Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Relay Race

I have been struggling for a few weeks, trying to figure out what my big "games" project will be. As you probably know, Stitch Your Art Out is joining Ravelry for the "Ravellenics," but we are adding one thing to our own games, which is that quilters should feel free to join in. The idea is that you pick a project, start it the day that the world-wide games coming up on Friday start, and end it by the day the games end.(The world-wide games committee is not allowing businesses to use the official word for the games without permission. I do not have permission.)

My problem (so to speak) is that I am working on a number of things in anticipation of a photo shoot for my patterns that is coming up on August 9. The timing for one big project is a bit off here.

A customer came in a few days ago and said that what she needs to do is a relay, where she finishes up one project after another--and as soon as she said it, I realized that that's what I need to do as well. And so this is my commitment.

My vow is that I will work on the item until finished. "Finished" means that I must also have a good draft of a pattern completed as well as the knitted item. Most of these projects have an almost-finished pattern and an almost-finished item, and it's time to get them finished.

Fall is almost here, and the world needs new patterns!

Because it is a relay, I vow also to finish the patterns in order. (Discipline will be fierce.) I also vow not to begin anything new for 2 entire weeks, unless these projects are all complete first. I am allowed to alternate quilting and knitting, however, if I so choose. I can make my own rules, baby.

Knitted Stuff

1. Shawl. I am working on a shawl that is knitted in sections of striped colors. Estimated time to completion: 10 hours of knitting.

2. Headbands. I have designed headbands. I even have good photos of them. But I used yarn that had too little contrast, and the design did not show up in the photos. I am making 2 new headbands, one for a man, one for a woman. I would prefer making four new ones, but I will do that only as time permits. Estimated time to completion: 7 hours of knitting.

3. Pillow. The front of a pillow I designed is finished. I must finish the back: Pillows look sad without a back and stuffing. Estimated time to completion: 6 hours of knitting.

4. Necklace. I have been meaning to design a beaded necklace for about a year. It is time. Estimated time to completion: at least 6 hours of struggling with design, 2 hours of knitting the final product.

Let's say that I knit for 2 hours/day on average.That brings us to 14.5 days. That, however, is not serious challenge, since it is probably what I do on average anyway.

So let's add a few quilting projects in here to make it interesting.

Quilted Stuff

1. Finish the re-do of my beginning placemat for my quilting 101 pattern. I want something a little more coherent/coordinated than what I have for the cover. Estimated time: 3-4 hours.

2. Catch up on the blocks for the 2012 block of the month. It is SO pretty. I must have it! I cut all the blocks out a few weeks ago, so I'm going to get them sewn. Estimated sewing time: 3.5 hours.

3. Finish a Unicorn quilt I started that we are doing as kits. I just need to do some quilt quilting and then bind it. Estimated sewing time: 2 hours.

4. Quilt a tumbler quilt top I made and write up the handout.(Estimated time: 5 hours of quilting.)

So this is it. This is what I want to have finished in 2 weeks. The most difficult part of all is that rule about how I am not allowed to start anything new for 2 entire weeks unless this list is finished. That is completely out of my comfort zone.

Now this is all in writing and you are reading it, so it is real. I will let you know if there are any last-minute changes between today and Friday.

Let the games begin.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Enjoying a Beautiful, Sunny Arts Fest Weekend

Are you having fun at the Arts Fest? I have been. It's been kind of a lazy week, and we all need those sometimes. I spent Thursday knitting, walking around to see the exhibits--and taking a little peek at the Alumni Center wildlife. This turtle was enjoying the day too, sunning itself.

And this mama had her ducks in a row. Kids sure do grow fast, don't they?

Friday I worked and enjoyed many people from out of town. (Apparently you all have out-of-town guests this weekend.)

This afternoon (Saturday), while Kirsten watched the shop, Kim and I went to the Palmer museum, where we joined with some wonderful women from the Centre Pieces quilt guild to demo quilting--thank you, Pat, Claire, and Diane for helping us! (And an added thank you to Becky, for the beautiful quilt she loaned us to display.)

Kim talked to people about how to quilt, how to put colors together, and she showed everyone some of the quilts she has made over the years....

Claire sat next to me and showed people how she did foundation piecing. Everyone was fascinated by her 1953 Singer Featherweight. (Any number of times, she answered the question, "Is it a treadle machine?")

And I showed people how to rotary cut. (Here I am demonstrating that it is highly unsafe to look away from your work when you have a rotary cutter in your hand.)

We loved being at the Palmer. (Thanks, Dana, for asking us. And start quilting--you know you want to.)

I suggest that even though we are no longer demonstrating our work, you get yourself to the museum ASAP. There is a stunning exhibit of quilts in one of the upstairs galleries. And after you've been inspired, come on over to our store to stitch your art out.