Tuesday, April 22, 2014

one row at a time

Recently I was in my local Farm and Garden chatting with Pat--the very competent owner. As those who follow me probably know, I have a large garden. Lots of flowers. Mainly daylilies. Then there are also all the vegetables. The lettuce and peas. The onions. Basil. Tomatoes. This year I got some radishes. Spinach.

But April and May it always seems like an insurmountable task.  How will I ever find time to prepare the beds. Pull out the grass that invariable seems to grow over the winter. Add the compost. Plant the seeds and seedlings. Much less weed them. Argh!!! What am I thinking? Where can I find the time?

Pat asked how my new studio was coming along.

Pretty well, I said. I hope to move in May. Though how I will find time to do it is beyond me.

I know she said. I have the same problem especially this time of year. Isn't it amazing how one can never get everything done? Just do something. Keep going. One row at a time.

I thought of those wise words as I started my most recent quilt. It was an order I took some time ago. Wonderful people who have ordered before several time. They called last week. How was it coming along? Oops. Time to finish it, isn't it?

Now I know it will be fabulous when I get it done. But it is the process of getting there that will take some time. The quilt is based on this lovely wall hanging--or is it a table runner?

blue and yellow--Ann Brauer--2013  

More traditional than many of my recent quilts. Indeed it is based on the courthouse steps pattern. But the colors give it the dimension. And it is popular. I had another order for one large square as a table topper which I just finished. Dramatic, isn't it?

blue and yellow square--20x20"--Ann Brauer

This order though is for one long quilt with nine blocks. It is to hang over a window in a particular narrow space.  Yes, that will take a while. You see this is another quilt as you go project. So I must pull up and tie off all the threads. One row at a time.

back of quilt--Ann Brauer

After all I want the back to be neat and gorgeous also. That is part of the process.

Well, there is no way to finish but to start and keep going. One block at a time.

block of blue and yellow--Ann Brauer

I guess that is a start. I pin it up next to the original. Maybe it will get inspired and duplicate itself. Nope. I think I just have to keep sewing.

progress--Ann Brauer

And sewing. And sewing. Finally some progress. Enough so I can at least play with the design. Which way to piece it together. This way?

four pieces--Ann Brauer

Or this way?

four pieces--Ann Brauer

What do you think? Only five more blocks to go. Then to join the blocks together. Do the bindings. Add the looped tape for hanging. What was I thinking? Will I ever finish? Meanwhile today I think I will prepare one more row in my garden. After all, isn't that how to get the garden planted?

And you--how do you tackle a large job? One that seems to go on and on. Forever.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the quilts of Ann Brauer--finally April

Dear all,

Finally it is April. This winter that never seems to end is finally ending. The snow is melting. Of course now we have mud--but that to shall pass. I even have a couple of daffodils just poking up through the ground. Soon flowers.

I am getting ready for my last show of the spring season--The Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show at the 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia this Saturday and Sunday. I haven't done this show for a while but I know there will be some absolutely amazing hand built furniture. This year there are also five--count them FIVE--quilt makers. We all have different styles so it should be fun to come and check us all out.

I have been working so hard getting ready for this show. My latest addition to my quilts is an intense over-quilting which provides even more texture and substance to the work. Don't you love the simple design and the colors of this quilt--colors of the sky?

colors of the sky--quilt--Ann Brauer--2014

Another piece I am very proud of is "blue river in autumn" which I finished yesterday. Here is the wall hanging before I added the binding. Yes, it is long. About 76 inches long. I have intensely quilted the rust colored fabrics while leaving the blue river flowing freely.

blue river in autumn--12x76"--Ann Brauer--2014

Speaking of long. Yes, they are still working on my building. Yesterday they blew in the insulation to keep the place toasty warm. Soon they will start sheet rocking. Needless to say I can hardly wait. Patience is not my strong suit.

Well enough for now. I hope to see some of you at the Furniture Show--the discount ticket is attached below. For others, I do keep posting new items on my Etsy shop. www.etsy.com/shop/annbrauer And I will be working in my studio when I am not at shows--although if you are coming from a distance I suggest calling to be sure.