There's a new element to these blocks I am working on. Some bits on the edges that will connect with others along the way. This #six with the little bur oak leaf and the tangle running off the edge is the first one of many to come.
I am thankful to be spending the next five days on happy holiday with my boys and so thankful for dear family and friends we will see along the way. Highlights will surely be: good company, good food and good times. I wish the same for you and yours.
I found *this post* from one year + one month ago and it's in a way comforting - the similarities. Thoughts this time of year are still about staying warm, but we are all a year older and some of us a year bigger.
My youngest has graduated to reading chapter books but I am still stitching leaves.
I finished this one on the curtain this morning - started last year but I was in a hurry to just get it up into the window to insulate the room. Now it's done and in the window again.
I like the changing of the seasons and the rhythm in it all - quiet momentum.
This is block number four, with a few of the other walnut dipped fabric blocks placed underneath, just for the photo.
Fall colors are fading and we had our first snow on Tuesday. I always want to remember the yellow of the sugar maples. All season long they have something to give.
This one block at a time process is very portable, manageable and satisfying. I am seeing them each as puzzle pieces with their own imagery that will eventually become a part of a whole. But what I would really like is to stop over-thinking the whole at this point in the process and really be with each block as I am making it.
I think I would have been happier with this one without the addition of the leaf, but hey - I still have 69 blocks to go - I will just try this block again. I am enjoying getting each wisp and glimmer of an idea out of my head and into stitch. I can fill a book full of sketches but it's hard to know what things will really look like in stitch unless you just make it.
These both have the same base fabric - a beige cotton flat sheet. I spent a few summer days (maybe six years ago!?) sun printing large positive and negative circles onto it to make a whole cloth quilt that never happened. I worked on it in the sunny front yard of our house. In the back yard of that same house was a big beautiful cottonwood tree whose leaves would cast the most beautiful flickering shade. My oldest says he still remembers that other house.
I recently dipped a lot of this painted beige fabric into a pot of walnuts and I like the way it softened the blue and green paint.
I stitched the single line leaf first and thought the next one would be better with an additional dark line but I much prefer the first one. Simple.
I have a new plan for stitching that is really a reorganization of old and recent ideas. I think I thrive on a few limitations - like size and basic design elements. So from here on out I am working on 12" square blocks - whole cloth or pieced, then backed with flannel. One diagonal half of each block will be shaded with diagonal stitching by hand or machine.
I need 72 blocks to make two bed quilts for my boys and it has become very clear to me recently that if I accomplish anything in my making it would be these two quilts that are most important to me - for them. If I think it will take a year it will likely take 2 or maybe even 3. For many reasons this just seems like a great way to progress - resulting in many different blocks that are all still related and fit together in a variety of ways.
Fabric and thread color and other stitching will be whatever is happening at the moment - a reflection of lots of things for the boys to hang onto. Similar to what has happened with the mostly white panel for me, and in the block by block experience influenced method of the color journal blocks (more updates on this soon!?).
I feel like I was on a little vacation from the stitching and now I am really excited to get back to it. My path seems very clear now, which I guess I needed.
It rained last night and today fall is everywhere. It seems a little sudden, maybe because the weather has been so warm.
It's the time of year I start to consider what I might accomplish in the way of homemade gifts for the holidays. There seems plenty of time to feel very ambitious - but I think if I can make a couple of things for my boys I should be doing well. So more on that soon - the sooner the better if I hope to finish them in time for the holiday.
Pale blue grandma's flower garden hexagons on the mostly white panel. They add a little organization to the mix. I am thinking there may be a few sunflower ones soon, maybe even begin a second panel to eventually live alongside this first one.
My boys are back in school and I am still getting my footing. I have been busy with freelance, which has been nice. Working on a rhythm of it all to allow for all that I want and need to get done.
We are in the final formal weeks of summer, although we will continue to do the summer things as long as this perfect weather holds out.
My summer stitching has all ended boldly. I like it so much that quilt blocks have names, including shoo-fly - a nine-patch with triangle corners. I have found a few variations on how that particular name came to be, but for us it might just mean the shooing of the giant horseflies into the surface of the pond and then almost instantly into the mouths of the bluegill all summer. Because if you don't fed them to the fish those horseflies will bite you hard.
But really I just like it that a quilt block might forever remind us of a whole summer - a really good one. - and it's not over yet.
I am fortunate to be spending the summer with my boys and we are staying very busy having as much fun as we can. I have barely stitched or drawn at all. All that I would like to stitch or draw or paint is getting a bit muddled in my head as a bit of a traffic jam of things and I am stealing moments here and there to imagine if it all might be able to come together somehow.
This panel is my sketchbook (stitchbook?) for catching all that has come of Jude's What If Diaries class. I thought I was going to start a new panel (page), but I will keep stitching on this one a bit longer.
I set aside some time this afternoon to really feel the quiet. At our house, summer begins tomorrow - the last day of school. I am looking forward to the daily company of my two sweet boys, and the pup is going to love having them home to play.
Things have a way of getting busy in the summer, even though in many ways we are slowing down.
I have plans to keep on stitching but I might not be posting here very often for the next few months. Thanks to all who continue to check in here.
I went back the next evening to have a look at the mayapple and at first thought he had made some progress in breaking free. But then I realized it was a different leaf. I looked around a bit more and saw at least six leaves in the same situation. So... I decided to just set the first one free - knowing there would be others to watch as they tried to work it all out.
I think I may darken my painted and stitched leaf - to make that pale ring glow just a little more. I really like the way these mayapple leaves resemble huge green flowers.
This was a completely different leaf - looking a lot like a bloom.
Our spring has been full - in lots of good ways, including a nightly walk in the wonderful spring weather to wear out the boys and the pup. Last night on just such a walk I spotted this mayapple - unable to open to its umbrella of a leaf because of a situation with some leaf litter.
I am wondering if it might end up marked in some way - in a special way because of how things started. I am thinking tie-dye and resist. Going to try and check in on the real leaf later on - see how it might turn out.
I watch this Nannyberry viburnum every spring. The leaves emerge in a beautiful naturally symmetric reach upward and outward. I thought I had an old pic but can't find it. This year the first leaves looked different from the start, reaching up a bit longer before opening - turns out it is because they are wrapped around this plant's first ever bloom heads.
These snowflakes would normally have been put away with the Christmas decorations. I like to imagine this small oversight may be why we have had so much snow. I climbed up on a chair and took them down today.