Showing posts from March, 2012

Sewing in the kitchenette

As promised, here's a pic of where I'll be sewing for the next few months: I am comfortable in my new sewing space, but I look around and it really isn't that cute yet.  Like, not cute enough to show off on my blog, you know?  But it's just temporary and I'm lucky to have any space at all.  When I first started coming to this house, oh, 11 years ago, this was the family's main kitchen.  It was crowded, cluttered, and HOT.  It feels so strange to have it all to myself now.. I still don't have my transformer yet so I've been passing the time with lots and lots of hand stitching.  I decided I'm going to collect all my stray threads and tails and see how big the pile gets by the end of our trip.  Random, but if you're a hand piecer, you know how fast they accumulate.  Thanks for the free internet entertainment tips you sent in, there really is a lot available out there.  I thought I should clarify for a minute though-- I don't plan on sitting …

Athens in early spring

I've never been to Greece this time of year before, so many things are new to lemons and oranges still on the trees in our garden:

Enjoying a sea-side playground in sweaters and jackets:

Spring fashion: (knee high boots in late March?  and I only brought flats!)  plus everyone is still bundled up in warm jackets-- this 60~70 degree weather is still really cold for them.
It's cold for us too-- concrete construction keeps the houses much cooler inside than it is outside-- something I've always been grateful for in the summer (75 inside is better when it's 95 outside), but the heaters are off already and we're pretty chilly inside now-- thank god I thought to bring slippers and my fleece hoodie!

Many thanks to all your good packing suggestions, I managed to get all our stuff in 4 suitcases and 2 carry-ons that clocked in just at or under the weight limit.  My sewing machine made it fine, but I haven't bought a transformer yet so I can't plug it in.  T…

Making it fit

In my last post I hinted at an extreme packing nightmare and upcoming travel plans.. well,  this is the situation:

We are going to Greece early this year and staying for quite a while-- the entire spring actually.  Important stuff has been arranged at both ends (housesitter in NY, registering George for preschool in Athens) but now all that's left is the packing...

In past years I have always just brought handwork with me, but now that we'll be there for so long, C will be working and George will be at school, I decided this is the year to pack the sewing machine.  And.. fabric.  I've got a few special quilts and projects to get done before the summer and thought this would be a good chance to work on them.  Quilt fabric and notions I'm used to are almost impossible to get locally in Athens (if you know where to buy things like 100% cotton thread, Let Me Know!!) and rather than pay to ship them, I'm just taking an extra suitcase. 
Before I get comments saying how …

Bee blocks

I'm frantically trying to get caught up on my bee blocks before we head off to Greece at the end of the week.. (wait, I didn't post that "how the hell am I going to fit all this cr** in the suitcase?!?" post yet, did I?)
Here are blocks I finished over the weekend:
A wonky star for Carole..

And a signature block for Maureen.. (I was in the mood for a house block)

And in case you haven't seen already, I'm guest blogging over at A Few Scraps today (talking about EPP, what else?), hop over and say hi!!

Why I prewash, a cautionary tale.

When it comes to "Quilting Rules" it's trendy to say that there are no rules, or that the "quilt police" are out of fashion.  But still, secretly (?) some of us stick to certain ways of doing things and passionately defend our positions when questioned.  For me, prewashing fabrics has become a sticking point..

Some people might think I'm crazy for prewashing because I wash all my fabric,  jelly rolls and layer cakes included.  I even wash gifted scraps, but I wasn't always so cautious.  

This weekend we drove up to Boston to visit friends, and I got to visit two of my quilts as well.  I made this one for Ayane before she was born (backstory here) and I have always loved it, so imagine my surprise when I spread it out and saw this:

Two of the blue fabrics I had used had bled.  They were gifted or scavanged scraps and I think they were hand dyed (possibly by whoever I got them from). Back then I didn't have a washing machine at home and didn't prew…


It was time.  Well, waaay overdue actually.  Yesterday I took my little Kenmore for service.

It had not been professionally serviced since I got it for my college graduation, 11 years ago.  It was looked at by a home repair woman when I lived in Hokkaido in 2002..
A really awesome and totally random Japanese experience-- I was in my apartment and the doorbell rang.  I answered and found a woman there, asking if I had a sewing machine.  Huh?  I showed her to my machine and she said she'd check it out and give it a tune-up.  I said "Ok" and went back to my guests in the living room.  "How cool is this that sewing machine repair people make unsolicited house calls" I thought.  After she was done I thanked her and she left, then just wrote it off as one of the many cool-yet-bizarre experiences I was having in Japan.  It's only now, as I write the post that I realize I probably should have offered to pay her.. and with hindsight, the 32-year-old me really regre…

Balance sought, not yet found

At the start of this teaching session I warned you it might take me a while to find some balance, but now, here we are 7 weeks into classes and it'll all be over next week (we teach 2 sessions each university semester), and still, I never found a way to balance work, quilting, blogging, and housekeeping.  Well, that's not exactly true.  Life does have a balance, but blogging just never made it smoothly into the equation.  I go to work, prep after class, clean the house as necessary; we've scaled back on our play-date schedule, but we spend lots of quality time the 3 of us.  Every night I cuddle with George in bed as he falls asleep and I've somehow found a way to slow it down and really enjoy those moments, instead of wishing he'd fall asleep faster so I could get up and go do something else.  I think AmandaJean's new year's resolution to be more intentional has found a place in my life as well, but I'm not just trying to be intentional with my sewing, …