Song Lyrics+Ugly Fabric=Quilt!

What do you do when challenged with deadlines AND “horrible” fabric? Make one quilt that fits two challenges if you are me!

My local quilt guild, the Hospitality chapter of the Richmond Quilters Guild, put out the challenge “Music to my Ears.” I almost immediately had decided one of the songs from the band Squeeze would be my selection, because their lyrics always seem to be painting a visual image. 20160227-IMG_8638.jpg

And then, at our holiday party we had a round robin ugly fabric exchange where I ended up with eight 1/8th yards of fabric some would say only it’s mother could love.

As if by design the entire quilt unfolded in front of my eyes!  “Two fat ladies window shop something for the mantelpiece.”-(Pulling Mussels from the Shell.)

That incredible fruit lady fabric finally had a raison d’etre! Sketching and assembling the quilt was done very quickly. It all fell together like it was meant to be. The addition of the lyrics on the boardwalk was a last minute thought, when I realized the ‘planks’ of the boardwalk felt too clean. I probably should have checked how well the lyrics would fit.

The eight ugly fabrics are in the art hanging on the gallery wall–either as the frame or the art. (two of the pieces of art were additions from my very own well-loved stash.) The remaining piece I couldn’t work in ended up being the frame for the gallery sign. I dug in to my stash of alphabet stencils for the gallery sign and used Prismacolor, Copic and Micron pens to color and shade there and elsewhere on the quilt.

This is hanging at #MAQF Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest through today and will then go to a local show at a church in Richmond for a bit.

*Mea Culpa. I have not posted a single photo from February!  I will make one big month-end post with an explanation and then strive to do better in March.

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Bicycle Races

Because all quilts should be inspected before display by a cat,    20150108-IMG_2646








and, if possible, bicycle tires should test out the terrain.20150108-IMG_2654








The Drunkard’s Path should not be an invitation to drink and bike, however!20150108-IMG_2652








Lyrics by Queen are free-motion quilted onto batik squares. And yes, those are real bike tread marks, with acrylic paint and a bicycle tire. 20150108-IMG_2649                  I had NO idea what to do for this challenge. I don’t really bike, and I didn’t really like the challenge fabric—(used as the bike frames, seat and handle bars) The Challenge dictated the size and I was a day or so to the deadline of saying. “Take my name off of the list,” when I woke up with the entire quilt planned and plotted in my head! Construction of it changed things slightly, and as I was quilting it, I was just not quite satisfied.   Suddenly, the appearance of tire tracks seemed absolutely essential, and thanks to a husband who was able to come up with a tire at 12:30 in the morning, I was able to finish this 36 hours before it was required to be handed in. (Hey, that’s pretty good for me!)

Machine pieced and quilted by Trish Casey-Green, 2015  Richmond Quilters Guild Exhibit at MAQF, February 26-March 1, 2015 The Bike Race is in RVA in September of 2015. I am missing MAQF for the first year since 2003, this is being auto-published while I am off enjoying the Grand Canyon!

Rites of Spring

my goodies

Originally uploaded by rteest42

Rites of Spring….

It is March. Twenty more days left of winter. What is winter though, when you live where the snowfall tends to be measured (by me, at least) in minutes on the ground, not inches?

For the first 37 years of my life, seasons had defined, proscribed roles. Summer was defined by the lack of spring. The gentler breezes, the cooler nights, the incessant green was spring. Summer was travel, heat, vacation. Free time. Lethargy. Steam and haze, the occasional blackout, fans turned backwards in opened windows. Fire hydrants opened, garden hoses spraying, waiting till dark to sit outside on the steps.

Summer is still HHH, but to the N th degree here. The windows won’t crack open after mid-May. The humidity by May, the temperature by May, will have destroyed any thought of spring, despite the month that is left of it.

Autumn once was colorful leaves, and crab apples falling, walking up and down the hilly streets in Randall Manor Trick-or-Treating with the girls, and kicking through piles of leaves. It was designing costumes based on what kind of outerwear or layers could be hidden underneath so it wasn’t too cold to remain outside after dark for hours.

Autumn here seems to be about 15 minutes long, and if you aren’t really appreciating the subtle changes, it seems that summer slips to winter without notice.

In my other life, winter meant snow –snow shovels, snow scrapers, snowballs, and snowmen. It meant there was at least one good snowfall, one that would obliterate the dirt, the grime; one that would cover the un-raked leaves. One that was deep enough to leave piles on the side of the road after the snowplow came through. Many years, these snow events occurred with enough frequency that the pile of discarded snow could be seen in parking lots long after Easter, slowly melting away, no longer appealing but rather a reminder that winter occurred. No snow days really, the City of New York doesn’t declare them (In Arlie’s entire 12 years in school there was ONE snow day, and only because Governor Pataki declared a State of Emergency in 1996)

But down here, winter gets you in this odd beginning grasp, and stops, mid-flight. The temperature falls, it goes down into the teens, but nothing more occurs. The next step seems to be missing from the playbook. All we get is the grey, and none of the wonder or the sparkle or the glow. Because the next thing you know, the forsythia is blooming, the birds are back, and the calendar page flips to March and winter has yet to HAPPEN. My first winter here, there was snowfall. It was approximately 1.5 inches, and my job called me out for the day!

Snow gave spring meaning. The Rites of Spring, for my first 37 years, were simply these two things. My birthday on the 3rd, and The Parade. The St. Patricks Day Parade, held on the second Sunday in March on Forest Avenue, Staten Island New York. And it didn’t matter if it rained on our parade. Or snowed. Or if you stood on the curb, snow piled around you and chilling you to the bones. A parade simply means that winter WILL
end, and that Spring will occur!!! Despite the fact there may be a blizzard the next week, the simple fact of the matter is that thousands of people would line the streets, suffer the cold, bundled up beyond recognition and stand outside for hours to watch the parade. To wave at the marchers they knew, to re-connect with neighbors they may not have seen during the craziness of the holidays, and the time that we stay hunkered down in our homes.

A goodly number were there for the beer. (Green or not, beer never did it for me, its aroma too close to the memory of my mother’s embrace to work for me) But beer or no, the friendship, the memories of hanging out with friends, wandering the avenue for hours on end, singing, laughing and carrying on, these are memories of spring. Of hope.

The idea of reaching my birthday each year without snowfall is disconcerting. It shocks me each year that my birthday has arrived because it couldn’t be SPRING yet, because where is the SNOW??

I have replaced my parade as a harbinger of spring with the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest, held in Hampton, the weekend before my birthday. It has become an annual event for me since moving here. Sometimes I go alone, sometimes with friends, always with excitement. I come home full of wonder, with bags of fabric, and my head bursting with ideas. This year was no exception. I have a list of at least three books (Pokey, Jane, Gloria)  I MUST own that I couldn’t buy because I spent all my money on fabric!!! (shocking, no??)

Springtime, here we come!

(The weatherman is calling for 3-6 inches overnight. I am so excited!!!!! I don’t trust him, or believe him, but I am thrilled by the thought!!!)

BELIEVE IT!! The snow came, and it STAYED…The Van is frozen shut so I am declaring a SNOW day, and then tomorrow, my birthday, I won’t feel gyped! I shall be posting pix at Flickr shortly, check out the sidebar!