now a flimsy

I realized lately that I like projects when they start, when they are small. The end, when they get big, I like them less.  Handling larger yardage is ungainly at best and difficult at worse.  This quilt, as all of my quilts, self-identified its size. In other words, I worked on the blocks until I had played out the ideas I had. Then I put it together and it accidentally became square.  Most quilts most functional if they are rectangular. For that reason, I added some extra fabric on the top and bottom to make it more rectangular:

.valentine-quilt

When Steve and I went to the fabric store, (yes, my husband will go the fabric store with me with very specific limitations: I cannot be “just looking or shopping”, I must have a very specific list and only get that. Also, there can be no football games of interest playing on TV at the same time.) and he got a good look at the overall proportions, he said the bottom and the top were too large. At most, he felt they should be the same size as the inner blocks, 10 inches (the size of my largest square ruler). I decided to go down to 12 inches. I am not sure if the difference is that great for me, but it gave me some extra fabric to play with and reduced the size of the quilt a little. I will get a picture of the changed proportions soon.

You can see (or maybe you could if I hadn’t cropped out the coffee table sitting on the couch) that this quilt is too big to lay out on my living room floor without moving a several pieces of furniture. I am going back and forth about whether to pin it at my house. I am 47 years old so crawling around on the floor pinning a quilt is starting to be uncomfortable.  It generally takes me 45 minutes to pin/baste a quilt. I am thinking about going over to church and using their large tables pushed together.  There are also problems with this: most related to the boredom of pinning a quilt. You can see why at this point in the process I procrastinate a little bit. Like writing really long blog posts, watching SNL skits about Donald Trump and prowling Facebook.

In any case, Steve picked out the fabric for the back:

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Since the quilt was larger than 45 inches wide, I needed to piece it anyway we decided to get two different fabrics. Although these both are beautiful fabrics that work well with the front they are very different.  Yesterday, I decided to add some pieced section and the purple fabric that I cut off the top and bottom of the quilt. This will create a buffer of gradation between the two fabrics. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture so I will leave you a cliff hanger. Not as big of a cliff hanger as the Walking Dead (we just finished Season 6 on Netflix and are in heated discussions as to who, if anyone, got killed in the last episode – I think it was Spence).

 

another cat block

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This is the third cat block. I took the pattern from pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570972058990043301/.  These kinds of blocks are somewhat tedious to put together, but they are so impactful when they are done, that I periodically get sucked into one. I think this one took me about three weeks of fairly feckless sewing.

 

Purse

Finished this purse a few weeks ago:

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Lately I have been about quilts as garments and this was a first idea.I have the beginning of a jacket as well. The inside of pockets and the bag lining are bright orange.  This was Steve’s idea. I love this idea and am still amused by the little surprise of the the color. I used small bits of it on the strap as well. The strap is intentionally not even, creating a sinewy sensual line. I usually wear it across the body, so it is a nice semi vertical line. I also used several polymer clay objects that I had made a long time ago. By and large, I am happy with it, although it could be slightly bigger inside.  Next time I will spend some time thinking about making a flat bottom so more items will fit inside.

kitty cat quilt

So as the valentine quilt starts to complete, I working on this quilt that I have been thinking about.  I have one block done already here. This quilt I am taking ideas from pinterest where there is an unlimited amount of cat blocks. The second block I made was an adaptation from this stained glass piece I saw on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570972058990043413/

 

cat quilt

The question that I am still debating is whether the cats should have faces.  I have started a third block also- more to come.

Heart quilt

It is getting very close to done. I love this quilt. Visually there is a lot going on.
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It is fun to look at, with its wonkiness and energy.  It is interesting to me, having worked on it and started with so much red, how much the addition of the pink has changed and lightened. It is very improvisational, and that comes through in it.  Now, off to the fabric store to get fabric for a frame.

new projects

Several projects that I have been slowly working on.  This first one is near my heart.  It is corduroy and so far just two fabrics, one my husband’s old shirt and one my sister gave me.

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It is a wonky log cabin.  It is so much more successful than this block that I was also playing with:

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Several errors here. Since is it was play I probably won’t redo it.  I was frustrated with it because it caused a lot thinking to put it together.  Someone with more patience than me would need to put a whole quilt of this pattern together. I get so much more enjoyment out of the wonky blocks instead of trying to force the pattern.

The last one is a bag I am making.  I just have a vague idea of how this will go together but I love the trajectory:

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Prince

I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain.  -Prince, Purple Rain

You did cause sorrow- with your purple passing. This one death hit me very hard, and I am not sure why. After all, I never met Prince, never even went to a Prince concert. We thought we saw him on Lake Street once, but more likely it was someone dressed up like him- his presence was so pervasive in Minneapolis.  I hadn’t really been a hard core fan. If you asked me what his most recent album was,I couldn’t tell you. Even though he is gone, I can still listen to his music the same way as I always have.

The beautiful ones
U always seem 2 lose   – Prince, Beautiful Ones

Yet, I am sad. Why?
Prince really embodies the 1980s for me, and his passing has felt like a closure of my youth- not that I have been really young for a while. I am steadfastly,flat-footed middle-aged. But it sure feels like a door closing on my youth with his passing.

So what did Prince mean to me?

His wonderful, overt sexuality was attractive to me.  Of course, for me, I was 16 years old when Purple Rain come out; full of curiosity about anything sexual, without any understanding of the actuality. Prince tapped into my budding sexuality. Besides that, he sang about love and he is the perfect lover full of intensity and devotion.

On another level, he really embodied the idea of a gender spectrum before it was really even a thing. There were men who dressed like him, but they were mostly gay, not straight. There were men who were overtly sexual , but didn’t look like him.

They say two thousand zero, zero
Party over
Oops, out of time  – Prince, 1999

He wrote about the end of the world, which every generation since Christ’s has been anticipating as just on the horizon. Of course, my generation grew up under the shadow of not God; but man’s ability to end the world. With the constant tension from USSR, it felt very possible. Yet he took that anxiety and made it into a party anthem.

You may say lots of artists were doing similar things and you would be correct. Boy George and Micheal Jackson overtly and covertly played with gender identity. Sting and Nena wrote songs (much sadder) about nuclear annihilation. Madonna pushed overt sexuality into a powerful woman’s genre. But none of them took these elements and bundled them up into one package- that is what makes Prince so much more complex and multifaceted.

I leave you with a piece I made several years ago, which I have called the “Tiny Angel” quilt. The background was my visual representation of Purple Rain. Now the piece seems even more appropriate:

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Goodnight, sweet Prince!

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new blocks

I can’t seem to get past the block stage lately, here are a couple new blocks.

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The top one may not make the quilt because it is out of scale.  I am disappointed in my math.  I had cut out these little squares a long time ago and tried to make the heart the right size for them.  I had to come to terms with the fact that having perfect corners is not in the plan for right now. There is something in the intensity of color that resonates with me very strongly.

 

 

a few new blocks

Haven’t got as much done, but I did make a couple new blocks.

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Here is Glenda and her bubble pocket.

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This is a the background to my lion.  The trees turned out really nice.

I have been slowly moving my sewing room back up and organizing. I did a lot last week and just in time, the hot water heater went out last week.  Luckily, only a small amount of water leaked out. But last week all of my sewing stuff including my second machine were right by the water heater.  It all worked out for the best.

 

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