Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Retirement, Enlightenment, and Value – Oh my!

January 16, 2018

As usual, there’s too many projects and not enough time.  It’s been almost six months since we had to say goodbye to our beloved Shepherd, and while I’m still having a tough time with losing him, I am slowly starting to have some creative ideas slip in the fray.  The projects are stacking up and it’s really surprising how just a little bit of work each day or each week on a project can slowly accumulate and make the project finish seem not so far in the distance.  Of course, having multiple projects already ongoing doesn’t preclude me from starting another. 

A colleague of mine will be retiring this spring after 25 years of service to the company and so I volunteered to mark her retirement with a signature/retirement quilt.  I’d selected a more traditional pattern, since she’s a traditional kind of gal, and figured out where and how I could include signature blocks while still assembling a quilt that would fit her taste.  I’ve gotten the Hole in the Barn Door (or Churn Dash) blocks finally completed.   
Now, after finally getting all the signature blocks, I’m working on framing them out so that the main assembly can begin.  I have to have it completed by May…I’m pretty sure I’m in a good position to get it completed (quilting and all). 
Just one of the signature blocks. 

Working on a quilt, jointly with my sister, I’m seeing the fun of a tessellation quilt and the associated use of value and color to make an M.C. Escher-influenced quilt design.  The majority of the quilt is going to need to be pieced using Y-seams, but it’s a challenge and should be pretty cool once it’s completed.  My sister is working on the top half; me the bottom half. 
Darks, lights, and mediums make this quilt dimensional...now to sew it all together...
The challenge becomes using the right value of the pieces we’ve cut to make the quilt look three-dimensional.  If you want a lesson in how dark or light a color reads next to another color, try one of these types of quilts.  They’re quite intriguing and are really cool when you step back from them and view the whole.

Meanwhile, through all of this, I mostly completed the quilt top I was working on just after my Shepherd went to dog heaven.  I still need to design some applique to finish out the squaring triangles, but I’ll get there.   

The center applique is taken from the background fabric.  Very saturated pattern...I think I like it...
Other priorities are taking hold. Plus, I’m on the cusp of completing my 11th block of 12 for the red-background applique quilt I’ve been working on – for what seems like years now.   

This is block #11...almost done, just working on the center.  Still have to figure out block #12...
One more block to go and an applique border and then I can set the thing together.  Just a couple more years on that to go (probably)…but that’s the “just work a little at a time and you do get there”…amazingly!!

Maybe the moral of the story is to just not give up.  Things happen in life that rip your heart apart and you don’t know if it can ever be repaired.  I don’t know that my heart will ever get over the loss, but I hope that having my pup in my life – even for the short time I had him – made me a better person – a richer person – for knowing him.  And maybe quilting for other people – offering them a heartfelt gift enriches their lives, too. 

Happy Quilting!