Sunday, January 31, 2010

Give my Regards to Aunt Grace's Family

I realize it’s been a while, but someone, somewhere, lost my camera. That darn USPS! But if you ask USPS it’s that darn AMAZON! Amazon is sending another one so I’ll have pictures next week. For my piece of quilting awesomeness, well, that’s not quite as awesome as I had hoped. It’s wonky, yes, but needs a little more oomph. Okay, a lot of oomph. The stars are wonky and I find that I absolutely love this as a start. Build on your successes or burn the evidence that you even tried-- that’s what I tell my students--so I’m going to take my own advice! Just kidding about the burn part, in case you’re new to my insanity. But wait, there’s more stupidity to be uncovered…

I moved into this house over a year ago and guess what I just found? Uh huh, a garbage can: Plastic, colossal, complete with wheels ‘cause no mortal could ever lift it, chock-full of quilting supplies garbage can. I swear, the 30s prints in there have been breeding all this time. Apparently they’ve killed Aunt Grace (in Lord of the Flies fashion no doubt) because her remains are scattered everywhere. OH, what was I thinking?? I suppose this is as good a time as any to add to the New Year’s Resolutions: No more purchasing material until I conquer a few UFOs/USOs (unstarted objects?). I vow to finish one thing between today and tomorrow because the camera should be here Tuesday. I’ll post it!

p.s. Resolution update:

#3, #6: I’m working out 3 times per week, eating healthier, and have lost 3 pounds in January. I rock! Or rather “jingle” seeing as the only open exercise class was belly dancing; that is some serious blackmail footage.

#5: The writing class is going well, I think. I have written one 2-page story and the instructor liked it. No one else in the class did, though. It was too good, right? They just didn’t get it, right? Right?! Hey! Where did everybody go?

#4: Definitely doing more quilting! However, I’m going to stay away from unmarked garbage cans in the basement until I actually hear the cries of mutiny coming from them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

Don’t you just LOVE it when good stuff keeps coming your way? Right after I paid $120 for my speeding ticket (online no less, with a credit card) I went to Piece-N-Quilt’s blog to check out the latest post. There I found my name in lights-I have won their Birthday giveaway!

That’s right, a $25 gift certificate, just for me. I can shop guilt-free and in my pajamas. Oh baby is life good! What a fabulous way to start the new year--a present for me and Piece-N-Quilt online quilt shop is celebrating its first birthday.

Congrats to us both!

(and may we meet again, same place next year ***smile, smile***)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The next project I’m going to finish is Agent J’s quilt. The front is Valori Wells’Delhi quilt kit in high desertand the back is still a picture in my mind’s eye. She said she was drawn to it because it’s not like regular quilts. Therefore, I’m going to try to make a 2-sided quilt with something interesting on the back. This endeavor covers two of my ongoing campaigns—1. Resolution to do more quilting and 2. Improv quilting! Agent J likes the designs of Heywood Wakefield so I thought I’d incorporate some clean lines and curves. So far I have an image of three strips across (multi-colored scraps from the front) and one bisecting line. The middle strip is about 1.5” and the other 2 about 1”. The bisecting line will be a dark brown/orange combination. Over that I’d like to hand-quilt an orange semicircle. Here’s a quick picture of what I am thinking (made on paint & trust me, a hand-drawn picture would be no better!) Oh, and on that note, I dropped my camera (first time) and it promptly broke so I'll have to get a new one soon :O(

Finally, finally, finally!

Mom’s quilt is done! I washed it (my favorite part); it lost 2 inches in width and 3 inches in length. Upsetting? No way ‘cause it hides all my sewing mistakes. I like it more now that it’s done. I was dreading sewing on the binding because I don’t have TV. So, I went downstairs and found some old CDs to listen to. When I say old, I’m talking about a time when I lived at Clark & Diversey, frequenting the Smart Bar and the Vic Theatre. The playlist included Billy Idol, Concrete Blonde, The Smiths, and Psychedelic Furs. Wow, do I miss wearing bandanas as a skirt, throwing up at other people’s houses and truculent mosh pits. Were those really the glory days?? Anyway, it was an awesome reminder of living in boys’ town and the binding went on fast. Too fast.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wonky/Free-Piecing/Liberated/Improv Quilting

I was thinking about improv quilting today . . .

Last summer, I was making a table runner for my mom that was essentially a rectangular log cabin. The pattern instructed me to cut each piece a specific length. As I was cutting, I was thinking, “Why can’t I just sew this on and then cut it? What’s the big deal?” Did I? No. Why not? A number of reasons. Most specifically, trust and assumption. If the authors say to cut it in specific lengths then they must’ve tried the other way and it didn’t work out for some reason; surely they would have found the fastest, easiest way to do this! Onward, upward, cut, cut, cut.

Another reason is because rules have a way of making us feel safe, as though without them there would be absolute anarchy. But I made my mind up when I started this blog that I am going to take chances (and eat breakfast foods in any order I want). We are here to create, right? Therefore, I’m not going to start another project without forcing myself to make an entirely un-thought-out, whimsical, perhaps epic-failure, piece of quilting awesomeness.

Like chicken soup for the quilter’s soul.

Or a kick in the arse.

Both of which I need.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Aye Carumba!

Hello and welcome to 2010! It’s an exciting start to the year!

Ooooh, like lassoing a star, Valori Wells (website) informed me that I won one of her giveaways! Yahoo! I LOVE her designs! Family, fabric, and fun—she totally rocks! Check out her blog for family photos and beautiful photography. Additionally, the best place for a complete selection of her materials (and patterns and kits) is at the Stitchin Post.

I have been super busy this holiday season (hey, who hasn’t?) but I’m thrilled with the idea of all these New Year’s Resolutions I get to break. Truly, it’s the only time you can go back on your word and no one really gets upset about it (just kidding!)

So, here’s my list so far…

1. Learn to sing (opera, preferably)

2. Learn to swim (yeah, I’ve got the basics down but I think more than one stroke would be good)

3. Eat healthier than I did last year

4. More quilting (soothes my nerves)

5. Take a writing class (I need to find out if I have any innate talent)

6. Exercise. I love yoga & pilates so maybe more of those.

7. Run a 5K. This is one my son wants to do together, but it’ll be a stretch…

According to Zen Habits blogger Leo Babuta’s The Definitive Guide to Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions Guide post, I’m taking it one step at a time and going sloooow. So, I signed up for a writing class because that does not require the changing of a habit, only adding a new one. Next, I am going to check into swimming classes. And of course, I will have some lovely Valori Wells fabric to play with for the more quilting resolution (I can hardly wait!) I have an entire year to do all these things so I’ll add to my schedule until it feels full and then start a new one once I’ve completed the first one or two.

Feeling good, feeling positive!!