Saturday, April 30, 2011

dearest maine

dear(est) maine -

thank you for teaching me how to walk in the woods without making a sound,
how to dig in the dirt with relish and enthusiasm,
how to properly slurp down a raw oyster (with a little bit of lemon and horseradish, please),
how to spin and knit and sew,
how to enjoy all of these things all at once.
thank you for your tall pines and grey ocean and fertile soil.
thank you for being the perfect home for our little family in our most important years.

and thank you for teaching my daughter the value of chickens,
for teaching her how to laugh and run and use a stick properly,
for teaching her what it means to be a real-dirt-loving-scraped-knee-grubby-toes-kind-of-a-girl.

i love you maine.
but i'm on an adventure.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

on a cloudy, damp, crummy april day, my 'bits + pieces' quilt is coming together in, well, bits and pieces! with only a few hours of work (i reward myself after a hard day of packing,cleaning, and sorting with a little sewing time), i've managed to piece a little quilt top together out of some of my favorite scraps.

frances patchwork quilt
frances patchwork quilt

16 nine-patch blocks
8 blocks have a dark +
8 blocks have a light +

working on:
wide white border
small patchwork border
possible half square triangle border

until then, it's back to getting our little family prepared for our newest adventure. only a few more days until we're on our way to our new island home!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

this afternoon i started a quilt - from scratch. that is to say, i drew nine little squares in my notebook and started cutting, without thinking about where i wanted to end up. i've been adding to a small stack of scraps and favorites that i knew would end up as a quilt project, and this afternoon seemed a perfect opportunity to jump in.
(our family has been doing nothing but packing and sorting and
donating and dumping everything that we have. its exhausting but we seem to be
getting somewhere. however, the exhaustion did me in this afternoon -
i was not paying enough attention while cutting fabric and slice! off came the tip of my finger.
please be careful with your rotary cutters. operate only when clear headed and bright eyed.)

after some bandaging and swearing, i got:
eight squares from that vintage pillowcase and
eight squares from that scrap left over from the zig zag quilt.

and now there are five blocks sitting on my sewing table. they've become a play on dark and light and an experiment with prints. i don't really know what's happening yet but i have a few ideas.
let's not put the cart before the horse, right?

and so, a simple collection of inspiration for a quilt that is happening:

Monday, April 18, 2011

today seemed like as good a day as any other to gather all of our blankets, big or small. gather them into a wicker laundry basket and throw them over the laundry line. watch them fly in the breeze - occasionally run to catch one before it soars into the river. and now, oh now, they smell fresh and crisp and good enough to wrap around us real real tight.

out on the line

Friday, April 15, 2011

and it's done!

drum roll please...i met, neigh, beat a deadline. a little pat on the back is in order for myself - i was never once worried that i wouldn't be finished in time with this project. it just worked!

spring runner

many thanks to the handsome johnny - table runner model extraordinaire.

the mission for this little sew-along (hosted by stumbles & stitches) was this: celebrate spring, and find inspiration in rashida coleman's zig zag table runner from her book i love patchwork.

now i love spring - the weather is just perfect (once it hits 78 degrees, i'm crabby), windows get cracked open for the first time in months, mud, and happy little flowers budding and blooming. purple and blue crocuses live in my yard - hence the purple and blue spring runner, complete with lots (and lots and lots) of white and some vintage daisies for binding.

and not mention some half square triangles that i'm finally happy with! matching corners and consistent size, be-still my heart. now if only i were brave enough to put it on our table - maybe white wasn't the best idea with a wild toddler who loves nothing more than to eat, both food and crayons.

spring runner
spring runner

Monday, April 11, 2011

all is quiet on this eastern front - a broken computer helps with that.

spring has sprung here. the birds are singing, rain is falling, and there is green galore. and while i can't complain about the perfect weather and blooming crocuses, i'm having a bit of trouble balancing the need to pack all of our belongings and the want to keep on quilting. but it looks like i'll be done with my spring runner before the deadline, thank goodness. and then my sewing machine might have to go into a box, too - sad day!

Spring runner sew-along

Friday, April 1, 2011

spring sew along - process

so i agreed to do this thing -
by which i mean, i committed myself to a deadline.

let me start with this: on every one of my trips to the local craft supply store i pick up a copy of 'i love patchwork' by rashida coleman-hale. it is beautiful. perfect squares, lambs in aprons and oh! the detail! and when i happened to stumble upon this spring sew-along at stumbles & stitches i thought why not, right? couldn't hurt to have a project.
we move in one month and i have maybe (maybe) three boxes packed.
i'm not very good at this whole moving thing.
but i said that i would do it and by gosh - i am doing it!

table runner sew-along

i'm loving a simple color palette - black and white with some aqua and lavender and a little bit of pink - ready for spring. i thought this would be the perfect project to practice half square triangles (those pesky corners look best when they match!) and some improv piecing. it may look like i'm just at the beginning, but i loaded up the woodstove and i am awake far past my bedtime. but i just couldn't stop.