Journey (too) by Nadine Ruggles

A Journey to Mom’s Place

Now that the gift has been given, I can share it here! When my mom saw Journey, the plush horse that I made from bits of The Misery Quilt, she asked if I could make her one. That was a complete no-brainer! Of course I could make her one!

My Journey now has a sister! This little girl is also named Journey, since my mom liked the name and the story behind it all so much. So in my head, this is Journey(too)! 🙂 Read More

The Misery Quilt by Nadine Ruggles

The Fate of the Misery Quilt

Much of the last few years has been spent feeling guilty about all the quilting supplies and other “stuff” that I have that I don’t use, and when I do work with it on Inchie quilts (thinking “I should really finish all that because I have ten new Inchie quilts completed ready to pattern…”) or some of the other ideas I have for quilts, I get overwhelmed pretty quickly by all of the things I’d need to do to get back into the “business of quilting.” The patterning, marketing, teaching, social media mixing and many other things drive me away from my studio before I ever really get started on much.

I tend to create in fits and starts, with long periods of ambivalence in between. Sure there have been outside issues that have contributed to this cycle of short-but-wild bursts of motivation interspersed with longer bouts of near-apathy (lack of time, health issues, family things) but at bottom, it’s a problem in my head and heart more than anything else. The longer this continues, the more I miss the creative energy and motivation that used to be a part of my daily life. Read More

UFO storage

The Real Problem with Quilting UFOs

I’ve been thinking about my collection of quilting UFOs lately. Well, a little more than usual, I guess. I have quite a few, though I don’t know exactly how many anymore. Some I think about quite frequently, and others I totally forget about until I go pawing through the boxes looking for something unrelated and happen to find them again. I’m starting to wonder if it’s about time for another purge though.

The problem isn’t that they’re stuffed in boxes everywhere: Read More

Patches, Shadow and the Misery Quilt @DreamWeaver's Quilts

That Creative Spark Still Burns

It seems quilting isn’t really done with me, or perhaps I’ve just figured out that I’m not done with quilting. Maybe it just takes more time than you’d believe to get past total burnout. Remember that ambivalence? Well, I’ve spent a lot of time over the last three and more years trying to answer the question “What do I want to do now?” I’m lucky that I have the luxury to even consider that, I know.

I’ve thought about (and tried) a lot of different things that I could pursue instead of quilting and textile art: drawing, mixed media art, programming, web design, web and mobile app creation, photography, and so on. It all goes back to how much resources I’d need to devote to be able to accomplish what I’d want to at the level I’d want to be at, and it’s just too much time, effort, and in some cases money, to invest in something that doesn’t speak to me as clearly and as loudly as quilting and textile art always has.

To state it another way, and this is a bit more brutal: I think I’m just too lazy to invest the time and energy it would take to be as good at any of that other stuff as I am at quilting. Yep, I can just admit that I’m lazy. Quilting is still a comfort zone as well. Or it is again…or something. Read More

Paisley Pavane Visits Quilt Odyssey in Pennsylvania

Paisley Pavane traveled to Pennsylvania for the Quilt Odyssey show a couple of weeks ago. I almost forgot entirely that it was there, partly because of the moving confusion still hanging around on some things, and partly because I didn’t actually pack up the quilt and send it there myself; the nice folks at the NQA show sent it on to Quilt Odyssey after the show in Columbus.

Since I’d kind of put it out of my mind for a bit, I was surprised to hear that the quilt was awarded the Husqvarna-Viking Award for Best Machine Quilting! Wow! How cool! Now I’m feeling that fever, that inner prompting to work on a show quilt. I have one partly done, as you may remember, but it’s The Misery Quilt. I may not be feeling quite enough of the fever to tackle THAT right now, and I have some other things on my plate that need to take precedence anyway. Eh, I think I’ll just enjoy the little boost, and hope that Paisley Pavane makes it into the AQS Show in Des Moines, especially since I’ll be there to see it in the show! 😀

Misery Quilt border with background quilting

The power of hasty decisions

Have you ever considered how much power a small, seemingly insignificant decision can have? Even when you’ve thought and planned and imagined what the outcome would be, sometimes the smallest little pebble can make the deepest waves. There are times you can move backward and reassess, and then make changes and move on in a different direction. But sometimes, for either good or ill, you’re stuck with it, as well as all of the other decisions you’re then forced to make because of the first one.

Don’t get me wrong, some small decisions turn out well or even better than planned, and have positive effects on other things, and we call those “good” and perhaps even “serendipitous.” It’s the ones that have, dare I say it, possible negative effects, that I’m concerned with today, and we call those decisions “hasty” or “rash.” Funny ol’ world, isn’t it?

Friday evening I was bound a determined to progress on this quilt, and I was at a point where I didn’t know where to go next. I know how I want to quilt certain part of the quilt, but some parts are still a bit fuzzy, and have to wait until others are quilted to see how it looks. I’d finished the quilting in the medallions, adding a little clamshell edge just around the inside edge of the ovals, which added the perfect finishing detail to the radiating lines. (Okay, so that was a hasty good decision. 🙂 )

Clamshell edging on medallions

I decided to start adding the little tiny pearls quilting at the very edge of the green border, since that was a plan from the beginning. Problem was, I didn’t know exactly what color thread to use. Choosing one and diving in, I quilted about 25 of these little, teensy, tiny circles, and then decided they were the wrong color thread, and had to spend at least an hour taking out microscopic stitches in silk thread. NOT fun. Gee, if I’d tried the circles first on the sample, I’d have known that the color wasn’t right, but did I do that? Nah. A hasty decision with negative results. Read More