The Year of the Quilt is off to a great start here in my cold little house. I have completed one quilt and two quilt tops. I am pretty impressed with my pace of work given, that I am also trying to clear out all my pending projects in anticipation of my class starting Feb 1st.
Here is D's completed quilt top!
And a few close ups of the cutest fabrics
*excuse the horrible picture taking
Now this can go away until after Curves Camp, then I will back it with cozy flannel, quilt it, bind it and send it on its way.
A year ago I bought some beautiful fabric from the Flora & Fauna line by Patty Young. The fabric hung around for about 5 months before I decided that I wanted to put all of it into a quilt for my friend and sister-in-law Cate. I wanted to attempt hexagons and went about noodling how to make it happen without having to hand sew them. I discovered a method using large fabric squares with smaller fabric squares sewn in all four corners, ironed and cut in a manner to magically create a hexagon.
Due to Apollo's lust for life, sewing was a rare treat but every time I sewed a hexagon I loved the fabric more. When I had finally sewn the last hexagon at the beginning of December 2010 I started piecing the hexagons to each other with 2 inches of sashing between them to create six strips, six hexagons wide. By mid December I had sewn the entire quilt top but instead of feeling elated at completing my most ambitious quilt top of my sewing career, I gazed upon it in horror, I had turned beautiful fabric into a horrible monstrosity of gaudy, eye bleeding , busyness!
After a few hours of soul searching, I decided not to light it on fire, instead I basted and started quilting it, reasoning that Cate would love it despite its ugliness because, after all, I made it just for her.
Solstice came and brought our lovely Vancouverite family with it and since family visiting means much wine and Settlers of Catan, it was inevitable that the quilt would not be ready to gift to Cate on Xmas. I felt incredibly bad that she would have nothing on Xmas day so I showed her the quilt; Cate, as always, was gracious but I could tell she thought the quilt was ugly and I didn't think it was ugly, I KNEW it was ugly! By the time we reluctantly let them leave us to our -45 cold snap to go back to the warm coast, I had stopped working on the quilt entirely; I promised it would be done by February.
Buoyed by new year's resolutions and a desire to just be done with it, I quilted all through the coldest week of my entire life. Progress was slow and though I played with the tension and tried to be gentle, needle after needle broke. I was breaking a needle per hexagon; it was like my machine was resisting assisting in the creation of such an ugly quilt. 12 broken needles later, I walked away; I didn't remove it from the machine, I just walked away thinking that I probably should have set fire to it on Solstice and let go.
Spring came and brought with it news that The Man was leaving us for quite some time. The Man, being a smart man, bought me a new sewing machine to soften the blow. While setting up to use the new machine, I had to remove the quilt from the old machine and I made a discovery. The feed dogs on the machine were up! The machine didn't hate the quilt; I had been breaking needles by my own carelessness!
For the past few months I have been back at the quilt and delighting in the accomplishment of my first fully free-motion quilted project. I finished it the other night and the quilting (though horribly sloppy and error filled) has greatly improved the look of it, the binding, perhaps, has made it beautiful. People , even Cate, seem to like the way it looks. It seems the ugly quilt is not so ugly anymore.
Last year I went to one of the most beautiful and touching weddings I have ever had the pleasure to attend. My little sister married a woman who I am so proud to call family. (You can see the deets here The Aunties Get Hitched )
This past spring The Aunties commenced on the path to becoming Moms; they took a very precious boy into their home and embarked on the adventure that is starting parenthood with a 4 yo. I had only heard the various stories of D and seen the few pictures they would send me via e-mail but this Christmas I had the honour of meeting little D and now my nephew count is up to 3! D is one of the sweetest little boys ever and I am almost brought to tears when I think of the love that has brought him to his forever family.
When our The Aunties knew that they were destined to be D's Mommy and Momma they commissioned from me a quilt. They wanted it to be a very special quilt to be presented to him on the day his adoption is completed. That day will be approaching in the next 4 to 6 months so I figured I better get moving.
So it was decided that D's adoption quilt would be the beautiful Color Brick Quilt in fabulous blue, green and yellow, boyish prints. I have already started cutting the fabric! Stay tuned for more quilty goodness, 2012 is, after all " The Year of the Quilt". Well, at least in this house it is.
My fabric stash just experienced quite the explosion, most of the explosion is due to a recent cycle of being lonely at night and shopping fabric on-line. I also have been enjoying the ocassional visit to some of the beautiful local fabric stores and love the less boutique and more warehouse style places, where there is usually a gem or two in the offerings and defintiley all the basics.
It seems that "getting lonely and buying fabric" happened a lot before Christmas and I came home from my journey to a mailbox full of packages of fabric. I had such a delightful time ripping open packages, petting and oogling fabric. Gaius pulled out a few of his favourites and asked me to make him a shirt, which meant Apollo had to also select a fabric and demand "shirt!" and then proceed to meltdown when he realised the shirt would not materialise instantaneously.
Knowing this huge fabric stash was coming I enrolled myself in a quilting camp at http://www.stitchedincolor.com/ , I signed up for the the whole deal. I hope I can keep up with the pace of the class and join in the chats. My bigger hope is that it will keep me so occupied that I will use up the fabric stash and not be lonely and buy fabric on-line. The Big Man is gone for atleast another 8 weeks and I have some paypall just waiting for a lonely night.
I am a really bad blogger. I haven't posted in over a year; egads! I really want to be better at this and chronicle my crafty exploits with the boys and my forays into sewing and knitting. The Big Man is and has been away and will be for a while longer. My plan to pass the time is to sew, a lot.
I have finally finished The Wedding Quilt top. It needs to get put on the back burner while I take a class and create a quilt for my nephew's adoption. Maybe in a few months quilting a queen size quilt will seem far less daunting.