Sunday, May 04, 2008

Back to the Blog

The phrase "I've been at sea" sometimes means that one has been lost or without a direction. Well, I've actually had too many directions lately--too many work world changes to chase down like a mom running after overactive toddlers careening from bright thing to brighter thing. So, I haven't had much blogging--or quilting time. But, I did find some family time to go literally to sea! We took a Disney cruise during the kids' spring break, and it was a wonderfully timed break for us all. Just looking at the lovely blue sky portrait of the ship below brings a sense of peace:

I've also had to do a bit of work traveling recently. I spent almost a week in Rochester, NY (with an evening dinner event at the supercool George Eastman House). I'd never been there, and the city was surprisingly charming and full of spring life leaping into color. When I came home, I had to jump quickly into my Four Seasons Quilt Swap spring quilt--so I was thankful for the inspiration (and the cool pink and orange wallet I bought there!).

I sank into my quilt room chair overwhelmed. Where to start? I had delayed this project a bit too long to go crazily creative, but I also didn't want to cheat my swapmate. Then, my eyes lit on a Strawberry Lemonade charm pack. It perfectly suited her stated color preferences. And . . . I designed (as in, with my own little brain) a quilt that would use all of the charm pack. Voila:

I used the lighter prints for background, drafted two flower patterns for the layered blooms, and used buttons for the flower centers and accents. I made the binding from the remaining charm squares. I called it "Strawberry Spring," and quilted the word "spring" in there among the meandering. I hope my swapmate likes it. Based on her blog, it seems just her style.

Then, I turned my attention to my daughter's Kindergarten teacher's baby quilt. Each of the children in the class decorated a 6.5 inch square. Each was unique and captured the child's personality to a 't'. I added one block to make 25, which is whited out since it had her personal info on it. It's put together with a simple pillar and post setting, and "hello" and "baby" are quilting throughout the sashing. Here it is:

My daughter gave her the quilt at a special shower breakfast last week, and tears were had by all :) The teacher is leaving the school after this year, so the quilt is doubly special as it represents the last class she'll have there. I didn't cry when she opened the quilt (only when I was making it--ha!), but I did cry when she took me aside to tell me that all her students are special, but she knows that one day she'll hear about the great accomplishments of a few--including my daughter. Given that I work about 9000 hours a week at a job I love, am frequently out of town on trips I usually don't, try to keep up with my writing projects, and have all the working mom guilt that goes along with this--I felt so good to know that I am still stirring the pot in the right direction at home. That coupled with a super cute note from my son's preK teachers that he is definitely ready for Kindergarten (he skipped a level largely on verbal wit and native charm!) really made my week.

Then, yesterday, I spent a whole day in a quilt workshop with the Blackbird Designs women, Barb Adams and Alma Allen. They were just wonderful--clever, giving, gracious, funny, and just plain nice. I got just a wee-bit finished on the workshop project, but learned oodles of great tips for machine applique and bias stems. Plus, I got to do some active browsing (read: buying) at one of my absolute favorite shops: Olde Green Cupboard.

Today, I'm in house and porch cleaning mode with the liddle kiddles as my workforce. Wish me luck!!


quiltnerd said...

Wow, you're such an inspiration! I often worry that having children will mean the end of any time for quilting, time for career, or time for anything non-baby related - thank-you for showing that it is still possible!

ForestJane said...

Some very nice projects! I especially like the block you made with the lemonade charm pack.

And I think the multicolor binding on the strip quilt adds a lot of color to it, the perfect ending touch. :)

fiona said...

I love it!!!thank you so much , it is very me!i love all the fabrics and the buttons!Mekeali and i screamed with delight as we opened up your lovely package! this was my first swap, cant wait to do another!thanks again, love fi