Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sewing with Friends

Sewing days with friends are a great way to kill two birds with one stone (a rather harsh analogy for such a pleasant way to spend an afternoon). When life is so busy I find the only time I see my friends is if I've got something on the calendar with them. A case in point are my two book groups and Scrabble group, in which the main point of the gatherings is catching up with dear friends and knowing that I'll see them at regular intervals, even if we haven't made time to go to lunch or grab a cup of coffee. I love books and playing Scrabble, but the contact and conversation are the important bits.

Regular sewing dates can be equally as satisfying. For awhile my friend Kristin and I were planning monthly sessions and it was not only wonderful to chat with her about life in general and sewing in particular, but we both kept projects on track when we knew we had a day set aside to work on them. Sadly, I got busy with work and they fell by the wayside.

Nearly three months ago Codi and I had a sewing afternoon and it was a fantastic reminder of how fun and productive it can be to set aside sewing time with a buddy. I was working on my first quilt with my Featherweight (it's a gift, so I can't show it yet...just got it back from the quilter) and Codi brought several projects she'd started but not quite finished. I can't remember how many she whipped through, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing some shots of her mini-quilt, a project she started more than a year ago when we had a little quilting group meeting at Home Ec. (It's where I started my triangle corner scrap quilt.) I love the big stitching on the red background (and the way her polka-dot sweatshirt perfectly complements the fabric in the leaves).

Now that I've written this post, I think I need to call up a friend and get another sewing date on that calendar! Here's to sewing with friends!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Modern Quilting and Practical Housewifery

My sewing has been so sporadic of late that I was delighted to finally cut into a pack of Lotta Jansdotter's fat quarters and start working on a new quilt. The pattern I chose is from Sweet Jane (and how I chose that is another story, but I strongly encourage you to check out her designs—fantastic!).

So I'm excitedly cutting out the prints and suddenly I realize that what I have and am intending to use for the background is a solid—solid white. I have a big chunk of solid white that I'd bought for another quilt-in-the-making, so it's not as though I'd never considered using it. But this time I was struck by how it would feel to use a quilt with so much white...When I make a quilt I want it to be used, and all that white would stay clean for about two minutes at my house (or at anyone's house who has children, animals, or eats in bed).

I went out into cyber-quilt-land and checked out the work of a couple of my favorite quilters, Rita at Red Pepper Quilts and Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio, and sure enough, they're not afraid to use white.

So here's the question. Do you make quilts with a white background?  Are they ever clean? Am I just plain silly for worrying about this?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

I've been away, again. Got home about midnight and finally had a decent night's sleep. Travel is enlightening and I always come back with a greater appreciation for the world I've visited, but also for the world in which I dwell—my friends, my garden, my home, and my dog all look a little sweeter to me. Each time I return I promise to be kinder and make more time to be with them and enjoy the moments I have here.

Sunrise this morning proved the world was abloom—redbuds, tulips, hosta poking its green tips through the earth, lilacs. France is lovely, but truly, there's no place like home.