Sunday, September 25, 2011

Symbolic Sewing

 Over the summer a good friend of mine asked if I would make an art quilt for her brother-in-law's wedding gift. I've known her brother-in-law since college and was honored to contemplate this quilt. The happy couple lives in Assisi, Italy and are lay Franciscans. The request involved several parts. First, I was asked to add the Tau Cross to the quilt. I had actually never known about this cross or it's connection to St. Francis and so was thrilled to learn something new. Secondly, I was asked to try to add the wedding ring quilt design in some capacity. The bride is Italian and was apparently very taken by everything Lancaster County, including quilts.

I did quite a bit of research and contemplation for this quilt. I determined that I was not going to be able to add the wedding ring patchwork to such a small quilt. I'm sure it can be done someway but I've never done that particular pattern in regular size, let alone in a mini. As I was thinking about St. Francis, I thought about his love for nature and simplicity. It came to me that the cross should be out of some fabric that reminded us of the Franciscan robe and that I could make the wedding rings out of the rope that the Franciscans use to hold their robes together.
I played around with the quilted part of the quilt for some time. Apparently Assisi is very green and beautiful so I wanted to include green in the quilt. I've wanted to make a Bargello quilt for some time (and am thrilled that the style originated from tapestry at Bargello Palace in Florance, Italy) and thought it would visually work with this quilt. There were several ideations of the quilting and the piecing before I came up with what I consider the stained glass version you see here.

I'm very pleased with how this turned out and I think my friend is, too. I hope the bride and groom like it and I wish them the greatest happiness.

Since I was paid for this quilt, I decided that I would put the money toward something I've had on my mind for a long time. I used the cash to buy some medals from Alice Cantrell's Garden of Grace site. If you've never seen her site, I highly recommend you check it out. It has been on my mind to make prayer mini quilts for a long time. Right now I don't have lots of time or space for a lot but I think making mini quilts will suite my life right now. The medals are so beautiful and I am excited to research the saints and crucifixes to best determine the layout of each quilt. 

For now, have a blessed Lord's Day. Although I haven't had the time to attend practice, the choir sings at Mass today and I'm grateful to be joining them. I've missed the singing and the fellowship. Be at peace. Do something lovely.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New Voyage

I have found my life in the last year to be a journey of unknown destination. Just when I thought I knew what I was about, I found a log in the stream and had to meander around it. It's happened many times in my life and I should think by now I would be used to the journey. Alas, I am not. 

This journey of mine is mountainous. It is full of tough climbs and days without sustenance. Ok, I'm being dramatic, but that's who I am. Really, my life is wonderful. It is just that I find these changes to be difficult, not bad, not wholly unwelcome, but difficult. My identity is being challenged. 

So I won't be visiting this blog nearly as much as I want. It isn't the first time. My boys are teenagers. I'm working a full-time job. My life consists of packing lunches, getting in a short walk after the boys leave for school, working, picking up Nathan from Cross Country, Dinner, homework and taking Nolan swimming. There is little time for the other things I enjoy.

Which is fine for now. This is one part of my life. I will never regret packing up my sewing room so I can focus on my boys and their needs. Someday they will be independent young men and I will wonder where all my free time came from. I can make quilts at that time. 

So for now there is little time to write, to take superfluous photographs. I'll do it as I have time and as I have desire. My life is full, it just won't be internet worthy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Simply Garden

Is what I really should call this blog these days. I guess it's like anything obsess over it for a while until it becomes old hat. I did actually spend some time in the sewing room yesterday. I have a mini quilt in the works. It's stumping me a bit so I've had to walk away and come back and walk away to think over it. That's good creative processing I think.
Today's post is really about failure. We love sweet red peppers and have gotten tons of them from our CSA. I have tried and tried for years to grow them to no avail. All I get is a small green pepper that starts to rot. I'm thinking I've not given my plant the proper personal space to grow well. Next year I plan to grow them in my square foot garden. If they don't grow that way I think I'll give up!

I've been freezing our CSA peppers for the winter. Yesterday I seeded and sliced about 8, laid them on a tray in the freezer and then transfered them to a plastic freezer bag once they were frozen. I have about 8 more to do as well as wanting to freeze some of my tomatoes that way. I peel, slice and freeze them on a tray and then transfer to a bag. I loved pulling them out for soups and recipes last winter.

Happy Labor day. Nolan tells us this is his favorite holiday because, despite the name, on Labor day you do no labor. Have a good one, folks.
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