Busy Little Me

Well, June’s finally flown, and boy was it busy. Probably the biggest thing was my yearly dance recital on the 23rd (I take Irish and ballet). And this year my 2 1/2 year-old daughter also performed for the first time. Which means both sets of grandparents were in town for the big event. So while stressing over the dancing, and cleaning, and entertaining, and the fact that the Punkin was refusing to dance in class (however, once she got on the stage, there was absolutely not problem with her dancing. Had to have an audience), I was a bit of a mess. Plus I also had to get two baby quilts ready for presentation on July 1.

And as of that Sunday, I’m now in charge of the baby quilt ministry at our church. Shouldn’t be too difficult, except I have to get up front and do the talking now. I do not like getting up in front of people like that (I’ve been known to dance with my glasses off so I can’t see the audience, but then it’s also difficult to see where I’m dancing) Oh well.

But now that June’s over, hopefully things will calm down a bit. Not likely, but a girl can hope. πŸ˜›

How Fortunate!

Fabric Fortune CookiesAre these not the cutest things?! When I saw this in my Keepsake Quilting catalog, I had to get it. Cute and uncomplicated–I like that combination. And considering the number of China adoptions going on in my church, this will be a handy little pattern to have πŸ˜›

Block of the Month: Storm at Sea

Storm at SeaThis is one of my favorite blocks right now. It’s fairly easy to piece, but looks far more difficult. This is an older block–one of my sources credits it to the Ladies’ Art Company, which first began to sell standardized block patterns around the turn of the 20th century. Which means the block is probably much older, but has consistently been called Storm at Sea for over 100 years.

Hearts AseaOftentimes this design is cropped to overlap the blocks, with a contrasting fabric pieced in to form hearts in the middle of the quilt.

Mal de Mer 1However, my favorite method of utilizing this block is to place it on point and keep the colors fairly close in color. This creates a very strong sense of motion. A swelling, rolling motion. Stare at it too long, and you can actually start to feel woozy. So I called this design “Mal de Mer,” which means “seasick” in French. Rather appropriate for a Storm at Sea.

Note: “Mal de Mer” will soon be available as a kit (pattern, instructions, and fabric) through my on-line store.

The Tale of a Machine.

I first learned how to sew in grade school. I wanted so badly to make pretty things, but my mother’s sewing machine hated me. It was an old, refurbished second-hand White, and I could not get the thing to perform for me. Of course it behaved just fine for Mom–she’d learned to sew on a Singer a few years younger than dirt and knew how to whip unruly sewing machines into shape.

But every single time I sat down at that infernal machine, it was a battle. One I rarely won. Then again, it didn’t help that I picked nice easy first-time projects like a full-sized LeMoyne Star quilt. I still quail at the thought of all those mitered corners. Agh. I think I eventually gave the pieces away. In the end, the machine beat me–I gave up sewing (except my counted cross-stitch, but that’s another story)

But in 2002 my mother got me a Husqvarna Lily 535 as a wedding gift. Suddenly, I had a machine that liked me, that wanted to make beautiful things together. My Lily is a nice, even-tempered machine. Maybe she doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but we work well together.

With a biddable machine to assist me, I started making curtains for our new house. Then clothing for myself. Then skirts for one friend and prom dresses for another. Somewhere in there I attempted a baby quilt (our church makes memory quilts for each child born or adopted into our families). It turned out nice, but certainly nothing to shout about.

When my daughter was born I made crib sheets, sleepers, special pants when her allergies made her itchy all over. By the end of 2005 I was making baby quilts again. Nowadays it’s very difficult to tear me away from the sewing table.

In fact, I’ve a date with Lily right now (two baby quilts to do the actual quilting on).