I know. It's barely August and here I am already thinking about the holidays. Well, I sorta have to. Since I am making a good portion of (read - ALL-) of the Christmas presents that are going to be handed out this year, I need to get a full head start, so that come November I'm not panicking with only a few things done. This year I'm thinking some cross-stitches (I found a great book at the local library that has some designs from Ed Hardy!), a few purses/bags made from old jeans, some felties, and other found objects that can be turned into art/crafts. Since our budget has become drastically reduced with my becoming a SAHM, I have to be really thoughtful about what I am going to be spending our money on. Unfortunately, mostly that will only be on the house and living expenses...Christmas presents and the like are going to have to be produced using alternative methods. Luckily, I'm handy with a needle and a sewing machine and I have a TON of imagination, so I'm thinking that I will be OK when it comes to creating fun things for family and friends. Now, I just have to make my lists, gather the supplies from around the house, and get started! Thankfully, due to my non-idle hands, I've already got some things underway.
So I've been cleaning out my public school classroom and packing up all the books and resources that I have collected over the years when I came across a professional development book that I have long despised. Well, as I was thinking about the waste of paper and saving trees, I pondered about what I could do with this rather thick book that I was never going to read again. I didn't want to throw it away (being a composter and semi-environmentalist, I had a hard time with that idea), and I couldn't GIVE it away (most of my almost former colleagues agree with me about the uselessness of this particular text). An idea came to me when I was reviewing some of my pins from Pinterest (I mean, who doesn't love Pinterest), and, BAM!, an instant lightbulb about how I can creatively turn this rather tedious book that will never be read again into something inspiring and useful and beautiful! Hence, I have begun to tear out pages upon pages and doing something that I never thought I would do with a literary object. I am turning it into art. Maybe I can frame some of them and put them up for sale...who knows! But I am discovering that I can take a text that is tiresome and irrelevant and make it awesome.
So, I don't know how it happened, but I actually managed to get a TON of quilting done this past Saturday. It was an odd little phenom, one that doesn't happen often, but I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that the boys were in the backyard cutting down a bothersome tree. This gave me the piece and quiet that is often needed to get my quilt on. I wish I could say that it went well and that everything turned out perfect, but that's just not my life, so I can't. I got a ton done, but I couldn't finish some of the things that I really wanted to finish. I still need a yard of fabric to finish the Star Wars quilt for the boy, several yards to finish my reading quilt, and batting to wrap them all together. Sigh. But, I still feel pretty good about what I was actually able to get accomplished. Now I just need to save up and get the rest of the fabric that I need to get everything all done.
I have put together the 2nd block for our Block of the Month club. Although I missed the class for this particular pattern, I think that they turned out alright. I only had a few corners that didn't match up exactly as I wanted them to. Ce la vie. I am adding my own little twist to the pattern by not alternating the colors like I should, but then, I wouldn't be me if I didn't change things up the way I wanted them to be. I'm still not sure with the colors, and I think, later on down the road, that I want to attempt to make this pattern again, but with a more floral motif. I don't know. I'm still undecided about this particular color palatte and so I'm still searching for ideas of how to do this bigger, better, and brighter. I suppose that is the glory of quilting. You can use the same patterns but different materials and each quilt turns out to be a unique piece of handmade art.
I never thought of myself as a quilter. I mean, I've always liked quilts, but they have always held, for me, a sense of simplicity. They often reminded me of days gone by when wives canned and made clothes and the husbands tilled the fields and chopped wood. I suppose it was because I was raised as a city girl, with traffic noises my lullaby at night and the smell of smog always at the back of my throat. The only impressions I had of quilting were the stories my father told me about his upbringing or what I watched on TV in the re-runs of Little House on the Prairie. But, somehow, after moving to the country, I have been compelled to learn how to quilt. I'm not really sure why. There seems to be something in the air, I suppose, that isn't a part of city living and is only available in the country freshness.
So here it is. My first attempt at a quilt. I took a class at the local quilting shop (which, is actually becoming my Mecca - for some reason the smell of the fabric and all the variety of prints just makes me happy) and made an actually rather large quilt (mostly because I added sashing in between the blocks). I'm rather proud of it actually and quilting has become another creative outlet for me. There are so many patterns and fabrics to choose from, and I really love the fact that I am creating these pieces of art with my own hands. I seem to be assimilating to country living a bit better than I expected