Monday, November 16, 2015

Shame and Forgiveness

Before every Quilt Festival, I think about what I might be shopping for -- do I need anything? do I want anything? Quite literally, the whole world of quilting supplies will be coming to MY neighborhood! Of course, I know there will be impulse buys, the thing I Must Have! that I didn't even know existed, but I try to make a list. This year, I had thoughtfully decided to get very little fabric -- nothing I particularly wanted & certainly, nothing I needed.

After Festival was over, I awoke with a headache & was a bit disoriented. I was surrounded by teetering towers & enormous piles of cloth. I've read that when a person over-indulges in a behavior she intended not to do all, this can be a sign of addiction. I hardly knew how & when it happened -- but happen it did. I was truly embarrassed & a little ashamed.

Anyway, what did I get?

A fat quarter bundle of Lizzy House's mini pearl bracelets. I am such a sucker for bundles of all the color ways of a print -- put a bow on it & I am a goner. But don't I have an un-used bundle of her first pearl bracelets? Why, yes I do. Maybe they should come together, maybe using a Cherie House pattern!

10 pieces (!) of Anna Maria Horner's Loominous! They are so beautiful! The colors are like candy! They made me think of the Laura Ashley skirts & dresses I have cut up on my shelves.

Then, not one, not two, but THREE quilt kits!!! I mean -- SERIOUSLY!!! But there the quilts were, made up on the booth's wall, all pretty & everything. I crumpled. The coarse Daiwabo prints may become what they were packaged to become -- a simple medallion.

What if I skip the pattern & combine these others with things I already have?

Dots with Lonni Rossi?

Heavy Metal with a vintage print?

Quite a haul. After some introspection, I have decided to forgive myself. Simply put, I went on a bender. I'm not trying to excuse my behavior, rather to understand it. I think the reason for my spree may have been longs weeks of stressful work & no sewing. I have learned that when I can't sew -- I tend to shop. Now that I have some time & energy for sewing, the shopping should stop. :-}

Addendum: I had been working on this post for a while, but after the events of week's end, it seemed silly & frivolous. But I decided to go ahead with it. If every time something awful happened in the world, the latest display of how cruel people can be to each other, if every time this happened we stopped thinking about & doing things we enjoy & sharing with people who share our enjoyment, then there would be no pleasure in life at all.
Love one another.

Friday, November 13, 2015

That's better.

The weekend between my hectic work schedule & the arrival of our guests, I managed to make some time to spend in my sewing room. Boy, did it feel good to sit down in front of my sewing machine! You, my cohort, know how really necessary it is for us to stitch.

Because I was still a bit frayed from work & a bit preoccupied in anticipation of company; I wanted some simple sewing. So I pulled out two long-time standbys: the plus blocks made with my parents' shirts & the flying geese made with Goodwill men's dress shirts.

My plus blocks got set aside in the push to finish the quilts for my brother & nieces. After their quilts were done & my plus fatigue had worn off, I got out the parts for my blocks & have been using them as leaders & enders for about a year now. There weren't many left to finish, so it was an easy push to get this top done. Now I am waiting for a nice weekend day for some outdoor basting. Soon, I, too, will have a Reva + Lee quilt!

Then there are the geese. The 'problem' with them has been that I didn't know how big this quilt was going to be. In the past, when I was working one project or another, Shug would ask me how big it would be. I would answer, "As big as it gets, I guess." I wasn't trying to be difficult, it's just that sometimes a quilt's size has to reveal itself to me. This was the case with the geese. A small wall quilt or something big enough for a queen size bed? I had more than a dozen shirts, so large was very possible. And I so enjoyed making the geese & joining them together. At first, I was putting the geese up on my design door, but when it outgrew the door, I just began sewing & letting chance do the designing. Now it is a finished top, too.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

We now return to my regularly scheduled life.

My weeks of frenzied activity at work were followed by a half-week of intense & long-overdue cleaning at home. Then came the arrival of friends from overseas & 2 days at the Quilt Festival, followed by sight-seeing with the friends. Quilt Festival was fun. The exhibit hall was a mess -- construction inside & out, but that didn't hurt the beauty of the quilts. Inspiring -- and exhausting. The pedometer on my phone said I walked more than 13 miles over the days I was there. I didn't just walk, I also bought an insane amount of fabric. Trainers, forget the medicine balls & free weights, do you know how heavy fabric is!?! I'll say I bought the fabric to increase the efficacy of my walking workout.
You're buying this, right?
Well, I can't tell you why I bought so much fabric. 'Because it was there' is the best I can come up with. Alluring stacks & bundles of pretty colors, all now trying to find a place in my bursting stash.

I also got another quilt top -- very cute & cheap -- my main criteria for vintage quilts & tops. A bright, cheery wagon wheel made in the late 50s to early 60s. It is small & I am thinking of finishing it up with big-stitch hand quilting. Across the aisle from my cute, cheap top was a finished quilt that was beautiful & not exactly cheap. It was slightly older than my top, probably mid-50s, a log cabin all made in cotton sateen solids with a few sateen prints added in, hand-pieced & hand-quilted. With the seller's permission, I took some photos, hoping images of this beguiling quilt would be enough. But I kept finding myself in the neighborhood -- just visiting, you know, admiring it. Then I found myself asking the seller if she would take any less.

Now, a chance to catch my breath. And to enjoy my purchases.