Sunday, February 28, 2010

T for Texas, T for Tennessee, T for Time to Rearrange and Reflect


Just the mention of the state brings thoughts of grandeur, pride, cowboys, oil, slogans like "bigger in Texas," "don't mess with Texas," home.

I wasn't born in Texas, but both of my parents were. I'm a navy-brat, born on a naval base, so I reckon I'm still a Texan - my reasoning, if I'd been born on a naval base in another country I'd still be an American (grin) so I'm a Texan by proxy!

I'm also half Tennessean. We'd been married 3 months when we got transplanted to upper East Tennessee, lived there almost 20 years, our two sons were born in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, hillbillies! Or as my youngest likes to say "Appalachian American." When we moved to Tennessee we found that we fit in really well - as my husband's barber told him - "Texas is just a big annex of Tennessee, if it weren't for Tennesseans there wouldn't be a Texas"

I think pride runs deep in both these states, and I'm proud to be associated with both!

So, what's a cut out state map of Texas doing on my cutting table? Glad you asked!

I'm working on a Texas sized project...Seems in a couple of weeks I'll be at the Dallas Quilt Show with the 'smoothest quilting machine' on the market, the A-1 Longarm Quilting Machine and I decided that I needed a new quilt to hang in the booth ... one that would let folks know that even though the home office is in Springfield MO that there's a Texas Dealer - me!

So the idea came to me as I was deep cleaning this weekend to do a wall hanging for the booth. I had just the fabric for it! Hand dyed from one of my workshops here in my studio with my friend Jamie Wallen - naturally it's purple!

So I cut up one of my state maps to be able to trace around the state for the center of my wholecloth.

I've got grand plans.....even though all I accomplished this afternoon was quilting the outline of the state and the boundaries of the outer's a work in progress!

And I want it to be colorful. This is the outer border, quilted in Superior Threads Rainbow. This little 20 inch section took me almost 2 hours to stitch out. First the curly Amish feather design and then the over stitching. You can see the two steps above - the feather and then the added stitching that really shows off the variegated thread.

When I first thought of the idea I figured I could just whip it out on my "afternoon off" and have it all ready for the show in a couple of weeks ... funny how I under estimate the time involved in a project.

That happened to me earlier this weekend when I woke up on Friday and decided that today was the day I needed to clear all the batting out of my living room and find an organized way to store it in my laundry room off the studio. Little did I know that pulling everything out and reorganizing would take two days! But the end results are worth it!

Life is kinda that way. Little tangents or distractions that send me in different directions than what perhaps I'd planned for the day. Keeps things interesting I think (grin). Keyword, flexible! Like living in two different states - bloom where you are planted and remember to enjoy the journey!

So for the next day or so I'll see where the creative bug leads me as I fill in around my Texas state whole cloth...have an idea of what I want to do, but more than likely I'll just do what inspires me at the moment - I love being spontaneous and somewhat impulsive - like throwing caution to the wind. For all I know, the idea will flop and I'll be embarrassed that I even mentioned it - but who knows! It could end up being one of my favorite pieces. Only time will tell.


Laura said...

I can't wait to see the Texas quilt. We plan to become permanent Texans upon retirement, but for now settle for a once a year visit.

Yes, everything always seems to take more time than we planned, but it is worth it in the end. Your laundry room looks great!

Zlaty said...

Love your feathers! I am looking forward to seen the quilt too!

Happy quilting!

Muddling Through said...

Karen, what a great idea for a display quilt! I wasn't born in Texas either, but I got here as soon as I could. :)
Love you, Elaine

SueFors said...

WOW!! This is one big map! How big will the quilt be? I can't wait to see it finished, I know it will be perfect!