Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Creative Juices Are Running Again

Today was the first day in over a month that I got together with my quilting buddies. Good times! We all got something done on our on-going projects, had a great time catching up with what's been happening, and enjoyed munching our way through a loaf of blueberry orange bread and a pot of chicken tortilla soup. :-)

I haven't had time to do anything *creative* in a while, so it felt great to work on one of my quilts. Yes, I have several UFOs (unfinished fabric objects). I have one that's almost done except for some final hand quilting, one in the design stage, two tops that need to be quilted, and the one today is in the initial phase of sewing blocks together. Oh, and I had to finish cutting out the pieces first.

I've tried a lot of crafts over the years. Cross-stitch makes me cross-eyed. I'm completely inept when it comes to crochet or knitting (the last baby afghan I made was so heavy -- having used 16 skeins of yarn to finish -- that it can only be used for decorative purposes because it could maim a child with its weight). Anything requiring a glue gun is completely off-limits since Klutz is my middle name. And so it goes.

But quilting is a good fit. I prefer handwork, finding that moving the needle up-and-down, in-and-out is a great stress reliever. Plus my sewing machine is possessed by demons. Well, not really, but it does seem to have a mind of its own. Sort of like that car in the Stephen King movie. It especially seems to like chewing up my fabric and occasionally my fingers.

My hand stitching leaves something to be desired, since the length and evenness of my stitches depend on how tired I am. But since I do it for fun, who cares if they range from 8 stitches per inch to, oh, say, just 3?

And it's so infinitely satisfying to design something, choosing fabrics, colors, embellishments... I started out with very traditional quilting but have branched out in the last few years to try more artsy techniques. Like portrait quilts and a wall hanging based on a cubist style painting.

But today found me working on a very traditional pattern. It's for a lap-size rag quilt and I'm simply alternating four-patch blocks with big blocks of a novelty print. A fun, no brainer project :-)

But back to my sewing *sisters*. We always have so much fun together and while we have very different styles, we spur one another on. Whenever one of us is getting ready to start a new quilt, we brainstorm ideas, share fabrics, and help with cutting out on occasion (none of us likes that part). I LOVE my quilting buddies!

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