Wednesday, August 28, 2013

There will be time, there will be time . . .

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a toast and tea.  - TS Eliot, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock

Ironic, is it not, that this quilt was inspired by that quilt.
Since it seems like every step of the way I am plagued by indecision.
To sash? Not to sash? Cram them together? Keep them apart?
Seriously, I love picking crazy colour combinations and relationships and backgrounds when I'm making my blocks. And then I drive myself crazy trying to figure out how to fit the blocks together in a way that doesn't make you squint.

Or maybe I just like squinting. Haven't decided yet. There will be time, there will be time.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of another loud combination that screams summer in the city (coffee, water parks, hot concrete, brown eyed susans and echinacia flowers, bricks, mud, rain, humidity, candy, ice cream, popsicles, playground equipment . . . )
The nice things about hobbies is that it doesn't really matter. No one will ever riot in the streets because of my colour choices. Except maybe my kids when they have to figure out what to do with my pile of crazy quilts when I die.

Tea, anyone?

School's In!

After a summer full of a little of this (that would be us getting off the Metro):

And  a lot of this:
An possibly even more of this:
And a bit of:
And a lot of:
And even more:
And quite a few batches of:
And a little bit of:
And more than enough of this for my taste:
And plenty of:

. . . . we have finally made it to the first day of school. Summer with four busy children. What a ride that was.

After this touching scene of "quick, run on the bus before Mom hugs us in front of people or can take photos for her blog"

I returned to the relatively quiet world of the two littlest ones.
Oh, don't worry mom. We'll be sure to keep you busy for the next ten months . . .

Friday, August 23, 2013

Windmills and Assorted Novelties

Well, they're finally done!
These blocks are all put together. Now I feel like they're too bright and disconnected. If you look closely, you can see the relationships between the colours in the Kaffe dots and the other windmill blocks, but from far away they don't look cohesive at all.
So now the question is, how do I either make those associations clearer or, alternatively, how do I seperate the blocks so that they are considered individually? I have been playing with different kinds and ways of sashing the blocks.

As individual blocks with white (the top):
In vertical columns with white:

In vertical columns with colour strips (I'm rather fond of this layout, but I don't want to cut up my HTF fabric until I'm sure)
Or maybe it just needs a colourful boarder to pull the colour relationships together?
And yes, I realize that my dark blue blocks are sewn together wrong - I will rip them apart when I get a chance to sew again.

In other news, I have finally finalized the palatte for Emma's quilt. I have cut out about a million white / cream background novelty fabric squares, and now I'm going to start on this pile:

I am probably adding the blues and greens on the top left as well, though in smaller proportions.

I am considering this layout, which I tried out in fabrics left over from Aaron's i-spy quilt (which was made a whole different lifetime ago). The scrappy plusses is copied inspired by this quilt.

I have been watching Portlandia while cutting out squares, which is pretty fun, but I think they need a little closer editing - sometimes they could do with stopping while they're ahead (ie - still funny). All in all I love that show, though. I'm all done the episodes on Netflix, and I've started watching 24. Its okay, but not really my thing. I'm thinking of starting into the new Dr Who series, as I have 7 series to watch and I'm an old fan of the old series. I'm just trying to find an economical way to watch it in Canada.

In any case, that's neither here nor there. We have 6 days left until school around here, and I must confess I am ready for the routine. The thought of cutting another watermelon or packing another picnic lunch seems like more than I can bear at this point. Ah, routines and schedules! Here we come!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reversible Linen Bag!

I had to take a break from my windmill quilt blocks, as my bag was falling apart. I am not one of those people who has a ton of bags - I like to have one large bag for dragging all the stuff I need to amuse the whole crew at church or soccer (diapers, clothes, sticker books, drawing books, pencils, small toys, etc) and a smaller bag for when its just me or a few of the kids.

My smaller bag was finally giving up the ghost after 10 years. I have used it on and off when my kids were of ages where I didn't need to bring a hundred diapers and two changes of clothes just to walk to the store and back. But finally one of the straps disintegrated, so I had to make something new.

I combed the web for a pattern that I liked, but in the end I decided that I would make my own pattern - one the same size as my old bag and including some of my favorite features from a bag I made up a few years back (so long ago that I don't have a digital photo of it). Those of you who knew me in real life in Saskatchewan will probably remember my awesome green corduroy bag that this is based on.

This bag is super sturdy, as the outside is basically made of two pieces - one rectangle for the body of the bag and a second long rectangle that makes up the straps and the sides of the bag. The grey fabric is a new Parson's Grey linen, and the contrast pocket is from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush line.
The strap is super long, so I can wear it across my body. I don't have great bag carrying shoulders and I tend to have children tugging on my arms and clothes while I walk, so this is really the only practical way for me to wear a bag.
The back has a deep pocket with a little rim of the bright pink peeking out. This pocket lines up with the body of the bag, and makes an easy to access but hard to steal from pocket for my phone, wallet, etc. I like it because it seperates these things from the main section of the bag, which is usually full of kid stuff now, and will later be full of books, note pads and crumpled receipts.
The strap is lined with this re-coloured print from AMH's new Hand Drawing line. I think I had this print  in all the origial Garden Party colours - I love it that much. I discovered that it is a perfect bridge between the grey linen and the hot pink pocket fabric, and it adds a flash of interest to the bag, too.
It wasn't until I went to show this bag off to my friends at playgroup on Tuesday that they pointed out that it is actually reversible! I don't know how often I would use the hot pink side, but you can see it here, with a pocket just right for a notebook, lip balm and keys, with a slim pocket next to it just for pens.

I'm pretty happy with this bag. It came together in just a couple of nights, and I think it should be pretty durable. I might whip up a few more for my etsy shop in the fall or write up a pattern for it. What do you think?