Sunday, September 21, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Two weeks ago, the beautifully inspiring Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing blog participated in the Around the World Blog Hop, and passed the baton to me for today. As I'm dealing with a raging head and chest cold and am practically collapsed over the Kleenex box, this might be a very short blog, at least for me. Here we go...

1. What am I working on?

A top-secret quilt top. Well, top-secret enough that I'll block my son and daughter-in-law from seeing this post when it's linked to its Facebook page, but not so top-secret it can't be shared here, at least in part. It's a (nearly) twin-sized bed quilt for their first baby and our first grandchild. (Wednesday night we're heading to a 'reveal' party, where I'll have the honor of cutting into either a pink or blue cake...we won't know until it's cut! After that, it's full speed ahead on quilting, sewing and knitting projects, since I'll finally know whether to avoid pink, lavender and frills in the things I'm making for the baby.)

Here is the lower half of the top-secret quilt top.

The upper half of the photo is cropped off because that's where the star of the show is--and he's not finished yet. Also, just in case my daughter-in-law happens to check in on the blog unexpectedly, she won't see that part and will still be at least a little surprised when she sees the finished quilt.

(For some closeups on my failed attempt at stitching feathers on the seaweed--hearts are more appropriate for the baby anyway, right?--see the previous blog entry, Feathers with Heart.)

2.  How does my work differ from others in this genre?

This requires some clarification--the quilt shown above is not my usual 'genre.' I'm mostly a landscape quilter. My landscapes are a combination of techniques from almost every landscape quilter who has written a book on the subject, so I can't say my work really differs at all. My last landscape quilt, however, differed somewhat from all the previous ones I'd made, as it was almost more of a story quilt than a landscape. Here's a photo of the quilt, titled The Visit:

Suspended on a sagging copper pipe propped on an open attic door
and a pegboard. (Fortunately, the AQS show came up
 with a better hanging system.)

It just returned from the AQS show in Chattanooga, where people were asking me, "What is the story behind this?" But I'd rather let viewers decide that for themselves. Makes it a lot more fun for me and, I hope, for them.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

Because I have to. And I mean that. Anyone who routinely makes use of his/her creative talents (and everyone has at least one) to the extent that it is one of the main parts of his/her life, does it because he/she has no is what keeps that person sane and balanced. If my husband realized what a freaking nut case he'd have on his hands if I didn't immerse myself in creative outlets, he would cease to begrudge even a minute of the time spent upstairs in my solitary space. Don't get me wrong, he's usually fairly understanding; it's just that sometimes, on the rare occasion he doesn't have a project in the works himself, he can be a bit testy about the time I spend on mine. And do you know why? Because, he's one of those potential nut cases, too...he just doesn't realize it! :)  I truly believe we were all given our respective gifts to help us stay grounded and enjoy life to the fullest (and bring in the bacon--everyone should be doing what they love for a living, or at least for part of the paycheck). It's a real shame to let our Creator-given talents go to waste.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

I used to write somewhat dark, edgy historical romance novels; now I construct colorful, not-so-edgy, fabric landscapes. But the inspiration isn't all that different. The novels both began with dreams, and most of my landscapes started with scenes in my head. Only three of the quilts -- The Visit, The View from Merlin's Cave and Rock of Ages -- were based on photos. The process entails many or all of these: designing, drawing, tracing, cutting, gluing, fusing, painting, embroidering, and of course quilting and binding. Also steam blocking. Normally, there would be three or four quilting projects in various stages at once--something I recommend, as it keeps boredom at bay and allows you to switch gears when you need to break away from a project. Currently, though, all my other WIPs are knitted items for the baby. Landscapes can wait!

Now that I've coughed all over my monitor and keyboard and have run out of tissues, it's time to stop writing and grab some alcohol wipes. (And maybe some alcohol--the medicinal kind. It's not for nothing I live near the heart of bourbon country. Note, I'm writing this on late Sunday afternoon for posting on Monday morning. Bourbon for breakfast? Even sixty years in Kentucky haven't come to that. lol)

It's also time to pass the above questions on to another blogger. Susan at The Bored Zombie has one of the most fun, inspiring blogs around. She is a member of The Bad Ass Quilters Society. In Chattanooga they exhibited several quilts, a body of amazing work including Susan's gorgeous Windows to the Orient. Look for her on the Around the World Blog Hop next Monday. Thanks again, Susan. And thank you Muv, for including me in the fun!

'Til next time,


  1. You're so kind, thank you so much for thinking of me and saying such awesome things! I'll be surely pass it along Monday!

  2. Hello Linda,

    So sorry to hear you have been feeling rotten - I hope the cold didn't spoil your trip to Chattanooga.

    Great answer to "Why do I write/create what I do?" It sounds just like life in our house. It seems that the older we get the more my husband and I appreciate each other's talents.

    It has been interesting looking at your quilts again, and seeing how your love of books and quilting landscapes came together in the Visit. Story quilts could just be the genre you make all your own. And I am still bowled over by the coat worn by The Girl. I want one.

    Looking forward to knowing what colour you are knitting in now...

    Love, Muv

    1. Hi Muv,

      I'm fairly certain the bug came from Chattanooga, and it was a doozie! But no, the trip itself was great fun. So glad your trip to Spain was wonderful, too.

      The story quilt idea is definitely one I'd like to explore. I realize this has been done to death in paintings for centuries, using fairy tale and mythology themes, but I haven't seen it so much in wall quilts. I used to want to illustrate my favorite books. The nice thing about The Visit was that the barred window itself suggested the story, with that long, ridge-top walk leading to the garrison. Still, doing one's own version of a classic fairy tale scene could be a lot of fun, and would be something to which viewers could easily relate. Then again, there would be no "what's the story behind it" questions, and that was kind of fun.

      Oh, that coat, yes! know, there surely is a pattern for that somewhere. Or maybe Marjolein, the model, is (or knows) a costumer. I wonder.

      The colors I find myself working with now, both for knitting and quilting, are blues and greens. Something to do with reconnecting my heart and brow chakras, no doubt.

      Hoping to blog again soon. Meanwhile, having great fun reading some of the blogs I've missed over at Lizzie Lenard's!


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