Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thanks for the comments on the pink quilt. I don't know the name of the pattern, it was a doodle on graph paper, along with about four variations that didn't make it past the trial block stage. I did the quilting myself on a Janome 4000, and the pattern was from one of Keryn's pattern packs which I'm too lazy to go and look up. Care to tell us Keryn?

This is a quilt my local patchwork group made as a fundraiser recently. Everyone joined in the piecing and I quilted the finished top. It's reversible, and I can't decide which side I like more. I did it very simply, a wavy crosshatch in the main part and a very easy leaf shape in the little border.

I'm still plugging away at my blocks and they're looking very nice, but the leader -ender blocks are so simple they're enticing me away from the matter in hand. Didn't I want to put time and effort into something worthwhile and soul satisfying? Somehow the heap of bias seams in the 'nice' block have none of the appeal of the hundreds of little 2" seams that just zip through the machine like no-one's business. Concentrate! Focus! This is going to be a 'good' quilt, remember?

It makes me realise how much I love the 'process' of what I do. I rarely think of the finished product, nor do I have a specific purpose for it. I don't NEED more quilts, or handmade socks but that doesn't even give me pause to think when I'm deciding what to do next. I've had some people say to me that they've got a quilt on every bed, so they don't need to do any more. It makes me go cold all over to think I'd have to justify my sewing like that!

Keryn and I were saying the other day that if we end up in a nursing home together we'd be fine as long as they let us have some pointy objects to keep our hands busy- knitting needles, sewing needles, pins.....whatever.

My auntie was the last of ten children during the depression and money was very scarce. At school she did sewing and craft and they had to learn to knit. She duly got her ball of wool and needles and made a scarf, a hat and a pair of socks, one after the other. At the end of term the teacher wanted all the objects bought in to be marked, and Gwenda had to explain that her parents couldn't afford more wool, so she'd unpulled the scarf to make the hat and unpulled the hat to make the socks..... I think if I had just one ball of wool I'd do that too, the making is more important than the result!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Here's the picture of the pink and white quilt as requested. I was making blocks to try out a few of my ideas and decided to use up some pinks on this design. It turned out alright, and the big white spaces left plenty of room for some of Keryn's quilting designs. I love getting a free copy of everything she does, one of the perks of being family!

I've heard of shoe fetishes, but I think I have a hand-knitted sock fetish. I can't stop making the things! They're just so portable and mindless, I can sit next to Mum's bed in the hospital and click away without disturbing her or needing much light. I can take them to a friends house and do a few rows, I even took the blue and yellow faux fair isle to a committee meeting and knitted in between voting on issues.

The worrying thing is I'll probably make them through all but the hottest days of summer, so next winter I may have drawers full of them. Oh well, I'll have to start a shawl or go back to knitting cotton lace like I did in my teens, if my hands will stand it. Somehow handpiecing isn't as convenient; I have to have a lot more equipment and I need my glasses for handsewing now, whereas I mostly knit by feel. I love keeping my hands busy, even winding wool into balls from the skein is therapeutic and soothing.


Monday, August 07, 2006

One of my little mantras that run through my head is "When things get back to normal......" and you'd think by now that I would have realised there IS no 'normal'. There just seems to be a succession of upheavals and events and my mythical 'normal' existance retreats into the distance. Oh well, what am I gonna do, cry about it?

As Keryn mentioned on her blog Mum is in hospital, and will be there for some time. She's comfortable and seems happy enough, and it's a lovely little place. The nurses are kind and familiar and the kitchen staff remember she doesn't like chicken so they've got to have something else for Marj. I go up at five every evening to help her with tea, and we watch the sunset over the trees at the

end of the drive. A comforting little ritual.

But in protest at my disrupted existence I decided to start a "good" quilt, one that I've had drawn up in my ideas book for some time. I had a picture of an antique one , and I wanted nothing but gorgeous reproductions for this. The loot I got from Keryn's trip finally made me realise that (a), they are going to keep on making ever more beautiful fabric and (b), I'm going to keep on owning at least some of it. Therefore I have to start using my most precious bits or risk being inundated with these pristine fat quarters, some of which have not even been nibbled at in 5 or 6 years.

So I've started the process I really like the best, working out the trial block, deciding the pressing order (remember I'm a bit obsessive about pressing seams?), cutting strips and stacking them with military precision. I love the organising part of a new project, and the control of my fabric makes up for the things in my life I can't change. The world can be falling apart but at least my seams are pressed the right way!

Yes, a 'good' quilt. A 'nice' quilt. Not the usual scraps and castoffs thing I've been doing , but one that I can take care over. I want to make sure that each block is a creation I've thought about and not just slapped together.

Not that I haven't enjoyed my 'slung together' quilts, I have. But like my heroine Talula, I sometimes feel the need to put a bit more effort into what I'm doing, be a bit more precise about the final result. And I daresay if this ends up as a pile of blocks in a drawer I'll at least have made a dent in the gorgeous reproductions that I have so many of.

And there are always socks to be knitted.....


About This Blog

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP