Monday, December 31, 2012

Something to show for my time!

      In my little group of art quilters, we have all pretty much identified ourselves as process people- those who do things for the sake of trying something new, or just to pass some time playing- and product people- those who need to have a finished object from their time.  I am a product person.  I can't bear the thought of spending time on a project and having nothing to show for it.  I know this is contradicting my last post- where I was playing with my random strips.  But if you go back and look, I did make a block- and it is growing into a product.
So it is no surprise, I'm sure, to know that I record all of my projects each year.  Since today is the end of a year, I got out my little journal (thanks, Maura!) and tallied things up. 

The grand total for projects which reached some level of completion this year was 84!!!  I was stunned.  It had felt like I didn't do very much this year, believe it or not.

It breaks down like this:
Wall quilts ( all finished!): 22- including the 12 calendar quilts
Other quilts and quilt related items: 15  This includes blocks for a swap, the raffle quilt, comfort quilt tops I pieced and the ArtCGirlz round robin project, among others
Quilt tops: 4 Some had been only block for over 2 years!
Garments: 10- includes 4 pairs of boxer shorts which take about an hour each
Accessories: 5- purses and such
knitted items: 12 - only 3 pairs of socks this year!
Miscellaneous projects: 16 This includes beaded bracelets, the sunflowers for the Guild quilt show, some household items and the sock kitty!
When I looked back on it, I decided my favorite project(s) of the year was the round robin!  It was hard for me to decide what to do to a couple of them, but on each one, I tried to stretch a bit technique wise.

 On Lori's, I added the leaves with rubber stamps, then did a little thread work to enhance the texture of the tree as well as the leaves.

On Elaine's. I did threadwork flowers on soluble stabilizer, which I had never done before.  I was extremely pleased with the way my addition to this piece turned out!

 On Chris's I added dragonflies to what became a little wetland scene.  Using angelina fibers for the wings, all of this one was done by hand!

I had a hard time with Susan's because these are really not my colors.  The one on the left had a tree hiding in the lines of the hand dyed fabric.  I cleared it up a bit. (sorry the picture isn't closer) The other was inspired by a Chagall painting, which she said her daughter would like.  I had never done fusible with organza before.I liked how you can't tell which figure should be the one in front.

Mary Ellen's was the hardest for me.  None of my original idea was something I felt I could do well.  So I had to live with this for a few days before I decided there needed to be a mist in the woods to reflect the glow from the moon.  I fused netting to create this.  It's a delicate fabric and I hope she didn't curse me too often when she finished it for the quilt show!

It's kind of odd that these were my favorites for the year, since all of these were "process" pieces!  Maybe Kathi is rubbing off on me!

For the Green thoughts this time, I will ask each of you who to go to this website and learn about the regulations New York state is proposing for hydrofracturing.  They are no regulations at all for someone like me who has discovered evidence suggesting they will be drilling right across the street from me if New York approves the process.  Frankly, I am scared to death that they will!  If you live in NY please use the comment link before January 11 to let them know we do not accept that this process is safe for us in any way! The short term gains cannot be enough to offset the long term damage we will all suffer!

I am grateful for:
Time spent with those dearest to me ( you know who you are, I hope!)
My husband who takes very good care of me
Sunshine in winter
A little girl to play Barbies with
The cookies are almost gone (time to get on the treadmill- not that I'm grateful for that)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Therapy sewing

As I may have mentioned last week, I haven't spent much time in the sewing room lately. 

And now what little time I do have will have to be devoted to the Guild's challenge.  I NEVER wait this long to start mine, but here it is, only 33 days before I have to present it and I haven't put one stitch into fabric yet.  Some of my fellow members will laugh at me, because they wait until after the First of the year ( so they say) but to me, this is the very last minute!

Just a hint...

 Anyway, the point of  all this rambling is that I can't share what I'll be working on very much. 

Yesterday I had a bit of time for sewing, but didn't want to come out of the sewing room with nothing to show but some shapes on wonder under.  So I got out my "therapy sewing" box.  I started this last year after reading Rayna Gilman's book.

 I have a nice pile of bits I've randomly sewn.  I may have a plan for them, but who knows for sure.

 So I found some pieces of a block I abandoned at some point in there and decided to play with them and see what I could accomplish in an hour or so.Here's what I ended up with.  Pretty "normal" compared to the rest of the bits.  But I think it will be ok.  My color choices are being determined by the fabric framing this block.

Thinking Green this time, consider the durability of a product before you buy it as a gift. Cheaper, less durable items often wear out quickly, creating waste and costing you money. Look for items that embody the concept of reuse. For example: swings made from used tires, wooden toys made from scrap wood, craft kits that take advantage of used goods and discards, and drawing boards that can be erased and reused.
This is just one of the earth friendly tips for you to consider over the holidays

I am grateful for:
Not having to scrape the car on frosty mornings.
Time well spent helping unwanted pets find homes.
The break between semesters.
a visit from our soldier over the holidays!
I've given away a lot of the Christmas cookies. (less for me to eat)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Maybe my shoes are too tight?

It's that time of year again when I feel like I am too busy for Christmas.  Even when I don't have a ton of gifts to make, the whole Christmas season just takes up too much of my time.  So it's a good thing I like that color, since I seem to be turning into the Grinch!

Unlike the Grinch, I am not trying to steal Christmas.  I just want the time back that Christmas steals from ME!   I have made some of the cookies, done some shopping, mailed half of the cards and decorated my house.  Hubby thinks I could skip that part, but I really enjoy having different stuff to look at every year for the holidays!

 I haven't had time to sew with all that going on, so this is what I was working on the last time I DID get to play in the studio.  I dug out the blocks I made in the Xcentric class the Museum Quilt Guild did last October with Anita Grossman Soloman.  I didn't have enough blocks from the piece of fabric I used for the class to make a very big quilt, since this was all that is left of it.  I did this to give an idea of what I started with to make this piece.

 I took these scraps to the store and found some pieces I felt looked good with this and made my own striped fabric with those fabrics!  
One of them was a stripe, so I got extra and made blocks with that one, too. 

This is what I ended up with.  The blocks in the center are all from the original fabric.  The ones framing the center are the strip pieced ones.  It still won't be huge, but at least it's big enough for more than lining the crate for the next batch of kittens. 

When I trimmed the blocks to size, I ended up with this pile of bits.  I thought it looked pretty cool.  I even toyed with the idea of making something with them- for long enough to take this picture.

I haven't done well saving the planet lately. Sadly, I'm not alone in this- which you know if you followed the news from the recent climate change conference in Qatar.  We can't wait for any government to do it- it's up to us!!  We do not want some future beings from an advanced society coming here and finding all of the buildings and the garbage shaking their heads and saying they could have saved themselves so easily!!!  Do everything you can!  Use less stuff.  Repair, don't replace.  DO NOT USE DISPOSABLES when there is another option- and make your voice heard to those who complain that it's the only way.  It is NOT!

I am grateful for:
My friends who made me enjoy myself even when I was grumpy.
My husband who puts up with me being grumpy.
Christmas cookies ( and elastic waist clothing)
All of my foster babies have found forever homes!
Winning the boss lottery.