Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where has the QUILTING gone??

Since (approximately) the late 1960's (honest!), my creative life has centered around sewing and needlework.  When I was in high school, I made most of my clothing.  I took a break during college cuz schoolwork got in my way.  :-)

Once I had graduated and was gainfully employed, I started my needlework phase.  All KINDS of hand needlework and I loved it.

When my girls were born in the mid 1980's, I realized that making decorative, embellished items wasn't a good use of my time, so I resumed garment sewing ... this time for them.  When they entered junior high school and wanted to wear nothing but jeans and t-shirts, I declined to sew those items. :-)    That's when I *really* started quilting.

But for a very brief period in high school (circa early 1970's), I started to crochet.  I'm not sure if I was taught or learned by myself, but I had Grand Illusions of making a granny square afghan for my bed.  I studiously made granny square after granny square, bundling them up in piles of 10s (for easy counting).  I also made a WHOLE BUNCH of granny square centers (only).   At some point, I started to whip-stitch the squares together.  And then ... at some later point .... they all got put away.

I never *quite* forgot about them because when I moved from my parents' house to my apartment ... and then to my house ... and then when I reorganized or cleaned out my sewing room ... that project was always there.

Let's fast forward to current times  ... 2011.  I've been trying to work on finishing up UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and I finally came to grips with the fact that I really, *really*, REALLY ought to finish the granny square afghan.   I hauled out the project bag and (re)discovered that (apparently) the reason I had stopped was due to the fact that I had run out of the white yarn I was using for the final rounds.  Off to Joann's to try to find a compatible white.  I had no illusions that I would find an exact match after (gulp) 30-odd years but I hoped to find something "close".  Under the store lights, I found a compatible match. However ... and you knew this was coming, right? ... back home under natural light, I realized that my new white yarn really, *really*, REALLY wasn't suitable.  ::sigh::

Since it is MUCH easier for me to make bed-sized *quilts* rather than bed-sized afghans, I made an Executive Decision to simply leave the already sewn-together squares as they were; it would make a decent sized baby blanket.   Using the power of the internet, I found a SIMPLE picot edging and was exceedingly pleased to conquer it!

With the previously-made granny square centers, I used the new white yarn to complete the squares.  Again using the power of the internet, I learned I could use a slip stitch to join the squares together.  (The previous squares had been whip-stitched and I didn't particularly care for that technique).  More internet powers revealed a more ambitious (but still do-able for me) lacey edging.

 Voila!!  I know have two baby afghans completed!  (No grandchildren yet .. none in the foreseeable future, but that's OK.)  I will simply pack them away until the appropriate time.  Middle Dear Daughter wanted to know if I was going to donate them to the crisis nursery (where I donate my small quilts); I told her most emphatically 'no way!'.  These afghans took too much of my time to donate them!  They will be for family. :-)

But I still had a bunch of yarn leftover from the granny square project.  I started looking for EASY projects to do and found one, the Cross Stitch Afghan.

[Let me say, at this point ... end of July 2011 ... my oldest Dear Daughter finally decided on what kind of wedding outfit she wanted and asked me if I could/would make it for her in time for her early September 2011 wedding.  It isn't a complicated garment .. a corset top and an A-line skirt .. but Dear Daughter wanted elements that weren't on the pattern and then changed her mind after the base pieces were already cut out ... so I was stressing over the making of it.   I dealt with the stress of problem solving by procrastination ... and working on this new crochet interest.]

I started it with a deep maroon yarn but my sister in law pointed out that maroon was a really dark color for a baby afghan, I agreed ... and changed the focus of this particular project.  What I'll do with this, instead of making an afghan out of just one color (and in a small size, per the instructions), I'm going to make a whole BUNCH of big blocks and stitch them together like a patchwork quilt.  This crochet project has now become my current Forever Project. :-)

But .. as I was looking for companion yarns to work with the maroon, I saw these very soft balls of yarn.  On the wrapper was a diagonal shell stitch pillow that the instructions SAID was easy.  Well .. it kinda sorta was.  Middle Dear Daughter, who is a GENIUS when it comes to knitting and crocheting, helped me out when I couldn't make heads nor tails of the instructions.  I muddled through the pillow project, working on it when I came up against brick walls during the construction of the wedding outfit.

I just now finished the diagonal shell pillow ... and even with all the beginner faux pas and mistakes ... I'm rather pleased with it.

Sadly, I still have some of that very soft yarn leftover .. and need to do something with it.  :-)

On the wedding outfit front, all the problems (up until now!) have been resolved and all I need to do is finish it!  If I concentrate on my sewing, I can get everything done by this weekend .. God willing and the creek don't rise.  :-)

So what am I doing?  Blog entries!  :-)

But after the wedding??  Oh my hallelujah! .... it's gonna be QUILTING TIME!  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Your Saga of The Granny Squares cracks me up. I have bits and pieces from years ago hanging around that just seem to be waiting for the "ahaa" moment to happen. I inheritated granny squares my father had started. Unfortunately,due to arthritis in my thumbs, I can't crochet any longer. So, I am trying to figure out a way to just sew them together or to something.