Friday, May 7, 2010

Quilts Are Like Onions


Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  It's been one of "those" weeks where things have not gone according to plan, and chaos has reigned supreme!  (Not as if any of you know what that's like....)

So, quilting and blogging have taken a third or fourth seat to everything else that's been going on.  My poor hubby is in a lot of pain from his auto accident.  At first they didn't think it was serious but now we're beginning to wonder.  He's one of those "I'm OK" kind of guys but when he allows a couple of women to carry an empty cooler....well, there's something wrong!

So, I was at the doctor's office again this morning and now he's feeling no pain but feeling very fuzzy as the doctor prescribed Vicodin.  Now, I've taken vicodin before when I had a tooth abcess and it does take away pain, but it also made me feel very sleepy, to the point that I couldn't function at all.  He's doing better than I did but he's pretty much confined to quarters, at least until the baseball game tomorrow.

Which is another story altogether!  I volunteered to make a DVD of the team for the boys. Now, I've done this before and I was prepared for it to take some time, but this is insane!  It's so different from the basketball ones I've done.  In the basketball photos there were several kids in each picture so I could get a fairly even distribution easily.  Baseball is so totally different!  Unless they're in the dugout they aren't together and the long shots just aren't very exciting for the parents or the boys.  My husband is the photographer and does a fantastic job, (when he's not on Vicodin!), but it's extremely difficult to get all 13 boys represented equally.  I finally came to the conclusion that all I could do was my best, so I made sure each boy is featured in each section and then just filled in with good photos, regardless of who's in them.  I have the structure of the DVD built and now I'm just filling in placeholders with better pictures.  I can't tell you how many hours I spent working on this thing!  Just a word of warning, don't volunteer for this job unless you have unlimited time and patience.  The photos are great though....


We also found out that the insurance company has decided to "total" our car.  It stinks!  We'd babied that car along for years in hopes of getting at least 200,000 miles out of it and now we have to take the pitiful payout and try to find another car without taking out a huge car loan.  I'm so not happy about this.

Oh, and my son was bullied at school by a kid who used racial slurs.  Just goes to show you how uneducated some people are, he used a slur that didn't even coincide with my son's race.  Go figure!  Anyway, the school was on it immediately and the kid was suspended.  Fortunately, there were witnesses and the school has this zero tolerance policy.  I hope he learned his lesson and won't do that again.  I suppose the only positive thing is that we'd never even heard of the term he used, it's good to be out of touch on what the current racial slurs are!  Yikes!

So, now I can get back to quilting.  I have tons of things in the works but have spent what little time I've had finishing up the quilt I've showed you in recent posts.  Today when I was sitting in the waiting room I was looking at a book I'd pulled off my shelf.  It's called Women of Taste and was published about 10 years ago.

It's a collaboration between women chefs and quilters and was the subject of an exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California in 2000, (see link: http://museumca.org/exhibit/exhib_women_of_taste.html).  I've been involved in the food industry out here for years and strangely enough knew more of the chefs than the quilters!  It's a great book for inspiration and is still available on Amazon.

While perusing the book it occurred to me that I build quilts in a similar way to the way chefs cook.  There's creating the recipe, selecting the ingredients, prep, then combining everything in a particular sequence.  It made me think of the line from "Shrek" when he says that "Ogres are like Onions, we have layers."

The type of quilting I do requires keeping a layer map in my head.  I think it's why it was so easy for me to get the Photoshop program, I'm used to thinking in layers.

For me to get the effect I want I need to make sure that I don't rush things and that I do them in the proper sequence.  Now I'm just finishing up the first round of quilting.  I call it "stabilizing the sandwich."  It's what I do before I can move on to more intricate applique, and then it's on to the larger embellishments, and then the smaller ones, and then the beading, (unless of course I need to do one of those steps first depending on the design). 

It's crazy but if it isn't done in the proper sequence it won't work out right.  Just like a recipe, or a DVD with 13 players that have to be evenly distributed throughout....

I think you get it!  Anyway, I urge all of you to become aware of your process, of how you work whenever you do anything from changing a diaper to making a souffle.  There's a method to the madness, just as there is in your quilting.

Hope your weekend is great and I have a better week next week!

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day Moms!

Happy Stitching,

Susan

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