Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fabric Therapy

So, the last time I blogged, I mentioned that I was glad BD#2 had come home for Pres Day weekend and that she arrived at the end of a t-e-r-r-i-b-l-e week.  I work for a bank and we were laying people off, most of whom were my friends.  In addition, I had to move my workspace after 9 years at the same desk.  Many tears shed, many late nights, much anxiety about friends gone and new responsibilities and a tired, sore body on top of it all.

It was time for some fabric therapy, and I was very glad BD#2 was home and glad to have a playmate.  She and I went to A&E and I thought we exercised a great deal of restraint there.  We only bought enough fabric to finish the 2nd McKenzie pillow, the fabric for my PP6 swap (Hideaway in aqua),  and fabric for one other project she asked me to make for her.  And we even shared half of the AMH Garden Party and selected coordinates (A&E didn't have much AMH left) with BD#1!  Wasn't that generous?
BD #2 is taking a culinary arts class.  What she asked me to make was a knife case and a tote bag for her CA stuff.  Hmmm...  I've never made a knife case before.  Just what are the requirements?  How big are the knives?  Are there patterns out there?  Not that I could find.  So, I did what I always do when I'm really stumped - I made it up from thin air.

Oddly enough, while I was at quilt guild last Monday, someone donated some home dec fabric on the giveaway table that was perfect for my purposes.  And I just love the outside fabric.  It is so bright and cheerful.  Anyway, here are some pics of my creation.
Here is the knife case folded closed into a neat, tidy bundle.

The case rolls together and ties shut.  I forgot the handles, so will add those before it is mailed.

Here the case is open with the cover folded up.

Here are the pockets for the individual knives.

In this one, the knives are covered and safely stored.

I thought it turned out OK.  I hope it will be functional and make BD#2 happy on those COLD, no make that FRIGID Idaho mornings (it was -7 there this morning when I checked).  Farenheit.

So, my kind sister got me two books for my birthday.  This one, that I've been oogling forever:

And this one, which is just the ticket for my next little project:

So here are the beginnings of the tote bag.  The outside is mostly done - sewn and quilted.  It was mostly fun to quilt.  I am not a great free motion quilter and frankly, my machine doesn't like it.  I broke several needles in the process, but I am fairly pleased with the results.  The flowers look kind of cool quilted.  I'm not so happy with the quilting on what will be the sides.  It is kind of funky, maybe because the pieces are so long and narrow.  Overall, though, I'm ok with the results.

I am currently working on the inside pockets.  The requirement is that at least one pocket has to be able to hold BD#2's chef's coat.  Now that I have the quilting done, I am thinking I should have put a couple of pockets on the outside.  I may add a pocket for a water bottle to the side, but frankly, the flower is just too pretty to cover up with a pocket.  I may just have to put all the pockets on the inside.  This is a WIP, but I hope to finish by the weekend.

Anyway, so the Tuesday after Pres Day, I head in to work thinking that the layoffs are over, the worst is behind us, and things will get better.  Not so.  In the next 2 days, 6 officers leave to go to work for another bank in town.  THIS required major fabric therapy.  Friday night, I went to A&E and treated myself to the above selection of yummy fabrics.  When I came home, I arranged them, and rearranged them, and petted them...  WH laughed at me.  He just doesn't understand.

So the next week has to be better, right?  Nope, my boss retired suddenly and we have a whole new management team.  Whew!  That's a lot to happen in 3 weeks.  It required even more fabric therapy.  The picture above is the selection from last Friday night.  It is also the selection for the charm square swap I am in.  (So, if you are involved in the swap and you are reading this, I just spoiled your surprise when you get your little package....  Sorry.)

This selection includes:

Weekends by Erin McMorris
Dancing Paisley by Amy Butler
Monaco by Dena
Kites by Felicity Miller
Picnic Plaid by Joel Dewberry
Daisy Chain by Amy Butler
Freshcut by Heather Bailey
Paperweight by Kaffe Fassett
Kumari Gardens by Dena Designs

Speaking of the charm square swap, there are 18 members (including me) who are swapping 8 unique fabrics each.  That's in the neighborhood of 144 charms (of course I kept a set for myself - I just love those fabrics!)  That should be enough charms to make 2 quilts.  I think for one of them, I will do the Square One quilt from Camille Roskelly's book.  I really only expected to have enough charms to make one quilt, so I haven't really thought about the second one yet.

So far, I have received two of the packages of charm squares.  It is turning out to be a wonderful selection of fabrics so far.  And getting these little non-bill envelopes in the mail has brightened my less-than-stellar-but-better-than-the-last-three-weeks days so far this week.  Here are pics of what I have received so far from Val and Lucinda.
Charm Square Package from Val in Indiana

Charm square package from Lucinda.  I'm not ready to untie it yet, but it has "chairs" in it!

It is so much fun to get these little packages in the mail.

Also yesterday and today, I have gotten 2 books from BD#1 and her family (for my birthday? - she had already made me some hand-knitted dishcloths for my birthday!)  Anyway, I have had 2 great mail days in a row.  Here are the things she sent.

 I have been eyeing this book since I first saw it at BD #1's house.  Yummy projects and ideas.  I can't wait to try them.

And I hadn't seen this book before, but it has some great modern twists on traditional quilt patterns.  Can't wait to try some of them. 

AND today is February 1 and I signed up to be in the Mini QT swap.  My partner is Valery Anne.  As I understand it, you know who your partner is, and you only give sneak peeks of your project until your partner receives it.  So here is my sneak peek.

I just love this fabric.  It is going to be so much fun to play with.  The theme is 3D, and I think there are wonderful possibilities.

I think this blog post should have been 3 or 4 blog posts.  If you have made it to the end of this, you are uber stout hearted, and I wish you a wonderful week.  Meanwhile, hopefully, this week there won't be a need for so much fabric therapy.  On the other hand, if something good happens, we could go fabric shopping to celebrate....

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