family, make something, personal, quilt, quilt block, quilting, quilts

On Making Resolutions, Not Making Resolutions, and Sweet Things

I generally don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I have enough to keep up with on any given day and the thought of adding to my already lengthy list is daunting. Plus, it’s always a disappointment if I can’t keep a promise to myself for a year. Why set myself up for failure, right?

Enter being alone…sewing…head going…..then poof! I blew up that thought when I made a quiet resolution to myself. Dang it!

For every NEW quilt I start, I’m going to finish a work in progress.

It’s a good one, but this must have been a complete moment of weakness; or me looking around my space realizing I’d have more if I finished some projects.

The plan: if it’s been cut, partially pieced, blocks made but need to assemble the top, partially quilted, WHATEVER, then it’s time to finish that project.

I am allowing myself one small stipulation: finished tops don’t count.  I can fold them up and put them in my cabinet to be quilted on another day.  Fast forward to a year from now when I’m complaining about all the quilts that need quilting. Here’s hoping that’s not the case. Note: I’m grateful for long arm quilters. Anyhow, at least if the mess is off my floor, I’ll have some room to move. That’ll be nice. I could use more space. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

The first project I’m tackling this year is a quilt for my husband’s aunt. Several years ago she asked me to make a quilt from her children’s clothing. She has 5 (yes, F-I-V-E) kids and had a great, big basket of things for me to use. I cut a bunch of things into 5″ squares and put them together with a sashing and I never. liked. the. quilt.

It was somewhere between a large wall and small lap quilt. I didn’t like the pieces just sashed. There was no pizzaz, and I knew I could do something I liked FAR better. 4 squares were larger so I used them as cornerstones, but then the borders were too wide, and the quilt wasn’t quite proportional. I didn’t like my border choice for that quilt, either. Also, if I’m making a quilt from clothing from 5 babies, then said aunt should be able to snuggle up under it. I mean, those are years of precious memories. Diaper covers, cross-stitched bags, flannel blankets, and loads of other sweet, sweet things.

So I sat on it.

For two years I sat on a (small) almost-completed quilt because I didn’t love it. It was okay, but that’s not okay for me.

So I stewed, and mulled, and processed, and let it muster until the lightbulb went off. And THEN, when the inspiration hit, I was able to pull the trigger. Sheesh, y’all! This quilt is going to be ah-mazing!! I’m so excited about it. I can’t wait for you to see the finished project!

Let me also add (completely-ish off topic) that sometimes waiting is the best thing you can do for a project. I am one of the most impatient people I know, so that really means something coming from me. But it’s true. I am so glad that I waited and didn’t finish this quilt. It’s definitely worth it!

Back to the quilt. When the lightbulb came on at 3am one morning (thank you insomnia, Carrie Bloomston, and That Little Spark), the quilt came together.

I spent the last 2 days reworking the top. I have the center blocks assembled, and plan to sew them together today. Plans for the rest of the week include inner and outer border, then determining quilting situation.

Here’s a sneak peak.

IMG_2924

Enjoy!

quilt

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Thanksgiving was great. Husband and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Nana had a good time with her grand and great-grand kids. A didn’t want to stop moving. She had lots to see and do before leaving Aunt S’s. No time for a photo she says!

nana_tday.jpg

K came into town. It was so nice to see her, and I think she had a good time playing with S. Her boss M, and his assistant, C, gave S the green sweatshirt. It’s a 2t, but all the cool kids in LA have one. I am certain that Sean will love his green sweatshirt once he grows into it.

brillsteinweb.jpg

We spent the entire weekend with husband’s family. It was lovely. We even managed to all watch the Georgia/Georgia Tech game without too much heckling. Of course, my team was winning, and I was outnumbered by Georgia Tech fans so I kept it to a minimum.

I took S to meet Santa on Monday. He was fascinated with Santa’s beard. I did have to tell Santa to watch Mr. Grabby-Grabby. I’d hate for S to start off on the wrong foot and pull Santa’s beard. Ouch! S was very happy to sit on Santa’s lap. Of course, he had no idea what was going on, but I did. And I had a good time with it!

santa.jpg

I managed to get him to smile! Not bad for his first visit to see Santa. Oh, and his shirt says “Who needs Santa when I have Grandma”

So, to digress for a bit, the show I was in last month wasn’t so great. I am glad I did it, but I don’t think I’ll participate in that particular show again. It was rather disappointing, but other vendors mentioned that they were less than thrilled with the turnout too. I was glad it wasn’t just me. I did sell a few barrette holders and there were several people interested in my quilts. If just one person has me make a quilt for them then the show will have been a success for me. Thus far no one has called. bummer. I did enjoy having Mom in town for a day. She, S and my Aunt  got to hang out. Mom even gave S a bath in the sink. He didn’t like it.

sean_sink.jpg

MA has her quilt now. It’s all finished and lovely. I think it turned out rather well myself.

maryalma.jpg

I have the body of B’s two quilts assembled. Here’s a close up of one. I am hoping to get borders on this week. Yeah! Oh, what a relief that will be for me!

brooke.jpg

T-shirt quilts are so much fun to make, and I was on a tear after putting B’s quilts together that I started on my Pi Phi t-shirt quilt. Finally. I have had the shirts prepped for a year but hadn’t made time to assemble the squares. Go figure. I have most of the squares finished. I had originally planned to have each square finish at 15 inches, but the larger shirts that don’t have any borders look funny, so now they are all going to finish a bit larger. I think. I have to look at everything again. I put one row together the other night and decided that I didn’t like it, so I’m in brainstorming mode again. I’d love to go with what I have and plan to tweek the larger squares, if possible, thus making the top go together a bit faster. I know what I want for the inner and outer borders. Hopefully the planned fabric will work once the body is assembled.

Autumn is coming to an end. I just loved the golden leaves. They are so beautiful. Really they are. When I was a little girl, my sister and I used to collect brightly colored fallen leaves and iron them between two sheets of waxed paper. Well, Mom would iron. But then my sister and I would cut out the leaves to send to my grandmother in Florida so she could decorate her Thanksgiving table with real leaves. L and I thought we were the deal doing that. To this day I think about sending leaves to my grandmother. I’m sure she’d get a kick out of it.

leaves.jpg

This isn’t my house, but a house in my neighborhood. Look at the leaves?! Aren’t they amazing?!

quilt

Getting Started

So I’m trying my hand at a blog. I’m hoping that between S’s naps and other important life tasks, even the not so fun ones like paying bills and laundry, I’ll be able to keep this thing updated. We’ll see. If nothing else it’s a great way for me to get all my quilt projects, past and present, on-line. Of course, that requires time and who has enough of that? Oops…baby’s up. gotta go!

Okay, so a few hours later with some errands accomplished all is well in my household. S is on the floor playing so I’m taking advantage of a few spare minutes. I should be doing laundry since we are heading to Blairsville this weekend, but I’d rather not bother. Besides, I can do it tomorrow.

I am close to finishing a huge photo quilt. A doctor in Savannah, GA is retiring at the end of this month. His wife commissioned me to make a quilt using photos of babies and deliveries from the past thirty years. Pretty impressive, huh? You should see all the newborns with their smooshed little noses and unhappy faces. It’s just adorable…makes me remember the day S was born and helps me realize how much he’s grown!

Timna Quilt

Here’s another view…..

Susan Timna Quilt

Kaffe Fassett is coming to Atlanta this month. He will be giving a seminar and workshop at my favorite quilt shop, Intown Quilters (www.intownquilters.com). I was lucky enough to get to see a sneak preview of his new book, Quilts in the Sun, and I made one of the quilts. Here’s a close up. Now, in the book each of the flowers, leaves and vases are appliqued by hand. I stitched one flower by hand then realized I would NEVER finish the project. So, I ripped it out and satin stitched all the parts down with my machine.

kaffecloseup.jpg

Now I’m not much of a pattern person. I’d much rather design my own quilt, but found this quilt particularly nice, so why not make it? Beats re-inventing the wheel.

In the book each of the flowers, leaves and vases are appliquéd by hand. I stitched one flower by hand then realized I would NEVER finish the project. So, I ripped it out and satin stitched all the parts down with my machine.

Here is a snapshot of the back….much more interesting with multiple pieces sewn together…..

kaffeflowerback.jpg