Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crazy Quilt Chaos

Years ago I made a Crazy Quilt throw.  You know, the kind you see made of left over velvets, satins, jewel tone fabrics stitched by hand.  That was before digital cameras and before I ever cared about taking pictures of the gifts I made. I did a lot of sewing and embroidery before I went to work full time in about 1976.

In recent years, I have wanted to learn new methods of crazy quilt.  I love to see what you would call "eye candy", however, that style of CQ is not really what I would choose for myself.

This block is my first attempt at machine stitching a CQ block. I became disinterested as I worked on it.  Put it aside.  Re-organized my room.  Picked the block up again.  Super unhappy with it.  Tear it apart?  I thought about it.  Then I REALLY looked at it.  Looking for the flaws.  There are a lot of flaws. Where are the solid fabrics? What was I thinking. The pieces are big chunks, especially that HUGE one one the right.  Why didn't I apply the processes to this block that I had read about in several books.  The only word I can use to describe it is CHAOS.

That got me to thinking about what was going on around me while I was attempting to start this project. The chaotic mess my room was in with too many items stored there to make room for the kids. The activity that was going on around me overwhelmed my desire to focus on the project. Many emotions were occupying my mind.

But I realized the block has purpose.  The theme portrays that I was born in Chicago, though I haven't stitched the identifying features on the tower.  My birth was definitely a chaotic time.  Shortly afterward I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle because my mother was unable to care for me. So the chaos of the block portrays the chaos of my roots.

Nope, I'm not keeping this block.  Much like I have learned to overcome the chaos in my life, I will learn to decently piece a crazy quilt block.  Come back and see.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where Did You Find A Hero

This weekend my daughter took the boys to the Mohamed Ali Museum.

Mohamed Ali has been Corey's Hero for a long time. Kids all have a hero.  Sometimes their heroes aren't who we would choose for them.  Some we consider to be unworthy of hero status.  Whether its a rock star, movie star, athlete or someone they personally know, kids will take direction, whether good or bad, from someone they admire.

My grandson, Corey has studied Ali's life.  If you have ever read any of Ali's quotes (“Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.” Just one of many) you realize there is a lot more to him than many know.

If you live near south-west Michigan, particularly Berrien County, you know or have heard of the MANY generous acts Ali has done. He is a very beloved person and celebrity.

Though my thoughts posted here are praise of this man, they are to speak about the effect he has had on my grandson.  Kids today need to be focused on something positive.  Corey has been focused since he was 6 on athletics.  The focus made him aware of how important his grades were, even if it was to maintain the ability to play on school teams. It became an important help in building his self-esteem and confidence. It became a TREMENDOUS purpose to avoid drugs and maintain a healthy body. He has played baseball, football and wrestled.  Outside school, he has attended a gym for 3 years studying Muay Thai and now focuses on boxing.
Yes, that's a worry.  But its HIS focus and choice to make and I honor it.

I don't think I have a hero, but there are MANY that I admire.  How about you?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Off The Roller Coaster, Still On The Crazy Train.

You know, sometimes when you haven't blogged for a while, its hard to post. Many times I think about something I have to say, but by the time I get the time, I decide against it. So, here's the update on what has been going on in the last month.

I'm off the roller coaster, as I call it.  The kids are moved and settled in.  I have been spending every spare minute cleaning closets and getting "my" room back to what it was before they moved back here a couple of years ago.  Its no wonder I haven't done anything creative.  There just was no room.  If I had the time, I couldn't find what I wanted. Here's a good example.

I bought this pattern in March 2007.  I know that because I found it just the other day, still in the UPS envelope it came in.  I had taken it to work to make copies of the pattern so I could cut it out, and put them back in the envelope.  I like to make copies and enclose them in clear contact paper making it easy to trace around them onto the fabric I would use.  I misplaced it when I shoved everything into any nook and cranny  when the boys moved in.

I even searched for the pattern to buy another, but I was searching for a gypsy pattern because that's what I think of her being.  She's out of print so I'm glad I found her.  She's not on my current project list, but I am sure I will NOT to misplace her again!

I took a huge box of art and scrap-booking supplies, paper, pencils, folders and any other items over to the school that I am sure the elementary school teachers would be able to use.

I am still committed to the 360 challenge.  I took a  lot of pictures of the things that have been taken to Good Will, given to Laurie, and taken other places where they will be useful.  I am happy to say that I have NOT replaced them with more stuff.  Well, except a little, well, more than a little, fabric.

Like almost everyone across the country, we enjoyed a mild winter and an unseasonably warm late winter.  The evidence is shown in this bleeding heart that was blooming at the beginning of March.

I don't know much about Bleeding Heart, but Laurie brought this one from her yard when she moved in. I'm pretty sure that early March is way early for it to be blooming.  Even though we have had some frosts, it is still flourishing.

We have the pleasure of seeing our bluebirds return.  It appears that we have more than one pair in the area. We see them in the back yard and at the front yard feeders.  I am always amazed when I watch one swoop to the ground from a tree branch and return with a bug in its beak.  How do they know the bugs are there? We have several bluebird houses in the back yard, though this is only one of them and not the one that this male coaxed his mate to. She is sitting there, next to the one SHE has chosen, waiting...

So, you're wondering what the heck the Crazy Train is?!?
Well, that's where I work!  A little over a year ago, they hired Maria to take some of my work load.  Our owner also bought a new HUGE building to renovate...totally... and said we would move operations in 2012.
Well, Maria decided she wanted to pursue other opportunities.  Now we have Charlene who has just a fantastic personality and is very smart and learns quickly. Training has been relatively easy, though interruptions can cause some minor bumps.  AND, the new location is just about ready.  The first 2 machines should be moved in about 3 weeks.  I'm trying to figure out how to twitch my nose and make it all happen over night.  Its a Crazy Train, but at least I'm not the Engineer. 

Though I may be a bad blogger, I have been a good blog friend and have enjoyed seeing what all my friends have been doing. Please leave a comment.  I LOVE to talk to everyone.