What is it about January?

All gung-ho at the end of December, raring to go, resolutions in hand, and then…

A month, one 12th of the year, is almost gone, and yet…


That  …. pretty much sums up January, and I don’t quite know WHY.

MOTION is my word of the year, and I HAVE gotten out and walked (after forcing myself out of bed in the mornings; the direct result of staying up too late re-reading the Outlander series )  ….the running part of motion seems to be eliminated because my knees protested too much, but I am going to need to do a LOT more walking to be ready for the 10K….

I DID make it to both quilt meetings I had on my calendar,  but I DIDN’T remember to get any art into the PRAC show…

I HAVE sorted through 2300 digi images of the Year on the Appomattox and culled to 1300…

And so far, for my organization and decluttering project, I have cleaned out ONE closet. 

Can’t even blame it on the weather, because we are on day 6 in a row of over 60 degrees, we *may* have seen 20 minutes of sleet one night….

I have to get my arse in gear, don’t I? 

So, I’ve joined the CEO challenge at Quilting Adventures.

Sometime in the next 6 months, THESE six quilts are to be finished.

DSCF1033The Highwayman

DSCF1035Batik Cats

DSCF1036a VERY bad shot of Dresden plates

DSCF1037Chinese Coin

DSCF1038Wild Goose Chase

DSCF1039Autumn Leaves

This will dent my quilt pile of UFO’s not the slightest, sad to say.  And the desire to work on these will more than likely be overtaken by new projects, and other things as well….

But, little steps. Something has to get me out of the January doldrums!

P is for Puzzle…

The first of 6 bi-monthly quilt challenges is finished! Today other participants will also begin the great unveiling of their works of art.

The challenge from Three Creative Studios:

The word “PUZZLE”. No other requirement, other than not posting the completed quilt until at least today.

I decided that I would participate because I require deadlines to get things happening. And stretching is always good for the soul.

At approximately the same time, another quilt group (QuiltArt) I am a member of began discussing two topics, which eventually merged into another challenge. Topic one started in early January and was about your ‘word’ of the year. A lot of artists on the site had come up with the idea of a word that might pull their year into focus. It could have even been focus! Or create, or freedom, or finish. There were so many words, and so many interesting and unique reasons for them. Someone (inevitably) suggested that this word become a challenge quilt.

Someone mentioned that this was the 15th year of this online group. Eventually the powers that be decided a challenge for the Quinceanera of QuiltArt would be a 15” x 15” square quilt, hopefully utilizing some of the knowledge we had gained during our time there, and possibly, if we wanted to, incorporating our word of the year.

Well, I am all about killing two birds with one stone. So, here is my quilt, “P is for Puzzle,” which coincidentally was created 15” x 15”  so it can be for both challenges.

My idea was that I wanted to use my word of the year was a crossword puzzle. (Words, you know. And puzzles. See how easy?)

Anyway, devoted readers of this blog (all 3 of you) may recall my word this year is BALANCE.

Many pages of graph paper later I discovered it was almost impossible to have the word BALANCE become the center word in a 15 x 15 letter crossword. At least it was if I wanted the other words in the puzzle to have any connection to quilting, art, or me.  And finally, that seemed kind of OK. After all, my favorite quote of all time is– “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” (John Lennon, Beautiful Boy, 1980)

Life is a balancing act; no matter how much you strive to to lean one way or the other, in order to center yourself, some part of your life may become out of balance. But still you manage to carry all of the parts of you, and some parts tilt to one side for a while, and others get pushed off in directions you wouldn’t have chosen or expected.

I had originally wanted (visualized, really) striped fabrics, but I have put the restriction on myself that nothing may be purchased solely for this series of challenges. None of my fabrics spoke to me. They didn’t do what I envisioned.

After letting go of the stripe idea, two fabrics immediately found their way into my newly opened eyes. They incorporated my favorite color palette, they balance roughly across the color wheel as complementary, they offer both rest and movement.

p is for puzzle p is the puzzlebalance passion

Quick tips on the construction. After finding the fabrics, I cut two 8×8 squares of each and made a large 4 patch. Then I painted with a wash of Dynaflow, Pebeo and Golden acrylics to get a slightly more cohesive color.

I quilted a simple grid pattern, 15 one inch squares, I then dug through my ample scrapbooking, rubberstamping, art and jewelry supplies to find enough letters to spell out my words. Timmy drilled holes in Scrabble tiles for three of the words. They are my words for the two challenges and my word of the year.

I made a stencil from freezer paper for my large P (for Puzzle, Purple, and my name, Patricia!) and used Dynaflow and Golden Interference paint to color. I played around with some of the decorative stitching to create something of an Illuminated P. Random unused squares have been painted or had glitter applied.

I am happy with the way it turned out, and anxious to see what the next challenge will be!

In other quilting/photo news, I chose this photo for the latest challenge on Dgrin… the fabrics I used for the quilt above just happened to be sitting on the ironing board and I spotted the light….the challenge was SILHOUETTES…2010_FEB iRon-16 copybw

(Looking for some 27-thing encouragement?? Hey, guys, the Olympics are still on. Find something to do that you can take to the couch!!! Mending those clothes that you didn’t fling but needed buttons maybe??)

27-Things will be back next week, just in time for Spring Cleaning!!!!!!