Archives for the month of: January, 2015

2015/01/img_2024.jpg

2015/01/img_1941.jpg

2015/01/img_1940.jpg

2015/01/img_2134.jpg

2015/01/img_2133.jpg

This was a Christmas present for dear friends. Only last week did I get proper photos of the front and back. I used five-inch charms for the center squares, choosing colors and prints to reflect each member of the four-person-one-cat family. Though this block has many names, I went with the more modern “economy block”, entitling the quilt, “God’s Economy” to honor the extravagance of the Father who motivated its making. It finishes at 81×72 inches, a suitable size for family snuggles. Best of all, it is kitty-approved!

That really is all of my holiday makes. Now to get onto my list for 2015!

How do I begin the attempt at writing about this particular quilt?

2015/01/img_2020.jpg

It carries for me a sense of closure, and yet into its making I poured so many complexities of my heart, feelings and wrenchings and delights and great sorrows, that that closure is superficial at worst, temporary at best. Though life has layered many profound experiences since its making, still a dull ache remains, like the ten drops of wine removed from a Seder glass in recognition that some sadness, while not significantly affecting the feast, is still there. Yet we do not cease to celebrate because of it.

2015/01/img_2021.jpg

I miss a land that was mine for a moment, a family made quickly, friends who forever changed me. Northern England did a number on me.

And so I made this quilt for the Mama of the house in which I lived and served. She requested one, and I planned the design, bearing in mind her tastes. At the last minute, I felt it needed to be hand-tied, reflecting the choice to give the best of me, piece by piece, knot by knot.

2015/01/img_2023.jpg

Originally I entrusted it to a certain friend, a fellow American who came home just long enough to get her visa in order. But circumstances changed, and thus, though I completed the quilt in March of last year, it took another friend’s visit – this one with plane tickets already in hand – to carry it safely home to its intended recipient.

A few days ago, my inbox surprised me with a short video from Sunderland: Mama of the house receiving her quilt, sending her love, brought to tears by the gift.

2015/01/img_2022.jpg

Even now, I do not pretend to comprehend all the impact of those months in England. But I have a sense of settling, deep within, and a knowing in my bones that I have been through fire and seas and come out again, having given the best from the depths of me, and coming out richer for it.

In years past I’ve happily participated in monthly groups encouraging finishing sewing tasks or works-in-progress. This year, I cannot break down my list so easily, so I’ve decided to join up with others on a quarterly basis.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I made a preliminary outline of what I think I can accomplish. Based on this, I can bang out all my works-in-progress (or perpetually abandoned) within the year.

2015/01/img_2017.jpg

The above group stipulates that a project must be complete in its entirety in order to qualify as a finish, which means my list for this quarter is as follows:

Tula Pink City Sampler
Black and White Sampler play mat
Blue Rings bee block quilt
Love Stream baby quilt

2015/01/img_1986.jpg

2015/01/img_1987.jpg

2015/01/img_2018.jpg

2015/01/img_2025.jpg

My first priorities are my City Sampler and Blue Rings, which require me to finish piecing the tops and backs so I can have them long-arm quilted, then I’ll bind them myself. The other two, at smaller sizes, I think I can handle on my own machine. I’d hoped to already be knocking through this list by now, but I’ve had some unexpected drains on time and energy this month in particular, so making it a quarterly goal is more manageable, I hope!

I’ve never before mapped out my quilt goals so specifically. I am very excited about this new format and all this year will bring! And I must say, pulling out pieces I’ve not touched for awhile was a delight and a joy. I love when I love what I make, and I can’t wait to bring these favorites to completion!

Happy creating and hoping equal joy for you!

Whew! Happy New Year! I definitely have some sewing resolutions, but I don’t feel right addressing them until I’ve blogged the rest of Christmas.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1963.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1962.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1964.jpg

At the eleventh hour, I finished a gift for my mother. I made the table runner with solid white 10-inch Dresden plates. I wanted to add my modern touch to a traditional design, so the background is slightly wonky striped. I love how it turned out and might be making a similar piece for myself next Christmas!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1937.jpg

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1939.jpg

These potholders went to special recipients: my brother, and my matron of honor. I love the simple masculinity of the one. For the other, I sorted the selvedges I have hoarded for years, carefully selecting words that carried significance and choosing the most prolifically colorful pieces.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/bd9/55621022/files/2015/01/img_1938.jpg

Said friend also adds a pair of birds to her tree every year, so I couldn’t resist crocheting her a few after I came across this pattern. I think they’re adorable, only I’m not sure the species. Wrens, perhaps?

There is still one more Christmas present I’ve not reported, but it deserves a post all its own. Until then, hope your 2015 is exponentially better than 2014 (I know mine is!)