adjective: scrappy – consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts. Synonyms – feisty, tenacious, determined, persistent
This week I sat in with one of the many quilting groups that sets up shop at the Ranch. This group calls themselves “Ranch Hands” – they are an eclectic bunch of traditional, modern, and everything in between, quilters. Usually when I join in I’ll have a project I want to finish or a particular goal in mind but this week I didn’t have time or inclination to figure anything out so I just brought my sewing machine and some thread and decided to make something from the scrap table. For the non-quilters out there – quilters love their fabric, they buy it, store it, save it, use it then there is always some left over. Generally, not being a wasteful bunch, they don’t want to throw out their beautiful scraps, so they bring left over fabric in all sizes and place on the give away table. So the scrap table was my inspiration. Someone had brought an array of plaids. None of the swaths of plaid where larger than about 12 inches square– but there where a lot to choose from so I got busy picking my colors. In the mix there were just a few reds so that became the middle of my wonky, scrappy, blocks. I created 5 improvisational log cabin blocks using yellows and golds, and 5 more using greens all with a red square in the center. Once I had them all laid out I thought I should break from the plaid grid of the whole thing and put in some improvisational curves. The result was 10 squares part gold part green. Now a purpose emerged – I would put these all together in a long autumnal table runner. Going back the the scrap table I found strips of green with a circle print and they were already cut 3 inches wide! Onward I went backing, quilting and binding all from the bounty of the scrap table. My scrappy improv quilt fits the definition above: a bit disorganized and untidy but also wonderfully feisty and determined to become something from nothing. It was a pleasure to step away from a plan and just let inspiration rule the day. A good reminder that sometimes not knowing what you’re doing can lead you down an interesting path.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I am a big fan of Valentine’s Day, not the romantic love kind of Valentine’s Day (although I’ll take when I get it) with all its pressures and expectations; but the homemade, fill a box at school kind of Valentine’s Day. Some years ago I abandoned sending out Christmas cards and opted for Valentine cards instead. As a kid I loved Valentine’s Day at school, decorating the Kleenex box as mail box, making the valentines cards copying each classmates names carefully from the list, walking around the delivering the cards to everyone’s letter box perched on each desk, then taking my stash home and nibbling the candy treats, sorting the Valentine’s into piles, reading and reexamining each one. As a grown up I like to give a little of that school days happiness to my friends and family still. So here is a little digital Valentine for you in your virtual mailbox. I made these stuffed hearts this week at a quilt retreat I attended here at The Bishop’s Ranch. As the week went on the scraps in the scrap box began to pile higher and higher with tantalizing patterns and colors in every fistful. I took a few back to my sewing station and channeling my childhood self stitched, zigged, zagged and stuffed these scrappy love notes to share with you.
I hope you have a love filled day and if you have a chance to commit a few random acts of love today I hope you seized the moment…..CARPE AMO!