Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A lovely weekend

Not just a Lovely Weekend, I might just call it a Perfect Weekend. Much of every day of the long weekend was spent playing with fabric & sitting in front of my sewing machine. This sort of indulgence is a rarity for me & I really enjoyed it.

It began with an early & long gathering of the HMQG.

I admit, had I not committed to meet several guild members to join a carpool to the meeting, I might have blown it off. But, boy, would that have been my loss!

Jessica Darling, formerly of Remnants/Fiber Culture in Austin gave a lecture & led a workshop of color in quilts. Besides our Basic Sewing Supplies, we were instructed to bring scraps -- then ALL of our scraps were dumped into the center of the room -- making what Jessica called a "scrap mosh pit"; we picked our Color Party from the pile. Then we sewed. And sewed. And sewed.

On Sunday & Monday, I continued with my blocks from Saturday -- they're made & assembled, all they lack is one border & I have a top.

Earlier in the week, I had promised myself that I would assemble my Christmas tree blocks. The trees were all made, my back was assembled (I LOVE the back of this quilt, but you're going to have to wait a while to see it), then because it had outgrown my design door, I had pinned the back & the blocks to a quilt hanging in our hall.

But the Evil Demon Cat, Pippa (do NOT be taken in by her angelic publicity stills!) had, not once, not twice, but three times pulled down my trees. What the what, Crazy Girl!?! The first time she helped solve a design problem, the other times she just made me mad. So I had to put them together to remove Temptation. Now I have a Christmas Tree quilt top 3/4 done.

I hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Slow start

New Year's Eve I felt myself taking a cold. Not a big deal in the realm of things, but it had its way with me for better than a week: a couple days dragging around, 1 whole day in bed, a couple more days dragging around. On the fitness front, I hadn't the energy to exercise & I craved carbs & fats not fruits & vegetables. (Please tell me I'm not alone here!) So, some catching up to do there.

In spite of being puny, I managed my first 2 finishes for the year: I put the last stitches in the binding of a veeeerrrry late milestone birthday quilt. A green Irish chain with 3 inch 9-patches -- simple, clean & fun. I did straight-line, walking foot quilting diagonally through the 9-patches & free-motion diagonals with little shamrocks in the white squares. There's room for improvement, but I like how it finished up.

Then I quilted & bound my scrappy-trip-along top. I'm not sure why I made it so small -- it's only 48 inches square. The top was finished early last year at the height of the Scrappy-Trip-Along Fever. I think I lost steam because I wasn't loving mine as much as I was loving what other people were making -- comparison is the thief of joy! But it is amazing what the distance of 12 months can do -- now I wish I had made it bigger. It is the 4th quilt I've quilted using a manipulated programmed stitch on my machine: a multi-stitch zigzag that looks wavy & curvy when you increase the stitch length. I love how it looks & especially love it after washing & drying. A delicious little cuddle quilt!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Resolutions and Aspirations

I'm old enough to know that making New Year's Resolutions is not always helpful, can be downright hurtful. You know, you resolve to do or don't do a long list of things. You write down your list, then at the end of the year (or in September or July or April) you check over your list to see how well -- or poorly -- you are doing. If you aren't doing or not doing what you resolved, then you feel like a failure when actually your Resolutions might have been a little unreasonable, maybe even unattainable.
So I'm only making a few Resolutions & a longer list of Aspirations.

1. I resolve to get healthy; I aspire to loose weight.
The years my Mom was in nursing care took their toll on me: I was away from home 2 to 3 months of each of those years; when I wasn't with her, I was trying to catch at work & at home; I self-medicated with over eating, drinking & shopping. So, I want to try to put myself at the top of my to-do list: exercise, eat healthfully, meditate, nap, laugh, read. If I lose a few pounds in the process, all the better!

2. I resolve to sew my stash & scraps; I aspire to buy less fabric.
During my puttering days last year, I was poking into the corners of my sewing room & discovered fabric & more fabric that I had forgotten I had; beautiful fabric, fabric I loved, or once loved, that deserved to be made into something. So fewer e-carts, fewer trips to quilt shops -- not none at all, mind you, just fewer.

3. I resolve to make at least 3 -- maybe 4 -- quilts using the shirts of my parents; I aspire to make many, many more quilts.
I want to make quilts for my brother & 2 nieces -- & maybe for myself -- with Mom & Dad's shirts. I think I've come up with a plan to make them all at once, they'll be similar but not alike & I'm really eager to get started on them! I always keep a long & growing list of quilts I would like to make: more HSTs, coin-stack strippy-s, maple leaves, text-y/letters, houndstooth, sailboats, bow ties, 16-patch, etc, etc, etc.

4. I aspire to make 2014 my Year of the Pompom!
I read the most charming quote by Maira Kalman:

I think it's nice to say the word "pompom" as often as you can.

At about the same time, one of my favorite quilters, Rachaeldaisy, was showing us a few of her pompom quilts. So Besides saying "pompom" (which *is* very nice!), I want to make add pompoms to my quilts, ala Rachaeldaisy!