Tuesday, September 30, 2014

a dud

This design came from my sketch book from a few months ago. It was actually created on the iPad with the Adobe Ideas app, in which one can just draw with the finger and then play with colors and whatnot. Anyway, it looked much better in the application. When I was drawing it out full size on brown paper, I wasn't really paying attention to the original proportions. Just too eager to get started on a new piece, I guess.

Be more mindful next time. Sometimes failure is a good motivator.

"floating nude"
2014, 12" x 12", hand appliqu├ęd and hand quilted. In the first drawing, the central protagonist was larger and more curvaceous. Maybe I'll just make it again in different colors to get it right.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Back in the spring, I designed a Christmas tiny quilt to use on cards. I couldn't wait any longer to order them and they arrived today.

They are available on Zazzle, and I'll be making some more designs as soon as I get the design tool working again on the Mac. Apple, meet Adobe. Adobe, meet Apple. Now, make nice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

a sale!

I'm getting tiny quilts ready for their first show, sewing on some tabs for thumbtacks at the top and making tiny labels. My Etsy store has been sitting quietly for months. I remember to set vacation mode when I am traveling, and renew my listings when they expire, but that's pretty much the extent of it. I'm happy that I have it set up, because if someone wants to purchase a quilt from the show, the finances are already arranged.

This morning's email shows that someone just bought THREE tiny quilts from my Etsy store!!! (Thank you, Karen from California!)

That also means I have three fewer quilts to hang in the show. Time to crack the whip and make some more!

The three turned vertically will be on their way soon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

a show!

I got brave yesterday and asked the local coffee shop about their artist gallery space. The space is booked until February, BUT, they are opening a new store across town next month and would I like to be the first artist in the new space? Duh!

I'm madly sewing on hanging sleeves (that I've been meaning to do for months) and designing labels and a business card holder.

Details to follow....

Thursday, September 11, 2014

on making things

I finally finished this first lap-sized quilt, made from a bag of hand-dyed scraps, that I started in June. The second one is about 1/3 completed. As usual, now I am struck with the feeling of the uselessness of it all. Even before I started reading about minimalism (what we called “voluntary simplicity”, back in the 90’s) I struggled with the conflicting desire of making things and feeling overwhelmed with too many things. 

On the one hand, my natural inclination is to think about design and implementation most of my waking hours. On the other hand, I see the amount of built infrastructure that mankind has created, from highways and skyscrapers to single-use water bottles and cheap plastic toys and I feel guilty that we (humans) make too much junk. We’ve littered the whole earth with our making. We are makers. This is what we do.

This is one of the reasons I sew mostly by hand. It literally slows me down. It gives me intention in every stitch. It limits my making. It makes me pause before I start a project and commit the time. This design, this project is the best I can do right now. It’s worth the investment of my time for the pure enjoyment of making. If the finished product has a use, all the better.

Making things without an intended purpose makes me feel conflicted. The creative juices are very hard to rein in, but I don’t like making things that are useless. I don't want to be making litter. Even a full-size bed quilt to wrap oneself in on a cold night is hard to justify making. The world market has probably produced more fleece blankets than there are people who need them. Most people prefer a fluffy comforter. Who needs a handmade quilt?

But, here is a lap quilt. I made it. It has my creativity, my heart and my time stitched into it. I love the colors. I loved making it. I love the way it feels. I love the shapes floating across the surface. It exists because I thought it and sewed it into being. I’m already playing with the next one, guilt be damned. 

We are makers. This is what we do.

"doing donuts"
2014, hand appliqued, hand quilted, 39" x 39"