Life happens

Last week was one of those “life happens” week. It would be untrue to say that I quilt full-time. No, there are many other responsibilities that crowd in and take precedence. Those things may very well be enjoyable to me, and I certainly wouldn’t want to eliminate them, but they still keep me out of the studio.

I spent a couple of days with a photo shoot. It was time to get some decent pictures of some of my quilts. Even though I continually encourage people to document their quilts, there were a few that I had not photographed yet, and there were some others for which I only had very old, very bad pictures. So, for a couple of days, the living room became a photo studio. I’ll write more about that process tomorrow.

Millennium Quilts 1 & 2 by Maria Elkins

Two of the quilts which needed good pictures had to be retrieved from DD#1 and DD#2. Shown above are the Millennium Quilts that I’ve mentioned from time to time. I desperately needed a hand project to bring with me during the years DD#2 was playing two- and three-day volleyball tournaments, so both of these were hand pieced and hand quilted. Each of the quilts has 2000 hexagons, and each piece is different. During 1999, quilters were swapping packets of twenty-five 3″ squares of fabric. The packets were called “squishies” because they would fit in a regular envelope and it was soft enough to squeeze a bit. By swapping squishies, quilters could collect enough different fabrics to make a charm quilt in honor of the year 2000. I originally planned on making just one, but I was having so much fun (and I have two daughters who wanted one), I decided to make two!

Back to the events of the past week. I had the opportunity to help my mom set up her new Nook Color. We also got back into our hour-a-day walking routine. It was actually nice after all our traveling. We both put on some weight while eating out for a month, so it’s definitely time to get back to our previous disciplines. We shopped for supplies for the church, and found out we needed to shop for us, too. The cupboards were pretty bare after all our traveling.

I also started online fabric shopping for a Nancy Crow Strip Piecing and Restructuring workshop which I’ll be taking next May. I’ve wanted to take a workshop from her for ten years! Consider it “cross-training.” My goal is to become looser and more free with my art. Why start buying fabric now? There were lots of good Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. The boxes have already begun to arrive! I foresee plenty of prewashing and folding in my future.

DD#2 has assisted me in some Making Faces workshops and she wants to make a few portraits for Christmas presents, so she came over one day to choose fabrics, cut them out and fuse Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 to the backs of each. That took all morning, and we had a blast! We chatted, sipped Starbucks Christmas blend coffee, and admired some long-neglected fabric. We also processed her photos so she could leave with homework: three printouts to work on and some gel pens.

Sweet hubby desperately wanted to declutter the garage, so we spent one day dragging out stuff and more stuff. Most things either went directly into the van so we could haul them to Goodwill, or they went directly into the trash, which is now overflowing. A small percentage of things were keepers. Even with all our efforts, we only reached a quarter of the garage, but at least we can see some floor space now! He’s all fired up now, and wants to make this a weekly event until the whole thing is done. I can feel achy muscles already.

Christmas wreath
Saturday was filled up with women’s Bible study, followed by a craft day at church. I brought a bag full of inexpensive Christmas ornaments which I snagged in an after-Christmas sale last year. I spent our time happily and mindlessly stringing them on a bent hanger to make a wreath, which now decorates my studio door. I also draped blue twinkle lights around my studio. Next week, I vow to actually do something quilty in my studio!

7 Responses

  1. Ann Wiseman

    Sometimes it’s nice to do some organizy things too!

    PS. You need to get some risers for your cutting/ironing surface for your poor DD#2 – my back hurts just looking at the pics of her having to bend over like that!! Your favorite place – Ikea – has bed risers for about $8.

    : )

    • Maria

      LOL! She’s still young and flexible, but you’re right! I don’t typically do my work on that dining room table because it’s way too low.

      • DD#2

        Ann – I don’t know what I’d do working at a table that’s the right height for me… I’ve spent 4 years now working with k-2nd grade special needs students, so between very small wheelchairs, very small adaptive seating equipment, and a tiny U table, I think my back is permanently bent at an odd angle! hahaha! 🙂

        It was a very fun day working with my mom… can’t wait to get more done! 🙂

  2. Simply Susan

    You failed to mention that you very nicely hosted 4 friends from out of state for 3 1/2 days! Thank you again.

  3. Donna

    Awsome pattern, great twist on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden. Is there a pattern? Or a larger picture to see?

    • Maria

      Thanks, Donna! No, no pattern. I just took all the flowers or diamonds I made and put them on the floor and moved them around until I liked it. If you click on the picture in the post, and then click again, I think you’ll be able to see the pattern pretty clearly. If not, let me know.