Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What's next for our herione, the Philistine?

Finishing my prelim exams has been such a tremendous weight off my mind, but I am now finding myself floundering a bit, asking myself, 'What next? What do I do with myself now that it isn't an absolute necessity for me to study for my exams 10 hours a day?' I'm finding it amazingly difficult to transition into the next big project: the dissertation. I'm finding it especially difficult to transition into the dissertation with the onset of spring. It just doesn't seem right to delve into this next huge undertaking at the *end* of the school year. Not... quite... yet...

Now that I've gained a bit of freedom and breathing room from my studies, I've finally taken the opportunity to expand my crafty horizons. I have been dreaming about quilting for a long, long while now. Mostly after having seen this beauty. (Ah, Maritza, my crafty muse). But it has always seemed like one of those big transitions, from knitting to quilting. I've still only recently become okay at knitting, and I haven't even knit any big lace thing yet (though, that, too, is on the horizon...)--quilting has just always seemed a bit too complicated to get involved with. I mean, you need a whole different set of tools, which I don't have. You need fabric, which I know nothing about and don't have. You need to have a clue about how to sew, which I don't have. And you need time and patience, which I haven't had much of... until recently.

But once I get something into my head, there's no stopping me, really. I have certainly discovered the lure of fabric. All it took was spending a little time on the internets surfing around the fabric stores and I was hit with massive amounts of quilty inspiration. Let's just say that finding fabric I liked was about as hard as finding sock yarn I like. Amy Butler polka dots and wall flowers, Alexander Henry birds and paper cranes... the list goes on. My fear of not being inspired by fabrics like I am yarn was utterly unfounded. It didn't take me long at all to discover *exactly* which prints and designers I like most. And once I started thinking about quilting combinations, there was no stopping me.

And so dreaming up ideas for quilts has replaced knitting single socks lately. And dream up quilts I have. What has transpired in this week away from knitting is that I have planned out no less than four quilts that I want to make. F O U R. The fabric combinations above and below are the beginnings of two of them. Above is the Birds and Gnomes Quilt-to-Be and below is the Colorful Chocolate Quilt-to-Be. I am very excited about both.

This one will have more fabrics added in, but I am trying to take this fabric acquisition thing slowly. Trying, anyway. But these two quilts are all planned out and I am ready to start. Now I just need that sewing machine and all those fun quilting tools. Oh, and some books to tell me how to do it. These all seem like minor details to me, though, because, for once, I have a little bit of time for myself and a lot of inspiration, so this quilting thing might finally happen.

Stay tuned... this blog might just become the Knitting and Quilting Philistine.

Also, the single socks will recommence on April 1, with the Project Spectrum color change to E A R T H.



Blogger gleek said...

well, you certainly have chosen great fabrics for your first quilt! i love them all! :)

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you're talking about! I'm right there with you in the same situation! : )

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to see you put those together into a quilt! I've got the quilting bug real bad right now, but have yet to acquire any fabric...but the selection of fat quarters over on etsy (lots of the same fabrics you've got are tempting me!) is getting awfully hard to resist.

10:41 AM  
Blogger bockstark.knits said...

That is going to be one gorgeous quilt!! Where oh where do you get your fabrics???

10:53 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Look at you go! That is some very, very yummy looking fabric.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

not bad choices for your first foray into quilting! love the gnomes!

11:41 AM  
Blogger pamela wynne said...

Gorgeousness. And FOUR? You don't do anything halfway, do you?

Also, everyone I know took at least a few months off between exams and serious diss work. And after your experience? You deserve that break more than anybody. :)

11:51 AM  
Blogger maritza said...

Go go go! I can't wait to see what you do with these gorgeous fabrics! Oh, you are so inspiring me right now! (And really, you make me blush sometimes with your kind words.)
By the way, you've probably heard this a million times already, but because it was a mistake I made when I first started quilting, I just wanted to mention it - ALWAYS pre-wash your fabrics. Always. Trust me. I'm looking forward to seeing progress shots of the quilts. :)

11:59 AM  
Blogger Cate said...

One of these days I'm going to try my hand at quilting. I don't even have the excuse of lacking equipment... I've been sewing a lot longer than I've been knitting... just mostly dress making. Someday.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Lola and Ava said...

Watch out! That Amy Butler will get ya. I think she runs a cult...

12:30 PM  
Anonymous nikki said...

I love quilting. I have yet to finish anything larger than a baby quilt, but I love it nonetheless. The only problem for me is that I do not have a craft room, so I use the dining room table. That means I have to put away my sewing projects every night before dinner. I suppose I don't *have* to do that, but it bothers me to see my my kids balancing dinner plates on their laps so I can sew. :)

12:35 PM  
Blogger Julianne said...

I'm a knitter/quilter and I find the two crafts coexist rather nicely. I need to be in a certain mood to want to quilt so the rest of the time I have knitting. Also, I just got my PhD in May and my general rule of thumb is to give yourself off a month after every big accomplishment. Sure, still show up at work, but just coast through the day. Getting through exams is definitely an occasion that deserves a month off!!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Brena said...

I covet your fabrics!

2:21 PM  
Anonymous jessica said...

I've recently gotten into quilting too, and it has totally overtaken my knitting time! Of course, I can't start quilting with a small project, but instead, choose to make a quilted duvet cover!

You fabric choices are wonderful. The colors are so vibrant. I too like the designers you've chosen.

2:53 PM  
Blogger mariss said...

Just go for it, I think you're going to love it. I sort of just threw myself into quilting, and it's a great companion to knitting. It can be instant gratification (at times), or just as drawn out as a fair isle sweater!

There's a new fabric store opening in Philly called Spool right next to Loop. My friend, Aimee works there, and I believe they'll have some classes soon :)

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Mintyfresh said...

Can't wait to see what you dream up. Shouldn't you be sewing by hand, as a proper philistine?

I've realized that though I love looking at fabrics, and I say I want to quilt, I just want to sew. Quilts themselves don't hold much power over me.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Happy freedom! I'm in exactly the same boat -- just finished exams, thinking about a diss. topic.

Lovely fabrics -- have fun. BTW, I'm jealous of your gnome fabric. I've been looking for it and can't find it anywhere!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Esoteric Knitter said...

You have such gorgeous fabrics to work with. Can't wait to see the end result. :)

6:56 PM  
Blogger nova said...

I think I am proof that one can quilt yet have no freaking clue about sewing. I just consider every quilt an opportunity for improvement. I, for one, can not wait to see what the knitty and quilty you produces.

9:09 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you don't do anything by half measures!

7:23 PM  
Anonymous KERaven said...

congrats on finishing your prelims. Love th fabrics, looks like you'll have a fun project whatever it is.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Beautiful fabrics! I used to sew a lot and couldn't imagine how some of my friends got so into quilting--all those little pieces!--and then they told me about rotary cutters and cutting boards with grids. I still haven't started quilting, but I'd certainly get myself a rotary cutter and those boards with grids if I were going to. Good luck and have fun!

Where online do you buy your fabrics?

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Nora said...

Great selection M. Now I know what to send you when I'm stuck for ideas... :)

4:17 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I hope you love making a quilt as much as you love making a sock. There's something so satisfying about bringing all the fabrics you chose together...and it's more immediate than knitting. Wonderful fabric choices too (which is really a good part of the fun).

7:42 AM  
Blogger gibsongirl said...

Congrats on making it through your prelims! You should share your list of fabric suppliers, as that dazzling array of patterns is quite swoon-worthy.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Those are fabulous fabrics! I am in love with my sewing machine right now..

8:24 AM  
Blogger schrodinger said...

So funny, I had an 'intro to quilting' this weekend, have some tools to buy this week, and I can't wait to get started! I love the fabrics that you have so far, gorgeous.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom (aka aunt Patti) could maybe give you some pointers on quilting. She makes lots and lots of quilts, but while she knows how to do the hard stuff, she's too practical and usually sticks to "dummy squares" as she calls them.

I have started knitting. Mostly cause I've started to want to make things that aren't very practical in crochet.

Never did hear back from you last time I commented, but I'm still your long-lost cousin from Chi-town.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Miss Scarlett said...

Love the new fabric acquisitions.

If it wasn't for the accursed measuring required, I would be quilt mad myself.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous gillie said...

Lush lush fabrics. I can't wait to see what you do with them.

I'm half way through my first quilt. No pattern, I made it up as I went along and it seems to have worked out ... so far. Whatever happens, I love it! I already have an indecent amount of fabric, almost rivalling the paper, cardstock and yarn.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

My desk and my sewing table are the same piece of furniture, so once my comps are finished, I too will be quilting. And I know what you mean -- the next step for me will be the thesis proposal, but I certainly won't be able to jump right into it. I think a quilt would make a nice buffer. :)

10:22 AM  
Blogger Haley said...

LOVE all your fabric finds. can't wait to see your quilts. if your knitting is any reflection of your quilting, they will be lovely. congrats on finishing your exams.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous kelp! said...

I love that fabric is the new sock yarn, without all of the pesky pooling issues! Can't wait to see what you come up with, once you acquire said sewing machine. Try looking for a used one - I bought mine for $15 off of a college forsale newsgroup.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Lone Knitter said...

I know exactly what you mean! I want to start quilting. I'm spending more time looking at fabric on-line than writing my dissertation. I think I just want something new, very new.

5:59 PM  

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