Front and back times two

Piecing on the ironing board is an old way of working. As is piecing on the machine.             Flipping to the back and tacking down seams or opening them and stitching down the quarter inch flap is new.

I am interested to see where this intersection of old (machine-work) and new (hand-stitching) will take me. For years, I have been wondering what a more lively synthesis of the two might look like.

Not sure batting will be involved, as I like the light shining through.

Weather changes 


Why does weather transition make you tired? It’s all I can figure right now. I went to Salem today and it was stressful for all the usual reasons, (which is always somewhat wearing), but I am WAY exhausted. 

Given that, forgive my throwing a few pictures up and leaving it at that.    


Removing excess

Hanging this quilt in the window makes uneven layering obvious. An excess of layers often results when you add already quilted sections to other cloth. From Jude at Spirit Cloth, I learned the (now seemingly obvious) technique of cutting some of the thickness away — what she calls ‘managing layers’. Some stitching was sacrificed in the process and I will have to fix that later, but for now, I like how it lets the light through.   

A tasty omelet at 11:00


Sometimes self-care is complicated. Confounding. How to get out of one’s own way can pose one conundrum after another. And now it’s construction and leaf blower season and I have to figure out how I will survive it — the windows not even open yet. 

Fortunately, at other times, self-care is stupidly  easy. Like cooking up one portabello and serving it with half an avocado and a tasty omelet … Himalayan pink salt elevating the meal to something nearly divine. 

And hunger returns. Again and again. Giving us one opportunity after another to feed ourselves. 

Week Ten of the Artist’s Way has one look at addictions. Bitching is a big one of mine (TV and sugar, the other two primaries). I will ponder, later, the skin-shivering response to four solid hours of leaf blowers to the pleasure of sitting down to a simple, home cooked meal, and see what I get.  

Or, to frame it more precisely — I need to ask: what does naming the irritation (i.e. bitching) do to the business of tolerating the irritation? I’m guessing the answer here is obvious but even so, I think it will be worth a “go” on the page. 

calming the nervous system

livingroom-deeDog obedience classes, they say for good reason, are really ‘human companion classes’. Most of what we learn is how WE should behave so that the dog understands us and feels safe. Often the instruction applies across the board. My recent favorite: “Be Follow-Worthy”.

How is one ‘follow-worthy’?  “Keep your chest open. Face forward. Pay attention.”

That sounds like life advice, pure and simple. But not so simple, right? All those Buddhist and New Age books on my shelf basically saying that: pay attention.
christmascactus-cafecurtainAlso this: guard dogs must not be allowed to patrol inside the house. When a huge barking episode happens, it can take the dog’s nervous system up to 24 hours to recover. Unfortunately for now, that means keeping the curtains closed. Today I don’t mind so much because (hold your hats!): it’s snowing!! But when the light is rich and warm, it IS a sacrifice.

Another one. More food for thought.

cabin-quilt-pattern-deemallonOn a complete other note, as you know, I am making a log cabin quilt for C, and piecing up small ‘refuse’ scraps as I go —  which are already adding up to another quilt. Meanwhile, in my head (and now on paper and computer), I design yet a third. It was good to enjoy Photoshop Elements 11 for a change!!


Using the bucket feature, I was able to fill in the patchwork areas to define cabins, trees, and moons. Then for variations, I slid the color bar around and also, for a couple, used filters (sometimes more than one). I liked watching the shapes become more and more abstract.

cutoutfilterfrescofilter notepaper purples seafoamochreLook how the upper right moon turned into a star!

Doodling calms the nervous system, too.

And there were rays

 Happy Easter or Passover! We just had a delicious roast chicken up in Salem with my sister. The wind was cold and blustery earlier, when I took Finn to the Upper Field, but the snow drops have emerged on the south side of the house and most of the snow out back is gone. For the holiday, I treated myself to daffodils and some potted hyacinth. Now, to finish the celebration — a little chocolate!


Cheerful is not a natural state for me.  I actually wonder if it is for anyone. But maybe because it’s almost Easter… Maybe because it got above 60 degrees for the first time in forever… Maybe because I can almost see the ground in the backyard again and I bought pansies today — I am going to add sun rays to the orb on this quilt. Exactly as if I were in second grade and coloring!