Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Do you know the Duchess of Alba? She's the 85-year-old Spanish royal who made news last fall when she married a 61-year-old "commoner." (I almost typed coroner, which might have been Freudian.) The most titled woman in Europe -- she has 46 -- she is also one of the wealthiest. Among her treasures is Columbus' first map.

Now, I have long postulated that Columbus must have been either (typical man) too proud to stop for directions or he was holding his map upside down, because he discovered the Americas while trying to find an all-water route to India and China. So maybe that first map would be nice to show off at a cocktail party, but I can't see that it has any GPS cred.

It does remind me, however, of the axiom, If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there.

Boy, when I was working full time in corporate America (I suppose I should thank Columbus that I wasn't working in corporate China), I hated snarky sayings like that. Every year, I had to help develop marketing plans that included goals, objectives, timetables, budgets ... working on items that, while necessary, took time away from creative pursuits that still had to be completed on deadline.

Then, some guy coined the term Benchmarking, which he probably appropriated from the pigeons in Central  Park.

I get it. It's important to see how close or far we are from our goals. But wasn't "measurement" a suitable word? Did we really need a new way to express something we'd been doing all along? With Benchmarking came multiple definitions -- measuring against best practices or agreed-upon standards; measuring and evaluating improvement; measuring an organization's internal processes. See? They all include the word Measuring. I rest my case.

Anyway, I've decided that I need a little "yardsticking" (that's  fabric-related benchmarking, OK?) on my  goal to sew through my stash in 2012. So, here's a glance at my bin of solid fabrics. They are mostly Kona cottons that I bought online, on sale , with no real purpose in mind.

It doesn't look like that much, but that's because I've squished everything down in the plastic bin. That's about five pounds of fabric there.

I've started a little Kona project. Each strip is 1.5 inches wide. (You do the math. This has the potential to be a quilt so large only the artist Christos will be able to use it.)
I plan to make each square different from the others, but they'll all be a Courthouse Steps variation. I like spontaneity. It's freeing and allows me to be more creative.

So even though I don't know exactly where I'm going yet, I plan to have a lot of fun getting there.


  1. Also, there's that quilt of solid colors (my Nancy Crow quilt!) we were going to get together & make.

  2. I have enough solid fabric to outfit the 5th fleet (or whatever the expression is).