October 10, 2015 § 17 Comments
Going back to school as an adult later in life is not easy. I have been so busy! And I need to learn how to study all over again. I also miss my sewing machine.
I thought I would pop in for a moment and chat about this portion of a statement in a book that I recently read,
“at many times along the way we will feel the inevitable loneliness that comes with doing good work: [ ] the artist who works alone on a quilt that in the end will be enjoyed by many, but no one will fully appreciate the lonely hours of tedious work that lies behind the completed project.”
The author was talking about the necessary time spent alone to improve & perfect a task or job. He listed athlete, teacher, business owner, artist & quilter as examples of people who out of necessity spend time alone to improve their game, instruction, business or craft. I wonder if he consulted any quilters about how they feel about their time spent making a quilt?
I rarely find that time alone to be lonely. While working alone I am not lonely. As an introvert, I use that time to think, listen, process and renew my energy. Sometimes just the process of strip sewing pieces of fabric together is just what I need to de-stress and relax. Without that time spent alone I tend to feel rushed, tired and grumpy.
What about you? Do you find time spent sewing alone refreshing? Or do you feel lonely?
The photos are from a trip we took to Whistler, BC back in September. It was gorgeous up in the mountains! I want to go back!
September 8, 2015 § 12 Comments
Between trying to finish this quilt, going back to school, and dealing with my rib all summer I know I have been a less-than-present blogger. I’m happy to say that my rib is now A-Okay! Hurray! And… I’m a happy to announce that this quilt is finished! Hazzah! And… the two classes I am taking are falling into a new sort of rhythm in my life. Maybe there will be some resemblance of blogging again. I found a few drafted blogging ideas that I had been working on, so we shall see how this goes. So many ideas, so little time.
The heart blocks in this quilt were made by the ladies in the Faith Circle of the Do.Good.Stitches Flickr group. They did a fantastic job! Thank you ladies! While my hubby is replacing the wood on the deck, there is way too much stuff in front of our shed for a decent photo shoot. So I walked over to the elementary school near us to take some photos. Late afternoon sun makes for some interesting shadows.
I’m quite happy with the way this quilt turned out. Although my quilting is less than stellar, once washed the quilt transforms into that crinkly, cozy goodness that I love so much. I decided to free-motion quilt long strings of hearts on the quilt.
And the plaid on the back was a sale fabric acquired some time ago. It worked perfectly. I even made an effort to match the plaids in the center seam. As always, click on the photos to see a bigger version.
This quilt, as are all made by the ladies in the Faith Circle, go to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ Jeremiah 31:3 ~
August 25, 2015 § 9 Comments
For some, school has already started. But for some of us around here, school starts next week. I miss the change of seasons that comes with school starting (or ending). I miss the anticipation and unrestrained excitement over a new box of crayons. At our house we live that autumnal, back-to-school anticipation vicariously through others.
But, maybe, what replaces that back-to-school excitement, for me, is the start of a new project. Yet I can’t seem to finish the old ones! Argh! I think I need deadlines, or grades, or something… or someone to keep tabs on me. I have not finished one thing yet this summer. Not one.
Above is my stack of Steam Punk parts all cut out and ready to sew should I ever get the motivation or time to work on them. And below… are the really old paper pieced string blocks for a Liberated Wedding Ring quilt with some of my scraps. I thought I had lost them. But now they are found!
Wouldn’t it be fun to have a huge space to dump out all of our scraps and we could all get together and sew all day long with them? Anybody have a barn or a warehouse that I could rent for cheap? Joking… Not Joking. Seriously… I would love to rent some studio space… cheap. I can’t afford real warehouse space. But I keep dreaming of a way to make it happen.
So… I just felt the need to check in here even though I have very little to report. I’m slowly quilting the Mini Heart quilt for Do.Good.Stitches.
I’m waiting for our new washer & dryer to arrive. It has been back-ordered for almost a month. Our current machine can only handle 1 or 2 loads a day or it just decides to randomly stop.
We have also been eating a modified Whole30 diet for the month of August, which takes a lot of extra time to chop, prepare, and cook. But most of my cravings have gone away. Now all that remains is the psychological aspect that popcorn & movies go together. I mean, what does one eat while watching a movie? Carrot sticks & movies just don’t create the same mood. You know?
Ok. Enough rambling. What does the end of summer look like at your end?
August 13, 2015 § 8 Comments
The pink flowers at work coordinate with the do.good.stitches quilt that I am quilting at the moment. The heart blocks were made by the lovely ladies of the faith circle and all quilts are donated to Restore Innocence, an organization that rescues girls from human trafficking.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8
August 8, 2015 § 12 Comments
I am immensly delighted at all of your answers to my previous questions about blogging! There were SO many good thoughts & ideas! Many of you see blogging as a quiet respite from your busy day. They are a part of your daily routine. You likened bloggers to the local columnist in a newspaper who would write about local and current ideas or activities. Blogs are a place where you can learn something new and be inspired. Many of you limit the types of social media where you want to be involved. And they help you connect with the world when you are stuck at home. I truly Thank You for all your marvelous feedback! You are inspiring me to make my blog a better place.
And since you gave such good feedback on that topic, I have another topic for you. I often find myself wishing that I had more space for my quilting, among other things. What if there was a place that you could go to that would meet those needs? Would you be likely to use it? Would you be willing to pay a small fee to use some studio space to meet those needs?
I’ve created a poll that lists some of the ideas that have been rolling around in my head. Feel free to leave additional comments as well as vote on the poll. You should be able to select all that are of interest to you.
August 6, 2015 § 29 Comments
Over the years I may have tried nearly every way of marking a quilt in preparation to quilt it. Disappearing ink pens, tissue paper, masking tape, chalk pencils and more. But I have come to the conclusion that I really don’t like using most of those. If I must mark, then I most often use a Hera Marker. I am in love! Have you used one of these before? They do come in different sizes and shapes. I have another one that is smaller than this. They look sort of like a bone paper folder or scorer if you are a scrapbooker or book maker.
What it does is leave a crease in the fabric that washes away without leaving any trace of the previous marking. It’s almost like pressing a crease in a pair of pants only in reverse. The sharp edge of the curved point can be run along the edge of a ruler, or cardboard or even used free-hand. It leaves an indent in the fabric that you can follow for machine quilting. It can be a little hard to see on busy or heavily patterned fabric. But it works super duper great on solids! Here I am marking 1″ from the last quilting line or 1 1/4″ from the seam edge.
I’m trying to finish up this quilt so that I can free up my pins to pin baste the do.good.stitches quilt waiting in the queue. Or at least finished enough so that I have sufficient pins to baste that quilt next.
And finally… when do you like reading blogs? In the morning? At night? Or are blogs falling from favor? Lately I’ve been having a hard time mustering up the energy to blog. But maybe my rib accident & the hot weather has had something to do with that? Do you read many blogs anymore? I know my own blog reading has shrunk over the last couple of years. I’m just curious what the rest of you think.
On another note. It rained hard last night. Hurray! I think our hot & dry summer trend has finally been broken. It feels like the good ol’ Pacific Northwest again! I’m ready for the rains to return. And then maybe my quilting mojo will return as well?
July 20, 2015 § 10 Comments
A friend of mine asked me when I was going to blog again. She said that Charlie was cute, but……. she needed something new to look at. Haha! He is pretty cute, but I can understand needing a change of scenery.
Not much has been going on around here. Or at least nothing very blog worthy. My rib is getting better every day. Nearly well, in fact. Now, if the weather would cool off a little! It has been the hottest, driest summer I can remember since moving here. If we don’t get out and do something early in the morning, well, we just don’t do much.
I haven’t been doing much sewing either. What is wrong with me? I had big plans to get so many things done this summer. And since our bicycle crash… Nothing.
Although, when my friend, Letty, received a Sew Together Bag in a swap, I was finally bitten by the bug to make one for myself. I can see now why people have been so excited about this bag. It’s pretty easy to make and so fun to use!
I used fusible fleece instead of interfacing for the outside, which made the binding a teeny bit harder to apply. And the only thing I wish I would have done differently is to buy a longer zipper for the outside. Maybe that would allow the bag to open up just a bit more. Other than that, I am quite happy with this little bag.
It’s now keeping together the parts to a new English paper piecing project. Because… you just can have too many WIP’s, right?