Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's ALIVE...

Or, rather, I am. Really. I seriously can't believe it's been over a month since I posted to my blog, but I am still alive and kicking. As for what's been keeping me away from my blog (and most of the blogs I regularly read too -- we won't even go into how many posts bloglines says I haven't read) take your pick from the following:
  • Sick husband

  • Sick child

  • Child deciding to learn how to slide head first into home plate but using a steel door frame as her target

  • The blahs (probably the biggest reason folks -- I was having a major tail end of winter funk that just would not go away)

  • Getting some substitute teaching jobs (love the money, teaching, etc. but you usually don't find out whether or not you are working the next day until sometime between 6 and 9 pm)

  • Scratching an eye because of something getting in my contact lens which made light painful and meant I had to wear my soooo out of date glasses for two weeks (um, yeah, I actually had to try and thread a quilting between during that period -- luckily Tink was asleep or she would have had way too many new words to add to her vocabulary. This was also another major reason for not posting -- when it hurts to look at a computer screen, um, yeah.)

And -- just because I'm in the mood for lists here are some sure signs you haven't posted to your blog in much too long:

  • You get wonderful emails from blog friends asking if you are ok. (thank you everyone who wrote -- I'm catching up on my email so if you haven't heard from me yet -- you will soon!)

  • You get a call from one of your favorite quilt shop owners saying you haven't written on the blog lately and she and the staff are wondering if you are ok. (thank you for calling -- it means a whole lot to me -- I'll be in soon!)

  • Every conversation with your mother includes a reminder that you need to post to your blog.

Soooo -- what have I been up to in the past month? Well...I did hold the drawing for my 1 year/100th + post giveaway. Tink decided when I asked her to "mix" the slips of paper that she absolutely needed to use a spoon to do it. Hey, who am I to argue? She also decided that "one" was not enough -- so she chose two names: Gwen of Scrappy Angel Quilts and Lisa of Upstatelisa. I DID notify the winners via email. Now to just get their packages in the mail (it isn't just the blog that I'm behind on folks...).

I also managed to finish a gift for a coworker of my mother's who retired in April. This is someone who has been a great help to my mother and who has been generous in her praise of my humble efforts at crafting. I just HAD to make her something. After seeing a book that had some wonderful Japanese designs I decided to use a sashiko/applique design of a cherry blossom (a sakura) but instead of the sashiko technique use western embroidery. I then turned it into a decorative pillow with some pretty spring colored fabrics. I LOVE how this piece turned out. It's hard to tell from the photo (click to make it bigger) but the embroidery is done in pale pinks that shade out to almost white. I think I'm going to have to try this one again -- maybe with one of the other traditional Japanese designs.

I also finished my Four Seasons Spring piece!!! Wooo Hoooo! I'm kind of conflicted about this one. One the one hand, I put a lot of myself into it. It represents a lot of hours and a lot of things I haven't experimented with before. It's the first piece I've ever hand quilted that had seams. (check another thing off of my new year's list). It's the first piece I've ever done that has incorporated both knitting and quilting. Yes, call me an over achiever -- but that lace edging is the one I was working on here.

And, yes, the base of this piece is the trip around the world I talked about here. I took some of the suggestions and added embroidery to try and make it pop a bit more. There's a bit in the upper right hand corner.



And a bigger section in the lower left. I also added in some knit flowers to add some dimension. So why the conflict? Well -- I love the individual elements, but, somehow, I'm just not sure about the finished piece. This one is also just, well, despite the fact that I designed most of it -- just so not ME. Maybe because of it, it was really hard to let this one go. I think I may have to repeat this one again. It is on its way to its new owner and I hope she enjoys it. I really did have fun making it, even if I am a bit unsure about how it turned out. Maybe it's just nerves.

Yikes -- I don't post for over a month and then I end up going on and on. I do have more to say (so since when is that a surprise) and show (you should see the lovely swap piece I received -- and you will, I promise!) but I think this one is getting a bit long! I'll post more soon. I won't promise tomorrow, but hopefully this weekend!

22 comments:

katelnorth said...

welcome back. we missed you. :)

Chookyblue...... said...

welcome back........hope things settle down a little for you.......

andsewitis Holly said...

I was thinking about you the other day... good to see you post again. I love your TATW with the knitting and embroidery. Very creative and beautiful.

paula, the quilter said...

Welcome back! the Spring quilt is adorable. Love the edgeing

Clare said...

Welcome back. Your soring quilt is great.

anne bebbington said...

Great to have you back in circulation - love the little one using a wooden spoon to mix up those names (so sweet!) and I love both your cushion cover and your knit/sew hybrid quilt

Kristin L said...

I love the knit edging on the spring quilt and the colors are so soft and romantic. I think you did a great job on it. Let the parts you're not totally happy with be a learning experience and move on. :-)

Quilting Journey said...

As women, there isn't a single one of us that hasn't been where you've been...or isn't there now. We know, trust me. What matters is finding a way back up through the layers of batting and up into the light of the quilt top and seeing that all of the stitches that held us together and every bit that made up our back...is still there and holding us together as 'whole cloth'. And by the looks of your lovely projects, you've figured that all out ;)

Helen said...

Welcome back to blog land! The dolls quilt you made looks stunning! Very nice indeed!

gwen said...

If your swap partner does not like your quilt, do send it over!
Maybe you have mixed feelings about the quilt because you went out of your comfort zone. But that is the great thing about a small quilt, you can try new things. maybe you wanted to please the receiver and did something that you would not have usually done.
Anyway, I think the experiment is a success. The combination of quilting (lovely hand-quilting by the way) and knitting (great color) looks smashing.
I like the cushion cover too.
Great to have you back. Take care.

Rose Marie said...

Glad that you are back! Love the swap piece and how original you were with the knitted lace .... definitely a 'one of a kind'.

Anne Ida said...

Welcome back!! Hope things get a bit easier now!

LOVE your spring piece! It truly is wonderful and unique!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Hi gorgeous!! So I wasn't the only naggy one worrying about you!!
So pleased you are back and I am the first to understand about demands getting in the way!
I love what you did with Spring, the person will love it-why is it we find these so hard???
Have fun...Tracey

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Good to hear all is ok! It's amazing how life can get busy and some how that makes the clock tick faster. Love all the pictures of your Spring Swap. I like the way to made a simple pattern so stunning by adding the embroidery to spice it up.

Libby said...

We missed you very much . . . glad all is getting back to normal *s*

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Happy Mother's Day and I am glad you are back.

julieQ said...

What a lovely quilt, the embroidery is wonderful! I think we all get the winter blahs a bit. :0)

Morah said...

Ya know, sometimes we just need to take time off for family, the blahs, and just be unplugged! Glad you are back. I had to smile at the photo of mixing the names with a spoon....

Nancy said...

You've been busy. I like your spring project very, very much.

n, np

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your sashiko pillow looks really sweet - it looks more contemporary in those pretty spring colours!

Lisa D. said...

Glad to see you back! I've missed your blog, but understand that Life comes first, especially with a little one! I just love your Spring 4 Seasons Quilt!

Nan said...

I am FINALLY getting to your blog! How wonderful to see NEW posts here - I have missed you, as you know.
I absolutely LOVE both projects you finished! They are beautiful - you talented girl, you!
I hope Miss Tink is well and not sliding head first into things now. Yes, you will survive that wonderful thing called "Motherhood"! Happy Belated Mother's Day, by the way!