Friday, March 11, 2011

Broken Resolution, Monochromatic Quilt and Japan

After fighting with my machine quite a bit for the last few weeks, I finally gave up and broke my New Year's Resolution to finish 2 quilts for every 1 I start.  I literally couldn't do free-motion quilting on it for more than a few minutes at a time between problems.  It began skipping stitches a few weeks ago, and has been getting worse and worse.  I've been working her hard, and she's old and probably tired, and never really meant to do the jobs that I demand of her.  I've been looking for a new machine, after wanting one for a while.  We finally have the money, and I think I may have found her, but don't want to say anything for fear that I may jinx it.  So after the above picture, I put away the darning foot, and quilt, then started working on a new quilt.

When I saw the modern quilt challenge contest to create a monochromatic quilt, I knew immediately what I wanted to do.  We have a wonderful Native American Indian Museum close to us, the Tamastslikt Cultural Institue on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  It's an amazing museum of their history, lifestyle, the natural history of the area, as well as recent European settler history and the way their lives and customs have changed.  There is some incredibly beautiful leather robes, clothing and bead work on display there, and one robe in particular is my favorite.  They do not allow pictures, so I drew a sketch one time then taped it into my "idea book" as a possible quilt to make.  The monochromatic challenge fits this well, as I wanted to make it look like the leather that it's sewn out of.  I've had the fabric and pattern all figured out for a while, now I'm getting going on it.  Here's the first block.

As I have been sewing today, I have been listening to the radio news channel about the devastating earthquake in Japan.  It's out of Portland, so I also have been listening to Tsunami warnings and emergency updates, school closures for the coast, shelter locations, traffic updates, instructions, press briefings and governor statements.  So far it seems like Oregon has been spared any severe damage, but my thoughts and prayers go out to all of the people in Japan right now.  As I was digging out my brown fabric, I came across this piece that I bought a few months ago on a shop hop from a shop owned by a lady who spent part of her childhood in Japan.  I think this will be in my next quilt. 

After watching my family go through Katrina and its aftermath, I know all too well what some of the Japanese people are going through.  I know that there's a lot we don't know, and won't for a while.  I know that life boils down to such basic things afterwards... life, family, food, shelter, water, medicine, safety.  I know that so much work is ahead of them.  I know that much grief will be felt.  I know it will change people's lives in ways they never would dream of.  I know that recovery will take many many years.  I know that the tragedy will bring out the best and worst of people, but in the end that the best will prevail.  I know that finally there will be hope and that life will continue.


My Sweet Prairie said...

oh I've done nothing but glue myself to the news all day. It's the most devastating thing I have ever seen. And the footage blows me away - no one is running & screaming & wailing... It looks like no one is there. ? Probably a good thing, or I'd be bawling my head off.

Glad you are in a good spot.

Even my friend in Cabo is locked away at home. That's pretty darn far from Japan. Unreal...

Us prairie dwellers have all made a pact not to bitch about the weather today.


Beth said...

Summed up what I have been feeling and thinking all day (yesterday) beautifully. My heart was breaking as I watched the footage live at work, and the horrible pictures. I think I miss the days where some of the news was censored and filtered for the gentler souls, and slower release of the devastating events and pictures.

I have the same fabric, but I've had it for many years!!! Just haven't found the best use for it yet.