What was I thinking?

It’s a new year and there are some new readers here, so I thought I’d do a little looking back … and then forward.

My original blog started out as a way to provide recipes for my newly-wed daughters and a record of our epic move from Virginia to Texas back in 2009.

It languished after a while, but found new life when I discovered Jude Hill’s Spirit Cloth in 2014. At that point the blog became a record of my stitch adventures interspersed with the joys of living in the Texas Hill Country and grandparenting six great kiddos (please note, those were two separate activities).

More recently, around the time of our move to the Austin suburbs, I migrated over to WordPress so I could more easily compose posts using my iPhone. However, I do still maintain the old blog, chiefly for its sidebar list of Kindred Spirits in Cloth …

Which brings me to the here and now. I’m currently trying to finish hand quilting a baby clothes coverlet for out youngest granddaughter, Ellis …

Even so, I’ve also got my mind working on a dormant work in progress: a bed cloth titled my heart’s compass. The base for one side is done and ready to be embellished …

but the middle and the other side have a long way to go …

and the top edge is completely blank, which is where my current patch-a-day project called Looking Up comes in.

I woke up at 4:00 this morning, my head buzzing with ideas for Looking Up. Why stack the patches into weeks and months when my days flow in one long, continuous stream? What if I just keep stringing the patches together until they span the width of the cloth?

And what if I just appliqué the resulting strip of patches onto my heart’s compass and then start another strip of patches, and then another and another until I have a whole year’s worth of Looking Up patches?

And what if I put this wonderful gifted batik cloth underneath the strings of patches, sorta like this?

Last, who am I trying to kid by not talking about the individual patches? Of course I want to tell their stories … although I think it might be better to tell them in clusters rather than individually.

So without further ado, here are the patches to date.

January 1-4 … the dawn of a new year … followed by three sunny, blue sky days (taken on my beloved soumak rug, which provides the backdrop for most of my photos) …

January 5-8 … two nights of the waxing crescent moon (called the banana moon in our family) as seen from the back porch … followed by two rainy days when only short glimpses of blue sky were possible …

January 9-12 … a mostly cloudy day … the appearance of the first quarter moon (aka the taco moon) … a golden dawn that brought the sad news of a dear man’s passing (rest in peace Adrien) … and Parker’s moon from this Wednesday …

And then (drum roll please) yesterday’s patch for Logan

who received an early acceptance letter from James Madison University, home of the Dukes and much beloved alma mater of her mom and her aunt.

To say going to JMU has been a life-long dream of Logan’s is not a stretch …

So I guess it’s appropriate that my golden gibbous moon (aka the lemon moon) in a perfectly purple sky looks more like a football …

Go Dukes!

[With thanks to Deb Lacativa for the artistry of her dyed damask and cotton cloth, not to mention her always amazing Dirty Threads]

Parker’s moon

Those of you who have been here a while know I like to make patches day-by-day. That actually started back in 2016 after following Ronnie Ayliffe’s year-long project Look up.

And so, even though I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied with E’s coverlet, I’m looking ahead to working on my heart’s compass again.

At first I thought I’d do daily moon patches to add to the bed cloth, so I stitched a 1” square on Sunday, January 2nd. But it was the first day of the new (invisible) moon, so I actually stitched the sun instead …

Thinking I wanted to cover the top edge of the 108” bed cloth with a year’s worth of the patches, I quickly realized 1” would be too small. So I tried a slightly larger size and got through a whole week of 1.1” patches …

before deciding those wouldn’t be big enough either … besides which, I wasn’t happy with my cloth choices.

Harrumph.

At which point I gathered cloth gifted by Connie Akers, along with blue and gray cloth and threads dyed by Deb Lacativa, Malka Dubrawsky, Tina, and ummm someone else I’m surely forgetting …

and put together eleven days worth of Looking Up …

The patches are not quite 1.25” in a mix of sky and cloth stories which should work. However, I won’t be relating all of those stories here. For now I’ll just tell this one.

Yesterday’s patch was stitched to recall Parker’s weekly visit, which included drawing very color-full “unicorn kitties in ballet dancer nightgowns” …

Afterward, we went out to look for the moon, which I couldn’t find in the sky until P pointed it out to me (more on that in a sec) …

So I asked Parker to pick out a cloth with which to make the day’s moon patch and she went straight to some Lacativa-dyed cloth (good eye). I sketched a ragged-edge moon and appliqued some fine white cotton onto the sketch.

Then I squinted, said “nope” and rough cut a piece of harem cloth in order to free-hand stitch a new (better) patch …

And that’s going to be the fun part of this project: after a year of stitching suns and moons and stars, I am sure to have quite a variety of results. Fingers crossed.

One last thing about finding the moon. I’ve been using a moon past app for quite a while …

without realizing it has a nifty compass feature that lets you point yourself at the moon, not to mention information about the sun and a calendar overview of the moon phases for the month (click to see full images) …

Who knew?

A sense of overwhelm

I am full to overflowing after our third journey to New Mexico. It will surely take a fair bit of time to tell it all here, but suffice it to say we hope go back someday …

In the meantime, I’ve decided to complete some unfinished projects, the better to clear the deck so I can get started on E’s coverlet.

And so, Remember 2021 will be retitled Remember (some of) 2021, as it will only cover January through July.

Next, I will finish putting Moon Myth together.

Then I plan to repurpose The Land as the Crow Flies as couch cushion backings.

And I am waaaay overdue on adding Parker and Ellis to the family sampler.

Ha! I wonder if I’ll ever get back to My Heart’s Compass?

Stay tuned …