Posts Tagged ‘prison quilting’

The Great Sort-Out

November 13, 2013

You know the warning about making a new pillow for the couch and the curtains look dingy, so you clean the curtains and the walls look dated, so you paint the walls and the rug looks horrible . . . and eventually you’ve redecorated the whole house? That’s where I am. I started a sort-out of the sewing room, and now all the other piles that need organizing are calling my name.

 

This is where it all started.

 

Abby the dog and the bins

Abby the dog and the bins

 

The last of the supplies for the prison quilting program went to their new home. I had a plan for using that new-found space, but I made the mistake of looking in the bins.

 

Part of my collection of reusable stuff

Part of my collection of reusable stuff

 

This is one of two bins that hold my mint tin collection. The Trader Joe’s mints (which are delicious) come in a cute square tin with a clear panel in the lid, perfect for holding beads. I’ve been collecting them for quite a while. Usually I open the bin and toss the tin inside without looking at how many are in there. Now I’m looking. Oy.

Then I went into the kitchen and really looked at the overflow spice stash.

 

The overflow spice site

The overflow spice site

 

I love having herbs and spices on hand, but when the kids moved back home with their spice collections things spiraled out of control. No matter how much cooking and baking I do, the spice stash seems to grow, not contract. Woe to me.

 

As a final exercise in self-punishment, I scanned my collection of notes for books and stories I want to write (or have started writing but put aside for one reason or another).

 

Secret burial ground of many Great American Novels

Secret burial ground of many Great American Novels

 

Attending to these piles will take a lot of time and energy. It isn’t enough to organize the stacks of stuff, I have to do something with them. Organizing – for me, anyway – works really well when I rarely touch the pile again; attending, not so much.

 

Filed and forgotten

Filed and forgotten

 

I organized this small shelf months ago and it is still tidy. Of course, the fact that I haven’t been able to reach it for months might have a lot to do with it being orderly.

 

Perhaps, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I should be grateful for the Great Sort-Out. If I turn this into an early New Year’s resolution, then I can check something off the 2014 to-do list right now. We take our victories where we can.

 

 

Transitions

October 16, 2013

The prison quilting class began a new phase this week. I conducted my last class as leader and passed the program on to new teachers.

 

My last load of kits and class projects

My last load of kits and class projects

 

Whenever I let go of one project – rare times, but they do happen – I imagine all the new projects I’ll tackle with the extra time in my schedule. One would think by now I’d have accepted the reality of transition time. One would think.

 

This is the notebook I re-purposed for the FCI quilters manual.

 

Lani Longshore notebook

 

Since I had been a committee of one, the manual was in my head. Part of my transition time was occupied by writing down the things in my head, which is always a scary business.

 

Lani Longshore title page

 

There is also the scary business of transferring all the stuff I still have for the program to the new teachers.

 

Stuff that must leave my house

Stuff that must leave my house

 

Admittedly, it will be scarier for them.

 

More stuff that must leave my house

More stuff that must leave my house

 

When all that is finished, I need to finish up my Christmas projects. Mom and I bought the fabric for her gifts together. Here is the block for one of the three dresser scarves I’m making for her.

 

One block, just one little block

One block, just one little block

 

This is what all three look like on my design wall.

 

What do the blocks say to you?

What do the blocks say to you?

 

I think there is some kimono work in my future, when I really do have that extra time I’m imagining.

 

 

Catch Up

June 5, 2013

Some days the little catch-up jobs take all my attention. Despite my best efforts to ignore them, comes a time when they block my path like a herd of linebackers. That’s what happened this week. One of those tasks concerned photos of quilts made in my prison class, and I thought I would share them.

catch-up-jewel-box-6-5-13

 

 

Margaret Misegades and I teach the class, but we also get help from other members of Amador Valley Quilters who donate fabric to the program, cut kits for the inmates to sew, quilt and bind the tops and backs, and get those quilts to Community Quilts for distribution to local organizations. These photos were taken by Cathy Lacer.

 

Lori Vogel's house blocks

Lori Vogel’s house blocks

 

This quilt began with orphan blocks donated by Lori Vogel. The inmates completed the top in one class and the back in another.

 

catch-up-vera-6-5-13

From Cathy and Vera

 

This is a quilt made from kits that Cathy and Vera Pierce cut.

 

catch-up-twisty-6-5-13

From Linda’s pattern

 

This quilt started with a pattern that Linda Ballou wrote up for me. Both she and Rose Seay have made many kits for the class, and have been a source of great ideas for easy patterns.

 

Like all the really worthwhile activities in my life, the prison class would be impossible without the help of my friends at Amador Valley Quilters. I don’t know that I thank them enough for all they do for me, so I’m glad my catch-up job gave me another opportunity to say how grateful I am.