Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in Quilts Review

Twenty-twelve was a good year to finish quilts. However, some were sadder to finish than others.

When I finally decided to finish the Uninspired Quilt after years of deliberating, it was almost a relief. I mean, spending so much time staring at a completed quilt top and backing and ignoring them as they sat on a shelf staring back at me every time I glanced at my stash was a bit depressing. Seriously, I don’t know why I didn’t finish the damn thing years ago. Okay, so perhaps I do; I hate it. I hate the patterns, the place the fabric was purchased, the reason behind buying the fabric, everything about it annoys the hell out of me. Perhaps 2013 I will find peace with this project.

Then there is the Frog & Fairy Quilt I made for a friend’s long awaited baby. This was such a fun project from start to finish, as I created the characters and printed them out onto fabric and sewed them into a quilt that I thought would be used and cherished by the newborn for years to come. However, sad news arrived mere days before the mother was to give birth. The baby had died. As if that wasn’t horrible enough, she was so far along, she still had to actually give birth to the child. Suddenly this project I had enjoyed creating, turned into a reminder that it would never be used, never be loved, and never be needed. I decided to add another graphic to the back with his name and mail it to the parents anyway.

When I found out a coworker was indeed leaving for college to pursue becoming a veterinarian, I decided to make her a going away quilt. She loves cats, so naturally they would be the focus. Before I knew it, her last day in town was upon us, so I gave her the quilt which made her cry because, well, a couple reasons. First was her realization that she was leaving. Second was because the day before she found out she was pregnant, which she knew would put a damper on her six-year plan. As it is, this Going Away Quilt will now be the baby’s first quilt come March when he or she is born. And her six-year plan? It’s been extended by a few months as she is taking next semester off and going back in the fall.

And the crowning jewel of the quilts I finished this year is The Fall Quilt. I love everything about this quilt except for the lack of actual quilting. However, I was ready to be done with it. I had decided to use a double strand of thread instead of pearl cotton or a thicker thread. That meant dealing with unraveling and knotting and all sorts of other problems. Not fun. However, I did get to use my quilt hoop, which was fun. It is no surprise that this would be my favorite project I completed, since I love fall colors.

But wait! I did manage to make another quilt this year too! After realizing that I wouldn’t be able to complete a full size quilt back in September for my sister-in-law’s birthday, I decided to make her a pillow using what would be the block pattern for the quilt. I did, however, manage to procrastinate to the point where I didn’t finish the quilt until the day before leaving for Idaho to spend Christmas with my husband’s family. Typical. The quilt looks amazing, and looks great in her room. It will look better when a picture of three of her horses that was printed on canvas and taken by the amazing photographer, Sarah Costa (, is up above her bed. Of course, using a charm pack of Kate Spain’s Fandango as the feature fabrics doesn’t hurt either.

So what is my goal for 2013? Finish the plethora of projects I started this last year, like That 70s Quilt and The Desperate Housewife’s Quilt. Also, I’d love to start work on two quilts using two different lines by Kate Spain, Good Fortune and Central Park. Oh, and do something fun and amazing with the Lorax fabric. Maybe if I have some extra time to squeeze in, I’ll finally get started on a Christmas quilt too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Must... Share... ANYTHING!!!

You know that feeling you get when you’ve been busy working on various projects for Christmas presents and can’t wait to share with everyone all the fun things you’ve made, but can’t for fear the recipients will see them prematurely? No? Just me? Huh…

So I have been busy sewing up a storm, but alas, can’t post any pictures because they might end up in the wrong hands. You know, like on the person for whom the gifts are intended. That would be bad. Even though the chances of this happening would be slim to say the least for any of the people I’ve been making stuff for, I don’t want to risk it.

Every year I try to do one big gift for a different person, and every year I get started early and then set it aside thinking I’ve got plenty of time to work on it later. Then it becomes later and later until it’s a week before Christmas and the project has yet to be completed. I started it in September. It’s now December seventeenth. So much for not procrastinating this year!

Also, taking time off from blogging has had, well, mixed results. On the one hand, my mornings are not filled with obsessing and stressing over what to write about in the homemaking realm and actually much more relaxed and allows me to take my time drinking my morning coffee and checking the news. But on the other, I feel like the main reason I wanted to cut down from daily blogging was to refocus my efforts on writing fiction, as in one of the seven or so novels I’ve been working on for years now or the three or four novels or dozen or so children’s books I’ve completed and might need tweaking or rewrites or (gasp) submitted to publishers!

I’ve already wasted ten minutes writing when I should be sewing, so back to the grindstone. I just hope I don’t work my 1963 Singer Touch N’ Sew Deluxe Zig-Zag Model 600 sewing machine to death, because then I would be sad.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fabric Shopping

I just got back from shopping for fabric and a few things ran through my mind as I was perusing the (sometimes overwhelming selection of) fabric: I haven’t gone fabric shopping in months; I love fabric; and there isn’t much NEW stuff out there, as in I saw a lot of reproductions from previous runs like Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy and Sandy Gervais’s Frolic, two fabulous lines, don’t get me wrong, but not new.

These personal pontifications became sad realizations after talking to the store owner who said, quite frankly, that many companies just aren’t coming up with much new stuff lately because of rising costs. She also confirmed my suspicions about the reproductions of lines from a few years ago. However, the concerning part is that many of the fabric producers aren’t getting enough orders to send to the printers, so there’s an even further delay in new stuff getting to market. Now, for someone like me who prefers cotton prints from Moda, Alexander Henry or Robert Kaufman (including Kona solids) for quality reasons, I have some mixed feelings about reprints. It’s great to get prints that you might have wanted but missed out on, but at the same time, part of the fun of shopping is finding something new to covet.

However, I did not leave the fabric shop empty handed, but found material for at least four projects and Christmas gifts. Now I just need to find a pattern for a chef’s hat…