Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Naps R Us

I'm a big believer in naps. I love them. A short nap is refreshing. A little luxury for no reason other than I can.

This afternoon I thought a short nap would do me good. I haven't been sleeping well at night lately so I was tired. I put the dogs out for a piddle and, once they were back in the house, all of us sprawled all over the bed and settled in. There's something about napping with four dogs that makes me think of living heating pads, so warm and cozy and cuddly.

Now, one of those dogs is a five-month-old puppy named Andie. She's just recently housetrained but I figured if she started wiggling around and whining I'd wake up so I could get her outside on time.

A few minutes later I was in that drowsy half-asleep state when Andie leaped off the bed. My first thought was, "Oh noooooo wherever she goes she won't wake me up and there'll be a puddle." My second thought was, "I don't care, I'll clean it up, this feels too good."

I heard her wander around the bedroom for a minute then go into her night-time pen and start playing with a toy. Beyond that, I have no idea so I must have drifted off to sleep. It was somewhere around 2 pm.

The next thing I knew one of the other dogs, JinJin, was licking my face and wiggling around, her signal for needing to go out. I suddenly remembered Andie was loose and got out of bed pretty darn quick. Only to discover Andie was sound asleep in her night-time pen with her toy tucked between her paws.

I looked at the clock.

It was 6 pm.

Now THAT'S a nap.

Good doggies!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Custom Work - To Do or Not To Do

I quilt because I love it. It's an expensive hobby, and that's why I sell some of my pieces. Recently a few people have asked about custom work ...

I'm working on my first custom-made quilt now. It's a sweet flannelette rag quilt for an expected grandbaby (not mine!). The fabric is cute little pink and blue birds, stripes and dots and there's an inset quilted giraffe and flower panel - yup photos would be great ... they're coming.

This quilt is fun to make but at the same time, the pressure's on to get it done for my client when she wants it. Yes, it will get done on time but it does cut into the time I could spend on creating other pieces. Yes, I will be paid for my work which helps ease the impatience to get to other projects somewhat and it will help pay for those projects. This begs the question, is it worth it to me to take on custom orders?

I think the answer, for me, is yes. Not only do I get to quilt, I can make something special that someone will cherish a long time and maybe it'll even become an heirloom. I may learn a new technique or method as I make a custom quilt (like I am with the rag quilt - I've never made one before). Whether the custom piece is big or small, simple or complicated, I can help support my addiction ... umm ... quilting with it.

There is a risk to custom orders. My client might not be thrilled with the finished quilt - perhaps it isn't what they envisioned or the fabrics don't work together as the client hoped - and decide they don't want it after all.

But that's OK. The world becomes just a slightly better place whenever any handmade quilt is finished.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chaos in My Sewing Room

OK, I admit it, I'm a fabric-oholic. I'm not kidding. If you could see my sewing room you'd believe me. And when I can figure out how to add pictures I'll show you.  But I digress. I read somewhere once that, as a quilter, if you see a fabric you like you should buy a yard. If you love it, buy two yards. If you can't live without it, buy the whole bolt. Operating with that philosophy I have now reached the SABLE point. SABLE = Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy. I suspect I have that in common with many quilters.

When I open the door to my sewing room all I see is stacks of fabric everywhere. They're even on top of the sewing machine (thankfully I have two machines)!!! A riot of color and pattern that makes my head spin with possibilities. And groan with frustration about where to put it all. I could put hooks in the ceiling and hang bags of fabrics and still have more that needed to be stored. My shelves are full. My bins are full. My cutting table is stacked high. Stacks have migrated to the kitchen table and a card table in the living room. I think I have that in common with many quilters, too.

Lately I've developed the habit of peeking into my sewing room before I go to bed at night. I don't do it to make sure everything is okay in there or to whack myself over the head about the mess. I do it because it's a cheery end to the day to see what could be in the future and mull it over while I fall asleep. Would that brocade-y looking dark turquoise swirl fabric look best used with a lighter turquoise or a bright white? What to mix with my collections of red fabrics to bring the reds to life? Should I make a scrappy postage stamp quilt out of the fabric scraps in my scrap bin? How many more animal skin prints should I get before I start that African-themed crazy quilt? Does that green fern print really look good with the pink roses?

Am I going to tidy up my sewing room? Well, maybe I'll just work the stacks down as I arrange and re-arrange fabric groups. So many possibilities, so little time!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Day One ....

My sewing room is still a mess (I did think about sorting some of it out today ... then I thought about something else). Tomorrow. I swear. I really do. Honest.

In the meantime, I've changed the look of my blog already. I like this a lot better. It reminds me of one of the fabrics in a mystery quilt I'm working.

What's a mystery quilt you ask? A mystery quilt is a quilt pattern that you only get one piece of directions at a time. First you're told how many fabrics and how much of each you need. Then you're told how to cut it all. Then you start getting the piecing directions one step at a time. Somewhere down the road, you have a finished quilt top but you won't know what it's going to look like until it's all done. They're a lot of fun. On the down side, I already know what this quilt will look like since I'm in charge of it for our Guild! But I'm having just as much fun getting to see everyone else's fabrics and answer questions.

Tomorrow's "learning" for blogging will be how to include photos in the posts.

For now, I'd like to show you a neat little website run by Moda Fabrics. Loads of free patterns for lots of quilty stuff - projects big and small, and all of them easy! Have a look, I'm sure Moda won't mind:


Day One on My Blog - Why I'm here and my Etsy shop

Hi and welcome to my blog. Blogging is new to me so pardon me while I figure all this design stuff out to pretty it up.

I'm here because quilting is my passion and I want to share it with others. And I want to promote my Etsy shop - PlumpPeacock - to you. As well as quilted things, there are knitted things in the shop. I like knitting, but I like quilting more.

I won't bore anybody with nothing but pictures of new listings in my shop. Instead, I hope to not bore you with all kinds of things mostly about quilting. I'll show you my projects in progress, things I'd like to do in the future, techniques I've learned and techniques I want to learn, and share my adventures in quilting. I'm a member of two quilting guilds: The Sunshine Quilters Guild of Grand Forks, BC (and this year I'm the secretary of the guild) and a guild in Republic, WA.

Sometimes quilting goes very slowly for me even though I try to do some every day. That's because our home is blessed with four dogs and four cats ... yeah, you're right, I must be nuts.

So two things today. First, try to pop in to my Etsy shop for a look at some of my work. And second, come back again soon to see what's on my cutting table and sewing table now.