Saturday, October 13, 2012

A what?


I've mentioned more than once that I like to take hand sewing with me everywhere.  It relaxes me and is a productive way to pass time otherwise spent staring at my cell phone and getting a stiff neck.  Sometimes people will ask me, "What are you making?"  When I reply, "a quilt," the response lately has been, "a what?" So, I pick up a couple of blocks and put them next to each other and repeat, "a quilt.  You know, like a blanket."  Suddenly, everyone is a comedian...Three times on my most recent trip I was laughed at and asked,  quite sarcastically, "You gonna get that done by Christmas?"  Puh-lease...Do they really think that star is the first one I've ever made?


Besides, I don't hand stitch to a deadline.  I like to choose the fabrics, match the seams and take even little stitches while watching each star come together.  I did finally decide on a background for my stars.  I think this brown is just luscious with them.


Not always are the people who inquire about "what am I making" so dismissive.  Once, I had a couple of hours to kill in an airport and a gentleman from Chile asked that question.  So, I showed him a couple of stars and he was off.  He asked how I made them, he asked me to show him each time I added a new piece and he exclaimed over my little stars as if they were works of art.  I am not going to lie, he made me feel pretty good.  But there is more...apparently my stars were a 'sign.'  He had been seeing this woman, you see, and he was on his way home to Chile after about six weeks in the U.S.  He was thinking about whether it was time to make his relationship more serious.  As it turns out, his friend was trying to learn how to quilt.  I had been wondering why he was so interested in what I was making.  And it went on from there...he asked my name and when he heard my last name - same as a famous U.S. author - he showed me the book he had just picked up from the airport gift shop which was written by that same famous author.  Another sign in his opinion.  Finally, we got to talking about our families and his son was thinking about going to graduate school in the U.S.  As it turns out, he is an economist and that's just what I recruit for at my school.  Sign number 3!

I never did get to find out if he and his lady friend got together.  I hope they did and are snuggling under one of her quilts right now.


I was working on my Little Houses from Scraps in another airport and they generated another pleasant conversation with a woman a few years older than me.  I had missed my flight this time so had about 3 hours to enjoy stitching.  While I was working on my houses, this lady kept staring at me from across the pedestrian traffic area.  When I got up to throw some trash away she said, "I just have to ask, are you making a quilt?"  Of course, I was.  So she got her bag and pulled out two adorable quilts, one pink and one blue.  She was on her way to see her new twin grandbabies and had learned to quilt just to make them for the babies.


My houses are starting to accumulate, too.  At first I was going to stop at 6, then 9, then 12.  Now I am nearly at 16 and I think I'll just keep going until the Little Houses from Scraps zoning authorities tell me I've reached the maximum capacity for the neighborhood.


I've shared before my green plastic sandwich box that I use to transport my hand stitching supplies.  That was a great hint picked up in a Jo Morton workshop.  Since then, I was turned on to glassine envelopes by Martha at Q is for Quilter blog.  So I make individual little kits for each star or house block and store them in my box.  I love the crinkly sound they make when I pull out the pieces to start a new block.


I also picked up this little cutting/pressing thing last year.  I lay out a house block and it is very handy seeing all the pieces so I can follow a set order in putting them together.  Also, when I keep the finished ones squeezed in the cutting board they get pressed nice and flat before I ever get them to an iron.


So, it's been quite awhile since my last post and I haven't done a whole lot of stitching.  But, taking the hand sewing along does mean there is at least some progress, so that's good.  See that little red and brown nine-patch under the box a couple of photos up?  That is going to be a giveaway when I get my next post up.  Look for my "Cheddar Madness" giveaway soon!

30 comments:

Janet O. said...

Each project you shared here just makes me smile. I love the stars--they look wonderful with the brown setting squares!
The scrap houses are great! I would love to live in that subdivision.
And the little on-point 9-patch is very cute. I have missed your posts and am thrilled to see all that you have shared here.
Interesting airport experiences. : )

Maureen said...

I recently learned to hand piece and love it. More portable and accurate. LOVE your projects and thanks for sharing your airport stories and tips. I was an economist in another lifetime.

Julierose said...

Love your scrappy houses; and where did you find that "pressing board book" item? Julierose

Amy R said...

I too have LeMoyne Star blocks in the works. Two projectes actually. . . And, I've been watching so many people make house blocks this year and I'd really like to join in. Someday. Maybe when those two LeMoyne Star quilts are finished. Thanks for sharing your work. It inspires and is a treat to see.

Leeanne said...

I love the stories that accompany the lovely blocks. I think you are making great progress.....why the rush anyhow? That is what so soothing about hand stitching....there needs to be no rush!

Missie of Hallbrook Designs said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. Love your blocks...they look wonderful. I too like to take a project along but things get lost in my purse, or my tiny sharp scissors poke THROUGH my purse, etc and it just doesn't work out. I will have to look into the sandwich box ides! And will check out those envelopes too! Thanks again!

Fran said...

I really love those houses! I did some from scrappy log cabins, and found them totally addictive!

Judy Dietrich said...

Nice to see you posting again on your blog--you were missed!! I have gotten lots of questions every time I have my handwork with me too. Little kids are my favorite--they just can't believe I would sit and work on something with my hands!! That will take you forever is another line I get quite often--and they think I should just throw the towel in right now and come to my senses. Of course, if they had their own project--they wouldn't have to give me an opinion on my project--just saying!!

Vicki said...

Enjoyed your airport stories. You can get alot done waiting on the big bird. Love both the stars and the houses!

Nyla said...

I am so impressed with your hand pieced blocks! I love the stars and houses. I have not done much hand piecing. Do you draw seam lines on the back of each piece and then line them up with pins before stitching? It seems labor intensive but maybe it goes faster than it sounds. Love your little nine patch top too!

Janet said...

Your little hand pieced stars and houses are an absolute delight!! What incredible quilts they will be one day. There doesn't need to be any rush. I've had all kinds of people ask me what I'm making too when I'm sewing out and about - noone has ever laughed or been sarcastic though.

Kimme said...

Taryn what a great post. You have been missed. I adore the brown fabric you have chosen to go with your stars and your scrap houses are too cute. I have made 14 and plan to keep going just make it a long term project :-) I've had a few comments in the past that quilting is seen as only something for 'old'.ladies to do! And this was from a lady older than I was. These people are obviously just not up with the times! I don't take offence as they just don't know what they are missing out on.

Vesuviusmama said...

I love working on quilts during my travels. I meet so many people that way, and since I am usually quilting, not piecing, it also keeps me warm on those frigid planes! Good stuff you have going on there!

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

I am working on a klosjes project that I am hand stitching. It is a great summer project when it is too warm to hand quilt. I also like the idea of being productive while traveling.

regan said...

I've been asked "What are you making?" too, and when I told the last person, he just laughed and said, "Oh yeah, right! You'll never get that done!" I was working on my 3" Lemoyne stars. Then I told him I had 180 of them done at home, and that shut him up right quick! Ha!

Aunt 'Reen said...

Your hand piecing is SO lovely, and I enjoyed your stories about connections with others while working on them! I've always chanted that "every quilt tells a story". Thanks so much for passing a few of those on to us!

Kate said...

Taryn I adore your tiny stars - I think I said just so when you first started making them...your choice of the brown for the setting squares is delicious (LOVE a good brown!) and sets the little stars to twinkling.
But wait! There's more! what a delightful village of houses! I had to chuckle at your comment about planning authorities...very clever.
Lovely stories - people are forever interesting. best, k

Kathie said...

oh my love the stars and that background fabric is just perfect, you know me , love brown!
trying to figure out whose brown that is!
ok where oh where did you get that pressing cutting book? Love that idea.
the houses are adorable, I think you should just keep making them and if you need a few more scraps happy to sent them to you!
I bet you will always wonder about that man, interesting story
Kathie

Helen said...

I like, I like. Admiring your work from afar. Love hand piecing too.

Laurie said...

Oh, I loved this post. Hand work is the best. I have had lots of pleasant conversations because of it. Your blocks are wonderful! It's making want to start cutting and make myself another little "travel kit."

Kaaren said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading this "feel good" post, Taryn. I'm still smiling and after I finish babbling here, I'm going to go back and read it a second time.

Great projects, great tips and I just know in my heart that the story about the man from Chile had a "happily ever after" ending.

A sentimental wus...that's me!

Barb said...

your stars are lovely! I loved your airport story!
your houses are so sweet!!

Lori said...

quilting sure seems to be a conversation started, that's for sure. Your houses are so adorable! And your stars are so precise- love the brown background as well.

Dolores said...

You've met some wonderful people and ended up with great stories - all because you hand piece. Great post to read and inspiring.

MARCIE said...

What a fun post! Love your little stories of people you have met. Nice that you finally met someone who got excited about your work! Your stars on the brown are lovely. The little peaks sticking out look cute. Too bad they are gonna go!

Ludok said...

Привет, чудесный маленький рассказ о встрече в аэропорту...Недавно моя швейная машинка сломалась и я тоже пробую шить одеяла руками. Очень долго, но очень медитативно и очень успокаивает. Успехов вам . Successes!

plumquilty said...

How do you make your stars with those extra whit points that extend into the brown background? I love that. Would you give a hint/lesson/tutorial?

Cynthia@aquilterbynight said...

What a great post - I love your airport stories! Your stars are beautiful with the brown background and your neighborhood of little houses is delightful. I also appreciated the glimpse into how you stay organized for take-along work.

Gebelik said...

Mucho acceptance for this alarming information. Accrue up the authentic work. I'll be advancing ashamed soon.
Gebelik

Sheila said...

I have just found your blog and it is delightful, such an interesting read ,loved the airport stories above and I hope that couple got together too :-) I will enter a photo of a mini for the little quilt show above later today , thanks so much for your great blog!

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