Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My "Slice of Pi" Quilt

I've discovered more time. Did I tell you that?  Well, maybe that's not entirely true, but I've found a fabulous way to multi-task, which is almost as good.  I've always said that I don't have time to listen to audio books, since I'm never alone--no commute, no quiet time--but I'm discovering that's not completely accurate.  A few days to myself at the beginning of the year spurred me to try, and since then I've found that I actually have more time than I thought.

One of the things I love (apart from reading) is quilting.  I love the feel of the fabric, the creativity in the design, and the colors (oh how I love colors).

When my kiddos were little toddlettes, I quilted much more than I read.  It was easy enough to sew & watch kids play, not so easy for me to read and watch kids play.  I taught myself to quilt (& ended up with some bragging rights even--what a shock!) but as my kiddos grew up a bit and I started home-schooling, I began to do much more reading and much less quilting.  Life is like that.

I'm doing less schooling at home now.  My 7 year-old is at home with me, but she loves having her creative time just as much as I do.  Thus I find myself with bits of time to start using those fabrics and finishing up those projects and not feel guilty because I'm MULTI-TASKING (said in a big, booming "God" voice of course--it's that huge) by listening to a book while I sew.  Why didn't I think of that before?  Brilliant!

My latest project is what I'm calling my Slice of Pi quilt.  I had a lovely stack of gorgeous modern-ish fabrics that I was dying to use but dreading cutting apart.  I wanted to come up with a quilt design that showcased and complemented the fabrics, but nothing seemed good enough.  Finally I decided that 2" strips would still show off the fabrics enough, and I went about drafting a pattern on graph paper (love graph paper.)

My original design (below) was a random placement of strips that would run horizontally, creating a column down the center of the bed.  But then my husband (the math/science brain) asked if the placement was based on any sort of mathematical algorithm (um, no) like Pi (hm, good idea).  I'm impressionable, and so decided to see what it would look like (see photo above).  I ended up finding the first 50 digits of pi quite interesting.  (I'm also somewhat of a people-pleaser, so orientation of the strips changed so that it would make more sense to Chris.)

I decided on a base line, and used 2" intervals to determine placement.  Therefore, the first strip is 6" above the base line, the second is 2", the third is 8" and so on.  Each strip is 40" long.  The fabrics are arranged in a nicely organized, pretend-random manner.

Sewing the binding...kitties and quilts go together well.

Overall, I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  Quilt design can do a number on my creative senses--I want it to be perfect, but because quilt construction is a pretty long process, (with no easy way to change your mind midway,) I go through waves of alternating excitement and fear about how it will end up.  Will it be wonderful? Horrible?  Listening to a book while quilting, I've found, does help even out some of these emotions (wonder of wonders!)  I'm still debating about the pillows, but meanwhile my husband is sure that he's going to get smarter by osmosis each night that he sleeps under it, and I'm thrilled to have found a way to combine two of my hobbies.

(this post was also posted on my book blog)

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Quick Trip Up the Coast

I love that my kiddos are finally getting to ages that don't require constant supervision.  I didn't think they'd ever get to the point where they could stay home alone for a few hours.  I really, truly didn't.  But hey, it happened (thank the good Lord!) and that means that I can be a person again (occasionally) instead of only always being mom.  I like being mom.  But sometimes it's nice to just be Melody.

This came in handy recently, when we were able to go on a brief outing up the coast without forcing everyone to come along with us.  You wouldn't think that you'd have to force kids to go on a plane ride, but there it is.  They don't like french fries either, for whatever that's worth.

We flew from Long Beach to Santa Barbara, had brunch, and flew back.  That's it, basically.  But it was so much fun.  I love seeing everything from the height of a small plane, and Chris is such a good pilot.  The weather was perfect, the company was perfect, the food was perfect.  Happy sigh.

Chris (pilot) and Mr. Cessna
Lovely friend Andrea and lovely daughter Audrey (co-passengers)
Is it just me, or does Los Angeles not look so intimidating from the
air?  A miniature Lego village only a hop away from Long Beach...
Santa Barbara.  Even from the air it's prettier than L.A.  Oh well, I
don't think L.A. ever tried to claim "Prettiest City" anyhow.
Peaceful.  Happy.  Pretty.
Ready for some good eats!
The food didn't disappoint--was incredible actually--but
Audrey couldn't bring herself to enjoy it.  She had a
sleepy-head-ache. :(
Mustache.  Tee-hee. (snort) (melody--->easily entertained)
AND...that's me looking all official and plane-y.  Andrea and Audrey chilling
on the flight back.