It seems that much of my life I’ve either been hurrying or waiting. I think one of the rare times I’m not is when I’m creating. I am “in the moment” when I create a quilt or crochet a project. It’s almost a Zen thing when time passes without my noticing it. I look up and it’s four hours later.
These are some of my favorite times. This quiet solitude feeds my soul. My hands and mind are working together and when the zen breaks I’m disoriented for a moment. And it gives me the burst of energy I didn’t even know I needed.
Because of my physical difficulties it’s getting harder and harder to find the zen. Yet I continue to quest for it, if only for a few moments.
Disappearing Four Patch:
Stack waiting for iron…
Cut and ready
First ironing seams spun .. second away from four patch
Sewn back together..
This was one of my quick quilts. It just wasn’t scrappy enough for me even though I used all different green fabrics.
It’s time for the borders!!
I like this version better!
I’m thinking maybe I’ll try it this way next with two complementing colors with white? As you can see I’m already planning my first quilt of the year. I’m sure I’ll change my mind a dozen times. But this is the fun part!
I don’t do resolutions. However I do try to set goals. Last year I failed to attain most of them. In my defense I had a lot happening. Three surgeries before August then my daughter coming to stay and having her son in October. Not excuses, but real reasons.
So this year with all that is still going on with BG (baby girl) leaving for her husbands’ new duty station in Germany and #3 son leaving to serve in the Army on top of a few other surgeries I need to have done asap, I’ve scaled back my goals for this year.
- One new baby quilt a month for charity
- My niece’s quilt done and shipped that I’ve owed her for over a year
- A Winding Ways Quilt ( I bought the Accuquilt die two years ago)
- Learn six new stitches (preferably Tunisian as I’ve fallen in love with it!)
- Complete a Painted Canyon Hooded Cardigan for myself
- Start a As-we-go Stripey Blanket for all my scrap yarn
These seem to be reasonable goals. However if more comes up I reserve the right to change them either up or down.
Although it wasn’t the “year of the quilt” I did get a few quilts finished last year. I made nine baby quilts, two memory quilts and finished four twin size UFO’s. My favorites are always the crazy/memory quilts. One of which happens to be the last quilt of the year.
My daughter didn’t know what to get for her in-laws and wanted it to be something memorable. Last year she made them a crochet blanket and it was a hit. So I suggested a memory quilt. Unfortunately where we live now there are quilt stores but not fabric stores. Quilt stores do not carry Jacquard, brocades, faux suede or velvets. The closest fabric store is one and a half hours away! And we had less than two weeks to make it and get it shipped! So ordering online was out of the question!
I did find some of the fabrics I needed in my stash ( imagine that!) And a Wal-Mart a half hour away had a few I could use. So I made the drive to the fabric store and guess what! They were out of suede in the color I needed! The only thing close was a burn out one so I had to use a second fabric behind it. On the front I chose a blue to match the squares and on the back I chose a gold lame’. The suede was stretchy so gone was the quick and easy sewing, I instead had the slow and careful.
On top of the suede issue I had a thread issue. I have Madeira, Sulky and Coats and Clark threads on hand in gold. (I use Madeira on my long arm for thread painting) Unfortunately my favorite (Coats and Clark) I only had half a king spool. I generally use one full king spool for a quilt this size. So I tried using the others. HUGE mistake! My Brother machines do not like the other brands of metallic thread. They break and get bound in the tension discs. My husband found one large spool at Wal-Mart (the last one they had). I had about two yards of thread left when I finished! We didn’t get to embellish it as much as I would have liked, we ran out of time.
We finished literally on the last day to mail it to be received before Christmas about four hours before USPS closed! Whew!
Sewing machine maintenance? Other than cleaning the bobbin case and vacuuming the lint out I didn’t do anything else. My long arm I kept full of oil. The others had no where to oil.
Let me just tell you, living in Florida nearly killed five of my machines! Okay, maybe not all of Florida but definitely that house. I was fighting mold from the day we moved in! The humidity creeps in and finds the metal parts and rust develops! Two of the machines I wasn’t using full-time in Florida when I got here to N.C. I found the needleplates rusted and one had rust on the thread arm. And my long arm? The bobbin winder was frozen.
The first thing I did after unpacking my machines when I got here was visit local quilt stores. I talked to the sales people and owners and got references to an amazing sewing machine repair guy. Yes, I bought fabric too. Like you didn’t already figure that out! The first to go in was Lizzie the long arm. He did an amazing job and fast! Faster than us replacing all the ball bearings on the quilt table that had also rusted! We actually had to buy them from China as they don’t carry them at the company I bought her anymore. She is up and running now, like a champ (even being over 10 years old)! I still have three more to go to service, two that are running fine with no rust and two embroidery machines that are also rust free.
I’ve learned my lesson. Each and every one will be serviced regularly. More often on high usage machines. I also learned that buying a new machine to use while your favorite is in the shop is actually is justified. Oh and Christmas is the perfect time to buy a new machine too! (I found an amazing deal on the Brother site) So my total now is eight sewing, two embroidery, one long arm, and six treadle machines. Did you know husbands don’t keep count of your machines? Just like you don’t know how many drills or saws they have. My husband was surprised when I starting unpacking one after the other. But he didn’t say a word after I mentioned his drills.
So much life has happened, I can’t even wrap my head around it all most days. But I’m returning to my main loves (writing and quilting) with a few others thrown in for good measure.
I’ve missed being here and sharing the threads of my life. Have you noticed after finishing a quilt how many pieces of thread are literally everywhere? For weeks I find pieces in every room of the house and somehow also in the car! I finished working on a memory quilt my daughter and I made together for her in-laws. We used gold embroidery thread. Now that’s a blog unto itself! I’ve got serious opinions about metallic threads now! But before I go off on a tangent.
Long story short.. #1 son and wife now have two sons, #2 son has two daughters, #3 son served five very long years in the Marine Corps and in eight days is going into the Army as a Sargent, and my baby girl met and married the love of her life and three months ago had a son. My Father, Sister in law and Mother died. We sold our home in Florida and moved to the mountains in North Carolina. Of course that leaves a lot out but I’m sure I’ll cover it in time.
Oh yes, there have been quilts and new sewing machines and new old sewing machines. I also learned to crochet. And fell in love with tunisian crochet.
So many threads woven so beautifully into the tapestry that is my life. New threads added and some old ones no longer…
Yep, I think it is past time to go on a stash busting spree. I can’t buy any more fabric because I don’t have room! (yes, it has spread into the bedroom too!) It’s getting embarrassing!
It’s time for some simple quilts, twin to lap size. I mean really simple! I found a simple celtic knot I’m going to try. Fifteen inch blocks and I’ll need a total of twenty. I’d really rather keep it small but I’m in a hurry! Let’s see.. I’ve figured out a real quick strip piecing method so .. I know, I did it again, didn’t I? It just goes against my nature to completely follow a pattern.
So any-hoo… here’s the pattern I’m starting with. As you can see by their instructions there are a ba-zillion pieces per block. But I think it lends itself easily to strip piecing! So I start cutting after the holiday and I’ll let ya know how that goes!
- Seattle Summer Quilt (moreunique.wordpress.com)
- A Little Stash Enhancement (quiltobsession.wordpress.com)
- List of the week: Quilts I want to make (lifeinlists.typepad.com)