Thursday, September 26, 2013

it's been a week of bright warm days and mild september nights.  with the smell of woodsmoke beginning to swim through the neighborhood once it's dark.  and i've had a delightfully busy week.  busy in the fabric.  feeling like i had to force myself to leave the studio at night.  the fabrics bright and fresh like the days. i'm just finishing up a batch of vintage styled beauties.  i was able to use some of the vintage fabrics that i told you about a few posts ago, interspersed with many of my favorite patterns and colors.  there will be 5 quilts in this batch. 
there is a draw to these florals and dots and popsicle colors that i can't quite explain.  the first quilts i made were from fabrics that i'd bought for no purpose.  that i'd bought only because i wanted them piled in a cupboard in my home.  and i'd been buying these fabrics for years.  this vintage-y flavor is the look of my first quilts.  and over the years they've grown and developed.  and they've become a little more elaborate and complicated, but still dreamily simple.  
so, it's been a good week, sewing and cutting and planing the next batch of quilts.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

tonight i don't imagine i'll sleep much.  the moon is huge and the crickets are loud.  but really i'm not sleeping because i'm tracking my parent's flight to paris.  they have set off on another of their adventures.  and they won't be back until almost november.  they aren't young, although they do make 75 seem like it might be, as they head off to wander through europe with their friends, in an almost youthful carefree way.  it's wonderful.  but i'll be up and watching their flight wing over the atlantic and will be anxious for their 2.00 am facetime or text when they arrive.  i'm not a wanderer.  although i love to drive.  the open road.  silence.  my head full of words and images.  but i'm at my best when i'm at home.  when i'm settled in with what makes me full and happy and busy with life.  although sometimes i wake up in the morning believing i'm in paris.  it's lodged so hard in my belly, in my sleep it makes me believe it's my life.  there may be a time, when i find some years to live with paris again.  although i'm so very happy where i am, worrying about my parents as they fly.  

my quilts have been sedate lately.  sedate and elegant.  quite lovely and warm.  i've been making piles of soothing calm quilts.  but i'm craving color again.  eager to start cutting into the striking bright vintagey fabrics.  the colors that cheer and smile at me as we work together.  that drum into my skin and make me sing.  the colors that turn my head and crank up the music.  tomorrow i begin a batch of ready for african prints and vintage florals.  i can't wait to get started!!!

and so i let ezra's belly warm my feet and the moon light the room as i stare at my phone, watching the blue line that is carrying my parents off on their latest adventure.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

on the weekend i broke the presser foot on my machine.  the machine that sits on the frame and allows me to quilt words as well as simply making my quilts the way i've always imagined them.  and it looked like i was going to be out of commission for weeks while waiting for the new part to arrive.  that just isn't an option for me anymore.  there was a time when i could have spent the time tidying the studio.  or working on other things.  even cleaning my house.  and while all these things need deperately to be done, i'm thrilled to say, i just don't have that luxury.  my little corner of the world has quilts that need to be quilted.  and i had to get things humming again.  i am fortunate to have found an expert repairman for my machine.  he can brilliantly resolve anything that is interfering with my production.  but on sunday he came to the studio and shook his head.  the presser foot had 
snapped and needed to be replaced.  i had assumed that and already begun the calls around town looking for one.  nothing.  i ordered one on ebay.  but it would take up to 2 weeks to arrive from oregon.  so yesterday i started calling shops in cities i could drive to and from in a day.  and after a few hours i found the part.  i wasn't 100% sure.  he didn't have internet.  the other shops i'd been emailing a photo of the broken part.  with nothing matching up.  but this little shop in ottawa, i just felt had the right piece to get me back to work.  so, ezra and i made the trip, picked up 2, were home before tom got home from work, and, had finished the quilt that had stalled on the frame and were home making dinner by 7.
i love the pace that fills the studio now.  i love that problem solving goes hand in hand with the creative adventures that happen everyday in my workspace.  and i love that this crisp chilly morning i'll be pumping out quilts again.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

 last week a man came to the studio, with a bag of fabrics that had belonged to his mother.  his mother was born in 1890, and she died almost 35 years ago.  she was a seamstress and a quilter.  he told me that when she was young she would stay with a farm family for a week and during that time, outfit the entire family with their wardrobe for the year.  and then move on to the next family, clothing their children as she had the last family's.  i loved that story. it seems to represent community in a profound way.   and he was presenting me with her fabric.  fabric that had outlived her. some little scraps were neatly folded in tiny bundles and tied with a strip of the same fabric.  lovingly.  she loved her fabric.  and now i love it.  yardage of perfect florals that i can imagine my own grandmother using to fashion a dress or an apron.  i feel very fortunate as the buzz of the studio is swift and strong now.  the quilts pumping through my hands.  and i love it.  the constant rush of the fabrics in my hands and my eye watching all the colors and dreamy little patterns spill into quilts. 

i just came inside.  i've been out on the porch while ezra was sniffing around the yard in the dark.  there is a lick of cool to the air tonight that wasn't there last night.  or the night before.  this week the summer night sounds seemed to shriek. as if the creatures doing the singing know their show is almost over. and the heat is almost gone.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

another cricket filled night.  and i had applesauce for dinner.  last night my parents took home a bag of apples from the tree that bends so low and precariously at the studio.  we often wonder if it will survive another season.  but it always bears delicious apples, however mishapen and wormy they may be.  people pick them as they walk past.  and i see kids of all ages walking down the sidewalk gnawing on them.  and tonight my mother came to the house with a mason jar of applesauce they had made this afternoon from the apples.  with the added punch of raspberries.......  delicious and beautiful.
today was full and abundant in good discussion and directives.  business planning is something that can sometimes get left behind at my little studio for the whirlwind of creating is always  first and foremost in my mind.  but i have good people in my life who step in and help me move forward.  i am grateful.  recently, i was also interviewed for one of the local papers, and the resulting piece was a beautiful and insightful portrayal of what my studio is all about.  here is the link to the story.  the people in my life who support what i do and urge me forward are greatly appreciated.  

so tonight, i sit with tennis muted on the television, my family in bed, the windows wide open to the crickets, feeling very fortunate. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

we're home.   i have cinnamon incense burning in every room, it's spicy smoke chasing away the closed up musty smell.  lamps are on.  windows are open.  crickets are singing, just a little less grandly than they do at the cottage.  ellsworth forgot he is skitterish around ezra and jumped up on the couch,  threading himself through ezra's legs to get to me, purring and kneading on my shoulder.  it's dark by 8 now, so the house is at it's best....cozy.  i had a long slow bath.  stella sat on the edge of the tub just to be near me.  and i have the first load of laundry humming.  being at the cottage erases all the things staring at me to be done while i'm at home.  and tonight, i've come home feeling a little more balanced.  yes, when we pulled in the drive, i helped tom carry stuff in and then went straight to the studio and worked for 6 hours.  but it felt good.  like exercise.  and i was home by 6.30.  it's all feeling a little less frantic.   and tomorrow i hope i can maintain the steady sort of busy that doesn't drain me, but fires me up.  it's how a little holiday is supposed to work.   

Monday, September 2, 2013

it's night.  the little cabin is cozy and sleepy.  and there is an ocean of crickets surrounding us.  like we are floating in their song.  any other sound is a distraction.  even with the wind kicking up the waves,  their song is the storm.  i think there might be millions of them. 
the only light comes from the computer screen.  ezra is snoring beside me and tom has just rolled over to sleep on my other side.  we're both a little sad to be leaving the cottage tomorrow.   we will miss our little nest in the trees beside the lake.   i love that we sleep away from the cottage.  a sleeping cabin.  with no washroom or kitchen.  just windows and woods and each other.  and a little porch on the side. 
every year i grow to love it more and more, this earthy little spot that is so much a part of tom.  his blood and bones are filled with the air of this patch of land on the lake.  and the water.  even in winter i can smell the lake seeping from him.  it's in him so deep.   he was sad today.  sad to drive away tomorrow, until next year.   but filled up with it's life until we come back. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

all is lulled and calm today. 

last night was sweet, sleeping in the cabin with the wood walls and the smells of a forest filling our lungs.  ezra frightened by the fireworks that the last weekend of the summer seems to demand,  but finally able to climb into bed with us and relax.   we each found our comfort groove for the night, shifting against one another.   the lake sleepy below the  windows, gentle and dribbling.

and when we awake it's september.   and the very whisper of the word makes us more grateful for these summer moments now,  now that the calender tells us we will only have a few more outdoor weekends with sun on skin, and grass on toes and the blue of the lake swallowig us whole.

i take my computer and my camera to the weathered picnic table,  covered with lichen, in it's own little enclave    surrounded with lake.  tom slips off the dock and into the lake for his morning swim.  and ezra chases chipmunks until he accepts the futility of it and climbs onto the table, sprawled along the boards, leaning his back against my arm. with his eyes on the water. 

flowers of some sort grow out of the rocks beside the lake and there is a bee who pauses and sinks into each one. 
i will take this morning with me, deep into february.  this day has become my angel sister who lived just a few hours on a september morning but keeps her spirit in me forever.