I have some unexpected time this week, so I decided I'd post an update on recent projects. Tyler's at home with Sonja this week because there have been some Covid cases at the school where Nick teaches. We're watching and waiting, trying to stay as safe as we can. Supervising Tyler for kindergarten is mostly fun, but also exhausting. It doesn't take all of your attention all of the time, but pretty close. About the only thing I've found that I can do while he's "in" school is hand-stitching. I can pick it up and put it down a million times without losing my place and it doesn't require full concentration. So that's what I've been doing for the last several weeks.
Because I've been stitching several hours a day for weeks, I have actually finished the king-size quilt I wrote about early on in the pandemic. It took nearly 9 months, but I actually thought it would take even longer. It didn't feel like an unending project. Still, I'm glad it's finished and that I'm happy with how it turned out.
I learned a lot doing this and really enjoyed the process. I went crazy with the embroidery but I never got bored working on it. Clearly it was worth it because it makes me happy to look at it.
So, I may be nuts, but I've started on another. This one's for Sonja. I'm still doing my crazy piecing and quilting it by hand using the quilt-as-you-go method, but it's a little different. To make things easier, I have made all the squares the same size this time. I'm also concentrating the embroidery in the center of the blocks and doing standard had-quilting for the rest of the block.
Also, this time I'm using a square in the center of each block. When I was digging through my stash to find fabrics for this one, I found a bunch of fabrics that Sonja had dyed years ago for samples or sale for Friends Fabric Art. When I piled them all up, I realized that I had enough to use as the centers for the blocks. I can't tell you how excited I was when I figured that out. It will have such sentimental value for her (and me).
Here's the start of the first block. When all put together, the center squares will not be set square, but will go every-which-way.
I'm working in blues, purples and greens this time--similar to last time, but little different. As usual, I go pretty crazy in what fabrics I include. I try to make sure that each selection works with the fabrics next to it in some way and that when I look from a bit of a distance nothing stands out like a sore thumb.
Though I've learned over the years that all the crazy patterns eventually settle down and work together as you add more and more. Still I always go through stages of nervousness, worrying that I've gone too far this time. Yesterday was one of those days. I've got 6 squares either finished or pieced, so I laid them out on the floor to see what I had.
Seeing them altogether was enough to settle my fears again. I could see that, arranged carefully, they would come together just fine. I'll keep plugging along. Stitching, stitching, stitching...
I'll leave you with one last update. Our collaboration (Sonja, my sister Sue and I) continues unabated. Here's the latest batch of completions.
Here's hoping you have happy, healthy, safe holiday season.
All our best to you.
Ann and Sonja
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.