Sunday, October 28, 2007

To the Lighthouse

No, sorry, this is not a post about Virginia Wolf. I have just finished her novel "Mrs. Dalloway" after Cherry suggested we do a book club sort of thing. To my relief I wasn't the only one who found it heavy going, but I did finish it eventually, stubborn being my middle name. "To the Lighthouse" would have been more in keeping with my latest quilt, although it's much more lighthearted than poor Ms. Wolf ever was. Not fair to drag her into this blog post at all, I suppose, but there you go... This quilt was a BOM (Block of the Month) at my local quilt shop, and I decided to go for it because it was funny and quirky, but remind me not to do that sort of thing again! I find it harder and harder to stick to a pattern, and as this came with fabric too, all the choices were made for me. Much to boring! I was fed up with the thing before I was halfway through, but I'm proud to say that I persevered, and finally it is done!
I made some changes, of course - where would the fun have been otherwise? Some of the pieces were simplified and some fabric replaced. The kit had purple and green fabric for the borders, but that wasn't P's thing at all, so they had to go. I'm much happier with the sand and sea substitutes. P is my three best friends' father and he and his wife have always been there for me when I have needed help - he has painted, laid flooring, moved my stuff more times than I can remember and it was about time he got his own quilt. His wife and daughters and grandchildren all have got theirs, so for his 70th birthday it was time to do something special for him as well.The family have a holiday cottage on a small island and he loves nothing more than pottering about in his boat and with his cronies on the dock there, so the maritime feel of this quilt seem right. The way he beamed when he received it told me that I had made the right choice, and made the whole thing worthwhile.

My next project is not made from a pattern, though.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I is for inspiration

The last few weeks have been hell.
No, don't worry - there's nothing serious going on - nobody died, I've still got my home, my job and whatever. But there has been so much to do that I haven't had any time to be creative (and hence, I've had nothing to blog about) and that is too frustrating.
To a non-crafting person my feelings would be difficult to understand, I suppose, but we crafters are a different species, aren't we? The crafts that I do are very important to me - I relieve tension and gain lots of positive energy from them.
I have, however, found time to read about and listen to the reactions to Jane at Yarnstorm's new book "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" and I have come to realize that there are a lot of people out there that just don't get it. Spending time doing crafts is something I do because I want to and because it gives me something important – the fulfilment of creating beautiful things for myself and my loved ones is so meaningful to me that I really can’t see how it should be a threat towards feminism. I am a feminist and I have a demanding job, but I also need time to myself, and crafting gives me just that.
Enough said, I’ll get down from that soap-box and share some new acquisitions that have given me lots of inspiration lately. There is a pile of new books waiting for me to find time for them – Jane’s book is one of them, then there is a lovely Japanese craft book and some eye candy in the form of photos from India and Italy. I’m really looking forward to things slowing down next week so that I might get some time to make something - not because I have to, but because I want to.
If only it would stop raining so that I could take some decent photos!
Rain doesn't have to be all bad though: I have an inspirational folder on my computer, and browsing through it I found these lovely drawings from a Japanese book of copy-free patterns (with accompanying CD) I borrowed from the library. There might be some quilts in my future inspired by these…