Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cold, cold, cold

from the old
to the new

 I was so busy with Bluemont work last week that I forgot to write a blog post! 

Our landlord recently informed us that the building where we have our storage is scheduled to be torn down.  Fortunately, he offered us a new storage location in the old flour mill, just a few blocks away.  We had a look at the weather and decided that Valentine's Day was the best opportunity.

We had to move all the Bluemont storage -
over 100 boxes of file archives,
dozens of event boxes
and signs
and all of the sound equipment.

There was also my Peace Weaver booth - 
shelves and equipment,
about a dozen tubs of yarn
and numerous wicker mannequins.

 As well as a surprising number of boxes
and some furniture we have acquired
from our parents in various moves.
 Lots of stuff.

In addition to my regular work, I made several trips during the week to the old and new storage sites to measure shelves and boxes and palettes and make a preliminary plan on paper.   On Saturday a crew of 8 spent six hours on the actual move.   We had a great group of cheerful, willing helpers.  After a few hours we took a break to warm up and refuel with lunch at Camino Real, then finished the job in the afternoon before the snow started.  I had a lot of sore muscles for the next few days!

My boss and daughter, Lily Dunning, part of our handworking crew
It seems like we spent most of this last weekend trying to stay warm in our old house.  Virginia has been experiencing unusually low temperatures in February and there were high winds all day Sunday, so Peter & I huddled around the woodstove with the dog and cat and I tried to get the den/studio warm enough so I could sew in there.

I am venturing into quilting this winter.  When our daughter & her husband, Hannah and Joe Won announced that they are expecting a baby in July I started planning a flannel baby quilt.  I knew just the fabrics I wanted to use, too - Cloud 9 Fanfare organic flannel in bright, gender neutral colors.  I have been eyeing this fabric line for quite a while but didn't have the right project - yet.

The plan is to have 7" squares of the fox and elephant fabrics with 2" sashing between the blocks and a square of bright solid color at the intersections.  I need to buy a little turquoise and purple solid to go with that citron for the small squares.  I may use grey for the sashing but I may opt for the dot fabric instead.

Even though I have been sewing garments since I was 11, I haven't done much quilting,  I have pieced plenty of log cabin and crazy quilt blocks and I taught a class on a very cool fast & dirty quilting that Bird Ross wrote about for Threads magazine many years ago, but I haven't made an actual quilt.  So, I decided I would get in some practice before I start on Baby Won Kenobe's quilt.  First I stitched up a set of forty 44" long strips into a quilt top.

This was a kit for a 2012 charity quilt from my local quilt shop, Web Fabrics.   I am a little late for the original donation idea, but I may donate it to the silent auction for the Bluemont Country Dances if I can get it finished before the March dance.  First, I need to find fabric for the backing and binding and then get stitching!

There are two other small flannel quilts in the planning stages - one will be pieced much like the baby quilt.  I have been collecting fabrics for this for several years, and I finally assembled the elements on our bed and started fiddling with the layout.  The color in this photo is not accurate, but you get the general idea - rich, autumnal colors.  I'm using a charm pack of 5" squares of flannel in tweed prints like herringbone and windowpane checks for the small squares.

The other is just a patchwork of color.  While visiting Web Fabrics I found this 10" layer cake of Moda flannel, and I loved the color palette, so home it came and here is my preliminary layout. I just want to piece the squares together as you see here and bind it with black or a dark brown.

I have been a weaver since 1980 and the idea of cutting up perfectly good fabric only to sew it back together again still seems kind of crazy, but playing with color and pattern this way is very satisfying!

(By the way, the title this week is from a Little Feat song of the same name.)

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