Friday, November 9, 2007

Weak minded? Or simply Creative?

I must be very suggestible.

Ever since discovering the wonderful world of blogs I've been hopping around, sampling what's on offer. I entered this world via some blogs of people who belong to Simple Savings, so there were a lot of craft oriented, knitty/quilty/gardeny ones out of that lot, and of course people prefer to read the blogs of people who share their interests, so when I go down the list of 'blogs I read' ... what do I find? More of the same. I had no idea there were that many quilters in the world. And they're all doing quilt swaps, and sending each other fabric and buttons and care packages when someone's sick or pregnant. It's amazing. I knit, so I'm all enthused about beginning 47 new tasks, once the afghan is done. (Almost at the half way point!!!) But now I want to make a quilt.

Do I sew?
Do I own a sewing machine?
Years ago I did, but I sold it.
Have I any experience in anything like this?
I sewed together knitted patches for the afghan I made for Jack last year.....

But yet I want to start.
Jane at Yarnstorm, and all of the other ladies out there (you know who you all are) have a lot to answer for.

The trouble is that I can so easily rationalise this as being a practical decision. About 5 years ago I painted the walls of my bedroom a deep, dark blue. I had visions of crisp white voile curtains, blue drapes and a vividly coloured doona cover to make this room my haven from the world. I've got most of it, but do you think in all that time that I've been able to find a doona cover that works? I should go with plain white, but the cats sleep on my bed, so plain white with dark grey cat hair is sadly not the look I'm going for. I found a $30 doona cover in Harvey Norman 4 years ago that I thought would work. I brought it home with great excitement and put it on the bed.

Do you know the feeling you have when something almost works? So that's been the 'stop gap' doona cover until the perfect one comes along. But it's been five years..... actually, it might be even longer, come to think of it. So either I paint the walls again, which I don't want to do, kill the cats and buy a couple of white ones who'll get their ears burnt off by skin cancers and look hideous (eeeww), or make my own doona cover. See? It's really a very practical decision.

I'm thinking a log cabin quilt. If Laura (or was it Mary?) in 'Little House in the Big Woods' could piece one together by hand when she was only 9 years old, how hard can it be? Working by candlelight too. With wolves and bears outside, which would have to take your concentration away a bit. And let's face it; patchwork has GOT to be quicker than knitting. I can hear the roar of the sewing machine now as it speedily eats up the seams.

I'm wondering if there's a book anyone can recommend. Mum does patchwork, so she'll know about fabrics and whatever other quilty knowledge I need to learn. Is it better to start hand sewing, or should I hijack Mum's machine one day?? (Hi Mum....) I'm thinking blues, oranges and whites. Should I just go to Spotlight or should I go to a patchwork shop?

I should finish my novel and the afghan first, I know. I am a good finisher of projects I start. But that doesn't mean I can't do a little preliminary scouting around and work out whether this is doable or not.

Quick note: had my last class with the year 11 ESL class. We had a drama lesson. They had fun, and it was hilarious to see most of them come out of their shells. I've found that it takes them (particularly the asian girls) almost a year before they'll relax a bit and become more open. The best part of the lesson? Seeing Doo Rhi... the shyest, most withdrawn kid I've ever met... laugh so hard and so openly that she had tears streaming down her face. Yay! It only took two years!!!!


Kin said...

Rahahah! Sorry, but I've been there. If you have time, definitely head in to spotlight. They should even have a class for you to sign up. Start on *not* your dream quilt first (been there, done that) and go straight into machine sewing.

Well, that's my opinion anyway. When I can get myself a decent machine (you know, one that's *not* one my mother bought in 1970) that actually sews more than 2 pieces of fabric at the same time (which it only does if they're thin cotton...) I'm going to have another crack at it.

Kelley said...

With your talk of finding craft blogs I am wondering how on earth you came across mine!!!!

I have a craft project for you. How about a doona cover that masks poo stains?

River said...

De-lurking here. I found the perfect quilt for my burgundy/green/cream/rose pink room in the window of a craft/sewing shop near me. Went in to ask the cost and was told it was for display only, turns out the shop also has sewing classes and that quilt belonged to one of the proud students. Damn!

Frogdancer said...

River: a brick through the plate glass window and a hasty retreat and that quilt could've been yours......

Kelley: noice! brown, orange (carrot)and maybe bits of yellow (corn). I'm sure it'd be a thing of beauty. Can you imagine your feelings if you'd handcrafted a quilt and he did 'that' to it? I don't know about you, but there'd be a big hole dug near the fig tree, and his days would be numbered.... a bit how I used to feel about Jack before maturity set in this year. (Just in time, probably!!!)

Kin: Mum offered to teach me to hand quilt tonight. Not sure I'm up to it at the moment. She says that I can just watch the tv for an hour a night and stitch away. Finish it in no time! I'm thinking it really WOULD be finished in No time... as in ever. The afghan is slow enough. The sewing machine idea looks good.

River said...

I wanted to photograph the quilt but couldn't afford film for the camera. Only remembered that my mobile phone has a camera after the quilt was removed from the display. I planned on trying to copy it, but since I'm one of those whose ideas are more prolific than actually getting things done it would never have got past the buying of fabrics stage. I don't sew well anyway....

Frogdancer said...

isn't it funny that the lost opportunities are the ones we remember? You know what I mean.... the quilt we didn't photograph, the bargain we didn't buy, the holiday we should've taken but didn't.... etc.

I might be going to Spotlight today to get wool for Brennan. He wants to learn to knit. Maybe I'll cruise the fabrics and dream.

River said...

I love Spotlight. I'm going next week to buy a 1/2 metre of fabric and some thin ribbon. My daughter has requested "bags of cash" for her birthday, so I'm making several tiny bags the size of those little ones you get from jewellery stores, and putting a couple of $2 coins in each one then tying off with gold ribbon.

Suse said...

God there's a lot to catch up one when one goes away for a weekend and it's NoBloMoPowhato month.

I would like to throw in a suggestion here, bearing in mind the post a few posts later about how exhausted you are doing what you already do.


Dirt cheap, pure cotton, stylin' doona covers.