Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Resolution 2010

I’ve decided on a New Year’s resolution for 2010: I’m going to start quilting. Those who know me and have just read this are laughing. According to them, they see me as such a prolific quilt maker, I’m accused of having found a way to cram an additional hour or two into each day. Oh if they only knew.

Allow me to explain:

Do you subscribe to quilting magazines? I do, and I love them! Finding one in my mail never fails to put a smile on my face. I’m inspired by the patterns offered, the historical stories, new gadgets, even the ads for new fabric lines and stores half-way across the country. I can’t remember the last time I read through a quilt magazine without dog-earing at least a page or two, certain that I’d find time to make the quilt, look up a particular website or draft a block from something that inspired my creativity. I have stacks and stacks of magazines waiting for me to rediscover these projects. Oh sure, I also have countless quilting books and patterns purchased from the quilt shops I frequent, and photos I’ve taken at quilt shows and at the monthly show-and-tell sessions at my quilt guild. I have a couple of binders full of gridded paper where I’ve drafted ideas for blocks, setting diagrams, borders and such that will certainly come in handy one day when I need a project.

Then there’s the 2 quilt books I received for Christmas: The book that’s sure to become the essential Coffee Table Book for every quilter, “The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns” by Jinny Beyer (with over 4000 pieced block patterns in it!) and “The Amish Quilt” by Eve Granick which I’ve wanted for years. It will take me weeks to read and pour over every inch of these inspiring books.

And what about the internet! For example, type “dog and cat quilt blocks” in Google and see how many websites offer public domain patterns, pieced, appliqued, foundation pieced, you name it, in every shape and size. I often spend an hour or two each night just ohh and ahh-ing over website after website.

Here’s the thing: all the time I’m spending every day with all these sources in front of me are keeping me for the actual act of quilting! I have so many ideas I don’t know where to start! And don’t forget all the UFOs sitting on my shelves. E-gads, I don’t know when I’ll find time to do all this quilting if I don’t stop reading and collecting and being inspired by all this media. Instead of heading for my chair in the living room after dinner every night and picking up a magazine, book or laptop, I need to start heading for my sewing room to SEW!

OK, resolved, that’s what I’m going to do beginning January 1, 2010. . . now, which project should I start on first?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Wonderful, Fun, Delicious Class!

I took a quilt class yesterday! I can't remember the last time I took a class without my quilting buddies! Months ago, I found myself in Thimble Creek, a wonderful quilt shop in Concord, CA, and saw that a talented quilt designer I'd long admired was giving a class and I signed up for it on a whim. Never mind that it took place on December 11th, a date that I had no business booking, knowing how hectic that time of year can be. I found, as the date approached, it was going to have to be sandwiched between and Odd Fellows/Chamber mixer, an overdue oil change and two promised batches of cookies. But fabulous multi-tasker that I am, I made it.
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs treated us to an entertaining and informative day in "YoYoville" one of her spectacularly fun patterns. Everyone brought a 'goodie' but Anne and staff had delicious quiche and a towering bread pudding (arguably the highlight of the day) and we laughed and sewed our hearts out with nary a machine in sight! Yes, Anne is an applique artist and taught us how to make yo-yos and little houses and trees that will adorn our merry quilt when done all with needle and thread from our own little paws.
The pattern calls for a twin- or double bed-sized quilt but I'm choosing to make a wall hanging so I have some sort of assurance that it will indeed be finished one day. I have a LOT of hand sewing to do and I look forward to recalling my fun day every stitch of the way!