Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."  William Shakespeare

I have been thinking this week about what makes for happiness in ones life.  There is a situation in my life that has caused a lot of personal unhappiness for a very long time.  It hasn't gone away, doesn't seem to change, so the unhappiness has lingered, a kind of background, or undercurrent to my life.  Then on Sunday, something happened to change it.  The situation didn't change.  I did.  I suddenly saw it in a new light.  And suddenly I felt the unhappiness lift, it wasn't a burden any more.  I know the situation will always be there unless something outside my life changes it.  I can't change it.  But my thinking about it changed, I had a paradigm shift, an epiphany of sorts, and as a consequence I've felt light, and happy all week.  And more loving and accepting.  And it's all about paradigms, or as William said so eloquently, 'nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so'.

As for the paradigm I see in the current applique I am working keeps changing...I had it fairly firmly set  in my mind what I was going to add to the central applique block  (that I started in a workshop with Sharon Schamber) and blogged about here last week.  I was going to add a sawtooth inner border then some more applique, but I discarded that.  I have been busy making clamshells for the past several days,  and now that I have enough to lay out and look at, I'm not sure if that's what I really want now after all.  Down one side I have put two layers of clamshells, green nearest the centre and the pinks on the outside, at the top there is a single row of alternating pinks and greens.  I rather think, that if I go with the clamshells that the double border looks best.  Then would come another border of applique.  But first I have to decide if I want clamshells there at all.  What do you think?  Another idea for it is to put the centre on point and put more applique in the triangles that would be need to be added, then put the clamshells after that.  I hate it when quilts just grow minds of their own, but don't speak plainly!  And the visual distraction of the quilt off to the side doesn't help the photo of the clamshells and the applique either! :-D

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." 
— Jorge Luis Borges

Saw this quote on Google today, and it resonates with me.  I have books everywhere, on everything.  In front of me right now there is Kaffe Fassett's Spectacular Shapes, Brian Tracy's (a business writer) 'Focal Point', a Country Home Ideas magazine, and that's just on the desk in front of me.  On and in my bedside table there are piles of books, next to the bed are more, and the bookshelves aren't full, they're overflowing...and I cull books whenever I can.  But somehow the piles remain...

And I make resolutions not to buy any more, but to just borrow them from the library or the guild, or my cottage group...but guess what, sometimes I just have to have the book I borrowed, or I can't wait long enough for the library to bring it in, or it's one I just absolutely positively can't live without, like Barb Adams and Alma Allen's recent book 'Country Inn'...I carry that one with me everywhere at the moment, it makes me itch to sew, and to cook.  The pictures are gorgeous, the quilts and their fabrics are beautiful.  

But first I have to finish things, like last week's applique block which is on the sewing machine at present, and two quilts waiting pin-basting and quilting, and all the redwork blocks I'm embroidering hoping to get them done by Christmas.  So, this Wednesday, what I'm most working on, are the redworks...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"Every great (wo)man has become great, every successful (wo)man has succeeded, in proportion as (s)he has confined his(her) powers to one particular channel". Orison Swett Marden (from Brian Tracy's 'Focal Point')

I was lucky last week to get a cancellation in a one day workshop with Sharon Schamber, on her machine applique methods.  If ever there was a great example of Marden's quotation above, it is Sharon Schamber.  She has most certainly focused all her talents in one amazing direction.  The quilts and blocks that she brought for us to see were most amazing.  Her workmanship, her skill, her artistic talent, are all phenomenal, and it is evident why she has won so many quilt shows and awards.  She is a really wonderful example of the power of focus, to unearth and meet one's potential.
I came home and looked at all my various things that I'm interested in and do, some complete, some half complete, but nowhere do I see the focus that is apparent in Sharon's work, in her perfection.  She inspired me to complete the sample piece we started on Friday as soon as possible, so I have been working on it in all of my spare time. I have completed the preparation (the photo below), now I have to do the easy part, the sewing.  Then I plan to make borders on the sides and an appliqued row above and below the central panel, to complete a baby quilt.
And I'm determined to aim for some of the perfection that was evident in Sharon's work.  Not for show, but for my own satisfaction, to see if I can begin to achieve some of the possible potential that is currently hiding in my love of working with fabric.