Do you guys remember Mark B.? Marky Mark? Magic Marker? Mark B. Goode? Sparky Mark?
Perhaps this will refresh your memory:
If you recall, that right there is my magic ironing board cover, a gift from my friend Peggi.
Remember that auction thing I was gonna do to raise money that my calendar didn't make because I have been a terrible blogger this past year? (Go back and read this post if you need a refresher.) And then remember how the whole beginning of 2013 just sucked big donkey balls?
Okay, let me back up for a minute.
This blog means the world to me. I started it back when I started teaching myself how to quilt, and it has grown right along with my sewing skills. Then...a bunch of other stuff happened, semi-career-wise, and I got, let's say, distracted. I have been promising myself (and you) over and over that I would be back, that I would stop shoving this blog I love so much to the side, but it just didn't work out that way.
But that's got to change. It has to. I can't let this baby wither and die. I've been going on for a very long time knowing that my life wasn't right, but not knowing how to fix it. And now I know.
I need to sew. And I need to write—I need to write for me. Those are the things that bring me joy. And dirty ironing board covers, on occasion.
Several weeks ago, I got a call from a friend who wanted me to make a quilt for her. It was okay if I couldn't do it; she would understand. But it would be a cool thing for her and me if I could do it. (Vague, yeah, but that's all I can say about it.) I knew I had to say yes. I also knew that I had barely touched my sewing machine at all in the last 12 months, so I might have been promising more than I could deliver. So, I had to sew something. Just to see if I still could.
So, I started with these bags (which, honestly, look a hell of a lot better hanging here than they do up close. The pattern (which you can find here)involves weird twisting and pinning and folding and there are places where they're just being held together by static electricity or something.):
Then these pillows (the paper piecing pattern for the design on the left is here and a tutorial for the Somerset star on the right can be found here) :
And then I dug out some fabric I had cut for another project that didn't work out, and decided to sew them into nine patches and combine them with some Kona charcoal on point. With little slashes of color mixed in. (My "design", if you want to call it that. Or, my what-the-hell. Whichever.):
And that quilt top? I'm hand quilting it. Nope, I've never hand quilted anything, but I figure, why stop now? Might as well learn everything while I have the chance, right?
So, anyway. Yeah. I think I can still sew okay.
But can I write? Do I still have anything to say? That's harder. I didn't have my regular column in the last issue of GenQ, because I just couldn't come up with anything. It's the first time in, I don't know, ALWAYS, that I haven't turned in a writing assignment. I would sit and stare at the screen for hours and if I did manage to type something, it was dry and bland and not even remotely amusing.
I've come to a lot of realizations concerning this over the last few months, and eventually, I'll tell you more of them. But for now, I'll say this. I can't write if I don't write, and I haven't been writing at all. And that has got to change.
This blog has always been where I can write without obligation. I don't have to please anybody but myself here, and I have to remember that. Even if all my readers have gone away, then fuck it, I'll just start over. And it may not be as good as it was at first, but then again, maybe it will be like the sewing, and I'll find I'm still okay at it. But whether it's good or whether it sucks the aforementioned donkey balls, at least it won't be nothing.
So, I'm going to set a goal of two posts a week for now. Maybe Mondays and Thursdays. (Yes, this is Tuesday. Whatevs.) I think I can handle that. You up for it?
So, where was I? Oh, yeah. Mark the Shark and his Magically Appearing Wonder Wiener. Peggi sent me two Mark B.-emblazoned ironing board covers for the auction, so now I really gotta get my ass in gear and have the damn thing. But, knowing how much I have neglected the blog and how few people are still reading it, I thought I'd try my two-posts-a-week experiment for a while and see if we can get some readers back before we start. So, I'm going to say that the auction will start in the first week of May. There will be fabric and patterns and calendars and naked men—pretty much everything this blog stands for.
Wish me luck.