18 April 2011 to 28 May 2011
Beth and Ian's second child
Pictures in the Hallway (4-patch + quarter-circles)
Level of completion: 
Completed and given away

Go on, exult with me ... I have a place to play! Sunfish is my first quilt started after getting the sewing room ready enough to go that I could actually tackle projects in it. Jacob was right -- I needed a space to call my own. If Jeff could have a computer room, I could have a sewing room.

Our old, beaten-up couches have been donated to a high school theater troupe. Next I'll take down the shelves (3 visible here, 3 off to your right, and 3 not visible to your left). First I'll repaint, and then I'll hang larger white shelving.Couches gone, planning begins

['Couches gone, planning begins']

Since that time, I've gotten shelves installed elsewhere in the house so the old shelves could be moved, and then I've repainted the top half of the walls white to help keep the ambient light a bit more neutral...

All done. I think this back corner might be where my sewing machine ends up, but I'm not entirely certain of that. Either way, now that the painting is done, the real reorganization of this space can begin.Achievement unlocked: white walls (2)

['Achievement unlocked: white walls!']

...hung shelves, so that all of my fabric, sewing notions, and other creative bits could finally have a single home...

The top two shelves are mostly the fabric samples I've been given. Shelf three contains all books except quilting books. Shelves four and five are all my quilting books and all of my quilting fabric stash.

I still need to decide if I'm going to put two more shelves down below the chair rail.

Most of these items have never had a home before, so seeing them all together and organized is very exciting to me.Items, now with homes

['Items, now with homes']

...and made -- then hung -- a design wall on the back wall. Yes, that wall Jeff was never ok with me placing anything heavy on, because it's on the other side of the breaker panel in the garage:

I get a little thrill out of saying it: 'This is my work space.' (I have a work space!!) This won't be the final configuration, as the table(s) need to go in the center of the room, but the room isn't ready for that yet. In time. For now, though, it is so much better than what I had!

The quilt-in-progress: space

['Work space']

So now, Sunfish. (Thanks for the name, Jacob!) It's intended to be quick, fun, and simple. It will go on to be the little sibling of 'Dream of the Green Turtles,' a quilt that finished itself so quickly that I never said much about it in 2009 when I did it:

Quilt top: sewn. Time to buy the batting, iron the backing, then get this puppy pinned together, quilted, bound, and given away.Invest in safety pins

['Invest in safety pins']

It was done for Beth and Ian's first child, Liam, who by all reports is well into his second year of using his quilt, beating it up, spilling things on it, sleeping under it, and having it tossed in the wash when it needs a good scrub. In other words, exactly what a kid quilt is supposed to do! Beth and Ian are expecting their second child, gender intentionally unknown, in September, and when she and Annie brought over weekend food for one of Jeff's visits, I plopped out lots of fabric on the living room floor and encouraged her to pick what she liked. She gravitated to blues and yellows, and that gave me an excuse to dig up some pieces of Mark Lipinski's "Califon" fabric series, which I loved but had never had an excuse to work with.

I usually try not to make quilts from just one fabric line, and this one incorporates stash fabrics, some of Jeff's hospital gowns, old scraps, the bug backing from 'Serendipity,' and other happy things -- but there are indeed several fabrics from "Califon," just because it was a bright, cheery, blue-and-yellow fabric set. Match the tools to the job, etc.

It has been a joy to work on this quilt top while I've taken a couple of days off of work. The sewing room isn't done, not by a long shot, but it has reached a useful state, and today was the first day I've ever experienced the pleasure of taking quilt blocks into my SEWING ROOM and putting them on my DESIGN WALL. To, you know, THINK ABOUT.

"Is this right?" "Should this piece go over here, instead of over there?"

Makes photography so much easier, too.

Admittedly, I need to get the CDs and the coffee table cleared out, and I need to set up better lighting, and I need to get my final table setup chosen, and I need to get a better chair ... blah blah blah. It'll come, in time.

For now, though, I think I'll just savor being able to work on a project this quickly and easily. I'm starting to log some of the baby quilts that have come up recently, so my to-do list is swelling again, but I think I stand a chance of finishing this one (and 'Fledgling,' which I haven't talked about yet) before the baby actually arrives.


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