ain’t afraid of no quilts :: part 3

Quilt top done. Learned much. Funny, from afar it looks like a bunch of art school drawings pinned to a wall in a grid- that makes me happy. I will reserve comments until the whole thing is done…which brings me to the back. I am so in to the back. The back of a quilt is a much more intimate experience. It is made for only one or two people to enjoy. It is private. It is the casual side…the leftover side…the rushed and haphazard side…the side that touches the body…the side that no one sees…the secret side…the side for play…the side that doesn’t take itself too seriously…that loves itself more if it is imperfect…that doesn’t care about mistakes…the real side. I just came up with a manifesto- I think from now on I will set out to make the frontside feel as good and as real as the back. You know who does that, Denyse Schmidt. See hers here. And a nice conversation with her about her work here. read more

Ain’t afraid of no quilts :: Part 2

…but maybe a little afraid. Here is what I have learned so far:

1. Have a plan…even a vague notion a of a plan. (Like maybe, perhaps, do a sketch or two before cutting up all your fabrics.) 2. Know what size quilt you are going to make…even a vague notion of a size. 3. Have enough fabric. (see #1 for have a plan and make a sketch.) 4. Really like how all the fabrics work together (see #3.) If you don’t have enough fabric and you bought it online but don’t want to wait for more, for example, then you have to improvise. (I did mention that I need to learn from doing and making mistakes, didn’t I?) Off to do my sashing.

I ain’t afraid of no quilts…

In Bikram yoga (umm…haven’t been in years…but still assimilating the wisdom- does that count?) So…in Bikram as you are attempting to do your first backward bend of the day, the instructor is saying, rather loudly, “Go back, fall back, way back, more back, way back… more back…” And that is what I am hearing in my head as I attempt this first quilt. “Don’t think, just go.” I have to surrender to the process and know I might fail but just go for it. If I think too much I will be veering towards what we call in this house masterpiece syndrome. That is when you think everything you do has to be good enough to go in the Guggenheim. Masterpiece syndrome is the enemy or art…the enemy of creation because it makes one judgmental, critical and distanced from the pure expressiveness and joy of the creative act. It puts too much pressure on making stuff. read more

LEGO sewing machine

The reality is, we spend most of our hours at the LEGO least two hours a day: Lately, I have been making gardens—carrot trucks, flower vendors—anything natural—because LEGOs are so completely unnatural. I like the contrast. Big boy has been making vehicles. He tends to be more into movable creations than static ones—everything is on wheels…or pontoons…or is a spaceship…or floats…or is made of ice. These days it is all about the little LEGO people. Today, he asked me if I would be the husband. I agreed. I am sad that he now says “wife,” because for the longest time he said it “life.” “I’ll be the husband, you be the life.”

So, while I was there today safeguarding baby girl from ingesting the ten thousand eatable things, I made this sewing machine. Notice the throat plate and feed dogs? And then I used the inside of the smallest wheel for the flywheel- it really turns. There is a spool of red thread on top (I like that it is sitting loosely on a tiny black car antenna…as if the tensioner would adjust the tension just like on a real machine). And one tiny grey light makes the bobbin winder. But the best part is the needle/presser foot—it actually looks real—it is a tiny upside down hammer. The LEGO people have tiny tools. I think it is a Bernina activa 220- what with all the buttons and the computer screen… read more