20 October 2011

Busy October...

Where HAS the time gone?! I got a late start on the September BOM, so October's fell fast on its heels. Instead of knocking it out in the first couple of days, I saved it for Quilt Camp!

Gwen hosted her First Annual Quilt Camp! From the sixth through the ninth of this month, I enjoyed a delightful little getaway—three nights away from home! Along with two sisters and and a sister-in-law, there I was! We had lots of sewing, laughter, conversation, challenges, creativity, wine-o'clock (what happens at quilt camp stays at quilt camp!), and poignant insights (personal, relational, artistic, and spiritual).

Here is a composite image of some of the quilts that were worked on or brought for show and tell. Julie, the seester-in-law from Arizona, prepared a couple of 'breakout sessions.' She showed us a couple of tricks with 9-patch and 4-patch blocks. A couple of the girls used the 'Disappearing 9-patch' (click here for blogger Susan Wood's technique) to start new quilts.

Julie also brought a nifty little tool with her. In the 'real' world, it's a wide-angle viewer (under $5) one might use for a front door. In quilt world (over $12), it serves as a scope enabling the viewer to see the whole quilt at one time. Even better, Julie picked up some while we were on a mini road trip and gave each of us one! Thank you, Julie!
Another hit of the weekend was a belated birthday gift I had for GweNaomi. Again, in the real world ($8), it's a suction cup grab bar that could also be used for gripping/moving glass and mirrors. In sewing/quilt world ($20), it's a sturdy and stable way to hold onto one's rotary cutter guide template. I think I first saw one in use about a year ago but found the less expensive substitute at Harbor Freight on sale for a dollar less than normal.

This is also evident in something as simple as pens. The big buzz in sewing/quilting community is about Pilot FRIXION pens—at Staples (plenty of stock), three for under $6; quilt store (if they can keep them in stock) only two for the same price. On paper, they are erasable—cool enough. On fabric—just iron over the mark and it disappears! Lesson: If you see a sewing/quilting tool you like, try finding its counterpart in the real world—you'll save lots of money!

One of the projects I took to quilt camp was my October BOM. I ran into a little trouble when I mis-cut one piece of fabric and had to substitute it with a batik I'd bought on sale earlier that morning. Sewing has always been a solitary activity for me and I suspect all the social distraction took its toll. But all was well—I finished the block and moved on to another project. Even better—I am only one month away from having all of the BOMs and border!

Update on the hooded towels project. Sadly, none were bought. I was hoping Autumn would embroider one with the OU logo so they'd more quickly sale/invite orders, but there were too many personalization orders to get that done that weekend. So now they're going into a consignment shop—we'll see what happens there. It's disappointing but hopefully they'll find a clientele with a different marketing strategy. Or EVERYBODY gets hooded towels for gifts this/next year! I'm not kidding! Lucky you!

Sock Monkey! Years ago, in college, I think, I bought a pair of the traditional Rockport Red Heel Socks and made one. I don't think I had one as a child, but remember seeing them around. Maybe my Aunt Velma had one, along with those wonderful yo-yo dolls (made of puffy fabric discs strung together [I've got some patterns to make a cat, dog, and monkey yo-yo critters]) and chenille bedspreads. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Paton yarns sent me an email describing their new book of Sock Monkeys to Knit or Crochet. Oooh, aaah! I downloaded the book and was able to get started right away. This is what I have done of him/her so far. I've also done (and customized) the ears and muzzle, but they get sewn on later. I still have the arms and tail to knit. I'm looking forward to finishing it!

Zipper Bracelet. I first came across this a few weeks ago on Pinterest. Once I read the instructions, I knew I wanted to make some. Hmm...now where to get the zippers? As it happens, a friend was starting a jeans quilt a couple of weekends ago and has a stack of jeans zippers to spare! I expect to have those in a few days. Yippie! So far I've experimented with a couple of metal zippers out of Tom's retired khaki slacks.

Zentangles®. It was just over a year ago that Gwen had her Zentangle workshop. I was an instant fan and had plans to get down to drawing. Enter sewing. And quilting. And every other distraction. I got back to sketching some of the patterns again by using a quadrille rule composition book to practice eight designs per page. I'm still having that little battle within—do I have to practice ALL of the tangles and not just the ones I like? There are some I just find unappealing or don't like drawing. Should I feel compelled to draw them, too? Silliness, I know.

Tonight was paper bead night at Jana's! A few of us who have not seen each other for awhile got together to chat, catch up, dine (luscious!), and make paper beads. I think everyone had  lots of fun!

With Halloween upcoming, Tom is finally ready to costume himself as a superhero! Yes, he's already MY superhero, but who he wants to be is Mermaid Man (the elder), as seen on Spongebob Squarepants. He's 'threatened' to do this for a few years. THIS year he's gathered all the clothing and props necessary so I can't wait to see it all pulled together!

There are still 11 more days left to the month. Hopefully I can keep up this pace or things slow down! It's all good!

No comments:

Post a Comment