Saturday, 9 April 2016

Where does time go?

Posting on my blog has been subjegated throught March.  If I ever try to think about the things that have taken me away from posting they seem like frittering away my time. But some of it was what I considered a mandatory down time for me after a health issue was discovered.  We all need them but not necessarily health triggered.  Changing your focus can allow your mind to resolve things that have been blocked.  Some time was spent working on a volunteer assignment which is proving to be quite time consuming and challenging but we need those just like we need down time.

I did a lot of quilting and piecing and handwork.  Of the 48 blocks required for a large quilt I want to enter into a show, 2/3rds of the work is done.  I put a picture of the block in a previous post.  The fabric colours have brightened up the dull days of March.  Assembly sewing is at time mind numbing but it is also a quiet time to listen to good music.  I finally have my computer hooked up to a BOSE speaker which can travel throughout the house and makes music resound as if in the concert hall.  My music collection, in boxes since I dismantled my old stereo, is back and brightens even the dullest day and the dullest sewing.  Listening to the opera on Saturday afternoons with full, vibrant sound is a pleasure.  Loved Madame Butterfly from New York last Saturday.  It was the first opera I went to in Rome.  Memories.  The Baths of Carracula; the Italian gentleman behind singing with the performers.  It made me an opera lover.

Some quilts for others have come and gone off the frame to homes where they will be cherished. So that is time spent creatively.

But happiest of all a quilt, for which the fabric was purchased probably before 2005 and the top made in 2008, is finally finished.  One thing I know is my piecing and applique skills are much improved.  The quilt was used as a display for hand quilting for two years at a local exhibition.  I really wanted to hand quilt it and when it came back to me I tried to finish the hand quilting already begun.  I did discover that when a quilt is used for this purpose, it has 'variable' stitching.  My own stitching was not as good as the best but most of all I cannot sit at a hand quilting frame without some physical discomfort.  So the quilt which had been stuffed in a bag was taken out and all the stitching removed.  Threads, threads, threads which the swishy tails of golden retrievers have a tendency to spread.  Everywhere!! After all the mess was removed, the quilt was put on the big frame and quilted by Hortense with a bit of help from hands. Thank goodness for talking books during the tear out process.  It was lovely to have the blues and yellows of summer to look at when the days were dull.  

I also tried a different border treatment after I had done so much straight stitching.  I made myself small 'rulers' out of large washers from the hardware store and used them to have random intersecting circles on the border.  It was an exercise in patience but adds some interest.  I would certainly incorporate it in future quilts when it is appropriate.
The quilt on the back of the bed with the hexagons is a damaged one I found which when time permits will become the headboard cover.  And behind is the 2nd quilt I did on a big stand up quilt frame.  The 1st was a disaster.  Enough said.  Learning happens through doing.

I mentioned handwork above.  This handwork is for an art quilt based on a challenge.  And it is a challenge.  When it is finally finished and given away, I will publish a picture.  The poem on which it is based is Emily Dickinson's poem.  'hope is a bird'.  Right now HOPE is important.  Hope my choices of design are right; hope my use of the fabric is right and hope that the ideas can be executed and hope the quilting will make the piece come alive.  Amazing what ideas come in the early morning hours as one listens to the quiet of the house, gentle dog snoring and snuffling as they chase squirrels in their dreams and kitties snuggle with soft purring.

Hope you like this quilt and thank you for reading my post.

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