Full to overflowing

I remember when school began after Labor Day, but nowadays, things get started mid-August …

P started Kindergarten and how did I get old enough to have a grandchild in college?! Not to mention, how did our littlest get to be three already? It all goes too fast …

As for stitching, I finished Abiquiu Autumn

which is on the other side of the petroglyph cloth I made in June …

Together they will now be called The New Mexico Pillow, and spend time next to Triangulation, the first of my Jude-inspired clothworks.

Backing up a bit, here’s what I thought about as I stitched Abiquiu Autumn …

The solid rust-colored cloth, dyed by Malka Dubrawsky at A Stitch in Dye, recalled the layers of rock towering over the road from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch … rock that slowly becomes the sand of the high desert and the mud-coating of adobes … and every so often, the spires of rock would be topped with crowns of golden stone, the roadways rimmed with chamisa in bloom, and the Chama River bottom lined with golden cottonwood leaves … rarest and best were the glimpses of a thin layer of rock in the hills echoing the blue-green of desert sage. Southwest colors all.

The striped cloth, from sweet linen dresses outgrown by Parker and Ellis, triggered memories of human-wrought works … the etched and painted lines of Native American pottery … the woven stripes of baskets and blankets … the verticality of coyote fences … and vigas, the rough-hewn timbers jutting from the rooflines of adobe abodes.

Through it all, the colors recalled the desert air 6000 feet above sea level … and as I “quilted” the pieced cloth to the backing with Deb Lacativa’s magic threads, I thought of the Zia sun that graces the New Mexico State flag, emblem of the Land of Enchantment …

Don has been in a similar state of mind, having just completed another New Mexico inspired assemblage and a painting of an adobe …

Finally, I did re-hem the linen shirt that supplied me with the rock/chamisa/cottonwood gold, as well as stitching up some linen napkins to practice my hem stitching …

I’ve just started using Bohin needles, recommended by Sarah Woodyard of Sewn Company, which led me to try size 10 sharps and size 11 appliqué needles …

And since Jude is taking a break in September, I’ve decided to sign on to Sarah’s Patreon Workshop subscription to see what else I can learn from her.

Always I am learning …

Wait … wait … I almost forgot the garden pictures that Nancy requested! See if you can pick out the child’s eye views …

A paean to paperless piecing

There are many things I have learned from Jude Hill, but none more valuable than her paperless piecing technique.

My favorite take on it is to tear cloth into strips …

then fold the edges back and overcast stitch the patches together. The magic in it is how beautifully the seams stay open on the other side …

So now I’m off to “quilt” this pillow top …

to a linen backing … and I put “quilt” in quotation marks, because the resulting double layer of cloth won’t truly be a quilt as there will be no middle layer.

There will be more to come on the meaning within this cloth once it has been united with its other side. Later gator …

Georgia on my mind

Georgia O’Keeffe, that is … and her quote about fitting what you want to do into what needs doing (in my previous post).

How I needed to do laundry. But I really wanted to stitch.

How I needed to go to the grocery store … twice, because the first store didn’t have everything on my list. But I really just wanted to stitch.

How I needed to make lunch, and cut up the melon and pineapple and bananas that I got at the store. But I really, truly wanted to stitch.

Because I’ve been thinking about Georgia and New Mexico. And feeling a little guilty because it didn’t take me a whole day to get groceries in Espanola as Georgia once did. Really, I should be able to find the time to stitch.

But oh do I ever envy her the drives she made between Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu and Espanola. Where the rocks rear up out of the land into a crystal blue sky, each bend in the road more incredible than the last …

I just wanted to stitch a memory of being in that magical place, of the colors and angles …

But no, not that exactly. More like this maybe …

Paper piecing on freezer paper, sketched in pencil on a piece 18” x 18” … we’ll see how it goes … if and when I can get to it.

But first I need to hang the wash … then I need to make the pickles, pasta salad, and chicken salad for dinner tonight.

When really, I mean it … I just want to stitch 😉