a long and winding road

Just when you think that you can take a deep breath, things are all under control and you will have time to spend doing the things that you enjoy, it all comes crashing down.  I, personally, have good news to report for most of my family and friends.  But there are so many not so lucky.   I have found pieces of homes and family possessions scattered over my yard and neighborhood from the horrific storms of April 27, 2011.

 My son's yard in the Chattanooga area. 
He was one of the lucky ones.

 my favorite quilt shop 
Sew Bee It
Ringgold, Georgia
not so lucky

You can view more pictures of destruction in this area
by clicking here if you are inclined
My great friend, Martha Steele, has been helping in salvaging as much as possible and was able to recover many of the quilts hanging in the shop, including one of mine. Many of the ladies, along with Martha,who are employed by the shop owner, Gloria Black, have dug in and begun helping her to recover whatever is possible in the shop.  They are also pitching in to assist the rest of their town, which was almost totally destroyed.

I know that quilts are not a priority in this time of crisis.  However, it is just a small indication of how all of the surrounding areas in southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia as well as Alabama, Mississippi, and other parts of the south have joined together to help one another and begin the long process of restoring, healing, and recovering. 
Please keep everyone in your heart.  It will be a long road ahead.

just so you know

For the past week I have been in a coma of sorts.  Don't be alarmed, not a medical coma, but a technical coma.  First my computer got a virus and crashed.  Bought a new PC, got it up and going within a week.  Yippee, back in the high life again. Or so I thought.  Next it seems that the new computer was already having major problems.  Back and forth to the shop where I had made my purchase.  Not the computer's problem, it seems.  It is issues with AT&T  in my neck of the woods.  Next my telephone and Internet goes totally out of commission for 168 hours, give or take an hour or two.  The solution was quite simple, however, AT&T just seemed to keep putting me on their back burner day after day and almost put me over the edge of sanity.  I knew I was spending far too much time on the Internet.  But I didn't realize how addicted I had become to my PC and the WWW.  Or how much I depended on the www for all sorts of things.   Maybe now, for the time being, or until it rains again in southeast Tennessee, I am reconnected.  Whew!   Enough of that rant.

Now it seems that since I couldn't constantly hop over to my PC and check on what is going on in the world, I did spend much more time working on pieces in my studio.  I actually got lots accomplished.   I even cooked a few nice dinners, and got out and exercised a bit.  I am feeling so much better today.  I have been able to check in on my friends to see what I have missed.  Y'all have all been really busy out there.  Wow, have I got a lot of catching up to do.

Let me show y'all a bit of what I've been up to since I've been on my high tech hiatus.  Remember my last post about my lantana?  I have made several creative decisions, gotten several hundred more pieces cut, and some sections sewn together.  

This is one fabric choice for the background that I ruled out. Although the picture makes it look a bit better, the deep blue and purple was far too overpowering in real life.

I took my background clue from one of the names that lantana is also known by, "sand verbena."  I made some design changes, since I choose less busy fabrics for the background.  That meant much more piecing, but why not make it more complicated somewhere along the way, as is, far too often, my modus operandi. 

 And here is where I am today.  About 500 pieces (or more) (who's counting) later.

Got several more things accomplished, which I will show and tell at a later time.  If I don't loose my connection, yet again.

my Lantana has begun to grow

Deciding to begin with the most difficult sections seems to have been a good idea on my part.  I wanted to be certain that the teeny pieces would have the desired effect.  And be worth the effort.  Try as I might, I just could not come up with a more simple pattern.  I am certain that Ruth McDowell  could easily simplify it.  If she saw what I was doing, she would likely run screaming from her computer.  I also opted, rather than use all commercial prints, stripes, dots, etc, as I normally love doing,  it was time to cut into all those hand dyed fabrics that I created last summer. This would give a different look to the piece. 

Working on the first section, I had serious doubts.  

The next section, I am thinking that maybe this was not a such good pattern after all.  

Stressing out over values and selecting just the perfect color was another issue.  I had to constantly remind myself that I was not striving 
for a photographic image, 
but an interpretation using geometric shapes.  

(You should see all the post it notes covering the ironing surface, my machine and the design wall.  Being of a "certain" age seems to bring on a dependency on such items.)  
is that pathetic or what

A few days later and I have pressed on and I am thinking that it could be worth the effort.
So here we are.  Some on the tiny pieces have been sewn together.  Which is not what I normally do.  Since they are not much bigger than my little finger nail, I was afraid they would get lost in the shuffle.  So why not go ahead and stitch them up.  If one of these little sections doesn't look quite right, I can always remake it.   Once I have all of my small sections made, then I will sew them into larger sections.  When all the sections are sewn together, 
it  should be about 76" X 60".  
Unless . . . . . .
I only use half of the pattern for this piece and save the other half for another quilt.  
Or it could even become a triptych. 
Three small quilts rather than one large quilt.
Oh the options. 

 I am now thinking that as the larger sections are sewn together 
 Ms. Lantana  will look even better.  
Methinks that these sunny colors are just the anticdote for rainy day blues.  

I keep forgetting how nice it is to sit down and write myself right through the angst of the unknown.   Gotta put up a post-it note for that too!