Monday, May 6, 2019

Cultivating Quilts

Postcard from Sweden for Baby

Early February this past winter, I promised a quilt. A cascade of family events moved life far away from our ordinary pace, and seemed to have taken ages to return. Have you ever uttered to yourself, "I just want to catch up." And so, in spite of spring rains, and all kinds of new things I'm cramming to learn until my brain hurts, I feel closer to caught up than in months. True, we still need groceries, and are hunting for clean laundry throughout baskets parked down a hall, but sorting life on the outside is not the same as our inner life. We first seek peace in our hearts, and watch it follow in our world. 

You can see I've got all 36 fabrics cut and labelled above for that promised quilt. The hard work is over, and sewing it together is progressing quickly. It might even be done before the next time the yard needs mowed, which is just days apart right now.

Playing with Patterns on ProStitcher

ProStitcher is the computerized module on my Handi Quilter machine. There are base designs within it, and each needs to be manipulated to fit the quilt. I took an intro class last weekend on it, and the instructor correctly put it as, "A brain without a body, it needs to be told everything." How to tell it accurately is another chapter, but I'm learning. You'll still hear a bit of groaning and a few shrieks if you hang around, and I even tore a small hole in a quilt just last week. (One of my own, thankfully, and it can be repaired.) I'm not going to be an overnight success, but I see such promise in having taken this mighty leap.

Moving beyond getting the stitches from one side to the next, I'm working on details now. Balancing the designs, cropping, etc. Again, I'm not an overnight success at this.

Visualizing the pattern from the computer screen clip to the actual quilt can be challenging. This one turned out to be so dramatic, but fitting, too.

 You may notice I opt for larger patterns. I'm working through a batt of polyester batting, and this maintains a softer quilt. 

A Beauty of a Backside

Gosh, I smile to find a pattern that echoes something in the pattern or prints.

Other times I just know a quilt needs something special. You can't use long stem roses on just anything, but pink polka dots are perfectly suitable.

After a session where my brain and body both needs rest, the girls and I get outside to take in some sun and tea. Six vegetable garden beds are doing well, and the other 4 are begging to be weeded. I can't do it all, though, so I forgive myself, and keep sipping my tea.

Two little greenhouses I found at Aldi get top marks from me. I've moved things in and out all spring, and my fairy and miniature garden plants are taking refuge there now. Gardening was my most beloved hobby before quilting, and I feel so lucky that some of our kids were bitten by that bug too.

One or two more weeks until the soil will be warm enough to set these tomatoes out. Remember those beds with the weeds? Me, too. I'm off and running to keep up with it all. 

Spring is the most glorious season, and I feel so lucky to live in this green valley. I grow plants and quilts.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


patty a. said...

Julie, Do you know if deer will eat the blossoms on squash plants? Up here in Akron we have city deer that come from the parks and graze on everyone's landscaping. I think I will go ahead and get some tulle to cover my plants just in case.

Barb Neiwert said...

You are up and running - congrats! Your stitching designs look like you're getting the hang of it just fine! I spent 4 days in a class last week that was primarily custom design, and OMG, my head is spinning. My retrofit needs to be tweaked a bit this week, and then I, too, can start playing. I have enough quilts back logged to give me some good practice. Enjoy! (And yeah for green!!!)

Janice Holton said...

Your quilting looks WONDERFUL!! I would be super happy with any of those motif's that you showed. Way to go, Julie!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Your quilting looks great. Well done! I hope things settle back into a regular routine soon. Enjoy the garden.

Angie in SoCal said...

Looking great already. You're a natural.

Kate said...

Looks like you got a running start on that steep learning curve. Gorgeous quilting (it doesn't have to be perfect to look great). I've decided that catching up in life is a fantasy, if it gets done it was meant. If not, well, I'm trying not to worry so much about that. Good luck with your efforts.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Beautiful Quilting!! Life is in slow mode in Northern Indiana. Cool weather that has trended to 4 days of rain, three cool partly sunny days has become the pattern. Yesterday we enjoyed a day in the yard and for a long time I sat in the swing by the pond and fed my bones vitamin D.
xx, Carol

Linda Swanekamp said...

It is great that it is green again. Now if it could stop raining... Lovely quilts- you are learning and improving so much.

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

something else we have in common Julie, I too gardened like mad before i quilted. I think my husband would like me to garden a little more!

KaHolly said...

How did I miss this post? Although I subscribe to your blog via email, I don’t think I’m getting notices each time you post. Gardening was my passion as a younger adult, too. Funny, back then, I managed to do it all. Keep a nice house on the inside, maintain my property, build and keep up beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, WORK full time, sew up a storm..........then life slowed down, but time didn’t. Go at your own pace, Julie, and enjoy it all. What doesn’t get done today will still be there tomorrow! Time with your kids and for yourself is more important than laundry ~wink~! How are your gardens doing now?