2.19.2008

Facebook, my dear, we're in Limbo

So I joined Facebook a while back, mainly as a way to keep tabs on my Nephew. In summary, I don't get it.

There seems to be nothing to the application except to get others to join. I don't get the user interface. I feel lost whenever I log in. I can't even find my wall unless someone has written upon it!

I feel utterly lost at that web site. I feel stupid and incompetent. Yet, I work in Information Technology, specifically web applications.

I guess its like when you meet someone and find that the two of you can't get along. That your personalities clash. I can't say Facebook has a personality, and it definitely won't work with me to fix things, and I simply don't have the time to invest to figure it out.

So, while I'm not breaking up with Facebook; its definitely not a growing relationship.

2.15.2008

Renwick Museum


On January 13th, my partner and I went to the Renwick Museum to see the Going West! Quilts and Community exhibit.

(Note R, my partner, doesn't like his picture taken, but for some reason he posed for me in front of the museum!)

It was wonderful! We couldn't take any photos, but my favorite was a log cabin made from a variety of feed sack cloth. The blocks are about 4" big - and there were a lot of blocks! It must've taken this person a lifetime to make this quilt.

Another quilt was made with the remainders of men's suit cloth. It was the simplest quilt, but it made me feel comfortable, relaxed, and secure.

The other quilt that I liked was given to a Civil war veteran. He kept the quilt and treasured it until his death. It was beautiful as well.

2.14.2008

Bird By Bird

I just finished "Bird by bird" by Anne Lamott. The book is about writing and the writing process, but it applies to just about any sort of creative outlet, i.e. quilting, knitting, painting, etc.

At first I didn't realize that it was a book of short essays on writing, until I started reading the first story. It was then that I looked again at the cover and saw the subtitle, "Some Instructions on Writing and Life". She uses little vignettes of her life as examples of her writing suggestions, as well as, commiseration and humor.

Ms. Lamott orgainzed the book as one of her writing classes. She covers: the beginning writer, writing, solutions for writer's block, accepting criticism, editing, revising, publishing and post publishing issues (if you're lucky!). The editing and revising process is one of the key things. You don't just pound out a bestseller - it involves work!

Its not the dry sort of writing book; near the beginning, I laughed over a story about her son and his cussing. It was hilarious! I laughed until I cried, and then until I hurt!

As mentioned earlier, I realized that the same principles could be applied to quilting, which I love to do, including any other creative outlet, i.e writing. I also like to write, but I'm somewhat of a lazy writer.

The gist I took from the book - practice your craft, do it daily, keep doing it no matter what, and don't stop. You only get better if you keep practicing. Do it for the sheer joy of creating and share when you can. The goal is not the tangible $$ or fame, but the act of creating! And sharing? Thats just an added bonus!

Find your creative outlet and let go!

2.10.2008

Block Happy

I've been working on a baby quilt for the second baby of a couple with whom we are friends. I started working on the quilt design in October.

Burgoyne Surrounded Quilt Block I have lots of scraps - one box and a bucket. The top of the box wont close and the bucket is overflowing. So a scrap quilt was just the thing to use up all some of these scraps. I also wanted to focus on finding my 1/4" seam. I've been very inconsistent with my 1/4" seam and this seemed (pun?) like the time to focus on it.

The pattern Burgoyne Surrounded (shown in the picture) fit the bill for a scrap quilt, and to practice and perfect my 1/4" seam. I also decided to alter the pattern to fit the scraps. This required some odd piece sizes (1-3/4", 1-1/4").

I worked out the altered pattern and figured out the number and sizes of each piece; cut out all the block pieces, for one block; and started piecing. It was going well until I came to sewing the individual units together. They didn't fit! I had cut some of the pieces the wrong sizes because I looked at the wrong dimensions - I listed two, one with and one without the needed 1/4" seam allowance. While sad, and a bit flummoxed, I was happy that I had done a test block!

Realizing that trying new things (altering pattern) is good; it was not a good idea to do this for a quilt that needed to be completed soon - the baby was coming! It was now late November.

The Holidays arrived, which interrupted my "progress". I also needed time to let the quilt float in my brain and coalesce. My friend, Procrastination paid a visit and stayed a bit too long.

Suddenly, it was January and I needed to get focused. I decided not to alter the pattern, and selected the background fabrics. The baby arrived! I got re-energized and cut the fabric pieces while watching episodes of "Firefly".

I started sewing the first week in February and last Tuesday, I finished the first of four blocks. It was then that I fell in love with the quilt and how the block turned out. Also, I realized that I finally hit my 1/4" seam allowance. I had focused and it came out about a perfect 15" square! (It is fabric after all!)

I was block happy!