Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Friday--CSA Week 3

Sorry folks...last week was busy and I neglected to take pictures of my CSA adventures. Admittedly, I wasn't particularly adventuresome. I got big hunks of lettuce so I was mostly eating salads all week, although I did do roasted beets with goat cheese one night. Nummy. And I still have some green lettuce, and kale left from week 1 (boy, that stuff stores forever!).

CSA Week 3

Beets! More glorious beets! And all for me, since no one else in my family likes them. I'll try to do something marginally more creative with them this week, although I do love them roasted, and with goat cheese.


  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 head bok choy (will the bok choy never end?)
  • 1 head red lettuce
  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1 head green lettuce (smaller than last week's, thankfully, since I'm still working off that one)
  • 1 head Chinese cabbage

My daughter is in the process of making dinner while I'm prepping this blog post--I'm writing this on Thursday night so it can go live Friday morning. She's making penne, and will just be eating it plain with a little olive oil, garlic, and parmesan, her favorite preparation. I do believe I'll be adding some zucchini to mine. Maybe a tomato. Saut<&eacute>e it up with a little olive oil, garlic, and toss some shredded parmesan on the top, and you've got something there.

On Friday night's menu is something we do frequently around here, and I've got pictures from the last time I did it, but never ended up posting. I've talked about grilled pizza before. It bears repeating. I'm figuring this will be a good way for me to use up some of this week's CSA.

First of all, for recipes for the dough and sauce, check out my blog post on homemade pizza (with thanks, again, to Susan of The History Quilter podcast for one of the sauce recipes). Here I'm just talking about the process of doing a pizza on the grill. 

Pizza on the Grill

When you've made the dough using your favorite recipe and method, you start out rolling it just like you would to make a regular pizza. However, when I'm grilling, I like to make a thinner crust. It's easier to work with, grills more evenly, and the center will bake before the outside chars. (The dark spots in the dough are herbs. I like a flavorful crust.)

We also usually do personal-sized pizzas when grilling. Not only does that accommodate varying tastes and creativity, but it's easier to handle smaller pieces on the grill than one big pizza crust.

You oil both sides of the dough when you grill pizza, so I like to make an oil concoction with more herbs and a little garlic powder. And yes, I oil both sides before it gets on the grill. You could oil one side and then quickly oil the second while it's on the grill, but often my husband or nephew are doing the grilling part, so I'd just as soon have everything done in advance.

It's crucial to put waxed paper between the pizzas. And make sure the paper completely covers the crust. The dough will stick to itself and you'll have a nasty mess on your hands otherwise.

Hey, whatever it takes to grill. 

You'll put a couple on the grill at a time, directly on the grill. Make sure you've cleaned your grill and oiled the rack with a rag or paper towel and vegetable oil.

It's much like making pancakes. You'll see them start to look dry around the edges and then that dryness moves in towards the center, and bubbles start forming. (I like to poke the bubbles. It's fun.) When you think the bottom is ready, flip it over and do the other side. You want them to get done enough to put toppings on, but not fully done. You'll be cooking them again with the toppings, so don't do the initial grilling past a very light golden brown.

When it's done on both sides, take it off the grill and add whatever toppings flip your switch. You don't want to go too heavy on toppings--again, it won't grill evenly if it's too slushy or piled too high. But you can still be pretty generous.

When you put them back on the grill with the toppings on, do it over indirect heat to give the toppings the best chance of cooking through/melting before the bottom of the pizza burns. (If we're doing these for a crowd, I usually finish them off in the oven so some can be going on the grill while others in the oven. However, this is a tricky menu for more than about eight people.)

And then it's time to eat!

One of my favorite combinations: parmesan sauce (see that previous blog post), spinach, carmelized onions, and goat cheese. 

Tomorrow night I'm going to have to come up with a combination using something from my CSA pile instead. I'm imagining something Asian-inspired, with sauteed bok choy, chicken, onion, maybe a little pineapple, soy sauce...

I texted my nephew earlier this afternoon.

Me: "Grilled pizza tomorrow night. Coming?"
Him: "I'm so there." 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--Fivesies and a Friend

I'm sorry, Jackie. Don't hate me.

We're still working our way through the analogous world. Last week: fivesies.

This week: fivesies with a friend.

Color Magic for Quilters refers to this as five side-by-side colors with an accent. Take five side-by-side colors, and then jump across the color wheel from any of those five and you'll have the accent.

I took it a little easy on myself again this week and turned to a package of Tonga Treats to start. (This is the Island Punch collection.) There I found my blue, blue-green, green, and yellow. I added in a yellow green from some scrap squares I have. I used some variations of some of the colors so there's more than five fabrics in that part, but they still live in the same segment of the color wheel.

I then jumped across the color wheel to find a red, and there it was, sitting in my fat quarter stash.

Here's a better picture of the fabrics.

It could work. If I were making this for realsies, I'd hunt more for a red accent that fit the milieu a little better, but this one could fly in a pinch.

Turning to the Ives (CMYK) color wheel favored by Joen Wolfrom, I pulled out Wolfrom's 3-in-1 Color Tool to see if I could do fivesies and a friend based on that wheel as well.

Unfortunately, since there are more colors on the Wolfrom-preferred color wheel, it's a lot harder to do this one from my stash. I just don't have the selection. But here's one option of what fivesies and a friend would look like if I had just the right fabrics.

Your turn!

Link up here with your own blog posts describing your playtime with fivesies and a friend. If you've already done this (because you were bored with straight analogous, perhaps), try doing a different set of colors just for fun. Looking forward to seeing your posts!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sneak Peek...

Not to interrupt the Total Color Tuesday playtime, but I know this week's may not garner as many responses. It was a toughie.

Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek at my current work in progress...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--Fivesies

First, a big shout-out to the following who have been my playmates on Tuesdays so far:
Thanks so much for hanging out with me. It's so much fun seeing what y'all come up with! Everyone else, time to join in--it really is a lot of fun and it's a good excuse to pet fabric for awhile. Plus, I'm finding fabric I'd forgotten I had, and I don't even have that big a stash!

This week was a little tougher for me. I didn't come up with any combinations out of my stash that I thought would actually work in a quilt that I'd want to make. This is a color harmony that, if I should choose to use it, would make me take a road trip to my LQS, color wheel in hand.

This is also one in which it really did make a difference which version of the color wheel you're using--the standard 12-point one that we're mostly all used to using (see below), or the Ives/CMYK wheel with 24 points (pictured left): Notice how many more colors the Ives wheel--used here in the Joen Wolfrom 3-in-1 color tool--gives you to work with. More about that below.

This week:  Five side-by-side colors.

Or, analogous on steroids.

Technically, Color Magic for Quilters points out, this would be called an extended analogous color harmony.

I have a mug with an illustration from the original Winnie the Pooh books and the caption, "I am a bear of very little brain and long words bother me."

Fivesies it is.

Color Magic suggests that this color scheme is successful for the same reason that the standard analogous scheme is successful--the five colors all have a common root color with each color to either side, so they flow naturally from one to the next.

Depending on where you start on the wheel, you could have all warm colors, all cool colors, or a mix. However, because it moves step-by-step from warm to cool (or vice versa), it's not quite as shocking a color harmony as those that hop directly across the color wheel for an accent. It would still have a little of that feel to it, but it would be a little more of a peaceful transition.

Play time.

I struggled mightily with this one, like I said above.

I started out using the Ives/CMYK wheel (3-in-1 tool) and worked my way from blue violet to magenta. It goes: blue-violet, violet, red-violet, purple, magenta.

Issue #1: What the 3-in-1 color tool defines as purple sure looks like what I've always thought of as red-purple! Regardless of what it's named, though, I worked with the swatches on the tool itself, holding it up to my stash to find the fabrics that seemed to work best.

Issue #2: Using a 24-point color wheel means that your five colors are much closer together in nature than when you're using a 12-point color wheel. So it's harder to feel like there's much of an accent in there. It's still possible to go cool and warm, but it's going to be less of a transition from color to color.

Believe it or not, every fabric there really does match one of the swatches on each card--lighter or darker in tone/shade. I'd never make that quilt, though--which goes to show (as everyone knows) it's not just a matter of matching swatches. You really have to figure out which ones play nice together.

I bagged the purple thing--don't have enough of those five colors in my stash to find anything that was going to work.

Starting with green, and switching to the other standard 12-point color wheel, I worked my way around to orange. This was more successful, although I wasn't a fan of the dark dark green on the end.

(Technical difficulties--can't get the picture to stay rotated in position when I upload it. Sorry about that, but you can see what you need to see so hopefully the odd perspective doesn't make you woozy.)
I swapped out a couple of the greens and tried again. This one is more successful although, if I were a stickler about it, the one green has blue dots, which aren't part of this color harmony. And I still wouldn't make a quilt out of this combination. (Again, it won't rotate. Blogger is giving me fits today!)

So, your turn. Here's hoping you do a lot better than I did with this one! Can you do five side-by-side colors, or fivesies, from your stash? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Slow Quilt Monday--and a Few Other Items

I finally broke down and bought some Bobbin Mates so that I could stop guessing at which bobbin in my little bobbin holder actually matched the thread I wanted to use. They mostly work pretty well--and you'll see in a couple of cases you can pop two bobbins onto it if, like me, you realized that for some unknown reason you never finished one bobbin before loading a second.

The only thread I own that they don't fit well is my Aurifil which, as you know, is a significant proportion of my thread stash. But balancing it on one edge and propping it up on my thread holder on the wall just so actually isn't too bad. I haven't had any fall off yet. Workable, anyway. Now my thread stash feels just a little bit more organized.

In terms of works in progress, now that I finished Joy I'm feeling the need to finish the gift for my pregnant friend and get the baby quilt done this week, if possible. So I've started making all the required half-square triangles.

This is the method I'm using: Cut two squares an inch bigger than desired finished unit; draw quarter inch seam lines on either side of the center line; sew down each drawn line; cut in half. Press the triangles open, square up/trim down to necessary size. Easy schmeasy, and you can easily chain piece a bunch of them. (By the way, I cut my squares 1" larger than my desired finished unit because I wanted some wiggle room. The standard formula is 7/8" larger but, really, who is that 1/8" going to kill? I like nice round numbers in my math whenever possible. My brain hurts less that way.)

This method is even easier when you use a tool like the Fons & Porter Quarter Inch Seam Marker. Yes, I could line up a regular ruler to draw the line on one side and flip it to draw the line on the other, but there's always the chance for variation based on exactly where you line the ruler up along that center line each time. As we all know, 1/16" here and there can make a whole big difference when multiplied by lots of blocks. I prefer to use this ruler. It comes in a package of two sizes for the one price.

Where is my slow quilting this week in all my talk about chain piecing and efficiency-building rulers? It's in my head. While I'm going through the rater mundane, rote motions of drawing lines and cutting in half, I'm designing my next quilt in my head. I'm also finding that my Total Color Tuesdays are already influencing what my plans are for that next project. (Be sure to check out the linkies on those posts! Folks are playing along!)

Also, this weekend my husband and I went hiking. How can one not be inspired to quilt?

(Taughannock Falls State Park, near Ithaca, New York.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Food Friday--Let the CSA Adventures Begin!

I've decided to do a CSA this year for the first time. What's a CSA, you may ask? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When participating in a CSA, you buy "shares" in a local farm and, in return, get fresh produce each week. The farmer's markets near us are at times that are difficult for us to fit into our schedule, and although I grow my own herbs, we've had terrible luck with tomatoes in the last few years and I travel quite a bit over the summer, leaving the bulk of the responsibility for summer gardening to my husband. He enjoys gardening, but works long hours himself. So our garden attempts the last few years have been pretty sad.

I finally tracked down a CSA near enough for me to make the weekly pick-ups pretty easily. Last night was our first pick-up.

In this week's bag: peas, kale, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and bok choy. I was afraid we'd get too much to handle but this feels do-able.

Both my daughter and I are fans of certain raw vegetables, straight off the vine. The raw peas made a very tasty appetizer while I was washing everything and figuring out what I was going to make for dinner.

My husband was out for the evening at a work thing, so it was just my vegetarian daughter and I. We decided to go on a cooking adventure and just make it up as we went. Well, "we" being in the royal sense, as it turned out. Normally my daughter does like to help cook but she had two late nights in a row so she begged off; I stuck her with loading the dishwasher after dinner instead. Not a bad trade-off, in my mind. I got to play with new toys, so to speak, as I messed around with new-to-me-produce, and she did most of the kitchen clean-up.

Here was my resulting dinner! (My daughter skipped the salmon and ate her bok choy with some vegetarian chicken nuggets.)

I wasn't as creative with the salmon as I could've been--just sprinkled some five-spice seasoning on it and baked it. I spent too much mental energy on the bok choy. Bok choy is something I've never cooked before, although I've eaten it plenty of times in Asian foods--usually in soups, I believe, although a lot of the Burmese meals I get to eat with my new arrival friends probably have it as well.

I put together a concept in my head and then checked my ideas by some recipes online. Yep! I was in the right ballpark. And it turned out mighty tasty, if I do say so myself! So, here's my recipe for this week:

Sandy's Sauteed Bok Choy
2 bunches bok choy, chopped into 1-2" pieces.
1/2 medium onion, diced or sliced thin
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
garlic to taste (garlic powder or fresh garlic)
2-3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

  • Heat oil, then add onion and ginger and saute for a few minutes until onion begins to turn translucent.
  • Add garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Add bok choy and saute until it cooks down slightly, then add soy sauce.
  • Saute for about 7-8 minutes, or until bok choy stems are crisp-tender.
  • As usual with my own recipes, all amounts are approximate and depend on what you've got on hand, as well as personal taste. I had three or four bunches of bok choy but a couple of them were quite small, so knowing what I typically see available in the grocery story, I'm thinking two larger bunches would be the equivalent. I just used garlic powder this time but fresh garlic would be better, as fresh usually is.
  • I used low-sodium soy sauce and didn't add any other salt. If you use regular soy sauce, you may want to use less. This was just about the right saltiness for me.
  • The bok choy, like any leafy green when you put it in heat, cooks down quite a bit. Using all four bunches that we'd gotten gave me barely enough for my daughter and I, and you can see our servings weren't that big.
Food Friday posts are making a comeback this summer as I go on my CSA adventure! Here are two cookbooks that were highly reviewed on Amazon that I'll be consulting (although I didn't tonight):

The Farmer's Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Your CSA and Farmer's Market Foods, by Julia Shanks and Brett Grohsqal (CreateSpace, 2012). Looks good, but no pictures with recipes. I miss having pictures. Looking forward to trying the recipes, though.

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (Jones Books, 2004). Again with the no-pictures-thing. When I'm trying to identify produce, a nice color picture would be extremely helpful.

Both of these books have good tips on storage, as well as a wealth of recipes. I have another book I've requested through my public library that was recommended by a friend--I'll let you know about that one when I get it.

I'll leave you with a moment of quilting inspiration...Swiss chard stems. 
(Match those up to your color wheels, why don't you?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--Analogous with an Accent

...and I don't mean a color scheme with a drawl. Ar ar.

This week we're looking at three side-by-side colors again, although this time we're twisting it up by jumping across the color wheel to the opposite side of any of the original three colors and choosing an accent color. Some legalists might suggest that you have to go opposite of the color in the middle, but really, you don't. The opposite color of any of the original analogous buddies will work just fine as an accent.

This has traditionally been referred to as "the pop of color," or "the zinger." I remember in my early quilting days a more experienced quilter told me, "You always have to have a zinger in your quilt." Well, you know how I feel about absolutes like "always" and "never." Really, you don't always have to. And, in fact, we've already dealt with two color harmonies that distinctly don't have a zinger. But it is a very effective color harmony to use and one that I do tend to find myself using fairly frequently. Things looking a little dull in your color choices? Take a quick hop across the color wheel and see what happens!

Color Magic for Quilters also points out that part of the reason that this works so well is because you're now automatically blending warm and cool colors in a single quilt. No matter where you are in the color wheel, the opposite side will be the opposite heat factor, so to speak. And that just makes things cook.

Let's Play!

I started out my experiments by going back to my analogous choices from last week, and hopping across the color wheel. Well, that was really too easy, since that same collection had already done that for me with one of the other fabrics in the same line.

Yellow-green, green, and blue-green--skippity hoppity and you've got red in any of its shades or tones. In this case, a nice dusty rose/pink.

Lots of prints use this color harmony, by the way. It's pretty easy to find a print and then pull fabrics with colors from that print, and discover you've done an "analogous with an accent" color scheme without even trying.

But I wanted to try. So I put those fabrics away and started over.

I got this poppy little fabric on sale from Hancock's of Paducah last week. It looked fun to play with, since I'm working smaller scale now and could get any number of color combinations or textural elements if I use little bitty pieces from this.

I got out Joen Wolfrom's 3-in-1 Color Tool and checked the fabric--yep, analogous with an accent. Although a little trickier since she uses the Ives Wheel (aka CMYK) and there are a whole lot more divisions. So I was generous with myself and decided that yellow, orange yellow, and magenta were more or less analogous if you compared it with the smaller standard color wheel of yellow, orange, and red. (So I wasn't quite as much a stickler with myself this week. Sue me.) Jump across, and there's blue-green.

This is the first set I came up with. Technically, it all works. Next to the print is a yellow-to-yellow-orange-ish fabric, followed by a very, very light teal (or blue-green) batik, followed by an orange solid, followed by a magenta batik, closing out with a teal batik.

While it works by the color wheel, it wasn't working for me. Something about it wasn't jazzing me, so I kept going.

I tried swapping out the yellow (second from the left) with a brighter yellow/orange batik print.

The other yellow matched the color better, but this one matches the mood better, I think.

But I'm still not entirely happy, so I play on...

This time I tried changing the magenta (second from right) with a different magenta that reads a little more to the orange. I do think that one works better than the other magenta.

So, yes, this could make a quilt.

Still, I'm not positive this is a quilt I'd make.

But it was fun to play.

Your turn!

Link up your playtime! What does three colors side-by-side with an accent mean to you?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Slow Quilt Monday--The Word

For some of us, of course, the phrase "The Word" has distinctly religious connotations. For others of us who make our livings by the written or spoken word, it may also have slightly spiritual connotations. For me, language is fascinating and irritating at the same time. So many nuances...and yet, like cable channels, still there are times when despite the myriad choices we can't find the word to express exactly what we are thinking or experiencing.

Still n' all, we may not particularly equate words with quilting. In fact, I've often stated that for me, quilting is a great relief after spending an entire day in the world of words. Instead, I get to play with color, shape, line, and all those other non-verbal things.

But lately I've been giving a lot of thought to using words to inspire design. I mentioned this in passing in the podcast episode that just went live on Sunday--how the word "Joy" came to be the guiding principle in the work I just finished, and how I'm already working on another piece inspired by a single word. Our Design Study Group just completed a session on using words as inspiration from the Lorraine Torrence book as well.

When you look at a quilt you're working on, do you find that there's a word that becomes your guiding principle, your theme, the touchstone you keep going back to? "Does this color match my word? Would this piece better exemplify my word?"

If not, is that something you'd like to play with?

Sometimes slow quilting is simply playing with ideas in your head. Choose a word that would have meaning to you, and then imagine what kind of quilt you might design that would express that word in some way to others. What colors would you use? What shapes would appear? What kind of borders might best carry the word through to the outermost edges? You can just play in your head, or with colored pencils, or your fingertip and a touchscreen tablet...whatever way you like to doodle.

You may never make any of the quilts that you play with in your head or on paper, but each one still influences whatever you do actually make later!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Randomness and a Finish

1. My friend Lori from guild took my left-over baby receiving blanket flannel scraps and turned them into adorable stuffed bunnies. Bunny is now a spring decoration in my home. He makes me smile.

2. I need a pedicure. Not at all related to #1.

3. It's officially summer by my clock. I got in the pool for the first time today. Hence noticing #2.

 4. Stonyfield Organic Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt, frozen pineapple chunks, frozen mango chunks, a fresh banana, and a splash of orange juice make for a wonderful, vacation-y-feeling breakfast smoothie. A little beach time without the beach. Or the time. But we'll take what we can get. Puts me in the mood for #3 and, by extension, #2. Maybe I'll bring #1 with me to cuddle too.

5. I finally finished "Joy"! It started out just playing with shapes, but that word kept coming to me and became the guiding principle.

5a. It's the joy that I've witnessed in the lives of so many women. Women who have been through Some Stuff. And yet, joy abounds.

5b. I learned how to let go.

5c. I discovered the fun of just cutting shapes and seeing what happens.

5d. I learned to be okay with the fact that a fern suddenly looked a whole lot more like a big speckled bird. Conversation piece.

5e. I listened when my quilt told me it needed another fern peeking out from the side, behind the border. "Okay. Whatever you say. You're the boss."

5f. I took my time, redoing a figure several times over until I got one that was more or less the shape I was going for. I found fascination in noticing the slight changes in line that could create a whole different sense of movement.

5g. I had fun using some great fat quarters I've had kicking around for awhile and never quite knew how to use.

5h. Some pieces are just too dang small. Even for fusible, raw-edge applique. I'll cuff myself upside the head next time I start doing little bitty feet or arms. (Note the woman bending over in the back of the top picture. Her appendages gave me fits.)

5h. I learned when to say "enough is enough," let a project call itself done, and get ready to move onto the next in the series.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--Analogous

Before we start--some quick business to take care of.

1. Have you checked out the linkies to last week's Total Color Tuesday post? Several folks have linked up with their own monochromatic (aka "single color harmonies") quilts or their own exploration of stash. Yay! Thanks for playing along, everyone! I had a great time looking at what you had come up with, and we had a really interesting cross-blog conversation about green going on. Great stuff.

2. I've been asked if I could post at the end of one post what next week's color harmony is going to be so folks could start working on that. The reason I'm not doing that is because pretty soon we're likely to be getting into color harmonies that are less familiar so I need to do some 'splainin' first, which is what each week's blog post is about anyway. Clear as mud? The bottom line is, each time you've got a whole week to link up before the next week's post.

Three Side-by-Side Colors, AKA Analogous

creative commons license
This week's exploration: Three side-by-side colors, also known as "analogous."

By the way, I'm assuming we're all using the fairly standard 12-color version of the color wheel. Some color wheels have as many as 24 (see Joen Wolfrom's poster version). So picture the 12-color when you're thinking about what colors sit next to one another on the color wheel.

Analogous is three colors side-by-side on the color wheel. Hence:
  • Green, Blue-green (or teal), Blue
  • Orange, red-orange, red
  • Yellow-green, yellow, orange-yellow...
You get the picture. Analogous, or three side-by-side color, harmonies work well because each color shares something in common with the one next to it. According to Color Magic for Quilters, "Because the colors are closely related, your eye travels easily from color to color. The result is a color scheme that is peaceful and balanced, even when warmer colors are involved," (p. 31). 

In analogous schemes, the colors can be used in equal amounts or varied. And, of course, as usual, you can use neutrals.

Let's Play!

This one took awhile for me to put together. I had at least four different piles working as I tried to find an analogous scheme that I could actually imagine putting into a quilt. I finally landed on this one.

The large butterfly print was my starter print for this set--it has yellow-green, green, and blue-green in it so it's analogous all by itself. Gray and black are the only other colors.

A couple of the other fabrics are from the same collection, but I added in a others to complete the analogous theme. The yellow-green in the center and the green at the top wouldn't necessarily look right next to each other. But with the rest of the fabrics buffering them, I do think it works. And I'd probably keep that yellow-green only as a minimal accent anyway. If I were really making this quilt, I'd look for another very light fabric--probably an extremely light gray or teal. (And yes, what might look blue on your monitor really is clearly teal under my Ott light.)

Your turn! 

Linky up with your blog post playing with analogous color schemes (or to quilts you've made in the past using an analogous scheme).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Slow Quilt Monday--The Quilt Whisperer

Are you a Quilt Whisperer? 

Do you let your quilts talk to you? Let you know what they want? What they need?

Do you let them just hang out with you for awhile? Lounging on your cutting table? Leaning casually on your design wall, watching you as you go about your day? Do you hear them occasionally trying to get your attention?

"Hey. Have you thought about pink? I'm sorta in the mood for some pink. Right here, halfway down my right side. I don't see pink on anything else that you've made lately. Might make me different. I like being different."

"Could you put down that rotary cutter for a minute and come here? We need to talk. I'm just not feeling this border. Makes me look fat."

And what about...

"Hey. Over here. No. Inside here. I'm that quilt in your brain. I'm the one that woke you up yesterday--remember? I came to you in a dream--really, I did! You woke up and were sort of excited about me, and then your kid needed your help figuring out what to wear to school and then you needed to get your coffee because we all know what you're like before caffeine and then you decided you'd really better get a load of wash in before getting ready for work then you had two back-to-back meetings right away and thousands of emails and phone calls and by the time you got home your kid needed help with her homework and you can't really remember seventh grade math very well anymore and trying to do that while getting dinner ready was a real trial and by the time you--or she--was done with her homework you crashed on the couch in front of bad sitcoms then dragged yourself up to bed sort of forgot all about me. But I'm still here. Waiting. See that sketchpad over there? Why don't you at least make some notes about me before you forget me again. I might start taking it personally."

Quilts can actually be quite entertaining company if we just take the time to get to know them. 

Excellent senses of humor.

Very understanding and patient.

But, like petulant teenagers, they can
get very pouty and annoying if we ignore what they're trying to say to us.

I've had quilts work my very last nerve. 
But that's usually because I wasn't listening in the first place.