Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Feather Quilt (part 3)


I'm in the homestretch now and it's been a long and tiring haul.  I'm at the point where my sewing studio is looking more empty as the last bits of fabric are cut up and sewn into the quilt.  There's been a copious amount of seam ripping and cursing and new template cutting too.  I've also sewn thru 876 yards of thread so far.

Thread for days.....

I'll be switching to white thread for sewing all the rows together, but first things first, I have to lay out all 38 blocks and find the smallest one so I can square all the other 37 blocks to that measurement.  The hubby is excellent for helping me get thru this stage.  I cringe every time I need to square a block up.  It's hard to cut off a sliver here and there to make sure everything is as perfect as possible.

I still think everything has come out very nicely despite the terrible scaling issues with the pattern we've had to overcome.  I'm very pleased with the accuracy of all my seams and am still keeping my fingers crossed that all my obsession with perfect 1/4" seams will pay off overall.

Nailed it!

I will not miss the enormity of the ironing I had to do with this quilt either.  As I was sewing the last blocks together I noticed that I had been simply throwing them into a pile on my ironing board.  

Getting ready to iron
Some things you just get so tired of doing, even if it's for the greater good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Next Gen

I often wonder if I hadn't had such an avid sewing grandmother if I would've still taken up the "needle and thread".  What if I didn't have a grandmother to show me how to thread a sewing machine, cross stitch, tie a knot at the end of all my threads, show me how to read patterns and what pinking shears were used for?

What if I was like every other kid I knew growing up, obsessed with Barbies, Crayola markers, Trapper Keepers, BFF's and summer vacations?
I think that there is creativity hiding deep in every child.
It shows up in imaginary play, curiosity with mud and sticks, fascination with paints and how things work, but somewhere along the way it dies and I can't figure out why for some kids it stays so strongly rooted and for others it's just fades out.

4 months_6

I do know that if I hadn't had my grandmother to at least show me how things like clothing and dolls were put together, my curiosity would've never been peeked.

I feel so grateful for having had my grandma show me these things when I was so young and even for a mom who didn't always have time to keep sewing like she used to (raising 5 children will do that to you) she always managed to show us how to be creative and clever with what we had on hand.   It chokes me up a bit to think back on it.  I can't imagine not sewing quilts, building fences, or growing a garden.  I learned all these skills from my grandparents and my parents because they felt value in what they were showing me how to do.  Because it was important to them, it became important to me.

030 (2)

The creative crowd is becoming more hip, but true skill, the kind that is learned from generation to generation, is still very much a niche and in constant danger of being forgotten.  While technology develops and makes doing some things easier and faster the basic skill, thankfully, remains the same.

There will always be a need for needle and thread and for people to know how to use them skillfully.  I feel obligated to show my daughter how to do these things, not because it's needed, but because it will open up a world of wonder and possibility and respect for how our world is made.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Is Busy

I'm still here!
I have a nice Feather Quilt update to show you all here by the end of the weekend!  I feel like I've been swamped under looming deadlines for projects that aren't due till the end of summer, but it feels like the vice is getting tighter.

I did finally manage to get all 120 pieces of felt cut out for the dog ornament order for GRREAT, so now I can start on the "hard" part of embroidering all of them.  I don't think that will be as ridiculous as I'm envisioning it, but I do have to do at least 2 a day to keep on schedule now.  I've even re-written my calendar so I have set days to work on specific projects all this month to make sure everything is moving along, even if I can only manage to scrape in an hour a day.

Progress is progress!
But I can't believe it's already May 8th.  I mean, the middle of May is NEXT week and that means June is only 2 weeks away........deep breaths.

On the plus side, my veggie garden is coming in well and I've managed to get the majority of my flower beds filled with annuals.  My peonies should be spectacular this year so I'll be sure to take a few pics because who doesn't love peonies?
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