Multitasking in and out of the studio

Never a good idea. Multitasking generally means not doing anything very well because you are so scattered. Haha - that doesn't prevent me from doing so, because I have no choice.

I'm packing to leave for an international teaching trip on Monday. My suitcase is half full of clothes and half full of fabric. Tip of iceberg below.

It's not that I NEED all this fabric, but I keep imagining that I can go back into the classroom at night and sew. Incorrigable!

I'm flying into Paris and will spend 5 days with my cousin France.

France's mother (Mala) and my mother (Molly) were first cousins (their fathers were brothers) and they were named after their grandmother, Malka.

My grandfather came to the U.S. in 1913 but his brother remained in Poland and was exterminated by the Nazis, with the rest of his family -- except for Mala, who had come to Paris to study and escaped Paris (long story) to be hidden in the countryside during the war.

I expect to see my extended family and wander around the city I have been to so many times in the last 55 years and still not covered. I can never spend enough time in my beloved Marais.

From Paris, I am taking the train to Brittany, where I will be staying and teaching for 2 weeks at the beautiful Clos de Lande Vallée. How lucky am I?

Can't wait! I taught there for a week last August and my class had a waiting list - so happily, I am back this year. I teach in French, but it is also an hour's hop by plane from the U.K.

Two years ago I came home from Paris with a pile of African fabrics from the garment district. But I wasn't teaching - just visiting my cousin - so I had room in my suitcase. Not this time!! I have more African, Indian, Malaysian and Aboriginal fabrics than I will ever use. And I do love using them - especially with solids and contemporary fabrics. They mix so well in modern quilts!

Today I'm back in the studio after having had the miserable, rusty, leaky air conditioner replaced. Using ethnic fabrics, an old Kaffe stripe I've had since the 1980's, and some solids, I have work in progress. As usual, I don't know exactly where it is going. After a number of false starts, trying to make something work, I gave up and reverted to my friend Helene's advice, "when all else fails, sew strips."

The triangle scraps on the left are from the "all else fails" pile and back they go because they are just not right for this piece.

Update - August 9

I was in the studio until 8:00 tonight, working. Sometimes a piece just makes itself. This went together so easily and while it is not finished, it is done. Tomorrow, I might start to stitch it. (Of course, that is my strategy to avoid putting the facing on yesterday's quilt).

Sometimes, simple is best. And as we all know, finished is better than perfect. If I really work at it, I might be able to take it with me when I leave on Monday. .

Now I am going to put my feet up and read:-).


 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019