Music for All Hallow’s Eve (A Mother/Daughter Collaboration)

Three jack-o'-lanterns illuminated from within...

I was considering sitting this one out. I was kind of stymied since I don’t really do much with Halloween music and movies. I did think about working with the idea of masks, and found a number of songs about Masquerades. One of those, the one from Phantom of the Opera, is in this list, but it’s the only masquerade song that made the cut.

Luckily, I ended up chatting with my daughter last night. Compared to me (and many others), she is the expert regarding all things Halloween. So for the heck of it, I asked her what songs came to mind for Halloween. She came up with a couple of ideas right away. Then I told her the one I had and an idea I had for another, but that I couldn’t remember where it was from. When I described it to her, she remembered right away. So that one got included. Before long, she not only talked me through some selections, but she helped me find the videos. Not bad for two people chatting from halfway around the world. Suddenly, this project was getting to be fun. The creative juices were flowing.

By the way, if you’d like to see what she’s up to in her pen pal-related blog, you can find her at Sincerely Kate.

The Corpse Bride – Remains of the Day

Who knew that such things existed? This whole Halloween movie/music thing is quite enlightening. I’m not sold yet on watching this one, but maybe at some point.

Nightmare Before Christmas – This is Halloween

This was Kate’s first suggestion. No hesitation. Apparently, this was a common video at our place when she was growing up, but I honestly don’t remember it. Must not have grabbed me. It obviously appealed to her.

Sweeney Todd – Poor Thing

It’s probably fair to tell you she’s crazy about musicals. So the combination of Halloween and musicals, how could I miss?

Hocus Pocus: I Put a Spell on You

This was Kate’s second offering, immediately following on the heels of This is Halloween (see above). I told you she is an expert in all things Halloween.

Phantom of the Opera – Masquerade

I love everything about this musical, and I knew from the beginning that I would include this song. And it’s one I already knew, and I had seen the production–both live (in Toronto) and in the movie!  🙂

Labyrinth – As the World Falls Down

This is the one that I could remember the images, but couldn’t recall the movie. Kate to the rescue!

This project turned out to be a lot of fun. Working with Kate made it especially enjoyable. It also reminded me of  listening to Phantom of the Opera music with her. We also watched the Labyrinth movie together many times. Good times! Like the ones I hope you have with this collection of Halloween-themed music.

Stories from the Past (The Quilting Version)

The Upcoming Quilt-Along

Yesterday, I posted a picture of the quilt that is being featured in the quilt-along I joined. Technically, it has already started, but we are still in the preparatory stages. So far, I’ve gathered most of the materials, and I’ve selected and prepared the fabrics that I will use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAccording to the posted schedule, I will get instructions tomorrow to make fabric sets for the blocks, and Thursday, the cutting begins. By the weekend, I can be sewing blocks! If I stay with the schedule, the entire quilt will be finished by Christmas; however, I will be happy just to have the top pieced. I can do the actual quilting at a more leisurely pace over my winter break.

My color scheme is more complex than the one recommended for beginners. Luckily, I’ve had a bit of quilting experience, so I’m willing to try a color scheme that deviates quite a bit from the recommended one. I am using fabrics in greens, pinks, blues, and purples. Many of them are fabrics I’ve collected over the past several years. I’m combining these fabrics with the quilt-along pattern so that I can finally make good on a quilt idea that’s been on the back burner for a while–one for my daughter, Kate.

A Recap

For those of you who don’t know, my daughter, Kate is the youngest of my four children, and she is the mother of Mr. Logan, the “not so little” guy you see at the right with his quilt. When I gave Logan his quilt in the summer of 2012 (when he was 18 months old), Kate asked me when she would be getting hers. Funny story!

1278316_10201658315880667_1692301913_nSeveral years ago, Kate showed some interest in having me make her a quilt. She knew the colors she wanted–pinks, greens, blues, and purples–and I started collecting fabrics in fat quarters and half yards. Occasionally, I would see a possible pattern and show Kate. But we never truly set on a definite pattern. Graduate school came along, and quilting went by the wayside, until I found out that Kate was pregnant with Logan. It took me until he was 18 months old to get the baby quilt done, but as seen in the picture at the top right, he did get it. As I was working on Logan’s quilt, I found myself wondering whether Kate was still interested in having me make her a quilt, and if her choice of colors would be the same. So when she asked me when she was getting hers, the discussion began.

She still wanted me to use the colors and fabrics that I had started collecting. The pattern didn’t matter except, now that she had seen Logan’s quilt, I knew she wanted something that included more specific blocks, something less “random” than the design I used for Logan’s quilt. Something with structure, but not too traditional. And something that, when I got to it, I would enjoy making. I’d been thinking about doing something with log cabin blocks when the conversation of the quilt came up in a chat back in February, as seen here:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAME: ok, here’s another. If I did a log cabin pattern, I would incorporate purple, green, and blue as well, unless you want just pinks.

K: If you want to roll with that, you can. And if you do, you should do each block a separate color.

ME: ok 🙂

K: or whatever you want 😛

ME: When I start playing with some blocks, I’ll send you pictures and you can tell me which you like best.  It will be a while, but I like to at least think about quilting, and yours is the next big project I want to do

K: Do an all blue one, and one that includes all four colors.

ME: ok 🙂 that will be fun:

K: keyword: fun. don’t make it a job! if it’s a present for my 30th birthday so be it.

ME: 30th birthday present! Crap! I only have 4 years! LOL

It will be a while, but I like to at least think about quilting

When I wrote this line in the chat, I thought it might be a couple years before I could even think about getting to this quilt, so I am thrilled that the quilt-along has provided a structured way for me to pursue this project at this point in time. One of the things I’ve really come to grips with lately is that there is no such thing as making time. And the things I have to do will always take up whatever time I have. I can let the obligtaions and things I believe I have to do expand to fill my hours. Or I can use the skills and tricks I’ve been learning in the past few months, and intentionally take time for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I had that conversation with my daughter 9 months ago, I was still thinking about log cabin blocks, looking at the fabrics in my stash, and dreaming about some distant quilting time. Now, instead of just hoping, everything is in place. I have a plan with a schedule, a support group that cares whether or not I quilt.

I won’t be giving up my quilting time just because I could be doing other work. I will continue to take time for me, time that refreshes me for the other tasks that need to be done. Taking care of me is something that is necessary, not a luxury that can be relegated to meager scraps.

The closing words on that post of February 5 were: “Thanks, Kate! And maybe you won’t have to wait until your 30th birthday for the quilt. But no promises. The keyword is fun!” What a joy it is to be able to know that Kate will get her quilt well before her 30th birthday, and that I will be immersed in a project I love.

566 days to 60!