Friday, December 29, 2006

Organic

I have discovered that quilting is an organic process. I have no way to predict how I will feel about it at each step of the process.

Some fabrics I instantly love and can totally picture the end project but I hate it at different phases.

Like this one, Butterfly Garden. I loved the fabrics when I purchased them. I hated the blocks when I had them together. I was bland about the quilt top once all the blocks where assembled. And as I was putting the layers together and stitching on the binding, I came to love it again. Very inexplicable, very unpredictable, very satisfying, very . . . organic.

Making this quilt has proven to me that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts.

I was determined to finish this quilt with the top that I was less than thrilled about. It was the last one in the pile of the "to do before the end of 2006."

Having run out of batting, I decided to sandwich a wool blanket that I no longer use and to back it with a recycled piece of cotton from a much loved, but previously chewed duvet cover (see yesterday's post about Laddie's bad habit).














I also decided to tie this quilt rather than machine quilt it. I recently taught myself how to do tying and I find it wonderfully unintrusive on the fabrics. It also feels kind of old fashioned and quaint.

I centered the ties in the middle of the dark green diamonds.

And finally, my favourite part of every quilt is the hand stitching I do on the binding. I love sitting on my couch, listening to the radio, pulling the thread through the layers of fabric, securing the finishing touch. The end product seems so very polished and is infinitely gratifying for me.

The backing fabric is so soft and well-worn and it holds a special place in my heart. Couple this with the weight of the wool blanket inside and the fabric that I loved from the start. Put it all together and I have created another blanket that I love to curl up under.

So that's the end of my quilting year. I have made/finished 12 quilts this year. One for every month. Which is quite interesting considering I didn't start 2006 as a quilter.

I can't even tell you how many projects I've completed in the knitting catergory. That might be a tally that takes too much time and energy. Plus there are still a couple of days left in which I plan to finish at least one more project, perhaps two.

I won't be home for the New Year, though, so I won't be able to post about them until I get back. I'm off to Prince Albert to meet my Mom for the weekend.

I'll be buying more batting, backing and thread to finish up the rest of the quilting fabrics I have in the craft room but no stash enhancing in either the knitting or quilting category. So far so good on that commitment. Let's see if I can keep it up in 2007.

And on that note, I'll wish you all the brightest 2007. No matter how good the previous year, the new one holds endless possibilities, all of them hopeful on January 1.

Cheers, M

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Brava! Encore!

I sure hope I'm not boring you with all my quilt finishing this week because, well, I have another one.

It's the Stained Glass top I did in the summer and have finally gotten around to finishing.

I think this one gets the Laddie stamp of approval. Every time I put it down during the binding process, he would jump up, steal my seat and bury his nose in it.

He doesn't get to keep it for himself, though, as he still has a tendency to want to eat fabric. I think I have finally broken him of that bad habit, or at least he does it with the scraps in the toy box now and not the bed linens. But just to be on the safe side, we don't want to encourage him with something like a hand-made quilt.

Just as a warning, I have one more quilt top to finish today, possibly tomorrow. I've been trying to finish all my quilt tops this week before the start of the new year. That way, I can start fresh come January. Fortunately, the late night movies have all been Cary Grant this week so I've been staying up til 2 a.m. and stitching. I am seriously loving it!

Okay, I'd better get back to it. Happy stitching, M

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Another One!

I finished another quilt today and it is so seriously cute.
It's filled with left over fabrics and recycled pieces from my life and is the perfect size for a couch quilt. You might remember that it's the Bricks and Stepping Stones from Quiltville.

When I'm making a piece, the person who is supposed to receive it always come to mind. As I was hand-stitching the binding on this one, it was speaking directly to me and I knew I had to keep it for myself. I feel positively wrapped in love when I'm under it.

I hope you've all had a happy Christmas, M

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last Minute Gifts

I almost forgot that my friend, Andrea, asked me to make her husband some socks for the day. Here they are.

Although they look black, the yarn is actually a deep forest green. I used a simple 2x2 rib to the heel and then straight stocking stitch from there.

I think I also figured out how to beat second sock syndrome and no, it didn't have everything to do with the deadline either. I decided that I didn't want to miss a measurement by even a row because I didn't have time to do any ripping.

So I knitted the cuff/leg on the first, then the second so I could compare the length. Then the heel and the decreases on first then second. And so on until the end. It was excellent motivation to keep both socks going and going. Think I'll use it again in the future!

I also delivered this completed quilt to Andrea and her family to thank them for looking after my dogs when I go out of town.

You might remember the quilt top from several months ago. It's Smokey Mountain Stars from Quiltville. I always intended it for Andrea for Christmas but, of course, I left the finishing until the last minute. Fortunately, it all got done and just in time.

Hope you're all having a lovely holiday, M

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Woo Hoo! Crafting Happens!

I made a whole baby quilt yesterday. Here it is on the machine.


The colours are so deep and rich, they look fabulous against the snow.

I'm calling it Midnight Sky because of all the little metallic stars and dots on the fabrics.

There are enough new babies and expected babies around here these days, I figure this one will sell pretty quickly.

Happy Weekend Crafting, M

Friday, December 15, 2006

Room With A View

This is what I get to see from my classroom.

Right now it is especially beautiful with the hoar frost and the sunshine. Breathtaking!

Not much on the crafting front but I have been fondling fabric and making plans for my holidays. Hoping to get something done this weekend as well.

Cheers, M

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Special Guest Stars

For those of you who may not know, my mom has just moved to Regina to start a new job. This means she's only an 8 hour drive away, instead of 20. This makes me very happy. I like having her in the same province again.

While Mom is starting her new job and getting resettled in Regina, her cats, Dayton and Shadow are staying with me.

Dayton - the ever climbing baby boy.


And shy Shadow.

It's kinda nice to have some feline company again, although the dogs are a little too interested. I'm sure they'll get over that real fast as soon as Shadow takes a swipe at their noses.

I finally finished that pair of mittens for Toni.

This picture makes them look a bit odd-sized but they do look better in person. Guess I need to practice my photo skills.

Now I need to get knitting on a Secret Santa exchange item for work. Once that's done, I think I'd like to quilt for a while. Only another week and a bit until school holidays then I can craft all I want for 2 weeks.

Cheerio, M

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, the good news is . . .

I managed to stay away from all fibre-y purchases last weekend. Even tried to find a yarn store in Regina at one point but couldn't manage it. I think it was the Yarn Karma gods just protecting my resolve.

But the bad news is that I have absolutely no knitting, quilting or other craftiness to show you. Haven't done much this week but sports-related things with the students and outdoor things with the dogs. Most pleasant but not crafty-productive.

Sorry for the lull in blogging.

Cheers, M