Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Little Stack...

...of finished objects. What, in part, I have worked on over my self-imposed summer sabbatical. It has been lovely to relax my right brain -- up to a point, anyway -- and follow Other People's Instructions.  Now I am gearing up to return to my studio, and my work on original pieces, after Labour Day.  A couple of cool, rainy days have helped this along, motivating me to clean up my cutting table and the space immediately around my sewing machine, with the expectation that a clutter-free space will be more inviting.

Except for the socks, these items are for my church -- either the annual Pre-Christmas Bazaar, held sometime in late November, or for the "mitten tree", which we fill with prayer shawls and items to be given away to those in need locally.

In addition to The Stack, I finished these:

Twisted Rib  Watch Caps - Designer: Terry Lee Royea

Toques for my neighbours, who helped me take down a dead tree and repair my back stoop this summer.  They love to go walking in any weather, so I am hoping these will keep them warm over the next few months.

And this:

Boneyard Shawl - Designer: Stephen West
A prayer shawl which has already been delivered to the church. I really like this pattern -- simple enough to work on and still carry on a conversation, but not so plain that it becomes boring.  In this colour way and yarn weight ("Aran"), the shawl is pretty enough for a female, but sturdy and simple enough for a fellow. I got the pattern for the toques and the shawls on Ravelry, currently my "go-to" place for free patterns if I'm not motivated by my already extensive collection -- or if I'm too lazy to look in my pattern binders!  ;-)

Still being worked on:

This is the first section of a quilt called "Sunrise, Sunset", found in the  December 2002 issue of Better Homes & Gardens' American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.

Some time ago, a quilting friend of mine was cleaning out her stash, and presented me with a clear plastic tub containing this project! She'd cut all the strips and squares, and made all the 1/2-square triangles; now, however, she decided that she was never going to put this top together.

It became my 'down-time' project.  Piecing can be a very meditative practice when your right brain is ready to explode from ideas, or you just can't face your sketchbook. Piecing can kick-start your next creative streak when you look at your design wall and think, "What next?"

I plodded along with this project, making stacks of blocks, until I had enough to begin to put them together.  There are three sections to the centre of this quilt, and that which I've labelled "Section One" is now complete.  I've finished enough blocks to make up the better part of Section Two, and may just get that done before Labour Day.  After that, the project will "rest" until I need it again to "unblock" my over-worked right brain.  :-)

The main challenge to this quilt has not been making the star blocks, but in doing it out of flannel.  Yes -- my friend chose flannel for this piece!  Given the propensity of flannel to stretch out of shape along the bias -- even more than plain ol' even-weave cotton -- I was surprised.  I can only surmise that she fell in love with the colour-way and couldn't resist it!  Those who are quilters would, if looking closely, notice the odd tendency to buckle just slightly that's happening in spots on this top...but I'm hoping that the adage, "Don't worry; it'll quilt out!" will apply when it's all finished.  ;-)


Judy Warner said...

What a productive summer, Margaret. I love those caps and the shawl has me wanting to go look up the pattern. Be gentle on yourself as you allow your creativity to re-emerge. I will be back in touch after my trip.

besshaile said...

I'm sure 'it will quilt out'. Another favorite of mine is "Hey - it's knitting - it stretches!"

It is a very pretty quilt top