Sunday, August 21, 2016

In Memory Of

Memory Quilts by Anne Sullivan
In our house, dogs are family.  In fact truth be told, they kind of ran the place. If you're "a dog person" you get that.   Our friend Anne does and the quilts that she made in their memory will be treasured forever. 

We are so fortunate to have had Chase and Dottie in our lives for a long loving time which in turn makes the heartbreak of their loss so much deeper.   We said goodbye to Dottie in September and to Chase one moon ago.   

Chase was addopted in October 2012 from the Peninsula Humane Society after researching and visiting a few German Shorthair Pointers in foster care.  When they walked him out to the yard to let us spend time together, he climbed right up on my hubby's lap and that was it.  He had chosen his family.  Our boys were in elementary and middle school which acts as an unmistakable marker of time.   We immediately found him a companion, aninseparable  soulmate, Dottie.

Chase - back
Chase - Label
Anne and Chase May 2015
Before Anne moved away, far far away - we would have basting parties and collaborate on projects.  Chase was not a lap dog for just anyone.  He knew how to choose his humans.
Quilting detail back
I absolutely love everything about the quilt and am so touched, beyond words.  Chase was here when we received the Dottie quilt in the mail.   It is difficult to adjust and we are still grieving the loss, but there is also something that now feels complete having them together again, captured in fabric by thoughtful (amazingly talented) hands and a huge giving heart.

a Full Moon Walk

I'm glad to be attending QuiltCon East where Anne will be lecturing and teaching a workshop so that I can give her a proper hug to go with the many, many virtual ones.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Makin' Bacon (blocks) - BeeSewcial July

Two slabs of bacon
For the month of July, it was Debbie's turn and she chose The Bacon Consideration.  You can read all about it on her blog with the link.   A food theme seems SO obvious for A Quilter's Table!
Fabric Pull
Well it's not pulled pork but rather my fabric pull, tee hee.  The upper left photo is the one that was shared with our outline as suggested colors.  The lower left is my first "off the shelf" grab of things that seemed in line along with a bit of humorous novelty fabric from my stash because, really - I had bacon fabric and not everyone can say that. Upper right is my scrap additions and the last picture includes my expanded inclusion of other-than-quilt-cotton.
In progress
The excuse to use a bit corduroy that I've collected to make an all corduroy quilt was great and I was even per-SUEDED to use leather.

As with most of the improv pieces that I sew, there was a general concept that I wanted to capture but I let the evolution lead to wherever the block wanted to go.  Thank goodness for loose size restraints.

The under belly
The mix of these with essex linen,  textured solid, hand-dye and at least three brands of solid cotton a nice challenge in itself.  I wanted one very lean, the other a bit fatty and as you might expect had the urge to EAT bacon for weeks.
14"x19.5" Block One
9"x11" Block Two
With Debbie's skill for fun photo shoots I knew she would appreciate a clever setting.  I really wanted to hang these from the chicken coop at my son's house but didn't make it happen before mailing them off.  

If you aren't already following the challenges or sewing along for yourself, please do.   August is our month off and September will be here before I know it.  The Instagram hashtag is #beesewcial and #inspiredbybeesewcial.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Tone on Tone

Quilt Designs  

I was pretty clueless about the recent controversy stirred up over this MQG article until I started reading comments on Facebook and Instagram and then I just wanted to crawl in a hole.   It's easy to get caught up in the drama, I get it.  But really people, watch your Tone (on Tone).

My opinion is that MQG had good intentions that went wrong and have done an admirable job attempting to correct course.   Good can come of controversy and also of clearing the air but times like this make me want to say "I don't know, I don't know, never mind!!"

After lurking somewhere between hiding my head in the sand and stepping on a soapbox about it all, I've decided to write a post and put it on paper, for the record.  

Quilting is my happy place.  I don't like conflict.  But I am also protective and think that it's OK to speak up if something doesn't seem right (just ask my local peeps).   To sit back and just think it or to walk away instead of trying to make a difference and redirect is everyones loss.   

Rachel of Stitched In Color proposed a #30DaysQuiltDesign challenge on her blog and I've been posting on Instagram.   To date, this is where I've worked out my feelings on the topic through the designs, their names and description:

4 days ago:Lower Right:  "Lashes to Thorns" I started with innocent fluttery eyelashes in mind and then it turned to dangerous spikes that can hurt you.  A nod to how quickly things can go from good to bad and also how the same object can be viewed so differently.  

3 days ago: Upper Right: "Divided by Derivative" This was in reaction to the hashtag #beingderivative.  The wedge arrows pointing inward to represent leading to the same place (we're all in this together we just get there different ways). And also the Roman Colosseum because it feels like a very uncomfortable spectator sport watching the sparring. Lastly the glow of the background for shedding of light.

Yesterday: Lower Left: "Sew Not the Point"  The accusations and extreme interpretation that I found to be exhausting and depleting.  I'm guilty of snide remarks plenty and everyone is entitled but ugh. 

Today: Upper Left: "Monologue" aka: my Tone on Tone post

With That Said:

I think that making a genuine effort to credit where credit is due is something to aspire to but to feel bound creatively to identifying the source of all aspects of what you create is unreasonable and paralyzing.  I try my best and sleep at night.  I think there's a certain element of Chicken or the Egg involved and there are published quilt patterns out there that I shake my head about but that just means I don't have to buy them.  If someone does and they sew and love a quilt because of it more power to them.  

Ironically, the two most popular posts on my blog - of all time and by far- are the tutorials for Chain piecing Polaroid block and fussy cut Giant x-Plus with bonus triangle neither are my original designs or techniques.  I've linked back to the best of my knowledge on them both. 

This article by Amy at 13 Spools has so much information and I hope to take more time to read it thoroughly.   Now I'm really sorry that I missed the Copyright, Culture and Quilting lecture by Rossie at QuiltCon2015 not only because I'm a fan of hers but I would've had more foundation to stand on while forming my position.   This post by Leanne at She Can Quilt and my comment to it got me typing today.