Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hardware on the quilt

Like I said, I have been in a mood to follow up on some ideas I've had. Not saying they are necessarily good ideas. The little geometric piece I have been fooling with is nearly quilted and it occurred to me that it might be a candidate for some embellishment. Something simple and textural. I'm still not all the way to gobs of sparkly stuff sewn on my quilts.

This past week I have been driving 30 miles each day to training for a job. The training has been in the little town of Woodburn, south of Portland. One day when I went out to scout out some lunch I saw an old-fashioned Hardware store. I am inordinately fond of hardware stores, so I checked it out, thinking I'd take a look at brass washers for my little quilt. I found brass washers as well as copper ones, which seemed like a real find to me. And I must mention that this was a hardware store where all the nuts and bolts and screws and washers were in little drawers, not packaged up in plastic, so you could buy as many or as few of anything as you wanted. It also had the requisite skinny, wizened and quite grumpy old clerk. This place was the real deal.

So I have been playing with ways to embellish this piece. Here, washers only.

These are not sewn on. I'm still moving things around. The washers don't seem like enough, so I got out a bag of wooden beads and used a few of them, combined with washers. (The color is not good in these photos—sorry)

How about randomness over geometry?

I'm still thinking about this. I think maybe I need to be more intentional with the embellishment. Maybe I will hate it, then I can pick them all off. I dunno.

Now about the job—
Retirement has been nice these last couple of years, but dang! the economy tanked and our retirement assets took a big hit. We need to work for awhile. I applied to work for the 2010 Census, took the test and got a call that they wanted to hire me. I spent last week in training and at the end of the week about 2/3 of the training class started working. The rest of us were told we are "in the pool" and to go home and wait to be called. So I am in wait mode. I hate wait mode. I want to know what is happening and when it is happening. But I am waiting. I think it will be an interesting job and pretty flexible. I will be doing "quality control" which means I will check a sample of the work done by the first round of enumerators who are now going around and verifying all the addresses. This is in preparation for the real count that will take place next year. Has someone from the Census come to your house yet? They haven't come to mine, as far as I know.

My Mom worked for the Census one year. It must have been 1980. She found it pretty interesting. The 2010 Census is the first one that will use gps technology and be done mostly on computing devices. That was part of my training last week. I sure hope I actually get to do this and am not stuck in wait mode indefinitely.


  1. You probably knew I would pop on here and tell you that I love the random placement of the embellishment. Now, I want directions to the hardware store!!

  2. I still see houses. :-) I like the random, but maybe want some of the non-random beads back too.

    The retired hubby of a friend here signed up to do census stuff too. He's going to be a door-to-door guy. We had someone visit our house last week to make sure the address was correct (a residence as opposed to a vacant lot or business kind of thing).

  3. I like the random placement of the hardware. You could sew them on with coordinating colors of embroidery thread at 3 points to secure them into place.

  4. I prefer the washers placed symmetrically as in the top picture. Not the beads and not the random. But you do need something in addition to the washers. I think I would try some running stitch in contrasting colors - especially on the yellow. Maybe a red triangle in the top turq. triangle. Maybe some Xs in the red rectangle on the yellow ground. Whatever, but not gobs of anything. Gentle.

  5. What about starting symmetrically and ending up random? It would make a startling effect to let them leave their places by and by, a puzzle to the eye and the solution on the same piece. -- Okay, you are the artist....

  6. I like the 2nd photo plus a bit of randomness to fill in.

  7. Linda7:08 AM

    we've had someone come by and check our house and the vacant one next door here in Weiser,ID. I talked with her for a bit, she was having some problems with the inaccuracies of the GPS.

    I like Eve's suggestion of starting symmetrically and going random with the washers and beads.

  8. Hi Terry, I'm doing the Census thing too, since March 27. I've been going house-to-house for about 2 weeks now. It's a LOT of walking (think walking the whole Houston quilt show every day). I go home in the evening and fall asleep in the recliner.

    You probably haven't been called yet because some of the first groups out are working pretty slowly. Either they're elderly and not used to walking or they're sent to rural areas and getting lost in the woods(really). Those of us in the faster groups are going to be sent out to help them get caught up when we finish our area. Of course, you can't do QC until the first group has actually made it to the places.

    I've noticed that the GPS sometimes cuts the corners on the block and you have to fudge factor the address a bit. They're "working on it." One of the guys on our team had his HHC crash and it took 2 days to get another one. So far, the best part is seeing everything blooming in the yards. I've taken time to smell any roses I pass, and made friends with a few cats, small dogs & children on the way.

    Wendy in Louisiana

  9. I love the randomness. The fact that the piece is very structured and linear the randomness of the nice round washers works very well.

    The census would be very interesting. Good luck and I hope you do not have to hang out in the wait mode for too long.

  10. There's nothing better than a good old-fashioned hardware store!

    I worked for the Census Bureau for 35 years. Good luck the 2010!

  11. We would have no supplies without the hardware store. Love the random display best.

  12. I vote for random. I've never seen a census person in-person but you've given me an idea as I'm in the same "lost retirement" boat. Also looked at your garden and love what you're doing there.

  13. hi Terri--I applied for the census job , also--and I am "in the pool" but they never called me for any training--so you are ahead of the game. What the Portland office told me a few week s ago was that they had hired everyone for now--but there would be jobs in the fall....don't know how true this is, because there seem sto be alot of folks working ion their office with some conflicting info--I really needa job, so I have been calling them each week (or I was). I think maybe hiring is partly based on where you live, since they said they prefer to have you work on canvassing in your own neighborhood....