Tuesday, February 28, 2012

12 in '12

I neglected to get a proper photo of the corduroy quilt that I finished up back in January. So here it is --

tied corduroy quilt

As soon as I got my scrap swap partner's scraps, I very happily and eagerly got to work and finished that project. It is a small finish, just a pillow cover, but a finish all the same. I perhaps shouldn't be showing it until I reveal it to its owner, but I really like it and want to show it off.

scrap swap pillow

My 3rd finish this year was begun and finished this month. I made it for 2 reasons: first, to have across the foot of the bed during our brief, but sometimes chilly, Gulf Coast winters; secondly, I hoped to enter it to possibly hang in the Modern Quilt Guild's exhibition at this year's Quilt Festival. But, it is far too BORING!!! In my mind's eye it was interesting and edgy, but in reality it didn't measure up. The quilting doesn't show, the fabrics are kind of bland, it just turned out flat. Well, it will still keep our toes warm when it is cold and damp. They can't all be winners, right?

lateral continuity

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The weekend

Saturday morning, I met with several of my Guild members and we slashed our way through a mountain of donated fabric. We coordinated and cut up fabrics for kits for making simple quilts for The Star of Hope Mission. The quilts will be for kids, from infants to teens; we will also be making pillow cases. It was so much fun & we got so much done! We'll have a sewing day early next month. (An interesting insight: an anonymous member of the church where we meet gave us 6! big bags of scraps. It was such a variety of fabrics -- everything from old calicos from the 70s or 80s to some very recent fat quarters. There were lots of 2 or 2.5 inch strips, which made us wonder if the former owner had tried making the water-color quilts that were so popular quite a few years ago. But we all commented on how much our fabric stash says about us: how long we've been quilting, our tastes, who we sew for, etc. We also wondered about the person who gave up all that fabric -- does she just no longer quilt or did she pass away? I hope the former.)

HMQG charity work day

Shug was out of town, so I was on my own Saturday evening. I set up a satellite sewing station downstairs in front of the tv -- my Featherweight on a little folding table, my adorable baby Bohin iron & a little cutting matt/ironing surface. (Not that Shug would mind me sewing downstairs, I just had blocks all over the floor, making it a bit difficult to walk around!) While I watched a movie (one I had seen before, cuz these blocks took a bit of concentration) I set together the Shirts and Slacks blocks. I rummaged through my fabrics and have found a suitable back -- in honor of the make-do mentality of my family, I want to buy as little as possible for this quilt. I probably even have enough batting to use.

satellite sewing station

Friday, February 24, 2012

Where is the time going?

I suppose it has happened gradually, but I seem to have completely lost control of my time. There hasn't been a  big change recently, but I feel that my wheels spin all of the time & I don't get very much accomplished. I am trying to keep on track with finishing existing projects before beginning new ones, but I'm not having much success with that. I began & have nearly finished a project that I hope to enter to be hung in a Modern Quilt Guild show at this year's Quilt Festival -- but I'm not feeling the love. I will hold off judgement until I wash & crinkle it in the dryer. The postage stamp quilt is getting its river system quilted onto it -- again, not loving it. The next thing to quilt will be my HMQG row robin quilt; I'll do it very simply so it should go quickly. I have the Shirts & Slacks blocks spread out on the floor to assemble -- I am looking forward to seeing them all together. And there are one or two new ideas that are trying to nudge their way to the front of the line. But mostly I am feeling kind of dis-satisfied with what I've done & what I am doing. {sigh}
I am keeping close to my heart a recent post from the awesome completely cauchy: Life is not a competition.

My birthday was earlier this month. I was taken to lunch with work friends, I was taken to dinner by Shug, I got some funny & sweet cards & I got these lovely gifts:

birthday pressies

The vase came from my boss, the bag came from the adorable wrongturnrojas & the hot pad & fat quarter came the talented Safieh. Love the givers! Love the gifts!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I think I can, I think I can

HMQG did a scrap swap last month. We have 2 months to complete a project for our partner using the little bits they provided plus any extra we need to add to make something that we think they will like. As I have mentioned before, I have never participated in any of the blog & flickr based swaps & bees -- I don't know why really, fear of disappointing, fear of biting off more than I can get done. Anyway, the only swaps I have done have been our HMQG row robin that we did last year & now the scrap swap.

And I love the experience! It is so much fun & such a learning experience trying to make something that you hope someone else will like. Somehow it is different than making a quilt as a gift for someone, often the quilt is for a non-quilter & for a loved one, so you know that they will love it. But the bar seems to be higher when you are making something for another quilter.

I was lucky, my scrap swap partner was pretty clear about what she wanted. She wanted a pillow to go with a pillow that she had made. Easy, right? I knew pretty early on how I wanted to use her scraps -- I wanted to experiment with Victoria's 15 minutes play, making fabric with the scraps & cutting it up for a block. I love how it turned out, but won't show it to you yet. Then came the scarey part -- DA DA DAA -- the zipper on the back of the pillow! Queue screeching sounds. I haven't put in a zipper in eons & was really afraid. But after quite a few emails back & forth with pillow-expert Safieh, I bundled up my courage & plowed ahead. And of course, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I put it in more like a dress zipper, I think the style now is for more of the zipper tape to show. But it is in! I'm so proud!

re-learned skill

The rest of the weekend was spent working on a project that I hope to enter for the Modern Quilt Guild's show at the Quilt Festival this year. I'll give you a little peak --

laying stone