Thursday, January 7, 2010

Of Fat Squirrels

I caught this fellow enjoying a morning snack in the tree right outside my window the other day. He has to be the chubbiest squirrel I've ever seen. That's saying a lot since our home is surrounded by trees and I've made it a bit of a hobby watching the squirrels leap from tree to tree when I'm supposed to be working. Needless to say, I've seen lots of squirrels. But this guy takes the cake, or rather looks as if he's been at the cake. He obviously knows something the other squirrels don't, being as it's the middle of winter when food is supposedly scarce. He must be one heck of a hoarder. I think we could be friends. (If I were a squirrel)

Things are a bit slow here this week. The big girl is home sick with a stomach bug, the snow is coming down and I still haven't showered today. My "real" work... the work I get paid to do by my full-time employer is going very slowly as well. I can't seem to concentrate on any one thing, my mind is bouncing around and I just want to sit and stare and the squirrels. I feel very motivated one moment and then utterly down-trodden the next. I've been scouring blogs and shuffling through flickr photos for inspiration and I feel that it's almost there, like a word on the tip of your tongue. My goal for this month is to re-open my Etsy shop and right now I'm not sure that's going to happen. I've been working on coming up with new products using my vintage fabric collection. I have some new products that I'm happy with but I also have lots of ideas that need to be worked into sellable products. The problem is, that this is not a new idea. There are a lot of very successful Etsy shops that do pretty much the same thing, so trying to come up with things that are original is frustrating. I know I'm too hard on myself and much too picky. This is why most of my ideas end up stuffed in the back of the closet never to see the light of day. I need to find the courage to just get the stuff out there and if I fail, well, I fail. That's the worst that could happen... And the best? Someone could be really happy with something I've made.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Color Wheel

The front of the color wheel quilt is all pieced and ready for quilting! It came together so easily and beautifully. Between the cutting and piecing it only took me 3-4 hours total, which isn't bad at all considering I was terrified of this quilt. Like most things it looks much harder than it actually is. I had so much fun piecing it and it went so fast that I'm sure I'll want to make more of these in the future, maybe with variations. One in multiple tones of all one color would be beautiful. I knew I didn't want to even attempt to hand quilt this one so I broke down and ordered a walking foot for my Bernina. I've been wanting one since I got my new machine a few years ago but just haven't been able to justify it. I figure I'll get a lot of use out of it, so it'll be worth it. Until the foot comes in, the quilt is resting in my office where I can admire it several times a day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mamas' Got a Brand New Bag

I've determined that it's utterly impossible for me to get a decent picture of my new bag in it's entirety, so we'll just have to muddle through with this close up for now. I've been needing a new purse / bag for awhile and just haven't been able to find what I wanted. Probably because I knew that it had to be gray, it had to be big with lots of room to lose things and it had to be simple. Finally realizing that I was just too picky and wasn't going to be able to purchase what I wanted, I went searching for a pattern. I found this one on Etsy and it was love at first sight. I made the bag out of this great gray cotton duck cloth that I've had forever. It's so stiff that I didn't need to use interfacing and it'll hold up to lots of abuse. For the lining I used some of my precious Flea Market Fancy fabric that I'm sad to say is almost gone. This was my first attempt at a bag for myself and I couldn't be happier with the result. The pattern was super simple and fast, it only took me a few hours. And, it was the perfect stress reliever, it helped make me a little less sad, as sewing usually does.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


New Years Day my family lost an amazing woman. Ruby June was my beautiful grandmother and without a doubt the best grandmother anyone could ever ask for. This blog and my eldest daughter are named for her. She taught me to sew, quilt and how to be creative with limited resources. She was eternally a child at heart and was quilting, sewing and gardening into her eighties. To quote the obituary that my mum wrote, "Her life was a celebration of faith, family and food." Nearly every time I would visit there would be a pot of ham and beans just for me and there was always a never-ending jar of oatmeal cookies to dunk in your coffee. When I think of her I will always imagine her kneeling in the sunlit garden in a big floppy hat and sweatpants two sizes too baggy. Her house was always cluttered and she did things her own way, which caused a lot of people to think she was a little strange. But to me, these things just made her more endearing and these are things that I've inherited from her. The things she taught me I will pass on to my daughters so that she will never really be completely gone. And of course the quilts that she made for me will be passed on so that my family will always be able to be wrapped up in her love. I will miss her with all my heart.