Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I TOLD you...

Work on Bobbi's quilt keeps getting pre-empted by people having babies. Clearly there is an easy way for her to jump to the front of the line... ;)

This quilt is for one of my imaginary friends inside of the computer. Her son was born at the beginning of July. About 30 participants sent in 5" fabric squares or pieced blocks. I ended up sorting them into light, mid- and deep tones, and arranging them in three sections. I added borders, plus a fair amount of my own 5" squares, to even things out a bit.

I quilted this one on the machine...yay for more practice! Auntie and I decided gray thread would work best for this one and it was a perfect choice. I'm really catching on to the fill patterns and I believe I'm almost ready to start doing more complex designs.

I really like the way this quilt turned out. I think if I had to do it over again, I might move the light squares away from the center and make the value arrangement a little less symmetrical.

I am starting to feel the pull to move away from quilting as a craft and focus more on the art side of things. Now that we have the longarm quilting machine, I can power through the quilting in a couple of days. The process is a lot less labor-intensive and much quicker, and I feel like I can re-do things more easily if I'm not satisfied with something. With the old way of quilting, by the time I finished one project (a year later, most of the time), I was so sick of looking at it and so ready to move on to something else I didn't spend too long evaluating or critiquing my work.

I'm also finding that I'm becoming either more of a perfectionist or more mature with my techniques. I really spent a lot of time on this project making sure blocks/seams/rows were all the right sizes and everything lined up perfectly. I anticipated a situation and made a decision to deal with it one way, then midway through the piecing decided I didn't like it. Instead of just living with my bad decision, I took the time to remove some seams and re-work the blocks that were off.

I suppose I'm more willing to go back and correct my mistakes with my sewing now because there are far fewer opportunities to do that in real life than there used to be. Here, I have a medium that is highly flexible and forgiving, and doesn't appear worse for the wear if you have to rip something out and try again...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Exercise in Frustration

Househunting is pissing me the hell off. It's a major issue in my life right now and is causing a lot of negative and hurt feelings all around. Not fun.


This is a project that was finished at the end of June, but I've just now gotten the pictures. I realized lately that a lot of my crafty endeavors of late have involved these nephews of mine. I don't know what to say - people having babies brings out my crafty side, I guess. Anyways, Auntie and I planned these quilts for Robbie and Charlie months before they were born as a way to get more practice on the long arm quilting machine. We were sailing right along, planning to get the quilts finished long before the twins' due date. Obviously they had other plans. We *did* finish and present the quilts per the original target, however. I believe we made it out to see the kids within a few days of the original due date.

Auntie made Charlie's quilt. Her reasoning behind that was because Charlie is named after her father. And my father. But who's counting?

I made Robbie's quilt because he's named after, uh, my brother. We devised the pattern first, then found the turquoise fabric in Auntie's stash. It's a batik with little baby footprints all over it, and we figured it was pretty perfect for this. We kind of realized halfway through the planning that it would be neat to reverse the colors of the sashing and borders to make the quilts alike-but-different. We were going to keep the turquoise and yellow squares in the same pattern but we couldn't quite squeeze another block out of the turquoise fabric, so necessity made us change up the colors there, too.

The babies seem to like their quilts...I was over there the other weekend and one was laid out and both kids were laying on it, gurgling away.

That's my Auntie's beautiful yard and garden in the background, BTW. She works really hard on it and it really is as lush as it looks.