It’s been a busy few weeks now that summer has finally (finally!) come to the PNW and I wanted to post some photos of my July + August whirlwind – all the things I’ve really wanted to post about and didn’t ever find the magic hour for. I’m deep in the middle of a new project (more on that in a second) so I will just jump in and share a few things I’m excited about…
Sisters was awesome. I wrote more about this at my MLCQ blog if you’d like to see, and there are some great PMQG exhibit photos + details here too. Special thanks to everyone who came to my book signing at the Stitchin’ Post, and to Heather for this shot of my Modern Crosses quilt in our display!
My Log Cabin Quilting class at PNCA was wonderful thanks to my amazing students. Here’s the design wall at the end of class with a couple of blocks from each person (L to R – Michelle, Robin, Melanie, Amy, Lizzy, + Rachel). I’ll write more on that over at MLCQ soon too.
Made jam with Daniela to celebrate our Quilts for Quake Survivors project winding down – one batch of strawberry-marionberry and one batch of raspberry (in the snapshot). I really love to make freezer jam. It’s something I always wanted to do and last summer I loved finally doing it. One day, when I don’t have kids this little to wrangle, I want to learn how to do real canning – but for now, this easy, fun take on jam (and salsa, tomato sauce, and pesto) is exactly my speed.
Speaking of QfQ, we are hosting a thank-you party for everyone who helped – a couple final hours of sewing on the last quilts and then a barbecue with drinks, food and music! We’d love to see you over there – it’s August 14 from 4-8pm, all the details above. Huge thanks to our gracious host, Amy of PMQG.
And the Fat Quarterly Block Pocket Apron-along just finished up this week! Thank you so much to John and everyone at FQ for hosting. You can get the free (corrected) pattern for the apron project, and visit the posts for week 1, week 2, week 3, and week 4 at their blog – they are evergreen so you can jump in and sew whenever you have time (or the pressing need for a cute apron for cooking and cocktails).
LOVED our Denyse Schmidt improvisational patchwork + design class. I will definitely write more about that soon. For now I’d love to point you to Blair’s posts here and here (yay, got to meet Blair!) and share just one photo of about 2/3 of our class design wall. My blocks are the yellow, blue, gray and brown ones in the upper center. Several people in the class said that they thought they looked like me – which I think too. I loved doing two days’ worth of inspiring piecing towards what I hope is a bed quilt – no pressure to finish it by a deadline or explain how to make it to anyone else, and using colors I love, in a simple pattern I can break up with extra scrap piecing whenever I want to…
Now, I’m jumping into a solo game of house tetris – switching the kids’ bedrooms around so that Pearl has a big-girl room and Everett gets the nursery, and my tiny, adorable, and chronically overstuffed craft room is heading down two flights of stairs to the basement. I have put in about a day and a half of hard labor so far and I am completely loving it. I have a big, beautiful desk to sew on, my favorite fabrics are folded on a shelf, I’ve ruthlessly sorted out a decade’s worth of craft + beyond magazines, and packed away my beloved but under-used supplies for now. I haven’t had time to make jewelry or use my Gocco printer in the last long while, but the things for them have been right smack in the heart of my workspace. So I’m a little sad to box so many things up and store them (nearby), but it’s so liberating to be able to see what I have and use it. I just don’t have all the open-ended craft time I used to (and my work has changed so much in the last few years, as magazines and publishing shifts) so my workspace needs to reflect that. And to be honest, my room had been so messy since finishing up 23 quilts and patchwork projects on deadline + having a baby overloaded the already precarious balance that I didn’t take any before photos. I just don’t want to see it like that again, it had been stressing me out, and a fresh start is really inspiring me.
One other new thing is that I am switching my card catalog from holding my vast collection of jewelry findings to all the sewing essentials that ended up around the room – bias tape, zippers, rick-rack (an essential to me anyway!) and hand-sewing bits. I love it already. I always loved Tricia’s sewing catalog so I’m following in her footsteps!
One last craft-room switch thing that I’m super excited about is painting a section of the basement wall. Most of my space has wood walls, but there’s a stretch of it painted with a dull, flat tannish color (similar to some of what we put chalkboard paint over on Pearl’s side of things). I went through a lot of my little treasures I want to put up on the wall, and found this one from around 2003 – I used to sell my jewelry at Alicia‘s shop (her beautiful half of Ella + Posie) and did a craft fair there for the holidays with Torie. Alicia made each vendor a name decoration for the tables, and I still have mine. I took it to the hardware store with Everett this morning, played with paint chips for a little while, and settled on Tropicana Cabana (on the right). I thought about the lighter version (on the left) – but this is a basement, in Oregon, and I want some color! So I hope to have an after photo soon, as soon as I hit publish I will be taping the edges…
Happy summer and happy crafting! I am so excited to do some new things and sew some things that have been on my list for a long time. Hope to see you soon.