Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm not sure why it is, but this time of year seems to be a particularly creative one for me. I'm working at a furious pace in the studio right now, and remembering that it was about a year ago that I was doing exactly the same thing. Not sure why that should be, but I'm not going to insist that the muse follow the calendar. I'll take inspiration whenever it comes.

Maybe it was the announcement that the next honorary grandchild is to be a girl. It made me rush to the shelves and start pulling out lime green and pink fabrics and dig through the scrap drawer for the more "girly" kiddie prints. This was the result:

Right now it's about midway through the basting process. I took another picture of it this morning on the table:
This photo shows the colors better since I used my "real" camera with the flash instead of the iphone. It also shows that I'm trying to learn the technique Sharon Schamber uses for basting quilts. The test will be when the back comes out smooth with no puckers.

Right now I am in a basting and quilting mode. I had to clear off a lot of surfaces to get there. The ironing table needed to be cleared so I could iron whole quilts and backs. The cutting table had to be cleared to hold the quilt being basted. The sewing table had to be mostly cleared so I could scoot a quilt around under the machine arm and not send things crashing to the floor. As long as I'm set up, it makes sense to keep going. There are at least 2 more quilts ready for basting. And I'm learning that if I do a little bit at a time I don't get pains in my back or blisters on my needle-pulling fingers. So switching off between the basting and the quilting makes sense.

But in the mean time --- My friend Amy just finished a quilt that she started sometime back in the 80's, and one of her friends has just pulled out one of her antique projects and is giving it aother look. That made me think of a project that's been lurking in the dim dark recesses of my studio. And this morning I decided it would need to come out and play.I've been planning a quick get-away for next week to do a self-directed shop hop, and it occurred to me that this would make a fun project to work on in the evenings. So out it came:

I'm not really sure when I started this quilt, but I know it was in the 80's. For a long time it was a travel project; I have memories of working on it on trips to the mountains or to visit relatives. It's entirely hand-pieced. The hexagons measure 3 1/2 inches across. There are 32 full blocks, and I think each one has a different blue and a different cream floral print.

Two bits of good news. One is that the layout is done, and each block is labeled. If I can sew 1A to 1B, I'll be okay. The other is that all the fabrics used are in the box. I know I will need some partial blocks at some point, and there is plenty of fabric to create them. For now, I'll just see if I can get what I have sewn together.

Looking at the difference between those fabrics - which I was inordinately proud of at the time - and the ones I use today makes me wonder what I will be working with 20 years from now. Part of the evolution I know is that there is so much more variety available now than there was in the 80's, and that was a vast improvement over what had been available 10 years earlier. I just want fabulous colors and lots of choices.

And in the spirit of finishing projects that have been hanging around forever - I finally made the last 2 wire cubbies to finish out this fabric storage wall.

I've had the kit for at least 2 years, but there just didn't seem to be any rush to get it done. On the other hand, it makes me ridiculously happy that it is finally done. I even had enough pieces left over to create a small free-standing unit with 2 more cubbies. Not sure where it's going yet, but for now it's holding the stuff I needed to move off the ironing table - just standing in the middle of the floor. I wonder how long it will take me to move it from there. Meanwhile, the yellows looks quite happy to have a home of their own, separated from the oranges. And clearly they need more playmates.