Huff Puff Guild Stuff ~

It's been a week for helping to take care of quilt guild business.  Whew!  What a relief to have some of that behind us.  Now to get on with getting a mind grip, realizing that some things we say in haste aren't meant to be hurtful.  Could it be that we need each other as sounding boards? 

Don't we all think of ourselves as very important people with very important things to be said and to be heard?  If we don't, then we should.  Oftentimes, the more urgent the message, the louder it becomes.  It might be one of those 'can you hear me now' moments.  When all is said and done and sorted out, it's a wonderful thing to know that the group is one that forgives.   Whether we agree or not in any given conversation, we know we are in a group who has the guild's best interest and well-being at heart.  It's huff, puff, guild stuff.

And, I continue waxing fabric in preparation for being a part of the July 6-10, 2020 Featherweight Retreat at Gray Center.     This jubilant double gauze just begged to be waxed for food wraps.  Two colorways....two sizes. 

bundled waxed double gauze cotton food wraps by Marty Mason

Continuing in my search to rethink the recycle possibilities ~  When I received my  new shoes this week, they were stuffed with the best tissue paper just begging to be waxed.  Yes, we can recycle - one tissue at a time.  I'll be using my waxed paper as food wraps just as I would waxed fabric to wrap cheese, bread, fruit and raw veggies for preservation in the fridge instead of using plastic! 

Smile with me and enjoy your day.

Sunday in September #4

Being silent isn't a bad thing.  Being quiet doesn't mean one doesn't just means other things are going on.  Doctor visits, trip to Books a Million (old school habits require refrigerator calendar to get in touch with self every day),  successfully prepping a casserole for guild luncheon yummmm.     You know, the hum-drum 'busy' time in and out of the house.

But it's now 'fess time in very loud voice - I've finished hand quilting my project for a December showing.  Because of it's vintage style, I chose to finish it with facing rather than binding.  The hanging sleeve is absolutely attached and now there is plenty of time to get that label on.  Yea for being silent long enough to get this job done.

It's made with fabric salvaged from old shirts in the style my grandmother might have gathered and pieced.   This particular quilt design was inspired from quilt shown on page 51 in Roderick Kiracofe's Unconventional & Unexpected....American Quilts Below the Radar.

Hand quilted in Baptist Fan pattern with #12 Perle cotton thread

Continuing in loud voice - I've just finished constructing 75 little pouches to hold beeswax pellets for the July 6-10, 2020 retreat in Canton, Mississippi -The Gray Center

Oh, am I excited to be a part of the Nova Montgomery Featherweight week!  There will be 60+ attendees, each going through an intensive day of cleaning their coveted Singer Featherweights.  In their spare time,  Gray Center host, Anne Robertson, has elicited others to share what they do.  That's where I come in.  I've been invited to share the how to's of waxing fabric and what I do with waxed fabric....linen, silk, wool and canvas.   I'll be surrounded by lots of talented ladies and gents and am looking forward to this beautifully planned retreat.  Stay tuned for scheduling and details and keep an eye on the Gray Center events page.

Beeswax waxed pouches pieced in improvisational style by Marty Mason

Yes, I've been silent for too long.  Quiet doesn't become me when I have so much to share.  I'm so excited, I could scream.

Beeswax waxed pouches pieced in improvisational style by Marty Mason

Waxing Fabric ~

Oh! What Fun!  You've heard of doubt, to remove unwanted hair!  But waxed fabric?  As much fun as the waxing is the making something out of that waxed fabric....that's where my fun week began and one thing led to another until  ~

Marty Mason waxing fabric demo

Marty Mason waxing fabric demo
demonstrating a waxed food wrap 

Marty Mason waxing fabric demo
Wool and Canvas waxed tote ~ An Anna Graham design 

Marty Mason waxing fabric demo
Poolside Tote - an Anna Graham design 

raffia place mat waxed then made into a duffle bag.

Open Wide Zippered Pouch ~ an Anna Graham design

Waxed canvas tote measures 16" x 16"....great carrier for all my stuff

Open wide zippered pouch 

Don't you just love those Anna Graham AKA Noodlehead pouch and tote designs...her open wide zippered pouch was my first.  I was hooked on her designs so purchased the waxed wool tote pattern and finally the poolside tote.  What a way to gather and go!

Sunday in September #2

Narrowing down suitable quotes for the day became too awesome a task so here goes the ones that helps me the most to stay focused on the positive ~

"What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time."  
-  Don Zimmer                

No talent required....but a giant leap in faith while making all those fabric choices! 

"Don't let yesterday take too much of today"   -  Will Rogers

"To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage."  -  Confucius

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind won't matter 
and those who matter won't mind."   -   Dr. Seuss

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."   -    C.S. Lewis

"Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like."  -   Unknown 

"One day or day one.  It's your decision."  - Unknown

Sunday in September ~

Oh Sunday!  How I love thee.   There hasn't been a workday/weekday regimen around our house in a number of years, but Sunday continues to be my 'day off'.   A day to reflect and rest and re-posture.
A day to let go and be still. 

Not just another bag ~ lady

Yes, as I face up to myself....I'm a bag lady and am really, really liking this bag - Anna Graham's  'Gatherer' crossover-the-body bag.  And, yes, there is a free pattern to download.  What's not to love about Anna Graham and Robert Kaufman fabrics!   

Anna Graham  - Noodlehead - Gatherer

Have I been loving you too long ~

I found this post from 2016 and decided to bring it forward to current date, thinking the thought process is  relevant to just about any situation or relationship, especially as it relates to getting in and out of organized groups to which one might be a member.  When groups or their dynamics change (as they tend to to), do we continue to be in love with the group?  If not, should we rethink the possibilities?   Admitting that love is no longer there, allowing  the group to move on without you, would be more beneficial to all before dissatisfaction and hate-mongering  becomes the mindset and the norm. 

From October 7,  2016
Oh, yes!  It's beginning to be a love/hate relationship with these damn flying geese.  What started out to be fun is now getting me to the point of asking self "are we having fun - yet??" 

paper-pieced flying geese

It's not that I don't love paper-pieced flying geese....and it's not that I don't love seeing a work-in-progress pinned to the design wall, it's just that I've been distracted by other fun - traveling to quilt shows and lunches with friends and participating in quilt guild programs.  It's that time of year to enjoy it all.

paper-pieced flying geese

There you have it,  my flying geese have been languishing on the wall and has me wondering how high must I fly to fall back in love.

It has me telling myself that it's only a quilt top and I don't have to marry it.  I read practically every day where relationships end for one reason or another and there should be no shame in ending one  that isn't making the grade.

paper-pieced flying geese

It's already mid-morning and the question all morning has been, "Is today the day to finish with this love affair? "

Perhaps today is the day to pack it up and and move on! 

walking away from a love/hate relationship


It's a Cargo Duffle Bag

What can I say....except to say that it's just one more cargo duffle Anna Graham (Noodlehead) design.  Need I say that she's my favorite bag lady!   This is  my fifth but not destined to be the last.  Such a fun bag to make -  not too complicated and not too bulky to stitch through the layers on my Juki.  It's one of those make-in-a-day bags, assuming you have the day set aside. 

Cargo Duffle Bag a noodlehead design made by marty mason

Here's cargo duffle # 3

Cargo Duffle Bag a noodlehead design made by marty mason

and cargo duffle #2....the one I use most of the time.  

Cargo Duffle Bag a noodlehead design made by marty mason
pssssssssst.....I still wear those yoga pants but the shoes have worn out!

The Common Thread ~

The common thread - that which holds together - the glue.  Obviously, in a book club, the glue is books, reading, word power,  knowledge.

The common thread in a garden club, motorcycle club, vintage car club, photography club?  The answers are obvious.  So it is in quilting groups....the obvious.  The common thread is enjoying the art of quilting and being with like minds who want to share the joy.

The structure of  a quilting group is usually the main....the guild.  Then, based on common interests....hand quilting or applique, machine quilting and so on, the guild members gravitate into and form smaller sub-groups....the Bees.  It's within the Bee groups where quilting is the predominant focus.    It's the place for fun, relaxation and fellowship and where the more intimate friendships are cultivated.  It's also the place where solving life problems is likely to be happening.

The main group, The Guild, by nature has to focus on business and  needs structure, i.e. the governing body, the rules.  But what is happening in a group to which I belong is that the integrity of the body is being questioned.  Questions are being asked as to why the rules and why so much accountability and why are there no quilting activities.

I must admit that I, too, have thought at times that the group could be run in a better way or that changes could solve some problems.   From my perspective, leadership was lacking, meetings had no order, money was being spent without obvious control. Members had questions that no one would or could answer.  Members had suggestions that weren't being considered.   To sum it up - there was turmoil, stress and strife.    I was grumbling silently and out loud about this and that.  Certainly not helping anything or anybody.

My grumbling had to stop!  I'm a straight forward person, an open book.   You might call me a shoot-from-the-hip-type of person  (when it comes to making an obvious decision).   I had  a choice....either stay in or get out.   I opted to stay in....stay in and get involved.  My first overt action was to learn more about functions within the group.  I volunteered to become a group officer so I could go to business meetings and be a part of changing the group into one that is more transparent and more receptive.   In the past year, the bylaws, policy and procedures have been re-evaluated and changed to strengthen,  clarify or even do away with some parts of the structure.  Order is now being maintained in business meetings as well as open group sessions.  Everyone who wants to speak has an opportunity, but in an orderly fashion. Meetings have a structure, an agenda.    Group decisions are only made after healthy discussions.  Money is accounted for (a rule) and everyone has a voice.    To sum it up: chaos has been turned into order.

Look me directly in the eye and tell me you've done all you can
 to help
solve your problem! 

Yes, some members are now saying there are too many rules.  I laugh out loud when I say thank goodness for stop signs at road intersections and fences around pools.  Thank goodness for meals served at breakfast time, lunch time and supper time and thank goodness for the watch on my wrist so I can be at the table on time to stop my grumbling. 

TTFN as I continue to keep my sense of humor!

Just saying - Marty

When life gets exciting ~

I've been waiting.....and waiting  for life to get exciting.  Waiting for life to give me something to write about.  It hasn't happened yet and I'm getting into my third quarter.  So this morning, I took control and will make my life exciting for me.

I've been in this house (and garden) for almost thirty years and have spent the better part of those years adding on to my lush landscape.  Beds and borders filled to the brim with flora and fauna have given me immense pleasure - until age began to creep into my weary bones.

The HuMan and I decided a few weeks ago to take out another flower bed.....the one we call the long bed because that's what the man who put in our sprinkler system 20 years ago called it!  Made sense to me at the time, and still does.  When I was out there pulling weeds, pruning shrubbery, adding mulch, spraying for bugs.....pulling weeds, pruning - well, that bed got longer and longer with each passing year.

picture this work in progress....heavy equipment required

So, here's the long (and shorter) of it all.  The long bed that ran the entire side of our property, separating us from the neighbor,  is now being shortened.  We are leaving a smidge of it along the fence line, but the rest is going, going, gone.  Where once was a hundred or more azaleas and a few ornamental trees, is now grass.

We hire out the grass cutting.....and I continue to make quilts....inside.

It was in Quilt Mania edition that I saw the quilt pictured - Simply Moderne #14.....a simply modern magazine that as far as I can  determine has no date!     Tufted , a wonderful scrap buster designed and quilted by Blair Stocker of WiseCraft Handmade.  Blair's background was in a grey solid....but, I didn't have a grey, so harvest gold became the fabric of my choice.

Tufted with no mowing required ~

A breakfast table filled with golden cheer to give my mood a jump start before the sun comes up.

I raised my hand ~

Every now and then I raise my hand too quickly, but not this time.  When this quilt top came up as an unwanted  giveaway, my hand immediately popped up.  Granted, that was two or three years ago, and granted, it took a bit of ripping and reworking the wavy borders but wowsers..... after getting it quilted, washed and dried to give it that wonderful snuggle me up glow, look at this beauty that was once unwanted. 

string quilt in the Amish style

Oh, how I wish I knew the quilt maker.   She deserves a thumbs up (and more). 

Old, that's a good thing ~

Listening to Neil Young music ~ excerpt from Old Man ~

  "give me things that don't get lost."

Yes, that's where I am today, looking for things that get lost while listening to Neil Young music.

a binding that I know was put aside

an apron pattern purchased two years ago buried in the black hole called lost patterns(?)

                there may be more success looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack

Neil Young wrote that the Old Man lyrics were inspired by an old ranch foreman - a caretaker who takes care of cows.....and fences.

I'm in need of a caretaker, not for my cows or fences but that someone to find things that tend to get lost.  

Samples of quilt blocks lost and never found.  In exasperation, duplicates were made:  

May I find solace and the ability to put my hands on things that aren't lost ~ 

.....and then insanity follows

Admitting time....that the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) is just about to drive me into insanity.  It wasn't the first finish that did it, Chic Diamonds Pattern #415 done up in my favorite barn and turkey reds...actually the back side of reds in the grunge collection.

 nor even the second - A Gaggle Battle out of One Wonderful Curve 12 Contemporary Quilts.

but, yesterday after spending the day prepping a project to sew at our annual "Five O'Clock Quilters" retreat this upcoming weekend, the notion that I'm crazy about this ruler was set firmly in my head.

The pattern,  aptly dubbed 'Rings Revival' by quilt designers Helen Robinson and Jenny Pidigo,    found in Simply Modern Magazine Issue #14, is a QCR jewel.   I'm excited to get stitching on even more rings that will keep me revived. 

If Only ~

If many many much, if only?   I was so inspired by a hand stitching workshop that took place in our public library yesterday, that I came away wishing, if only

there was more time to learn, to stitch, to do.    I have the now and that's all I have to make the most of and relish every sunbeam and cloud.   Life, now that's a cat's meow ~

Post Gees Bend Quilters' Retreat - blues

I've just returned from a most delicious and delightful retreat....with the quilters' of Gees Bend from, Boykin, Alabama - Mary Anne Pettway and China Pettway.     There were 36 of us eager-to-enjoy members in the group - all corralled by Anne, our beautiful Gray Center Retreat host.  Yes, you guessed it.  We had a rip-roaring good time.  It was a four day blast of energy and creativity rejuvenation.  And the food was from the gods! 

We came from California and New York and points in between to share ideas and fabric, love and laughter while Mary Ann and China mentored each of us in our quilting patchworks in progress and lifted us up with their soul-filled music. 

From start to finish:  Was it only 2016? that a group of us bussed to Gees' Bend, Alabama.  While there, Mary Ann was working on a little patch and I came home with it....signed, of course, by it's maker, Mary Ann Pettway.

I had the foresight to take the patch back with me last week and had Mary Ann add the final border and add the current date.  I hand quilted it and added binding this week for a finished momenta of the beauty of  a glorious time with queens of improv patchwork. 

This pink and lime predominately thrift store linens, started while at the retreat and the patchwork pieced borders were added this week after I got back home.    I think I'll call it a "running with lemon grass."  It's filled with the lime and lemon colors of citrus. 

and other snapshots while at Gray Center, Canton, Mississippi.

Sisson wears his patchwork!

then it was breakfast and goodbye until we meet again ~

China Pettway following Mary Ann Pettway as they leave
Gees Bend Quilting Retreat