Monday, March 5, 2012

Catching Up!

This morning it's windy and cold (for Tennessee) but the storms are over for now. Thankfully our area was spared.....and we didn't get the snow they predicted for today either!  In thinking back, tho, wasn't one of our blizzards back in the 90s in March? If you don't like the weather here, just wait, it'll change. Tennessee can have a variety of systems go through here but generally, because of where Knoxville is, we are fine. We're surrounded by mountains that somehow protect us from most of the bad stuff. Last April was the exception. Of course, now that we have our new roof and gutters.......

It's been another busy week here with me just trying to get organized again. Being gone for a couple of weeks always sets me back. What was I doing? What's next for the loom, etc?  Also, helping my in laws move last weekend was all consuming.
I came back kind of brain dead! It's taken all week to figure out what I'm doing again. I have alot to weave and will begin on that later today.

However, I did want to talk about my sister. She is very talented and has a great eye for color and combinations. I'll be talking to her on the phone and she'll mention a combination I hadn't thought of. I often add that to my list to weave and the items come out nicely. I don't see her more than twice a year because she lives so far away but we make the most of the time we do have together. We're already planning my trip in summer. What will I bring along? How many sewing machines? What patterns, fabrics, etc. We will be sewing.
My sister has a friend who owns a long arm quilting machine. She makes a pretty good living quilting for other people and she always has a stack waiting to quilt.
Her friend is like us, she has a stash! It's a pretty huge one, too!!  I think she has been given alot of fabric too. Part of this is because she makes charity quilts. She got my sister involved and once a week they get together at  my sister's home to sew the quilt tops that she will machine quilt to give away. These quilts could end up in Africa, South America or northern Alberta. They are always willing and ready to send quilts where they are needed.
Her friend just moved into a much smaller home so a fair amount of the charity quilt stash is at my sister's place. I grabbed just a few of the quilt tops that were sitting there to show you the combinations of color. These are just ordinary squares put together nicely but it all depends on the fabric. They will cut out several at a time and then sew them. Not all of them are like this, just blocks. My sister figures out what to put together and the tops are very charming!  What little boy wouldn't want a quilt with motorcycles all over it?!
 I took a few pictures of the sewing area. Here there are some quilt tops that are sewn plus a box of binding that's already been cut, just waiting for the quilts to be quilted before the binding is added!
 Under the cutting table. Does this look familiar? Our stash is mostly yarn or fabric to be cut for rugs. This is all fabric that's waiting to be matched and then cut for quilts.
My sister's friend has a big stack of charity quilt tops just waiting to be quilted before they add the binding. Then they'll be added to the stack of quilts. Her friend says that when they have 100 she's calling the newspaper to do a feature on them. My sister isn't so crazy about that. She doesn't want her picture taken for the newspaper.  However, she does enjoy figuring out these quilt tops and seeing what goes well to make a quilt.

We do the same thing but with yarn. Will the cone of yarn in my hand go well with something else to make a placemat? Does a white or natural warp really look good with a multicolored weft? Or should I have a colored warp so that the weft will stand out nicely? All questions that we ask ourselves each time we think about what we'll put on the loom. Some people say it's a talent but I think that the more you practice and see what works, the better you will get at figuring out what works together.  Getting together every Tuesday at the center also is a learning experience. Some of our new weavers pick colors that at first you wouldn't think would work, but they do. All that information is stashed away in our minds and helps us with our next choices of yarns that we'll work with.
I won't have as much time as I'd like to weave this week. There are some days where I won't be able to. However, I do look forward to throwing my shuttle as much as I can this week. It's therapeutic to get into the rhythm for at least a bit of each day. Plus, I'm watching Castle on my DVD player and I haven't seen the shows that were on the first season. It's good for a laugh or two!!

Until next week, keep weaving!


Roxie said...

Carol, your sister and her friend should have a piece-a-palooza to use up some of that stash. Pieced and tied comforters are something that every one can work on. With four sewing machines and 10 friends we completed three comforters from start to finish in four hours, and got a darn good start on four more.

LA said...

Our stash grows....fabric and thread!!!! We weave it or sew it as we can get to it. We often joke about stash reduction, but we're always adding to the pile!!!

Bonnie said...

That is a good idea, Roxie. With that stash of quilt tops they could get a lot done with more people.