Sunday, May 27, 2007

All Quiet in the Magpie's Nest

...a little too quiet.

I was so looking forward to having the house to myself this weekend. Unfortunately my body seems to have the upper hand at the moment and I have been unable to take full advantage of the opportunity. I finally feel like I am beginning to regain control but only time will tell.

I have been receiving the June issues of my favorite magazines in the mail this week. Too bad I can't read them. Each day I put the newest one on the dining table and page through it while standing up. I can feel the fumes from the inks permeate my nose and sinus cavities. Sure enough, I soon have a new headache, followed by the rest of the exposure symptoms. DH is going to have to engineer a reading box for me. Something the books and magazines can go into with a clear top and some kind of mechanism that will allow me to turn the pages. I've learned that my carbon-filter mask is insufficient to protect me from this kind of exposure. We may have to buy new cartridges for the paint respirator mask so I can give that a try (while DH is building me a reading box). {sigh}

On a happier note, I am participating in a project called "Fabric for Life." This is a fabric challenge that will become an exhibit and eventually an auction fundraiser, the proceeds of which will benefit the Fabric of Life Foundation and the Here Je Center in Mali, West Africa. Each participant has purchased fabric that is produced in Mali by girls and women who are using micro-loans to start and operate businesses that will allow them to support themselves and their families. Since I was unable to attend the meeting where the fabrics were first presented, I asked for and was sent three fat quarters "that sort of go together" to play with. These are the three I received and I am delighted with them! I have chosen to keep one fat quarter for myself (the one with the wavy diagonal lines) because I like it so much (and I may try to buy more!); the other two will go into my challenge quilt. I have already cut one print up into roughly rectangular pieces. My thinking is that I will use the FQ that reads as a solid orange (but is actually a kind of tone-on-tone stripe) around these rectangles somehow. They may get built up into Log Cabin units or I may just use the orange as a kind of sashing. I pulled some of my African prints out of my stash the other day so I can play around with them and see what works with these two challenge fabrics. My first thought was to just surround the rectangles with the orange and then use a narrow inner border and wider outer border to finish it off. Seems too easy though. There's also the internal debate about whether to make something with fabric only or to make something I could bead embellish. The finished quilt has to be at least 18" square but no more than 48" square, with the challenge fabric(s) comprising 25% of the top surface of the quilt. I think I'm more tempted to go Gee's Bend with this than bead embellishing...


  1. Ooh, I love these fabric. I think it would have been tempting to just sew them exactly as they were in the picture - very minimalist.

    Just made a detour to read more about this foundation etc. What an excellent cause. I LOVE it. Is there a place to read more about the Fabric For Life challenge? Is it just local or can anyone participate? How long before the quilts are due to be turned in? I'd love more info if it's something I'd be able to participate in.

  2. p.s. on teh magazine - ooh, terrible to be allergic to the inks. Newspaper ink sets me off, but not magazine. at least not yet. Does the ink set/get better after a while? Could you put your magazines aside to age for a month before reading them? I know newpaper ink sets after 3 weeks... just a thought.


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.