Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Picking up the pieces

Last weekend I visited my sister, an advanced amateur quilter. She is teaching me some hand quilting techniques and I already made a few sample blocks, like the ones below.

My sister and I have been quilting together and we talked a lot - about quilting, family, holiday, beauty treatment, and whatever sisters talk about.
Also difficult issues were discussed. For the first time in my life I told somebody about my hidden pains and my decision to tackle the cause of these pains, and the desire to make a new start with my life. 
It was difficult to say it out loud and it still hurts a lot, but at the same time it was a relief that finally I found the courage to finally admit that the limit had been reached.

On my way back home (1,5 hour drive) I kept on thinking about what we had done and discussed, and at some point I realized that over the years I "collected" a lot of sampler blocks that are kept hidden in boxes or binders.... and the name "Picking up the pieces" popped in my mind - a perfect name for a quilt reflecting the current period of my life.

So my plan is to find all the sampler blocks and blocks that never have made it into a quilt and turn them into a real quilt - literally picking up the pieces.
It will probably become one of the most curious quilts I've ever seen, but as long as working on this it keeps my hands busy and my mind calm it may be a healing process to help me through the difficult period that lies ahead of me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bye bye Celtic Solstice

I've made up my mind: I will not finish the Celtic Solstice I started.
Although it is a terrific design and I learned a lot while participating in my first mystery quilt ever, this is not the quilt I "fell in love" with.

Before I start something new I have decided to set up a sewing corner in a little spare room and sort all my stuff. That gives me the opportunity to re-discover old fabrics that have been stored in boxes for many years and making up my mind about if I really still want to keep them.
Just for your information: the fabrics are all kind of fabrics except quilting fabric.

The little room is currently being used as a place to store everything that needs to be sorted - including a part of the boxes, baskets, bags and containers with my quilting materials.

At first I took everything out (except the book cases) and put it in the guest room. That immediately sets a deadline: in a few weeks our son, his wife and their 8 month old daughter will stay with us for a few days, so by then the guest room needs to be cleaned out again!

Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt #5 - learning about sizes

When I pulled out the (few) blocks I made for this mystery quilt so far I noticed that the sizes of the blocks were not all the same.
Measuring in inches is new to me, as in the Netherlands we use the metric system (centimeters) - and I have only 1 (!!) very old ruler with an inches scale on the back side.

For the first block I used Bonnie's free templates, and that worked fine.
For the second block (chevron) I tried to follow Bonnie's clues but I must have done something wrong, as the chevrons are larger than the triangle blocs.

I decided to cut a template out of card board for a 3" block with the 1/4" seam visible.
Now it is very clear how far I'm off!!
I'm glad I made only a few blocks so I didn't waste too much fabric.

I don't have any quilting rulers and at this moment I don't know whether I should buy inches or centimeter rulers. As those rulers are expensive, for now I decided to sit down and design my own paper templates for this quilt before I continue sewing.