"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Monday, March 22, 2010

Internet Mary

Yesterday, I finished the barn quilt top but expressed angst over the yard and the sky. By the time I’d finished writing it, I had pretty much made up my mind to redo the yard but leave the sky alone. It wasn’t that I was happy with the sky, but with all those points on the trees, I didn’t feel like messing with it.

I received a number of helpful comments from nice people, both on the blog and elsewhere. I particularly appreciate no one writing that it really sucked, not even that nasty spammer who keeps leaving links to some p*rn site that allegedly has pictures of the girlfriend who just broke up with him via e-mail so he is allegedly getting even by posting all her nekid pictures.


I’d break up with him, too. And there would be pictures plastered all over although chances are, they would be of the crime scene when I was done with him.

Of course, it is all made up and pitched to energetic young men and sneaky middle aged ones.   Or Tiger Woods - not that he needs commercial p*rn sites since he apparently has the actresses on retainer.  The spammer's arrival has made what used to be an easy back and forth between me and comments into sort of a pain. So if I have not answered you, please don’t think it has been on purpose. Chances are, I am having to approve or reject incoming messages and even though yours is approved, it then is a little more complicated to go back and comment on it, particularly if I am “approving” it from my iphone while out running errands.  Sometimes I forget.  I need to up my Ginko.

Anyway, I got an e-mail from Internet Mary about my barn quilt. Internet Mary is a member of my Samoyed Owners Group and we correspond via e-mail and a yahoo group. She is a member of the same group where I met Julia, Blind Willie and Tarka. I call her Internet Mary so husband knows who I am talking about. We don’t know any other Marys but when I used to just say, “Mary said…” He would interrupt and say “WHO!!??????” (even though he knows good and well who I am talking about). We used to go through a dance of:

Me: “Taff’s mom.”

Him: “You don’t know if her name is really Mary. She could be a fat old man on one of those little scooters paid for by Medicare with too much interest in the neighborhood children.”

Me: “She’s a she. I can tell by the way she writes.   Besides, I’ve seen pictures of Taff.”

Him: “Whoever it is may well have an unhealthy interest in pictures!”


Eventually, we met her, her sweet husband, Taff and their new furbaby, Tootsie, in person. Internet Mary really is who she says she is. She is one of the best writers I’ve ever read, has a killer sense of humor and has unexpectedly and significantly enriched my life. She tells a story better than anyone I’ve ever met and a lot of of her yarns are on her website.  She fell down the rabbit hole that is the Samoyed world when Taff showed up as a baby foundling in the midst of some terrible storms and flooding. Go look at his website and see how awful he looked. They thought he was a coyote. They had no idea what he was. They actually thought he was a she.   I think even the vet missed it. 

Now, I have learned that if I just say, “Mary said…” Husband will interrupt and demand to know, “Mary who???” (We still don’t know any other Marys). I have learned that if I call her Internet Mary, he will generally let it go or ask, “You mean Taff’s mom?”

Sign. He messes with my mind on purpose.

Anyway, Internet Mary is a whiz at photoshop or some such program (she can also track down ANYTHING on the internet and could repair the space shuttle, neuter an unanesthetized cat or cook a standing rib roast with just duct tape). She sent me the following doctored photo and suggested I go with a blue sky, leave the “barnyard” alone ("It looks just like a barnyard!”" and added if it were her, she'd appliqué in a chicken or two.

Sigh. She’s right about the sky.

Not about the chicken, though. That is not going to happen.

And even though she thought the “barnyard” looked just like a barnyard, in real life that is actually a driveway. And when I think “barnyard,” I think pigs in the mud. So maybe I just THINK no one told me the barn quilt sucked!

So I yanked off the sky.

Kinda sorta looks like that tornado I was scheming on came through. 

Then I replaced it with that blue Stonehenge fabric by Northcott.

It sort of screwed up the trees but I am glad I did it. Husband came in to take a look at it and liked it because now you could see the "mountains" better.


Notwithstanding Internet Mary’s advice, I decided to change the pigsty lawn, too. 

I am still not thrilled with it but I do like it better. Frankly, now I think it looks like a wheat field. I still don’t like that patch on the right hand side but not enough to do anything with it, today.  Sadly, I don't think it is nearly as interesting as the first version but I learned some things and that was most of the point.

So, Before:

Definitely more boring.  I feel like I've sold out...

My quilting buddy stayed with me all the time I was working on it so at least she isn't holding it against me.

That Evelyn!
She’s a good girl.

Happy Quilting,

Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


BilboWaggins said...

If you really think you sold out, stick with what YOU want to do, it is your quilt. However, I agree with Mary and I like your last photo best (but then, I don't do arty stuff and I like things to look how they are meant to look, not representative).

BTW, when I have 5 minutes to call my own we must chat on email - I am married to your husband's Evil Missing Twin. I also suspect you and I are twins separated at birth - your recent post about hating to take pills could have been me writing, and also that comment about how surprising it is that someone hasn't been murdered yet {giggle!!}

But now I must go finish some tidying up, have a dear friend visiting for a few days, haven't seen her since we moved.

jacquie said...

i like the first one better...the second is more like a painting...the first one has a quiltier feeling. sorry...they're both really pretty amazing...maybe you can jazz up the sky with the quilting. maybe you don't care a bit what i think.
btw...if you have any good murder plots for spammers...i'm in.

Sarah or Semmy said...

Ahhhh, you changed the sky. I thought the sky looked like the Northern Lights putting on one of the free spectacular shows of beautiful lights. Art quilts are supposed to make one use their imagination. That first effort looked like ART.

Penny said...

Well, I liked the first one but not enough to keep it. I think in a larger area, it would have worked for me but for the small area the sky was in, the pieces were too big and looked forced. There wasn't enough blending to make the transitions smooth and it looked choppy and arbitrary - and not in a particularly good way. I think that may have come through more in person than in the photo. I think a better solution would have been to make the pieces in the sky smaller. That would probably have been the best solution. In fact, I think it would have looked better if the blue sky had been made in smaller pieces, even if I had used the same fabric (which varied from place to place) for all of it.

Penny said...

Oh, and I should say that I think the quilt with just the blue sky looks better in person than in the photo. The same lack of definition in the photos that hid the awkward transitions also hid the texture and depth in the blue fabric. So I am pretty happy with it but I think using some more shades of blues in smaller pieces would have been better.

Paula said...

The quilt looks awesome. I liked the first sky, but like the last one a bit better. I'm not into artsy quilts, but have been anxiously waiting to see your progress. I'm so impressed. And here I am complaining about how long it's taking me to hand quilt flames on a fireman quilt.


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