Friday, September 7, 2012

In Which I Return to Blogging and Display Some Works in Process...

Hello, I'm back again.

A couple of eons (in cyber time) have passed since my last post. I've still been quilting, sewing, and taking pictures, but somehow I never got around to writing. What can I say? Sometimes there's just too much Real Life going on.

One of the pleasanter things I did while off-line was to clean and reorganize my sewing room. (Why do I hate to clean my kitchen but love to clean my sewing room? They're both centers of creative endeavor.) I've been collecting men's shirts a la Bonnie Hunter in order to add stripes and plaids to my stash. Some of the shirts were given to me by male relatives, but most of them have come from thrift stores. (I wait until they've been marked down to one or two dollars.) There's a lot of fabric in a man's XXLarge shirt, so that's really a good buy -- especially since fat quarters at the local quilt shop are now $3.00 each.

Until I started cleaning, I hadn't realized I'd accumulated so many. But now they are neatly folded and stacked in a bag under my cutting table where I can easily reach them when I'm in the mood to dissect one and add it to my drawer of shirting prints. Slow but steady progress.

In this video, Bonnie demonstrates how quickly and easily she can reduce a man's shirt to yardage. It's sort of like watching a master chef wielding a fillet knife in the kitchen. Or a sweet little piranha skeletonizing a cow. (I wish I were as quick as she is, but I have weak hands.)

I also unearthed a bunch of UFOs. I found a stack of Christmasy two-patches left over from a doll quilt I made decades ago. I'm easily distracted when I'm cleaning, so I spent much of the afternoon sewing them into four-patches. 

But then I couldn't decided whether to assemble them into a mini-quilt or to make them into yardage from which to cut a Christmas stocking. So I bundled them away again. But progress is progress -- even if the various steps are years apart. 

Here's a more recent project -- no more than five or six years old! This collection of strips was my "winnings" at my guild's Strip Poker & Ice Cream Social. It was group activity which I hadn't expected to enjoy very much (except for the ice cream) but it turned out to be kind of fun. When we entered the room we were given a stack of fabric strips which most people wore draped around their necks in order to leave their hands free. We had to go from table to table where we wagered our strips, winning and losing them based on the roll of the dice. (I never did understand the rules of the game, so I just did whatever the others told me to.) At the end of the evening, another guild member gave me her strips which, added to my own, made a nice little stash. I thought it would be fun to make them into a special project. I decided that Sister's Choice would be an appropriate block since the fabric had been acquired during an evening of sisterly camaraderie. 

I allowed myself to use my own stash for the green points and the neutral background fabrics. But I restricted the Nine Patches to the guild strips. Some of the fabrics were ones I would never have chosen. Co-ordinating them into blocks is the sort of  challenge that fascinates me.

So now I have ten blocks finished. I'll think I need twelve to make a wall hanging. Unfortunately, many of the strips were not very accurately cut and have turned out to be unusable for this project. So I don't know if I can eke out two more blocks. Unless I can think of a very creative setting that will use only ten. Hmm.... That's what I love about quilting. There's so much scope for the imagination -- especially when you run into roadblocks.