What’s Next?

In my last post I hinted at a special event coming up. I wrote about that on my other blog, Part 1 and Part 2. I was a guest on The Quilt Show! What I didn’t write about over there was some of the prep work I did for the show. I put quilt sleeves on twelve quilts!! I have never liked quilt sleeves. They don’t seem that helpful for the average non-quilty person. And I think I was a little afraid of them, because I had never done them. But I found Libby Lehman’s wonderful instructions, and now I am an expert on the sleeve of the quilt!

Getting ready for the show had me concentrating on finishing some long-overdue quilts, and putting the final touches and words on others.

I put a red border on this quilt:


I had it on the design wall for quite a long time, trying to figure out what words and where to put them. And then I got an inspiration–just put the original words that you are putting on all the cross quilts (God so loved the world) but add them to the flower design. Hidden, and yet visible–just as God is so often! I love it!


The Quilt Show requested three six-inch blocks. I made four–one for me to keep as a memento!


The past two days I’ve been in my box of little two inch squares again! This is a version of a quilt I saw in a book. Only that book had 1/2″ finished squares in the four-patches. I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen, so I started thinking about this. And realized that pretty easily it could be made into a cross quilt. I like it. And I am auditioning border fabric there. I think this quilt might need a border.


So what’s next? While I was trying to think about the words for that cross quilt, one of the phrases that I contemplated was “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”–the famous words uttered by John the Baptist when he saw Jesus. They didn’t seem quite right for this quilt. But it got me to thinking. What about a series of quilts called “What They Said,” with the words featured prominently–phrases that people uttered when they encountered Jesus. I am quite excited about the possibility. I went through the Gospels and wrote down a number of outstanding comments. This would give me a chance to do a little more work with the actual lettering–I’ve been collecting various fonts used in artistic ways. And although the wording would be the dominant feature, there is no end to what I can do with the background and/or borders in each of these. I’m also thinking about keeping them all the same size. That will be a challenge for me…


The Value of Journals

I am a journaler. I’ve got the journal collection to prove it. Mostly they are journals of my spiritual life, with some daily rubbish musings thrown in for good measure. When I started quilting, I started doodling designs. And when I started the housetop quilt series, where I combined God’s word with my quilts, my journals overlapped. I take my daily spiritual journal to church to take sermon notes, and more often than not, there is a quilt idea in there–a verse or a new theme I can explore, or a beginning doodle design. Sometimes I have the start of an idea already in there, and it gets filled out while I listen to the sermon. Sometimes I go to a quilt seminar, and I have another journal or notebook with me, and a new idea gets started in there. That’s the trouble. I have a lot of journals. More than one going at one time. And they all have ideas in them. Oh well. As long as I can find them when inspiration hits, I guess that’s what counts.

So here’s an idea progression. I actually had to find three journals to see the evolution of this idea that I wanted to share with you.

Remember the little 7X10 quilt I did in January? I liked that quilt. So I played around with different ways to include a cross and a circle in the same quilt.


Then, when I was at the Ricky Tims’ Quilt Seminar, I was doodling. I had done this once before, and I really liked it. The idea was to stitch different sized squares and make a feather that would just fit within the confines of that square. I was having so much fun drawing these little feathers that it was very hard for me to make the decision to put the cross-hatch designs into the drawing. Once I did, I loved it.


Then I was at a conference called Intersection of Faith and Art. Again, a lot of lectures, so I had ANOTHER journal with me. And I drew the design with the circle behind it. I liked it!


And then I noticed that there was a contest online. I could do this design on this hand-dyed fabric. Lovely. I’ve been working very steadily on this quilt (its 26X32.) I’m about 3/4 done, and now I don’t like it. The contest deadline looms. If there wasn’t a deadline, I would take a break and think about what needed to be done to make it better. So now I have to decide whether to abandon the contest, or to finish it as is, and enter.


Either way, I do need to finish the quilting that I have started. Yesterday I took a break from it. I did not make one stitch on it. But today I will get back to it. Who knows? Maybe when its finished I will like it again.

A Day in the Life

Labor Day was a very good day of work for me. I’m not sure you can call it Labor, when you are doing something you love. Something put me in the mood to document how a day goes in the life of an artist.

Sunday I had written myself a little note:  “clean off work table so you can start work on the next Psalms quilt.” I didn’t get that done. So that was my first task Monday morning. This is what my work table often looks like. Then it reaches critical mass, and I can’t work there any more until I clear it off.


These are bits and pieces of a bigger project that I am working on. The idea for it is not completely formed, so I just do a little of it once in a while.


But first, before I put it away, I had the idea to make another “leftovers square” as the background for one of my little cross quilts.


I am loving making these–lately that has been my Sunday morning meditation–to complete one.


That little project completed, I organized the leftovers of the leftovers and put them away.


Then, I got it into my head to organize another messy craft–my rug hooking “worms.” That is what some people call the leftover strips from hooking a rug. I have an exhorbitant amount of these leftovers, considering how few rugs I have actually hooked.

The teacher for the next class I am taking (at that big conference at the end of the month) said that it is fun to use the bags of leftovers when they are organized into color families. So I did that.


Finally, I could lay out the group of fabrics I had chosen about a week ago for my new project. Ahhh…I love this part!


Oh, but then it was time for a walk with Noah before it got too hot. (forgot to document with a picture!)

And when I returned home, I needed another cup of coffee, and I still hadn’t done my morning reading. I am loving sitting out on my “new” deck.


Finally, I was ready to start the day. I put in a phone call to my rug hooking friend. I wanted to talk to her about whether or not I had time to put a border with lettering on the rug (before the conference at the end of the month.) I told her I could finish the interior of the rug by the end of the day. Here’s the part I still needed to finish:


And here’s what my side table looks like. Hooking rugs is a rather messy affair.


So that was it. I sat and hooked and hooked. And hooked some more. The little girls were rather bored with my long stitching session.


And by 9pm (I NEVER work this long on one project–most days end creatively at dinner time!) the rug was finished!!!


And that, my friends, is a really good day in the life of an artist! (and BTW, I still haven’t started that Psalm quilt. I had another Big Idea yesterday morning, and I started on that instead!)

P.S. I wrote my thoughts on “being an artist” over on my other blog.  Check it out to see what goes on inside the mind of a working artist.


I took a little detour from the “God Speaks” quilt to finish up another quilt.  I needed to think a bit about how I was going to put the words around the central image in the quilt.  Sometimes it helps to let the quilt just hang on the design wall and think about it.

Here is the quilt that I finished up while letting the other one rest.  This one was almost finished, and the words were all planned out, so it was just a matter of getting them stitched in place (no thinking or creating needed at this point.)  I do love this quilt.

I made myself a rule that I can have no more than 2 unfinished housetop quilts going before I can start a new one.  This is a good rule for me, as I often have a new! exciting! idea!, and finishing a quilt can be a bit boring.  This way I continue to make progress on my goal of twenty finished housetop quilts by October 1.  Wow, that’s coming up quickly–I’d better get stitching!