Friday, June 7, 2013

In the mean time

Over at the barn...

Over at the barn there is little assembly line of bird house parts being manufactured by my husband and my great niece, Laura.
Our old cedar picnic table had seen better days and the holes for the lag bolts were getting too loose to tighten up anymore, so when Tony and Hazel visited from England in early May, Tom and Tony disassembled the picnic table and burned all the short wood and stacked all the long pieces for bird house construction at a later date.

Many nights after school, Laura helped Uncle Tom mill the wood to the proper thickness and I found two bird house patterns for the little carpenter crew to make.
Tom is easily confused when you have to measure and cut and when there are multiple pieces for a project, stand aside.  Laura was a huge help making a list of all the pieces needed for a bird house and how many to cut, etc.  She is an excellent list maker.

Before anything at all could be done, two boards would have to be glued together.  That was the first step.  Then milling to the proper thickness, Then measure, mark and cut out the pieces.
One afternoon Laura came and asked how big a hole was needed for wrens and I looked it up on the internet.  1 1/8” is how big the hole can go and that keeps the sparrows from using the bird house.  Down the basement and searching the drawers netted a drill bit that was the proper size.  I think this is the very first time a project got started and no tool had to be purchased…well wood glue, they ran out of that.  It doesn’t freeze well apparently!

I went to the barn today to see how things were progressing and found Laura painting designs on the bird houses so they look pretty.

Recycle, reuse and build a skill.

And they planted the beans and tomatoes in between the sunny days and the rainy days.  Perfect timing.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quilting as an Art Form

The Art of Quilting

Quilting is an art form.  From designing the piece to the final stitch that finishes it.

I sometimes follow a pattern when piecing, but a lot of times I follow my instinct from choosing the colors to making the choice for the block.  There is no rhyme or reason in my thinking process; I just do what pleases me.

If I admit to having 12 unfinished projects sitting in boxes under my ironing table, you would know that I am human.  I start things and don’t finish them.  Well, eventually I will finish them!  I pull out a box of pieces and have to remember what my original plan was.  I have made a habit of putting all my notes I have made for assembling, pressing direction, etc. in the box of a project so I don’t have to swear at myself when I do go back to it.

Some of the most magnificent tops I have quilted are not pieced by me, and I am satisfied with the finished top after quilting as if I had made the whole thing.  It is an honor to be able to put the design in stitches on the top someone else pieced, and I take great satisfaction thinking of how to place design and color of thread to enhance it as well.  My favorite client is one who lets me do what I chose; especially if they have specific instruction on basics.  A guideline always helps me be more creative.

Paper piecing is not my forte.  I fumble with the paper, I can’t chose fabric colors, I feel like it takes too long…you name it, I’ve made the excuse for not ever paper piecing my projects.  My sister is not adverse to sewing fabric to paper and she has done the blocks for several projects for me that I really wanted but would not suffer the paper part of achieving it.

Recently I have had the pleasure of quilting three different paper pieced tops for a teacher who teaches classes and is a certified instructor for Judy Niemeyer patterns.  The quilts are amazing.  There are no other words to describe the piecing.  Her color choices are phenomenal and her finished top is always flat and square.  I don’t think there is anything else I can say about the beauty of her work.  I will let the pictures speak for me.

I can only say that the quilting of these tops just proves that simple title: The Art of Quilting!