December 9, 2013
Spiros, I’m home and getting ready for Christmas – yay! There’s a holiday sale in the works — stay tuned for info in the next day or two! Be sure to scroll down and read the latest posts just below this. Every time someone sends me a photo of their mandala quilt I post it here and, to quote one recent comment, each one is more beautiful than the last. You won’t want to miss them!
Blank Quilting has re-released my Radiant Collection panels and starbursts, and there’s a (free) pattern and kit to go with it. Click here to see Beyond Horizons, get the pattern and order the kit.
Click here – RaNae’s Calendar – to see my complete schedule
Check out my new video visit to a Magic Mirror Mandala workshop. For information about workshops (both in-person and online) click here. To see all my scheduled events and classes click on RaNae’s Calendar.
Here’s the book, Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts. To order a copy of this or my other book, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts, as well as patterns, kits, fabrics and my favorite quilting tools, click here.
To sign up for the newsletter and receive a FREE PATTERN click here .
I’m also on Facebook. Click here to become a friend!
Click here to share my favorite quick and healthy recipes on the Spiromaniacs blog. (Be sure to scroll down to see them all.) Okay, so chocolate cake might not be healthy, but this recipe IS quick — 5 minutes from beginning to end, with frosting!
Spiral on! RaNae
December 10, 2013
(or, The James Brown Approach to Working Out!)
No, I’m not going to put you on a guilt trip for eating that entire bag of chips (or that entire pint of Haagen Dazs) last night.
I’m going to share something I’ve learned recently from that bag of chips about getting myself to work out.
We all know the way to NOT work out: tell yourself, in the throes of miserable post-bag-of-chips regret, that you are going to get up at the crack of dawn and run 5 miles and Work Off That Bag Of Chips. Or Finally Get Fit. Or Whatever Guilt Trip You Are On. You wake up the next morning and it is dark. And cold. And the bed feels so good. And you don’t go. OR, worse, you go and it feels even worse than you did after you ate that bag of chips. The next morning comes. The alarm clock goes off. And you say “to heck with it” and stay in bed.
Now think about what made you eat that bag of chips in the first place. You didn’t start out intending to eat the whole thing. You started with only a handful. They tasted good. So you ate a couple more. They tasted good. Then a couple more. Oh, they taste so good, just a couple more. By then you’re so close to the bottom of the bag (or the carton) that you say “Ah to heck with it” and finish it off.
And then the guilt begins. “Why didn’t I stop?” you ask yourself. “I know better!”
The answer is that in the moment, those chips tasted really good and you were enjoying yourself. The power of That Feels Good kept you going until that whole bag was gone and you hated yourself for it.
But what if you could harness the power of That Feels Good – for good?
Recently I decided that I need to lose 20 pounds. (My sister is getting married and there will be family photos that will endure for generations. You get the picture…) I Will Work Out, I told myself, but I didn’t do it.
And then one day, after I had been quilting all afternoon, I decided to go for a walk. Just a walk. I had intended just to go around the block, but it was a beautiful day and it felt so good I went to the park and back instead.
The next day, I again decided to go for a walk – just because it felt good. I went to the park. And then a little further. It felt really good.
I kept it up. A couple of weeks in, I found some stairs, so I walked up them. It felt good. I started routing my walk to find stairs, and each time I found some I walked up. It felt really good. Then I started coming down the stairs doing my ski-preparation moves. That felt even better. Plus anticipating how much fun I was going to have on the slopes added an extra dose of “That feels good!”
A few days later, I decided to do a couple of push-ups on the back of a bench. I could barely get through 5, but it felt good. A little later in the walk I felt refreshed so I tried some more push-ups. I only made it through 3 more, but it felt good.
I quickly learned that if I did half-depth push-ups and did 3 at a time with a rest in between I could do a LOT of push-ups. Within a week, I did 50 pushups. It felt good! Then a few days later I did 100 pushups. It felt better! Today I did 120, and I noticed that my pushups are getting deeper. It feels GREAT!
Today we got the first real snow we’ve had this season and the park was beautiful. I went out for my walk. I felt excited, invigorated. So I ran. Just a little way – to the lightpost. It felt good! A little further along I ran a bit more. This time I made it to the lightpost and realized I could go a bit further so I did. It felt amazing! I kept running in sprints, setting nearby goals and then exceeding them. It felt GREAT!
Within just a couple of weeks, I’ve done a 180-degree turn: instead of hating to work out and doing it out of fear and guilt, I have found the power of That Feels Good!
Just like that bag of chips, I start out with the intention of just going for a walk. But then it feels good so I do a bit more. And that feels good so I do a bit more. And that feels good so I do even more. And by the time I get home I’ve enjoyed a really nice walk and gotten a great workout. I feel really good physically. And I feel really good emotionally because I did what I meant to and then exceeded my goal.
I’m looking forward to my walk and work out tomorrow — and that feels GOOD!
December 9, 2013
Spiros, many of you might have seen this mandala quilt from Mavis Abbey of Adelaide, Australia featured on The Quilt Show‘s “Quilt of the Day” on December 3, 2013. Isn’t it gorgeous?
(I just recognized the border fabric in this — it’s from a peacock themed collection of fabrics that Benartex produced in 2011. I know this because I used this fabric (actually, the whole collection) in a quilt I made for my niece.)
But as they say in TV infomercials — “Wait, there’s more!” Mavis made a second mandala quilt with the same wedge, but this wedge is a 1/8-circle instead of the 1/10-circle in the mandala above. The colors in this one give is a soft, feminine feeling.
In both quilts, I love how Mavis placed a bit of printed fabric in the centers of the certain spirals to inject some energy and visual rhythm. And, her careful use of gradations gives both designs a strong three dimensional feel.
Here’s what Mavis wrote to me about her quilts: “The one with the black background is called Moroccan Mandala and the one with the green background is called Starburst. I was pleased when Moroccan Mandala was featured as “Quilt of the Day” on the Quilt Show website on Dec 3rd. I loved making them, especially seeing what emerges with the interlocking patterns. I used only nesting spirals in these quilts but I am going to be a bit more adventurous next time around. I enjoyed reading your books and find your instructions easy to follow. I am inspired by the work that you do. Regards, Mavis Abbey.”
And we are inspired by what you do, Mavis. Thank you for sharing.
November 13, 2013
Hello Spiros –
Now that I’m back home for a while, the creative juices are really flowing again and I’m loving it! I have three weddings coming up on the horizon in the next six months, so wedding quilts have been on my mind.
Tonight as I was fondling and rearranging my stash, it occurred to me that there are a number of problems with wedding quilts:
1: They are often all about the bride — not much about the groom
2: They are often so “heirloomy” and “special” that they don’t get used.
3: They are BIG, so they don’t get used except on the couple’s bed. AND, if the quilt doesn’t suit their décor in style or color it can easily end up in a closet or guest room somewhere. Such a shame . . .
4: Because of that bigness and heirloominess, they can be expensive and VERY time-consuming to make — which seems a particular shame if the quilt doesn’t get used all that much.
And then it hit me: instead of one big extra-special quilt that might not get enjoyed all that much, why not make his and hers couch quilts? Two quilts, each small enough to be used regularly. Make them in a style that doesn’t intimidate the user. They’re easier to make and quilt because they’re smaller. The groom feels as included as the bride. Yes, they may wear out in time, but until then they’ll be used and loved much more than a special quilt sitting in a closet.
And by the way, my sister and brother-in-law discovered while they lived in Germany that the practice there is for each person in that two-person bed to have his/her own covers so there’s no cover-stealing in the middle of the night. So, you could still use two matching quilts as a pair on one bed.
Think about it . . .
Now, back to my stash and my sewing machine!
October 29, 2013
October 26, 2013
I taught at East Cobb Quilt Guild October 24-26. Here are some of the results from my Magic Mirror Mandala class. Even with only the center block of the mandala sewn, we were able to put the background fabric in place to begin to see how the it will look when it’s finished.
Enseñé en East Cobb Quilt Guild, 24-26 Octubre. Aquí, algunos resultados de mi
clase Magic Mirror Mandalas (Mandalas Magicas en el Espejo). Aún con un solo
bloque cosido, pudimos colocar el fondo para ver como se verá la mandala
Here we tested whether to use a busy background, and how to place a red edging around the mandala – third time was the charm!
Acá, hicimos una prueba para ver si debemos usar un fondo con mucho estampado o un fondo solido. Resultó major con el solido. También colocamos una tira rojo el en borde de la mandala.
The mandala below was made by Randolph Case (I love it when I have guys in the class!) The patterned fabric is by Paula Nadelstern – he’ll use bits of it in the mandala, then we’ll see what happens with the background. All of Paula’s fabrics contain symmetrical designs, and so they are great for fussy-cutting into mandalas with mirrored symmetry.
La mandala abajo se hizo por Randolph Case (me encanta tener los hombres en la
clase!). La tela estampada es de Paula Nadelstern – habrá pedacitos de esta
tela adentro de la mandala, y despues verémos si sera el fondo. Las telas de
Paula siempre tienen diseños simétricos, así son muy buenos para “fussy-cutting“
(cortar un parte particular del diseño para colocar en posición especifica)
adentro de una mandala con simetría del espejo.
Another mandala center — very similar to Randolph’s colors. (The cutting mat is not part of the mandala design. )
Centro de otra mandala – muy similar a la de Randoph.
So that’s it for the mandala class in East Cobb. I had a GREAT time there. Thank you everyone for your warm hospitality (particularly Bella for letting me quilt at your home for the afternoon). Hope to see you again soon!
Bueno, eso es todo para la clase de mandalas en East Cobb. Disfruté muchísimo
mi visita. Gracias a todas para su huespedad tan cálida. Espero verles de
vuelta muy pronto!