Monday, August 29, 2011

They’re Off!

...and Our Flag Was Still There

 The quilts that I have been working on for the last 2 years are off to Houston.  Thank God. There were times I didn’t think I would every get them done.   Not that I didn’t want them done, just the opposite.  It was finding the time to quilt them which has been my problem.
Monet In Pasadena
You see, I am finally making somewhat of a living doing my art. This is a dream come true.  Most artists have to die before there is any market for their art.  Not me, I thought.  I will teach and lecture and that will offset my fabric habit.  But I forgot one important thing – with teaching and lecturing comes the loss of time to do my art. 
 I have so over booked myself this year with traveling the circuit that I have not had that precious time to just be creative and I can’t live without being creative.  I get very depressed if I go too long without studio time.  And maybe money is overrated, anyway.   Joey may not like this but next year will be different and balance will be my theme.
 The green clamps are holding the weight of the quilt off the table.
But the most exciting news is while I was rushing to get my quilts stitched I invented a pulley system to hold the weight of my big quilts while I am quilting them.   I have had this idea ever since I saw a contraption that Carol Bayer Fallert uses.  I think she said it was for lifting patients out of bed so you could do God knows what to them in the hospital or at home.  I’m not sure where to get one of those devices so I had to improvise.  This was also project weekend for Joe.   Someone in our family, while flushing the toilet, dropped her glasses that were on her head down the potty as the water was swirling. Oops!  So off to Home Depot with Joe I went.  I told him about my pulley ideas and he still wanted to help me but only after he snaked out the potty first.  That was only fair.
On our list was:  2 pulleys, 2 eye hooks, yards of rope cording, the type used for making clotheslines, and 2 hand spring clamps. Oh yeah, we also needed a snaky thingamajig for the toilet.
Once home, Plumber Joe, not to be confused with Electrician Joe, Gardner Joe, Pool Boy Joe, Car Detailer Joe, Accountant Joe, Web Master Joe or Tree Trimmer Joe, went into action. First he asked me if I wanted the glasses back. I said I don’t think so.  He then extended the snaky line and jammed it down the hole.  Then he tried to pull it back out and it wouldn’t budge.  It was stuck.  I offered some helpful advice and was told to get out of the room.  What? A loving wife can’t offer guidance?  I mean, without me we wouldn’t even be enjoying this time together.

Then I heard more of what sounded like a tug of war with the snake and the commode.  And then this cracking sound and those wonderful words   I think I got it, followed by the most magical flushing sound.   Joe then announced that he had just saved us $200 and all the aerobic exercise that goes along with a 2 story home with no working toilet on the ground floor. As he was winding up his trusty snake, he wondered if he could return the snake and get his $50 back as it was hardly used and the blockage it freed was made of glass and plastic, not that other stuff.  I said I didn’t think that was a good idea.

Now to the studio we went.  Joe was feeling quite manly and ready to tackle my project.  
The Pulley
Here are some pictures of the pulley system.  It really is pretty simple and it works. My quilts are very heavy because of all the fabrics and thread.  
Hooks in the beam on the ceiling.
In my Monet in Pasadena quilt I used 6300. yards of thread @ $4 per spool.  That works out to $125.  just in thread, not including all the half used spools still left. 

 That is a lot of money but it’s worth it.  On both of these quilts I used a dark solid backing fabric to show my thread work on the back.  It shows all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly.  It’s like a painting in thread and I love it. I also use at least 33 different colors of Sulky Rayon 30 weight thread.  My new favorite sewing needle is Superior's Titanium Top Stitch needle, size 80/12.
 Look for them at IQA in Houston and ask a Quilting Angel to turn the quilt over so you can see the thread painting on the back.
Gotta run.   Joe is now talking about trimming trees in the front yard.  OMG!


  1. I can't wait to see a full picture of your quilts! All of your quilts are absolutely gorgeous--I am always in awe. I own your books, but do not quilt like you--just wish I could thread paint a little more like you! Lol--

  2. Stunning! Sure to impress the judges! Thank you for sharing the pulley system-I would love to do this myself but I don't think DH would appreciate all the hardware in the office!

  3. In your "spare time" you should be a writer. I got a kick out of your post. Your quilts look beautiful. I'll look for them in Houston. Thank you for using our needles, they are the best for sure.

    That's a great pulley system too. I need to show it to Dog-walker Sam.