Quilting vs. Gardening: It Must Be June

I’ve been busy.  Too busy to write a blog.

And not only too busy, but too boring.  And while I don’t mind writing a boring blog, I’m not sure you want to read one.  All of that aside, I have also reached the point in the year where all good quilters/gardeners have to make some decisions.  Inside or outside.  Quilt or garden. Flowers and vegetables or blocks and table runners.

And while I may be able to hold it all in my mind simultaneously, I certainly can’t work on it all simultaneously.  So although I have some very ambitious sewing plans and classes lined up, as my farmer grandfather used to say (and do), “Make hay while the sun is shining.”  Of course, he made hay in August, but you get the idea.

In the hopes of providing a little temporary entertainment, here’s a gallery of recent flowers from the garden.  Most are done blooming, so I’ll be back in the sewing room shortly.  In the meantime…it’s summer…let’s all go for a walk!

Improv and More

I have started working on an improvisational quilt.

Basically , it means I start sewing before I have any idea what I’m creating. For anyone who knows me, this way of doing things is right up my alley.  I just purchased this book, “An Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters” by Sheri Lynn Wood.

improv2

Naturally, I flipped through the book and then started without so much as reading a paragraph.  I promise I will go back and read. The book looks great.  I just was inspired by the word “improv” and began immediately.

improv1

 

Here’s a sneak peak and to be honest , I don’t know how I will complete it. Just know that it’s a gift, so I don’t want to divulge the whole quilt til it’s been given away.  At that point, it’s done and there can be no regrets or turning back.  For now, it’s simply a work in progress.

In machine embroidery, I am preparing to teach a Software Inspirations class based on a tutorial from Sylvain Bergeron, Bernina educator.  In it, we learn to create textile fabric using embroidery…like argyle.

argyle1This is done completely in software, then stitched out as machine embroidery.  It can now be cut up and used as a handbag piece, or in a quilt, or basically used as any other fabric.  Would be fun to do a small series of these in different shades and then put them together as a quilt or table runner.  Although I’m sure this image looks black and white, the thread used in the squares is actually a mauve with white lines, on Moda’s black grunge fabric.

That being said, like many sewists, I spend a lot of time in the garden in the spring, head back into the sewing room when it rains or as the weather gets too warm and buggy to be hanging around outside.  I leave you with a few lovely pics from around the area this past couple of weeks.  The earth is stunning.

peonies2

Peony tree

Wild  phlox

Wild phlox

Crabapple tree

Crabapple tree

More Paintings

honeymoon2

high school

I painted both of these…probably 20 years apart.  One was from a place I had actually visited, and the other from a postcard.

Can you tell which is which?

Maybe it’s obvious to you.  It is to me.

I worked hard on both of them.  One is a study in nature, the other…a study in nature.  If you’ve ever painted, you know that when you are in the middle of a painting, you are in that location.  You have to be.  Whether it is coming from your imagination, or from a picture, or whether it was your experience in real life, at the moment that you are painting, you are there.

It would explain why I love to paint landscapes, scenes of tranquility or astounding beauty.  Whether I am in that location or not, I have most certainly traveled there in my mind.

But a painting done from life experience almost always has more courage.  It is more expressive, and usually more emotional.  It may not be the best at capturing details but it captures a moment.  And, on a good day, lets the viewer in on the wonder.

Ready for the answer?  I gave enough hints.  I’m sure you know by now.

The top one was from our honeymoon in Hawaii.  I dragged my not-a-morning-person newlywed husband out over a bluff along the shore in Kauai.  We sat together in the dark, listened to the relentless surge of the ocean and watched the sun come up.  It turned out to be a stunning display, becoming more brilliant with every passing moment.

The other is a painting I did a few years after high school, from a lovely postcard.  I don’t really even know the exact location.  Wyoming, maybe?  But I do love the mountains and so painting it was joyful.

Which is the better painting?

Well.  I leave that up to you.