Friday, September 27, 2013

Naps Are Recommended

Don't you love to read advice from an expert that agrees with your own philosophy? Robert Genn, who writes The Twice-Weekly Letter, caught my attention with this title this week, "Take a Nap." He reports that Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher at UC, Riverside, sees the value of sleep, especially short sleep. Mednick thinks humans have a biological need for an afernoon nap, as promoted in her book, Take a Nap! Change Your Life. She has researched the relationship between napping and performance. Genn states, "In sleep our minds become highly active. . . .Sleep also enhances performance, learning and memory. According to Mednick, after sleep, people are 33 percent more likely to be creative."
No matter how absorbed I am in my current art project, I realize that my concentration suffers and my enjoyment lags in the early afternoon. It has nothing to do with a large or small lunch. Inviting the cat to get on my lap for some petting is delightful, bringing on a short nap for both of us. After years of working when this was not an option, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be at home and able to enjoy this respite.
Sometimes Bigboy is ready for some lap time (nap time) before I am and he waits patiently on the arm of the recliner. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Love Those Scraps--Part 2

Wild Scraps 1, Log Cabin Style
46" x 60"
Back on August 1 I posted pictures of the two scrap quilts I was working on. These are both quilted and bound now and I took them to guild meetings to get someone to hold them for photographing. They were so much fun to make--starting with a square or rectangle (from 4"-8") and adding strips. Wild Scraps 1 has strips on all four sides; Wild Scraps 2 has strips on only two sides, like an Offset Log Cabin. It's hard to decide which way I like best--just whatever gives the most exciting mix of colors and textures.
WS 1 seems slightly more orderly and predictable, while WS 2 is more chaotic. In WS 2 I did not always orient the starting square in the same place in the finished block--in other words, some are in the lower right (SE) corner, some in the upper left (NW) and so forth, which seems to blur the lines of the individual blocks and rows of blocks. I definitely plan on continuing with this free-form style of quiltmaking.

Wild Scraps 2, Offset Log Cabin Style
61" x 64"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ghost Quilting Program for Rankin County Quilters

I enjoyed presenting a program on Ghost Quilting to the Rankin County Quilt group in Brandon, MS, a couple of weeks ago. The first piece shown here uses a rectangle of the green/red/cream poppy fabric being carried out into the cream inner border fabric with Caran d'Ache crayons and stitches.
 Large fruits or vegetables work well and offer colorful options for thread painting. The framed parrot piece is sort of a novelty in that I used the same parrot fabric for the backing, except I had the right side facing the batting rather than facing the back. I carefully matched several places (remember how to line up pieces for Stack-N-Whack?)  so that after I quilted most of the center area, I turned it over and quilted from the back, bobbin drawing fashion. This allowed me to more accurately stitch the small birds than had I tried to do them free-hand. Sorry for the flash on the glass, but this also helps show that framing the piece is a good solution to showing the wrong-side-out fabric on the back!