Summer Solstice: A Life Of Its Own

Oh, Yes!  I've been auditioning inner border fabrics and it's beginning to take on a life of its own.

I did so enjoy this modern fabric but decided it would be making too much of a statement so I rejected it......then pulled it back out again with a new attitude.

Summer Solstice:  A Life Of Its Own
And, in that same spirit, I auditioned it with the little peachy border.  Works very peachily for me. 
Summer Solstice:  A Life Of Its Own
I'm now wrapping the lone star with some of my favorite fabrics and loving that it is beginning to take on a life of its own.

Summer Solstice:  A Life Of Its Own this point, I again reversed the center points to the outer points and like how the bolder star tips are sparking on each corner fabric.  I'm also really liking that modern look in the top fabric.  Seems to be a perfect separation for each corner fabric.  I need to re-think the peach border (or maybe not). 

Summer Solstice:  A Life Of Its Own
Oh, yes.....A Life Of Its Own

Summer Solstice:  A Life Of Its Own

All eight of the small New York beauty blocks (aqua and yellow) are completed, now to tackle the large gray and orange ones.  When all that is done, perhaps I can tell more about how those borders will fit.  Thankfully, this quilt's life isn't set in stone and can take on a new one with just the change of a fabric. 
 My day is cut out for me. 

Why not embrace the Summer Solstice ~

That's just exactly what the twenty of us did......embraced the pleasure we had in a Summer Solstice workshop taught by Jan Mathews.  Jan is a Judy Niemeyer certified teacher coming out of Texas, and how perfect was she for our group.  The room was hot but Jan stayed cool.   Amid all the mumbling and second guessing and ripping, then silence and sewing, mumbling and ripping, Jan got us through every step of how to construct the Summer Solstice design. 

My construction was not without an OOPS or two!  I knew the minute Susan walked away from my lonestar with a giggle in her throat, that she had spotted an oops, but since it was late afternoon on the second day and we had to shut it down, I didn't have time to find the error of my ways.

First thing this morning I spread my star out and there it was - my purple circle around the star didn't align with the other purples,  nor did the peachy circle feel right.  Oh, gees, I had reversed the two. 

Now it's ripped and re-sewn and looking much better. 

What isn't looking better is one of the border options I had chosen before the workshop.  Thankfully I didn't make a final border decision so no fabric has been cut.   I've been knee-deep in fabric this morning looking for just the right border choices.  Not satisfied yet, but I'll get there. 

What seems to be complicating things is that I switched the layout so the dark fabrics make the inner star and that puts the green and blue alternating on the outer star points.  I'm thinking I may have to do more ripping to replace the four green tips with the blue.  We'll see.  I really wanted to use a print fabric on the outer borders rather than a solid, just to jazz it up a bit, but I'm not finding just the right print in my fabric stash.  Now, what's a quilter to do? 

In the meantime, I have six more New York beauty blocks to finish and that's going to take a while.


There will be more Summer Solstice news and views as I progress. 


funny things happen on the way to my zoo ~

Some days are more zoo like than others.   I decided yesterday that if Luke Haynes could make a quilt with paper, then so could I.  I bought a bolt of light weight stabilizer yesterday while out with my 40% off coupon.  The stabilizer, I'm told, must be used on all paper before putting into a quilt.  And, NO, even with stabilizer, I can't wash my quilt made with paper, so I'll probably keep it small - more wall hanging size rather than bed cover size!

I've also been getting lots of paper in the mail and have been saving my old paperback books and have been collecting little tickets and claim checks and maps and sales receipts and whatever paper products I can claim as my own to tear, glue, paint or sew on at my discretion, in what I imagine would be the Luke Haynes' style. 

In an improv fashion this morning, I stitched up a 12" x 20" paper block, using all the above-mentioned paper.    I then found scraps of silk and loose thread to indiscriminately glue on top of the paper.....ornamental only.  I equated this to be like applique attached to a traditional quilt. 

paper improv quilt block

While waiting for all this to dry, I decided to practice taking pictures with my new phone.  The one that is secured with my thumb print.  Over and over I tried and FINALLY  that damned smart phone decided that it didn't recognize my thumb print.   But it was the same thumb I used this morning to open that damned smart phone!

 Like anyone in my shoes would be doing about this time, I looked at my thumb to see what has changed about it in the past hour. 

Ooops....error message.....cannot read thumb with glue smudging the owner's real and original print.   To correct the problem, wash hands and use clean thumb to re-try entry into smart phone. 

Funny things happen on the way to my zoo ~


You can be a dreamer too ~

Long days of dreaming behind me and many more in my future:
Dreaming:  Marty Mason Photographer
Dreaming:  Marty Mason Photographer


it's not unusual ~

It's not unusual for me to start off on one page - you know the route - your list - of things-to-do - the things that really, really should get done today list.....where I started this morning!  

  And then the route changed.  But that's not unusual. 

ColorBoard No. 31 The Improv Orange Peel original to Marty Mason
I loved how easily ColorBoard No. 31 was made with Playcrafts color palette builder
It's not unusual for me to wake up in a playful frame of mind. 
It's not unusual at all for me to chuck the real to-do list and
make one that is much more fun. 
 It's not the least bit unusual for my blog post title, picture and  narrative to have no relationship one to the other.
No. 1 on my to-do list is to wish for you a  
day filled with good cheer. 

Now you see you don't ~

I'm so lucky.  Being a winner and all that jazz. 

handmade sewing machine cover

Until recently, I've been battling cat dander and cat hair and I  won't mention household dust,  on my sewing machine. 

Juki TL 2010 sewing machine
Add caption

It's not really a long story; however, I could make it such, but I won't.  My local quilting club needed money, desperately, but didn't really have a plan on how to put more money in the bank until several of us visited Patience Quilt Guild in Alexandria, Louisiana, wherein, we learned that members of their guild volunteered to donate a handmade item each month and the gifted item was raffled off to benefit the guild.  We came home exilerated with the idea and put it to work.  We've raised quite the sum!  What quilter doesn't want money in the bank to spend on teachers, playdays, retreats, workshops, road trips and other fun quilting stuff. 

I told you I would keep this short......I needed a sewing machine cover and Ethel volunteered to donate the handmade raffle project for June.  I told her that I had coveted her sewing machine cover she made at a quilting retreat earlier in the year, and that if she would make one for the raffle, it would be MINE.    Sure enough, honestly and no cheating, I won it fair and ticket was pulled out of the hat.  YEA! and YEA again. 

Thank you Ethel.
It is a perfect fit.  My Juki is now dressed to the nines! and I'm smiling happy even though Kitty is NOT.    She loved having that visible spool of thread ready to wrap her tail around. 

Life's hard, Kitty.  Embrace the moment and be happy you are an adopted cat with fabric scraps in your Walmart pillow case on your quilted sofa bed!  



"Sizzlin' " ColorBoard No. 30

A Christmas gift from Finley.......she drew a picture of how she sees me!  She thinks I'm cool....I happen to think I'm "Sizzlin' " !   I loved her take on her Aunt Mart and thought it deserved to be spotlighted in a ColorBoard....No. 30. 

colorboard, a caricature, me

The first 22 ColorBoards are mixed in here.....Reflections Unfurling  and others are intermingled in and out of my fiber musings.   Hope you have a cool plans for your hot and sizzlin' June day. 


When Marty Muses ~

Ya know, when you start at the end of the story, then stop and muse to self.....perhaps I need to back up and start from the front. 

Case in point.....I liked this fabric....modern affair from art gallery.   Therefore, if I like it, then it should be used.  Somewhere.  A quilt binding, perhaps?  What about binding the quilt I've just finished quilting?  Yep....that works for me.

quilt binding with Art Gallery - Modern Affair Collection
quilt binding with Art Gallery - Modern Affair Collection

The story started several weeks ago.  When at a quilt guild meeting, purely off the cuff and not in the program script at all, I told the group that often times my quilt binding has no relationship to the quilt.  I don't closely examine, nor dwell on the final stages of my quilts.  Some think I should !  But my feeling is that if the binding fabric finishes the job and does it in a pleasing manner (to me), then it's a binding well done. 

Continuing to muse and moving in a backwardly direction:   Here is the quilt back....a fabric from the PB & J Basic Grey collection.  Hmmmmmmm....does this quilt back have any kind of relationship to the front???  NOOOOOO........Oh, my! 

PB&J - BasicGrey quilt back showcasing spiral quilting by Marty Mason

Close up of quilt front, improvisationally pieced quilt blocks with concentric circles/spiral quilting.

Improv pieced, spiral quilting:  modern by marty mason

And the unveiling of this rogue quilt with binding that has no relationship to its front or back. 

Improv pieced, spiral quilting:  modern by marty mason

This tale started with the binding.  The quilt ends with it.   
 How perfectly finished is that. 

When Eyes Wander ~

A face under the needle - marty mason

Why is it when I'm on the road,  my eyes automatically go to road kill?  My eyes aren't usually the kind that seeks out bad things.  My eyes don't gravitate to dirty diapers or snotty noses or people picking their teeth.   My  eyes don't seek out low cut blouses with breasts gushing out nor do they seek out low cut pants with visible butt cracks.   My eyes definitely stay away from street fights that might result in spilled blood.  My eyes don't watch movies that aren't musical or comedy.  Well, they might watch a bit of mystery and Harry Potter. 

The Space Between

My eyes do go to people on the street....often times because of the photo possibilities, not because of their state of being.  I find homeless people and dogs with no homes very sad.   They have strayed and are stray and I can do but a little to bring them some comfort.   

So, why yesterday on a road trip to do a local quilt guild program, did my eyes gravitate more than once to road kill.  And, what's more my eyes wanted to identify each type of kill.  Some were obvious:  the large deer easily identified by its size:  skinny legs and all.   The raccoon with its striped tail and black mascara ringed eyes.....the armadillo with its hard back.  Oh, and the poor little opossum with its cute little pointy nose.  Even the occasional squirrel.  I know them because they always fall from the utility line right smack dab in the middle of the road.  You would think that with their tight-rope-walking agility they could get safely across the high wire.  Perhaps they stop to answer the call of the wild or that ever present telephone call and get distracted. 

Only a few scraps remained, so I put them into a quilt:  improv style and set about random free-motion quilting

And let's not forget the fragrant skunk. My eyes seldom see the skunk remains, but they definitely tear up over the perfume in the air.   Is it their last farewell?  "Up yours too.....bad ass car!" 

But yesterday, what put me in a quandary?   My eyes saw it from a quarter mile out and immediately started the identification process.   There it was, a huge, dark, spikey-like clump.  Was it a turkey?  Getting closer, the guessing game continued.....perhaps a wild pig?  No.  Getting closer....can't be a big vulture or a hairy dog.  Getting closer, I veered around the road maintenance mowing machine and continued my corpse ident and what a disappointment it was when finally! 

Unconventional & Unexpected... loving my latest book purchase
This book just arrived and it is a feast for the eyes. 

We've had so much rain these past few weeks that the mowing machines are bogging down and when they get themselves out of the muck and mire in the ditches, they are leaving trails of mud.    Now, my eyes have a new "kill" to process - MUD.     Yes, It was a fun day and a fun journey to and from. 

Block designed by Monika Wintermantel
In the book Modern Blocks, page 40