Even Artists Need a Holiday

About this time of year, I start to feel a bit of angst. All of this celebratin’ puts a cramp in the forward movement of my art. I want to enjoy working on mindless projects. I want to have fun decorating and celebrating. But I also want to keep working on my art. And then I usually give in and work on the fun mindless projects, and I realize its only a few weeks. My art won’t just disappear in three weeks time. And its such a relief. I was discussing this with my BF, and she came up with that brilliant statement, “Even artists need a holiday.” I need to have that tattooed on my forehead, because evidently I can’t remember it from year to year.

Anyway, the first thing that I worked on was this quilt that I started a couple of years ago, when I took a class from Pepper Cory on the “Manx Roof Tile Quilt,” a type of folded log cabin. (And I just want to say that if you are interested in learning this technique, Pepper was an EXCELLENT teacher!) I wanted to use my dad’s pendleton shirts to make a memory quilt. You might remember that last year I used his shirts and ties to make pillows for my brother and sister. My quilt project got put away when construction on the new studio began, and I just found the box of blocks a few weeks ago.


Like most handwork, once you get into the rhythm of it, it moves along quite quickly. I began to think that if I could do one block each evening, I could finish it before Christmas. I didn’t do one EVERY evening, but I did work consistently on them, and when it looked like I could complete the blocks, it got quite exciting!

I was so excited the evening I put them on the design wall, and saw the pattern emerge. When I was working on the blocks, I wasn’t sure I had enough definition between the “darks” of the shirts and the “lights” of the reproduction fabrics. (I decided NOT to use the ties for this project because silk is just a pain to work with. And I do love reproduction fabrics.)


I wanted to make a border by adding an extra large “binding.” Looked in my stash, and there it was–one of my most favorite “repeater” fabrics. Repeater fabrics are those fabrics that I love so much that I just keep buying a yard or two every time I see it.


It took a little figuring to figure out how to make this binding, but in the end, I am so happy with this little quilt. It will be the quilt I cuddle under all winter.


The finished quilt:


The next fun project I let myself work on was a little table runner out of those darn Christmas fabrics that I can’t resist buying! I’ll be back later to share that with you.

The Quilt Show–Wanted to mention that my episode of The Quilt Show will be airing this Monday, December 8! If you are already a member, you can watch it then. If not, on Monday the 15th, I will be able to give you a code so that you can watch it. Also, I will just add that I am a huge fan of The Quilt Show, and it is a super good deal to pay $42.95 for a one year membership, and get access to all 200 shows! They have a wide range of quilters from traditional to abstract, with lots of good techniques demonstrated. Its a great resource. Plus its just fun to watch with a bowl of popcorn 🙂

7 thoughts on “Even Artists Need a Holiday

  1. I love what you’ve done here with the log cabin pillows and your own personal cuddle quilt! The colors and the sentiment are delightful. I call my artists holiday a”palette cleaner”when I work on fairly mindless stuff. I need those breaks in between major projects too.

  2. Was just thinking about your upcoming TQS episode. When I see my quilting lunch group next Friday, do I get to tell them I know you? Cuz I really don’t know you but I feel like I kinda do. 🙂
    I’ve been quilting quite a bit lately, more than usual, and I find myself feeling oddly guilty about it. Not sure why, I’m retired, no earthly reason I can’t quilt whenever I want. But I do think I may take a break to focus more on the holidays.

    • Yes, you can tell them that we are friends! You probably know more about me than some of my IRL friends.

      The quilting guilt. Don’t know where that comes from but I used to feel it quite a bit. Now if it rears its head, I just think, I bet Mozart wouldn’t feel guilty about spending all his time writing music and not doing that volunteer job. Not that I equate myself with Mozart or anything 🙂 Which, BTW, do you know he was only 35 when he died?? Kinda depressing. Need to make more quilts!

  3. The quilt came out really neat – I love how different it looks each time you fold it a new way. Sweet use of your sentimental Dad fabric, and the colors you chose to combine it with really work nicely.

    Quilt guilt. I have knitting guilt. I guess it’s the “idle hands” thing, even though we are making something? Or maybe it’s because we are enjoying ourselves? LOL, that’s probably it.

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