15 December, 2006

last thoughts on baby log cabin

The baby arrived yesterday late in the so the quilt will go to it's new home tommorow. His name is Mattia - here he is, 1 day old - a wonderfully original name for a baby boy!

It's funny, in the past I wouldn't have dreamt of giving anything I made away to anyone! Now I seem to have changed. Couldn't really explain why, I'd have to have a good think about it. When I do make something for someone, it's for someone special, someone close to my heart, and it's because I found something to create that I feel would speak to and please both them and me. I put so much energy into creating something for someone, I want that energy to be positive for both of us. There's nothing worse than working on a project that drags along, frustrates, or just plain doesn't "flow". That doesn't mean it has to be easy or simple, on the contrary, I've done very complicated things that have demanded every ounce of focus and presicion, that had given me more pleasure and satisfaction than I had ever expected! As a matter of fact, those are the "meditative" projects, works that make me go to a quiet place, a place of focus, a place where everything falls away and there's nothing else but my hands that create...

Perhaps it's the process that's most important to me. Oh yeah, I grumble about things that go wrong or delay a part of the making because I just don't like to do it (like sandwiching a quilt, or cutting hundreds of pieces of fabric, when I just want to sew)

I always considered it a strange feeling, that feeling of detachment when a project was finished. There are some things I've never completed, probably because I didn't want to let go of them, like slowing down my reading because I didn't want that book to end!

14 December, 2006


Yesterday morning I placed the last stitches in the binding, and with a great sigh finished B.B's log cabin quilt. B.B. stands for Baby Boy, because we know that's what its going to be, and the name is being kept secret for now....
I must admit I'm pleased with the results and can't wait to give to it's new little owner who I hope will enjoy it for a long time!

All day I thought about what to do next: there's lots of unfinished projects lurking in the closet, lots of projects I'd like to begin. Oh, and no, I haven't forgotten about the Dear Jane project.....and I'll be making yet another baby quilt and am letting thoughts and ideas flow through my head wich will eventually end up on paper...

So now, while musing over what to do next, I'll tidy things up in the sewing room, do some repairs and alterations on clothing, and let my mind wander a bit.

12 December, 2006

just a little bit more...

Completed the binding on the log cabin - now for my favorite part....settling down on the couch with the warm quilt on my lap and stitch the binding onto the back of the quilt. Hopefully it'll be done on time to show the finished quilt at Quilt Group tommorow!
It's one of the few times I've completed a project within a deadline. I normally don't like to work with one, but it does help to get things done! My mind is already thinking ahead to the next project, the Dear Jane quilt, and making some more Cathedral Window blocks. As it's also the end of the year and I decided it would be nice to take inventory of my sewing room, organize things a bit and see what treasures I may have stashed in there that are waiting to be re-discovered and appreciated all over again...
who know's what will inspire me in that closet? who knows what project will come out of that?

In the meantime, in the real world, once the binding is sewn, there's a stack of shirts that need new buttons or buttons re-sewn and pants waiting to be taken in, and folds of linen waiting to become curtains.....oh joy.......

11 December, 2006

home-stretch panic..no more!

I'm doing a Snoopy dance!

This morning I finally finished knotting the log cabin quilt! Yippee!
Now, for the rest of the day, I'll be cutting strips of fabric to make the binding with. Instead of purchasing seperate fabric for it, I decided to use up all the dark fabric - hope I have enough - to make the binding. It'll have a scrappy effect, but I'm hoping it'll frame the quilt well.

Making the binding is the true home stretch for me. One of my favorite parts of making a quilt is when I get to sit down and sew the binding down onto the back of the quilt. It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment for having completed another project, with thoughts of looking forward to working on a new or exsisting project.

well, back to the cutting table!

a day at the beach

Yesterday we took Darwin to the beach for the first time. It had finally stopped raining, and although the wind was still blowing, the sun still shone. Packed into our ski coats, caps and gloves we went to the Maas Vlakte, a large expanse of coast line close to the outskirts of the Rotterdam Harbor. Although my ears hurt from the cold, and one had to yell over the wind to be heard, it was wonderful to enjoy the fresh sea air, the kite-surfers floating through the air, and best of all, Darwin's joy in being at sea for the first time. He didn't know wich way to go, there was so much to discover! He had no fear of the waves, jumped and danced around us, with his wonderful Golden smile......

08 December, 2006

home-stretch panic

Have been making a lot of progress on the log cabin quilt.
For the past few days I've been knotting day, knotting night and knotting in between until my fingers hurt!
Three more rows though, and work on making the binding can begin. Yeah!

Well, it's off into the pouring rain to let Darwin stretch his legs, and then back to knotting...knotting...knotting....

06 December, 2006

home-stretch panic

knotting log cabin, originally uploaded by Monkicat.

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

Spent yesterday knotting like the Mad Hatter - it just dawned on me that the baby is due next week on the 16th!!
I thought to have enought time to work on a basket and some other baby gifts, but realized that the quilt has to be finished so I know exactly how much fabric is left. The binding is going to be made up of all of the left over brown fabric, so I can't dip into that yet. This means I can't work on the smaller projects until this one is complete. Got side tracked cutting muslin for the cathedral widows, and couldn't resiste making a few squares....

Usually knotting is the fast way of putting a quilt together, and I chose this option because the log cabin with it's jersey (tricot) backing is too cumbersome to quilt. The stitches would have ended up too big and I think a not very good addition to the quilt. It wouldn't have been completed on time- not an option! Taking a look at my work last night, I wasn't sure about the effect the knotting had either! It crossed my mind to take it all out and try the quilting.....it's no fun being unsure about a project, but part of the creative process, I guess.

Must focus.....must finish.......must knot.......

04 December, 2006

The decision is made. Finally!
While working on other quilting projects, I've been thinking about the Dear Jane project: how to organize it, supplies, and of course the color scheme. At first, I thought to faithfully reproduce the original, following the colors and the Around-the-World pattern. I looked at what many other DJ quilt makers were doing and came across everything from Civil War reproductions to Parrot-coloured quilts. All beautiful!

Then, last Friday, I went to my local quilt shop to get some supplies for the baby rib quilt, and fabrics to make Christmas gifts with. My eyes fell on a wonderfully soft pink piece of fabric......and I'm not necessarily a pink fan......and soon everything fell into place! Together with the shop assistant we criss-crossed through the store finding one fabulous shade after another. With each bolt we got more excited as the "feel" of the quilt came together before our eyes! Most of the fabrics are Japanese, with a sprinkling of Reproduction fabrics. It was more important to me to get that softly muted affect, and many of the Japanese fabrics come in those wonderfully subtle colors. All of this on a solid Ivory background.

It feels good to have finally made a decision about the colors and to have a base from which to work with. In time, I'll probably add some muted or faded reds and golden yelows as bright notes.
Now, the next question: Do I still follow the Around-the-World pattern or just start and see how it goes? I'll let that simmer in the back of my mind as I get started on knotting the baby log cabin....

A first attempt at making a cathedral window block completely by hand. It's very needle intensive, but fun to make. I collected a small box of scraps from some special projects made in the past to use in the "windows". The background fabric is plain muslin. I wanted to have a project or two to work on by hand that is easy to sew during evenings on the couch or in "lost time". No plans for any specific purpose yet, will probably just keep working on it until I get bored with it or it tells me its done


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