Friday, November 12, 2010

Missing: Quilting Mojo

How can a girl lose her quilting mojo?

I'll tell you.

About a week after my last posting, I co-hosted a baby shower for a dear friend (for whom I made the I-Spy quilt).  It was a co-ed shower and I have to say it was quite a success!  Even the men had fun, and knowing how men take to showers like fish take to bicycles, I felt proud.

Well, you know what they say about pride?  I didn't see the fall coming.  Nor would I have ever expected it to take this form:  after the shower, my boyfriend of six months (the guy I made the baseball quilt for) told me about how he preferred being single to being in a relationship...

It took me a few days for his words to sink in.  The feelings that had been growing strongly inside of me turned out to be one-sided.  We broke up May 14.

I haven't quilted since.

I can't. 

I tried.  I took a Cathedral windows class - a wonderful class offered by the immensely talented Johanna Masko - hoping it might distract me from my grief.  No such luck.  It just reminded me of all the love I felt in my heart when I was dating my ex.

I'm a resilient woman and I'm sure some day (though not sure when), my heart will fill up again with even more love and my passion for quilting will return.

Until then, I wanted to check in, to let anyone who reads me know why I've been AWOL.

I consider the fact that I've started to sniff around my favorite quilting blogs a good sign that better times are ahead.

- k

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sneak Peek

My body aches! My shoulder in particular. I never realized quilting could be so physically grinding. Someday when I win the lottery, I'm buying an ergonomically correct sewing table! Oh, and installing it in a room dedicated solely to sewing. :)

Here's a peek of what I've been working on this weekend.

I finished the top last weekend, and spent yesterday basting and quilting (into the wee hours). This afternoon, I attached the binding to the front. Now all I have to do is sew it to the back, which I always enjoy doing by hand. It's a nice respite from the "sewing shoulder" I developed.

All in all, it's been a good and productive sewing weekend.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Leather Clutch

A couple of weeks ago I took the Leather Clutch class at The Workroom. This was no easy feat - not the class, but getting in! It's one of the most popular classes on the schedule and usually books up within the first hour of the class schedule coming out. After over a year of trying to nail a spot, I finally did.

The leather is from Perfect Leather in Toronto. I love this shade of teal and its slight metallic sheen. The piece of goat leather (poor little goat) was around $18 and turned out to be big enough to make four purses. I only made one in the class, and I can't see the need for three more clutches in the same colour even to give away as gifts. If someone is ever interested in swapping leather, lemme know!

The lining fabric is a gorgeous double-gauze Echino print. Not sure of the name but it's one of my favorites.

I've already taken my clutch out on its first maiden voyage - drinks and dinner with My Guy last weekend. It's the perfect size to hold a phone, credit cards & cash, lipstick, powder with room for more without looking bulky or overstuffed.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Year Later...

Oh boy! It only took a year to finish this top.

Actually, it took about a month to finish the top which I made at The Workshop (taught by the amazing and inspiring Johanna of Seams Likely), and another 11 months to get around to adding the border. I'd like to take that as a sign I'm becoming a *real* quilter. That is, I'm steadily building up a pile of WIPs in varying states.

This past weekend, I put a push on finishing this top along with prepping two other quilts to send to R. Not only is she the mother of one of my best friends, R is a very accomplished and talented quilter. I am beyond lucky because as well as being an amazing teacher, she also has large quilt frame & sewing machine (not a long-arm, but one that is dedicated to quilting), and offered to quilt the tops at a family discount.

While my Double Wedding Ring is riddled with mistakes and slightly off seams, it is my first (and maybe only) Double Wedding Ring and I know I can trust R to quilt something special. And also hopefully something that hides my mistakes.

It feels great to have three quilts off my WIP pile! Guess that just means I have to start a few more projects.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oops... I Did It Again...

I bought some fabric. But who can blame me? Especially with the parity between the Canadian and U.S dollar?

Anna Maria Horner's "Good Folks" fabrics are so rich in colour! I couldn't resist when I checked out her shop. I've admired this line for a while but my quilting tastes have finally caught up with the bold palette and I feel ready to go a little wild.

Now waiting on baited breath for my bundle of fat quarters to arrive.

- k

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Heart Hex's

It's official. I am addicted to English Paper Piecing. I LOVE making these hexagons!

Hex Love seems to be in the air because I've run across a fair number of other quilt-blogs where hexagons are the current rage. Perhaps it's because of how easy and versatile the hand-piecing can be? Especially with the warmer weather. Who wants to think about sitting inside quilting on a gorgeous, sunny day? Not me.

My plan for these hexagons is pretty ambitious. In my dream world, I want to make 270 of these 2" babies for a double-size quilt for my bedroom. If I get on a roll, I'll more so I can have a true queen-size quilt. About twenty down and only 250 to go!

Now I have something to do on the many baseball-centered road trips The Man is threatening to take me on. ;-)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Hexagons In The Making

I am super psyched for the English Paper Piecing class I signed up for. Is it silly that I can't wait for tomorrow to arrive already??

In preparation, I pulled some fabric from my stash. I've been zipping around some of my favorite blogs for inspiration, and naturally ended up taking a lot of cues from Ashley at Film In The Fridge.

I love how fresh and modern her hexagon quilts look! (Well, and all of her quilts in general!) In particular, I love how a scatter of hexagons takes away the pain (or obligation) of making a thousand hexagons the way I'd have to for the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.

Do any of you also find it helpful to evaluate if your fabrics work together by taking a photo beforehand? Taking a photo helps give my eye the distance or objectivity needed to see that in this instance, I'm missing a cool light blue or violet that's in more of a cornflower hue than the aqua prints I pulled.

Sadly, I don't have that shade in my stash and this means only thing. I'm going to end up buying more fabric. Good for my collection, bad for my pocketbook.

Note to self: Find a stash swap STAT!!!

- k

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hit The Ball Right Outta The Park!

The "Spring Training" quilt was a homerun with the man! He loves it. We packed it with us and took it to Phoenix to use as our blanket on the berm at the ball parks while watching spring training.

One baseball-themed quilt + spring training = one VERY happy birthday boy.

Voila the front:
And here is the back:

I used a double sheet from Ikea and it worked out great. I know there's a school of thought that frowns on using sheets for backings but in a pinch (and short on time, not to mention on a budget), they can be a quilter's best friend. All things considered, this quilt came together quickly. There's a lot to be said for over-sized fence rails (I'm used to smaller pieces) and simple quilting.

Next up -- finish some of my WIPs and yes, start some new quilts.

- k

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Spring Training"

Whew! Got this done just under the wire! I finished the binding and washed this quilt last night. Now it's neatly folded, boxed, wrapped and ready to give to my guy for his birthday tomorrow.

The quilt (approx 62x75") is a fence rail -- which seemed to be the best pattern to keep it fresh, modern, masculine AND highlight the baseball themed fabric. My guy loves baseball, so I'm hoping this gift is a homerun. ;-)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Jump Start

Ack! Can you believe it's coming up on a year since I finished this quilt top and I still have to finish it nevermind quilt it?!! With spring around the corner, I'm feeling motivated again to git 'er done. The fabric in this quilt is mainly Denyse Schmidt's Katie Jump Rope against Kona Snow.

My year has been off to a busy start. Feels like every time I glance at a calendar, a new month is coming to an end. In mid-December, I moved into my long-awaited loft (LOVE IT!!!) and since then have been settling in, taking my time to feel out the new space and sizing up where and how I want to arrange my things. I forgot how long the process of settling into a new space can take and I'm still waging a battle against the boxes. However, this week I saw the light on the horizon and how I'll conquer the last frontier (read: the den). Now that I have my plan in place, my goal is to have all the boxes fully unpacked and everything in its place by Easter (which sounds far away but isn't given my various work and travel commitments in the meantime).

On the quilt front, I finished basting a quilt for a very special man. Now I need to sew like the wind to finish quilting and binding before his birthday this weekend.

Hope 2010 is being good to you and yours.