Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A 'hi', a 'bye' and a thought or two on binding.

Last night my Beloved made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

"You haven't blogged in weeks! I'm taking the day off work, taking the boys out of your hair, and I'd like you to squander the day on blogging and sewing."

Oh. OK then!

To put things in perspective, Justin knows that I am about to take the boys out of his hair and have another hiatus from the computer as we travel interstate to visit family for a few weeks. He also knows that the horrible crotch hole in his jeans is not going to mend itself before my departure if I don't get a bit of toddler-free time!

So this is a bit of a 'hi' and 'bye' post. But I will be back in early October, oh yes I will.

Meanwhile, I have actually been doing stuff. I've also been not doing lots of stuff, in line with my Slow Project, and have many thoughts to share down the track on the matter. About Slow Parenting, redefining productivity, the Time/Money relationship, embracing my inner Feminist Housewife, that sort of thing. But there's no hurry, now, is there?

On the craft front, it's all been about Quilt Binding.

I've made three lengths of straight-cut binding in the last few weeks, and I've loved the process. This, in spite of the fact that each and every time I managed to sew my strips together in the wrong way and had to unpick. It seems that Slow Learning is another of my Slow skills at present!

I like to bind a quilt by machine-sewing the first side (as detailed in Heather Bailey's tutorial) and then hand-sewing the other side to finish. Slow, yes. Beautiful, you bet.

I definitely don't like to pin the binding down though. So to keep the roll of binding tape under control as I attach it, rather than unfurling in my lap or all over the floor as I sew, I've come up with this method:

Binding tape wrapped around a spool of thread and placed on the bobbin winder. This way it just unfurls as I go and I can concentrate on lining it up with the quilt edge.

And here is another preview of the Green Monstrosity, which is on its way to being fully-bound, having been recently quilted by the superbly-talented Karen of Quilts on Bastings. Her work is so polished, and has lifted the quality of this quilt remarkably. 

This weekend the Green Monstrosity will make its way with us to its natural habitat, my sister's place, where I'm hoping it will slot organically into its surrounds and look, somehow, more subtle. (Why yes, my sister DOES live in a swamp).

Well my friends, the lure of crotch-reparation is just too strong... to the sewing machine I go!

Keep going slow,
x Gina

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My creative space...

We're taking our Slow Project very seriously over here at chez clutterpunk. I'm becoming quite the monotasking expert, almost to the point of stagnation. What, breathe and think at the same time? Dear me no, that would be multitasking!

OK, it hasn't been quite that bad. I have been pootling away on my quilts when time permits, and enjoying it all. The ugly hexes are almost hand-quilted. The green monstrosity has been beautifully machine-quilted by Karen and now requires binding (and banishing to my sister in Queensland, where it shall plague me no more with its greenness). A baby quilt 'commissioned' by a friend is ready for straight-line quilting. The chemo comforter now has a border and is ready for basting.

(Note to Self: think about naming quilts more tastefully.)

Meanwhile, I've been contemplating the Next Quilt:

The Liberty-obsessed Danielle of Itchin to get Stitchin sent me a huge bag of Liberty scraps to play with. (Thank you Danielle. You must have quite a stash!).

They are sitting in a large basket in the lounge room, and when my boys are sufficiently engaged in an activity I've been running my fingers through the silky scraps and dreaming of projects.

A lot of these scraps are tiny and thin but if used carefully they could make something beautiful. I'd love your suggestions! String quilt? Spiderweb quilt?  Liberty crazy quilt?!

Meanwhile, back to the reality of sharing my slow creative space with two little guys. Recently we've been bead sorting (and snorting, occasionally). It has kept them occupied for more minutes that I could have anticipated, and given me time to dream of Liberty.

Who else is sharing their creative space today? Check them all out at Kirsty's place...