Hunkering Down ~

We, the HuMan and I, got word late yesterday that our local library is closing until mid-April.   This was a panic in itself since we both are avid readers and prefer our downsized version of reading without making a book purchase .   Just in the nick of time before the library doors closed, we selected enough books from  their full shelves to get through the crisis....she says in a positive tone!

Hunkering down is for the birds ~ 

This crisis may just be the one that forces me to enjoy the art of reading - electronics!!

I'm hunkering down at home.  Alternating between quilt making and reading - my days will be filled.

improv pieced houses - quilt blocks by marty mason

Friendship: Pass it on

At the end of each guild president's tenure, guild members are invited to make a 'friendship block' to  show their appreciation for her dedication and to honor the time put into doing this important job.  Not having a firm commitment from the group, I decided to hell with all your animosity.....this will be done.  Whoever wants to be a friend will sign on the designated fabric!   I committed to putting it all together into a true friends' quilt. 

You are either in this circle of friends or out.  The choice was yours.  Hopefully, when you signed your name to the fabric, you sincerely committed to being a friend.

I loved the healing process of sewing this together and hope our outgoing president loves it as well.  It is a small token, but we hope she feels honored and will continue to recognize  the names of her quilting friends as the years go by. 

I'm Staying In ~

I'll stay in today because staying in is being nice to self.  No hurry, no worry - just staying. 

Diary of recently finished quilts and a little bit of a work-in-progress. 

One started at the last Five O'Clock Quilters' retreat....completed here at home with big stitch hand quilting.  Calling this one On The Wings Of A Dove .....and that's a wrap.

Since my fabric shelves are filled to the brim, there was not much fabric purchased at QuiltCon 2020....except some from Beyond The Reef that could not be denied!   Cut and sewn into a lot of quarter-square triangles made from Natalie Barnes Homeward Collection

and a few "Plus" blocks.....a work-in-progress using Cherrywood hand dyed fabric. 

Plus blocks .....a work in progress by marty mason

Staying in is being nice to self surrounded by all good things and with positive thoughts for those in harms way. 

Positive Energy ~

What prompted this post from the past?   A post from March two years ago -  Positive Energy.  Oh, the joy of ..... rethinking the possibilities and wondering 'what if?'

While my heart wasn't in it, I felt compelled to join in with a group of quilters working up a retreat for next week.   Now that the retreat form is completed and the check is written and all is delivered to the retreat caretaker....I'm super excited and looking forward.

Something I read this morning - "look not down and back , but up and out."  From the book Listen To Me. 

When I was a kid, my sisters and I would sit on the front step and play guessing games.  How many cars would pass before the next red one came by?  Or, how many blue cars would be in the next 15 cars that passed.  Or how many kids could we see in cars that passed?  It was a game, but it kept us looking forward to what was yet to come.

I still love the positive energy I get  from playing the guessing games.....what's around the next corner or what might tomorrow have in store for me?    What new word will  I learn today and what new quilt design is going to pop into my head?  I hope to always be eager and ready for the surprise I know is out there when I don't jump to conclusions. 

In improvisational quilt-making you absolutely cannot/do not know the conclusion until you've put in the very last stitch.  I love that surprise element in my work.  Often tiring, never boring. 

And so, I continue to splatter paint this has no value, except to me.  I can see for miles.....the sand, the sea, the sky and sunshine. 

A simple little project ~

On such a cold, rain filled day, something to keep away the blues ~

In keeping with my quest to reduce plastic and paper waste, this little  goodie bag just fit my need to demonstrate the art of gift wrapping without waste.   This fabric gift bag for your Valentine's Day sweetheart is large enough to hold candy kisses, a tube of  the reddest red lip gloss or even diamond earrings.  Look -  no paper or plastic waste - using scraps of fabric instead.  The simplest things keep me smiling.   How fun to make these two goodie gift bags in under 20 minutes. 

Nuts and Bolts ~

improv patchwork  quilt in the making with silk and other remnants - marty mason

It's still on the improv design wall, but already this little gem is dubbed "Nuts and Bolts".  The nuts and bolts of it is because while happily practicing my curved piecing,  I'm loving the improvisational-ness of this piece with no rhyme nor reason to its progression.  Accepting each add-on that's fitting together like a nut to the bolt. 

improv patchwork  quilt in the making with silk and other remnants - marty mason

January ~

2020 - a new year, a new decade -  has arrived and January is well in progress.  Some snapshots just to prove the sewing  machine has been humming.

The joyous new year began with the completion of two quilt tops ready for quilting and donated to a child in need.  Just last week I heard a comment made that made my heart hurt.  A lovely quilter, she is, said that she was just about community serviced out.   But for the grace of God, that hurting child could have been me and so it is for that reason that I hope never to tire of giving away my quilting time and talent.

Simply sewed, an improv 4 patch using donated fabric....and the abundant joy in giving back continues.

improv 4 patch for community service quilt

Another improv 4-patch ready to be quilted and donated.

Improv 4-patch closeup....just filling in the gaps.

And what a year-ending treat it was to being an active participant in the Sherri Lynn Wood Patchwork Doodle workshop last month.   This project began by making several size rectangles in several colorways, then attaching one to the other.  When that began to bore me, I switched over to making triangles of any size  putting it all together to the improv finish line.  My goal of making with larger blocks was not a total failure.  I'll continue to think big when thinking of improv. 

And another improv top finished just yesterday.....improv to the log cabin constructed in a minimal number of fabrics and colorways.  

Happiness is sewing in the new year.

In a hurry.....gotta get on the road ~

I'm off first thing this morning for a weekend filled with Sherri Lynn Wood workshops.  It's going to be all about patchwork  doodling along with some courageous and outrageous curved piecing in two six hour whirlwind days in Lafayette, Louisiana.   My bags are packed and all the sewing gear is  ready to roll with me. 

But first a hint of what it's all about.   Here's my first 'floating square' block and finished improv patchwork quilt made several years ago using Sherri Lynn's book  The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters as inspiration and guidance.    Get fabric, cut a square and let one thing lead itself into the next. 

Floating Squares improv patchwork quilt block inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood

Floating Squares improv patchwork quilt inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood

Sew, I'll see you on the other side of the weekend with more pictures of how  Sherri Lynn and I figure it out!  Improv patchwork, now that's a cat's meow. 

Thankful ~

I'm thankful for the season and wish you all a holiday filled with peaceful moments and safe travels.

Home with one ~

Arrived home exhausted from a fabulous 3-day quilting retreat with one finished quilt top and two more quilt tops in progress. 

A "Love" panel was purchased for no particular reason while last at Mama's Quilt Shop in Independence.  The shop had a quilt hanging on the wall so I asked if I could take a picture for reference to cut my panel, add logs around each block  and complete a likeness for myself.  Likeness now completed and ready for quilting and donating to community service.   Borders were not added simply because I couldn't find just the right fabric in my stash but the size is still a good lap size at 48" x 72"

With only three blocks started, I'm already loving The Avenue....a quilt pattern by Louise Papas for the Jen Kingwell designs collective. 

Each tree along the avenue will be made from my scrap fabric bin with no particular focus on color or design.  

And then the cat's paper pieced meow.....I've begun Leila Gardunia's free pattern downloads and am on a quest to complete all 52 scrappy triangles.  

16 and counting 

Until next quilting retreat with friends !