Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodbye beading

The other day I was cleaning out my craft area while talking on the phone with a friend (I'm always multitasking) and I ran across my beading supplies.  I had lots of beads, wire, findings, and other stuff that I used to use to make bracelets and necklaces.  I always liked beading because the time it took to finish a project was relatively quick compared to some other hobbies I could name *cough*quilting*cough* and I ended up with something that I could use.  But I haven't used them in a long time. 

Part of it was that the beads just seem like choking hazards now that I have two little kids running around.  I was always nervous that a bead would disappear down a throat or up a nose.  But the other thing was that I just never clicked with beading.  Somehow I could buy beautiful beads but never be able to come up with anything to do with them but make bracelets and necklaces with stone beads and sterling silver beads alternating.  Sometimes I'd have a different idea, but I could just never seem to get the specific look I wanted.  There's definitely an art to selecting beads, combining them, and stringing them in a creative way, and I was just never very talented at it.  It never clicked the way sewing has...I'm not super-talented at sewing either, but I feel so much more inspired when I sew.

So, I packed up all of my beading supplies with the exception of a needle-nosed pliers and a bunch of jump rings - the idea of making linked-ring jewelry still intrigues me - and put it on my porch.  I listed my free beading supplies on Craigslist and within an hour it was gone.

I'm happy and I hope the supplies went to someone who can make something great, or at least enjoy playing around.  My experiences with beading has really made me appreciate the jewelry making process and the talented people who do it.  And now, I'm going to use the compartment boxes I used to store my beads to store my needles and bobbins.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hello and First Project

I decided to start a new blog because my personal blog was basically becoming all about sewing.  So I figured I should just start a blog devoted to that.

And this is a good time because I just finished my VERY.  FIRST.  QUILT.  And I can honestly say I'm prouder of this than I am of anything else I've ever made, with the possible exception of my two children.

The picture does not do the colors justice.  It does an incredible job of brightening up my bedroom which is covered with depressing gray fake wood paneling (previous homeowners, why did you do that?).  Plus our cat, Juneau, really enjoys it.

I'll be honest - it has a bout a hundred mistakes.  Very few of the seams between the blocks line up evenly.  I've seen patchwork quilts that are flawless grids, and this is far from that.  I also had some areas on the binding where it didn't quite catch the quilt top, so I had to go back and re-sew it together. 

I don't mind, though.  I used to work at a living history museum and at one point the employees were working on making a reproduction of a log cabin quilt.  One of the quilt squares on the original quilt had a log that was sewn from two little pieces of fabric instead of one long piece.  I always loved that because it showed that the quilt was sewn by a real person.  I'm not sure if my quilt will hold together for generations, but it makes me smile to think of my future granddaughter snuggling under my quilt and looking at my little bits of hand sewing and knowing it meant that it was made lovingly by a real person. 

I'm already planning my next quilt - a cozy, comfortable one for my kids to snuggle under while they're in the living room.  It's definitely going to be smaller than this one...making a queen-sized quilt was a huge undertaking and I'm hoping a smaller one will be easier.