Monday, September 29, 2008

Pretty Patchwork Potholders

Although I've been sewing since junior high Home Ec class, I haven't done a lot of patchwork. And it seems each patchwork project I try, I bungle a bit -- but learn so much in the process. Saturday was a patchwork potholder day.

I followed the instructions in Pretty Little Potholders, which has patterns for all sorts of potholder fun. My first two log cabin potholders (shown front and back) were pretty successful, except that they became a little wonky when I trimmed the edges after machine-quilting them. Also, I hadn't read the hint about sewing the strips so that one colorway dominates one side and a contrasting colorway dominates the other. So these are Random Wonky Potholders.

Why not do another potholder, deliberately wonky and with some color organization? Voila -- the Autumn Wonky Potholder. I just sewed pieces and rotary-cut the shapes as I went along. Pretty successful, except for the upper right corner, where I made a bad color choice; having run out of rust-colored prints, I used a red one.

Right now I can't imagine sewing an entire quilt of strips. But it would be beautiful. Whose blog did I just see with wonky quilt squares? Loved it. Denyse Schmidt's quilt book has a great wonky striped quilt. Should I put that on the Project list?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My minimalist style

In our office-corner, which we 'redecorated' last winter, I've gone with a very spare style. Instead of four shelves above the drawing table, full of hard-to-reach and therefore seldom used books, I put just one Ikea shelf. The black boxes hold office supplies -- envelopes, stamps, paper.
I try to keep other items to a minimum. It's a perfect place for a posy or, like now, some foxtail grasses. (I must admit -- the velvet violets and little box of vintage stencils somehow migrated here just this week. It's usually just the boxes and one vase.)

I caught a glimpse of the contrast between the office area and the kitchen this morning. The light is so very different, as is the chaos-level. Really, if you saw my computer desk top and drawing table, you'd see some chaos there as well. At least the walls have that minimalist style that I crave. And I like the spareness when I'm 'at work'.

When I'm very very brave I'll show the room of fabrics and paper that is my quasi-studio. Now there's chaos!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What I've been sewing

On these last days of summer, I've been sewing bags and purses.

Squirrel purse -- for hording acorns (fabric from Superbuzzy)

I love the saturated colors of this batik bag. And a carved mother-of-pearl button (swoon).

'Summer's End' -- dragonfly and sunflower tote.

Which one is your favorite?

Monday, September 1, 2008


I am in serious need of editing.

This is a pic of two shelves of my kitchen bookcase.

It's where all the extra stuff lands.

You know, when the seasons change and the little oil paintings of winter scenes have to come off the wall? Those are on the top of the jadite batter bowl. And the brown teapot, which did not sell at consignment: in front of the old wire flower frog, which used to be on top of the living room bookcase, which is now in the craft room.

And the stack of dessert plates, also failing to sell at consignment, is now under a bowl on the top shelf. And the clay marbles, the ME paper box . . . these were in other areas of the house and ended up here.

Here's the 'after' -- how I wanted the shelves to look. Pretty simple, just the green stuff and the two camellia pictures that I'm so fond of. I do think the bud vase should go, tho, don't you agree?

(The shelf edging may need some explanation: a friend gave me two cut-off pillowcases because she thought I could use the crochet trim. I tried it out here on the shelves and pretty much like the look -- except on the bottom shelf you can really see how it is just fabric cut off. And they are not wide enough. But I like the idea.)

Anyway, this is the story throughout this house: too much good stuff, landing haphazardly atop, next to, and under other good stuff. I sometimes feel like I'm a minimalist with a bad collecting habit -- I love all the stuff, but I reallyreally love a bit of spare and a bit more space.

And I used to be an editor. Apparently I need to be one again.