It’s been a while since I posted last so I thought I would let you know what I have been up to. In September I was let go from my job at Lollypop Farm, a position I held for almost 12 years. I had already been looking for another job as working with the current managers was becoming more painful for me every day. You know it is time to move on when the only reason to get up and go to work is to tend to, and spend time with, the cat living in your office. Unfortunately my departure did not go as I had planned, but happened before I was able to find a new job. The only thing I miss about my job at Lollypop Farm are the true friends I had there and getting to have a cat living in my office. I miss my kitty cuddles.
I have not been sitting idly by since my departure from regular work. Of course I have been hunting for a new job and have had a few interviews. As you all know, there are just so many applicants for each position it is difficult to land that job. I am confident that I will be the lucky one someday, but Charlie (who is also newly unemployed) and I are financially okay for the time being.
Most of my leisure time has been spent behind my sewing machine. I started by making a nifty handbag, called a BFF handbag, and a matching clutch for my friend Nicole’s birthday. I have since made about half a dozen of these in various combination’s of fabric. One of them I donated to Birdsall Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, a new non-profit horse rescue, for their first major fundraiser. I found a great set of horse related prints in a fat-quarter bundle and was able to make two bags. I let my friend Maggie pick one of the horse themed bags for herself and the other one went to the rescue group. Another one with a bird theme was a Christmas gift to Karen, a bird loving friend.
It’s a lot of fun to decide what colors and patterns of fabric to mix together for each creation. I have also made a purse and clutch for myself, but more on that in another post.
In November I purchased a new Pfaff Expression 2.0 sewing machine after carefully researching features and price. The Bernina that I had been working on is 35 years old and was in need of a tune up. I am considering attempting to sell some handbags on etsy.com and felt I needed a more adequate machine for that task. Bernina makes a great machine, but I felt I got more of the features I wanted and a wider sewing bed for a great price (it was on sale, of course) with the Pfaff. The Bernina has been tuned up and is working great too.
For Christmas my mother gave me a membership to the Genesee Valley Quilt Club that she has been a member of since she retired. The meetings are during the day so if you work for a living it can be difficult to attend. I went to my first meeting in January and enjoyed meeting many talented women for whom quilting and fiber arts is a passion. In addition to making the handbags I also managed to make a small quilt to add to our Christmas decorations and enjoyed the challenge.
Since then I signed up for a class at Patricias’ Fabric House in East Rochester to learn how to create art quilts using a freezer paper piecing technique. The class is taught by Pat Pauly, an accomplished creator of art quilts. We are creating a single square from what Pat calls her “Big Leaf” quilt. You can see a sample of that work on the DeCampStudio blog. I would include the picture here, but it is copyrighted so I will provide the link. Be sure to click on the image of the quilt to see a large version.
The first class was on Thursday, January 21st. During class we learned the techniques we would need to cut out our pieces of fabric and sew them together. We spent much of the free time in class going through the fabrics we brought with us trying to decide which fabrics to use in which parts. I completed the decision making process the next day at home. Above is the leaf pinned up to my project board before sewing. It took a bit of work to decide which fabrics to use for each piece, but I am very pleased with the results. My Chief Creative Consultant, Charlie, helped choose the fabrics too. I was going for a more Fall-like look to my leaf and decided on the blues and greens for the back ground colors to represent the sky and grass.
Sewing the skinny vein up the middle of the leaf was the most challenging task, but thanks to my years of sewing experience I was able to complete it. Now I only have to cut out 3 more sets and sew them all together! After that I will put them together to form a larger square and then machine quilt the top. Stay tuned……