Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm bummed! Really, I guess it's more frustrated with myself. Last week, I was excited because I thought I had only 6-7 more blocks to go to get to the halfway point with the quilt I'm making. Then on Saturday as I was starting the next to last block, I decided I probably should count to make sure I was where I thought I was. Well, I wasn't! I have completed 32 blocks, which I thought was half of the amount needed. Turns out I need 72 blocks (36 whirligig and 36 alternates) to make the quilt. That left me four blocks short to get to the halfway point. I have plenty of fabric in my stash, but I had used all of the like fabrics I had in the 32 blocks I already made. What to do? The only thing was to dig around in my stash for other bright fabrics and make more whirligig blocks. So that's what I'm doing. I found eight fabrics that were of the appropriate brightness and am now making six more whirligig blocks. Right now, I'm piecing the whirligigs. I hope to have that finished in the next day or two. Then I'll applique them to 10" squares and get them ready for quilting. It will take the rest of the week at least to get those six blocks ready.

I had hoped to have half of the blocks finished by this Thursday night's stitch night, but it's obvious now that that won't happen. Such is life. I decided to make a couple of extra blocks so I can scatter the six new blocks throughout the quilt. That way maybe it won't be too obvious that they are made with different fabrics than the other blocks.

When life gives you lemons, as the saying goes, make lemonade. I like lemonade and it gives me a chance to be creative and problem solve. Maybe a bit of frustration thrown in, but my experience is that when these kinds of "glitches" happen, the end result is even better than the original would have been. Sure hope that holds true this time!

Back to stitching....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stitch night

It's been a while since I have added to my blog. I'm sorry about that, but I have been knocked a bit low by bronchitis. It's been a long time since my last bout of bronchitis and I forget from time to time just how much energy it takes to cough all the time. But I'm feeling better each day and it's time now to catch up with blogging.

The SWANs met last night for the first of the twice-monthly stitch night for May. There are so many good things about the group that I'm not sure where to start. I guess the first good thing to talk about is the fact that the group is growing! We've added three new members this year (counting me as one of the three). It's always a pleasure to meet with stitchers and talk. I'm the only quilter, but that doesn't bother anybody. The rest are counted cross stitchers and that's fine with me, too. One of our newbies joined us last night for the first time...and he's a male stitcher. Russ brought along some of his completed projects and he does fantastic work! Now, don't get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with males choosing needlework as their hobby just like I have no problem with ladies who choose to remodel houses or rebuild cars as their hobby. A hobby is a hobby is a hobby. Gender shouldn't be a factor in any venture.

The only down side about having Russ as part of the group is we're going to have to change our name, I think. You may remember that I said earlier that SWANs stands for Sophisticated Women Addicted to Needlework. Doesn't seem quite appropriate now that Russ is part of us. I know I'm going to put on my thinking cap to see if I can come up with another acronym that is descriptive yet all-inclusive and I suspect my fellow stitchers will be doing the same.

Because of not feeling up to par, I didn't do much stitching last night, but I sure did a lot of talking and listening! We had to move to a larger venue since the group is growing and we now meet at a local church, which means we can be as loud as we want without disturbing the patrons at the coffee shop like we had done in the past. Plus we have more room to spread out. All in all, the move was good. But I digress. I had so much fun last night that it should be illegal! There were about 10 of us and and at any give time, there were at least two conversations taking place. And those conversations ranged from discussions of kids/grandkids, flooding around the country, the oil spill, how we're all tired of rain, and anything else that came to someone's mind. Lots of laughter....LOTS of laughter! Like I said, it should be illegal!

I don't know how most of the group does it. About half of us don't live in Columbia and have to drive at least 25 miles to get here. And that's after working a full day. We gather at 5:30, which means that most of the folks come directly from work. A few of us are retired and have fewer time pressures. I do know that there is no way I could have participated in the group while I was still working. By the end of the day on Thursday, I was always so wiped out that even if the heart had been willing, the body would have told me to go home and relax. I admire the ones who work and come to group, especially when I see how much they accomplish on their stitching between stitch nights. Where do they find the time (and energy) to do all that they do?

So, I came home again last night all fired up to continue working on my quilting project. With luck, I'll start feeling more like stitching soon. Ideally, I would like to have half of my blocks finished by the next stitch night in two weeks. I think it's an achievable goal because I only have 7-8 more to go. Keep your fingers crossed that I make it.

Thanks for reading my post. Now back to stitching.