Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Not an Ending, but a Hiatus

Alas, here we are. October 31. The Jacquelyn Quilt is not completed, and it will not be completed by the end of October as I had planned. But, perhaps that's okay. I don't know what this month will bring, but there may be some stolen moments for quilting in the midst of the writing. If not, I may be in for a world of pain in December. I have at least two more quilt projects that I'm hoping to squeeze in in December, so I'm desperately hoping that I can find the time in November for tying up loose quilt ends.

The moral of the whole story is that one should not expect any updates from me in the month of November. The quilting Megan is signing off. Here's hoping I will be signing back on in December victorious.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Really Struggling

I try and try and TRY to be good, but here I am, facing a self-imposed deadline that will not be met.

Let's review. The goal: finish two quilts by the end of October. And here's why: This year I will be participating in the National Novel Writing Month program, which means for the month of November I will be desperately trying to churn out 50,000 words of copy. With Thanksgiving factored in, this works out to between 2,000 and 3,500 words per day. It's a lot. But I'm hoping it's enough to get the writing kick-started to the place it needs to be. But, all of this means that there will be no moments left for crafting. Enter self-imposed deadline to have all things crafting completed by the end of October so I will have them before Christmas.

But problems. Problems.

My Baby Lock is angry at me again. I KNOW that I am doing SOMETHING wrong, but I just can't quite figure out what it is. This is the second time with the mondo problem, and I have to make it to the dealer again. I just want to sit down with someone and have them tell me, "Doing this is BAD. Just don't do it." But until that blessed, blessed day, it's down to my second-in-command, the Husqvarna. Which is turning out to be a piecing powerhouse, I have to say. But, when it comes to the quilting and making of labels, there's nothing like my Baby Lock.

The other variable in this entire equation is the fact that work has completely exploded on me this week, edging out all other non-sedentary activities. Seriously, the whole "eating well, staying active, staying on top of craftland" plan has gone down the tubes this week. It's been about getting home late, crashing early, getting up early and hitting Starbucks, getting to work early, and repeating the whole viscious cycle. I actually had a three-hour block of time to myself last night at home, and spent its entirety vegging out in front of the tube. I would have felt vaguely guilty about the whole thing, were it not for the fact that I have been working my toushie off.

So, the moral of the story is that YES, I could be working on the remainder of the Jacquelyn quilt on the backup machine, but NO I just don't feel up to the task. So, here I am, having to accept the fact that it will just not get done when I thought it would. In sum, to err is human, and to accept your limitations is divine.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Better Late Than Never

This post is "better late than never," as the purse was actually completed LAST weekend, and not this past weekend. It's just taken me a week to get my act together and write about it and take a picture of it.

The project itself was also a case of the same. I have had all the supplies for it for about a year now. I acquired the velvet at a moving sale for a fiber artist who used to operate out of the building I work in. It's a lush dark blue velvet. I bought the zipper and the cording ages ago with the idea of making a purse in mind. I didn't know that I would be doing just that, but over a year after the fact.

The inspiration for this project: the need to have a book with me wherever I go. There have been several times over the last several months when I've found myself waiting at a restaurant over the weekend, or waiting here or there for something or other to be done. And each of these times I wished I had a book with me to entertain me while I waited. So, I decided to dust off the supplies and make my own purse that would carry a book.

Why make a purse? Why not just buy one? I've tried that. And I've tried that. I find, time and time again, that the strap style does not suit my needs, which is to be able to strap it on over my shoulder and forget about it. I want to be able to keep a purse close to me, but not have to worry about carrying it or putting it down when I want both hands free. It has been ages since a long strap on a purse has been readily available, and I can only long for the days when a longer strap is back in vogue.

Anyway, the construction of this purse went pretty well, for my first venture into accessories. I embroidered the plain velvet, then sewed the zipper on the two sides, and then sewed the sides together. Add in a couple of internal pockets and the hand-sewn strap, and you have yourself a purse! I'm pretty excited about how this turned out, even though the book is a little tight of a fit. I may try this again, with a longer zipper.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Quilter's Wrist

I have been injured in the line of Quilt duty!

That's right. The repetetive motion of pushing down on a ruler and using the rotary cutter have created a soreness and pain in my left wrist.

This past week I've picked up work on the quilt for Jacquelyn. Sunday night I spent cutting strips and squares, then pinning them togther and marking them for the next stage in the operation: making squares out of two half-square triangles. Last night I took up the task, which involved a lot of sewing, a lot of cutting, and an impossible amount of ironing.

The next interminably long step in this project is to square up these pieces, then cut them into five separate pieces. Dare I go back for more? Can I take more cutting?