Tag Archives: hexagons

Megan Bags Courtesy of My Friends

I’m on my way back home tomorrow! I’ve had such a super wonderful time in St. Louis and am looking forward to a nice long hug from my husband. And some kitty snuggles. I’ll have a bunch of posts for you guys as I download photographs, experiences, jokes, and life lessons. For now, here’s a little insight onto how I’m able to turn trash to treasure with a little help from my friends.

Some of my quilting buddies have taken to collecting and saving their scraps of fabric for me. I love using teeny tiny pieces of fabrics for my crumb piecing projects, and they feel good that these bits aren’t ending up in the trash. My friend Melissa says it’s like going back to the origin of quilting, sewing together every usable bit of fabric. It was out of necessity way back when. You know, keep the family bed warm with what’s left of dresses and flour sacks. When I get scraps, they come in “Megan Bags” which look something like this:

DSCN0008Yup, this one’s mostly batiks. Aren’t they pretty?! I turn on the TV or Hulu and start the sort. The pieces that are too small even for me (yes, there are a few) go in a bag for community service at one of my quilt guilds. They stuff pillows for the homeless with those bits. The rest, I sort by color into bins.

DSCN0010

When I stop for the night, usually when the show is over or the Megan bag is empty, I transfer the sorted fabric into the larger drawers that I use to store scraps. Here’s what some of them will become:

Hexes so far

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Note to Self: Make New Friends

Does anybody else write notes to themselves? My sewing machine has making the ker-thunk noise that indicates the needle is bent or dull for (embarrassingly) a few days now. So after my sewing session last night, I wrote myself a nice little note. See, it’s hard to make myself get up and go find the container in the closet where I stashed the needles until I find a more permanent place for them after I’ve sat down to sew. So I just don’t, and deal with the ker-thunk. But this note reminded me before I was ready to begin, so check! Needle has been changed and the machine is purrring along nicely.

Dude.

My friend Melissa has become local, since I moved to her area. Last night she invited me to check out her guild and generously even offered me a ride there and back. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.

So, new experiences are scary. I’m a member of what used-to-be my local guild still, and make the trek back there every few months to participate and catch up with my friends. So the guild thing wasn’t scary, but the room full of people that I don’t know and want to is. So I put on my big-girl panties and introduced myself around. After I was emotionally exhausted from putting myself out there (with mostly positive results) I saddled up next to Melissa at her table in the back and pulled out some handwork.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. People started coming up to me. They wanted to see what I was doing and it was a great conversation starter. Plus, this particular handwork project, my crazy hexagons, is uniquely mine. It showcases my skills and preferences, and is something I’m passionate about. It’s easier to talk about something I’m passionate about than attempt small-talk with strangers.

Hexies in Progress

 

The results of the evening speak for themselves. I joined the guild. Also, I have multiple invitations from potential new-friends to sit with them next month. And I’ve been asked to bring some quilts for show-and-share… which I’m sure will just lead to more conversations and companionship. Love it.

It’s Also a Bathtub

Motel living has me really appreciating everything for its multi-functionality. Our nightstand holds the laptop computer and (clean!) underwear. The ice bucket holds our utensils. The bed, of course, makes a nice surface to assemble and sew quilts. It’s also a fun kitty fort. A spotlight is clipped onto the vacuum handle. I’ve taken to scooping kitty litter twice a day. Why? i’m usually pretty lazy about cleaning in general, but take a look at this litter box location.

Nevermind; don’t look at it. My camera’s battery isn’t taking a charge. No photographs for now. Grrr….

Anyway, the litter box is snuggled in next to our mini refrigerator. Ew. Also, we’ve seen a few bugs. It’s not too bad, just one or two tiny things each night. So as not to attract them, food is stored in airtight containers. Our food, and the cats’ food as well. The shower is where we clean our bodies and wash dishes. They dry on a towel over the dresser.

Ah well, do what you can with what’s available.

An Artist’s Motel Room

At the beginning of March my husband and I, along with our kitties, moved into a motel in a new city. We moved out of our two-story, three-bedroom with a garage rental house into this bold new adventure.

Here are some modifications I’ve made to our little room here that help me continue to make art.

* Space. I’ve created more space in this room by asking the motel staff to remove the second bed and bringing a desk here from our storage unit. We also now have a folding table stored under the bed… which means that I can set up my sewing machine AND computer.

*Handwork. As a quilter, most of the stuff I make uses some combination of machines… sewing machine, rotary cutter, iron, etc. When I knew (mid-February) that we weren’t moving in to a lake house, or master suite, or duplex… all solid plans that fell through last-minute… I got busy preparing handwork to bring. I’m working on a hexagon crumbs quilt by hand. Photos soon.

*Food. Real food. I thought that I would be just fine eating sandwiches, cereal, and fast food. Turns out that two weeks without vegetables is quite long enough. My body has been a lot happier with me since we bought an electric steamer, swapped for a larger refrigerator, and went to the grocery store.

*Sleep. This is a new place. It feels new, sounds new, even smells new. It’s exciting but also scary. Fluffy blankets from our storage unit, good pillows, and soft pillowcases borrowed from a friend help us sleep better. So does keeping the A/C fan running all night. That way we’re not awakened by every strange new sound. And at our pet-friendly downtown motel, there are many.

*A notebook. I’ve had more ideas for art I’d like to make in these past few weeks than in a very long time. Paring down to the very essentials makes me think of new uses for… well.. everything! A shampoo bottle could be cut and decoupaged into bangle bracelets. Soda tabs could be sewn together into a pretty tray. The cuff off a stretchy sweatshirt could be the base for a baby’s headband. What if I cut plastic grocery bags into strips and knit them into bags for beach toys? A notebook is useful for writing this stuff down.