Monthly Archives: August 2013

Quilting and Cuenca go together well

Standard

After many moons, I’m back again.

A wonderful 95 year old man left life on this earth recently after an extended illness.  He was a terrific model of

how to be a strong man and a loving father

How to work hard,

how to keep your word,

how to be masculine yet gentle,

how to respect the lives of others,

how be be honest in a challenging world.

I cherish many memories of growing up with this great man who was my father.  These memories live on in my heart. It is a shared source of solace as others call up the best of this man to be inspired.  Many people admired, respected and loved you, Milt.

I am back from a long break. I will try to post more regularly.

I got busy with new projects and some to finish, of course.

Lets talk more about quilting.  This is an unusual art form in Ecuador where inexpensive plush poly fabrics and gorgeous wools abound in fabric shops and blanket departments alike.    Much of Ecuador is warm and humid.  But living in the Andes mountains at 8300 feet altitude means that most evenings, you’ll want a blanket or warm quilt or two on the bed.

What form is your favorite for a quilt you complete?  I really like getting things hung on the walls on a curtain rod.  But, ahhh, having your completed art on your lap or on your bed is truly exhilarating and surprisingly satisfying.

I enjoy having a lap quilt for two reasons – watching t.v. or reading is more cozy with a quilt over my lap plus I usually have two cats asleep on my legs.  They are young cats so manners are coming along slowly for these kits – the quilt buffers me from getting cat hair on my slacks and from any claws  dug in if some loud sound suddenly frightens them.

A  bit about the kittens:  Both are orange tabbies.  The neutered male, Saffron (also called Butch by my husband) is 9 months now.  After a very rough beginning he came to live with us from a rescue organization in Cuenca called ARCA, located near San Sebas Cafe. He really loves life at our house. Saffron will be huge.  His paws look too big for his body so I think he is going to grow a lot more. He is a gentle spirit and is devoted to his little “sister”  Curry is a little sprite . At 7 months, she is svelte and fast and very bold.  She fights hard with Saffron when they are wrestling, folding her little ears flat against her head before jumping into the fray.

Why am I talking about cats?  Well, they help with my quilting.  Yeah, sure they do! I get all the fabric laid out to cut and somebody  runs right across the cutting table!  When I am piecing blocks, they love to sit near me or play with scraps of fabric on the floor.

I am curious what other quilters do: do you sew on one project to completion or do you have several quilts going at once? If you have more than one project going at once, about how many do you usually have as “work in progress”? How do you decide which project to work on each morning when you know you are going to quilt?

I Just completed a quilt top that is of silly wonky cats. Here is a shot of  the new quilt

photo (8)

It will go on a wall in my office. I  started making it about June 1 using fabrics from my stash and some of the new fabric I brought back from the U.S.   There is no 100% cotton here. I don’t know why. So I bring in fabric from the US in my suitcases, any time a friend or visitor offers to bring something down, I usually request new fabric to bring to Ecuador.  This wonky wall hanging is called “Crazy Cats” from a pattern in a book by The Buggy Barn.  Now the wall hanging, which is 54″ tall x 64″ wide, needs to be layered and quilted.  I will have to look in my stash for some backing.

I was recently in the US and came back with some gorgeous 100% cotton fabric.  I am trying to curb my habit of buying more fabric.  But its a tough one! I had a great time with my quilting buddy, Cindy, and with my terrific quilt teacher, Victoria Jones. Both are dear friends.  We seem to pick up just where we left off, both socially and quilting-wise. Good times.

I got some “indoor/outdoor” sun resistant fabric while in the US to make cushions for our furniture in the sun room.  The fabric is bright and happy and will make the sun room a very pleasant place to spend a few hours.

One of my goals is to get 7 quilts up on the walls of my home.  Seems like I sold all the completed quilts and my walls are pretty bare.  A good goal for the summer.  Or however long it takes. That’s quilting as a hobby.  The luxury to sew it with gusto or as long as it takes. The grace of being retired is that I can spend a whole day sewing, if I want.  And then spend the next day doing other things: seeing a friend, shopping for new plants, going to a new place in Cuenca as I continue to get to know my new home: Ecuador.  I’ve been here now 2 years and 3 months. I love my life here.

A second project I’m working on is a red/beige/caramel quilt.  This will be a large quilt on a large wall in  the stairwell.  The stairs in this house offer quite wonderful walls to display quilts so I hope to put several up there over the next months and years.  Here is a picture of some of the blocks:

photo (6)

I have another question for you today as quilters: do you have “UFO’s”?  Unfinished projects lying around?  I certainly do.  One awaits binding which I have packed away somewhere

photo (7)

One just needs to be quilted and bound.

A third simply needs binding.  It is essentially complete but for that.  I met a new person here who asked me why the projects are not completed.  I had no answer! I don’t know how to explain it, really.

Well, until next time, happy quilting.