Sunday, December 31, 2023

after march

the first quarter of 2023 was rather prolific in sewing. looking back, i'm amazed all i had time for. considering the pace of my life after march 2023, i have to wonder what on earth changed so much that i couldn't find any more time for sewing. let's take a look back and see what we can discover.

how do i start out so productively? i usually use some of the winter holiday leisure time to quilt. once i get motivated, i'm pretty good at finding more time to squeeze in sewing. then my husband usually takes a lot of small ski or business trips the first few months of the year, and i generally sew like a fiend when he's gone. in march, we took a week's vacation at the beach for spring break and i always bring handwork for that.

but after march?
in the early spring, i continued handwork on "mildred and ethel" quilt. in fact, i finished it!

come late april, the madness began.

travel season began early we went to utah because our second daughter, d2, graduated with her bachelors in technical writing. we spent a few family days visiting temples and helping our sophmore son pack up to leave school for the summer.

shortly following that, my husband and i took our younger son, s2, to italy for 3 weeks for his senior trip (one year late because grandbaby came last year). 

thinking there would be down time on plains and in cars, i made sure to sew the binding on and then ambitiously packed my "liberty holly hobbie" quilt, believing i could surely finish the handbinding and take a photo somewhere in italy. it's a small quilt, but it still took up a lot of room in my travel gear. eventually, it ended up in my suitcase and never saw the light of day. the pace at which my husband plans travel doesn't allow for sewing downtime. any moments i might have wanted to sew, i chose to sleep instead.

although we passed through london on the way to italy, i did not visit the liberty store. too tired and i knew i'd be back at least once more this year. but we were there just days before the coronation and i got a few goodies at a heathrow shop.

i may not have gotten any liberty in london, but i was surprised how much tana lawn i saw through out italy, particularly in milan but also in florence.

these are just a few samples of window displays i saw. most shops had items made of liberty, this one actually sold yardage.

on our last day in milan, i took my son into a beautiful shop full of liberty and had him pick out a yard that i could use as a backing on a future liberty + chambray lap quilt. off all the lovely prints to choose from, he selected "strawberry theif" in a blue colorway. not my favorite. i tried to steer him towards prints i favored, but he was adamant. i've decided his choice is appropriate for the trip (it has a somewhat renaissance feel to it) and have plans to use it for a blue-themed liberty quilt.

i also arranged and packed the supplies for two epp wheels for my "london wardobe epp" quilt. this i actually pulled out on the flight out of italy and sewed on for a bit.

my little travel pouch was a gift from liz (shush i'm quilting) several years ago and is the perfect size for my epp necessities.

on the way out, we spent a day and two nights in manchester so the fellas could attend a mancity match and i had the immense pleasure of meeting up with the lovely lucy brennan of charm about you, a longtime, on-line quilt friend i have met in person once before.

we didn't do any sewing or anything fabric related, but she showed me around her city, we had a lovely meal, and just talked and talked. lucy is the kind of person i wish lived next door to me so i could see her every day. quilt people really are the best.

following the travel, i worked full time on my other creative project - our house remodel. lots of creativity going on, but no sewing.

in june, after a quick trip to california for my husband's grandmother's 90th birthday, we went to the charming town of seaside, florida with my siblings and their spouses to celebrate my milestone birthday:

i turned 50.

in july, our family packed up again and flew into prague for a month-long tour of germanic areas. we visited austria, a bit of germany, and switzerland. 

these hexagon floor tiles in the summer palace in vienna reminded me of quilts, of course.

i did not bring a quilt along, i knew better by now than to give up precious luggage space for that. but i did bring the little epp pouch with me. i kept it stowed in the side pocket of my backpack, which was my carry-on for the trip.

when we went backpacking in the austrian alps for 4 days, i neglected to take that little pouch out of my bag. i regretted the unnecessary extra weight until on day 3, when one of our daughters had an abscess develop on her leg that needed to be lanced. then we were able to sterilize my sewing needle and perform the operation. gruesome, but she quickly healed after that and i was grateful i had the equipment needed with me.

 later, in switzerland, i did do some actual epp work on an extended train transfer.

after switzerland, i began working on house plans once more. but we were only home a short time before we accompanied our oldest daughter, her husband, and their son on a trip to scotland for a wedding and touring. this travel is fun, and i definitely enjoy looking back on the experiences later, but it is also quite exhausting! i'm a homebody who craves her own spaces and routines, so the travel does wear on me after a while. i think it's fair to say i did my share for the year and deserve some time at home. 

at the beginning of october, we got a visit from d2 and then sent her off to language school in tokyo.

since we arrived home from scotland mid-september, needle and thread were put away again because i got a new creative project - we decided to throw a joint 50th birthday bash as both my husband and i turned 50 this year. that took 6 weeks of full time work to make happen. we had the party near the end of october. it was a great sucess, but i was also glad when it was over.

then the holidays hit!

and our older son, s1, who has been serving a church mission in alaska for two years, came home a few weeks early just after thanksgiving because he has been extremely ill. many medical appointments ensued. things are under control now, and he's off to grad school.

and our oldest daughter had a baby girl in early december.

once christmas was over, i thought about finishing the binding on "liberty holly hobbie" quilt since i usually do complete a binding to ring out the year. i started working on it whenever my grandson (19 months) came over to play with my collection of toy animals. but those sessions never lasted long enough for me to get more than one thread length done before he wanted to be off and doing something else. 

whenever he wasn't around, there were still the college kids home and other family things to do.
which meant i left the handbinding for next year.

so 2023 ends with these stats:

finishes - 1
starts - 4: 1 sandwhiched, 3 in piecing process
flimsies complete - 1
projects quilted - 5
handquilting projects - 2: 1 completed, 1 in progress
handbinding in process - 1
epp - 1 cog half done
classes - 1: string stars w/ tara faughnan