Sunday, February 10, 2008

What I've been up to this past week

I can't believe it's been five days since I posted. Time has just been flying by. I've spent 90% of it in one sewing room or the other - talk about being focused and one track minded!

When I left Fort Vancouver after my first day of volunteering I brought home a small pile of 1840's reproduction fabric scraps to make into pot holders for use in the fort kitchen. The sewing machine hadn't been invented during this time, so all the stitching needed to be by hand. It's been a long time since I did any hand piecing. I found it very relaxing just sitting piecing away. I felt like our foremothers must have felt - squeezing as many squares and triangles as I could from each scrap. I started with simple blocks like Broken Dishes and Hourglass. The last few were pieced with an oddball assortment of triangles and squares - not really a named quilt block pattern - just serendipitous creations that used up the scraps that were left. I finished three of the pot holders for turning in on Tuesday - the rest are waiting for more wool scraps for their insides.

On Friday I'd used up every one of the Fort scraps, so I switched back to working on my Crumb Chaos quilts. I finally got word from everyone as to what colors they wanted for borders. Friday and Saturday were spent cutting and stitching borders on the remaining six quilt tops. What a great feeling to have every one of those tops finished! I loved crossing them off the unfinished tops list and adding them to the flimsies list! I also pieced together flannel squares for the backs of two of the quilts, and started working on a third. I'm starting to run out of flannel - I hope I can find enough for the entire back of the third quilt.
This afternoon I quilted the small project I'd loaded on Gandalf last week - the Happy Jack Halloween quilt that I pieced last fall while my shoulder was healing. I also took time to bind and label it and also added a sleeve. It'll be fun to have a Halloween quilt at last to hang up next October.

Tonight I'm pressing a huge king size quilt back in preparation for putting it onto the longarm. This is an important customer quilt I've been dragging my feet on - it's past time I got it on the machine and started quilting it. I hope to get it done this week as I'm eager to get back to quilting the rest of the Crumb Chaos quilts.

***********
Gratitudes:
1. A willing quilt holder in the house
2. Great news from Jeremy and Chelsea
3. Temperatures in the 50's the last couple days
4. Sleeping in
5. Ultra soft wool batting

11 comments:

mereth said...

The potholders look very authentic, and handpiecing can be so relaxing.
Good luck with the big customer top, Keryn and I have a huge one that we've been putting off too. But the lady wants to pick it up next week, so we'd better get cracking!!

Lucy said...

Love your potholders!

Cascade Lily said...

No wonder you haven't posted - you've been too busy sewing! By hand! Great work as always Patti :)

Carol said...

You have been a very, very busy girl...isn't retirement great !

Libby said...

The potholders are just fantastic! You have been a very busy gal this week *s*

AJ said...

Wow, it must be facinating to volunteer and recreate history. The potholders are lovely and though I have never pieced by hand I have been told that it can be relaxing. I'll have to try it someday. Also I love the way you end your blog posts with "Gratitudes". More people, including myself, need to be more concious of what we are greatful for.

Gillian said...

I've been enjoying your blog for a while now. I like your news of quilting and daily life.

My husband and I finish every day by sharing 'three positive things' that happened during the day. It's a very good practice to turn your mind regularly to the good things in life.

I was tickled to hear that you have started volunteering at Fort Vancouver. We visited the Fort a couple of years ago - a highlight was the blacksmith shop where the volunteer showed us an old fashioned clothes dryer - a hand forged hook to screw on the wall. He finished his talk by asking who came from furthest away. I smiled as various people nominated different US states - cos I was pretty sure I would trump them. And I did, when I said 'Australia'. The 'clothes dryer' was his gift to the person who had travelled furthest. I must get around to installing it!

KCQuilter said...

Patti, your volunteer position sounds as if it were made just for YOU! How fun. Love the handstitched potholders.

Kristie said...

Wow! You really have been busy! Doesn't it feel good?!?! Love all of your projects! I made some potholders a few months ago for myself! I use them everyday!
Kristie

Dawn said...

I jsut love happy jack! And those potholders are just toooo cute!

Mary said...

The potholders look great. I've enjoy doing some hand work the last few months. It seems like between the longarm and piecing by machine I was never taking time to just sit quietly and stitch.

You're making progress on the list on your sidebar - good job.