Time Flies

I made a quilt like this and gave it away, but thought I’d like one too.  I started re-collecting a few months ago, and now have enough for two quilts!  Doesn’t it always go like that?  At the rate I’m going this month, I’ll have it done by summer, but it is fun to look at such an explosion of color when I get bored with my grading.

On a related note, a friend bought two of these bundles to make a quilt for her granddaughters.  I couldn’t get them out of my mind.  So when Fabricworm had a little Black Friday sale, I bought a stack, too.  Do I know what I’m going to do with them?  No–but who could resist this luscious stack of turquoise and red/oranges?  I just noticed that they are sold out of them, so I’m hoping that I got one of the last ones.

And at FabricShoppe on Etsy, I found this coordinating fabric; I figured I could work the argyle in somewhere, and the zigzag might make an interesting binding.  Although we hardly ventured out, you could say I contributed to the American economy in my own way.

On a related note, I’ve been thinking about time–most notably the belief that I will have more time in some imaginary future than I do now.  Which is why I can’t seem to finish the quilt on the pin wall, but I’m happily adding to my stash via Black Friday sales on the web.  In an article in the New York Times, it notes that our perception of time is never accurate:

In fact, scientists are not sure how the brain tracks time. One theory holds that it has a cluster of cells specialized to count off intervals of time; another that a wide array of neural processes act as an internal clock.

Either way, studies find, this biological pacemaker has a poor grasp of longer intervals. Time does seem to slow to a trickle during an empty afternoon and race when the brain is engrossed in challenging work. Stimulants, including caffeine, tend to make people feel as if time is passing faster; complex jobs, like doing taxes, can seem to drag on longer than they actually do.

This would explain why when grading a pile of student essays, time slows to a deadly crawl.  But when shopping for shiny bright new fabric on the web or piecing a lovely hot pink and orange quilt, the time seems to gallop by–leaving me only an unfinished quilt on the wall.

I will have more time come the new semester as I’m only teaching one class–and it’s one I’ve taught multiple times so things are pretty well in place (unlike this past semester of two new preps).  The trick will be to discipline myself to use this extra time in a most rewarding way, which will definitely include, among other things, cutting into and piecing fabric.

Crossed Canoes

My sister’s friend recently lost her daughter.  As a memorial, my sister organized a group of friends to make quilt blocks in the crossed canoe pattern.  She laid them out on her floor, called and asked, “Can you help?”  Yes.  I asked her if she wanted me to get it quilted down here, as she couldn’t even get a quilter to take on the project before Christmas, and she wanted to get it to her friend.

She fast-mailed the quilt to me and it arrived overnight.  I put it up on my pin wall, and I have to admit I was discouraged. Really discouraged.  I had one more block to add, but all I could do that first day was true up the squares and put them back up on the wall.  That actually improved the balance of things, as part of the trouble was that they varied in size, as do all group projects of this kind.  I made mine and added it to the mix, but it was still problematic.

I went to bed, taught my class the next day, and came home and stared at it.

I called my sister.  Some changes were allowed.  I took apart one block to make it more the size of the others, and did a quilt intervention on two other blocks, substituting fabrics.  I moved the blocks around on my wall.

Better.

I had called my quilter, Cathy Kreger of CJ Designs and she had agreed to quilt it (a little miracle), so I kept working, knowing I had to drop it off the next morning.  I started stitching it together.

Borders on.  I didn’t smooth it down so they look a little wonky, but really, they’re straight. Done with the front, and I stitched together the back, trying to cut it creatively so I would have enough left for the binding.  The next morning, I dropped it off at Cathy’s.  She had one of mine ready for me, so I asked her if her small machine had anything on it, and if by any chance she could put this one on.  I told her the story and added that my sister had called and said she was coming down to Southern California for the weekend–I could give it to her then.  Cathy agreed to get it done quickly, and two days later, Thursday, it was done.  Like I said, she’s a miracle worker.  We chose the quilting pattern titled “Calm Water,” a fitting pattern for these crossed canoes.

Back from the quilter, I took a photo of my block–it’s right next to the boldly patterned block of my sister’s.  I like that we’re together.

Sewing on the binding.

My sister came by and picked it up late on Friday night (nearly midnight) and she was thrilled.  A few days later, she sent me an email with these photos, a fitting conclusion to our shared escapade.  I’m so happy she’s happy with it, and I think it turned out to be a lovely memorial quilt.

The label listed all the quilters, including Cathy.

I love how the canoes really show up in this angle–kudos to all the quilters, and for my sister for this perfect idea.

“Front Basting”

I had to post this snippet of video from Pink Chalk Studios showing Lisa Prior Lucy demonstrating her technique of “front basting,”while she sat at Market this year.  Of course, this is of interest to me because I have lost my mind and bought this pattern and plan (with my quilty friend Rhonda) to make this quilt.  Sometime in my lifetime, although Rhonda assures me we will finish this.  Okey dokey.

First, the video.  Then look below for the quilt.

What was interesting to me was that Liza Prior Lucy’s quilt, both in her hand and in the background, had a DARK background instead of these lights.  Oooh.  Now that’s interesting.

Quilt Night–November

Last night was Quilt Night at Leisa’s house, and she and I collaborated on the theme and the preparations.  The theme: Dots!  She picked up some cute dotty boxes and we had everyone bring a fat eighth of fabric and  we all filled the boxes for our Stash Builder.

Leisa found this very fun cake to go along with our theme.  For those of you who asked, it’s from Tasteful Cakes, in Corona. The fillings were delicious, and we all wanted to eat the dots right off the cake.


Dot food.

Chocolate-covered pretzel sticks with. . . dots.

All that were there before we cut into the cake: Sara, Elizabeth, Laurel, Lisa, Tauni, Tracy and Leisa.  We missed all that weren’t able to come and hope to see you next time–probably January?

Jody came right after that, and showed off the beautiful lattice quilt she’s making  for her daughter-in-law. Here’s a *link* to that other quilt that she just completed–it was the “two” smaller quilts back to back.  The link is to an online pattern (scroll down to where it says Download PDF, and check out “The Next Generation” version of the Magic 9-patch).

Tauni’s working on this pinwheel quilt for a friend.  I think she was one of the more productive quilters last night–getting the borders on this.

Leisa just got back the red and white Block Exchange quilt from the quilter–and some of the quilters crowded in who had made blocks.

I showed off my Castle Peeps quilt–ready to go to the quilter this week.  I’d completed it before this night.

I did get a lot of orange/red/pink squares cut out for a duplicate of this quilt.  That’s about all I finished–it’s probably that I’m getting slower, but I also think that last night was a good night to catch up with friends, eat some dotty food, and have a good time. Which we did!