Thursday, August 27, 2009

Family Log Cabin Quilt

Trying to keep up with ten nieces and nephews is difficult. A few have quilts I've made-the others will just have to wait. One Log Cabin quilt finally got to my niece Becca last Thanksgiving when her folks came to the beach for the holidays. I discovered these pictures on my computer and thought it was time to show Becca and Rob's wedding quilt. The photo shows them when they announced their engagement.

All I had asked was "What are your favorite colors?" and Becca replied, "Pink and maybe pink with brown." I'm sure her fiancee Rob thought, "Oh no, pink!" but I hope that the beiges and browns have kept the composition from being too girly.

I've always liked this forthright take on the classic Log Cabin pattern. It only uses sixteen large blocks, sashing, and a border. It started with a shell print since Becca and Rob got married at the beach. Add various pinks and beiges from my stash and then frame with a formal brown and rose border stripe that I'd designed for the line Rosemarie by Telegraph Road Studio. (Sorry, that fabric's long out of print!)

After the quilt top was sewn together, I chose a pale pink backing and turned it over to my friend Vickie Garner who's a professional machine quilter. My only advice was, "Please choose a quilting pattern that's kind of 'beachy'-" and Vickie knew just the one: swirling waves and shells. Perfect.

Becca sent a nice thank-you note and ended with, "I especially love the back!" That's the part of the quilt that I had very little to do with but the point is she likes it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Go West

I take off Friday for a week teaching at John C. Campbell Folk School in the mountains of North Carolina The school is near a tiny town called Brasstown snuggled in the western-most point of the state about equidistant between Knoxville and Atlanta. Fortunately they'll let me drive a rental car (my 19 year-old Toyota manual truck sans radio dislikes altitude) so I can wend my leisurely way along the 11 1/2 hour drive from the coast westward.

We'll be holding a five-day class/study called Eclipses and Meteor Showers. It's a fancy name for any creative combination of a simple star block and the quarter circle in a square unit of the traditional Drunkard's Path block. Eight adventurous souls have signed up and I can't wait to teach in this beautiful environment.

The photo left is of a quilt called Eclipse that I made about 15 years ago. What's happening now on the design wall is a little's called Meteor Shower and will be my main work this coming week. Certainly not a tidy composition like Eclipse but it's like classical music devolving to jazz. As I quilt longer I get a bit looser.

Lest I forget the buggers, I took a number of pictures of Gipsy and Earl this morning. She's a typical mackerel tabby but he's a crazy Siamese-ish color scheme and is evidently developing a spotted coat. Like I'd ever forget those faces!

From the TMI (too much information) department.
My kittens may need a a 12 step program. Earl has finally learned what a cat box is for but that's all he'll do. I think it's the same Y-related chromosome as the one for "leaving the toilet seat up" that human males possess. Gipsy is the enabler. Like a true older sister, she trots along and goes, "Ewww, Earl!" and does the covering honors. No, I did not photograph this farce.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Life Interrupted by Kittens!

The whole month of July flew by without me writing a single blog entry here. The fact is that I was more gone on the road teaching than home all month long. And when home, I was captivated by our new kittens, Gipsy Girl and Earl Grey. It's been years since I've had the pleasure of holding a purring little kitten on my lap. And now we have two. They've been with us just over a month.

We took them early-six weeks-when eight weeks is the vet-recommended age for kittens to leave Mama. But both their Mamas, semi-feral cats of Siamese ancestry on Harkers Island, were already leaving their broods, a combined mega-litter of twelve kittens, to go off and be, well, cats. A kindly couple corralled all the kittens, fed them, and socialized them. The vet was impressed. No worms, fleas, or ear mites.

We chose Gipsy, brown mackerel tabby, and Earl Grey, Blue Point Siamese-ish coloring. Getting two kittens was the right thing to do. They play together all day long. Gipsy was born May 20th and is a Taurus. Earl's birthday is May 22 and he's a Pisces.

They've utterly taken over the house. Here they're helping Rod as he relaxes. Notice both the TV remote and the telephone are handy.

While Gipsy's stripes will get more prominent and her eyes turn gold, Earl will always be a blue-eyed cat. Just like his Uncle Edward. Unc's full name is Edward Parsley Marshall and he lives with my niece Julia in Kentucky. Edward is a stylish cat who sets fashion trends. Who knew that cross-eyed is the new black?