(Ok, I'm not really a witch, but I probably would have been burned at the stake in 17th century Salem.
I am a big fan of midwifery, pirates, and eating a peck of dirt before you die.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why I do this

So I had to take a break from the silks and fancy-schmancy quilt making to get real.

I had picked up these glorious fabrics at Cloth and Bobbin in Narberth, and this sweet Amy Butler pattern. I was going to make "matching" Mom and daughter dresses. The pattern is great because it has both girls and ladies sizes, and you can make 5 different length tops/dresses.

I made Ella's first.

But when Lily saw it, she wanted one, too. That made me happy.

I finally finished mine, but I didn't take a picture yet because I was too busy marveling at this:

Sometimes life just has a way of being so perfect.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Stitchy Post

So, one of the things I'm learning about blogging, is it takes up time. And I am the kind of person who struggles with doing something that takes time from things I want to be doing. So, now, as I make this post, I'm wishing I was working on the thing that I am posting about, and not just blogging about it. Ah, the perils of virtuality. I just made up that word. Look, if Shakespeare could do it, so can I.

Voila. The 2009 People's Light & Theatre Auction Quilt (top).

Every year since 2000 I have donated a "hand crafted" quilt to People's Light, my artistic home. In 2000, the quilt sold for $12,500. It was one of the proudest and most shocking moments of my life. Every year, the quilt is featured in the fund raising event, so much so that I don't even have to have it finished, or conceived even, before auction date. Now, PL&T auctions off the "promise" of one of my quilts and, although they've never fetched quite the ridiculous amount it did in 2000 (that was before 9/11, remember), it is a much anticipated moment. Go figure. All monies from the auction benefit the People's Light Project Discovery programs, which brings theater and its processes to thousands of students yearly. This is a program I've worked in extensively, and believe in wholly, and am eternally grateful to for shaping my approach to theater, and thus, my love and life.

Back to the quilt. This year, it's a Bargello pattern, one I've used before, and, like every year, I use remnants of fabrics used in the costumes from productions from the current season.

A couple of previous years' auction quilts:

This used calicos from the production of SPLITTIN' THE RAFT, a 4 character telling of the Huck Finn story, so there were some great 19th century vintage fabrics. I think this was my favorite. It was hard to give it away, but the winners are dear friends, so I know it is well-loved.

This is more typical auction quilt style. I like how the stars almost twinkle.

So: the Bargello is fun because the design emerges out of precise ordering of pieces and a kind of mathematical system. It appeals to my love of geometry, and beauty unfolding out of pattern.

Strips of different widths await their turn in the pattern. I manage the unpredictability of the fabrics (these are mostly silks and they shed and fray terribly) by keeping them uber-organized. I learned (too late for this year's project) from the awesome lady at my new favorite fabric store in Narberth, Cloth and Bobbin, that using very lightweight fusible interfacing before cutting the strips make fancy fabrics much more manageable.

It's funny. Putting the strips together doesn't really pay off until they are all connected. It starts off looking very blocky and formulaic and I wondered if I hadn't made a terrible mistake in the pattern and choice of colors. They don't really talk to each other and move together until it is complete.

Cool, huh? I know, the colors are whacked from different lighting, but it really is the same quilt.

I like the trippy picture because it really captures how this very precise, strict patterning ends up creating so much movement when completed.

Then just add some borders and off we go.

It really is quite luscious, even if completely unusable. I guess some quilts just get to live the lazy life and their only job is hanging on some wall and looking pretty. It doesn't appeal to my pragmatic nature, but there you have it.
Sometimes beauty is just, well, Beauty.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

There is only one good place to start: that is with Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding, baby!

First, I was forced to simmer the pears in lots of butter and sugar.  It was torture, I tell you.

Then the recipe made me bake it over the Challah Bread that had been soaking in vanilla custard overnight .  How dare they.

Look what happened! I was burdened with this heart stopping desert that even my 10 year old swooned for.  I should be put in jail for this.

This recipe came from Meg's unbelievable book "Rustic Fruit Desserts" that, in many ways, was one of the inspirations for starting this blog about how even disorganized artist mothers can have blog-worthy moments in our lives.  Note the word "moments". We can't claim to live like this all the time.  But I like the idea of catching the beautiful moments when they happen, and I think Meg and I inspire each other to do that.

I promise there will be a "stitchy" post soon, so as to live up to what we've named this crazy venture.  Meg, maybe you want to post the first "stitch"?

Today: eat something that just makes you happy, even if it isn't technically healthy.  Mental health will improve.