Are there days you find yourself circling looking for something you want?
I wrote on my morning pages all the things I could do today. My list involved things I could do in my workroom. Clear out empty boxes that are taking up space. I checked that off. Then my stair stepper was in the way. I always kept it under the sofa in the living room should the urge to exercise strike. When we put down a new rug in the living room the stair step was moved to my workroom — yeah like I am going to exercise there? It went back downstairs to live under the sofa again. I need all the floor space in my workroom. Moving the stair stepper opened up enough space to set up my ladder to put yarn bins back on the shelf.
If you have followed what I’ve written you may remember I started sorting, and then I sorted some more, and then more. It was like an obsession. I am not an obsessive person. I just got to a point where I couldn’t find what I wanted when I wanted it. It happened again.
Since I have been going around in circles I thought it might be better to stop making new work and go back to working in a series which is what I like to do. I have to follow my instinct and my intuition. I wanted to find the last piece of art that was almost finished, but where did I put it? I am to the point where I can find everything. I have separated my finished works from my unfinished works and labeled it all.
I looked everywhere that I thought it could be for three days. Then I told myself, it will turn up I am certain. I was lost for what I may have done with it. Where did I remember having it last? The living room next to my favorite chair where I do my hand quilting, yes I still hand quilt special pieces which will probably never know a washing machine. One morning I thought of the most obscure place I might put it. I was knitting pet blankets in December, but then company was coming, so I fast gathered. Under the stairs there was a basket with bulky yarn. On top of the basket was the lid to a box I was using to put donation books into. I lifted the lid covering the yarn. Almost completely covered by the yarn was a corner of the quilt — hiding. I found you, my Very Colorful Quilt, a reason to celebrate.
I am placing my faith in the weather person’s prediction that we will have rain this weekend. This week I received 7 bare root roses I ordered in the mail. What was I thinking — roses — you have to plant them. I am so beyond wanting to dig holes is this clay and rock wasteland. I do love roses though and my hope springs eternal that El Nino will come through with more rain after all it is only March and this is when we have rain and winds.
I also bought a Fruit Salad tree this week —
I decided to take a picture before our rains. In the past my fruit trees have set buds and then it rains and the winds blow and at the end of it, the poor tree which looked so abundant would now be naked and fruitless. It is called a Fruit Salad tree because four different variety of fruits are grafter on to one base, in this case they are all oranges. It was my intention when I went to the nursery to look for a Cara Cara Orange which is native to New Zealand. The fruit is a dark red-orange and very sweet. I saw one last year at the end of the season but I didn’t buy it, happy I didn’t for lack of rain. This year I thought I would look again. When I walked up the nursery walkway a beautiful 30 gallon tree was right in front of me. I reached over to look at the tag and to my surprise it read Cara Cara, but wait, it had more tags on it. The other tags were Washington Navel, a Late Navel and a Blood Orange.
I have had multi-grafted fruit trees in the past and have been disappointed when only one of the grafts survives. In that particular case it was a Nectarine, Apricot, Plum tree. The Plum Tree survived. One thought was there were no other fruit trees in the neighborhood. I also have a Pomegranate Tree which looked like it was dead. It came back after the last rain. It has only had two pomegranates that were about the size of ping pong balls, I could have framed them. I took a picture of the little fruit buds on it now — there are five all together. This is a picture of one.
I removed all the obstacles in the garden vegetable patch this morning. I struggled for years with raised beds, trying to containerize them: strawberries in one, tomatoes in another, kale in still another. All I was managing to do was give myself obstacles to fall over or into. I decided to take all the wooded forms out and just build up the whole area which is already surrounded by Railway ties. I also removed all the Blackberry bushes. They need to be relocated elsewhere. I put those in container pots. I had bags of soil left over from planting a Lemon and a Tangerine tree last month. I mixed them with soil that was taken from the holes for the fruit trees. I was stressing myself with thoughts of going early to the nursery on a Saturday to find pots big enough to put the roses in, their base roots are easily 12″ across. That’s when it dawned on me — I have all that planting area in the back forty that as yet had no plants and I have all this soil.
So I did what they do at the nursery with bare roots, I put them into the soft soil from the bags of compost and soil I just dumped in. Wha-la!
I remember my father planting roses in our yard when I was little — he planted them — not my mother. I remember he and my uncles putting in the fences and pouring the concrete. My mother didn’t help. She did benefit from the roses though. Beside it making a beautiful yard with probably fifty rose bushes, when he came in from working in the yard he would always bring her roses.
My father used to say if there was a flat surface I would find something to put on it. At the time I rejected that thought and those words, but it proved to be prophetic. I am a piler.
I just cleared off my worktable yet again. I purchased fabric last week certainly not because I needed it but because I wanted it. I bought 25% off Christmas fabrics. That was fortunate because I needed reds in more of a variety and Christmas is all about reds. I also bought solids. I think that I don’t sew with solid colored fabrics but when I am looking for them they are gone — must be Gremlins.
So I bought fabric. It took three loads to wash it all. I couldn’t wash the reds with the blues, I might end up with a shade of purple or something motley that I didn’t want like the time my mother forgot my new royal blue slacks were in the washing machine and she threw bleach and her whites on top of them. This was long before tie dye or I could have been a trendsetter.
I stuck with clearing off my work table much as I hate that job. I moved this from here to there, and that from there to here. I opened drawers and tucked angel’s wings (organdy) inside. I needed a plastic bin, but they were all full. Which one has the least? I opened it to find several unfinished projects — more WIPs. Do I finish them or find them a new home? I got to the stack of washed fabric? Do I iron it now, or wait until I use it in a project? If I iron it now I will never finish here. I had just emptied a laundry basket. I folded all the fabrics and gave them to the laundry basket.
I remember when Fat Quarters first appeared in a small basket in the corner of the fabric bolts. I eyed these with great intrepidation — what do you do with those? I promised myself I would not buy these — all my resistance broke down when I needed a certain fabric that I found had been cut into Fat Quarters. The good thing about Fat Quarters is the immediate variety available for only a few dollars.
I’m still working on reorganizing the space. Some things do not change though. When I was a kid I fell in love with pegboard. So it was only logical that one of the few walls in my workroom would be a pegboard.
This is also where I keep my embroidery – quilting frames. I still love hand-quilting some of my quilts. I also hang scissors and cutting grids here. When I do that I know I will be able to find them later.
I wanted open shelves to hold fabric. I didn’t want this many. Husband got out his calculator and measure the fabric measuring all the stacks. He informed me I would fill them and maybe more. Notice Riley really enjoyed them immediately.
Lazy Saturday, sit in the sun? The sun is out and the hurricane has passed us by.
It’s time for a pot of chili on the stove. A dinner that allows me more time to work on a project. I got stuck here in a riot of color. When that happens I either go on an adventure looking for inspiration or browse books. Needless to say I didn’t have luck with either. Instead I went back to organizing. When in doubt — try avoidance.
I worked in my library corner which has become a catch-all. It felt good. I found three bags of yarn. I found a stack of my photography books. Also found some of my favorite quilt books which I took off the shelf and didn’t get put back. It will feel good to get this space organized and also found an idea to finish the joyously colorful four patch quilt blocks.
I did a lot of sorting and organizing in my workroom last summer.
In a box marked Katherine’s quilt were cuts leftover from a quilt I made for Katherine.
Also in there were a stack of log cabin block, the ones pictured above. Why weren’t they a finished top? Several reasons perhaps. First thought, I got tired of making them another I became distracted with another more pressing project.
I put them on my design work wall and decided I was one block short to make an ample sized lap throw of 60″ square. In the container were all the pieces to make more blocks except the last fabric. That would do it. I love making scrappy quilts that don’t match, but when I try to make quilts that actually match, that can be a challenge. I fall in love with a fabric and end up using it in many quilts and then it is gone. So I will resume a search in hopes of making this quilt a bigger size by finding more of that LAST fabric.