Sunday, January 16, 2011

Because my life, other than the typical work stress, is very boring.

So, it's been a busy week what with one thing and another.

After reading about how someone stuck in Nebraska during a snowstorm used the time to make friends and quilt, I'm wondering if I should start learning how to do these hexagon quilts.

I've always seen them as a little too fiddly - plus, hand-sewing? How quaint!

But I'm beginning to see how hand-sewing would be good for occupying your hands while your mind and mouth are otherwise occupied. ie. discussion and conversation.

I'm not about to give up writing, but it's nearly impossible to chat and write at the same time, and sometimes I'd like to be in a conversation (that isn't online) while my hands are otherwise occupied. And when I'm in Europe later this year, I'm definitely going to need something to occupy my hands while I'm chatting with people. There'll still be retreat-and-write time, but I also want to socialise as well. Just a little bit. I can always fall back on retreat-and-write if things get hairy!

I have, uh, also signed up for a quilting cruise in late August next year. From Port Canaveral, Florida through the Caribbean. (B1 and B2, do not mention to the parentals!) *coughs* And maybe when we get back on the Sat, I could sneak over to Dragon*Con in Atlanta for a few days? *coughs*

Okay, so I'm missing the years when I could take two months of vacation and travel and see people and go places and conventions and stuff like that. I miss that. A lot. And being able to see and stay with my friends all over the world!


In other quilting news:

The strip-sets for the postage stamp quilt-along (at ps. i quilt) have been sewn together, after much cursing and assorted grumping and several instances of running out of bobbin thread[1]. Most of it ws done while watching The Losers movie so I could write for the DW community's Ante Up Losers ficathon, which I have completed but am far from satisfied with. However, there's another two weeks before the archive goes live, so I have time in which to expand, expand, expand!

1. Seriously, why don't machine makers just create a second place to put an entire 100 yard spool of cotton and run that into the underside of the machine? It would make so much more sense than having to separately fill this little bobbin with about 20 yards of thread...and then run out in the middle of sewing a seam. Bloody annoying.

We were asked to take the strips and sort them into 16 sets of five strips - 8 sets of light-dark-light-dark-light, and 8 sets of dark-light-dark-light-dark - and sew them together.

And here they are!

These are laid out in a chequerboard, rather like the way they're (probably) going to end up in the quilt. But it looked pretty staid like that. So I arranged them differently and took another photo!

Much more visually interesting, don't you think?

I also took a close-up of the fabrics, so it's easier to see the individual designs on the batiks. The range is mostly Hoffman's Bali Pops, although there are...several others in there. I no longer remember the fabrics, and this is a stash-buster quilt for me, so nothing matches, per se. But it all goes together in the end, when you look at it as a whole quilt and not just focusing on the little fabrics.

(Still, there's something in me that envies the lovely clean, sharp white strips and the brilliant colours of the fabrics being used by the other quilters in this quilt-along. It's just fabric envy...

The light-dark-light-dark-light side of the circle:

The dark-light-dark-light-dark of the circle:

I really really do love these batik strips. Batiks in general are wonderful IMO - those lovely fluid colours, vivid and bright, and some of them exquisitely detailed! The next update to the postage stamp quilt-along is due on Tuesday (my time), and I'll probably spend the next few days after that madly trying to get that step done.

But until then, I have FREE TIME! (Sort of. I have other writing projects to do, porn battles to write and prompt for, and kinkmemes to get down and dirty with!


The Rail Fence
I'm doing this at the same time as the postage stamp quilt. I'm not sure how long it will take, or whether it will work, or how well it will turn out. But it's such an easy pattern, and these materials were made for each other, so it seems sensible to use them! (Although I could probably have done another Double Irish Chain with them, but still. This is more interesting, I think.)

The fabric:

A detail of the fabric:

The blue is a very dark blue - very saturated, almost black. And there's nearly as much of it as there is of the white, and about 1/3 less of the red. But that's okay, I think I've worked all that into my cunning plan...

The first strips cut and sewn together. It's not going to be a standard "rail-fence" quilt. The fabric will be cut as though it's a rail fence, but the colours won't make it look like a rail fence.

Actually, I'm not sure that this is going to work out well. It might turn out crap. I hope not, but looking at it now, I'm wondering just a little bit!

Finally, I have my friend Suds' wedding quilt in my hands at last! All quilted and so very pretty! Although now I have to do the edging. Handsewing again...

Ah well, project for the end of Janury, perhaps?

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