Playing…. Reading….

Greetings!

Play is essential!  We play all the time when we are growing up; play nurtures our souls and keeps us happy.  I’ve always believed it continues to be important for we adults to make time in our lives for play.  It gives us joy, nurtures our creativity, and helps us maintain balance in our lives.  For me, quilting is play.  It’s an escape from the stresses of my demanding work; it’s pure fun as I study designs, create patterns, cut cloth, and sew.  I can get lost in it for hours at a time.  Recently I’ve been playing with ideas for the border for Spring Sonata.

Here’s a mock up of an idea for the border.  I just cut pieces of fabric and stuck them up on the design wall to get a sense of what colors might work and to get a gross idea of the design I want:

Playing1

I liked this enough to take a trip to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH this weekend to buy more fabric.  I didn’t have enough of the gold for even one of the 4 borders or enough of the purples for the inner and outer strips or enough of the right shade of green for the vines.   Luckily I managed to find exactly the gold fabric I wanted for the border, plus fabric in the other colors I need:

Playing2

When we got home after this shopping trip, however, Al mentioned he wasn’t sure he liked the purple strips and I agreed so I tried substituting dark green:

Playing3

Much better!  The purple was too “jarring” I think.  Too bad I hadn’t discovered this before shopping!  Unfortunately I bought a yard of each of the 2 purple fabrics.  Maybe I can use them on the back of the quilt.  Also I didn’t buy enough of that dark green to use for strips for the entire quilt as I’d been planning on using that for leaves.  This means I’ll eventually have to search for some more dark green for this.  In any case, I like the green strips better.  This is play!!  Over the next few weeks the border design will be developed and I’ll start appliqueing.  I’m looking forward to it!

I also “played” at starting another doll quilt.  I read on Pam Buda’s blog how to make  2 1/2 inch squares with tiny 4-patches in the center.  I had been wondering what pattern to make next in a doll quilt so liked this idea right away.  First, you make squares out of quarter square triangles and then just add corner pieces.  Ingenious!  This way you don’t have to deal with handling really tiny squares.  Check out her blog at Heartspun Quilts for a tutorial on how to do this if you are interested.  Here are the 2 1/2 inch squares I have so far:

Playing4patches

I’m saving further applique on the other doll quilt for the sewing bee I’m hosting next week.  I also finished hand quilting one more block of the Baltimore Album – 3 more center blocks to go and then on to the sashing and borders.

If you’ve read my bio on my web site, you know I’m an avid reader.   Reading is another way I like to spend my time.   I like reading novels that are beautifully written, have complex, interesting characters, and are challenging and enlarge my knowledge and understanding.  I also enjoy well written, interesting nonfiction books on a variety of topics.  Although I love poetically written fiction, I’m not a big fan of most poetry, with a few exceptions.  I’ve also been fortunate to be in a great book club for the past 21 years.  Here’s the current stack of books waiting for me:

13

I’m actively (re)reading “Brave New World” as it is the next book group book.  I read it 40 years ago so good to read it again.  I’m sure it will be a great discussion!  I gave “How to Live” to Al for Christmas in 2011 and want to read it myself – should have interesting philosophical insights on how to live a good life.  I’m not generally a huge fan of short stories, but Alice Munroe’s work is an exception to that.  Her latest book, “Dear Life” got excellent reviews and I hope to start this soon.  It was a gift from Al.  “Sweet Tooth” is a holiday gift from a co-worker this year; the only other thing by McEwan I’ve read is “Atonement” and that was great.  Al also gave me “Just Looking” by John Updike.  It is filled with essays on looking at art – great stuff!!  This can be easily picked up and read a chapter at a time as the chapter subjects are quite differet, so I’ve just started slowly working my way through this.  You can see my books are sitting on top of my most recent pile of art and quilting magazines that I keep on hand to look through.  I’ve alway been something of a magazine “junkie” which is probably why I find the internet so appealing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Gladi

 

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