Tuesday, October 30, 2012

jiggety jig

I'm home again, energized by a great conference in New Orleans but also feeling slightly swamped...have been on the computer ALL DAY, no time to sweat it out with Kelly (and we do need some time together, after some NOLA culinary indulgences)...until I am saved by Miss F's passionate desire to watch Lady and the Tramp, clearing some time for exercise and a 5 p.m. shower. Phew.

Quickly then: for those who contributed so generously to my research for my conference paper, I will have a summary and report for you later this week.  I'm excited to share my findings with you!

For the craft-photo-deprived, a few tiny things.  First, I revived a 60-degree diamond EPP project in order to have a portable piecing project for the plane (try saying that five times quickly!).

old 60 degree diamond project, revived

Destined to be a dolly quilt, perhaps?  Who knows.  All I do know is that I couldn't be four days without some stitchery!

One of the sweetest pleasures of this trip was having the opportunity to finally meet my online friend Kaelin, in person. We met when planning the Bee (A Little Bit) Japanese VQB over 2 years ago. She is just as sweet, funny, and smart in person as I knew she would be.

playing with Arne & Carlos's balls

I have been experimenting with the "Christmas balls" from Arne & Carlos's wonderful book, and gave this one to Kaelin as a wee gift.

And here on my kitchen counter today are a few more balls -- at varying degrees of completion, and in varying size and shape...I'm still finetuning, and there will be more of these to come.  They're fun and quick and very satisfying to make.

balls big and small

Finally, speaking of gifts, I returned home from a busy day at work yesterday to find a Royal Mail parcel waiting on my doorstep -- and knew it had to be my tote from a mystery partner in the Mouthy Stutches swap.  I sent out my own creation over a week ago, and I know it hasn't reached my own secret partner yet.  Here's what I made, following the brief of the Mouthy Stitches 2 tote swap, which had us making a simple reversible bag:

tiny tessellations for Mouthy Stitches 2

rainbow stitches for MS2 back

interior/reverse of tiny tessellations, Mouthy Stitches 2

And here's the little bundle of delights that arrived yesterday...all the way from sweet and talented Jo (of the blog Quilty Doings by Emily's Mum) in Scotland:

Inside this sweet package was the most beautiful tote, featuring tiny little hexies in retro repro feedsack prints (Jo has me figured out!!!!), very cool semi-circles of quilting, a lovely lining/reverse side of Amy Butler Lark, a giant red button securing a handy pocket...I am sooooo lucky!

MS2 tote from Jo!

MS2 tote from Jo!
And do you see that little key fob?  Yes, that's a double-decker attached with a union jack, with more tiny hexies on the reverse. Jo, you outdid yourself...and I am so touched that you made all this for me...!

Finally, I need to come clean and admit that I broke my Stash Love commitment and bought some fat quarters for a new sampler project.  So while I strayed from my fabric diet, I did so with a very distinct purpose in view.  I tossed my Farmer's Wife scraps into a bag and now my little storage container is a little sea of richer tones (including plum and mustard, notably absent from my FW quilt top), taking various Ruby Star prints as a launching pad. More on that soon, I hope.

Well, that feels better.  I have had a bit of a blogging block, feeling like there is simply too much and also nothing to say...do you know what I mean?  Anyway, I guess I am back in the swing of things...now I just need to bring some quilt projects to completion while I get started on others.

Bye for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

living offline

I feel like I should apologize for my absence from this online space...but also feel a little strange doing so, since that implies that there are readers out there waiting in eager anticipation of what I might sew and write next (!).  I doubt very highly that this is the case...!

But still, there has been a lot happening here that I have not documented because I simply haven't had much time to blog. Work is keeping me extremely busy and has also required a lot of time online (that's what happens, I guess, when you choose to write about craft and social networking -- it starts to feel like work rather than play). I am finding myself cherishing every spare moment and using that time away from the computer....

So I'll be back soon, sharing some projects as per usual.  But for now, I am going to use the remains of my self-imposed 30 minute break from grading to knit.  Oh, on that note maybe I can offer you some crafty eye candy, indirectly. 

I'm playing with this delightful book, written by two men I'd love to hang out with (they're being added to the list of invitees to my hypothetical Very Fun Party, a game my husband and I have been playing for years) -- but I suppose I will need to learn Norwegian first:

You can fall in love with them too: watch them here and here.