Looking forward to new projects & better shopping

Today we took off for Heidelberg to go to the Arts & Crafts Center, where they have all the quilting fabrics and supplies, to pick up a quilt book that my good friend Liz recommended. She said that making a One Block Wonder was great fun, and it sounded intriguing, so I thought I’d take a break from Creativity Projects that are filling in the break from The Misery Quilt and give it a whirl. I also found some really wonderful fabric to experiment with, and here’s the loot from the day:

The day's loot

The fabric goes pretty well with my bed linens, the upholstery on the antique French chairs, and the tapestry that is in my bedroom, and since the new house will have a straight wall behind the bed (as opposed to the slanted ceiling that we have above the bed now), I figure that a new quilt to go above the bed would not be amiss. It will be a great first project for my new studio, since I’ll have lots of space for cutting and a real design wall to use.

While we were in the store, GuitarGirl found a pattern by Fourth & Sixth Designs she liked and asked if I would make the Kinetic Energy quilt for her. I told her I would help her make it, and that it was pretty easy. I’ve seen this pattern in catalogs, and I liked it too, so it won’t be a chore to help her with it! Maybe I’ll make a quilter out of her yet.

The last time she quilted, she was at a point where she was going to have to take out a seam and sew it again since the fabrics weren’t lined up right when she sewed it the first time, hence the gaping hole in the seamline. She didn’t want to take it out, and I told her she had to, so she left and never came back to the machine. (Have I mentioned that teaching kids anything isn’t my strongest point?)

She’s a bit older now, so maybe this quilting thing will go better, but she’s already going on about having to do “all that stuff you do by hand with the flipping and the clips” (she means hand sewing the binding down on the back)! We’ll see how it goes, though I can already tell she’ll probably get bored pretty quickly since the quilt needs 27 strip sets of at least 9 strips each or something, so that’s a lot of straight (boring) sewing.

I bought the Warm & Natural batting because I’m considering using it for one of my Creativity Projects that I’m working on. I usually use Hobbs PolyDown or Tuscany Wool battings which are puffy, but I thought cotton might be better for this quilt. It’s just such an automatic thing for me to use puffy battings because that’s usually what I like.

But sometimes the quilt needs a flatter batting and I just don’t even think about using cotton until it’s too late because by the time I get to the basting stage I’m generally on autopilot. Even if I don’t use it for this quilt that I’m marking right now, at least I’ll have it for the next time, and maybe I’ll remember to think ahead about the batting a bit more.

The quilting mags actually came from the bookstore, not the Arts & Crafts Center. There’s a great bookstore on the Army Post in Heidelberg that has a coffee bar inside. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait to move? It’s just so nice to go and sit at the bookstore and have cappuccino and shop for books, and the parking lot at the Commissary is acres larger than the one here (no more fighting for a parking space with three other people every time I have to go food shopping!), not to mention that the inside of the Commissary puts the one here in Stuttgart to shame.

But the very best part?? The Arts & Crafts Center there is soooo much better for quilting stuff than the one here in Stuttgart. I haven’t bought fabric here for ages, because I just never see anything I want. (Let’s just disregard the fact that I don’t really need any fabric, since we’re talking “want” here, not “need”. Not needing fabric has never stopped me from buying it if I wanted it.) I could have spent huge amounts of money in Heidelberg on fabric today, so it’s probably going to be a bit dangerous and budget killing to live 25 minutes away instead of 1.5 hours. Well, in the words of the inimitable Scarlett, “Oh, fiddle-dee-dee. I’ll worry about that tomorrow!”