Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Deep winter

 Now that football season is over, there is nothing to distract me from the fact that it's too cold to do much but hibernate in the sewing room.  What else are you going to do when it looks like this outside?  (and we didn't even get that last big storm they got up the east coast)

I do enjoy the ice formations on the windows, though.  

 I wish that meant I was getting an awful lot finished, but I have been practicing what I call "Short attention span quilting" lately.
 The only thing I have finished is this tiny log cabin quilt. (That's my friend Alex hiding behind it)

  I have never made a log cabin quilt before, in over 20 years of making quilts!  I started this when I was making the new banner for the guild to hang at public events, like our challenge.  However, I realized that the banner would have to be ginormous for this small quilt to be in any way proportional.  So I set it aside. A few weeks ago, I was excavating the pile, in preparation for the retreat at the end of the month.  (I am a planner.  I want to know what I'm working on so I know I have all my supplies!!)  Anyway, I realized with only a couple of hours worth of work, I could finish this!  So I did.  I sewed the label on at the guild meeting on Saturday and handed it right over for the silent auction at our show in October.  That's why I had to have someone hold it for a picture.  I have actually given things away before and forgotten the picture.

Other items on my short attention span sessions included getting the borders on the portrait quilt.  I wasn't sure I could make the mitered corners since the darker fabric had a big chunk out of it.  But it JUST fit. Next step for this is to do invisible zigzag stitching around all the pieces to make sure I don't lose any along the way.  I have never done one with such tiny little pieces before and can't guarantee that the quilting or thread sketching will hit all of them. 

I assembled the background and fused the bouquet for this smaller version of the raffle quilt, also for the silent auction.  I started the blanket stitching yesterday.  Tedious work!  So when I got sick of that, I got up and picked fabrics for something else before sitting back down.  I have two more flowers to go around.  Then the rest of it should go together quickly.  Only 2 small borders on this one, and it will be machine quilted.

One of my retreat projects will be to assemble the star blocks I got from the last online swap I did.  I know I want to alternate them with a "plain" square.  (not too plain since that would make me feel obliged to do some fancy quilting in those squares.)  I rooted around in the bins and boxes and found a couple of good candidates.  At first I thought I would hate the large print, by either Amy Butler or Anna Maria Horner.  I didn't, but I decided that the more subtle print on the right won't overwhelm the blocks.  Depending on the size of the finished quilt, it might go in the newly painted guest room.

We ended up canceling our ArtCGirlz meeting last week.  We had planned to make "creative art girl" quilts at the meeting.  To make it doable in the time we had, we were all supposed to have the background prepared and only do the girl at the meeting.  So I had the background, using Kathi's mosaic technique, all finished and my girl pieces fused to their fabrics.  The next day I had some time, so I fused them down.  My girl is- as you can see- a crazy cat lady.  My background fabric is apparently more polyester than cotton, since it melted a bit on the one side.  So that settles the issue of whether or not to leave that as a border, doesn't it?

My "green" tip this week is about the air quality in your winter home.  I don't think these up on my own.  (shocking, right?)  So when I searched green tip winter and found this, it made me think about my winter sinus issues and the fact that many people suffer similar respiratory issues in winter as well.  I wouldn't have thought of this, but it is true that not only are we humans cooped up inside all winter, but so are the environmental irritants.  For example, we have recently painted a room. The fumes weren't bad, but they did take longer to dissipate.  Anyway, this article has some good ideas for how to keep the air in your home clean. 

I am grateful for:
Good music in the morning.
Guild meeting was a blast this month!
Overcoming old angers and hurts
I got to keep the bag I liked best.
Almond Croissants from Wegman's

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