Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Secret Project

I can finally tell you all about the secret project I've been busy working on. Drum roll please...

I'm officially working on my liberated letters book. I actually have a publisher and signed contracts - woohoo!!! I've been so crazy working on it because the chief editor called after I got home from my surgery (when I was still somewhat out of it) and I have to turn in the manuscript on January 7th. Eeek. I can't give you details about it now, but will as we get closer to the publication date *fingers crossed* in 2010.

So I've been neglecting you, dear readers, but for a very good reason. I will continue to neglect you until some time in January.

Before I sign off, big thanks to Gwen Marston for her support and mentorship, not to mention the inspiration for all of my liberated work. She's a true sweetheart. Buy her book - support liberated quiltmaking.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there. Ya'all take care.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I know, I know, I'm a terrible blogger. I did warn you though!

I've been really busy, making myself crazy. I finally realized I had to fit in some hand quilting (Slither Eek makes its return) and sewing to get some balance in my life. This is my current sewing project - yes, I started a new one and no, the previous one isn't finished. I want to make a scrappy red and white sampler that's super busy. Don't ask me why, that just sounds fun.

I thought with all the different patterns that the letters would be much harder to read than they actually are.

All it took was getting fabric out to lure Pokey into posing for pics again.

My gorgeous sweet baby.

I have a long list of things for this post since it's been so long since my last one. Have ya'all heard about the new Gee's Bend fabric line and kits that have just come out? What the... Huh? Really??? Am I the only one who sees this as an incredible contradiction?

The quilters of Gee's Bend became famous for their quilts made of recycled clothing and now there's a line of new fabric??? They work in an improvisation style and yet there are kits??? I took a look at one, hoping that it was actually a subversive attempt to get quilters working without rulers etc and just winging it. Nope, concise instructions for making the exact quilt. I mean, exact "cut this triangle exactly this size" and that one that size instructions.

Sheesh, I don't begrudge the Gee's Bend quilters wanting to get a reward for their hard work. I really don't. It just disappoints me. I've been hoping for a book written by the women themselves about how they work, and so far that hasn't happened. Instead we get Quilt Police instructions. sigh.

I did actually buy some of the fabric. I'd call them batiks - like the ones I loved so much from Bali Fabrications that aren't available anymore. I'm hoping they're that easy to hand-quilt through because I love the colors.

In other quilt stuff, I went with a friend to the World Quilt Show put on by Mancuso Brothers in West Palm Beach. It was bigger than I thought it would be and very well attended. We went early on the first day and I think I was one of the youngest ones there. Didn't see a single child. Ah, Florida.

I was disappointed that so many of the quilts were Art Quilts and very little playing on the traditional side of things. Nothing liberated. No antiques. And all the glitz? All those stinking crystals? There were several quilts that would have looked better without them. I mean, you're using silk for goodness sake - it's a gorgeous fabric, don't tart it up.

I did buy some things so that my husband could accomplish some Christmas shopping. In other words, I buy the presents I want and it makes both our lives easier. So no pics.

While I'm on a whinging streak... The finale of Project Runway? Bleah. Dark and uninteresting. I didn't care who won.

Before I go off on a tv tangent, I've got a bunch of quilty links for you, in no particular order.

For anyone lucky enough to live in the San Francisco area, there is a show at the Fine Arts Museum of Amish quilts from the collection of Stephen and Faith Brown. The show is on until June 2010 - definitely one I'd love to go to, but I'll have to be satisfied with the book instead. Apparently you can't have too many books on Amish quilts... There is a good article on the show here.

Comicbooklady made a fantastic Thinking quilt which I truly love.

I love how Bemused Jan is playing with her orphan blocks, including the houses on cheddar.

I'm not sure I ever posted a link to House of Krom Sarah's great Friend quilt that included a free-pieced gnome and mushroom. oops, that was way back in July. Sarah also made this wonderful placemat (I love how the "thanks"glows)... a swap with Knit One Quilt Too Kristin, who made this darling apple placemat.

Scraps and Strings Brenda made a wonderful wonky houses quilt with words and I love the work that she and her Strip Piecing friends have recently made (especially that Noel quilt!)

J's Quilting Blog Joyce also played with houses and words in Kitty Corner and Patchery Menagerie Lynne too! Lynne has been posting a lot, so just take a peek at her November archives. Caitty Quilts Deborah did a bright whimsical houses quilt that includes applique as well as liberated piecing.

Pokeytown Kim added liberated letters to crumb quilts. Wonderful! I've gotten a sneak peak at another liberated project she's working on, so I know there will be upcoming wonderfullness on her blog.

Dordogne Quilter Clare is making great progress on hand-quilting and piecing two great projects.

So happy to have Quilt Words Meg posting again. She finished her lovely soft linen quilt with the gorgeous freehand fans and lines hand-quilting.

I'm sure I haven't managed to link to everything I want to, but I've worn myself out ;) Besides, I need something for another post...

I am actually doing really well, no cause for concern for my blogging absences. Ya'll take care!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I was so excited to see an advertisement for Gwen Marston's new book that I scanned a pic to post on the blog. That's my stickie on it with Woohoo!!! - that wasn't part of the ad. I was looking at the image on my computer when Pokey came by for a peek, so you get an unexpected photo of two of my favorite things in the world. Kitty Pokey and Gwen's book.

Not that Pokey is a thing: she's a tiny cat person.

I spoke with Gwen last week. I'm sure I've mentioned before that she's my hero. I finally asked Gwen if I could use the word Liberated to describe what I do. Now obviously it's liberated, but could I capitalize and make it official. No more having to always say "free-piecing" to describe things. Guess what?

Gwen said yes! Woohoo again. It's Liberated Letters now. She's happy to have others use that term to describe this style. I didn't want to step on her toes or infringe on her copyright or make her unhappy in any way. No such problem. She is a doll. Am I gushing too much? Sorry. Last bit of Gwen news and then I'll change topic.

Gwen's website has been updated and we can now pre-order autographed copies of Liberated Quiltmaking II from her. It's a big deal to do it that way and support her directly. You can do so here. The retreat dates, information and sign-up form are already posted for 2010 too. The theme is Liberated Quilting. I sooo want to go.

I am finally totally done with the whole sluggish, can barely move, when will this anesthesia be out of my body thing. I'm excited, happy, energetic. Of course my bad knee has blown up, but that was bound to happen. At least it's not too bad (and doing much better) - I refuse to go under another general anesthetic this year.

My husband has gotten so incredibly fit, not to mention tanned, it's disgusting. He looks 20 years younger than me - gack. He bought a set of scales that tell not only a person's weight but their percentage of body fat and body mass index. Stuff I did not need to see. I've managed to keep off the weight that I lost during/immediately after surgery but haven't done as well at losing more. Note to self: must stop weighing myself in the morning and then again in the afternoon when I've gained six pounds. Food and water are that heavy?

We are eating healthier and that's definitely good. Sweetie has been doing most of the grocery shopping which keeps me from all that impulse naughtiness I usually fall prey to. By the way, have you tried 100% whole wheat Angel Hair Pasta. Just that kind. It's wonderful, doesn't taste whole wheaty at all and I've tried three different brands. Love brown basmati rice too, whereas regular brown rice makes me want to cry rather than eat. Course you do have to love basmati rice in the first place.

In continuing health news, Pokey is doing great. She was the most bouncy happy lively bundle of fur this last week. She's not too happy with me today because I took her to the vet's for her saline. I'm now only taking her every six days instead of three times a week. I think she's so much happier this way even if she does come home with a hunchback and her little cat suit all stretched out. She's definitely got baggy sleeves today.

I can't believe I forgot to tell you that I finished the hand quilting on the Margarita Quilt. Still no binding yet, unsurprisingly. The only hand quilting project I have now is Slither, Eek, Boo. Don't take it the wrong way (it's a wonderful quilt) but I hate working on it. Too massive and heavy. Maybe when I'm down to zero hot flashes and the weather finally gets cold(er) it will be more enticing.

Didn't do anything for Halloween this year, not even the decorating. It felt pointless to buy candy to give to kids when there's only about three of them living in the area. This so IS Florida. Instead sweetie and I went out for Mexican food. I figured the calories from the chips and Margarita, and the cheese, and guacamole and okay, all of it, would maybe somehow add up to the bag of trick-or-treat candy that I didn't buy and then eat all by myself.

I am crazy crazy busy with a project and will be a baaaad blogger for awhile. I won't be disappearing, but will post infrequently, just like I have for the last couple of months.

I'm outta here. Ya'all take care.