Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Year

Warning! Long rambling post with no pictures!

For me, January hasn't ever felt like the beginning of the year. It feels like the middle. When I was a kid, it was because school ran September thru June. The year began in September and ended in June. July and August were just catch-up months. Now, as an adult, Mr. Chaos and I both work for a performing arts company. A year or "season" typically starts in late August and ends in April or May. Add to that, my kids are also in school, running on the same schedule.

It's June. School's out. Season's done. Time to rest and re-coup. This past year has been one of the most stressful years I have endured as an adult. It was just one thing after another, with no time to digest the previous thing.

I've had to look at all I'm trying to accomplish and accept that I cannot do it all. But what to give up?

Handwork & Crazy Quilting - I have always had a slight hand tremor, and over the last year or so it has gotten to the point where whenever I try to do any kind of hand-work, beading, embroidery, etc, I just get frustrated. I had been doing beautiful silk crazy quilts with hand beaded embroidery. I had collected tons of beautiful beads and fabrics. For the last year they have sat unused. I had to accept that I will not be able to do the kind of hand work I loved. Which has worked out okay, because I discovered quilting, and my tremor doesn't affect my use of the sewing machine.

So I have gifted all my beads to a friend who makes beautiful jewelry. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but to me, it was.

I still have a gazillion pieces of silks and satins that need new homes.

School - Working from home on an online program isn't working for me. There are too many distractions between the kids and working. I plan to return to finish after Muffin is in school all day.

What does that leave?

Costuming - Looks like my opportunities to continue to build and repair costumes for the Ballet will increase this coming season. Yeah!! Totally excited. I love working with the adults after spending all my time with kids.

Quilting - I started quilting last August and haven't looked back since. I've join virtual quilting bees, and the block lotto. I've learned TONS and made new friends.

Roses - my other passion. I love roses. I will continue to grow and sell my cuttings. I've started a blog just about my Roses.

And the most important - Family - I will be able to devote more time and energy towards the happiness of my children. I'm teaching Miss Mae to sew, and Muffin and The Boy are both "helping" in the garden.

So, here's to a stress free summer, a new year and accepting my limits. Cheers!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cathedral Windows

Sneak peek - June STUD anything goes :)
I've always admired the beautiful catherdral windows quilts.  I've always thought - wow - that's got to be totally hard.  Way beyond my skill set.  Then I stumbled onto The Sometimes Crafter.  This is where I found the pattern for the circle of geese, a pattern I fell in love with.  She has a tutorial for a cathedral windows block.  Well, its not really a block, more of a technique, but wow.  I'm in the process of building a mini using the technique and so far, I'm in love.  She references 8 different tutorials she used in creating hers, so I thought - hmmm totally too hard.  nope.  not hard at all.  just different.

I asked one of my online bee groups if they would be up for trying it and sadly it was decided it's just too complicated.  (without even trying to make the block)  No hard feelings, I completely understand, it isn't like normal quilting at all.  I can only post a peek of a picture of my mini, but when my partner gets it, I'll be posting more.

I'm basically following the tutorial, but I am doing a few things differently.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Carolina Christmas

It's done!  I finished it, quilted it, bound it, wrapped it and gifted it.
It was the first time I'd completed something larger than a mini.  I saw tons of mistakes and imprefections, but the recipients love it and thats what really matters :)
Carolina Christmas Finished
I love how the scrappy colors really come together!

Carolina Christmas front detail

Tried my hand at squirls, hearts and stars.

Carolina Christmas Back

Used the leftover HSTs to make pinwheels for the back.

Carolina Christmas back detail


Friday, June 04, 2010

Christmas Sampler

I recieved all my blocks back from my Christmas in July bee.  I made two, bringing the total to 16, which I sashed and set.  Now I have another top all done and waiting to be quilted.

Christmas in July Top Done

I sent out signature squares and used them in the sashing.  Totally happy with it!
Wow.  it's been over a month since I posted anything.  what a crazy month.  maybe I'll go into my craziness later but right now I'm just gonna stick to the sewing.  I finished all my blocks for May.

Leila's theme was "a forest on white"  It was great fun just to let loose and play with tree shapes.
Bee Improv May Blocks

Melody wanted string blocks in pink and brown.  She had us use Rachel's tutorial at ps i quilt.  Nice and easy.  I hadn't made a string block before, it was fun!
Brown & Pink Strings

Laura wanted coin quilt inspired blocks.  I used every last bit of the background and squeezed out two blocks.
Stacked Mini Coin Quilt Blocks
Balinda set a specific block pattern and all the pieces were pre-cut.  I love it when it's that easy!  I added a few fabrics and made 4 blocks. 
May - Sew Bee It - Balinda's Blocks
Terrie wanted houses, trees and stars.  My package specified a house and I got to choose the second block, so I chose a tree.
Christmas in July - May - Terrie 
Since I happen to know she likes fussy cuts, I had fun with the skaters.
Airplanes, rockets and helocopters!  Since I don't do applique well at all - I'm too much of a perfectionist!  I found a coloring sheet of an airplane, morphed it into a paper pieced pattern and made a test block.  The test block turned out so well, I sent that too.  I had fun fussy cutting all the critters into the windows.
Fussy Cut Love - May blocks airplane/rocketship
I even posted a copy of my pattern, since the block seemed to be a hit.  I also promised a tutorial....soon...
airplane paper-pieced quilt pattern

and last but not least -

Quilt Block Swap - Debbie sent me this very nice star
May Block Swap Recieved
She asked for any block in pink and brown.  I sent her this block:
Quilt Block Swap - May - For Debbie
it is totally my favorite pattern right now!  you can find it here.