Sunday, September 6, 2009

Musings, Updates, and Ruthie

I saw the movie "Julie & Julia" yesterday. My husband surprised me the night before, asking what was going on the next day. He often asks, to find out what's up with all of the kids for the weekend, but I could tell there was something different. When I finished the rundown of who would be where, I asked why. He said he wanted to take me to a movie. We haven't been to a movie together since "Sleepless in Seattle" came out. Generally, if we have the time and money to go out, we go out to dinner so we can talk, but he knew I really wanted to see this movie.

It will be on my Christmas list if it's out on video by then, I LOVED it. I also plan to get Julia's first book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." I love to cook nearly as much as I love to quilt and was completely mesmerized by some of the dishes made, and some of the exerpts read in the movie.

I was enthralled in the movie theater, I think perhaps because I see some of each Julie and Julia in myself.

Quilting is to me as cooking is to Julia. Julia tried several things before learning to cook, because she needed something to fill her time. I learned to knit at 10 years old, and have done some form or other of needlework since then. I knitted in study halls at school, at home in front of the TV, I added stamped cross stitch, needlepoint, crewel, and counted cross stitch to my repertoire as the years went on. I can remember bringing cross stitch projects to stitch during my break time at work.

Then one day, I got an advertisement in the mail for a quilting book. I was intrigued. I was intimidated. I WANTED that book. Eventually I bought a quilting book. Little by little, I read my way through, studying it, learning the steps, daring myself to try it. Pregnant with Rachel, baby number 3, I decided it was time to try. What better trial project than a baby quilt? I bought supplies, carefully made my templates, and spent afternoons hand sewing those attic window blocks with the fussy cut inset squares. I made a baby quilt and changing table pad, hand pieced and hand quilted, in just 3 weeks. I WAS HOOKED and I was off and running. Much like Julia was with her cooking.

Julie, on the other hand, was trying to find her way. She took on a big project, something to keep her busy, something to focus on, and something to finish. She was obssessed.

I understand that obssession. I feel that way often because quilting is so much more to me than just making a blanket. Along with being a creative outlet, time spent quilting is also spent praying, meditating on God, and thinking through problems. I reminisce and daydream, plot and plan, all the while the machine humming while I piece, or the needle gently gliding in and out while hand quilting or appliquing. It brings me peace and it's such a gift.

I'm planning a "Julie" project. I haven't decided what it is, yet. Maybe it will be multiple things, a list of techniques I want to try, and projects I want to finish, a list that hold me accountable for the rambling "someday" things that run through my mind.

In the meantime, I've got quite a few projects in the works!

Debbie's quilt remains on my design board.The main reason is that I got on a roll with the purple paper pieced quilt and decided I wanted to finish it before moving on. Often in the past, I've needed to set aside quilts to take on deadline projects, or have put projects aside because they were tedious to work on, only to have them sit for a very long time before getting picked up again. I'm attempting to break that habit.

I've also learned how to play mind games with myself to make less enjoyable parts of things more palatable. I decided to quilt all the purple blocks first, because those were more difficult. I had two different motifs in the alternating blocks, and one of those was much easier than the other.
The little heart wreath is adorable, but there is LOTS of turning the hoop involved. I decided all these needed to be finished first. I then moved onto the other motif and those worked up quite quickly. I'm now doing the white border (also being quilted in purple thread) and it won't be long at all now until this quilt is finished. Though I really wanted to finish it before moving on, in the back of my mind I was pretty sure it would get set aside yet again. The fact that I've plowed through the most difficult part and now find myself just a week or so away from finishing this has given my motivation a big push. I've been more diligent about using my time wisely, and hope that I'm setting myself up for good habits come fall.

I also spent some time on the triangle paper project.
I still have quite a few sheets of triangle paper left to find fabric for, and I may work on this some tomorrow. The 1/2 square triangle units in the box are all sewn together and waiting for pressing, which will be done a few at a time. Quite a few of these will be made into Pinwheel blocks, the rest are left as 1/2 square triangle units.

Soon to be in the forefront is the posies and celtic quilt. I spent a couple of days last week making more bias tape for the outer border.
I still haven't decided for sure what will go into that outer border. I'm pretty sure there will be a vine, leaves and posies. I might also need to do a smaller braid type thing between the blocks and the vine border to finish it out properly since there is so much applique in the sashing. I plan to concentrate on this more as soon as the purple quilt is finished.

I'm pretty sure I've decided on a project for the fabric I got for my birthday, and it might be part of my Julie project. While typing this post, I already thought of a few things I'd LOVE to finish as part of this challenge. I guess part of the challenge will be naming it!

And now for Miss Ruthie. She's been in rare form of late. Because of her limited vocabulary, it's easy to forget how much she really understands. She still catches us off guard sometimes when she answers questions. Today, Rachel was asking her a bunch of questions, all to which she said "no." Rachel asked if no was her favorite word and Ruthie paused and looked at her and said "Yes!" Rachel was quite amused, "most little kids would say 'no' again!" she said.

She was playing in the kitchen one day and called me to take her picture.
She had some rearranging to do.
She then smiled big and said "picture" in her own inimitable way.
I can't get away with pretending anymore, she demands to see the picture in the back of the camera once it's taken.

She likes to dress up. She will often find a hat, then find me and ask for a picture. Really, though, who wouldn't want to capture this for posterity?
Or this? This is her current "shopping" getup, she'll put on shoes, the hat, and the purse and push her little cart around the house. The other day, she stopped, reached into the purse, pretended to put something in her mouth, grinned and said "gum!"
And now, believe it or not, my update is finished. I hope to post more often now that we're starting our school work and, in general, things are less busy here. In the meantime, I'll be thinking about the currently nameless self challenge and what it will entail.
Until then,
Happy Quilting!


~Bren~ said...

Wonderful update! Even though we talk often, I still get excited to see Quilting Chatter lit up in my google updates!
Ruthie is a doll! I can not believe she will be 5 soon. Emerson will be 1 in a week!

Winona said...

Sue, loved your post. Ruthie is just so cute. I love her shopping outfit. Looks perfect for an afternoon of shopping.(grin) I hope you can keep up with your self challenge. I made a goal to get some projects done in August. I didn't get everything done, but I'm quite pleased with what I did accomplish. Have a good week. Winona