06 April 2016

One goose, two geese, red geese, new house

This year started out so promisingly with two sewing finishes back in early January.  And a knitted hat last month.  There is daily inspiration for both sewn and knitted things.  I see projects on IG, Pinterest and Ravelry that are calling out to me.  But for the past few months, my time has been consumed by house-hunting.  After months of searching and viewing close to 40 houses, we finally found one we'd like to call home.

This process has not been without hiccups.  We actually put in an offer on a house we liked but didn't love.  After agonizing for an entire week about making the wrong decision, we called our realtor to let her know that our hearts were not in that house, and we wanted to put an offer on a different one (which was actually the house our realtor had pointed out would be perfect for us when we viewed it).

Now that the search is over, will there be more time for making things?  Probably not, since there is now an entire household to pack up before our mid-May closing date.  But here is something I did manage to finish this week:

 Back in December, the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild hosted Moda representative Lissa as a guest speaker.  Before she left the meeting, she very generously handed out gift bags with an assortment of 4 Moda mini-charm packs and a 4-pack of Aurifil thread.  Our challenge was to make a project using some or all of the charms (at least a few prints from each pack to be represented in the work).  We could add our choice of a yard of either Moda Grunge or Moda Bella Solids.

I decided to make a throw quilt for our sofa.  (We currently have one large-ish sofa quilt, and family movie nights are usually riddled with complaints that someone is hogging the quilt.)  When I started this quilt top last Tuesday, I decided to make a simple quilt with alternating nine-patch blocks and solid squares of blue.  But when my nine-patches were all sewn up, I felt compelled to cut them into triangles and add some solid white in the mix.  My intent was to make HSTs, but those HSTs morphed into flying geese.  Then I found some solid red in my stash and threw that in, too.

In some small way, the making of this quilt top mirrored our home-buying process.  Choices were presented, choices made, minds changed and new choices made.  I'm pleased with the end results.

05 February 2016

Finished things, and not finished things

Contrary to what the silence on the blog implies, I've actually finished a few things.  The projects have been posted on Instagram, but I haven't posted about them here.  The great thing about Instagram is you can share a picture with just a short caption about the subject you're sharing.  The downside is I've become lazy about documenting anything in great depth in this space.  One of my goals this year is to get back to blogging consistently.

Uncle Frank's Shirts was delivered to my parents during our holiday trip to New Orleans.  Despite the unending rain and the unseasonably warm temperatures and humidity, it was good to be back in the New Orleans area for the holidays.  Our last Christmas there was thirteen years ago.  We moved to California and never made it back for Christmas until this year (thanks to our move to Texas, which put us in driving distance).  I don't have a picture of the finished quilt, but I love how it turned out.  I'll be back in New Orleans in March and hope to snap a photo of it then.

Another project I've completed is a pillow cover  made for a paint chip challenge, hosted by the Mckinney Modern Quilt Guild.  Paint sample cards were cut up and thrown into brown paper bags.  The bags were passed around and we were instructed to draw 3 chips without looking into the bag.  We then had to make a project using mainly the three colors we drew.  I was lucky enough to draw three colors that I love and which go well together (see bottom center of the picture).  This Wonky Star pillow has been claimed by Kieran, and he insists on having it in his bed every night:

Delectable Mountains was started long ago, with blocks made by members of Love at do. Good Stitches.  It came out of the WIP bin because it is embarrassingly overdue.  I have a machine that is too small for quilting comfortably, plus it skips stitches and breaks the top thread like nobody's business, despite any trouble-shooting performed.  This makes the quilting of a quilt my least favorite part of the process.  Outbursts of frustration are usually involved.  However, I will soldier on and make efforts to complete this quilt (because there is another charity quilt that is also long overdue and will be the next sewing project I pick up):

The backing was pieced yesterday afternoon and got an unsolicited stamp of approval from Kieran upon his return home from school.  It's just a couple of fat quarters and some odd-sized cuts of orange and blue prints from my stash sewn together.  However, the 6-year old was impressed, and I'll take the compliment any day.

21 September 2015

Uncle Frank's shirts

My mother came to the States from the Philippines in the early part of the 1960's to study.  Her Uncle Tony (my godfather) was the only member of her family who was already here (at that time), but he traveled a lot.  Frank and his wife Sarah were close friends of Uncle Tony.  They had 3 daughters of their close in age to my mother, and so she was taken under the wing of the Reyes family and became part of their family.

Uncle Frank passed away earlier this year.  My parents were heartbroken, as they were in the Philippines at the time.  Uncle Frank's daughters gifted my dad with a few of his woven shirts, and my parents offered them to my husband, thinking he might wear them.  I quickly stepped in and told Ken to take them because I knew what I wanted to to do with them.  I think I'll add two more rows to make it a little longer (pardon the horrible cell phone picture):

It's harder than you think cutting up the shirts of someone who meant so much to your family and is now gone.  It took a while for me to take the rotary cutter to them.  And it was quite emotional cutting and then piecing them together.  I know they're just shirts, but they're not just shirts.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, I'm pleased to make a quilt for my parents to remember a dear family friend.  There is a sense of urgency for me to complete this quickly because my dad will begin radiation therapy in a couple of weeks.  I'd like him to have a quilt to snuggle under while he rests in his recliner in front of the television.