Friday, November 18, 2016


A big honking plaid quilt I showed a month ago on Facebook is now finished and has been living on my bed (I test all my quilts) since returning from Houston 11/6. Although a large quilt (80" sq) it is surprisingly light due to the Hobbs wool batting.

The blocks are large (16" sq) and thus the whole quilt measures 80", a full-queen size. The Compass-type pattern is Slashed Star of the West and the alternate an unknown pattern. Some people identified the alternate as a Victorian pattern called Vestibule and others swear it's simply part of Storm at Sea. In any case, it came from another plaid quilt, a relic of a top I bought on ebay.

Why do I make nutzo quilts like this? I don't rightly know. Sometimes it's like a fever--"Get it done, get it done!" and other times pieces of projects hang about for years. This plaid piece (title for now Plaid Jungle) was one of the fevered brain variety. You know when you wake up thinking about it, you better get 'er done. In the cause of truth, Laurie Mayo machine quilted it for me and Mary Frankle bound it.

But recently there's been little stitch work. I have been putting my studio storage room back together. What I haven't talked about is that in the middle of September, I came back from a teaching job and as I rolled my big suitcases into the studio, I heard the wheels go 'squish,squish' and saw spreading darkening lines between the carpet tiles that cover the floor. Aarrggh! Seems like an old water main under the building (c.1900) broke and-lucky me!-was bubbling up in the door sill between my hallway and storage room. To my landlord's credit, he called me back, came down, called the city, and we got the water to the building turned off. As we tore up the carpet tiles, it was obvious the leak was a major problem and we'd gotten it just before the whole studio flooded.

As it was only about 1/2" covered the affected area.

The next day, we emptied the storage room and it was like "Add air and poof! Quilts and quilt junk all over the place!" The landlord let me move all the bits and pieces into an unrented suite in the building. Then the jackhammer guy, plasterer, painter took over.

Ever since returning from Houston, I've been moving back in and re-discovering tons of stuff as I re-fold and get quilts back on the shelf.

Here are a few of the bits (small unquilted tops and blocks) spread on the floor. Unfortunately my studio re-wind is hindered by 'designer brain', as in "Ooooo! If I put these together they'd look interesting-" And then there's simply the drudgery of re-homing thread, notions, bags of batting etc. etc.

it's almost Thanksgiving and my gratitude list has gotten longer. I am grateful the studio flood wasn't worse. I am grateful my landlord has been a good guy. I am grateful I've been given the chance to review all the antique quilts in the collection and re-discover old work samples. And I am very grateful that the plaid quilt is a great sleeper.


Lori said...

"Designer brain" is such a great term for that, "ooooh, look!" mode. I suspect that many of us knew exactly what you meant.

So glad you caught the flooding in time. I'm sure it hasn't been fun to have everything displaced, but now your whole space will be shiny and new! Cleaned up space, new possibilities, sounds like a win to me!

Pepper Cory said...

It has been bittersweet. I am deciding which pieces I'll keep (and finish) and which will be sold or given away. It's a total life's work reassessment. Makes me uncomfortable at times!

Vicki Harrell said...

Lucky you it wasn't flooded more. Is it possible for you to take pictures of some of your antique quilt tops for us to see! Happy Thanksgiving, Pepper!!!!

Warm Quilts said...

Timing is everything and you were fortunate to be home during the bubbling phase. But spring cleaning when you weren't planning on it can be disrupting. Yes, certainly much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! I love your colorful quilts.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh what a beauty that plaid quilt is! And what wonders you are discovering!