Big Magic

I just finished listening to Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ll admit I loved Eat, Pray, Love and listened to rather than read that one too.
As soon as the credits rolled on the last CD, I popped it out and put the first CD in so I could listen to it again. I haven’t done that since The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
The book reminded me a lot of The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s a collection of short essays on living a creative life, inspiration and the motivation behind creativity. Gilbert has a sarcastic edge to her humor that I enjoy. I also appreciated the Harry Potter references sprinkled through the book, but then I watched all those movies several times. I just happened to have a son growing up through the Harry Potter years.
I found the book by accident. Sometimes I search through my library’s catalog by subject, limiting the search to books on CD. I don’t remember what search term I used, but this book came up and I reserved it. The book must have just come out on CD because I was the first one to check out my library’s copy.
This was definitely a book worth hearing.
I am no way affiliated with the author and I did not receive a free copy of the book in exchange for my review of it.

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October Short List

I finished two projects last month, the wristlet and the Craftsy quilt, which I renamed Summertime. I also made a lot of progress on the Still Life quilt and cut out the Memory Quilt. A good month overall.
For new readers, the Short List is something old (UFO), something new, something painted and a handwork project.
Something Old: The still life from the Esterita Austin class. I’m ready to start quilting the background.

still-life-quiltingSomething new: I chose a sketch out of my idea notebook to make into a quilt. For lack of a better name, I refer to it as “the church quilt”. Long story, but the design has nothing to do with church or anything you’d find in a church. It’s just one of those weird things that makes sense to me.
Something else new: A co-worker gave me four large bags of fabric to donate to my guild and I decided to make a quilt for his wife out of the fabric. Her mother passed away earlier this year and was a life-long sewer. This one is cut but I haven’t started piecing it. I took three bags of fabric to guild and donated it.

memory-quilt-piecesPainting/Dyeing: Layering color. I was inspired by the paintings of Gerhard Richter. I’m on the fence with this one and holding.

paint-stik-on-paintHandwork: I think I’ll embellish Confetti Breeze. I finished quilting and facing it a couple years ago.

confetti-breeze-quiltedI figure I’ll finish the Still Life and make progress on the Memory Quilt and Confetti Breeze this month.
I’d love to finish a few more UFOs before the end of the year because that list is still too long. The Short List has really helped me to finish what I start. This may be the first year ever I don’t add to the UFO list.

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Stash Report And The Sewing Expo

No fabric in or out this week.
I went up to the Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan, but I only bought a stencil to use with fabric paints.

stencilI’ve wanted to go for years and never did. Sunday is the day of the costume fashion show/contest, and a lot of attendees dress in costumes he/she made even if they aren’t competing. It was a strange experience shopping among anime characters and Pokemon. There aren’t quite words.
Almost all the costumes I saw today were works of art. The Victorian gowns and steam punk outfits had so much detail, including hats and accessories. These were not quick or easy pieces. Those sewers have some serious skills.
This Expo didn’t carry a lot of quilting items, but I did find a shop near Detroit that carries a wide selection of good quality fashion fabric. I’ve been looking for a nearby source of fashion fabric for at least a year, so I was happy to discover it.
Besides the fashion show, I sat through a demo on Tsukineko inks and spent a lot of time in a booth that sold looms. The owner demonstrated all three models for us, plus a drop spindle. I have no interest in spinning, but I want one of those looms. I think I can build it myself if I can find some specs online.
Overall it was a good day full of new experiences.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 32.95 yards
Fabric Out: 19.65 yards
Net Fabric ADDED: 13.3 yards

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I’m one of those people that uses things until there is nothing left. I run my cars until they can’t be repaired. I wear my shoes until they look like something chewed on them. I use my appliances until they die.
My computer is no different.
So now I need to apologize for not commenting on other blogs lately. My desktop computer shows the place where the comment box should be as a big empty space. No more commenting for me until I upgrade.
I’ve also had trouble with the iPad not connecting to anything lately, my own blog included. Most nights I give up and go do something else. Even still-living-at-home-guy had to admit defeat today and use his desktop computer instead.
I will soon need to bite the bullet and get a new PC on a much higher version of Windows. Upgrading is much like any other unpleasant event. It’s hours of my life I’ll never get back.
Maybe I can sweet talk the guys into doing it for me.

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Stash Report And Quilt Kits

No fabric in or out this week. I had guild yesterday and didn’t buy anything at my favorite thrift.
I did pick up a couple kits at guild to make charity quilts.

Quilt-kits-for-SafehouseOne is tumbler blocks that someone started and didn’t finish. About 40% of the quilt is pieced. One of the guild members cuts these and brings them in with the stipulation that the quilts have to go to the battered women’s shelter. Most the other fabric on the table is available for purchase with the proceeds going to the same charity.
I also picked up two baggies of half square triangles. I thought they were the same size, but they aren’t. The green dot fabric is the same in both bags, which means they probably came from the same person.
Not sure what I’ll do with these. I was intrigued by all those cut triangles and the colors. I don’t usually work in the green-yellow-orange part of the color wheel or on quilts that require me to match points. I’m looking at this as a personal challenge. This one will also be a shelter quilt.
I’m linking to Patchwork Times.
Fabric In: 32.95 yards
Fabric Out: 19.65 yards
Net Fabric ADDED: 13.3 yards

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Cut And Out

I spent most of the morning cutting the pieces for the memory quilt. What’s left of the fabric goes to my guild for charity quilts, per the daughter’s request, and the guild meets tomorrow. I will have plenty of out-of-town guests in the next month and needed to get the excess fabric out of the house.
I cut everything except super stretchy knits, vinyl and red fury Christmas stocking fabrics. This quilt will have seersucker, corduroy, home dec, suitings, terry cloth, batiste, swiss dot, polyester, denim and chambray. I hope all those fabrics bring back fond memories for the daughter.
I held back a bag of fabric for borders, binding and the back. I didn’t want to be kicking myself for donating too much fabric before the quilt was done.
I have to lay this one out before I start sewing. I don’t usually do that until I have the blocks sewn, but all these unique fabrics may not play nicely together. I will also need to interface a few of the thinner fabrics.
The Pattern is Almost Amish Scrap Quilt by Janet Jones Worley from the book Quilting For Busy Boomers. Mine will look nothing like the one pictured.

memory-quilt-piecesI’m linking to Whoop Whoop Friday.

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A Different Kind Of Quilting

I’m making some progress on quilting Still Life. I started with the cup on the left and made my share of mistakes. I spent a lot of time looking at the quilt and auditioning threads. Since this is a first quilting something like this, I can’t get my mind around quilting all one color and moving to the next. I quilt until I need to change colors, change colors and continue.

still-life-quiltingI still spent a lot of time looking at the quilt and choosing thread on the jar in the middle, but had fewer thread changes. I think the quilting looks better if some light stitching flows into darker areas and some darker thread goes into lighter areas.
This top has sat around for a couple years, and I will be glad to have it finished.

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