Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mid-week Randoms

First of all, I have a finish. But I can't show you yet. Okay, I'll just show the corners. 

The flowers and wider binding (more on that later) are on the back.
I want to get some good pictures outside, but the weather has been abominable here--wind, rain, sleet, snow. Typical Midwest spring. Maybe by Friday--otherwise next week. Anyway, the Big Quilt is finished. I didn't even jump up and down when I put the last stitch in the binding last night. I seem to have tweaked something in my back, maybe from all the repetitive sewing motion and sitting in too soft a chair. So I mostly just sighed, smiled and adjusted the heating pad. 

Now my mind is full of Nexts. I know I'll get back to the Lake Michigan quilt, but I need something else to work on. I have these charm square bundles set aside for a donation quilt (or maybe two). The fabrics are not my current style, but I think they would appeal to someone who likes antique-looking fabrics.

How I got them is a fun little story. I'll share it when I get going on a quilt. I have a plan for the quilt already. 

I also planned a little quilt for that bundle of fabric I won a few weeks ago. 

Hexagons! Yes, me, even though I said I was kind of tired of seeing them. I've never made a hexagon quilt, and I certainly don't plan to do EPP--that's just not for me. I'm going to make the biggest hexagons I can to maximize what I can cut from fat quarters (I'm thinking four per quarter?) and then I'm going to machine piece them. I bought a few coordinating fat quarters and I might also supplement with some solids. 

Speaking of antiques, we did a little antiquing last week, and I found this piano stool: 

Really, I had my pick of four in the antique mall.Two were totally refinished wood and super expensive. One was off white and a little wobbly. This one had some chipped paint on it, but it was sturdy and just right for my wallet.  I had been looking for one for a few weeks to replace a desk chair I use when I'm sewing. The desk chair, even with a pillow on it, is just a little too low. I knew that a piano stool could be adjusted to just the right height. (Yes, I'm Goldilocks.) I had thought of changing the color from black to dark brown, but then I decided to have a little more fun. I noticed that I have a few pops of chartreuse in my living room (where I do a lot of sewing) and my guest room (where I machine quilt). So chartreuse it will be. Those claw feet on the glass balls still freak me out a bit, but I'll get used to them. And they'll be friendlier in green. My husband has already sanded the stool, and when the weather warms up a bit, he'll spray it with paint we already have on hand. The little toile seat cover is cute (and comfy), but it doesn't really fit my style, so I will make a slipcover. I already have a plan. (Can you tell I had a lot of time for making plans while I put that binding on?)

Finally, you might be wondering how the great clean-up is going. (Or maybe not, but I'll tell you anyway.) I am pleased to say that I have over 286 magazines (yes, I counted them, and there are a few others lying around that I plan to toss) and at least 19 binders ready to recycle or donate. What magazines are left easily fit into just three binders. It was hard to do, but I set myself some rules and stuck to them. I paged through each magazine and only kept it if it had a pattern I had used, a picture of a quilt that directly influenced a quilt I made or had an article about my favorite quilt artist or a few other specific quilters. As I suspected, it was easiest to go backwards through time. I'm less emotionally attached to the newest magazines--plus, I can find much of that material online. Most of the magazines I kept were the oldest. There were lots of articles with methods, calculations, and tutorials or styles of quilts, but I just kept telling myself that I could find that information online if I looked a little. It was at times a rather somber task. There were so many quilters that I admired when I first started quilting that are no longer with us. And there were others I didn't know of, but I wonder what became of them and their quilts. It was interesting to get a quick history of quilting over the last 30-some years. I particularly noticed the cycles of quilting, and the connections between what we think of as vintage and modern. I had a lot of emotions which I really should try to sort out and write about someday. But the task is done now, and I have about 50 inches of "new" shelf space in my closet. I'm still sorting things out, but I have to admit that my fabric stash is still the elephant in the room. That will probably be the last thing I work on. Meanwhile, I'm thinking about how I might want to store what's left. I think there will be two more painting projects in my husband's future so I can at least streamline the look of the storage units. 

I'm linking up today with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social. And tomorrow, look for my Throwback Thursday post. Until then, I hope you are happy planning something. 


Daytona Damsel said...

I can sympathize with you. Three years ago I had to pack up a 2000 SF house and my office at work to move into a 1000 SF house. The hardest thing to get rid of were my books and magazines. After moving I still had not whittle enough out so had to get rid of a lot more. This past winter I did the final cull, I hope. As for my Quilting fabric and books, they are not going anywhere for awhile except into projects. I did promise myself I wouldn't buy any more until 50% are used or I needed it to finish a project. We are 3 months into the year so we will see how that goes. Good luck. Debbie

Leanne Parsons said...

Congratulations on a big finish, and on the great piano stool find. I have a lot of magazines too and the thought of ever weeding through them fills me with dread! Good job whittling your collection down so well.

Bernie Kringel said...

Ah, I love starting a new project. You have a couple of nice ones lined up. The piano stool is adorable. I can't wait to see it when you have changed it up to suit your colors.

Good job on clearing your space. It is cathartic to go through things and keep the best and donate the rest.

I hope your back is better soon. That is so miserable. As is the crummy weather. Looking forward to your TBT post tomorrow!

Lara B. said...

Hope the weather cooperates soon Janine, because I am really looking forward to seeing your Big Quilt finish! Sorry that your back is acting up and I hope the muscles relax and you feel better fast.
Your piano stool is a fun little find! Claw feet can be a bit creepy, but just think of it as your own little dragon, LOL.
Congratulations of getting through all those magazines. What a journey down memory lane you have had. I have seen people turn quilting magazines into extra cash by selling them on eBay.
Looking forward to seeing what you do with those hexies and Garden House fabrics too!

Lorna McMahon said...

Our so called spring has been wintery since April came along, too. Hope you can manage to get some photos of the Big Quilt. Hope your back will be feeling better soon!