Nosegay Comments

You might remember that I moved the blog over to WordPress (here) in February or so of this year. The Blogger version of this blog still exists, but It is not being updated. Thus, I was surprised to get a comment on the Blogger version of my blog. I am glad people are still finding their way to my quilt words. The comment was about the Nosegay, attached to a post from January about the completion of the Nosegay. The commenter, MaryJane,  was not at all happy with my choice of colors for that project. Sadly, she did not leave an email or a blog where I could go an look at her stuff.

This has made me think about comments on blogs. It makes me wonder why people leave comments and why someone would feel compelled to say my color choice for that project was ‘quite awful.’ They might really be quite awful, but her comment was really not helpful. Why were the color choices awful? Is there some color rule that I broke? Or is the comment just a reflection of her love for lumpy colors (as the Child calls them) like grey, khaki, beige, and olive?

And granted, as I have admitted, the photos of the Nosegay aren’t that good. None of the ones I have taken do it justice. It is a large quilt and difficult to photograph. As soon as our financial situation changes, I plan to take it to my professional photographer and have it photographed by someone with a space large enough to do it properly.

In public spaces, I really try to say something nice about a project even if it is not the style or colors I would choose. I feel sorry for MaryJane. I think she must be an unhappy person who had to rain on my parade to feel better about herself. Or perhaps, she is just mean and nasty, or someone who intensely dislikes me and disguised his/her identity.

I like the colors I chose for the Nosegay and think that it is a cheerful quilt. Still, the comment made me think and, I have to admit, threw me for a loop.

The Artquiltmaker blog on Blogger has good info, but all of it has been transferred here to WordPress, so I implemented some safety features on that Blogger blog to send people over here to Commenting there may not be as easy for you as it once was. I didn’t feel right in removing her comment, however, and this is a good compromise.

Everyone should feel free to comment honestly on my blog, however, it would be much appreciated if criticism were constructive. Also, ‘man up’ and put your contact information so we can have a constructive conversation.

I am not sure why I am writing this since my regular readers are supportive and constructive in the comments I have received. (Thanks, TFQ, Quilt Rat, SherriD, Beena, Julie and everyone else!) I have to remind myself this was probably an isolated incident that has really nothing to do with me put out there by an unhappy person.

Fair Visit

Nosegay, August 2009
Nosegay, August 2009

I went to the San Mateo County Fair on Saturday. I was really pleased to discover that The Nosegay had won a 3rd place ribbon.

Third place isn’t first place, but I am so happy that I won something. It has been awhile since I won a ribbon. I couldn’t have done it without Colleen of Sew Little Time Quilting. She is a fabulous longarmer. She also sells fabric, teaches and designs patterns. Her longarm work is out of this world.

Anyway, I am reinspired to enter this quilt somewhere else. We’ll see if I can get my act together.

In general the Fair was fun. I ate two, yes 2, frozen, chocolate and nut covered bananas. I love them so much!! They just say fair to me. We saw fireworks, got free ice cream, watched hucksters and hawkers, and some people rode rides. I didn’t have as much time with the quilts as I would have liked, but got some nice pictures and will have some time to look at them carefully later.

Nosegay Photos

Nosegay, mostly full
Nosegay, mostly full

On Sunday, the sun was right, I had an assistant and time to fool around, so I went outside and  made an attempt to take full photos of the Nosegay and the Eye Spy. They are large and hard to photograph in the house.

The session wasn’t quite as successful as I had hoped. I did get more of the Nosegay in one picture than I ever had before, but not all of it. I have to face reality that it is a HUGE quilt and I may never have the space to photograph the whole thing. I may break down and take it somewhere to be professionally photographed.

Nosegay, corner detail
Nosegay, corner detail

I took the opportunity to take some straight on detail shots. Right, is a corner – or most of the corner. There was a slight breeze that seemed to kick in just as I snapped the shutter.

Nosegay, center detail
Nosegay, center detail

This bottom photo is the center of the quilt. The whole reason this quilt is so big is because I put everything on point and had to have all the blocks spaced a certain way.  I hope it brings tears to the eyes of quilt historians someday, because at this moment the quilt feels like a big pain!

I am glad I got the photos I did. I had waited for a long time for everything to be right to photograph this quilt.

Nosegay: Finally, Completely, Really Finished

The Nosegay is finally finished.

The binding is on. The piecing is finished. The sleeve has been handstitched on to the back. It is a large quilt, so I will have to post it again after I get a professional photo taken.

I finished sewing the sleeve on to the back while watching The Queen last Saturday night while the boys were gone. I had to watch some of the bonus features (sadly, no deleted scenes) in order to get the last bit done.

So many “hands” have touched this work. By that I mean I have received so much help with this project: TFQ, quiltmakers from CQFA, Doreen Speckman, the teacher of the class in which I started the project, Colleen.

I am thrilled to have a finished project – a quilt project.

A Monkey Finally Off My Back

When I got to my workroom this morning the back of the Nosegay was glaring at me and I could only sigh. I didn’t want to work on it. I had, somewhere in the back of my mind, wished that it would just be done. I thought about taking out Sharon’s quilt blocks and just ignoring the back of the Nosegay. It seemed too big, too much, too old, too depressing. I felt like I just couldn’t do it. Still, I knew that if I didn’t just do it, it would glare at me forever. Since the thing has been hanging around since 1998 and I wanted it done in my lifetime, I decided to just do a couple of rows. After all, if I did a couple of rows every week, it would eventually get done.

I arranged some 1930s scraps that were laying on my cutting table into a largish block and sewed them together. That kind of warmed me up and I sewed on a row of the blue and a row of the 1930s fabric and laid it out. I found that I had sewed more than half! Halfway done! I couldn’t believe it. How did that happen? That spurred me on.
I sewed entire FQ pieces into long rows and sewed them to the back. Each strip took about 2.75 yards of fabric. It took me about 3-4 hours, but I finished the entire back. The back is done. Whew!

I had been wondering if I shouldn’t just take Thoughts on Dots and Serendipity Puzzle to the quilter and bring the Nosegay later. Now I don’t have to. I will call the quilter and see if I can bring the quilts over, then I will be free of them for a time.

I am so thrilled!

I didn’t get through as much of the 1930s fabric as I had hoped, but I only have about 1/2 a bin left. I think I may put the fabrics with each color family rather than segregating them.

I have to say that the colors depress me a little bit with their muted tones and sweet little designs and I am tempted to just send them off to someone.

Nosegay Finished!

Some time has gone by since I last wrote and I hope my faithful readers have not given up on this blog. Since I last wrote, I haven’t been doing much of anything creative. However, the top for the Nosegay is finished! St. JCN’s visit was the first weekend in May and extremely productive in a lot of ways. Although we did not get to do everything we wanted (we never do!), we did get to do a number of fun things on the list, one of which was finishing the Nosegay.

The Nosegay was started in a class with Doreen Speckman at Black Cat Quilts. It was the last class she taught at Black Cat before she died. This class was held in about 1997 or 1998. I worked on it on and off, but fairly steadily until I came to the border. The quilt is huge and, thus, unwieldy to work on alone. St. JCN has helped me on and off but other quilts took precendence since the 90s and the Nosegay was relegated to the closet. At some point a few years ago, in an attempt to move the project along, we made border blocks. St. JCN is very good at helping me work through problems. She is also generous with her time and excellent at keeping me on track. We (I?) decided that the time had come to deal with Nosegay. First we looked over all the notes I had from the past efforts (I keep a file on each quilt and stuff everything related to it in the file). One note had been on my bulletin board so long that the ink had faded to a point where we could no longer read it! We also measured the border blocks and the quilt itself. We discussed how to get the border blocks to fit and tried a couple of different options.

I did like the black, in theory, as it echoed the cone in each of the Nosegay blocks, but it really looked like a big blob of black in each corner. The other colors are very pastel-y, thus we thought it was important to watch how the black fit in. I also liked the idea of a different shape in each corner to take the viewers mind off of the fact that the border blocks didn’t fit perfectly.

The yellow looked nice in the corner and was pastel so it worked with the other colors. It also fit with my concept of the different shape to draw attention away from the spacing issue, but again we had the big blob problem. A big blob of fabric in the corner drew too much attention to the area we wanted to mask.

Finally, we selected the above arrangement of border blocks as the best option. Even though the spacing isn’t even when you get to the corners, the blocks being similar draws less attention to the problem area.

Lorraine Torrence is one of my favorite teachers. She is organized, not sentimental, friendly in a professional way and provides useful information. One of her precepts, which has proven very useful to me, is “make visual decisions visually.” This means that a quiltmaker needs to make design decisions by looking at how the design will look IRL before starting to sew and cut. I did this with the black and yellow options above. In the case of the black, I actually sewed a few blocks and we tried them out. In the case of the yellow, St. JCN and I folded the fabric in some semblance of how the block would look. This is a much better method than just thinking it would look good. If I hadn’t looked at the design visually, I would have probably gone with the black and ended up with blocks that drew attentio to an area, I really didn’t want anyone to notice.