LDQ #69 Gazing Balls

In this episode, I talked about what I am currently working on, a queen size quilt using two alternating blocks, the snowball block, and the spool block. I love alternating two traditional blocks for a new and unexpected design. When I am feeling stuck, I often open up EQ and just start playing.  I’m stuck on my show quilt, because I can’t even decide what background to use! I am hoping the meditative sewing of the current gazing ball/egg cup quilt will free up my brain and let me make a decision.

 

In this, I used the spool block, and the snail trail block to create a quilt I called Barrel of Monkeys. I love this design as it reminds me of those toy monkeys my kids used to hook onto everything in the house.

 

Here is the Lawn Chair quilt pattern I mentioned. Stay tuned for a post with my finished quilt sometime this week. I am still stitching the binding.

Don’t forget to prep for the #SummerReadingQAL ! 

 

Books I mentioned..

Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance

Obedience by Will Lavender

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Quilt Happy!

 

Hamish the Hedgehog

The wee hedgehog has long been an icon to those of us obsessed with Outlander, also known as The Hosed, or Clan McHoser :) Here’s a brief excerpt that explains the origin of the hedgehog fascination.

The following quote is taken from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Chapter 17 We Meet a Beggar (c) 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved

“If you’ll not let me be spiritual about it, you’ll have to put up wi’ my baser nature. I’m going to be a beast.” He bit my neck. “Do ye want me to be a horse, a bear, or a dog?”

“A hedgehog.”

“A hedgehog? And just how does a hedgehog make love?” he demanded.

No, I thought. I won’t. I will not. But I did. “Very carefully,” I replied, giggling helplessly. So now we know just how old that one is, I thought.

 

 

Here’s our May block! Hamish the Hedgehog. He’s adorable. Have fun stitching him out!

Dearly Beloved…

I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news of the artist, Prince, dying so suddenly. I bet you’re tired of the endless “RIP Prince” posts on Facebook and Twitter. But, before you roll your eyes and click away from this page, allow me to express why I am so deeply affected.

I’ve often wondered how and why we can feel such profound loss over a person we’ve never met or known personally. While I don’t have a lot of connection to David Bowie, I understand the massive outpouring on social media. This is how we grieve now, as a united community.

When John Ritter died, I heard it on the morning news and felt like I had been slugged right in the stomach. Growing up, I struggled with depression and anxiety, and was teased at school for being different, but when I watched Three’s Company, and Jack Tripper relentlessly threw himself into his love for comedy, I laughed. When he bodily flung himself into a hammock and manipulated it to dump him onto the ground time and time again, I laughed. When he drank from the wrong side of the glass and dumped milk in his lap just to cheer up a friend, tears of laughter and joy streamed down my cheeks.

When I laughed, I felt better. I felt like I was that sad friend he was cheering up by pouring milk into his own lap, like he had done that just for me. For thirty minutes I could forget about the pressing weight in my chest I got when I’d think about going to school the next day and facing an unkind world full of mean and obnoxious kids who only cared about what brand of shoes I couldn’t afford.

When Jack comforted Janet in the ballet episode after she was treated badly by her teacher, he didn’t say “I told you so,” he said “May I have this dance.” To me Jack Tripper embodied everything a friend should be. He was happy to make a complete fool of himself just to make a friend smile. When John Ritter died, I felt like my friend died.

When the Prince song ‘Kiss’ comes on the radio, I’m instantly transported to my best friend Connie’s house, on a summer afternoon. We’d pop in the mix tape we had carefully crafted the night before, staying up until 3am and trying to be quiet so we wouldn’t get into trouble for staying up so late. That tape would play, and we would crank up her mom’s stereo,  dance around, and sing at the top of our lungs with a creative, talented man whose image always conveyed confidence, individuality, and weirdness in the best way. Prince taught us that it was not only ok to be yourself, it was super effing cool to rock your own vibe in this life.

Prince was one of the world’s most talented guitarists. When people like Eric Clapton praise his abilities, you know you’re witnessing greatness. Playing Purple Rain in the actual rain is so cool. When asked if that was going to be a problem, he sarcastically asked if they could make it rain harder. Challenge accepted! It’s a wonder he wasn’t electrocuted holding those guitars in the pouring rain. He rocked it though! He never slipped, neither did his dancers. The YouTube video is well worth watching if you missed the Super Bowl half-time show that year. That purple guitar was rad.

The next time you see a celebrity death tribute posted somewhere on social media, instead of being rude or dismissive to the person sharing their feelings, why not consider what that death might mean to the person posting? If you can’t, relate, why not keep scrolling?

We mourn as a community. And we also mourn as individuals, each with our own meaningful experiences.

I’m going to reminisce about those nights with Connie, when we’d play a made-up game, like the goobers we were. We’d set that mix tape to record a song, and we would run out into the deserted street at 3am to see how many cartwheels we could do before Little Red Corvette was over.

I miss Prince.

I miss Connie.

I miss who I was when I danced and sang to forget my troubles.

@ElusiveJ (Juliette) said it best on Twitter when she said “We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us to know ourselves.”

 

Batty

Let’s chat about batting for a minute …

I know it’s recommended that we let our batting (or wadding for our friends across the sea) breathe  for a day before quilting. We’re “supposed” to take it out of the plastic if there is any, unfold it, fluff it out, maybe drape it over a chair overnight.

On my own quilts, I will sometimes do this if I am able to plan ahead. More often, I don’t have the time to worry about it. Sometimes I will toss it in the dryer for a minute to fluff it up and get the creases to relax. What I’m wondering is, is this necessary? What is the purpose of airing out our batting before using it? What will happen if we don’t? Absolutely nothing, as far as I can tell.

Especially in a professional setting, I don’t have the space to air out every customer’s batt before I quilt. Some of them will do it at home, or buy it by the yard so there is no packaging, and bring it draped on a hanger.

Could this be a case of Mom’s Pot Roast Phenomenon?

The story goes that a woman was teaching her daughter how to make a pot roast, and step one was to slice off the tip of the roast. When the daughter asked why, she was told that was the way her mother taught her. When the curious girl asked Grandma why, Grandma laughed and told her granddaughter that she did it that way to make it fit into her pot.

Do you let your batting breathe before quilting? If so, can you explain why, other than “I was told to?”

Outlander Stitch Along

Our bonus blocks are a few days late this month because I’ve been distracted by the after effects of a fender bender. I’m mostly ok, but have some neck pain and an unbearable roaring/ringing in my ears.

Here are two more Jamie-isms from Outlander for your stitching pleasure.

 

Mo Nighean Donn

 

Your Face is My Heart

 

Thanks for playing along. Continue using the hashtag #outlanderstitchalong on social media to share your work. You can also email me with pics if you prefer. Many thanks to those who have shared!

WIP Wednesday

One of my works in progress is this modern Dresden I started when Frances from Off-Kilter Quilt started talking about making one. I’ve been thinking about how to set these pieces, and I think I will applique them down, and do some large circle quilting in the vast amount of negative space that is left. I don’t know what to do to keep this from looking “Christmassy”.. but I know that’s one thing I want to avoid.

Ignore the blue checkboard showing through, that’s my design wall.

At Jaye’s suggestion (Jaye from artquiltmaker.com) I’m trying to document more things as I go. It will help me keep my WIPs organised, and it will make talking about them on the podcast a lot easier since my mind is a sieve.

Have any of you worked on a modern Dresden quilt?

 

Outlander Stitch Along – Block 4 – Dragonfly in Amber

Here’s our April block for the Outlander Stitch Along. In honor of season two of the tv series, and of my extreme love of the second book in the series, this month we are stitching  Dragonflye in Amber. During re-reads of The Books, DiA became my favourite. I love all the political intrigue in France, the French court, and the tenderness we see between Jamie and Claire while she is SPOILER ALERT pregnant.

Oh my, the costumes we will get to see this season!

How are your blocks coming along? If you’d like to share pics of your progress on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #Outlanderstitchalong.

Click Here for the Pattern