Thursday, August 15, 2013

Maybe a cinnamon roll?

I finished this simple quilt recently and sent it off to a special friend for her birthday.  It's always so gratifying to finish a quilt!  It's partly why I like sewing on quilt bindings -- it's the signal that I'm almost done, and I can relax with hand-sewing in front of the tv.  This quilt binding's accompaniment was a few episodes of Masterpiece Theater's "Mr. Selfridge" which I'd recorded but not seen. 

This is a jelly roll race quilt -- if you've not made one, you might give it a try as they are very fun.  You can watch a tutorial here if you want the details on how to do one.  You don't even need an actual jelly roll -- just a whole bunch of 2.5 inch strips of fabrics you like. 

Even without any border or added fabric, it makes a perfect lap sized cuddle quilt.  I'm happy to report that my friend has received it and seems quite delighted.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Every day creativity

I have been thinking a lot lately about my creative practices.  I'm not very disciplined, really -- I don't march myself off to my sewing room each morning at 9am, nor do I have a detailed list of creative goals that I track with subtasks and checklists and such.  But even while I'm loose about these matters, I do try to make time for something creative every day.  That's goal #1. 

Lately I have been breaking up my errands with stops around town to sketch.  I am surprised at what I can do in 20 minutes, actually, and I often end up thinking that I do better if I have less time, as when I take more time I start to over work the watercolors. 

Today, I ran my errands and then parked my car across the street from this house which I've always liked.  I used to drive by it every day taking Miss C to elementary school, but now I'm in that neighborhood less often.  I enjoyed a very pleasant hour sketching and painting and this time I didn't spill the watercolor water into my cup holder, which I did last week. 

A side benefit of this new practice is that when I'm out and around, I look at things as drawing and painting subjects in a way  I didn't before.  (It's like when you're focused on machine quilting, and everything you see could be a quilting design.)  I'm noticing all sorts of new things in the place I've lived for years. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Loopy and Meandering

Well, hello there!  It's been a while since I've blogged ... even though I've been home, I've had a flurry of things to check of my August to-do list, so I've been getting things done.  That always feels satisfying.

But look -- I have finished another quilt!  I can't show the front as it is a gift and it has not yet been delivered, but I thought I'd show you the back.  I wanted to try a meandering loose feather, and I was even brave enough to do it in a contrasting thread on the back so the pattern really shows.  It suits the front and it worked just as I'd hoped.  And it was fun to figure out another design, too.  I spent several evenings in front of the TV filling pages with doodled meandering feathers to warm me up, and that definitely helped.

I've been sketching, too. 

I sure am learning a lot as I do each page in my watercolor journal.  There's always something new to figure out.  How to compose and draw the scene, what to do with detail, what to leave vague, how to manipulate the paint, mix the right colors... It's all pretty new to me but I'm enjoying the process. 

On the home front, Miss C got all four wisdom teeth removed 10 days ago, and she is doing beautifully.  She's not quite up to munching on popcorn or other seriously crunchy things, but she's almost healed and eating without pain mostly.  So that's a nice milestone passed.

We are counting down the days to a trip to see Taylor Swift in concert, which was one of Miss C's Christmas presents this year.  This year I will be prepared for the hordes of sundress-and-cowboy-boot-clad teenage girls and their glittery signs.  Or maybe that is out of fashion for a Taylor Swift concert nowadays?  I will find out.  I wonder if C will be humiliated if I wear my red cowboy boots.  Probably.  Then again, she's at the age where most things I do humiliate her so maybe it doesn't matter.