When In Doubt ~

I didn't trust myself, so I looked it up!  

 After receiving a text this morning that a quilting acquaintance's brother-in-law had passed away, my first thought was, ohmygosh, I didn't realize she had a sister!!!   In introspection, I think that the quilter's husband's brother-in-law was the one who passed away.   The quilter was not related to the deceased therefore cannot claim that kinship.   She would have a brother-in-law only if she had a married sister.   

The older I get, the more doubtful I become of what I know and what I think I know and what I really don't know, nor never did.  So, I continue to look it up just to keep myself in the know.  

I do hope they ban me from the text group....the bings are driving me out of my knowledgeable mind!

Inspired by the quilts out of India

 I was so intrigued with the display of Kawandi (quilts)  made by the Siddi quilters of India way so long ago (it seems) while at QuiltCon in Savannah.  Was that 2017????  While at home all these months now, I've been stalking some of those Siddi quilters and finally had an opportunity to participate in Sujata Shah's workshop this weekend past.  What  a great zoom treat.  Sujata is also known as The Root Connection if you'd like to be inspired by her quilting style.  

My kawandi finishes at 15" x 23".  It was a new way to use fabric from the scrap heap.  

From the beginning.....start with a thin backing fabric and a thin batting cut 1" smaller than the backing.  Fold backing over and baste in place all around the quilt.  Begin layering fabric and stitching from the outside edges of the quilt.  Now that's a new twist!  Stitching continues and layers are added round and round in concentric circles to the finish in or near the center of the quilt.   

The Phula (flower) adorns the four corners.  It's a traditional adornment and  the quilters of Siddi feel their quilts are not finished until the decoration is added.   I agree. That little flower in each corner just makes me smile.  

It was a great zoom workshop with 30 participants from around the US and into Great Britain    Just two little glitches which took away from my personal pleasure - one participant felt it was perfectly all right to interject her political viewpoint.  I was dismayed that she wasn't immediately muted.  Another participate dominated a goodly few minutes sobbing over the loss of her parents and how uncomfortable she was cutting into their clothing to make memory quilts.  I felt her pain but did not feel this was the best venue to elicit sympathy.  Both the politics and sobbing incidents diminished  my $50 value of the workshop.  Just saying ~ 

A break from the ordinary ~

 I sometimes need a break......a break from quilting cottons!  The silk fabric hoarder in me needed to take the dive and work up a quilt with those thrift store silk ties and scarves and blouses that had been languishing on the shelf  way too long.   Each piece was easy to improv  because of the size and shape of silk scrap.  After stabilizing each piece with an iron-on fusible,  I simply cut to maximize the fabric. 

What I discovered was that I would rather wear silk than work with it in a quilt!  The stitching is finished on this 40" x 55" silk and the hand-quilting has now begun.  

Now I'm back to working with cotton and my favorite of all times quilt pattern....the Chinese coins.  Didn't bother me at all when I discovered there was not enough yellow to sash each strip of coins.  Fillers just make me smile.   You'll have to look closely to see my improv additions to lengthen the yellow strips.  Every day in every way, life is good ~ 

I really didn't desert my blog ~

 But, I say, things just get in the way.   I was a happy camper this week, saying goodbye to ten little quilts made for community service.  They are out of the house and in the hands of those in need.  Some might have already been shared with you, but after quilting and binding, washing and drying all of them this past week, I thought I'd give one last glimpse of what can be done with a few scraps and left overs. 

Three of my favorites using Kaffe Fassett fat quarters to make large triangles. So easy to cut and sew.   I saw it somewhere....perhaps in one of his books!

Two made using the Karen Brown technique she demonstrated to rid herself of some unwanted fabric.  I started with twelve 15" squares and here's the outcome.  Was so enlightening, I decided to do it twice.

And.....who doesn't like scrappy triangles.  The combinations are limitless ~

Still scraps in an improv windmill layout.  

Here's the one made from the design Ginger shared with me.  Size is a personal choice so I used twenty four 10" squares for this slice and insert approach.  

Saying goodbye makes me smile and that's a good thing ~ 

How Brave Are You?

 The poll question I was asked to respond to read "How brave are you feeling?"  At the time, I was feeling so wimpish that I couldn't respond to the question.  You see,  I want to be brave and strong and be in the present....but at that present time, I was feeling bored and not sure where to go with my newest floating squares work-in-progress!   

After having a second cup of coffee (too early for wine) and muddling around the possibilities, I decided this is it, this quilt is done! 

 But it still needed to be squared (she said) as she remembered that fabulous Alexander Henry "Afternoon Delight" recently purchased.  The colors were right, the theme was right, it relieved the boredom and truthfully, it made me feel happy.  

Bravely, I added the Alexander Henry to the left and bottom giving me wiggle room to trim up square. Yes, the borders are not symmetrical.   

Feeling pretty darn brave - enough to go back and absolutely, positively respond to the poll ~ Whoopeeee.  

Not Alone ~

 I wasn't alone yesterday......not with 81 other participants!  Being in a workshop with Sherri Lynn Wood, whether live or virtual,  is always a joy.  She quietly pushes without bruising body or ego.  In her very joyful way, Sherri Lynn  encourages and inspires by example.  

No, how could I be alone while interacting with the group.  We listened, we learned, we cheered each other along as we cut and sewed, each of us working separately, yet together on our personal vision of  an improv floating squares patchwork.  

I did so enjoy using a few of my vintage flower sack street finds in this improv patchwork

Progress after a full day of expanding my horizons ~ It measures 30" ish x 30" ish.....give or take a few ish'es!  

My floating square improv patchwork from a few years ago continues to entice me to look a little bit closer and imagine "What If?"  

Hello September ~

 Well, Hello There! September.....I'm looking forward to a bit of time with no drama....please.  While we are weathering the Covid Storm and the Political Storm,  Hurricane Storm Laura threw us a curve ball.   It's the first time in my memory that hurricane force winds nearly blew us away here in  North Louisiana.  She wasn't pretty.  What a mess we had to clean up inside and out.   After being without electricity for 32 hours, I won't be taking that luxury for granted any time soon.    When it was finally turned back on , we were jubilant.....went outside and hugged our neighbors who were also celebrating the oddity of electrical power.  

A few August finishes in spite of its tumultuous ending - 

One that was started a couple of years ago (or more), Jen Kingwell's Green Tea and Sweet Beans.  It's a little jewel, however tedious! Four applique blocks were stitched this week.  

I've used a lot of little scraps that have been hoarded just for this quilt.  

More to follow until completion. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying this wonderful September day. 


It's been a busy summer ~

"I will not participate in the hate-filled political environment"  has become my mantra.  Of course, I keep informed and feel comfortable about who I will be giving my vote to.  But believe me when I say that your rants and raves and hate filled comments will not sway me into believing your truths.  

What I am participating in is keeping myself occupied this summer doing what I can to help ease the hurt and pain of some.  Pictured are a few quilts that have been delivered to those in need.   I'd rather be building rather than tearing down.  

Delightfully pieced and donated  by Carol Sue Kelly.  It was a jewel to quilt and pass on. 

Totally improv ~ from the scrap bin 

A take on my "improv to the 9-patch" workshop 

I dubbed this one "Piglet".....a panel donated by Carol Sue Kelly. 

A take on the log cabin using up strips and scraps from the bin.


Repeated the take on the log cabin - there's still plenty of scraps!  

Scrappy Triangles enlarged with improv patchwork border. 

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 quilt.....one 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 idly......to 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!