Handwork Week

Heading home
Heading home

As you may have noticed, I have spent a lot of time this week talking about handwork. That’s because I have been doing handwork. I had to drive to Portland (1468 miles there and back) at sort of the last minute to be with the YM while he had a second surgery on his ankle. I’ll spare you the close-up of the stitches and previous scar.

I did a few things while I was there, but no major sightseeing or anything. I spent a lot of time sitting around while he slept and making sure he had enough to eat. I did manage to visit a couple of my favorite quilt stores- one in Portland and one in Ferndale.

Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts - patterns available
Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts – patterns available

I have been to Pioneer Quilts and Stitch before. I was able to visit both because I grabbed the opportunities when they presented themselves. I really like both of those stores. Pioneer Quilts has a wide selection of fabrics, but they also have the biggest selection of wool felt and patterns to go with the wool felt that I ever seen. I don’t need any more handwork projects, but I couldn’t resist these eggs. Aren’t they fantastic?

Most of my gifts were finished and you will see them in the next few days after they are opened. Anything I had planned to do this week, the DH had to take care of: gift purchases, wrapping, shopping for dessert ingredients, tidying, etc. It is kind of nice to sit around. I feel a bit guilty, because I feel like I should be doing something. He did a great job and finished up some of the shopping, etc. yesterday.

I have been listening to books and podcasts while I drive and sit around. I got caught up on the QuiltFiction podcast. I am really appreciative of the sensitive way Frances is handling major themes such as race and independent women. I am seriously behind on other podcasts, because all I seem to do is listen to books. Recently I have finished all the books in a series. The author has several series that are related to the main series, which is really interesting. I am all about character development, so these multiple series, with their overlapping characters give me more of an opportunity to’ engage’ with the characters. I recommend:

  • New York Dead by Stuart Woods – this is the first in the Stone Barrington series. I actually read one in the middle of the series. I thought I would go back and just read the first one, but I ended up reading the entire series. Not every book in the series is great, but they are not too obviously formulaic and are very entertaining. This particular book is very good.
  • Smooth Operator by Stuart Woods
  • The Money Shot by Stuart Woods

None of these are great literature, but if you are looking for escapist entertainment, these are your books.

By the time you read this, I should be home and will have to dive into pie making.

The YM at OHSU, December 2018
The YM at OHSU, December 2018


Net Neutrality Day of Action

Net Neutrality means that everyone receives the same treatment. My content is delivered just as fast as a movie from Comcast. Unless I am doing something illegal, no ISP can slow down what I serve up as content to you. Content providers cannot pay an ISP to provide their content faster than mine.

I am a content provider. While I may not provide content that everyone likes, I am able to provide content.

45’s appointee “Ajit Pai has proposed a reversal of these regulations, which he’s said unfairly burden the ISPs and are archaic for relying on utility-style regulation.”

Allowing ISPs to slow down content will affect public libraries, companies whose product interferes with a product owned by the ISP, schools and more.

Send a comment to the FCC and to your Congress person telling them to protect Net Neutrality. Do it now.

You can find more information on these sites:

This is not a left or right political issue. This is about innovation and fairness. It was a hard won battle to get Net Neutrality. Let’s keep this as a right.

How UFOs are Born

I was talking to a friend the other day. She makes sculpture out of the stuff she finds in her recycle bin. She makes about one piece a year. It was so fascinating to hear about her process and how she gets her ideas. Somehow we got on the topic of process and she said ‘sometimes, you have to put a piece aside and let it be for awhile.’

I froze, mentally, at least.

Have you ever had a moment happen where you think 10 minutes have gone by, but only seconds passed and you are able to pick up thread of the conversation with nobody the wiser that you just checked out? That happened to me at this moment. A movie started playing in my head of all of the UFOs that I had dredged out of the darkness of the fabric closet and finished in the past couple of years.Then the voice inside my head started screaming NOOOOOOOOO!

I pulled myself together and my friend was still happily chattering on about process.

This one comment made me think about how perfectly good projects become UFOs.

You start out happily working on a project. You are excited, love the fabrics and are already imagining it on your bed or wall or being opened by a lucky recipient at the next holiday.

The first blocks are challenging and you feel excited as you see them come together. The more blocks you make the more mundane and rote the sewing becomes. Boring follows close behind. Still, you think about other things, plan your grocery list and cross things off your mental to do list as you push fabric and thread under the needle of your machine. The charm and allure of the project hasn’t dimmed completely.

You are in the home stretch as you begin to piece the border. Then the process all goes horribly wrong. Your math is off. There is an extra inch where you don’t need it and the fabulously pieced border won’t fit.

Suddenly, you feel tired. The excitement of the project is gone and it is just a big pain in the neck.

You wander off, work on something else, add new deadline. A month passes and the project is taking up space on your design wall and you need the space to finish your donation quilt. You take the project off the design wall just for a small rest, put all the parts in a box and put it front and center on a shelf. Months pass and the space on the shelf is needed so into the closet, near the front, the project box goes.

More months pass. The box gets moved to the back of the closet as some rearrange new fabric.

5 YEARS LATER (+12 other completed projects)

A fabri-lanche hits your fabric closet. You decide this is a good time to take inventory and clean out. Everything comes out of the closet and you go through it before you put it back in. You find the project about which you had totally forgotten. The fabric is old looking and no longer interests you. You throw it into the guild charity bag and know that someone will do something gorgeous with it.

On My Mind

I was plowing through some older blog posts over the weekend trying to fill in some information for a Threadbias entry when I ran across an old On My Mind blog post. I haven’t done one of those in a while and since I have a couple of projects on my mind, I thought it would be a good opportunity to get them down on “paper”.

  1. Make three notepad covers using the Pink Chalk Notetaker pattern as gifts. I want to use fabrics I bought at Quiltology.
  2. Need to make another journal cover or two
  3. Finish blue journal (style of the Purple Journal, Red Journal, Well Done and Good Job journals)
  4. Make a bag or two from the patterns I have purchased recently.
  5. Try another version of the Bird watcher bag.
  6. Thinking about another Sparkling Cider quilt using the Half Moon Modern fabrics
  7. Repair purple turtleneck
  8. Comparison of various methods of making Flying Geese on blog
  9. Living room throw pillow covers

And, of course, continue my progress on the 26 Projects list.

What do you think?

On My Mind

My mind has been swimming with all the sewing I am not getting done. I had a lot of quilt fun last weekend, but I did miss my sewing.

Since the projects were really jockeying for position in my mind, I decided to lay them all out and give them space on a page:

  • Sugar Pop Chubby Charmer – squares sewn; need to make straps, lining and line with batting
  • 2 Martha Negley totes – already cut out; ready to sew
  • Grand Revival Flea Market bag in light violet with green dots – need to pick and cut out lining
  • Grab Bag- push out corners, press and top stitch
  • Finish testing hexagons
  • Corner Store – thinking about making the blocks 4″ instead of 5″, which means unsewing a lot of blocks, trimming and resewing.
  • Grand Revival Flea Market bag in violet Innocent Crush – unsew, fix straps and resew
  • Back for FOTY 2010
  • Bubble pillowcase
  • Zig Zaggy back – make it a bit longer
  • Stars for San Bruno – still need blocks, will put together starting in April
  • Block for Modern Quilt Guild

These aren’t the only projects I am working on, but these are the ones in the forefront of my mind.

Oh! Did I mention that my mind is swimming with new ideas as well? Sigh.