Monday, December 30, 2013

The Year in Review & an Embarrassing Admission

Quilt-y Finished Objects-wise, 2013 was not a big year for me. Only six finishes.

I was pleased with my FLiQS mini & I think Jennie liked it. I was pretty happy with both my Madrona Road & Florence challenge quilts. My Mother-in-law loved her Super Fan KU T-shirt quilt. And I loved both my Derse/Swoon quilt & the comforter made with the navy & pastel double knits.

But just the 6.

I actually did a lot of sewing: I have 10 little lap tops done (3 will make it onto this year's FO list), I made 6 other tops of varying sizes -- one is quilted & will be a pillow cover, another is poised to be the first finish of 2014 -- and there are at least 3 WIPs that are partially or mostly assembled; then there are the piles (and piles) of blocks or parts-of-blocks.

After my Mom's death, I just wasn't able to sit & do *anything* for very long at a time. I would start something & next thing I knew, I was up doing something else. Or just puttering, I did lots of puttering this year. Just part of the grieving process, I guess.

But truthfully, my lack of focus began before she died & I know exactly what caused it, it is just a little embarrassing because it makes me look petty & petulant.

My 2013 Lack of Focus began when I got my quilt, Lucky, back from display at QuiltCon; more specifically, it began when I read the QuiltCon judge's comments about my quilt.

To say I was hurt is putting it mildly. I was crushed -- obsessively so (just ask Shug). Everything I loved about that quilt was pointed out as a negative: my background was "busy", my fabric choices "lacked vision", my quilting thread colors were "distracting". It seemed there wasn't much constructive criticism, just criticism.  I felt like I shouldn't be quilting, that I didn't know what I was doing, that I should be doing something -- ANYTHING -- other than quilting.

Well, it has taken me nearly a year to stop wailing & moaning, to get over myself & move on.
"It wasn't personal." "It was just one person's opinion." "You can't please everyone." Etc, etc, etc. Anyway, I think my juices are starting to flow again & I'm beginning to get back my quilting mojo.

And I'm trying to listen to my own Voice rather than the Voice of others.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Trees & the Forest

I've never been overly fond of Special Occasion quilts. You know, Birthday Quilts, Halloween Quilts, Quilts for Hanukkah or Christmas. Now I don't mean *gifts* for these occasions, but quilts that are just brought out for display at these times -- fine for someone else, just not for me.

That being said, since mid-November I have been OBSESSED with the thought of making a tree quilt. I suppose trees can be for year-round & the kind of trees I've been about are as much about triangles as about the trees. But, The Tree Quilt I've been pining for is one with pointy green to blue-green trees on a frosty white background, maybe with a few touches of red & gold -- pretty darn Christmas-y, huh?

So, with a template I hadn't yet used & a deep dig in my stash that produced a dozen or so old, blender-y, tree-ish-colored fabrics, a hoarded paisley white-on-white & 3 red & gold fat quarters -- I'm on my way to a Christmas Tree Quilt!

Truth be told, this is my second tree quilt. I made one for my parents for Christmas back in 1993 -- it was loved & admired & proudly shown off, but was never used (the "save it for Good" mentality, don't you know). Now that my parents are both gone, the quilt is back in my home. It's a big one! And finally in use on our guest bed.

A retraction

Not too very long ago, I said something about how I have a lot of quilts &, because I live in the sub-tropics, I really don't need many quilts.

That hasn't changed, that's still true.

But the winter has begun early down here on the Gulf Coast. I know, I know, it is nothing like as bad as what places further North are experiencing -- heck, even Dallas has already had an ice storm -- but our long, hot summers make us pretty fragile, so when it gets cold(ish), we suffer.

Anyway, I have to admit that I feel richer than Bill Gates right now because of my wealth of quilts: one night is a 3 quilt night, the next night just requires 2 -- but maybe a different 2. How about these 2 small quilts on me & these other 2 small quilts on Shug. Clashing piles, coordinated piles, I change the quilt combinations like ... well, like I *can*, because I have so many!

I LOVE it & it makes me feel like a billionaire!