Sunday, February 28, 2021

Lockdown diary and dubious "accomplishments" plus a project!

I keep reading about all the amazing things people are accomplishing during this time of isolation - like teaching your children to tap dance! Well I don't have the oomph for that! or the child who wants to learn...but I have got quite a few things done.

Decided to try to learn spanish ....again!!! it is much easier than English...but I can't get out of the habit of pronouncing words the french way - sort of high in the back of the palate!

exercise! what to do ? As a swimmer I was a bit stuck with the pool closed, hard to swim on dry land after all! but I did discover a couple of parks very close and duly masked have perambulated through mud and leaves in the hope of achieving "fitness"!!! (not yet! but still hoping!). In the park I saw people trying to play tennis on small courts with little paddles and whiffle balls! Turns out it's a new sport called pickling!!! So I'm trying to pickle!! Not very good at it and my first teacher gave up on me cos I wouldn't take it seriously and kept laughing...!!! I mean PICKLE! of course you should laugh!

Getting into "death cleaning" as the Scandinavians call it - i.e. clearing out all the clutter, those bulging cupboards of stuff that "might come in" some day!! has lead to several projects - 2 summer bed quilts made from scraps of Liberty fabric I brought to the USA with me when I emigrated years and years ago...a big pink scrap art "window" quilt for a friend which nicely used up all the pink fabric I have never ever wanted to use in any quilt!! It's funny how there's one color you avoid! I am just not a pink person!! I also sorted out all my knitting yarn and now have it divided into neat piles with a specific pattern or idea and the right size needles...I only allow myself 4 rows a night of knitting (arthritis) but it's surprising how quickly you can make something with just that little amount. I often use 3 strands together and that works up very quickly. it's also a great way to make something unified that could be very bitty.You take one yarn that you have a lot of ...which is usually a boring dreary color that was on sale! and then you add in all the fun stuff...the boring yarn holds it all together visually and the bits of fun..give it pzazz!

So then my death cleaning got into my class notes and power points...I've taught a lot of classes over the years....and working with them, I updated a couple of my classes.... the Art Quilt from Start to Finish, formerly Inspired to Design, and Abstract Art for Quiltmakers.

I usually work from a rough sketch (like below), sometimes from a watercolor, but the most fun - and useful I think - is from a collage.

Working from a collage is a lot of can use plain paper in just 3 values...or.... Cut out images, or parts of them, from magazines - NOT quilting magazines! - just from the adverts in an ordinary news magazine....and try to make little compositions with them...fitting them together onto card and glueing them down...or you can use those sticky sheets you get in photo albums - if anyone still has them! I like to take apart old christmas and greeting cards and just keep the blank bits...or glue the cuttings over the existing images... make a few of these...and you'll begin to be able to get a sense of what makes a good composition. then take the best one...and make a quilt based on them!!! Send the others off for birthdays etc! have fun...and let me know how this worked for definitely shifts you into working another way and thinking along different lines...which I love. And, if you have been, thanks for reading! Elizabeth ps. please comment! also look out for my article in the upcoming issue of Quilting Moderne.


Anonymous said...

thank you. I find your posts very informative.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Great!!! Hope you find them helpful...I love reading something myself and thinking aha! or...I want to try that! Elizabeth

marj k said...

I volunteer at a thrift shop and everybody is doing "death cleaning" or Kondo ing or spring cleaning because the donations are huge. And it is really hard not to buy some of the fantastic stuff that comes in but I feel like I need to stop and use everything I have. too.
It is amazing how we all think we have so much time and energy to do all these projects - and seems like quilters are also gardeners, rug hookers, knitters, painters, photographers, basket makers, stained glass artists, etc. So many ideas, so many tools, so many supplies, so much fun stuff............ all related to "color". We are in love with color and our world revolves around its many various uses -- what a fun life.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Art - in all its forms - is the way through. so sad that the arts are not valued in education very much these days....
Thank you for commenting Marj! interesting that everybody is "at it"!!!
I must not go IN to the thrift store...I'm sure I'd be tempted!

JustGail said...

I had high plans that all the things I daydreamed about doing while at work would soon be done when I retired. Oh well, I guess the more time and energy in my mind than in reality isn't all bad. What would I do if all those projects were really done? Probably take up yet more hobbies, I fear. Plinking slowly along at things isn't all bad I guess!

Arts - yes it constantly gets short end on school budgets at every grade in favor of sports. Yet, it's arts that people are able to participate in far longer in their lives. For every weekend warrior reliving their high school sports glory days, there are thousands of us that practice some form of art. And the arts are easier on the knees. Oh well, to each their own, as long as I don't have to go sit in the stands, or in front of the TV, for hours and watch.

Elizabeth Barton said...

Hi Gail! and thank you for your comment...yes in many ways art and music are better for you....sports stress competition it seems rather than team work!
as well as the toll on the body...and the inability to keep sporting lifelong - for most sports except perhaps swimming. Which, by the way, is great for the knees I've found!!!
yes...I avoid all TV and stands!!!! Elizabeth