Design

I’ve been missing for quite a while! I’m just not a blogger, I guess. We were on vacation much of August and things have been crazy at home since we’ve been back. I did, however, manage to finish a quilt in that time! And I don’t have any great pictures of it. :-( I forgot to take any. Now it’s gone. I gave it to the person it was intended for — or rather her mother. It was a baby quilt for Yasmine Julia Wright, my friend Ellie’s first child. She’s a real cutie and has those HUGE long-lashed eyes like her Mom. The quilt I made was a Stacked Coins pattern using all Riley Blake fabrics. I quilted it using a semblance of concentric circles, but that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. Still, it was a cute quilt.

I’ve also started to take a class at Quiltworks Northwest on “Design Essentials”. It’s several months long and involves studying art. That’s right, I’m trying to get serious about this quilting thing! It was mortifying showing off my horrible quilts that I had the first day of class. I brough the first one I did in a class back in 2000. It was a rail fence pattern and not interesting at all. Terrible fabric choices. And then I brought one I did a year or so ago where I randomly sewed together strips from a Fabric Grab bag that were all different sizes, but in the same horrible pastel line of colors. Then I subcut and ended up with traditional patterns. The teacher gently and teasingly pointed out what a unique way I’d found to get to something completely traditional. I could die. I thought I was being creative and I was anything but. Talk about being stuck.

I’m hoping this class can help me get out of my linear rut. Truthfully, I don’t just want to turn out traditional quilt after traditional quilt. I have no real interest in that. I want to create in fabric and beads and thread and dyes. I’m not drawn to paint or paper. I love textiles and glass and all kinds of fun things you can find and create with. But I feel so stuck in pattern and so non-creative since I can’t draw or sketch to save my life.

Anyway, this month our assignment is to produce 5 pieces that express various types of symmetry using whatever motif we choose. I’ve been sketching rectangles and they’re all lovely blocks, but very unsatisfying to me. I love swoops and swirls and circles and yet they intimidate the hell out of me. Straight lines I can get. Circles scare me. But I think this is good for me. I’ll do some more sketches over the next few days and then try to post what pictures I have or can manage to set up decently of whatever I produce and Yasmine’s quilt. Oh, and Ellie is pregnant again (another girl!), so I have another quilt to make within 6 months!

On the other side of things I enjoy doing, since Mariah is now trying out the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to see if that eases her abdominal pain issues (a very long story that has not got anything close to an end yet, unfortunately), so I’m having to learn how to make SCD legal foods. SCD doesn’t allow ANY grains at all, pretty much no dairy (except butter and yogurt), and no sweeteners outside of honey. So I’ve made 2 things so far from the recipe books I bought and I’m in love! Homemade Yogurt is the BEST thing I’ve ever had as far as yogurt goes. Add to that spectacularly good local honey and it’s heaven! Then I made these “energy bars” that are basically toasted cashews, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts mixed with a syrup of honey & butter and hardened/set in the freezer for a few hours. It is WAY too delicious to keep around. I could eat those all day and be in sweet heaven. This diet can be good! And the Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, has a new blog and every recipe he’s posted so far is SCD legal! I suspected that I’d find that fine food and Chef’s cookbook as well as those of, for instance, Thomas Keller, would have a lot of recipes I can use to make really good food for Mariah and the rest of the family (we’re all trying this out together) that means none of us has to suffer much even though we’re doing without a lot of things we loved. But I would highly recommend to anyone to make your own yogurt. It’s simpler and quicker/easier than you’d think and the end product is divine!

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