Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's 2014 Already!

Where did 2013 go? I got a lot of things done last year that never got recorded in this blog, and I'm not going to try to go back and list them all now. But I still managed to end the year with the studio in a mess, and the weight of a ton of unfinished projects on my back. The fact that I went to Canada for 5 weeks and was gone through most of December didn't help, although most of that time I was working frantically on the Christmas knitting.
So I'm going to start with a "State of the Studio" report. It may not have the same significance to the world as a State of the Union address, but it has more significance to me.

As usual, every flat surface has fabric and a project in some stage of completion/incompletion on it. On the design wall is a quilt that should have been finished and gone from my life before Christmas:
There are also pieces of this quilt on my ironing board, my sewing table, my cutting table and the stool next to the cutting table. It's a commission for a good friend, who wanted it for his daughter's first winter in her new house. I'm gunning for Easter at this point. First goal is to have the top pieced and at the long-armer's for basting by the end of the month. The block rows are all pieced, so all that's left is the rest of the sashing and the borders, which are not pieced. I think this is achievable without too much stress and strain, even though it is a king-sized quilt.

When Jane Gower's quilt went up on the wall, two other projects had to come down, and they are now draped over the back and arm of the rocker:
The first is the double wedding ring quilt for Devan and Theresa. I think they will celebrate their fourth anniversary this year. Once Jane Gower's quilt is off the wall, this one will be the next big project that gets attention.
The second is what I'm calling "Miss Zula's Quilt," named for the woman who sewed these blocks into strips while she was in the nursing home. This is not fine quilting by any stretch of the imagination, but I want to finish this quilt for her and enjoy it. Since she stitched by hand and was in the early stages of Alzheimer's, the seams need reinforcing, although the seam width is remarkably consistent. This is an auto-pilot project, for those days when I want to just sew, and not make design decisions or worry about precision.

The cutting table has a strip set on one end of it:
This strip set is from a Craftsy class called "Stripping Your Stash," taught by Nancy Smith. The basic idea is to cut strips from a bunch of different fabrics, sew them together to create new fabric, then cut that into pieces to make the quilt. I've been cutting triangles from this, but had to put it aside when I started work on Robby's quilt. I'll get back to it someday.

Continuing the tour around the studio, here's a pile of fabric sitting on the card table that was a temporary addition to the studio and which may now be a permanent fixture:
I forget why I originally pulled these fabrics out, but they are all black and white and red cat prints. I think I had a plan for them once. I don't know what it is any more, but it's a nice collection, so I don't really want to just put it back in stash.

Against the back wall is a set of shelves that have become a sort of catch-all. On top of the pile is the big pink tub that holds scraps for kids quilts. On top of the tub is a set of squares ready to be assembled into a donation quilt. I've already set aside MLK day as a "donation quilt sew-in day," so maybe I'll have a donation quilt done by the end of the month.

This little pile sits on the set of drawers behind my sewing table:
They're string-pieced strips made from the leftovers from James and Crystal's double wedding ring. I often use this as a leader/ender project when I'm working on other stuff, so I keep them handy. Someday I'll have enough for a top.

And just when I thought I had enough projects scattered about to keep me busy all of this month and half of next, one of the bloggers I follow issued a UFO challenge to finish something by the end of the month. Since I need a baby quilt for a soon-to-be-born wee one, I pulled out this:
It's all basted and ready to be quilted, and I think "stitch in the ditch" is all it needs, so this is now sitting on top of the pile on the love seat (I'm not even going to think about what's underneath it).

That's the state of my studio today. I think I'll make this a monthly feature through this year. It seems like an easy way to show progress, and might even be fun to look at come the end of the year.

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