Friday, January 30, 2015


My first job out of college (if you don't count my awesome waitressing job) was in radio advertising sales (Hello PYX 106 in Albany!) Like most newly minted college graduates, I suddenly had more money than I ever had before. What's a gal to do? Well, this gal bought a car. Then a wardrobe. Then a new sofa set. Since it was all on payment plans, shopping was a breeze. Until I sat down and realized that my weekly paycheck (yes, back then we got paid every Friday! How quaint!) was quickly diminishing. What's a gal to do? Well, this gal returned half the clothes (yes, unworn, tags still on), cancelled the sofa and kept the car. I needed that car.

So what does this have to do with quilting? A few years back, when flickr was hot, blogs were cooking and Instragram was just a twinkle in some coder's eyes, I was a swapper. And a bee-mate. And a Quilt-A-Longer. I joined just about everything that came my way. I had just moved to a new city, where I knew no one, so I may have been a tad bit lonely. My new found (on-line) friends kept me company and gave me something to do - sew things for them! And it was great. It was only 2 blocks per month. It was only a mug rug due in 6 weeks. It was only 2 more blocks per month. It was only a mini quilt due in June. Before I knew it, I was committed to 12 blocks and a few swaps per month. When it got to the point where I needed a spread sheet to keep track of everything, I knew it was time to back off. I fulfilled my obligations and I stopped swapping. Cold turkey.

Fast forward to now. These days, I'm very aware of my quilting "budget." Not money, but time. I work full time, travel/teach/lecture and like to see my family and friends every so often. I'm still tempted by swaps (just yesterday, I had my application for the Cotton and Steel mini swap on Instagram all filled out - it's only a mini! - and then came to my senses and deleted the whole thing. I will happily cheer from the sidelines and add my likes to those images that show up in my feed.) I will do an occasional swap with my guild, but only if I know I have time to do it and do it well (no one likes to receive a crappy swap item. Believe me, I know.)

As for quilt-a-longs, I'm doing my own personal quilt-a-longs this year. I'm resurrecting my Farmer's Wife Quilt (I joined that QAL over 3 years ago.) At the time, I thought, oh, it's only 2 blocks per week. Right. I made about 12. This time around, no pressure, just sewing fun. I cut a few blocks at a time, sew when I want, and it will get finished when it get's finished. To help motivate me, I made some cute design boards, using Lori Holt's tutorial. Mine turned out a little sloppy (I really need a better glue gun) but for now they'll do the trick.

Farmer's Wife block 14 (I think)

Farmer's Wife Block 16 (I think)

My second long term project is my EPP star project. No deadline on this one. I figure I'll need about 100 stars to make a decent sized quilt. If I get half way through this year, I'll be happy. Actually, even if I don't get half way through, I'll be happy. There's something about hand sewing that I crave lately.

3" 60 degree stars

My EPP travel kit

What about you? Are you a joiner? Are you doing any swaps or quilt a longs? (Even though I don't want to join any, I still want to know about them!)

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Pat said...

Love those new blocks, Heather, and the mini-design boards are adorable. My projects for 2015 are "small" and on hold until I get moved. :D

Mary Ann said...

I am doing my own getting my "kits" done! When I started quilting, I bought a lot of quilt kits as wasn't comfortable buying fabric. So this year I have decided to start tackling those kits. Working on my UTO's.
I also started EPP hexagons a couple years ago to do as a hand project during our cold winters. Plus it is a great travelling project when I take the train to Seattle.

Elizabeth said...

I am a total joiner, although I have not done any quiltalongs. In the past few years I have had to learn to limit what I can commit to so I leave time for other things.

suemac said...

I too am going to get back to my Farmer's Wife blocks. This is my 2nd Farmer's Wife. The first one was made during my very first quilt class. Talk about 1/4" inch seam nightmares. Those design boards are the cutest.

Janet said...

I love to see your projects, fabric choices and color palettes. Super pretty! I haven't seen The Farmer's Wife book before, thanks for sharing. I was nervous at first when joining group projects but getting more confident now. If it wasn't for joining one, I never would have truly appreciated the challenge of a quarter inch seam! But it got me to improvise Cutting my block up to get to a 12.5 inch block, and then better understanding my machine and how to adjust it. My weak spot is not finishing class projects and don't like them piling up. It's a new year and I am tackling them now!

Sharon said...

I really need to dig mine back out! Last week I went to a quilt retreat and one of my friends had hers was wonderful. I need to try making one of those design boards!