Getting all dressed up

Did you ever start to get dressed and realize that you aren't satisfied with what you are wearing and how you look? Then change outfits several times?  Come on now, I will just bet that you've done it more than once.  I know that I certainly have.  On many, many occasions.  If it doesn't feel good, or look right to me at that moment,  I just won't wear it. Often I must change my top or my pants or my shoes several times before I am dressed for the day. Same thing with Posy here: This is where she began
I thought she was just a bit too plain Jane.  No pizzaz.  She needed some flowers to surround
her log cabins.

Something was just still not quite right.  I loved her new look, but kept thinking that something was missing.  Plus the thought occurred to me that she might be more useful in a queen size.

 I could add borders.  I considered charcoal and ivory when I snapped this picture with the top laid out on my tile floor.  It looked pretty cool.  But then when I actually added large triangles around the actual quilt, she screamed NO NO NO.  Way too contrived. 

So I tried making some other types of blocks - large blocks so that she could be a queen size quilt.
Now she shouts
HELP ME, I AM BEING OVERPOWERED BY GIANT LOGS AND POSIES.   Okay, got the message, she just does not want to be queen size. She is just going to be what she wants to be.  So I tried once again.  The thought occurred to me that she began as my experimental version of the Gee's Bend house top. This brought me around to another thought, "make more Gee's Bend style blocks for the border."  After trying big chunks, big strips, wavering between no border/yes border, I made lots of improvisational, free pieced blocks, using only the scrap fabrics from the background.  I trimmed these blocks to 6 1/2 inches in width and left the length whatever it happened to be.  Got all those placed around the quilt and thought to myself, STOP THIS MADNESS.  And I went to bed. 

Got up this morning still obsessing.  I remember a posted comment from Margaret suggesting that I have the posies spill over into the border.  "Why not give that a try?"I think   Now I am back to making more posies and leaves.  And if this doesn't work, I will  have quite a few blocks to make into another quilt.
So here she is trying on a few new posies.

 She is still not totally happy with what I have done to her.  Still a bit unsure of herself and her new look. Is she a bit overdone?  Sorta like way too much lipstick and rouge.  Perhaps I should let her rest for a while and go play/obsess with some others.   Anyway, she isn't scheduled for any public appearances any time soon.  If this look doesn't grow on us, we can always try something else. Tomorrow is another day. 


It makes the world go 'round.  I think?  If one does not progress then one will surely die a lingering death. Progress always makes me think of a Joni Mitchell song;  Big Yellow Taxi.  "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."  She is one of my heroes.  An artist.  A true artist to my way of thinking. Anyone who can write such exquisite lyrics and music, as well as paint incredible images is just brilliant in my book. Which brings me 'round to this.  In my somewhat smallish hometown, we are progressing.  In a couple more years, or less, we shall have a new airport.  Not a large, commercial airport, just one to accommodate private jets.  It will accommodate the captains of industry who must travel from far away places to our small city.  New industries that will make solar panels, cars, appliances, even shipping all those "cannot live without items" from Amazon, to name a few.  It will assist in providing new jobs for our depressed economy.  All those things that we need to progress. So, why am I spouting about all this?  The airport will encompass the land where I grew up. 

I took a walk over the property a few days ago.  The huge equipment has already uprooted the trees where I used to play as a child.  A huge, old oak tree, with roots extending on all sides had been cut down and hauled away for prime lumber.  As well as all the other oak, hickory, walnut, cedar and poplar trees.   These roots had provided the "house" for my acorn family when I was 8 or 9 years old.  I would "dust" out all the leaves and debris and have a glorious, multi-level dwelling for my entire acorn family amongst those huge oak roots.  This walk caused quite a few tears.

The farm where I grew up, where my brothers and sister grew up, where my mother grew up, where my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great grand-parents lived is no longer a family farm.  This is one of the few structures standing and will soon be gone as well.   This project will assist in the progress of our county and region.  It is progress. Ann and Lucius moved from Clay County, NC to Bradley County, TN.  Many of their descendants are still here.  Including me.  

And progress we must?   Reproducing my great grandmother's quilt. And in doing so, I am progressing in my own way.  I can only hope that it is the right thing that we are all doing. 

Binding those ties couldn't wait


No matter that  I had resolved that December be the month to finish all those projects that I have hanging around in my studio.  I could reduce the tension in my shoulders and neck if I would just get out those pieces that are languishing around and complete them.  I have  placed them in pretty boxes on top of the cabinets that hold my fabric stash.  My thought here:  let's make them look nice even if I can't finish them up.   I am making a bit of progress, though. And if I am not able to empty those pretty boxes, I will be able to enjoy seeing the pretty boxes.  (Is there a song in that somewhere?) So these two small ones are fini.

Look out!  Here comes a fiberliscious package of recycled shirtings fabrics from a new friend, Lee Ann.  All the way from Seattle. She was so gracious to share her wonderful fabrics.  And it seems as if she used a microscope, or maybe even ESP, and sent exactly the fabrics that I would need to make great grandma's repro quilt work.  As she says, the older, used pieces add so much.  Of course I was compelled to jump right into the this. UFO's,  get back!  Me gots a new project to begin. 

The fun part:  trying to reproduce a similar look in this new quilt.  The not so fun part:  doing all that precise piecing. The string piecing seems to be a no brainer.  However, it has been so long since I have done actual, traditional type quilt blocks, I had forgotten why I lost interest in piecing/quilting in the first place.  I just cannot seem/seam to sew a straight line.  No matter that each part of my puzzle/block appears to be precise, when I begin to sew it all together ~ %&*@*!!!%^#&##. .  Well, then, this will be the challenge for the new year.  I have committed myself to do this thing and do this thing, I will.  Isn't that the reason for steam irons? Press and stretch that sucker into shape!  Jeeze, Louise!  What would Great Grandma and Grandma say about this? And please, do not mention anything about this to Ma.  Once it is all together and quilted and washed, who will know the difference ~ right?  It is gonna be okay.  And I can still make it fun.

 great grandma's original star


my repro star