Saturday, June 29, 2013

Scrappy Trip Progress

As of this morning, I have 15 blocks done, 10 needing pressed, and 10 more cut for assembly. I'd love to spend the rest of the day working on them, but I'll pace myself.

Meanwhile it's just fun to lay 'em out and think about how to arrange them! Love how quickly they're coming together!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Generations II Quilt - Complete

Something happened on the first day of summer. I placed a final stitch in my four-generation quilt.

I am not entirely sure what this one means to me; what it means that it came from my hands; the symbolism, the sincerity. Two sets of hands are now in heaven, two sets are clasped together here on earth, but we've all had our hands in this quilt, and it's fresh and warm from its first washing.

I will wrap up in it and let my thoughts and heart go as deep as I please, into the memories of my mother, her memories of her mother, and the stories I've been told of her mother before her. I will find myself in the things we share, the woods and hills and rivers, the love of life and children and family, the joy and the kindness. It is one thing to have things handed down. It is quite another to be an active participant in taking what was handed down and making it into more than it could have thought to be. I cannot imagine her, my great-grandmother who stitched this top. Could she have imagined me?

So this one's for my great-granddaughters, this handful of history and the knowledge that they are the fulfillment of my wildest dreams.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Black and White Blocks - June Goal Met!

Well, if that title doesn't give away the punch line... Don't think there's much more to say!

These first three blocks are not part of the Music City Modern Quilters Guild BOM, but as some blocks don't render into black and white too well, I am using them as substitutes.

Martha Washington's Star - tutorial here. Question:  how often do you actually do something you pin to Pinterest?

Rolling Stone - love it so! Tutorial here.

Sailboat based on this suncatcher. (I prefer taller masts on my ships than other versions I'd seen!)

Finally, I actually did stitch April's BOM. Little bitty hexagons on this one - oh my! I toyed with making a different arrangement of them, but I feel the flower ended up being striking and just cute enough, without being cloyingly sweet.

Oh, and I made some tiny cornerstones from the leftover flaps off my Rolling Stone block! Love 'em. I'm OK with their nonstandard size - adds personality, I think!

Guild meeting is tomorrow! I am excited to see what others made and thankful that I was able to meet my Lovely Year of Finishes goal, even with the earlier time!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Little Stitchers

Lately I've found myself spending one-on-one time with a few almost-first-grade girls. Either their interest awakens in the presence of my passion, or my presence in their lives coincides with their naturally occurring interest. Whatever the case, I've been delighted this week to instruct them on the very basics of sewing!

The first requested we make a drawstring bag.

While she worked, I made a duplicate - sample - and gave it to her afterwards as she intended hers for her mother.

The second child had already received some scrap fabric from my stash (low-quality fabrics are perfect for beginning stitches, no?)

We also worked on a drawstring bag, but as this was the child's second project, she was advanced enough to use a thimble!

While she sewed, I began stitching bias binding to my Generations II quilt. I felt the antique top deserved to be hand-sewn both in front and back. With such an undertaking, even a few minutes in between tying knots and undoing wraparound thread adds up. And I just love having that quilt in hand!

I'm feeling a little pre-nostalgic in these experiences. That is, I look forward to a time when I have not only lived moments of teaching daughters and granddaughters to sew but can look back on them. I think it must be the quilt's effect. But it's fun, this feeling of being unstuck from time... I'd like to see if I can get used to it!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Scrappy Trip - A Beginning

I confess, I succumbed.

After making these blocks, I just couldn't get rid of the feeling that I'd like to make a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt.

I stalked the Flickr group. I scrolled through Instagram hashtags (#scrappytrip or #scrappytripalong). I fingered fabric in my mind, even posted Facebook statuses about my turmoil.

Then, finally, unable to bear the torment a moment longer, I threw caution to the wind and started hacking.

Four hundred forty 16x2.5-inch strips later, I settled on 72 blocks of scrappy fabulosity. (Don't think too long about the math - I rounded up on purpose!)

In my first sitting, I stitched 19 strip sets, each set to become a block using 6 prints.

Today I brought my total up to 36.

My strategy has been to just pull pieces from a couple of fluffy bags-full and not think too much about it - except that prints don't repeat within a set and that each set has at least one "punchy" fabric. Otherwise I'm trying not to be too ordered. It's a joy seeing them start to stack up so quickly! I feel as if I started just in time. The goal is to have this puppy pieced and quilted before summer's out - formidable, perhaps, but I'll ride the wind of a fresh project as long as it lasts!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June Goal: Guild BOM Catch-Up

My goal this month is simple, but I'm giving myself an earlier deadline.

My first three BOMs to get me inspired to make the others!
I have not been to a guild meeting in a few months, and I am behind in my BOMs! Because I am doing black and white only, I am modifying or exchanging some of the blocks that the other guild members have designed. My Lovely Year of Finishes goal for June is to make blocks for April and May, and maybe even a couple more (so I can eventually have 16, rather than 12, blocks come the end of the year). Here is the April block. I think it will work well in two colors. The May block is not yet posted to the site, but you can get a preview here. I'll definitely substitute something else, perhaps not paper-pieced, though!

The guild meeting is the third Saturday of the month. I've blocked* it off on my calendar, and I hope to have my blocks done by then - as well as a few other projects for show-and-tell!

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes!

*pun intended