Friday, July 22, 2011

Stitching Camelot

Hoping that uploading this post will not be thwarted by the rolling blackouts we are still experiencing all over Cyprus, so I will make this a quick one.
I have been home for a week, and apart from the drawback of experiencing a painful allergic reaction to one of the medications I was sent home with, I am recovering and feeling more like myself every day.
Thanks for all your well wishes and gorgeous e-cards, I am so grateful to have friends like you. :)
Even though I still feel wobbly, I have been stitching to my heart's content. This has not been the summer I was expecting, but all things considered I have rested and I am stitching;  so I am not complaining, :)
Ok, ready for a "ta-daaaa" ?  Here's Camelot!

Not the best of pictures, but you get the gist! All 16 Camelot blocks and connector squares have been carefully hand-stitched into place, and I love the result.
I have been cutting tiny triangles from my left over scraps, and have been stitching these little cuties:

These Half-square triangles that will be 1 1/2" squares when finally stitched together.

Thank you for visiting my little stitching corner, and looking out for me, :)
as always, I send you my love,

Maybe a better picture, and the colours more true, flapping in the sea-breeze... LOL

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am on an unexpected break, connected to an IV drip. A nasty Strep bug has sent me to hospital last thursday. Thank God, the worse is over and I was admitted right on time. Now the soaring fevers are gone, my kids think all these tubes coming out of me are cool, and I am making the best of my alone time, enjoying my private room and catching up on my naps. :)
Not the vacation I was hoping for, however a great time evaluate things and be grateful for the happy domestic chaos that is my life. 
Too bad I cannot stitch! :) However, there has been lots of quilt-y plans and things to report.
And I have a new appreciation for pin-cushions! :)   
 -- as you can imagine 'parking my needle' will never be the same...

I, like all of you, I'm sure, have a file marked: Inspiration. Here I collect ideas of designs and colour-combo's that I would some day like to translate into quilts of my own. I have been revisiting this file these days, on my laptop, since I cannot do much else, and notice the trends that emerge in my 'likes' and my 'OMG's... I think it is important to notice that there are designs that are timeless and colours that keep recurring. I love trendy quilts, you know I do, and I love playing around with colour, however there are the classics, those quilts that I have to make. Many of which are simple geometric designs and very Amish in flavour, so I expect a shift for fall and winter.

The other thing I have to share are thoughts on my work schedule. The experiment of this year is working. Last year I tried: monday is for this, tuesday that, and who can forget wednesdays hexies! however, it doesn't work for me, and my time demands. I realized I need to focus on one project at the time. This is how I work best, and fastest. This is how Klosjes got done, and this is how I was able to stay focused on Camelot. There are many minor projects that flutter in and out of the main focus. This makes for a very boring blog, I know. But it makes for a happy quilter, as I feel I am moving forward in my stitching. 

Lazy stitching by the sea-side: a wedding gift for a special friend.
the other images are from their magical wedding celebration

This has also made me look at my stash differently:  Organizing according to colour and style. As you all know, I am a scrappy quilter. I rarely buy yardage, and rarely meet a fatquarter I don't like. But I have stopped trying to adopt all the little lonely fatquarters of the world. These days they only come home with me if they can strengthen the cast at home, are in a colour that I do not already have, or can add that 'je ne sais quoi' to a quilt. This has had some very interesting results. A far more effective and harder working stash, and an interesting new way of choosing fabrics for new projects. Now I use the 'basket' method'. Once I decide the flavour I want my new quilt to have, I go shopping in my stash. I load my basket with the colours I would like to use. If there are colours, textures or yardage missing, I enjoy shopping for them. But what I have noticed is that my projects have more cohesion and internal harmony, as all the colours already live happily in their basket until the end of the project in question. Then they move back to the main stash or to their designated scrap bin.

I have also come to embrace my shift towards hand-piecing. Like most of you know, these days I need to be portable, doing most of my stitching around my kids' activities. I like the pace of it, and I have become more precise in some ways and much more forgiving in others. Nothing like hand-stitching to bring you back to the basics. And for me, it is has meant a deeper savouring of our craft. My quilts have always been stitched diaries of my everyday experience. How much more now that they travel with me through the mundane and extraordinary. Teaching me that 'every stitch counts', and that 'slow and steady wins the race'. But most importantly, it has thought me to evaluate if this is a quilt I want to commit my time and energy to... The butterfly has turned into a caterpillar, and I like it! Because now, instead of me being the butterfly, my quilts are.

Camelot is at the point of getting assembled. Dear Jane is being enjoyed on the side, and 'In my Garden' needs some attentive TLC. My summer plan was to dust my charm hexies off the shelf and press for the finish, since I am not far from the final assembly there as well. So I am looking forward to being discharged in a few more days and take up needle and thread again.

Cyprus is in the midst of national mourning due to the tragedy that happened yesterday. We are in shock as a nation and grieving the loss of life and ready to face the sacrifices of restricted electricity and water in hot summer ahead. 

So, this puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?
Thinking of you,

My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina