August 2009


I’m addicted to crumb quilting.  After seeing these quilts on Bonnie Hunter’s website called Quiltville, I thought I had finally found a way to redeem myself from  saving all these tiny little scraps and saving and saving them.  You see, I had had good intentions of using them in beautiful applique quilts.  While I love applique blocks and I have dreamed up several wonderful designs, which were going to be embellished with decorative stitching and other embellishing techniques, I just have not found the time to do all the tracing and cutting and hand sewing that is involved to make these one of a kind creations.   But now, now, I have a fast, fun way to use them up instead of collecting them.

Last week, while at my mom’s for a mini sewing retreat, I once again asked for her bag of scraps and crumbs.  Being the great momma that she is, she willingly handed them over to me, but I saw that look that I know means that she has doubts, which are not without good reason, that I would actually do anything with them.  My momma knows me very well and humors me anyway.  Yeah, I know, I am really lucky.

Anyway last night, after chasing after my grandson all day, I wanted to sew but didn’t have the mental capacity to do anything even remotely required much brain work, so I thought I would grab my crumb bin and give it a try.  Several hours later, I ended up with 17 blocks that I cut down to the size I needed and several others that are nearly there.  This was so much fun and I kept thinking I should be going up to bed but I had to use just one more piece to see what it would look like.  They are wild and so liberating.  If you are anything like me and have a hard time not being matchy matchy then you have got to try this technique.  The pieces are so small, I can’t imagine some fabric messing them up.  It really is anything goes here!  Next, I am going to try Bonnies, method of sewing the little cut off triangles into little pairs for pinwheels, hourglasses etc and then building around those.  The possibilities are endless here.    Now, my problem will be to move on to some other brainer projects that I have to work on and reserve my crumb block sewing for the too tired to think sewing sessions or as a reward for finishing a project that must get done.

My plan is to sew crumbs into blocks that I can cut into 3.5 inch squares, piece these into 4 patch squares and then sew these together with a solid black sashing.  I might then add another colorful border and bind it with black binding.  I hope to make a pretty large size quilt and now maybe my momma will be eager to give me those crumbs unless she decides she wants to make a crumb quilt of her own!

I have learned that some places are better left unvisited.  For example, I really didn’t need to visit a nudist colony although that is exactly what I did on Sunday.  Yes, Sunday of all days!  Curtiss had a few jobs to do out of town and one job was at the school were an old friend worked.  I hadn’t seen her in about 14 years so I was really looking forward to reconnecting with her and it just so happened that Sunday was the day that worked best for Curtiss’ schedule.  The only hitch was that I had to ride along to a few other jobs and one of them was at a nudist colony that he had to revisit with a new part.   I was really pretty nervous about the idea and didn’t know what to expect at all but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see my friend.  I figured that since I was an adult, I could handle the situation.  I planned on staying in the truck, taking some handwork along and just keeping my head down as much as possible.

As with many of my well, thought out plans, it didn’t exactly happen the way I had envisioned.   You see, I hadn’t counted on drinking too much coffee on the trip down and not having a suitable place to go to the bathroom before we got there.  So, I was going to be forced to have to go into the clubhouse to go to the bathroom. I knew from Curtiss’ experience from his visit the day before that I would most likely be the only clothed person in the place other than Curtiss and it would most likely be very well populated with pool goers.   I took a few minutes to muster up my courage, to plan how to avoid contact both eye and physical with people but before I could finish making my plans, I heard a door closing and without thinking glanced up to see who or what had made the noise.  There about 40 feet away, looking straight at me was a fairly young man with nothing but a towel slung over one shoulder and a huge smile on his face.  I tried not to let my mouth betray my surprise and instead of gawking, I smiled, said hello and then got busy with what I had been working on in the truck.  Next thing I know he and a gal were standing in front of my truck smoking cigarettes and putting on sunscreen.  Yes, I did glance long enough to see what was going on.   After they left and the color had drained from my cheeks and since I really had to go to the bathroom, I asked Curtiss to show me the way.  Again, my plans didn’t quite pan out.  My husband can be an ornery guy with a sense of humor that puts me in some awkward situations sometimes.  This was just one of those times.  I no sooner was inside the building when Curtiss thought it would be polite to introduce me to the gal that runs the place.  Before I could react, I found myself shaking the hand of a stark naked senior citizen.  After talking briefly about how hot it was outside and declining her invitation to sit inside their library where it would be cooler, I managed to get to the bathroom with only a few eye to eye hellos inbetween.  Then to my horror, my way back to the truck was  impeded by a very large, very hairy guy who was also buck naked.  So after I smiled and dodged him,  I finally got back in the truck and back to my project.   As I was sitting there, it became very ironic to me that the project that I chose was the dismantling of men’s dress shirts for a quilt project that I want to make. Here I was tearing these shirts apart in a place where people sure could have used them, not that they probably wouldn’t have declined my generous offer anyway but the humor of my situation wasn’t lost.  Another weird experience is how when we are concentrating on something, we absent mindedly look up when a noise gets our attention.  I had brought Jonah with me and he started jumping at the window and getting all worked up.  Before I could think better, I found myself seeing things better left unseen, like thesenior couple walking their adorable little dachsund puppies wearing only sunhats and sandals.  They were brown as berries from head to toe and I thought to myself they must be full timers!   The most bizarre thing from this whole experience is that by the time Curtiss had finished doing all he could to get their system working, I was feeling less and less uncomfortable about these people walking around without a stitch of clothing.

Now, before any of you get too worried about me, while I wasn’t totally freaked out by these people, as they were very nice, their desire or reasons to recreate in the nude are certainly a mystery to me.  I just don’t get it really and don’t plan to give it much more thought despite a generous offer to return with our RV and try it out for ourselves.  On the other hand, Curtiss might need a bit of support.  He still hasn’t resolved the issue with their satellite even after a third return trip yesterday to move the dish.  To him, this has just become another frustrating job and he is getting used to having naked helpers, at least that is what he is telling me and he is sticking to it. LOL!

As for the rest of my textile excursion (that is nudist for an outing while wearing clothing)  my visit with my friend was a very nice one and the trip through the mountains on a dirt road with tunnels and big tressel bridges was certainly worth any discomfort I felt earlier in the day.