MAKERS HOME fabrics by Natalie Barnes from WINDHAM FABRICS

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Color and Texture - Inspiration Comes to us in Many Forms

I took some time off last week, to drive up the coast of California - to an area they call the 'Central Coast'.
It's Nipomo, Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Louis Obispo, Morro Bay, Cayucos - that area.
The Seven Sisters area.  I guess I should be able to name all seven, right?
First, let me tell you, there is a great quilt show in the area.  In 2009, it will be in it's second year.
It's a combined guild show, which I think is a great idea.  Seven Sisters, seven towns, seven quilt guilds,
one great show. 
It's at the Madonna Inn.  For more information, go to our website

Back to my drive.
I had the pleasure of visiting a friend on his Ranch.
It is alive with color and texture and living things.
And projects.
He is really busy with projects, so it was a pleasure to take a moment and just sit on the front porch, plop down in the rockers, and have a glass of water between take the time to catch up and reconnect.
I highly recommend it.  Go out of your way for someone.  Take the time to reach out and discover someone already in your life.  We all go rushing quickly along on our own highways, on our own paths.  We should remember it is every friend along the way that has helped pave that way for us.
And we should reconnect.

After a few moments, a few quality topics of discussion under our belt, my friend was off again with another project, giving me the gift of the Ranch...
to wander, play with the dog, visit with the goats, and talk to the cows.
And discover the garden.
It wasn't long before I was pulling weeds and digging in the dirt and feeding the goats the grasses and sprouts I had just pulled from the earth.  Picking fallen apples under the trees meant the goats would have a treat.  Nothing was wasted.  Just like quilters and their little scraps of fabrics - making up the patchwork of a quilt, the Ranch creates a patchwork of life sustaining...growing...creating...

With quilting, so often, we focus on the quilt pattern we are making, or the fabric we want to use.  We worry about the thread and get involved in the tools of the trade.  We read up on quilting patterns, and check on the latest information on getting perfectly square corners on our binding.  We are a focused bunch, working in little teeny less than 1/8" bites of stitches for applique, and oh so much math for our pieced quilts.
We want to be sure we meet the criteria for the quilt's submission into a show,
or the requirements for the challenge, too.
And we usually have some sort of deadline for our quilts.
We're always going along at a fast clip along that highway, that path.

I stayed the night on the ranch, in a loft above my friend's office.
Mind you, his office is a space filled with tractors, tools, metal things, and lots and lots of parts and pieces and lots and lots of ideas about what to do with them all.

The next morning, I truly had the Ranch to myself - I am a very early riser.  So I started taking pictures.
(after I fed and watered the chickens - that's a blog in itself...I lost a chicken!!!!! 
Wait, it does have a happy ending - look for the upcoming blog entitled "Chasing Chickens")

When I returned home to Southern California, I took a look at the pictures I had taken.
Color.  Texture.  Contrast and Comparison.
All perfectly composed by just the nature of the Ranch itself.
Life itself.

I am here today to tell you to stop, breathe, and look.
Take a moment to see the texture, the detail, the stitch, the little pieces that make up the whole.
How many times are you ever going to hear me tell you to NOT see the big picture?
Well, the next few blogs are going to reflect the detail, the texture, the color, the fabric that our lives are made of.

So while you're on your journey, while you're on your highway, and especially this holiday season, 
take time to look at the detail. 
 Even your breath.  
See the colors and textures and layers of your life and rejoice in that.

thanks for thinking of 
beyond the reef


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