Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thinking about cutting, sewing, and stuff

I have patterns galore. I have an overflowing stash. What I don't have is the desire to cut stuff out. The only motivation I can see for cutting is the sewing that will follow! But oh, how I hate to cut out a pattern.

I was cruising some blogs and saw this pattern, though:

It almost makes me want to break out the fabric and the scissors. I love the collar on the cardigan/top. I have similar patterns and could easily fashion a Peter Pan type collar for any of them. I just never thought of it before. Now there's some inspiration. I love the no collar look, but I really like view A here with the collar. My sewing fingers are just a'twitchin'. Could seeing this pattern be the catalyst I need? Might I set up the table and lay out some fabric? I might. If not today, maybe tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A hexagon day

I chose to have a hexagon day today. I did have a little work to do, but did not let it interfere with my sewing.

I got up, made an interesting cup of coffee with my Keurig (Mudslide from Gloria Jean, to be specific) and warmed up a frozen spinach/mushroom quiche for breakfast. I watched the tail end of Rachael Ray and decided I did not want to make her super duper whateveritwas burger for dinner, then remembered I better take something out of the freezer or there would be no dinner!

Then, it was time to work. I finished up in short order and tackled my pile of denim that needed to be dissected. I started it yesterday and finished it today. As mentioned prior, I'll need to figure out what I want to do with it, but today was not the day to decide. Because today was what? A hexagon day!

I have wanted to complete my second of 10 x 13 hexagons panel, and I did. It's hard to describe, but essentially, I sewed. I put thread in the needle and hand sewed until it was done. In between times and in order to provide a short break for my hands, I washed dishes, fiddles with my other computer, and took a trip to the post office, but after each chore, I came back to the panel. By the time it was dinner prep time, I had two panels and started to stitch those two together. After that was started, I measured it on my lap and sitting on the loveseat and decided that the width of the completed quilt top will be three panels of 10 x 13 hexagons, or 390 hexagons. Whoa! I better start cutting some more because I'll need four rows of three panels to complete the top. That means the total number of hexagons will be 1560!  I will add a few more stitches before I go to bed, but there you go. I had a hexagon day and I'm happy as can be about it. Sometimes, you just need to take some time off and do something that makes you feel good about the world. And I did.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dissecting the blue jeans!

One of the things about sewing with junk jeans and recycled denim is that the fabric had to start somewhere. For the most part, my junk denim comes from my husband's old jeans. They get one hole too many or aren't presentable for work, and so they become placemats, hot pads, mug mats, strips for quilts, and all told projects that I can think of, including clothing.

Tonight, I was gifted with three pair of worn out jeans! He was doing laundry and gave me the three that were ready to retire after their wash and dry. Yahoo! Fresh denim. I got out my "I can use these to cut anything" scissors and set to cuttin'. Each pair gives me two large pieces from the front of each leg, a long piece from the back of one leg, a three-quarter length piece from the back of one leg, and a pocket from the back of one leg. If I were truly a recycler, I'd keep the zippers and side seams, but I don't. I used to keep the side seams and did some weaving with them, but man, they are a mess! I tried. I don't want to try again

For now, I have to think of what's next. I will make a three-knotted leg of denim for the dog to play with, I need backing for some hexagon faced mug mats, and it's about time to make some more Smurf hot pads. Hmmmm.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh no! Hexies. And oh my! Buttons.

First the "oh my!"

Look at this beautiful exhibit at the Kyneton Museum in Australia: I am so jealous. I would love to see this! I wonder if it's coming to the US someday or if it's even a traveling exhibit? It is truly a coincidence that I read a short piece about a woman's mother's button "box" (really a round tin) filled with buttons. My mother had the same type of button box and I would play with them for hours. Later, my children played with them and the buttons from my own button box - sorting games with color, size, number of holes, with a post or not, etc. Buttons have shown up in a few places in my life today. I also found this piece I made several years ago using buttons from my own button box, recycled denim, and a recycled wooden frame. Buttons - amazing.

Now the "oh no!"

I just may have been making hexagons the wrong way for 30ish years. I am doing a hex swap and love it. Today, a post was made about a method for making the flowers that we swap. I noticed in the instructions that the threads do not show on the right side of the flower. Mine does. I learned how to make these at a quilt guild meeting when I was in my early 20s and made my daughter's quilt "my" way, my nephew's baby's quilt (shown - denim and strawberries) "my" way, and several hexagon projects in between "my" way. Jeepers! What if I have to learn a new way? I guess I could, huh? Or maybe, everyone can make them the way they've always done it. We'll see!

Today found me putting a row of hexagons onto my own quilt and I realized I had one too many petals at the end of a row. Snip, snip, snip - off came the extra one. Oh, I so don't like taking out stitching! Reminds me of (and I paraphrase) "As we sew, so shall we rip." Sew on!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A touch of discombobulation

If something bad happens in your life, pick up your needle and thread and sew. Calm your mind and soul.

Wednesday, I came home from physical therapy and noticed the dog was outside and the door was open. I then noticed some items in the yard that were not there before. As I went inside, I noticed Wii parts on my front porch and then Wii parts on my living room floor, along with Wii games. Then I saw my laptop was gone and went in the other room to find our other laptop gone. At this point, I knew that I had been robbed. I went outside and called 9-1-1, then sat on my front steps to make a few more calls, one to my husband and one to my boss included. The rest of the afternoon was like a script from Law and Order, including police officers entering my house with guns drawn and telling me to stay outside, fingerprinting, and lots of papers to fill out and talking to do. The thieves were interrupted in their plundering when Fed Ex made a delivery. Thank you, Fed Ex.

Wednesday night, I picked up my hexagon quilt and did some sewing, for hours. I wasn't interested in sleeping and put together several rows of hexies. It was just what I needed to do. My little pieces of fabric, my thread and needle, and me. What do people do who don't have something like this to turn to in times of turmoil?

Sewing is more than just making kids' clothes for sure.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zen and the art of hexagons

I took some time today to finish my hexagons to send to Iceland as part of the hexagon swap. I turned off the television, turned on the lamp, sat by the window for extra light, and picked up the needle. The dog was at my feet and a cup of coffee was by my side on the end table. I sewed until the second hexagon flower was done. In the quiet. With no interruption. And the time passed too quickly.

The center is yellow (it scanned orangish) and is from the Michael Miller Krystal collection. I've used the fabric for rainbow projects and have several colors on hand.

It was a wonderful afternoon and a nice interruption of a normally hectic day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's a Wordle? Check this out.

Click on the above for the full sized Wordle. It's a jumble of words from our blog. Very cool. 
P.S. Still working on the hexagon quilt!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hexagons! Knee progress! Life!

I've blogged so much about the hexagon quilt lately, but honestly, that's what I'm sewing these days. I spent a couple hours sewing individual pieces together to make rows and in a few days, I will put a few rows together and then, voila, there will be a whole 10 x 13 block done. It's a slow, but steady process.

My knee is almost fully usable! I am driving my car (with clutch) now and today I went to a real grocery store for the first time since 12/14.

 I worked concessions at the theater last night and watched the first half of 42nd Street (go tap dancers!!!). I'm beginning to live again and it feels good.

I plan to cut out a blouse this weekend and to make a commissioned pillow or two. I have one last Valentine's heart to complete. That should fill my sewing need for the weekend.

The Stupid Bowl is Sunday. I'll be moderating on ESPN a good part of the day, so it'll be a lot of "Steelers suck" and "Packers suck" and "Go Steelers" and "Go Packers" and lots of stuff in between. I have snack making plans that will take up the part of Sunday that is not working time.

A very exciting life!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Seasons Tree and Hexagons A-Go-Go

Hexagons - did you know they multiply at night when  you're not looking? I started another large block last night. The blocks are 10 hexies by 13 hexies. I'll connect the blocks after I have at least 12. Let's do the math here - 10 x 13 = 130 per block. At least 12 blocks is 12 x 130 = 1560 hexagons. Each one is made from a unique fabric from my own stash and from fabrics that people have donated. Jeepers!
More math - I'm doing a row of 10 per day on average. How long will it take to complete it? Too much, too much, too much! But that's why we do this, so we can sew. I don't do watching television with idle hands well. I don't do waiting for people having procedures or for flights to board or something similar with idle hands well. I never have. Hand sewing has helped maintain my sanity, including this hexagon fever quilt.  But I have to say, the first block looks amazing!

And today, I started decorating the February Season Tree. I have a few ornaments I've made and some I've bought. What am I doing in March? Another Jeepers! This is the beginning. I have more hearts to hang and think that in the future I may want some more beaded thingies.