Category Archives: Perserverance

Scrap Quilts

My first quilt class was with Ann Albertson. I saw her work in the San Diego magazine and thought it was beautiful.  She rarely taught. Ten years after I started making quilts as baby gifts at Christmas I signed up for a class at the local quilt shop with Ann. It was a scrap quilt class. I walked in with an armload of fabrics. She took one look at me and said, “this is a scrap quilt class.” I set my fabric down on the table and said — “these will be scraps soon.”

The first class was explaining what a quilt was and what a scrap quilt was. She also gave many ideas for a scrappy quilt: Friendship Stars, Nine Patches, Puss in the Corner. I wanted to make a quilt with the pattern I had seen in the magazine. Challenging for someone who had never used templates.

The next class would be in two weeks. So I had time to make blocks. I fell in love with the picture of the quilt in the magazine. It was a Star within a Star block. I could only manage to make one quilt block a day. I had a toddler at home. I was very used to making freeform quilts and using templates was beyond me. Getting those points pointy was a struggle. I decided not to rush it because for the most part it was all new to me.

I decided to go back to the beginning and remember what beginning quilting was like. One major problem was lack of cotton fabrics for the longest time. Diana Leone wrote a Sampler Quilt book and I used polyester fabrics. Polyester fabrics were not stable and would shift when you sewed them.

The quilt above quilt is one I took it to a conference I took with Nancy Crow. It was machine pieced. And I machine and hand-quilted it.

To be continued

 

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Art-filled Life

If you think you can’t think again.

  • These are all oil paintings I created from photographs I took:
  • the old wooden gate in the side yard,
  • our cat Pepper sitting in the window,
  • Jabba the Hippo at the San Diego Zoo,
  • my beloved Kuma laying in the grass,
  • my son Ian at an afternoon soccer game,
  • a reflection of my husband in a store window,
  • night photography at the park,
  • a painting of a friend’s rare Honda motorcycle,
  • theme award at the Faire.

Try, and if you fail — TRY AGAIN!

A Groove or A Rut?

Years ago I sat at the Old Town Mexican café with Libby Leman talking about making quilts. She said so many times we thing we are really “in the groove” we are making quilts and having a good time. But are we in a groove or are we in a rut? There is a tendency when we are artists to make the same thing over and over, perhaps it’s a Log Cabin quilt. Years pass and we are still making the same quilt, just in a different color. Are we moving forward, or are we standing still?

I’ve found myself sorting and organizing but not doing much else. My motor is running and my wheels are spinning but I am getting no where fast. I tell myself, “Today I am going to . . . .” and I start shuffling fabric from here to there and there is no action behind my movements.  At the end of the day all I have is a bigger pile and nothing accomplished.

I did make a list of all the work I have “in progress” truth is, seeing that on paper was very impressive. I have managed to finish a few of the smaller works, but not the quilts. It’s a rut when you find yourself annoying friends and frustrating yourself. The challenge isn’t there.  You feel that the world is moving past you.  You aren’t excited about getting up in the morning and working in your studio.

Did you start this project with all the best intentions and somewhere it lost its steam?  Was it a bad idea to start to begin with?  Maybe the timing was bad, you didn’t allow enough time to meet the deadline? Are circumstances conspiring against you?  Maybe the rut is caused by being too technical, what you thought was a good idea and now it isn’t.  This can happen in a lot of areas of our lives, not just with our artwork.

Maybe what you liked last year, five years ago, or more is not you today. Your color preferences are different. It’s time to change it up, go on a creative date with yours. Go to a botanical park, an art gallery, even a movie or buy some upbeat music.  Buy a new box of 64 crayons. You may not be as prolific as you were 10 years ago and that is bothering you. Stamina does diminish. Try getting together with younger people,  buy some blank paper and share your crayons. Don’t over analyze, don’t question your inability to get out of the rut. If you are in a rut question everything but the rut.

Best to you,

Joanne

 

48 Years in the Same Canoe

 

A handsome young man years ago asked if I would be his wife.  What would I say?  I didn’t think but a few seconds before I answered. He was kind and thoughtful. He sent me long-stemmed red roses one Valentine’s Day and we had only been out a couple of times. Would I marry the one who gave me chocolates or the one who gave me red roses?

Do I pick Door #1 who I love and loves me, who is nice to my mother and father, and who my friends like or do I wait for whatever might be behind Door #2, which Drew Barrymore in her book Wildflower said may have a keg of beer and a donkey (jackass). It was a simple decision.

Marriage is not easy nor is it for the faint of heart. It is a roller coaster ride. Respect is the key to that door.

Spring Gardening: Late

Late Spring Gardening:  Aging

I’m late putting in my spring garden. It the tomatoes I am more concerned about. As a Midwesterner my husband likes his homegrown tomatoes. He and his father used to grow them in their rich farmland soil. Every spring they would set out the tomato plants and nature would do the rest. Just a little occasional plucking.

As a California girl my thought was a tomato was a tomato, what was the big deal? I tried growing them but I was better at eating them. If I got a handful of tomatoes I considered myself lucky.

A few years ago I don’t know what happened, maybe a better focus, or being home in August, or reading some gardening books but I grew tomatoes and they were wonderful. Now it’s June and the garden is getting a late start because – well – life happens.

The day started with a trip to the cheaper gasoline station across town. I told hubbie I would also stop at the nursery and pick up some vegetables. It’s a lovely nursery. It has been in this location for 50 years. First it was owned by Bill, who was a Rosarian. His knowledge of roses was masterful. There was also Bill who worked there, he was also an excellent gardener, and was also amazing with roses.

The former Bill was possibly in his 70s when he sold the nursery to a landscape man. Rarely did you see him at the nursery. His sister Mary and her family pretty much ran the place. It was nice to go there and shop, talk plants and just visit. The later Bill’s daughter Rosemary worked there after The latter Bill passed and she was a delight.

After I bought my gasoline I drove down the road to the wrought iron nursery gates. From a a distance I could see there were no bags of soil stacked up. All the garden statuary was gone. There were no cars in the parking lot, my heart sank. It’s gone. On the gate was a sign that said it was closing — it wasn’t gone — not yet at least.

I walked in their small cottage style sales office. “Mary what’s going on?”
“We’re closing,” she said, “I can’t do this anymore and my brother wants to retire,” she said as the tears welled up in her eyes. I didn’t want to make her cry I knew we both felt bad about it. I didn’t ask when the decision was made. I do understand that it was made without her brother consulting other members of the family who would be affected by it.
Tomorrow, how the community feels.</p>

Armed Forces Day: May 14, 2014

Armed Forces Day: May 14, 2014

Armed Forces Day History

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department — the Department of Defense. Each of the military leagues were asked to support Armed Forces Day. The Army, Navy and Air Force adopted the newly formed day. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, also.

In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman “praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas” and said, “it is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace.” In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated that:

The first Armed Forces Day was Saturday, May 20, 1950. The first combined demonstration by America’s defense teams, under the National Security Act, showed readiness for any preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was “Teamed for Defense.” It was chosen as a means of expressing the unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government. Although this was the theme, there were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day. It was “educational program for civilians,” one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces. It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job that is performed and the role of the military in civilian life. It was a day for the military to show “state-of- the-art” equipment to the civilian population they were protecting. And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

According to a New York Times article published on May 17, 1952:

“This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.”

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day “under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types.” In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed “battlewagons” of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

People as well as notable leaders of the country gathered to honor the Armed Forces. Some quotes are stated below:

“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson

“The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms. Our Armed Forces in 1950– protecting the peace, building for security with freedom–are “Teamed for Defense …”

General Omar N. Bradley
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Real security lies in the prevention of war–and today that hope can come only through adequate preparedness.”

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched pass the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day “under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types.” In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed “battlewagons” of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

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