Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Soothes the Savage...Fabric?

A few months ago I asked the members of the QuiltArt list whether they listen to anything while they work, or if background noise is a distraction.  I had been quilting along to some Run-DMC (quilting and old school rap DO go together) and just wondered what music, if any, gets other people creating.

The responses were tremendously varied, from Gregorian chants to heavy metal to folk (not so much on the hip hop, though), and I enjoyed reading all of the responses.  There was one response of the dozens that came in that made me think:

Doesn't anyone work in silence and let the work speak to them?

After some real consideration, I decided that the music or NPR serve a critical function for me.  If the left side of my brain is engaged in listening to a discussion of singing along (badly) to music from my college years, the right side is freed up to just create.  The good inner critic that says, "Try this quilting design" or "Purple would be beautiful there" comes through loud and clear while the negative critic --  "Are you nuts? You can't do this!" -- is occupied remembering the words to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

That's just me, though.  Does the music serve a function for you? Or is it just to cover up the creaks and pops your house/studio make everyday?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Best Laid Plans

Tuesday, 7:30 PM

I couldn't get my husband out of the house fast enough.  He was going to be gone until Thursday afternoon.  The next day, Wednesday, the kids had after-school activities until 4:30. I would be alone in my house ALL DAY.

A silly, giddy grin spread across my face as I planned out what was surely going to be the best work day I had had in a long time. I cut the strips for a small child's quilt.  I took pictures of a work in progress so I could post to the blog, and cut batting and backing for a new piece.  I might have giggled.  And maybe danced.

Wednesday, 10:30 AM

The children were at school.  I had walked 2.5 miles, showered, and read the news.  I started winding a bobbin so I could get to work.

10:35 AM

The phone rang.  I was not planning to answer it, I just wanted to make sure it wasn't a school nurse calling to tell me to come retrieve a sick or injured child.  Anyone else could leave a message.

Anyone else except for my 83-year-old mother-in-law, Ms.G, that is.  I always answer the phone when she calls because she is 83.

She had a doctor's appointment that my husband and I did not have on our schedule.  In 25 minutes.  It was going to take me an hour to get her there under ideal conditions.  With my husband out of town, it was going to be up to me to get her there.  I asked her to call the doctor's office and tell them what the problem was.  I finished winding my bobbin and selected some music to work by while I waited for her to call me back, because I was sure they would just reschedule for another day.

But no.  They said to come on in later and they would work her in.  My day was imploding.  Rational Me tried reminding myself that I was fortunate to be in a position to go help her, and that she has been a wonderful MIL, but Derailed Me wasn't trying to hear that.

My voice

My brain

That is how my perfect day became a 7-hour odyssey through DC on a rainy winter day.  I picked up Ms.G, took her to the doctor, and waited around for a couple of hours hoping they would get to her before I had to go get my daughter from school.  A foolish hope, really, because this had become One of Those Days.  Thwarted and muttering, I drove an hour round-trip to get my daughter, drop her at home, and return to the doctor's office to collect Ms.G.

When I finally got home, I could not bear to even turn on the light in my studio.  Even so, I could hear the taunts of my carefully prepared fabrics.  I closed the door.

We had waffles for dinner that night.

I was looking forward to my husband's return.

read to be read at

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Diversity comes to Jacq's Girls!

Until now, all of the dolls pictured on my website have been African-American.  One could assume that I don't make dolls of other ethnicities.  One would be mistaken.

I have made a number of Caucasian dolls over the last two years, but either the photographs were not good quality or they were not photographed at all.  All of that is now changing.

I have now added five Caucasian dolls to my regular line-up.  Please welcome Amanda, Charlotte, Hayley, Jenna, and Lucy!  More to come...