Emails from China…

This quilt is entitled Emails From China. It was designed for the 2009 Hoffman Challenge. (While it didn’t win anything, it DID get made!!!!)

emailchina-1

The story (there is ALWAYS a story, isn’t there??) goes like this.


My daughter Arlie was off on the other side of the world in China. As I would get up each morning, she was settling in for the night over there.  Part of her nightly routine was to email everyone about her adventure du jour. Often, we would be passing emails back and forth at that time, checking in.

I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival down in Hampton, VA on Saturday morning, as I do each year right around my birthday. I had been reading Arlie’s messages, and generally thinking about her and her trip, while wandering around alone being awed by the fabulous art!

I saw the challenge fabric being sold in a booth. I decided to buy a piece and see if I couldn’t finish the challenge in time this year. (The last time I
attempted the Hoffman Challenge, I finished the quilt about 3 YEARS
after the deadline!)

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(The Cherry Fabric was the challenge that year in this quilt, SUMMERTIME)

As I fondled my new fabric, walking around the show enjoying myself, I
glanced at it every once in a while. Suddenly, this brown and green and grey paisley started to take on the shape of fish. My mind started thinking about what I could do with fish. Then, Arlie came to mind.

And China. And Oriental fabric. Yes, the paisley were no longer inanimate, they became KOI fish. I started searching the booths for oriental fabrics that complemented this fabric, that reinforced the koi idea.

And so, I came home with a handful of complimentary fabrics, got it all washed and then. Nothing. Else. Happened. (Well, nothing with that fabric. I actually came home from the show with a pattern and had the resulting pocketbook finished before I went to bed that night!)

I put it to the side, in the dreary February light, and promptly forgot about it. In June, I finally decided to look at it again. Still had no idea about patterns, or what other fabrics would work.

While digging through my prodigious stash, I discovered this incredibly perfect fabric with handwriting, in the EXACT odd shade of taupe I needed. The fish…they moved. The koi pond, it radiated.
Having NEVER attempted the curved piecing of a Drunkards Path, the
ever-growing collection of fabrics quickly gelled into a Drunkards Path Variation, no matter how I tried to talk myself out it.

And the writing on the fabric, suddenly represented the communicating that Arlie and I did ‘virtually’ each day while she was away. The idea of the writing substituting for the typing, the circuitry of computers echoed the ripples in a fish pond, moving information and communication.

The quilt, EMAILS FROM CHINA  was born!  Arlie brought me a Chop back
from China. It says, LOVE. I used that on the label. 
email from china, label-1
The quilt is 40×40, and quilted with outlines of koi over the surface extending beyond the shapes on the fabric. It is quilted with ENTHUSIASM but not necessarily skill, lol. But overall, I am very happy with it, am no longer afraid of curved piecing, and actually plan on making another in this same pattern, which is a first!

When it arrives home, I believe it will be hung in the bedroom….

((Please,  leave a comment!! I love to know what people think!))

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I Deleted your Message…

Sorry. Had to do it. I am a member of (imagine an obscene amount, then subtract 10) groups; The topics range from Quilting, to Writing, to Altered Art and Politics. I admit I have the problem. I even JOINED more this past beginning of summer. But I can say I finally did cut the cord on over a half-dozen.

Somewhere in the past few weeks, along with the general ‘vacation-being-over blahs,’ I have found myself neglecting almost ALL of my groups. Even the ones I TRULY enjoy and get so much out of!

So, the mass email delete has begun. I can’t simply ELIMINATE you… I LOVE you! I WANT to be your friend, I WANT to get to know you!

I receive most of my groups via individual mail, as it gives me the best opportunity to actually participate in discussions …(Especially since most of my groups are YAHOO and they are sorted only via order received!!!)

I sorted my messages last night. I have my email program already set to sort by Group into folders, so I went another step and sorted by Subject. delete

ANY message with the subject line of:

  • Re:Digest number XXX?? GONE!
  • As is anything about SWAPS (if you are a quilting group) since I don’t participate.
  • Any message with NO subject? Outta here!
  • Messages requesting prayers?  Sending good thoughts to all…for every situation you are experiencing… (and I mean it; not being snarky here at all)
  • Oh, the ‘Where is everyone, this site is QUIET? ‘Deleted them too. ‘Cuz after all, I am part of the problem!
  • If it is in regards to something NEW being posted in the Files, I had to trash it…
  • Also deleted—any references to Wal-Mart, or What Are You Doing, or recipes (I will probably regret this last decision). Thanks, Congratulatory posts, and Where I am traveling *(if the post subject OFFERS where you are headed, AND I am interested, I MAY have saved it!!) are history, too.

I am somewhat embarrassed by the number I have deleted –(it’s in the HUNDREDS, people!!!) Somewhat more chagrined by the fact that there seem to be an equal number that, at least based on SUBJECT line, I still WANT to read left in my folders!!

So, what HAVE I been doing? Other than deleting emails and ignoring people??

  • I got my Hoffman Challenge quilt in the mail. Waiting to find out if I can post images.
  • I’ve been trying the organization thing again. Eventually, it HAS to take, right?
  • Working on some edits and such of photos, so I can put up some fresh, new work on ETSY.
  • I also got my husband to finally start a blog. He is quite the writer; if you like, for example–movies, cats, cars, and hate lawn work, you might find his blog entertaining!

Ok, off to do some reading!!