I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Meager Showings from the Quilting Room

Hi everyone! Sometimes a hobby, craft, activity, or pleasure just wears itself out, ya know? Lately I'm wondering if my quilting days are over---seems like lots of work, lots of money spent, not much fun being had.

I remember when my dad told me he was no longer going to make furniture---OMG, what a shock, he'd made everything from my baby changing table and crib to my dollhouse and all its furniture, to my gorgeous Shaker blanket chests. one is below, with the flag

He built our various houses and every piece of furniture therein, including the kitchens, except the couches. And much of my furniture too, as an adult. So I had found punched tin pie safe panels on eBay and wanted him to make a pie safe [blue!] like I had never been able to afford. But---no. He said the blue six-board chest he made me was the last thing he would ever make. And that was that, he never touched wood again.

[this is a pie safe, turquoise-blue] more blue primitive furnitureBLUE


Is this happening to me, with my joy in the craft of quilting? Maybe, maybe not. For now I'm intending to make  changes, as similarly mentioned by blog friend Sue: no sewalongs, no swaps, no internet challenges, nothing that sounds so fun but is oh so stressful and just a burden of unpaid work. I have one more commissioned child's quilt to make and yes, of course will honor that promise, for late July or August. [and you know, probably I'll cave and be a follower yet again, somewhere.]
What did I do in January? Let's see. The BIG little finish is the small quilt Little Tree from TQC's Christmas sewalong.  free patterns here

Here is why I especially was charmed by the design and its name, a very loved poem and book, by e e cummings. 
little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see          i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look          the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

Funny--- I have been criticized for humanizing or anthropomorphing my little Beach Tree in the story in the header. Yet I'm in good company, as cummings does too in this Christmas classic.

The little quilt is not late---or heaven forbid a neglected UFO [unfinished something], this is my 2020 Christmas busywork  project, to fight the holiday letdown, over so fast and another year gone.

TQC's designs are fun and the directions are good.

This little quilt has more to it than may seem at first glance. There are 14 fairly intricate blocks that finish at 2" each. If full sized they'd be enough for a whole bed quilt project.

Since this is a treat to myself each year, I love getting the TQC kits, but missed out. On study I recognized the fabrics used [Laundry Basket Evergreen] and got an on-sale 5" charm pack of all the fabrics, 9.99 less 20%, as I recall. So this was a kit in its way. Sure I have lots of greens, maybe better, but I don't buy Laundry Basket fabrics so it's a way to explore a new resource with little expense.

I added tiny bits of a Christmas print fabric that my SIL had wrapped around some tiny silver buttons in my gift box.

I even had the mercury glass mini ornaments TQC used for their photo prop. Here's my fav, the little tree.

Rusty bells.

And I added this fun tape saying Merry Christmas. Subtle I am not.

In time I'll add a small rusty star to the tree top. I'll make and rust a star myself, next time I use canned soup. I looked online and truly do NOT want 600 starts for 25.oo, one is plenty.

The back of Little Tree is a dishtowel from Hobby Lobby, repro of an imaginary flour sack design. I enjoy little touches like that.

QB on her blog Amity Quilter measures her quilts before and after they are washed, to gauge shrinkage, so I am following her example now. I was surprised this mini shrank 1" in both length and width, from 12 1/2" x 16" to 11 1/2" x 15.

TQC is reprising this design in red and pink for Valentine's Day. Not this year, nope. heart quilt

And a final look at T-Shirt Quilt. My friend, the mother of the giftee, finished the binding  and washed it, took pictures.

I like the modern effect of no sashing, plus the softness of the flannel.

We made the binding wider than usual for again, a modern look and to compensate for the bulk of all those flannel layers. My quilter refused [or strongly objected to] minky or fleece backing. Has anyone ever tried that? I agreed with quilter Lori C.'s advice, potential disaster, plus I feel using the fleece back marks it all as so 2020-ish. The recipients did not want a label or name tag.


It's been grey but fairly warm so Mo and I are extending our sunset walks. Today as we walked through the empty lane, it was, as Mel pointed out recently, so ugly and grey and desolate in its winter phase.

And yet, on the breeze wafted the scents of delicious steaks cooking on the grill! Smoke rose over the fence. A brave soul doing a January BBQ! How fun.

Have a good weekend, Welcome February! no rabbit-rabbit here, lol, what's with that?



gone to the  beach...

Shaker furniture here