Sunday, September 23, 2007

Who Knows Where the Time Goes

It's Sunday and we've had a week or so filled with activity. Last weekend we had a visit from some VERY OLD -well we've known them a long time, they aren't that old...- friends- Linda (Winans) and Al Card. They always challenge us, because they are living their dream- they live on their sailboat in a marina in Guatemala. They shared pictures with us of old friends, and of their new life in Guatemala-Those guys know how to party! Togas and music and travel- sounds like a dream come true. And it IS- for Linda and Al. They had lots of pictures of friends and family- Hi Kenny and Ann- Hi Jean and Gerry! And it made me very happy to see how well those old friends are doing. It also made me do a little thinking.

Linda and Al at Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Following your dream means many things to many people- for some it's early retirement and living on a boat- for others it's non-stop travel. I think Walt and I are living our dream. We have a sweet little house that seems to have a magical ability to expand and accommodate family and friends as needed. Said sweet little house needs some work done on it, but it's still a "soft place to fall". We have our children and grandchildren nearby, a blessing we are grateful for every day of our lives. Our house is quiet at times and full of music and laughter every Sunday night about 5- rain or shine. We both have Monday through Friday jobs that challenge us and make life interesting. We both have out of work pastimes that keep us happy- for me it's my art- Walt has his books, movies and music.

All the photos I have of the front of our house are about 5 years old...Here's part of the inside of our soft place to fall, our mantle decorated for winter, 2007

It all makes me realize that how we spend our time and dream our dreams is relative. I wouldn't trade this for a second at any other lifestyle. I don't want for anything, really. (Well- a little more money would be nice) We are in the middle of a pretty wonderful time in our lives!

Sean, Walt, Meg, Jaime, Zoe Mary, Noah and Luke in my weedy garden end of Sept , 07

So now I'd better use my time wisely and get to work on my Dandelion quilt- oh and wait til you see the Chicken quilt!! I'll write more about that later!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thinking about Creating

I've gotten very good at the "simmering" of ideas. Just this past weekend I spent- oh- probably a solid 12 hours thinking about my dandelion quilt. Of course I wasn't just sitting there like Rodin's statue, with my chin in my hand, but I WAS percolating ideas.
I think this is an important stage in the design process. I also think it can go on WAY too long!!
Those of you who know me well know that I love the movie Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid- (be patient... there IS a connection) In the movie Butch keeps coming up with wild ideas, and Sundance always replies- "You just keep thinking, Butch- that's what you're good at!"
That's where I am with this quilt. I find I have epiphanies about how to do this while I'm driving to work on the Beltline- or sneaking outside to surreptitiously water my plants on the front porch (we have severe water restrictions in Raleigh right now). I have what Oprah calls an "aha moment" If I can remember all these great ideas and implement them- this will be an amazing quilt!

Noah did great at school last week, btw- First day was a little rocky- but by Thursday he was one happy boy- When Meg picked him up from school he said- "That was the best day, ever!"
He really has hit his stride confidence-wise. As the week has progressed he's adjusting. Learning the rules in kindergarten isn't easy...

Our weekend will be interesting. Our dear friends, who live a MUCH more interesting life than ours , are coming to visit- Linda and Al live on a sailboat in a marina in Rio Dulce, Guatemala- they'll be visiting for a few days and we will consume many beverages and spend a lot of time laughing!I think there may even be an evening of Karaoke in the works...

But before all the fun begins- I have two whole weekday workdays to work in my studio- this is the day to get those ideas down in fabric. And it's not getting done blogging!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back to School

My Grandson, my Sweet Boy, Noah- starts kindergarten today. He's ready- a little nervous, but ready. He'll have the same teacher Zoe had, and that's a wonderful thing. Can't help but think about when his Mom started kindergarten, or his uncles. Three days that will live in my memories forever- Megan was excited, hardly looked back- Luke and Sean were a little more hesitant...

I love the New Beginning part of school starting. Even though I'm not taking classes (although I really want to take a drawing class) it's still a great time to take stock- look at goals and see how you're doing. For example- I wanted to be able to mount a show this year. THAT'S not gonna happen. But I did send a piece out into the Big World of Criticism- that's a start. And I've figured out what I need to do to put a show together---(hint- a lot more new work!) I guess it's time to stop painting bedrooms and making curtains and get to work making artquilts!!

My newest piece is about how we can send positive energy out into the world to make a change- a favorite topic of mine. I read a quote, and I'll paraphrase here- it compared sending negative actions into the world with blowing on a mature dandelion... I don't like focusing on the negatives- so my quilt will be about sending the seeds for change into the world and how each seed has a ripple effect- changing in small ways the way people look at their world. I've always held the concept of- "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem" close to my heart- this season's quilts will be about those changes we each must make to change our world for the better. Sound really good on paper, now for the TIME to make the quilts! I wish I could work at night- I'm so jealous of people who get along on a few hours sleep...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Awesome Ideas

I finally took the plunge and got this blog-thing going. I had been struggling with names, and this morning, after a night on the couch (more about that later) it came to me. So Threading the Needle is born. I like the idea of showing action in the title- I'm a pretty busy person who likes to start and sometimes finish new projects. So the act of threading the needle indicates to me that a new project is being born!

I have had a productive summer:

I entered my first "competition" by sending a quilt to Quilt Art for a challenge. I don't think it'll be published, that was in June and now it's Sept... haven't heard anything. BUT the big step for me was in sending something in- putting it out there. I'm proud of that and proud of the piece, even if they don't publish it. So this is "Morning Has Broken" :
hand-dyed fabric, fusible applique, beading, found objects with organza overlay, this is about the way your mind expands with a new idea

I finished my clapotis (my family thinks this sounds dirty) far from perfect in the execution, but it's done and I'm happy with it.

I used Lang yarns Mille Colori- not the best choice- the yarn was too fuzzy to drop the stitches properly. This is from

I made a second little one that is much more technically correct but I put it away for a Christmas present (and it MIGHT be yours!)so I don't have a photo. Thanks for all the help I got from lurking on Yahoo's clapotis group- the charts were such a help (the second time around!)

I had a great idea for wedding gifts. A picnic quilt! These are picnic sized quilts that give me a chance to try new techniques and color combos without being too worried about them being Heirloom quality ( I gave up on heirloom quality about 20 years ago- now I fuss if I want to and I use "creative expression" the rest of the time- it's more fun that way)

One of my goals for 2007 was to learn to make socks. Here is my first sock! I DID cast on the second sock immediately, and I swear I'll finish it!

I used yarn from my stash- I think the instep part is too big, but it looks fine on my foot, and it's my FIRST SOCK!! (I'm ridiculously proud of this thing.