Saturday, November 29, 2008

I won!

With one day to spare, I won NaNoWriMo!

That's right, friends! That's 52,127 words, and I've sailed past the finish line. The best thing of all was writing that last line, the line that has been in my head for YEARS. I finally got to the end of my story, and I was able to write them.

Check out my nifty winner's badge on the left.

I'll be back this coming week with pictures of quilting progress. In the midst of all of this, the NaNoWriMo-ing, the Thanksgiving with parents hosting duties, I have managed to make some progress on the quilt I started during the festival two weeks ago.

Awesome. In a creative groove, and signing off for now...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quilter, Reborn

Recharged and Reaffirmed, the Quilt Obsession Continues

Doubts and dread on the quilting process have plagued me since the great fiasco at the end of last year and beginning of this year. It was such a harrowing few months that my faith and interest and love of quilting was shaken. Then there was our wedding, which provided me with plenty of excuses not to dive back into the fray.

A few months ago, I decided to get my feet wet again with a quilt for a competition that's due in December. I agonized over fabric choices, hitting every quilt store that I came across--in three different states! I got these fabrics home, washed them, ironed them. And then plodded through the actual steps of constructing the quilt design. I just wasn't into it. I was still feeling the scars from my quilting misadventures. The deadline began to loom, and I began to detach myself. It just wasn't exciting.

And then.


Then came the Greater Chicago Quilt Festival, this past weekend.

I spent three days solid in classes for various parts of the process: technique, design, and free-motion quilting work. I came home a little smarter and a lot braver. I'm pumped and ready to go, filled to the brim with ideas for quilts and projects.

The most radical idea that has come to fruition is this: I'm putting aside the landscape quilt for the competition. Instead, I'm going to work the competition fabric into one of the quilts I started in class this weekend. I'm really excited about this design; it's stretching my abilities and my mindset in terms of creating a design. With only a few short (and busy) weeks between now and the quilt deadline, I need the boost that this excitement will provide.

I'll still return to the landscape. But I'll return with a different perspective, and a much healthier attitude.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November Again

It's that time of year, folks. The days are getting shorter, the sun is fleeing in retreat, and the leaves are turning brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. I relish the drive to work, down a tree-lined street filled with these vibrant fall colors. And, now that daylight savings time has come to an end, my trek home is no longer a battle with the sun. (The sun, my friends, always wins. Always.)

November also means two things, if you're a Megan:

1. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), an endeavor that I am undertaking once again this year. That's right: 50,000 words, 30 days. I'm also bound and determined to make it to some of the local NaNoWriMo events this year, including parties and gatherings to crank out some of the aforementioned prolific prose.

2. The deadline for my quilt competition draws ever nearer. My quilt has to be in their hot hands no later than Dec 31, which means that I need to be sending it in the beginning of December to ensure victory. With the project only marginally underway, this means that I will be cranking up the production on this quilt through the month of November.

Meanwhile, the drawing class keeps on keeping on, homework and all. Every Sunday I trek over to the art studio and imbibe as much artistic instruction and knowledge as I can. We're starting on figure drawing this week, which is sure to be both difficult and interesting. I feel like I'm gaining a lot from this class, and am looking forward to taking more classes in the future.

So, the tasks before me this November are to write a novel, finish a quilt, keep up with drawing, and did I mention host my parents at our place for Thanksgiving? It's a busy month, but that's what makes it interesting. Looking ahead at the calendar, which already is filled with scribbled obligations and goals, I can't help feeling a sense of excitement and anticipation for the challenges ahead.