Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quilts for Teachers

The summer came faster than we anticipated, as always. This time, however, our poor planning came at a time when Sophia, my youngest, was graduating from a beloved school. Shaker Road School is the independent school where both of my girls were nurtured and taught by teachers who embody all the best in what we call an "educator." Despite the occasional, "Sophia, please give some thought to teacher gifts," that I shot at her while racing her from something to something else in the car, we never came up with the thoughtful, heartfelt offerings I had imagined. I do remember suggesting home-made, sewn gifts, but she rejected those as gifts from me, not us. I am now having a hard time seeing the difference.

There is a better me whom I imagine...an organized, accomplished, worldly, socially "appropriate" me, one with patience and poise, and that's the me who would have had those gifts ready to be delivered, with letters expressing our gratitude and the meaning of their contributions to our children's lives. That "me" remains in my imagination, and much to the chagrin of my poor husband, she will remain so for the foreseeable future. Benjamin Franklin had a system for becoming the better man he envisioned. It involved daily reminder cards that he carried in his pocket to prompt himself to aspire to greatness. It's all spelled out in his autobiography, but you have to read through the whole tedious thing to get to that useful part. By the time I got there, he had tried my nerves and I was thinking him insufferable. Now, perhaps a decade after reading it, I wonder if he had just touched too many of my inadequacies and was having a "Martha Stewart" effect on me, (you know, the person so accomplished and creative that you search for reasons to dislike, where disdain is interchangeable with awe.)

So, I'm going to choose a collection of my quilts that are good enough for gifts to these esteemed educators, and I'm going to make labels and give them away. It's about time.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pillowcases for MJ

MJ says she uses 6 king-sized pillows. Sounds comfy! This all came from my stash, which now holds a lot less red, white and black. That's good. I love these combinations.

Had I completed this before ordering more fabric at Hawthorne Fabrics, I would have been net NEGATIVE in my stash log. Easy go, easier come?
Stash Used: 8.5 yards
Stash used total: 141.2 yards
Stash acquired: 0 yards
Stash acquired total: 161.25 yards

Messenger Bag

This messenger bag was created using a pattern by michellepatterns.com. The directions were clear, the images were good, and I found it easy to make. First, I was worried that the bag is a little on the small side for me, but it's probably better if I try to use smaller bags.

Stash Used: 1.7 yards
Stash used total: 132.7 yards
Stash acquired: 0 yards
Stash acquired total: 161.25 yards 

Heather Ross...she's baaaaack!

briarrosestrawberrypatch4 Film in the Fridge
Heather Ross is my all-time favorite fabric designer. Her whimsical drawings and happy themes are everything I like about fabric. Well, she has done it again with Briar Rose, her latest collection. Some sort of contractual obligation has kept her production to a mere trickle, except if you wanted REALLY expensive pajamas to cut into fabric. I think she is back, since this fabric is from Windham, not the Japanese company through which the last few lines have come...at a premium. That fabric, though costly, was worth the price, as it was printed on a linen/cotton blend. It was just hard to stash it with the inventory I already hold.

I had some sale stuff and basics in my shopping cart at Hawthorne Threads, and when this line hit the inventory, I knew it would not last long...I pulled the trigger and it added up to 25 yards!!! (15 of Heather and 10 of yummy other stuff. Will photograph when it arrives, which knowing Hawthorne Threads, will not take long. This is especially distressing in light of the fact that I was a mere 5 yards from being net zero on my stash log. I am sensing some pillowcases in my future...

Stash Used: 0 yards
Stash used total: 131 yards
Stash acquired: 25 yards
Stash acquired total: 161.25 yards

Oh, wait, I am making 6 King pillowcases for MJ, and that will account for 8.5 yards, and then there's the messenger bag I'm hoping to finish today; that makes 1 2/3 yards. That will be 10 yards when I'm done. Better get up there!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fly Away

This quilt was supposed to consist purely of flying geese, but I could not take it any more! I had started it with the intention to do the geese using the Deb Tucker method, and then discovered the Connecting Threads tutorial to do them even easier, so it was too painful to continue. Also, with my recent sewing injury, (ironing elbow?) the trimming needed to make the geese was too unappealing. So I did this, and I like the final result. Backing is from stash!!

Stash Used: 5.5 yards
Stash used total: 131 yards
Stash acquired: 0 yards
Stash acquired total: 136.25 yards