Monday, March 23, 2020

From the She Cave

Since the gravity of the Coronavirus settled-in last week, it's been challenging to deal with a range of emotions: sadness, disbelief, hopefulness, despair, gratefulness, acceptance, faith.... You too?

Mostly there's an awful grappling with the surreality of the world.

I FaceTimed last week with my friend Edith @swissquilter in Switzerland, and today with my friend Di @darlingdi in Sydney, Australia. They're each living through exactly what we are in the US. Is it wrong to find a little bit of comfort in that? Like... we're all in this together. But each day the vastness of the pandemic smacks me again in the face.

Di says she wakes up each morning feeling a weight, something heavy on her mind. Then, she's gobsmacked all over again, remembering that coronavirus is threatening everyone, and she is self-isolating. The daily re-realization is still hard to come to terms with.

Then there's learning a new normal. Practice social distancing. Staying at home, and generally accepting that attending activities won't happen for... indefinitely. Last Tuesday, March 17, our Kansas City families learned that schools have been suspended through the end of the school year. Kids won't return to school until August! I can't help but empathize with high school seniors who will miss a graduation ceremony, and more. My sympathies lie with our daughter too, who now must not only run her tech company from home, but figure out how to homeschool nine and ten year old boys. It's the same scenario for our Texas family. Working parents certainly have even greater burdens.

We had planned an early April trip to Kansas City, to celebrate my dad's 90th birthday. Of course, that's postponed indefinitely. But the trip meant missing the April 6 Central Florida MQG meeting where Mid-Century Modern Artist Challenge quilts would be revealed. Though that meeting too has been cancelled, I hadn't planned to enter because 1) I wouldn't be at the meeting for the reveal; and 2) my 2020 goal is to make only large, useable quilts. I had no time to make a big quilt.

Coronavirus changed everything.

As a maker, I am somewhat bolstered by the awareness that I can spend every day in my sewing room.

Except for an hour of daily exercise, I'm now in my "she cave," as Dan calls it, all the time.

From solid fabrics I started cutting out diamond shapes to make a quilt inspired by this Victor Vasarely artwork. I tried a layout with triangle-in-a-square blocks made a couple years ago. No good.

Then, I switched out the triangles with Drunkard's Path blocks made with a Classic Curves ruler. Better.

More blocks, and more iterations of the layout. Darks to the center; lights to the outside. This is near to how it looks as I've begun piecing.

I'm fairly certain I sometimes lose my mind when creating, because I sure wasn't thinking about how  those angles would need to be pieced! They're nearly all set-in seams. I can safely say that more than half of every sewn intersection has been taken apart and resewn to achieve a modicum of accuracy. 

Dan walked in and commented that my she cave had "blown up," and I should take a picture. Don't ya love a creative mess?

Wednesday was my birthday - a birthday I'll now always associate with Coronavirus. Since we couldn't safely go out for dinner, Dan said he'd make me whatever I wanted. No problem! His pizza is amazing, in large part due to the fact he makes a scratch crust. He started it in the morning, refrigerated it, punched it down, chilled it again... and then worked his magic, even adding bacon among the toppings. It was fantastic!

Saturday was "National Quilting Day," and until I saw on IG that South Florida MQG encouraged members to hang a quilt outside (on a front door, across a railing, on a garage door), I didn't think much about it. So, my 2018 Charming Postage Plus quilt hung in the Bismarck palm, along with a sign "National Quilting Day" until two fellas came to mow the lawn in the mid-afternoon.

A testament to how life has changed is Sunday morning worship. I am grateful that I can still attend church online. Sitting in my favorite chair, looking out at a beautiful day, and hearing the good Word from a skilled pastor is the best way to be assured that God is still in control. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 is a reminder that we're jars of clay, and power is found in the Lord. 

During these days of isolation, if you're in need of a good Word from God, go to this webpage to attend one of Lutheran Church of Hope's many weekend worship services. Also, I highly recommend "Pastor Mike Drop," a new podcast filled with humor and good messages.

In random news... The Modern Quilt Guild has announced a display of temperature quilts at QuiltCon 2022. In their publicity about it, the MQG used a picture of my temp quilt (they first asked for permission). Mine is in the middle.  

Also, the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild (Australia) created quilt kits from blocks made and sent for bushfire-affected families. My tree of Australia quilt block was included in the publicity about the kits. Mine is the top middle block, and I have a tutorial here on my blog.

On April 15, I'm supposed to begin teaching the first of five Beginner Quiltmaking lessons. Though at this point I don't think the class will start on that date, I'm working on a new quilt design to offer students. I always offer four patterns to choose from, and I wanted a modern option.

This is an EQ8 version of the design I came up with. It intentionally includes features I want to teach: 1) single patches; 2) strips sewn together and subcut; 3) half-square triangles; and 4) borders, as negative space. I'm piecing it now. 

Two more audiobooks are on my "Books Read" list, but neither of them are getting high scores. Since our public library stopped allowing us to check out Hoopla audiobooks, we've been left with only Axis 360 and RBDigital titles. Those book selections are less than up-to-date releases. 

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers by Terri-Lynne DeFino is about Cecibel, an orderly at a retirement home who befriends several of the home's residents, including a famous author whose work she greatly admires. Lost in her own world of secrets and a tragedy that leaves half her face disfigured, Cecibel becomes involved in the unexpected development of a book that several of the seniors start writing, passing off each subsequent stage of the story to one after the other, without planning the storyline development. Much of this book is about that on-going ficticious story of unattainable love. The story is interesting, but unmemorable.

Linda's score: 2.8/5.0
When I began listening to The Vow, written by Kim and Krickett Carpenter, I was engaged because I quickly realized that the co-authors were writing about their own, real-life, faith-filled story. The book follows the path of their meeting, falling in love, wedding, and a few months later, a horrible automobile accident that caused Krickett to lose her memory of Kim. The rest of the book is about Kim staying with Krickett through her rehabilitation, wooing her, their "remarriage" (Krickett was unable to ever remember their first wedding), and "happily ever after." I loved reading about the power of God and prayer in both their lives. I knew that a movie by the same name had been made in 2012. What I didn't know until writing this review is that after 25 years of marriage, in 2018 Kim admitted unfaithfulness, and they divorced. So much for the vow.  

Linda's score: 2.5/5.0

I hope you're finding peace in your self-isolation. Linda


Susan Snooks said...

Firstly, happy birthday Linda! I’m sorry I forgot it. I don’t feel I’m am a good friend when birthdays come and go without my noting and remembering! Dans pizza certainly looks delicious. As far as your sewing goes, you are certainly on a roll. I personally love the diamonds design. I was thinking of moving a diamond or half rectangle square design quilt up the to-to list! But I need to finish my grading to end the term. Unofficially we are on holidays but I must give feedback to the students who have submitted their work for assessment. Surreal times indeed.

Robbie said...

Your beautiful, bright quilts made my day!!!! Belated Happy Birthday!!!

Quilting Babcia said...

Oh my gosh, I love your new creation, so very Escher-esque! I had to turn the tablet in all directions to see it from every angle. I love how it looks on the design wall where the blocks just sort of fade off on the margins. Happy birthday only a week late.

Karen @runsewfun said...

A melancholy post but still hopeful and, as always, I love your bright, beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing your honest feelings beautifully. Congrats on the exposure and a belated happy birthday!

Teresa said...

Reading through your blog I can so relate to what you are saying. I am so thankful for faith in a loving God as it is the only thing that is keeping me sane. My quilting does provide a diversion from the world and I am getting things done, but look forward to the day we see things start to get better, rather than worse each day.

Martha said...

Happy Birthday a bit late!!! I love your quilting projects, so light, so happy and cheerful. We so need to see the light because it does feel so dark lately. I am still working, so today I am off to the office. We will be doing phone call office visits, so odd but so needed. I still have daily medications to call in and then I am hoping the admin of Samaritan Health are still OK with me bringing in one of my sewing machines to continue making masks for patients and office people. We shall see today!! Thank you Linda, you cheered up my day with all your beautiful news!!!

Nancy said...

Your thoughts are well said, Linda. Things have changed, and will continue to. We can hope it's for the better. Is there a "virtual school" curriculum your daughter can enroll the children in to watch at home while she works? Such challenges for working parents. Your block play is fun and the piecing is not for the faint of heart! I'm off to look into the links you provided- thanks for those. I also enjoy Pastor Robert Morris- a good Bible teacher.

Ptcquilter said...

Love the Mid Century modern design. It is interesting to see the design morph from lots of angles to soft, light and airy curves to the dark center but still the softer edges of the curves. It certainly catches all the feelins so many of us are experiencing. No there is nothing wrong in taking comfort knowing we are not alone iin what is happening. I have also been keeping up with world wide friends via FT, Whats App and Skype and as you discovered they are in very similar situations and sharing a the same wide range of emotions. Some are under even stricter shelter in place orders. There is also joy in sharing with friends at this time. Sunday afternoon 4 of us had a virtual "sew-in" via Skype and it was a nice break to be chatting, sewing and providing encouragement. Glad you and Dan are both well and we all have projects to keep us busy. Stay safe, Judi

Ptcquilter said...

Oh and Happy Belated Birthday!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

I really enjoyed reading this.
I love all of your snazzy quilts, so this new one on your wall is very lovely and vibrant. Your room is not that messy.
I have been lazy, face timing both daughters and babies almost every day, and long long times playing singing games together, farting around with fabric, sewing stuff, online shopping, tv. Oh yes, I love your old Lutheran Church and do listen to the services. Mike is wonderful.
I am so happy you shared this church with me last year.
The two books you listened to sound a lot like the tv shows hubbs finds in the evening to watch. In the end, my brain feels like it needs to delete the whole thing. Just not worth remembering.
Happpy Birthday to YOU. Birthdays are good, and I know you are loved so so much.
I am so happy you have two of your quilts displayed on large exciting announcements You are just amazing, Linda.
Stay healthy. I am trying to be productive, a little every day

Deb said...

I am smiling about Dan thinking your she cave is a mess. With all the work you are doing, I think it looks great. Everything in there is bright and happy. Yes, the virus has certainly impacted all of our activities. I miss personal social contact most of all. We are focusing on good things here and staying in as much as possible. I love hearing/reading about acts of kindness we are showing one another. We will get through this and come out stronger.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Love what you're doing with those diamonds and drunkard's path blocks. Hang in there for all the Y-seams. It's a very dynamic layout and will be worth the effort. Stay health and safe in your she cave. I'm in my studio everyday as usual and yet it feels different. Sewing, reading and daily walks are my norm anyway, but restricting my news intake and online time has certainly helped with the anxiety of the situation.

Debbie said...

I adore the project that has blown up your studio!!!! And Dan's pizza.... whoa. Wishing you many blessings in the new year, in spite of the corona-birthday!

Mary Ann said...

Will your hubby share his pizza crust recipe?? Happy Belated


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