In my 52nd year, I’ma learn how to weave. First up, we need some dishcloths, so I bought kitchen cotton. I’m sure none of you will be surprised to learn that I’ll eventually move on to using my own handspun wool if I like weaving.
Consider this 10 inch loom and the cotton to be a tester kit. And yes, I do plan to break the rules from the get go. The solids will be warp.
So there was another trip to North Carolina for the annual family beach weekend, and that meant quilt deliveries. Since you’ve seen the tops, please allow me this opportunity to show off some of my kids and grandkids! This is my middle son, holding up his nephew’s quilt.
And this is my grandson, playing peek-a-boo with me using that same quilt. I think he likes it!
Middle daughter, mother of grandson, holding up his second quilt.
Oldest daughter helping middle daughter hold up middle daughter’s huge quilt.
Youngest daughter holding granddaughter’s quilt.
Youngest daughter, granddaughter, oldest daughter holding granddaughter’s other quilt.
Then we came home and I finished this one.Â I pieced this quilt in ’98 or ’99, in Topeka, Kansas.Â I’d gone so far as to begin machine quilting it before packing it up to move to North Carolina in 2000.Â You saw the photos last month showing the ripping out of that old quilting and the new backing.Â I finished the binding on Friday night, and washed it up yesterday.Â Twentyish years later, it’s become a couch quilt in Pennsylvania.Â It’s a well traveled piece, and we are enjoying it.
With all my actually started quilts now complete, I’ve decided to spin a while.
Since we last spoke, I’ve made this:
And I’ve spent 2 days longarming, which resulted in six quilts ready for binding.
And I’ve taken stock of my UFOs. Please note that this only accounts for the downstairs projects. I’ve got more hidden in the attic. The six stacked quilts are included, because they aren’t finished until the binding is done.
This also does notÂ include the books IÂ plan to read. I’d write more, but I clearly have other things to do!
In the past 10 days…. I finished this top for my grandson as soon as I got my design wall up.
Then I made him some fancy pants to wear at his birthday party.
I used BOGO coupons at Joann to buy delicious precuts for grandchildren.
I drove to North Carolina to attend that birthday party. I stopped to eat seafood and deliver the finished third Fourth Doctor Scarf.
I failed to take a single picture of the grandchildren, the children, the party, or any other weekend shenanigans. And then I drove home, slept, and woke up to start some designing.
On Wednesday night, I decided to build myself a studio, and I started before 7am Thursday.
The first step was dividing my current bedroom into two sections by rearranging. I finished tidying the bedroom side this morning.
I am well pleased! Next up, the studio side.
It looks like a six month project, I know, but I’ll have a usable space here before the day is over.
So, it all started with this book:
It ended with bringing this antique sewing machine out of my room and into the common area. It was my grandmother’s and possibly my great-grandmother’s.
And then the folding and organizing of fabrics.
When I’m ready to sew, I’ll bring the tall table out of my room to serve as a cutting and pressing station, if the project is too big for the sewing machine table fold-out.
Now I need to figure out where to mount the design wall! See, I told you reading causes trouble!
Warning, many pictures ahead! It was a very productive weekend.
Project 1: Run seams around the edges of this top to prepare it for the longarm.
Project 2A: Rip out these 15 year old lines of quilting to prepare this quilt for the longarm. The backing could not be saved. I’m not heartbroken, it was just polyester sheeting.
Project 3A: Self-bind my first quilt.
Project 4A: Bind this quilt in a fairly normal way.
Project 2B: Piece newly acquired backing for 15 year old quilt.
Projects 3B and 4B: Wash and dry the completed quilts.
Project 5: Self-designed top for Kudzu. Step 1:
Project 6: The eternal scarf. I’m on the last stripe.
This past Saturday morning, I went to Patti’s and had a lesson on the long arm.Â If you haven’t used/seen/heard of a long arm, it is a huge sewing machine on rails that allows you to quilt.Â You use it by standing and basically driving the machine across the quilt.Â It’s a bit like drawing with your whole torso.Â And it’s FAST.Â I quilted these two in about 5 and a half hours, and that included a break to go to JoAnn to buy backing for the second quilt and eat lunch at Burger King.
Guys, that first quilt, the one that was so katty-wompus that I doubted whether to even quilt it?Â Yeah, it’s quilted, and I totally won the “can this quilt be saved?” game.Â It’s the first one you see below.Â The second is the jelly roll race quilt.
I’ve left these photos largeÂ so you can see the detail.Â You may notice that I broke all the rules in quilt number one.Â The quilting is not evenly spaced.Â I crossed over my own quilting lines with wild abandon.Â And.Â I LOVE the way it turned out. Love it. I like the second quilt, too, but this crazily quilted first one? Love.
For this one, I tried to use the same basic quilting motion and be more regular. I avoided crossing the lines for the most part, but made a few because I like the way they look. As I was quilting this one, I realized the error in my thinking that the backs of quilts are just additional space for piecing. No. The backs of quilts are there so you can see the quilting, which gets lost on the fronts. I’m not going to be backing my quilts with quilts. I’m going to back them with backing and quilt the crazy random loopy life out of them in somewhat visible thread and I am going to enjoy driving that long arm all over my quilts!
I took some time this morning to decide other things, like what I want to teach the kids this summer and how far I need to get on various crafty goals to feel caught up. It’s a lengthy list for my 12-20 days off. We’ll see how it goes.
And my final decision for the morning was…I’m breaking up with this scarf over the weekend. I’m going to finish it or be finished with it, because I have been knitting on it for 3 months, it’s over 10 feet long, and I am so over garter stitch right now! I’m over 4/5ths done, and well into the home stretch. I think I can make it. But regardless, sometime during this weekend’s crafting retreat, I’m going to be done with this piece.