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Archive for September, 2012

I hope your projects are off to a great start.  Let me update you on mine.  It has been a busy week.  Unfortunately not for the crafting side of my life.  

My “KoKo” project moved forward with the completion of 2 blocks.  I still love the simplistic color combination and find this would be a great gift for a man or woman.  I am thinking about making these blocks into two lap/throw blankets.  There will be 32 blocks in total.  What do you think?

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For my 2nd project, the “Coxcomb Medallion”, it seemed like I made minimal progress.  I know that is not totally true.  I spent so much time cutting and prepping the pieces.  It is a daunting task.  I did manage to get 3 of the 4 stems stitched into place.   It was actually relaxing to do the hand stitch work.  I was dreading the work, even though I wanted to master a new skill.  To add to this I jointed “Quilt With Us” on “Connecting Threads” and found a Needleturn Appliquers group.  Maybe I will learn more working with a group.  I do struggle with how to manage all of the social network sites out there.  Learning how to meet people when not in person.  It is a rough journey for me as face to face is always how I have worked.  

My daughter put a good perspective on things for me today.  As we were chatting she commented that when she finished the knitted shawl with 3000 beads, it was like ending a relationship.  The journey had been fun, but she needed to move on….that is how it is when learning a new craft or starting a project.  It’s a relationship.  You read and study the pattern and fabrics.  You ensure you are doing everything the project specifies.  You put tons and tons of effort and time into creating something that will be treasured for years to come, and then something happens (hopefully you finish the project).  And it is time to move on and continue your talent growth and maturity.  Funny I think.  The lesson, sometimes we will tackle projects that just were not right for us.  Don’t be afraid to walk away and do something else.  Hobbies as well as life should be fun.  Both things will have their good times and bad.  You just have to know when the bad out weighs the good and move on.  

Best of luck on your projects this week.  I look forward to the next blog.

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We have not talked about projects.  Where to start?!  What to do?!  I did two things this week that are no different than how I first started my quilting craft.  I started two projects.  Yes two!  One is a design I saw that I love.  The second is a class project that will help me build new skills.  Let me go into more details.

Project #1 is call “Ko Ko” and it was featured in the May/June 2012 Fons  & Porter’s  “Love of Quilting” Magazine.  I like the project for its simplistic color scheme.  The design was done by Evelyn Young.  I have never worked on any of her projects before. But everything seems to be going smooth.  The directions are good.  The project calls for cutting out a total of 1028 small triangles.  That is what I spent time doing throughout the week in the evenings.  It seems like a lot, but I enjoy every aspect of quilting, so I took my time and was done by the end of the week.  I spent time on Friday evening and Saturday sewing the triangles into 514 square and today I ironed out all of the squares.

  The sewing and ironing was mindless and therefore very relaxing.  I am making a few deviations from the pattern thus far.  Instead of doing regular triangles I chose to use the Marti Michell “Perfect Patchwork Templates”.  I love these because they make lining up the pieces tidy.  The specific one I used was B13.  I am sure making this change will slightly change the dimensions of the overall quilt, so I am going to hold off cutting my setting triangles until I have all of the blocks completely sewn together.  There will be 32 in total.  I will keep you posted. 

Project #2 is a block of the month class I signed up for at a local quilt shop.  The quilt is called “The Coxcomb Medallion Quilt” by Susan H. Garman 2010.  Distributed by Quakertown Quilts.  This quilt features a lot of hand applique work with multiple piece-worked borders.  My handwork skills leave something to be desired, however I consider this a challenge.  I took the class because being with fellow quilters is the best way to learn new tricks of the trade.  In addition, I have never met a nasty quilter.  Every quilter I have met is friendly!  You can’t say that about many groups as a whole.  Fellowship with other quilters is a must.  This quilt will be a year-long project.  The first month has many challenging things to accomplish.  I am not sure I will be able to get it all done.  But the instructor, Susan Anderson,  I have had before and she is patient so I won’t let myself stress out about getting every last thing completed.  I would rather have it done right than fast…  For this quilt I spent two hours in the demonstration class and I began some of the prep work.   I had to order a few tools, they should arrive from Connecting Threads this week.   This class is nice, because I didn’t have to pick any fabric.   Every month I will get a new fabric pack with what I need.  It’s a nice change of pace and it spreads out the initial fabric investment; that for a quilt this size would be around $200.    

If you gathered all of your supplies and you are wondering how to start, these are two ideas.  I believe a class is the best way to start; however, if you don’t have that available, try a pattern from a magazine.  I have given you the reference point to one magazine.  Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting” is nice.  It features patterns for all skill levels.  You can subscribe online if you can’t find it in a local store. 

I hope you have a fantastic week!  Be thankful for all that you have, even if it seems like less than some others.  This week I found out about a family that is now officially homeless, not to any fault of their own.  Apparently they were renting and the place they were renting was sold.  The new owner made them leave as he did not want to be a landlord.  A mom, dad, grandmother and son on the street.  Like many, they don’t have the means to come up with the extra money needed for first and last months rent to move into a place.  They are not the type of family that will ask for help.  I have only found this out from someone that is trying to help them.  This “someone” has bought clothes and schools supplies  for the son, in addition to helping them pay for their weekly rented room.  I have reached out to a close friend and she is going to help me get educated on resources available so that we can try to educate and help the family out.  It’s always astounding to me that some people who need help the most can’t get it because they either won’t ask, or don’t know where to start.  These are the people you don’t know about.  But the people that scream for help the loudest could probably do something to help themselves get out of a situation.  Thank goodness I live in a small community that will help and respect the pride of others. 

Once again, have a great week!  Hug the ones you love.  Smile at those you don’t.

Happy Quilting!

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Love the pattern

Love the pattern

Love the pattern

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Blunder, out of square

Blunder, out of square

Blunder, out of square

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I recently, as in today, finished a project that I am not so proud of.  The funny thing is that I actually like it.  It started about four weeks ago when I saw a pattern I loved from “Schibbles by Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.”  The design is called “Recess” and it is by Carrie L. Nelson.  I ordered the pattern and waited anxiously for it to arrive.  I should have known this was going to be a troubled project from the start.  The first pattern order never arrived after 10 days so I had to contact the online store and they immediately shipped me another pattern.  Okay, so things happen.  I have never made a quilt with one theme of fabric, but for this one I used Windham Fabric, “Greet the Day” Collection by Lori Siebert.  I am usually not so organized as to use one collection, but for this project I thought it would be fantastic.  All things considered, the project went together well.  That is until I went to square it up.  I had somehow managed to get the pattern about 4” out of square…….this has never happened to me before, in fact I was so agitated I did not sew for a week.  I guess I thought if I just left the thing alone it would square out on its own….well, that didn’t happen. 

So today I ventured into my sewing to make this mistake right, the more I worked on it, the less I could figure out how to fix it.  My seams were all good, the layout was correct; there was just no making it straight.  I added the borders thinking this would make it better, but nope, that didn’t do anything but accent the offset.  So what did I do?  I embraced my blunder!

I never knew that a fabric line could so aptly describe a project.  Seize the day!  It reminded me of what life is all about.  I never choose for a day to start out crazy, but like this project, sometimes it does.  I never mean to feel a little “out of sorts”, but sometimes that is how the day begins and ends.  When all is said and done, I may be a little out of square, but I am in one piece!  Just like my finished quilt. 

The pattern name and my grandson helped me put things in perspective.  “Recess”, kids love to play, and they always seize the day.  Why do adults forget to do that?  If we were as anxious to play and enjoy what life offers, maybe we wouldn’t be quite so bothered when something isn’t quite straight.  I share this story with you to help you smile a bit more.  Think of these things:

1)      Take each day as it comes!  It may not be perfect, but what is?  Laugh!

2)      Look at life with the eyes of a three year old.  You will be amazed at the difference.

3)      Embrace your blunders! Rarely are they life threatening.  Laugh!

4)      Remember that your creations are works of art.  Enjoy them no matter what.

Hope your holiday weekend is great.  Make sure you seize the day.  Enjoy my blundering pictures!

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