Sunday, January 27, 2013

A good start

I am so good at starting...
I like a good beginning...
I get carried away easily...
There's nothing quite like starting a new project, is there? I know. I have UFOs to show for it. That's why I keep trying to get to grips with them all by making lists and showing photos at the beginning of the year and make plans to finish them all. I know I will, eventually, but I thrive on having different things on the go at the sametime. And there are always new things to try, new patterns that are so tempting, and why resist? We all know I need an excuse to buy fabric, and if you make stuff you get to buy more, right? In case you run out...

And yet I have focused mainly on quilting on this blog. I don't know why I rarely mention my knitting projects. It might just be because they take so long that I rarely have any finishes to show. I used to knit a lot in my teens and during my student years. I was rarely seen without a piece of knitting in my hands back then. But then I discovered quilting, and I lived and breathed quilting for years and years. I didn't knit anything at all. In fact, it was blogging and the availability of great patterns from sites like Knitty and Ravelry that lured me back in. Gorgeous yarn from Noro and various hand dyed wool tempted me no end, and before I knew it, I was a knitter again.
Now, if you have a peek in my little knitting nook on Ravelry you will see that I have several projects on the go. Mainly scarves and wraps, and I really need to focus on finishing them one by one like I have been doing with my quilting UFOs.

So what do I do? I fall head over heels in love with yet another pattern and before I know it the yarn is ordered and on it's way, along with some other skeins of lovely Madelinetosh Merino Light - it would be a waste of postage to order just the two skeins of DK, after all...
Oh, I'm going to have such fun knitting this lovely cowl in lovely shades of red and pink - just right for February, and there is more cold weather coming our way, I've heard, so it will come in very handy once it's done.
And since one can't focus on just the one craft, I also had to join the xandplusalong - it's no good just focusing on getting things finished when I'm such a great starter, is there?
EQ mock-up, not actual stitched blocks!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013 Finish-A-Long Q1

Since I have quite a few UFOs lying around, and plenty of ideas for new quilts, I had better keep my motivation up. Being invited to join Leanne at She Can Quilt's  2013 Finish-A-Long seemed a too good opportunity to pass  - so I'm in!

I wrote about these in my UFOpost. The three first are hidden away and realistically won't be finished during the first months of 2013, and the first in the last row is finished (yay!), but the rest I should be able to finish during the first quarter of 2013:
  • The garden quilt
  • Amy's Daisies
  • Numbers
  • The Hometown Ripple bag 
  • The nostalgia tote bag
  • The Tuscany Quilt
  • Bella X
  • The Christmas runner

First finish

I finally managed to get some sewing time last weekend, and finished quilting my Lotta quilt. It took me a few evenings to finish handstitching the binding and, since it's January, I had to wait another few days to be able to take some photos in (what goes for) daylight.

The fabric is from Lotta Jansdotter's premier collection, Echo, combined with Kona Cotton in Raisin. As I mentioned earlier, I got the inspiration from this quilt, and it's amazing how different it is with a dark solid, instead of a light one.

I pieced the backing from the same fabrics. I have come to love this recently - you get a front and back that belong together, and you get to use up a lot of the fabric instead of leaving it to languish in the stash.

Since I cut the pieces for this quilt a while before I started it, I have already attacked the scraps and made four mug rugs, and still I have some bits and pieces to use in other projects.

The quilting is done in a kind of loose and loopy shell pattern - I wanted to keep it soft and drapey, and, let's face it, it finishes much faster that way...

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 - bring it on!

Beginning a new year is like starting a new journal, isn't it? Lots of blank pages to be filled in as we continue our journey and wonder where it will take us. It's also a time to stop and look back and contemplate on what we have achieved.
2012 for me was a year of waiting, not a year of doing, and I really need to snap out of it. I decided in the end of 2011 that I needed to find a new place to live, as this flat is too small, needs more work done to it than I am capable of tackling and the thin ceilings give me too much information about what my neigbours are doing...

I was lucky and had a bit of a windfall in 2011 which will allow me to buy a bigger place, and I thought that would happen just like that. But it is not so easy - one has to find the right place first. I don't think I'm too picky, but I have some criteria that must be met, and I spent 2012 searching and waiting for it to appear.

I remember packing away my christmas decorations a year ago, thinking that the next time they would be used at my new place. I also started purging my belongings and packing away things I wouldn't need for a while, so much that when I was to start decorating for the holidays, most of my decorations were buried under so much stuff in the basement that I just couldn't be bothered, so I have gone for the minimalist approach to decorating this time - no tree, but christmassy quilts, light chains and lots of candles. Different, but very nice anyway.

I am also in a better place when it comes to preparing for a move than I was a year ago, so that's good - a lot of stuff has been cleared out, given to jumble sales or to friends, so the things I have left will be the things I really want to hold on to, which should make an eventual move much easier.
But I see that I really need to be more active and do new things, spend time travelling, visiting, doing, not putting everything on hold.

I'm not all that into making new year resolutions, but I think it's about time I made one - to make this year a more active one socially and also to spend more time making quilts than dreaming about them. And that should give me more to blog about as well...
Happy New Year!