Inchies Update

Enough of all this Bernina talk, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I’ve been working on the Inchies off and on, and have a total of 400 done as of this morning. I do have to go back and replace about 20 that I already made in a light grey to black color range, since they just don’t look right on the grey, black and white background of the quilt since all the other Inchies are colored. So that leaves about 134 left to do!

I spent a couple of hours this morning taking pictures of the Inchies and loading them up to the Inchie Gallery, and now there are so many pictures that I had to make a second page! As for the quilt itself, the borders are on, I’ve designed the quilting designs, and I’m waiting on blue washout markers to come in the mail from the States, so that I can trace the designs onto the quilt top. I’ve ordered threads, and I have batting and backing in hand, so I’m almost ready to quilt, and really looking forward to it.

While I was immersed in more Inchies this afternoon, I was thinking about why I like making them so much. I really enjoy making each and every one, even the ones that don’t turn out looking exactly like I envisioned. Each one is different; it’s a little work of art all on its own, and creating these small pieces with so much depth and texture is fascinating. When one is finished, I can move on to the next, and face a new challenge to make a cohesive artwork with texture, color and design.

Sometimes I’m frustrated by a few here and there, or it will take an incredibly long time to get one Inchie done just the way I want it, but this is mostly because I don’t have all the right colors or types of embellishments on hand for all the different colors of Inchies that I’m making for this quilt. If I’d collected more beads, baubles, bits, fibers and threads over the years, or if there was a decent shop for this kind of embellishment thing within a day’s drive, I’d be in better shape, but the holes in my collection are forcing me to get even more creative!

I don’t have any preconceived notions about how they should look either, unlike most of the other quilting projects that I’ve been working on for years. If I’m machine quilting, I know how it “should” look, especially if I’m quilting for show, and I strive to bring my workmanship up to that level. With this type of project, I don’t have to do that because there aren’t bunches of other people who have already “been there, done that.” It’s incredibly liberating to know that whatever I do, if I like it and think it looks good then it’s working, and there’s no bar for anyone else to raise on this one.

Overall, I’m enjoying the process immensely. It feels like exactly what I should be doing, if that makes any sense. I figured when I started this quilt that if I could make more than 500 Inchies and not be sick of them, it’s a keeper. At 400+ and counting, I’m not tired of them yet and my creative spirit is happy and content.

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Sunday Patchwork: Scraps, just scraps

Here’s a short update on the scraps and bits that are the work in progress of life right now:

I’m still working with the lighting in the new studio, trying to get enough of it where I need it. I’ve come to the conclusion that halogen spot lighting is essentially useless, at least it has been for me for everything I’ve tried to use it for. It’s dim and yellowed, and casts shadows in all the wrong places. In other words, while the light that I bought for the studio looks good hanging up there on the ceiling, it’s not much good to actually light up this large room. I actually Googled to try to figure out how many watts I should have in here based on the space, and came up with 900 watts. Heh, 900 watts is a really long way from what I have now, I must say. No wonder I feel like I’m in a cave at night or if it’s cloudy! Back to the hardware store we go…

The owners of the house we’re renting asked us if we would let them leave their household goods in the garage until the second week of May when they would pack it into the overseas shipping crates for the trip to Canada. It was going to cost them 100 Euro per day if they had to pack the crates and then have the stuff stored somewhere until they were ready to ship it all. We agreed thinking it was a great way to build goodwill with the new landlords.

Unfortunately, the stuff is still here in the garage at the beginning of June, and there is no definitive date when it might be leaving at this point. There is evidently some issue with their move and they are awaiting some paper from the Canadian government before they can proceed to pack things up and get on their way. And to top it off, when we ask about it, we’re told we need to be more patient! Patient was two weeks ago, and now we’re on to irritated, and rapidly approaching something even more vehement and ugly. I think I’ve filled up the goodwill account now thanks, and I want my garage so I can park my car in it. Yesterday, if you please. Grrrr.

The heat and humidity makes it difficult to concentrate, or maybe it’s just difficult to want to concentrate. I’m still tossing around the idea of an air conditioner, but I’m worried about the power consumption. I’ve figured out why we’re spending so much more on power and gas: the power company here, despite being the same company that we had in Stuttgart, charges more per kilowatt hour here, and natural gas is just plain expensive when compared with oil. So, I think melting is on the schedule this summer until I figure out if I really want to spend the kind of money it would take to have an air conditioner. Another Grrrr.

And since my new front yard is full of perennials, I’m now suffering from the worst allergies I’ve had in years. When we moved in there were a few daffodils and some hibiscus and that was okay, but now there are huge numbers of flowering “things” out there, and while most of them are pretty (except for the ugly mounds of Iris. Don’t get me started on the ugliest color of Iris blooms I’ve ever laid eyes on), frankly I’d just as soon they all died. Quickly and without throwing their pollen around on their way out! I can’t keep the windows shut of course, or the melting might turn to expiring without even the little bit of relief that the open windows provide. *sigh*

So, with melting and sneezing on the schedule every day right now as we experience the heatwave that is late May and early June in Germany some years and my front yard continuing to bloom in all it’s pollen-laden extravagance, I’ve found it difficult to motivate myself to do much more than the bare minimum, which is why it’s been a quiet week in the blogging department. Maybe I need to become nocturnal for the duration.

And lest you think it’s nothing but bad stuff and complaints for today, the good part is I have 216 Inchies done (of 510 needed) for my current project. I originally hoped I could manage to finish 20 Inchies per week, but I’m feeling pretty good that most weeks I’ve done 36, and some 72 even! Thus I’m way ahead of schedule on this project, which is undoubtedly a good thing since I’m still tossing ideas for a pretty critical part of it around in my head and can’t seem to see the right way forward just yet. Thankfully, there is time. Photo shooting of the 72 Inchies I completed since I put up the Gallery is on the schedule for tomorrow.

Here’s hoping for cloudy with a huge chance of rain! All week!!!

New! Gallery of Inchies

I’ve made a gallery to feature all the Inchies made for Elemental Changes. I’ll be adding photos to the Gallery as I finish the Inchies; I have 144 Inchies done of the 510 needed for Elemental Changes.

The Gallery is powered by a lovely piece of open source software called Highslide, made even easier to use by the Highslide JS Plugin for WordPress. I discovered Highslide through Kristin’s blog.

Enjoy the Inchie Gallery! More to follow…

More on the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt

Grasping Reality: Fifteen

I’ve added a bit more about the Grasping Reality: Fifteen quilt to the Gallery. Detail shots are coming, as soon as I get a chance to do some website programming on my own site! Read about the design of the quilt, where it originated, and see the original artwork that inspired it. See if you can guess where the quilt is destined to go! Enjoy!