Best laid plans???

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, I had planned to return from my quilt retreat week and then get stuck into my next project big time. I even got the fabric pulled and the studio ready to start!!

Well you know what they say about plans…..

…..they often don’t go quite the way that we wanted!!!

There was the baby quilt to finish and because I was having so much fun with machine quilting, I went ahead and quilted a charity quilt that had been on my “to-do” list for almost a year!!

I ended up spending a portion of the week cleaning out a flower bed that had become completely overgrown with Black-Eyed Susans……

The first few years I had thought….”oh look, it is filling in so nicely” but after 3 years of not having time to clean them out it turned into “NOOOO….they are taking over!!!”

But, it does look nice now……..

And, I even rescued a couple of gorgeous plants that were being overshadowed by the out-of-control growth!!

And, as another distraction, I had to spend 2.5 days working on a project for a client….sigh!! I hate it when work gets in the way of fun!!

But, on Thursday I was determined to not leave the studio until I had at least ONE piece of fabric in place for my Stork collage quilt!!

I had already drawn out the design and enlarged it to the size that I wanted, but when I put it on the wall, it looked too small (approximately 18×24) There wouldn’t be enough space to really work the fabrics to achieve the look that I was going for……

So I went back down to my computer and printed it out again….this time using a 4×4 printing format rather than 3×3. This looks much better……

And, you may be wondering about my makeshift design wall?

This is the first Collage quilt that I made since my studio was enlarged and I realized that the cutting table was TOO far away from the design wall and that I wouldn’t be efficient in my design work.

So, I pulled out the “portable” design wall that I built several years back and placed it on an easel, pulling it right up to the cutting table.

It makes things a bit crowded but it will be easier to work….

And, as you can see, I did get ONE piece of fabric in place…..

Here’s to a better collaging week to come!!!

I’m excited!!!

Yesterday I wrote about setting up a task board for my studio with the idea to finish up some of my projects. And TODAY I am writing about a new project that I am thinking about.

I am not sure that is how it should work, but………

As we traveled in Cotauda 11 in Mozambique, I kept seeing a magnificent bird called a Saddle-Billed Stork. I mentioned him during our first trip, but on this second trip, I got to spend some concerted effort in photographing one.

Happily, late one afternoon, one of the specimens strutted up and down in front of me and posed perfectly…..

I have already put the photo into Photoshop and applied a couple of filters to it. I think there is DEFINITELY a quilt here…..

But first….let’s finish a thing or two on my list!!!!

Sweet Marley

This past week my daughter, Jenny, had to have her sweet dog put down. Marley was Jenny’s first dog and we remember when she first arrived on the scene as a little bundle of energy……

Michael and I soon named her the “Tulip Muncher” as NO flowers were safe from her…..

Her favorite spot to sit in our house was in a chair in front of the window….because she HAD to know EVERYTHING that was going on……

One time my Mother-In-Law, Esther, was sitting in that chair and Marley jumped up beside her. Michael and I laughed as Marley slowly inched her butt back into the chair, effectively pushing Esther out!!!

Early on in her life, I wanted to immortalize her in fabric and used this photo as my pattern…..

This was the finished product…the first of my collage quilts……

The judge of our local show said that she had “soulful” eyes!!!

I once read a quote that said “The beagle sings a merry tune as she follows her nose through life” and that quote WAS Marley!!!

Rest in Peace Sweet girl!!!

Five years ago…..

There are certain things in each of our personal histories that we will NEVER forget!!! It may be a wedding, a birth or even a death.

Sometimes though it is an accomplishment and that is what I am remembering today.

In October of 2015, Michael and I participated in a 10 day trek in the Himalayas, climaxing at Annapurna Base Camp!! On October 8, 2015 we reached what seemed to be the top of the world…..

At the top with our guide Badri

After 6 hard days of climbing stairs and crossing rivers, we were there!!

The scenery was astounding…..

….and the sense of accomplishment was huge!!!

Interestingly, one of my favorite parts of the day was spent by myself in a dry lake bed, just enjoying the sight of the mountains surrounding me and hearing the glaciers breaking and falling on far slopes

Naturally, when I got home there had to be a quilt about this trip and inspiration started with the Buddhist shrines and Stupas that we passed on our journey and also the prayer flags that fluttered in the breeze.

Those inspirations and ruminations resulted in “Himalayan Hallows”……

I was pleased when it was accepted as into the “Tactile Architecture” exhibit in 2017 and loved that it traveled during that year.

This is what I wrote about the quilt for the exhibit and I think that it is the best description that I could ever give…..

I almost feel that this quilt should be called “Serendipity” because so many things happened during the construction that were not planned by me but ended up being exactly what I wanted to portray.  I started the project knowing that I wasn’t sure how I would complete it and  that at any point, I might ruin it, but decided that I just wanted to enjoy the process and see what happened.

As I worked on it, I thought about our 10 days of trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp and how the mountain called Machapucherie was always in our view.  It is the highest peak portrayed in the quilt.

I also fondly remembered the Nepalese guides and porters who assisted us on this journey, and of the great care that they showed for each of the trekkers.  I  remembered how hard it was to say goodbye to them at the end of the trip and how we waved and waved until they were out of sight.

Finally, as I worked, I could smell the  wood smoke pouring from the teahouses and hear the sound of  the bells that hung around the necks of the pack animals that walked the trails with us. 

My  husband and I are privileged to have the opportunity to travel overseas often and I love making quilts that come from these journeys, but this one will always have a very special place in my heart and in my mind.