It’s hard to focus on anything when the news is this bad. The whole country is still on fire. People are dying and losing their homes. The middle east is in turmoil again and there is the prospect of more war and more terror. At some point though, I have to face the fact that there is nothing I can do about any of this, or that I have done everything I can do (vote, donate, live in as ecologically sound a way as possible). If I were honest I would probably have to admit I could do more of the last two, but in general, to stop going insane on a day to day basis you actual have to stop thinking about it and go do something else. So I go to work, and I sew and I read books but a part of me always thinks I should be doing more. It’s the start of a new year, and I don’t really have any resolutions yet so maybe my resolution needs to be – be a more active citizen.
Summer seems to have hit with full force. Temperatures have been in the high 30’s and low 40s but with nowhere near as much rain as we are used to this time of year. At one point, we broke a record where I live for the most amount of time since it last rained. Then there’s the fires. It feels like there has been the smell of smoke in the air for over 3 months now. A week or so back there was one just round the corner from my house. Being about 3 houses outside the evacuation zone is a little too close for comfort. Thankful, they got it under control with only one house lost and no one hurt. Another fire this week, a couple of suburbs over and we don’t have it bad compared to Sydney where the whole city looks like it is ringed by fire.
I’m finally off work for the year and trying to get organised before Christmas. Not that there is a lot to do. Presents have already been bought and the house was cleaned yesterday. There is some cooking to do Christmas Eve and need to put some petrol in the car but until then I just get to chill, maybe do some sewing, read some of the books that have been on the to read pile for far too long.
It’s been a while since I last posted, and I last time I did I posted about a present I was making for a colleague who was having a baby. Well here is the rest of the present, which was finished just in the nick of time.
We are rapidly approaching the end of the year and it feels like I am rapidly running out of time on a couple of deadlines on Christmas presents and a baby gift I have been putting off for far too long.
So why am I procrastinating? On the baby gift I guess because it is something I have never done before. The Mum is a work colleague and she and her husband are big Star Wars fans and I came up with the plan that I would make a little dress in themed fabric. The only problem is I have never made a dress before. So far all I have managed is to make a couple of these cute nappy pants/diaper covers to go with it.
Now I just have to get started on the dress. I have a pattern, and it’s all cut up and ready to go but am avoiding it. Well, I’m about out of time. My colleague goes on maternity leave in a couple of weeks, so I have to finish it this weekend.
I don’t think its uncommon for long-time sewers like myself to have a scrap system, though I know some people would think mine is a little too serious or rigid.
To start with everything gets put in a small basket. Small because once the basket is full it gets cut up into standard sizes and if the basket were too big it would be a marathon effort. As it was I think I spent about 5 hours cutting scraps this weekend.
While it seems tedious its a good activity to do when I am feeling uninspired or not sure what project to tackle next. I cut into 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 inch strips, 5 inch squares, 3 1/2 inch squares and 2 inch squares. The idea being that one day I’ll have enough to make some delightful scrappy quilts. They also come in handy for other crafty purposes such as making bags like this one.
When I bought the pattern I was tossing up between the pattern and a kit which came with a lovely selection of Japanese fabrics. I ended up going with the pattern because I realised hexagons was a great use of some of my 3 1/2 inch squares.
My list of works in progress has inspired me a little to get somethings done.
I’ve finished off three baby quilts I had cut out.
Knocked over a knitting project as well. This project started life as a scarf but when I picked it up again I realised the reason I stopped was that the finished product was just too dense and heavy for a scarf, it didn’t drape or flow like it should. So I unpicked and reworked it into a cushion cover.
Been doing a little work around the house as well, putting new putty in my windows and trying not to get frustrated with the slow progress. Someone who lived here before tried to fix the windows with a silicon filler instead of the proper glazing putty so it is taking forever to get the silicon out so I can do the job properly. Got to keep telling myself I’m not in any hurry.
I have been feeling very uninspired craft wise for a while now. I’ve been mustering a little energy to do some knitting while watching tv, which is fine, but have pretty much been procrastinating about everything else.
I’m been trying a few things to get my mojo back. Last week was a trip to a craft shop because I really need to make a baby quilt for an imminent new arrival and I didn’t have enough of anyone kind of fabric to do anything other than a scrappy. It really helped and provided some clarity that maybe I’m not in love with some of my fabrics any more.
Yesterday, I had a really good clean out of the closet. Don’t get me wrong I’m not throwing anything out. Even the stuff I don’t love anymore will have it’s place, maybe as backings or bag linings. The purpose yesterday was to figure out what I’ve got and what I’ve got on the go. It was a bit of a work in progress audit. Well works in progress and kits, because I figure a kit might as well be a work in progress because someone else has done all the hard work of assembling the bits I need.
It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I have a total of 73 works in progress in varying stages from bought stuff and stuck it in a bag together all the way to pinned but not yet quilted including finding a couple of quilt tops I had forgotten I had.
It did inspire me a little. I’ve always loved a good list and I have already crossed one of the list. A tiny little wooden cross stitch kit which was given to me by a friend many years ago for Christmas. Now to get on with the rest of it, which I am actually looking forward too because I am of the opinion that it doesn’t have to be finished as I originally intended it. If I only got to a certain size of hand pieced hexagons I don’t have to finish it into a quilt I can make it into a cushion or a journal cover or anything else that takes my fancy. I can see some creativity in this.
I think the last time I posted was almost a month ago and I’d just got back from the Sydney Quilt Show. A couple of days after that I came down with a head cold that stuck around for almost 3 weeks. After so much time feeling sorry for myself I am now trying to get things back on track and struggling, because it’s amazing how ratty your house gets after no cleaning for 3 weeks and don’t get me started on the garden. We got a bit of rain and so the lawn needed mowing and the weeds are going nuts and still need to be dealt with. Of course not much sewing has been getting done. I have been trying to get a bit of knitting done and I did finally finish the bag I was procrastinating about (It’s a Liberty Applique Rice bag kit from Don’t Look Now). It didn’t turn out too badly despite my qualms about my machine quilting/thread drawing skills. Now just need to finish the matching zipper pouch.