Finishing My Solstice Quilt

January 13th, 2017

The Front and back of my Solstice Quilt

My Solstice quilt has been hanging on my wall.  Waiting for its batting to come.  It finally did.  Ellen, who bought the quilt, asked if I could use a high-loft wool batting in it instead of the thin cotton batting I usually use.

I want it to be warm and fluffy, Ellen wrote me.  She wants to snuggle under it on these cold winter days.

I had a hard time finding the right batting, but Ellen emailed me some companies that made it and I decided on a company in Minnesota.

Today I sewed the backing together, using one of the squares from the old quilt top that I used  pieces from on the front of the quilt.

I’m looking forward to working with the wool batting.  I’ve used a polyester high loft batting before, but never wool.  I’m curious to see how it looks and feels when it’s done.

Marti And Her Ogg Winter Scarf

January 12th, 2017

Marti was happy to get her Ogg Winter Scarf.  I know because of the expression on her face.  I love that one of my scarves could bring this kind of joy and that I can get to know Marti a little this way.

Janet’s Potholders

January 12th, 2017

Janet sent me this picture of the potholders she bought from me in her kitchen. I thought they worked so well with the measuring cups and the red walls.

To Simply Be

January 12th, 2017

A self portrait I made in my printmaking class about 25 years ago. I called it “Soil” and had ferns for hair.

There was a time in my life when I believed, that in a previous existence, I had been a fern.   And I longed to go back to that time.

Those  ancient, quiet, gentle plants that only need some wind and moisture to reproduce.  Self-contained, they merely existed.

It seemed so simple to me.  So uncomplicated.

Reading “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang, I was reminded of this.  The woman in the novel, Yeong-hye becomes a vegetarian after some disturbing nightmares.  It’s an act of defiance that throws her whole life into turmoil.  Her true desire is to become a plant.

Sounds strange, and it is, but I also so understand it.  It’s a reaction to her childhood abuse her feelings of being powerless and  invisible.  A way for her to take control of her life.

I remember thinking that it would be so easy to be a fern.  So easy to just be.   After reading The Vegetarian, I realized that that’s all I really ever had to do.  Not as easy as it might be for a fern, but as simple.  All I ever had to do was simply be me.

The Other Side Of Cold

January 11th, 2017

It felt like spring, warm air and soft ground.  It smelled like spring, mud, moisture and manure.

The chickens finally came out of the coop, after staying in for a week at least.  It was good to see them pecking around.

A forty-five degree day in the beginning of January, when just yesterday morning it was ten degrees, is a day to take advantage of.

I started by putting my Bailing Twine chair in the sun on the back porch and tying some twine.  This afternoon Jon and I stapled up more chicken wire to the places on the barn the animals were chewing on.  (With out wearing gloves!) A long walk on McMillen Road, watching some big birds of prey (I’m not sure what kind of birds they were) and the crows playing gave me the right amount of time in the sunshine and warmth to last me for a while.  I know it’s going to get cold again and soon.

Days like today help remind me of what’s  waiting on the other side of cold.

My “Surrender” Quilt, A Video

January 11th, 2017

Instead of writing about my “Surrender” Quilt I thought I would explain it in a video.  The quilt is already sold, and I’m  still working on it as you can see in the video.

I’ve been enjoying making these videos with Jon, he seems to know just the right questions to ask when I think I don’t have anything else to say.

There is one part of the story that I forgot to tell in the video.  It’s the dream I had after I fell back to sleep.

In the dream I was in a small cinder block room, with a high ceiling and no windows.   I felt trapped but I didn’t panicking I just thought I’d fly through the walls.  I made myself light and started to float.  I can still remember how intimidating the grey cinder block walls were.  How thick and impenetrable they seemed.  As I floated up, I turned around and saw there was a mirror on the opposite wall.  I knew that was easier to move through than the cinder block and easily floated through it to freedom.

 

Coming In From The Pasture

January 10th, 2017

Enough of the snow has melted so there are actually some areas in the back pasture where the ground is showing.  There’s not a lot for the animals to graze on, and it has no nutritional value at all, but it keeps them busy and hopefully less likely to nibble on  the barn.

We have a routine now.  Chloe follows me closely, then Red walks the sheep up behind us.  Fanny and Lulu are the last to come.  We take a walk around the pasture then I give each of the equines a treat.  Fate runs around and the animals graze on weed and bushes.

They come back on their own when it’s time for hay.  Here’s a video of them coming in from the back pasture, with Fanny trailing behind.

“Surrender” The front and back

January 10th, 2017

I wanted to write about why I’m calling my new quilt Surrender today, but I’ve been working on it for most of the day, (with a break to visit with Connie at The Mansion, with Jon and Red.   I showed her a photo of “Surrender”.   She asked me to send her a card from India) and then I got locked out of my blog and now we’re meeting friends for dinner in about fifteen minutes.  So I’m out of time!

Here’s a picture of what I got done today.  That’s the back on the floor.  I’ll write more about it tomorrow…

“Surrender”, A New Quilt

January 9th, 2017

 

I started working on a new quilt today.  I’m calling it “Surrender”.

The color in these photos is more accurate.

I’m planning on putting that red/orange calico around the whole quilt.  Then I think it will be done.

I think I like the way it looks this way.

 

 

Reading About Shirley Jackson With My Familiars

January 9th, 2017

Minnie and Flo sleeping on and around me while I was reading

I’m reading the new Shirley Jackson biography by Ruth Franklin.  I’ve been a fan of Jackson’s since high school.  After reading “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” I was hooked.

But I never knew much about her.

Reading about her life, how she was an outsider within her own family and unpopular at school helps me understand why I was so drawn to her stories, which deal with these issues again and again.  Somehow I never consciously thought of her stories that way.  She also had a genuine interest in witchcraft, which the author suggests may have helped her to feel she had some more control or power over her own life.

The thing I didn’t know about Jackson, that is particularly interesting to me at this point in my life, was her dedication to her writing. In an interview in the New York Post in 1962, she was asked if her family supported her writing. Her answer was, “They couldn’t stop me.”