Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quilting Hangover

Today I have the worst quilting hangover. 

Yesterday was the deadline for submissions for Quilters Newsletter's Best Fat Quarter Quilts special issue and for the past couple of weeks I've been spending every spare moment in my sewing room designing and constructing quilts--hence the dirth of blog posts.  If I had to leave my sewing room for yet another baseball or lacrosse game or school event, I made sure to bring graph paper with me just in case I was struck with inspiration.  I've subjected my poor daughter to countless "design consultations" and my husband, sons, and even my parents have had to endure my pleas for advice.  I've been distracted, disorganized, and perhaps mildly obsessed.  The house is a wreck, I've abandoned my poor sister, and the puppy is jonesing for a walk that lasts longer than 10 minutes.  To top it all off, I stayed up until past midnight for the past couple of nights frantically piecing blocks and trying not to accidentally do myself harm with my rotary cutter.

Aren't they pretty!

So now I'm tired, out of shape, and addicted to Diet Coke again, but (fingers crossed) it was worth it.  At 12:15 am Eastern Time, but 10:15 pm Mountain Daylight Time at the QN offices in Golden, Colorado, and therefore on time, I submitted designs for one lap quilt, one table runner, and four (yes, four!) small quilts for charm packs.  Now the waiting (and the clean-up) begins...

In other news, check out pages 50 and 51 of the June/July issue of Quilter's Newsletter.  There you will find my article "Make Peace with Your UFOs".  It's about coming to terms with both my 40th birthday and my large number of unfinished quilts.  And no, I won't be sharing how long ago I wrote this article!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mod? Me?

This is the quilt that my daughter Grayson used to sleep under:

I made it as a Christmas present for her when she was 7 and in 2nd grade.  It was strictly a utility quilt -- basic patchwork and quilted on my machine.  At the time my daughter loved anything bright and colorful.  I had so much fun collecting the fabrics for this quilt because they were totally different than the muted colors that I usually used.  I couldn't stop smiling while making this happy quilt and I've loved it ever since.  It suited my daughter and her colorful personality to a "t."

But my daughter just turned 14 (argh) and this year the only present she wanted was a redecorated bedroom.  Needless to say, the patchwork quilt did not make the cut.  I guess my vision of her marching off to college with her cherished childhood quilt in tow isn't going to come to pass.  And to make matters worse, she decided that she doesn't want to sleep under a quilt anymore.  She wants a duvet. 

After the initial shock and feelings of betrayal subsided, I was able to pull myself together enough to help her shop for a duvet cover.  This is what she chose:

It's from IKEA and has some Swedish name that I can't pronounce, but she loves it.  The new bedding looks nice against her yellow walls (thank God, no painting!), but we took down the pink curtains and replaced them with white linen.  We also took away the white headboard that I had stencilled with pink flowers when she was 2, painted the matching dresser blue, and dispensed with the pink table scarf that has covered her dresser for years.  The final touch was replacing her wooden lamps and pleated shades with ultra-cool glass lamps and barrel shades.

Basically we eradicated any shred of my influence and/or taste from the room and made it utterly her own.  She's thrilled with the new space and that makes me happy, but I'm also a bit sad to say goodbye to the touches of little girl that I spent so much time creating.

BUT she still needed a table scarf for her dresser to protect it from her fish bowl AND she couldn't find any that she liked in time for her birthday slumber party.  I saw an opportunity and I decided to take it.  Unbeknownst to my daughter I bought a 1/4 yard each of 8 solid blues that matched her duvet cover, cut them into 1 1/2" strips, and sewed them together to make this table scarf:

This quilt is like nothing I've ever made before.  I'm a pretty traditional quilter; I favor muted colors, small scale prints, and traditional patterns.  But once in a while it's so much fun to step out of your comfort zone and make something different, especially when you are creating with someone else's tastes in mind.  And I have to say, I love the result.  I even got carried away and made this pillow with 2 1/2" strips of the remaining fabric:

Now everybody is happy.  Grayson loves the table scarf and pillow because there's nothing girlie or traditional about them.  I may have made them, but they are totally her.  And I'm happy because once again my daughter has inspired me to stretch my boundaries and try something new AND I managed to get a quilt (and a little piece of me) back into my daughter's bedroom.  Shhh...