The Re-Opening Approaches

I cannot believe it’s October already.  Starting a fall semester is always like boarding an express train to December, but it catches me off-guard every time.  The ten-week term is starting this week, so I’ll have another class to teach, which is exciting, but I know it’s only going to make the time go even faster.  If I’m going to make any progress on crafting projects, I’d better hop to it!  (And get more sleep…)

So last Monday I was up before dawn to get ready for my eight o’clock class, and was surfing the web, and on an impulse started looking for Rowan’s shot cottons, which I’ve been wanting to get ever since they came out last year, and they seemed to be just disappearing from the internet!  And then I found the full fat-quarter bundle on sale on Craftsy, and, me being me and not having had my coffee yet…


I dunno what I’m going to make yet.  I’m really glad I finally got it (and 25% off!) but I’m gonna remember in future not to do any online shopping at six in the morning.  Who knows what I might order next?

The angel is coming along, slow but steady.  I’ve been applying a lot of gold thread lately, not because the cotton colors are all done, but just because I feel like it.


The stripey shawl is also coming along, although as it gets bigger it’s getting increasingly hard to take pictures of it.


I’m working it on a 60-inch circular needle now, and I’ve repeated my stripe pattern five times, if that gives you any idea.  Of course, the bigger the shawl gets, the longer it takes (and the more yarn it takes) to knit a row, so it tends to grow more and more slowly.  It’s become my go-to “I need to do something that doesn’t require any thought” project, which is filling an important niche.

While I’m still on the subject of yarn, here are some new acquisitions from Pins & Needles that my husband and I picked out yesterday.


I’m thinking about a wide scarf with alternating rows of the two yarns.  (Have I mentioned that I’m absolutely nuts about scarves?  I have way too many scarves.  But I always want a new one!)  I asked my husband recently if he would be interested in a new scarf, and he said he already has enough scarves.  (Men are unfathomable sometimes.)

Progress on Marigold continues!  I now have six blocks completely quilted, and six that are only partly quilted.


It’s going slower than I’d hoped; I wanted to re-open my Etsy shop a month ago, but with things happening and the semester starting, that re-start date has been pushed back again and again.  I’m hoping that I can finish either Marigold or Verna this week, and open the shop again with a finished quilt as the centerpiece.  Which brings me to…


Here is Verna, fully pieced, just after I layered it to quilt, but before I put the safety pins in.  The backing is the same fabric as the big black-and-red triangles, a vintage cotton from the estate of a California quilter who belonged to my old guild.  I’ll be using almost all of what’s left to back Verna, and I’m thinking about binding the quilt in solid red.

I haven’t yet started to quilt this one, but I’ve made a plan for how I’m going to do it.


This is a doodle of my quilting plan for Verna. (These are not Verna’s colors; I just copied the block from a diagram I made last year.) I made this in a drawing app called Graphic (formerly iDraw) that I use a lot for quilt design and planning.  I’d been reading some of Angela Walter’s advice on how to plan your quilt design, including one technique that involves laying a transparency on top of the quilt itself, and I thought, “Why get the transparency?  I can do that digitally!”  I copied the block into a new file, made another layer, and drew the quilting design on top, on my iPad with a fine-point stylus.  The lines aren’t all that pretty at times, but it definitely gives the effect, and I’m really happy with how it looks.  Now it only remains to actually quilt it!

For the lines in the white center pieces, I want to put down some guidelines to help me keep them straight, but I’m very reluctant to mark on white fabric.  I’m just never convinced it’s really going to come out again.  So instead, I’m going to use a tip I found while I was searching for pounce-powder stencil tips: put a layer of Press n’ Seal on top, and draw my guidelines on that!  The Press n’ Seal is covered with tiny little grip-dots, no adhesives; it will grip the fabric and stay in place while I’m drawing on it and while I’m sewing, but then I can peel it off once I’m done without leaving a trace.  (You can read the whole tutorial about using Press n’ Seal to make pounce-powder templates here.)

I’ll let you know how it goes!



2 thoughts on “The Re-Opening Approaches

  1. I’m trying! Sometimes it feels like I’m not getting anywhere. But I’m hoping, if I just keep plugging away at it, I will reach my goals in time. I have finally gotten back to the novel and written some new stuff today! Tomorrow my new class starts, so I’m prepping for that too. Your encouragement is always appreciated!


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