Something good from COVID-19?

Something seems wrong about the title of this post. How could anything good come from the ongoing pandemic?

Even though I didn’t have extra time during the lockdown, for some reason, I have had tons of time this summer. Part of this is because of the new paradigm that I initiated in 2019, where I am using blocks of time to accomplish my goals. Part of it is because of the many gatherings that have been canceled and part is because our usual overseas travels have been curtailed!!

Because of this extra time, I have been able to finish many of my ongoing projects and am ready to try some different techniques and just do a little bit of playing!! So on Saturday, my goal was to look for inspiration…..

……for future projects, especially thinking to expand my knowledge of drawing, painting, and surface design.

But first, I wanted to get my studio cleaned up again, including cleaning and oiling my machine…..

It looks SO clean!!!

When Kaitlyn and I were both sewing a few weeks back, I had put up my Viking and enjoyed having both machines up. But, once I took the machine down it seemed like a nice area to leave open for other tasks…..like inspiration planning…..

The first thing that I did was watch a video that I bought many years ago featuring Jane LaFazio and her ideas about drawing, watercolor and keeping a journal……

This video ALWAYS inspires me and encourages me to start trying some drawing….something that I don’t really believe I can do.

I pulled out my art supply box and was pleased to see that I have all of the tools that she talks about, plus a few others…..

So starting on Monday, I am going to try to draw something at least 3 times each week.

I decided to do a quick run around the yard to get ideas of things that I could sketch and ran into some pretty butterflies along the way…..

Next I pulled out a stack of books about art quilts and design techniques, found a comfortable chair and started working thru them one by one. There were two that stood out to me….

“Art Quilt Workbook” contains exercises that might help to get me thinking in a different way, and “Fabric Art Workshop” has lots of surface design ideas. I am thinking that I may try to do some of these exercises as well.

BUT, all of these are designed for making Art Quilts and honestly, I don’t see myself as an art quilter. However, I am sure that trying new techniques will give ideas for future projects.

Finally, I remembered a book that I bought at a Quilt Show some years ago…..

The idea behind this book is to first layer and stitch a lot of textures onto a background piece that is only in whites and creams. Then you paint over the texture that you have developed and add the featured designs on the top. This sounds really interesting and something very different to anything that I have ever done.

So, I am planning to make this quilt……

I really don’t like copying designs that someone else has already done but I will follow the instructions for this quilt and use it to learn this technique.

The final thing that I thought thru was whether or not I needed to make more quilts that weren’t necessarily meaningful to me. What will I do with any new found inspirations? Do I want to put them on ETSY and see if I can sell them? Maybe put them in the member’s boutique at the next guild quilt show?

Or maybe it is okay to just make art pieces without having a reason? Can that be right? It sure doesn’t fit with the way I think but it seems that this may be a good time to take a chance and change that thinking!!!

Opening Pandora’s Box

It is time again for a Tuesday filled with…….

Last week, I wanted to make a pincushion and had the “brilliant” idea to use up some orphan blocks that I had sitting around.

I pulled out the box innocently called…….

But when I opened it, I realized that it was really ……

….a PANDORA’s Box!!!

There are fabrics and blocks in here that range back to the early 1990’s when I was very young in my quilting career.

There are 1.25 inch strips that were used to hook a rug for my Daughter, Autumn color blocks that were left over from a jacket that I made to wear to my first Houston Quilt Show in 1990, ties that I took from my Dad’s closet when he passed away in 1999, and SO many other memories.

Now, I need to use all of this as inspiration to move forward to making new, fun quilts for our Guild’s Charity Bee. There are several ladies in the group who are amazingly talented at turning nothing into something and maybe, with some practice, I can join them!!!

Moral of this story……don’t open that box….. it may be scarier that you thought!!!

Inspiration Tuesday

I just got off of a Zoom meeting with some friends from our quilt guild. It was planned at the last minute so a lot of members didn’t hear about it in time to join, but it was sure fun to see faces ….

and hear what these amazing people have been doing. Several of these are serving our country by making hundreds of masks. THANK YOU!!!

Now, on to the……

Last week my friend Chandler sent an email that included a link to this photo…..

She said that, when she saw it, she was reminded of some of the “travel” quilts that I have made. I quickly responded and sent my own picture……


This scene had gained my attention on a documentary that we were watching on TV and I took the photo to help me remember the inspiration.

I love the stair-step designs in both pictures but really like the idea of adding the splashes of color from the women’s sari’s.

As I looked more at these photos, I decided to learn about the structures themselves. I found that they are called “Stepwells”. Apparently they originated in India and are designed so that people can walk down to the pool of water rather than having a “normal” well where the water has to be brought up in a bucket from below ground level.

So, I learned something AND have been inspired…..I would call that a day well spent!!!

Who me???

When I first moved the blog to WordPress, I spent some time looking around for blogs of interest and came across “ARHtistic License” The blog is written by Andrea R. Huelsenbeck, with the intent to promote creativity. This is from her “About” page…..

And she has met these goals and more!!! She posts daily, and covers a huge genre of artistic endeavors. My favorite weekly post is “Creative Juice” which appears every Friday. In this post, she links to other blogs and websites which provide inspiration for creativity of all sorts.

A few weeks ago she wrote and asked if I would do an interview for her blog. I was very excited about this possibility but also very humbled that she would include me in her content!!

The interview is here……

While you are there, be sure to check out her other fabulous content!!!

Reflections on an empty spool

Well, this happened on Wednesday…..

At first it was just a hassle to have to stop, get the new spool and re-thread the machine. But then I started thinking how many hours of enjoyment I had obtained from that 3000 yard spool of thread.

It was used to piece an unknown number of quilt tops…quilts for babies, quilts for Veterans, quilts for charity and quilts just for ME!!! It was used to practice machine quilting, to piece endless scraps together and even to mend a few clothes along the way.

Sweet Claire used it on quilts made for herself, her brothers and her friends…….

….and my friend Ruth used it make a Christmas gift for her husband…..

After remembering all of these fun memories, I looked at the new (6,000 yard) spool and started dreaming of new projects to come……what will they be????