Monday, June 21, 2010

Quiltstory & other quilt stories + The Process

Fresh Poppy Design

Have you visited "Quiltstory" yet by sisters Heather & Megan of Fresh Poppy Design? It's new among my favourites.

"We created Quiltstory because as we searched blogland, we saw so many gorgeous quilts with amazing stories behind them.  We thought it would be fun to compile them all in one place, so that day after day we can present new quilts with their stories."

I read an interesting article in this morning's London Free Press about Barn Quilts in Wardsville, ON to celebrate their bicentennialClick here for an earlier article about it.

"The mission of the barn quilt program is to celebrate quilting as a traditional art form, appreciate the architecture of farm buildings and rural landscapes, promote art appreciation, and stimulate county economic growth while celebrating our agricultural heritage."

Looks like a nice day trip!  Wardsville is a pleasant drive west of here, right on #2 Highway (Longwoods Rd.)  I saw the quilt that the individual blocks are based on at the IPM quilt show in Shedden a couple of weeks ago.  Here's a story about that.

And I just became aware that good ole Eleanor Burns has a book dedicated to Barn Quilts:

Since embarking on Fabric Diet 2010, I've been thinking a lot about simplifying in a lot more areas of my life.  Towards that end, I'm in a mood to shed myself of STUFF.  Just today, (as I was cleaning out some of that STUFF) I found an article about this very thing in an old issue of "body+soul" (Feb 08) that says:

"The secret to abundance lies in striking a balance between not enough and way too much."

This has got me wondering what achieving that balance will feel like, what need I am filling by accumulating THINGS, and what internal spaces will be opened up, or possibly painfully emptied as my physical world opens up. It's going to be a very interesting PROCESS, and I think I'm going to enjoy the exercise/experiment.

My plan is to fill a grocery bag every day full of things that I simply don't need, want, or use, and either throw it away, give it away, or donate it to the thrift store. 

Today, I started with things in my dining room and bedroom. I filled my bag with candles and dishes, a few clothing items, a couple of phones.  It didn't take long to fill a bag, and then zip over to my nephew Greg's house to drop a pretty little dish off that I thought he would enjoy, and then skip over to the Bibles For Missions thrift store and drop a full bag into their donation box, plus a stack of plates.

This exercise is probably going to kill Hubby.  He hates to part with ANYTHING.  He'll argue that, because I do collect a lot of different things, but the truth is, he just hangs on, and on, and on, to things because he perceives they have value.  Just as an example, we were considering what to do with the art from our pre-demo/reno bathroom.  One of the pieces was rather expensive - it's a very large black & white photograph of tulips in a really nice frame -- plus two smaller b&w tulip photos that weren't expensive, but matched quite nicely...and he'll never let me forget it if I give them away


  1. Hey Nancy: Check my blog post of today. Jake and I went to see the barn quilt blocks on Saturday in Wardsville. They will be put up on buildings eventually in the Wardsville area and there is supposed to be a brochure with directions so you can see them all. The guide told us that would be the next project, getting them up, but he doesn't know when it'll happen. Keep an eye on the website. I'm sure they'll post info there when it's ready. It would be a fun day trip with stops to some quilt shops along the way :-)!!

  2. Just curious, how is this project going to mesh with your thrifting addiction?

  3. I love your idea of simplifying and getting rid of excess belongings. I've been on a similar track so far this summer and it feels good. One room at a time I'm going through and slimming down.

  4. I realize I am swimming upstream here, but I have to wonder why is it important to you to get your husband to give up things because you feel you are done with them?

    If the goal is to free up your interior space and put your own physical and non-physical possessions in order, why is it necessary to make someone else do the same?

    I totally understand that some husbands, like some wives, save things which are offensive, or totally useless, or dangerous. Half cans of paint, motor oil that could only be used in the car you got rid of ten years ago, or the five bags of quick-krete the contractor left behind five years ago are the sorts of things that come quickly to mind. Perhaps your husband has 793,000 pair of socks with holes he won't give up along with chains for dead chain saws, a can of shaving cream from 1983 and a ten year accumulation of Forbes Magazine that he never reads, and the pictures are just the icing on the cake.

    However, the idea that you should decide for him what he can and cannot own is not particularly freeing for either of you, in my unfortunately never very humble opinion. I have seen more and more of this as people get militant about "simplifying." By all means, people should simplify their own lives to the extent that they can, if they want/need/care to. As a practical matter as well as an ethical one, however, one generally has to expend a great deal of energy to get another person to do what that person does not want to do, especially if it can be perceived (rightly or wrongly) as an attempt at control. Only when that person themselves feels overwhelmed or is unable to do what they want to do because of their stuff is it really an act of love to intervene. (I have already exempted the sorts of things - dangerous ones - which make it an act of self-preservation.)

    I know a man who keeps his wife's wallet in order, which annoys her, but he does it so she will always have the current insurance cards and so forth, which she does, because of him. That, while annoying, is loving, and she learned to appreciate it, even as it still mildly annoys her. When he cleans her desk, you know -not so much...

    On the one hand, I suppose I could mind my own business, but on the other hand, this is a blog post and there is a way to comment, so I thought I would put my two cents in.Please feel free to go post on my blog telling me where I can put it, if you like - I certainly won't be offended if you remove this. I'd have written it to you privately, but I didn't see a way.