triangles - marty mason

Happy Anniversary to the two of us ~

It will be a low-key anniversary for the two of us:  the HuMan and I who have been married now for a mere 22 years.  We'll celebrate today in our usual way with a good morning kiss, then a hug.  He'll go his way to watch the weather or piddle in the back garden...water for the birds, blow away a few fallen leaves.  He's a tidy person:  well, actually, he is more than that.  He is a down right cantankerous person when things are imperfect to his perfectionist mind. 

Sometimes, it's absurd, his perfectionism.   But it sure saves me a lot of work.  For instance, he doesn't think I smooth the sheets adequately when making the bed!!!!  So, he does that.  He thinks I don't sort the clothes correctly when 'throwing' them in the washing machine.  Well, guess who does most of the wash! 

Like many men, he doesn't like change and therein lies a problem.  I've learned through the years to make suggestions, then give him a few day to ingest.  If he doesn't come around to my way of thinking, well, guess what.....I do it anyway (most of the time).  Sure, we have our ups and downs but continue to move on together.   We don't usually look back, but when we do, we can laugh. 

He's not a complainer, nor does he nag.  He likes cars, I like quilts.  We are different, but we like each other.  I'm blessed and know it and am thankful every day that the two of us share a little bit of the world together.  My heart is his on this anniversary of our marriage.

I'm Blue ~

It's not my mood that is blue.....all is well here on the home front - but my latest quilt in blue homespun has gotten me in a very good blue zone. 

blue homespun - improvisational quilt top finished by Marty Mason

Having all theses blues on hand, I was inspired by the Sugaridoo quiltalong (the one in which I didn't participate) and the Marston/Jones Free Range Triangle Quilts....particularly page 88 showing free range triangles designed and made by Joanne Salz. 

Totally improv triangles with a few 9-patch  and churn dash blocks for variety.  I had to add a few filler strips to get the columns sewn in and decided the spots of red added a bit of excitement to an otherwise not so lackluster blue quilt that finished at 55" x 76".   

blue homespun - improvisational quilt top finished by Marty Mason

And while outside yesterday getting pictures of my blue triangles, these Agapanthus just begged to be included.   

Agapanthus - Lily of the Nile - in the garden of Marty Mason

Agapanthus - Lily of the Nile - in the garden of Marty Mason

Looking back: What a day it was filled with a finished quilt, flowers and a blue sky.

blue homespun - a finished improvisational style quilt top by Marty Mason

Is it squared?

Is it squared?  No....but it's finished!  My molehill fans are stripped, pieced and quilted....finished.

Was it back in 2016? that several of us from way down here in Louisiana flew up to Ann Arbor to joyfully participate in a Glamp Stitchalot workshop hosted by Pink Castle Fabrics.  Oh how we did love the improv lineup of  teachers:  Latifah Saafir, Sherri Lynn Wood, Daniel Rouse, Luke Haynes, Nydia Kehnle and Nick Ball, each with an enlightening improv technique for us.  I talked about it here in a December, 2016 blog post.

It's taking me a while, but progress continues.

Latifah Saafir inspired - @latifahsaaafirstudios - Improv Molehills ~  This one was a challenge stripping 4 whole molehills and two half ones each one 24" across. So, have empathy for me and know that's why there are so many solid molehills pieced in.

Molehill quilt inspired by Latifah Saafir - pieced and quilted by Marty Mason

Luke Haynes @entropies ~  I was  inspired by his take on deconstructed shirts and finished this one in 2017 shortly after returning from Glamp. Every now and then I'll make quilts with borders.....but, you have to look for them.  I usually get bored with obvious symmetrical borders on my quilts (and yours).

improv patchwork - Marty Mason
Two deconstructed thrift store shirts..........a quilt with borders
inspired by Luke Haynes

Sherri Lynn Wood  @sherrilynnwood -  Her Glamp workshop was all about ruler free strip piecing with emphasis on use of color.
Pictured is my first improv quilt inspired by Sherri Lynn - Floating Squares - from her book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  

improv patchwork - Marty Mason

Nydia Kehnle -  Improv applique

A little bit of the work in progress....slowly progressing with needle and thread in hand.  A few finished 2 1/2" improv applique blocks.

improv applique   - Marty Mason

I know I've already finished my projects inspired by Nicholas Ball and Daniel Rouse.....but wouldn't you know, I can't find either picture and have probably donated both quilts to community service long ago.   Speaking of Nick Ball...did you by chance participate in his (Quilts From The Attic) Improv Triangle Sewalong?

I think I got my monies' worth out of Glamp, 2016!   For now, its almost a square deal and I'm finished.