It’s been quite a week. I just got in late Wed from my visit to El Paso, Texas to put my Mother-In-Law to rest. I am spent and at the moment, lacking inertia and passion. I think this will pass as I catch up on sleep and resume normal life. In some ways, I did enjoy my visit to El Paso. I think if I hadn’t been introduced to El Paso through my Husband and in-laws, I would have an entirely different feeling for the town. Hubby grew up there.
It is a bit of an outpost, not close to anything much except the Rio Grande, Juarez and the Franklin Mountains. The view goes on forever and sunsets can be spectacular. This land might look barren to you, because it is, but you have to be there to appreciate that wide open horizon.
Yup, that is The Wall along its southern border.
And on the other side of the US/Mexico border is Juarez. El Paso’s SMSA is about 850,000 and Juarez, just across the border is around twice that at 1.6 million.
El Paso has a strong military presence from the Army base of Ft. Bliss, “Home of America’s Tank Division”. The Ft Bliss cemetery where my Husband’s parents are buried, has over 50,000 internments on 82 acres. It is huge. It really hits you to think how many men and women have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. The tombstones go on forever. It is sobering.
This is a precious photo to me, the view from my Mother-in-Law’s balcony. I will never see her or this view again. She was The. Best. Mother-in-Law to me.
On a lighter note, I have noticed this curious sight over the years. This visit, I began to ponder – what is this all about? El Paso has lots of vacant land within the city. Because it is desert, there are big swatches of barren land with virtually no vegetation and lots of rocks. You will see purposeful piles of rocks like this, or stones carefully placed in a line. What’s up with that I wonder! Perhaps a Mom sent her kids out to play and this is what they do?
The Return of the Teabags!
Well this is an odd story. You may recall, I didn’t think I had time to make a donation quilt for this year’s SAQA Auction. I wrote about that quilt here. I have donated a quilt each year of 10 years (I think). So I grabbed the teabag quilt that I made in Libby Williamson‘s Craft Napa class. I love that quilt! Honestly, I hated to give it away and considered that I might even buy back my own quilt. I really did not want to let it go.
I sent it in to the Auction, carefully wrapped in Press and Seal to protect it:
I have done this to other quilts before and haven’t had a problem…but it WAS a problem with a teabag quilt! The wrap stuck to the quilt:
The SAQA volunteer handling all the donations was understandably concerned about trying to get that wrap off without damaging the quilt. We agreed that the best thing to do was send it back to me. I was worried. Turns out that the wrap came off easily and did no damage to the quilt. Yahoooo! So now I have my quilt back after all! It feels so good to have her back.
I probably should have known better than to start on a quilt in the midst of my MIL’s illness and passing. But I did. And I really don’t like it, but it is retrievable . Here’s the story:
Using a variety of high-end technical devices :-), I drafted a pattern.
I trapunto’d the design and began to quilt it. My plan was to Inktense the trapunto’d parts, then use a marker to doodle atop that.
Oh I hate this result! This is my test piece. It is mottled and uneven, very much has a happy-hands-at-home feel, waaaaaay beyond “organic”, resting at the “poorly crafted” end of the scale. I don’t mind a learning curve, which this is. But I need to improve my Inktense skills before I tackle the real quilt. But this, this is butt-ugly.
Having nothing to lose, I went ahead and practiced my parallel line work in the lower left (love that!) and doodled atop the Inktense with a Pigma archival ink pen. No that is not Zentangle, just doodling. I do love the combined look, just need to work on the Inktense layer.
I like the overall concept; here are my observations:
– I don’t think Inktense works well on big areas of trapunto. The textile medium causes the fabric to buckle a bit, getting kind of cellulite-looking. I think either I nmythe Inktense pencil, even tried taking color from the pencil with a brush.
– I really like the parallel line quilting, will probably incorporate that into this quilt.
– I ordered some very large partial-circle rulers and will use those rulers to quilt the curves on my real piece.
– I am really glad that I tried this off-line before committing to this process on my real quilt!
Although I do hope to finish this next week, I may not make my goal. I have a crushing amount of catch up to do.
I’ll be linking up: