This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quilter on Fire

There is an annual gathering of quilt guilds called Quilt Congress here, held in a different spot each Fall and hosted by the quilt groups in that location. In 2008, it was held in Mountain Home, and the theme was 'Quilters on Fire.' The challenge: make a quilt that illustrates what sets you 'on fire' as a quilter. The only real requirement was a size limit.

Inspiration is a quirky thing--sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not. In this case, I had an instant vision that recalled a recently-heard phrase: 'She's been quilting like her hair was on fire'-- the kind of word-picture that conveys volumes. I threw a big piece of paper down and in no time there was a head aflame with ideas for all the quilts I need to make. (Picture Hubby Dearest edging uneasily into the kitchen, where I was kneeling on the floor wielding a pencil.) I'll spare you the details, but constructing this was more complex than I had bargained for. Isn't that always the way? This has piecing, fusing, and satin-stitched applique. Tip of the day: it is very hard to attach Guinea hen feathers to a quilted piece. This was machine quilted and finished with a facing rather than binding.

Okay, and I admit that I gave myself a lot more hair than I actually have.


  1. Elaine (or should I call you MOL? let me know!), as i said before, it is a work of art. Your background info on it, makes it even richer, brilliant in concept and in execution...just love it! This is making me want to start quilting again!
    n.b. i am jealous of your gorgeous asparagus garden. A) i miss having a yard with a garden! and B) i love asparagus!....cheers!

  2. I don't have the courage for an asparagus bed, but we have been buying asparagus every week at the tailgate markets. We really love the purple variety.

    Thanks for the background info on your self-portrait. It must be all that creativity that gets you out of bed so early every morning.

  3. They came out with that purple asparagus a couple of years after I put this bed in. When we moved to Arkansas, I left a 12-year-old bed that produced for six weeks in early Spring. I had to cut twice a day. We devoured about a pound apiece daily and even gave some to our neighbors if we were feeling really generous. It nearly killed me to move away from that garden. Sigh.

    An asparagus bed can be a bit of work up front, but it is so worth it...though perhaps if I could get really fresh asparagus another way, I might decline to participate.

  4. On a sillier note, the quilt reminds me of a story. When I was in architecture school I lived in a tiny dark sublet on the ground floor of a rather nice building in NY. One morning, as I was walking through the lobby on my way up to school, the doorman asked me if I had a match for his cigarette. I said no, so he asked if I would mind lighting it on my stove. I didn't see why not, so I ducked back in the apartment, turned on the gas stove, lit the cigarette for him and continued on my way to school. when I got there, someone pointed out that I had - without realizing it at all - burned off the whole front of my hair. It was just a halo of frizzed burnt stuff.

  5. If you could only do one... quilting or pie-making?

  6. Uh-oh, Ben. Not just a 'rapier wit,' but a 'stiletto wit.' OW! My take on this is: from the vantage point of Age 63--I have to go with the quilting. Pie is fleeting.

    But others might differ: I do make a truly terrific pie!


Rose 'Crepuscular'

Asparagus bed--post harvest

Lake Conway Mutti und Kinder