Remember when you were a kid and you had a snow day? Remember how you felt?! That's how I felt on Tuesday of this past week, as I watched the big, wet flakes come down like crazy. Ahhh….vacation. I was planning to spend my snow day sewing but instead, I spent it organizing files and making big pots of soup, which I have been eating all week. Pea soup, bean soup, chicken soup. Comfort food. Tomorrow, lentil soup. I can't get enough of soup.
Don't ask me where the last two weeks have gone since Thanksgiving, because I can't tell you. Twice I was at my mother's apartment supervising moving men while my kids took what she had promised to them. There is still more to do there.
Last week I spent multiple days cleaning out the closet I have not been ready to deal with until now. Even after 2-½ years it was difficult -- but I donated 7 bags of clothes and shoes, and there are still many beautiful, expensive suits and sport jackets on hangers (wooden ones - remember those?) that I am going to take to Goodwill so they stay local. They don't pick up clothing:-(. I haven't been able to part with some of the sweaters; they are huge on me, but I take comfort in wearing them. I am glad this is mostly behind me.
For the last at least six months I have been too busy, too exhausted, or just plain not in the mood to do anything creative. But last night, I finally sat down to sew some therapy strips. And for the first time in eons I worked till midnight.
What do I have to show for it? Uh - not a whole lot. Where is it going? Who knows and who cares? I am sewing.
A whirlwind two weeks of houseguests, celebrations, and losses.
We went to Jeremy and Anne Marie's to celebrate the dual holiday and the grandkids got their gifts: the boys, their "gelt" and Emma, a tea set. I can't show you the great pix of David and Jake because they are on Jessica's camera:-(
My cousin from Florida arrived the day after I got home from a teaching trip and it was a joy to spend so much time with her. We spent her birthday shopping (what better activity??), followed by a fabulous meal out in the evening. The rest of the week was a whirlwind of shopping and pie-baking (three varieties) leading up to Thanksgivingkuh, when Emma and her parents arrived to spend the weekend.
On Saturday we all went to Ben's bar mitzvah and the entire family (and friends) celebrated after the service. We were so proud of him! Here he is with his mother.
Later, at the party -- a rare picture of my three kids all together!
It is the very wee hours of the morning. For three days I have been clearing closets and files and have hauled out bags of trash and shredded paper for tomorrow's garbage pickup. I don't have to get up for anything important, so maybe I can sleep a little late.
morning, Sept 20
Hotel coffee is not normally the best, especially in a styrofoam cup. But this morning's is just hitting the spot. I need it, too, as I am trying to put some order into the class I just finished teaching. Twenty-two students of all varieties, from a total newbie who had never stitched two pieces together to a prize-winning quilter; from art quilters to dyed-in-the wool traditionalists.
noon, Sept 20
ok,I have to interrupt this narrative because it is lunchtime. I'm in the airport, just having ordered lunch
at a place called Bar Symon (Michael Symon, apparently some top chef person - but I don't watch tv, so what do I know?) The TSA lady told me about it. Pulled pork sandwich and it is GOOD.
ok - back to the workshop...
Some students had already played around with my book and had found their own path. Marlene brought in a quilt she had made. The added black and yellow strips pull it together and just make it sing, don't they?
Sue began with this, and was trying to decide where to go with it. The striped fabric was annoying her.
Ok, she either needed to add more when she made additional units or get rid of it. The quilt went through many permutations, some group-think, and this was how it looked as we were finishing class yesterday.
Some of the students brought in leftover pieces from other projects that they wanted to get rid of. These triangle pieces fell into that category. Jean combined them with strips, some green fabric, and then auditioned them on a maroon background. Uh - no.
What if we put them together without the background? Aha - now she was getting somewhere - but they needed space and Jean needed to make some more blocks. Her dilemma was that she didn't have any more of the triangle motifs.
"Fudge it," I said. And she figured out how to make it work with a couple of trimmed-off bits and the extra green background fabric. This is how Jean's piece looked when she was done. :-)
I was really happy to see that the students were working with my process but making it part of their own aesthetic. Thea brought in a piece she had printed, with the goal of using it as the centerpiece (so to speak) of a quilt. This was in the works as we finished up and almost done.
Elleny got to work almost immediately and created this free-form landscape.
late night, Sept 21
Oh, dear - 24 hours later and I am finally finished with the post I started yesterday morning. Well, better late than never. Quilt Company East Guild - thanks for the fun!
Blogger has been quirky on my iPad, so catching up. On Sunday, my brother and I headed to the Warhol Museum, which is quite a place. Pittsburgh is a city of bridges and this is one of the twins we crossed en route. I think it Is elegant.
The Warhol takes up seven floors of this building and there are no photos allowed inside, except on the first floor, where there are no exhibits;the gift shop and the art workshop downstairs.
Here, people have a chance to silkscreen at shirt so they can get a feel for the process.
You can also do a blotted line drawing, which Andy did in early years. There is lots to see and learn on the museum website http://www.warhol.org. The man was unbelievably talented and I gained new respect for his diverse body of work.
Now, off to day two of class. Will post later.
Leaving for Pittsburgh shortly, to teach …and incidentally to visit with my brother Jon, who lives there.
Or maybe you'd like to play around with these rather simple pieces to see what you can come up with. I'm working in solids (well, hand-dyes which are about as solid as I have) so I can see what I am doing.
I'm teaching Strips and Squares: endless design variations, so I decided yesterday to play a little with - yep, strips and - ok, rectangles (which could end up as squares or not). Didn't get beyond this small pile of rectangles with strips inserted, but maybe something will come of it later this coming week.
I started with 4 colors, cutting 4" wide strips of each color and trimming a 1" piece off of each so I ended up with a 3" x 6" strip and a 1" x 6" strip of each length of color. Then I sliced pretty much down the middle and inserted the 1" strips into the 3" strips. I have 12 of these units all together but if they work out, I'll make more and see where it goes.
I've already sliced and sewed together a couple of these units but can't tell what I will end up with.
In any case, if you feel like experimenting with 3" strips and 1" strips and you come up with an interesting little piece, let me know. In the meantime, I am off to the airport.