Category Archives: piecing

Back light and self pity

It’s a little funny to me that just beyond this serene house quilt is the huge mess associated with tree clean up.

Happily, my brother in law came to help yesterday, otherwise we’d really be behind the eight ball.

It’s still a bit daunting. For one thing, on closer inspection, we noticed that the tree did hit the house, so I’ll need to get an insurance adjuster out here as soon as possible (after two back to back nor’easters, I imagine they’re very busy!) More snow coming Tuesday, P.S.

With the ladder leaning on an about-to-be-cut branch, there were plenty of Wily E. Coyote jokes.

We tried to broker a meeting between Finn and his dog cousin, Ziggy, and did everything right up to a point — (starting in neutral territory, keeping a good distance, then closing the distance, then a break apart) after which it did not go well. It turned into a minor disaster, actually, because when Finn went apeshit, I slipped in the snow and let go the leash. Ziggy seems to be fine, but it didn’t prevent one of my self-pitying laments about difficult dependents.

Speaking of which, after eight years on the wait list and three application updates, my sister has gotten subsidized housing. This is the best possible news for her (and secondarily for my brother, whose financial burden will be greatly reduced). For me, it is a giant chore with no real benefit (did I mention self pity about difficult dependents?) I am happy for her, don’t get me wrong. I just wish there was someone else to orchestrate the move.

Meanwhile, these are my last few weeks to prep for Newton Open Studios. We will pay rent for my sister’s current apartment through the end of April, which hopefully will make the transition manageable.

(Just so you know, we moved all her belongings into storage in 2009, out of storage in 2010, and then had to assist with near complete possession pack up during the bed bug ordeal last year. These were the same years that we moved our sons a total of seven times).

Balsam and lavender

The top sachets are filled with balsam from Maine while the two in the basket are filled with lavender.



Two crib quilts in progress: one fall and one spring. Seasons are so much better than gender for categorizing baby items!

It’s a grey day portending rain. I continue to receive birthday presents, like this adorable elephant (how nice is that?). We’re currently watching the Netflix series, “The Frankenstein Chronicles” which I recommend. Ned Stark, from Game of Thrones, plays the compelling lead. I’m guessing that this show is what “The Alienist” hoped it would be.

I hope you’re having a nice weekend!

PS I read the superseding 25 page indictment of Rick Gates this morning before even getting out of bed. I don’t think Manafort will flip — do you? I just learned that the Dem-Memo has been released, so I’ll be reading that before dinner, which leads me to ask, “What will we do when this drama is over?” It is absolutely and completely riveting.

Cool day, warm colors

It’s snowing hard. The tension on my machine is off. The Great British Baking Show is on.

Warm colors are nice this time of year. This wonky log cabin will be a baby blanket. We called baby blankets, “baa-baa’s” in this house. How about in yours?

I used to go down to Pembroke to a fabric wholesaler to buy cotton and scissors. Not so, these eight-inch dressmaking shears. They came from Amazon.

Just so you know (re: my carbon footprint), Pembroke is probably a 40 minute drive.

I’d been sawing at cloth for nearly a year. Having sharp scissors in the house is as delightful as getting a decent haircut was last week!

PS. The light behind the quilt makes clear there is at least one seam that needs straightening. You know it’s crooked if I’m prepared to fix it!

The Barn

Having this quilt on my wall for a while meant a couple of poor color transitions had time to prick at me. When I decided to give the piece to my brother for Christmas, I decided to tackle those spots before shipping it off. It’s not always advisable to attempt “improvements” of this kind.

First, I added some yellow in the foreground to pull the eye foreword and interrupt the blockiness of the patchwork.Stitched a few dark patterned strips on either side to lend depth and to interrupt what had been a distracting light area to the barn’s left.

And finally, I applied more hand quilting here and there and added some red bits to adjust the perspective lines on the cupola and far right eave (not terribly successfully).

The tweaks are okay. Maybe not what I hoped for. With additions like this, you always risk of either disrupting the spontaneity of the original design or of creating new problems while fixing existing ones.

This piece ran the additional risk of spoiling the (possibly impressive) fact that it’s almost entirely pieced.

Anyway. The upshot is that my remediation, successful or not, has whet my appetite for learning. How come I never learned perspective? Really? And, maybe it’s time to learn how to manage transitions more skillfully by attending to color values.

A little happy cloth

In the spirit of finishing things, in the spirit of working with sweet themes, I finished a half-worked patchwork yesterday. I love it –  not because a thing has to be sweet to be loveable, but because I do.

This one I think I will add batting, backing, hand quilt and offer for sale. It could serve as a baby cloth (to be tucked into diaper bag, say) or as a hanging.

(The house is appliqué. The rest, pieced).