Friday, December 28, 2012

A Sign

Last night, a portion of my dream-world was devoted to making a basket of rolags for spinning, which is odd because I’ve never even attempted to make a rolag in real life. (What’s not is, is I seemed to have a hard time getting the knack of it.)

Between that, a stack of DVDs and books devoted to that subject on my dining table, and a brand new pair of carders, I’m sensing some serious spinning time is in store in the near future.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Almost an F.O. Post

I can’t believe it. After all these years, I am finally seeing the finish line approach on my winter quilt. There will be an end, and even if some emergency slows my progress, finish won’t be far behind.

This is what I need to do:
  • Hand quilt 1/2 of one of the two shortest borders
  • Hand quilt 100% of the second of the two shortest borders
  • Touch up tree bark on all interior trees.
  • Cut and sew binding
  • Make matching shams
I will definitely be done with item #1 by EOD Wednesday, and that’s being very conservative. Item #2 should follow in about a week from that point. That means that by the first of January 2013, I could call the quilting on this done. But I won’t because I want to improve the look of my birch bark. But still. I could.

I’m less certain how long touch up will take. It may go super-fast. Assuming it doesn’t, I still will have finished it and the binding by the end of January. The shams would follow within two weeks of that. (Those have been pieced and quilted. I just need to trim, and attach the back and binding.)

This is so super exciting to me, there are no words. Not only am I excited about finishing the project (begun fall, 2008) and finally putting it into use, but I’m thrilled to have the cause of my crafting gridlock out of the picture. Between the physical space it takes up in my craft room, and the crafting time it consumes, I have a host of other short- and long-term projects that are piling up.

Thankfully, I have found some great books on tape to listen to while I work, so I can actually stay somewhat current on my reading list AND make time pass swiftly. I just finished the audio version of the Cloud Atlas book. It’s a great book, and this was the only way I was going to be able to read it as opposed to seeing the movie (I’ve heard the book is much better than the movie), but I did have to resort to looking up the wiki page about it a few times. One of the benefits of reading the non-audio version is that it’s easy to flip back to previous chapters if a question comes up. For example, who is he writing to? Is that the same person that’s mentioned in chapter 3? Audio, not easy at all.

I have enjoyed the experience of making this quilt through nearly all its various parts. I even enjoyed the part I don’t plan to repeat - that being the hand quilting of a king size quilt. But I did not enjoy the experience I had going to my local quilt shop to get an emergency spool of thread, and a small amount of yardage for my next quilt.

Hearing that I was just about done with the winter quilt, the girl (20?) asked if I was making it for a gift. I said no. What am I nuts? Give a hand quilted king-sized quilt that I’d been working on since 2008, to someone as a gift??? Apparently, since I didn’t also hand piece the thing, it didn’t measure up to the reverence I was giving it. Then we got in a disagreement on whether the Mayan end of the world was to happen later that night at midnight, or - as I was telling her the news had said that morning - it was supposed have already happened a few hours before. Then she kept repeating that she thought it was at midnight that night. I kept telling her the national news had said it was supposed to have been earlier that morning. (This ridiculous topic of discussion was hers entirely, I assure you.)

Then she segued from there straight to asking me about my new project, and if it was a "Cave Quilt." That’s what I thought she said anyway, as in End of the World Cave Quilt, which still didn’t make any sense, so I asked her to repeat it several times. I finally said, you might as well be speaking Portuguese. I don’t understand what you’re asking me.  Turns out she’d been saying “Kaffe Quilt,” as in Kaffe Fasset, because that’s the designer of the fabric I bought. (I hadn’t paid attention to who designed the fabric because it doesn’t matter to me. The pattern and color does. I’m slowly adding saturated brights to my stash for a spring quilt of my own design, and these two prints fit the bill.) Then she went on to explain to me who Kaffe was - entirely unnecessary I assured her. I was putting her question in the context of our previous discussion, after all. I sensed two things at that point. She had gotten an attitude with a heavy dose of pretension (isn’t it awesome that she and Kaffe are on a first name basis?), and she was performing for another girl her age also working in the store at that time.

Kaffe Fasset for Rowan Westminster
And if all that weren’t enough? Then the clerks shouted at me as I was walking toward the door, claiming that my insulated winter gloves were part of their costume department. I stopped in my tracks, told them that these were my winter gloves, (salt haze clearly visible from past seasons), that I had set them down when looking at thread, and that I would willingly stay to talk to the owner about it.

The owner had stepped out on errand, she missed out on the drama entirely.*

Good grief!!

At least I know from experience that these girls come and go with the seasons. A new stock will be in place by summer. Maybe by then I’ll be ready to start some more projects.

* I followed up my visit with a phone call to the owner of the shop to clear up any misconceptions about glove ownership. I didn’t bother to discuss the attitude with her. The owner will either figure it out, or she won’t. One drama a day, thank you.