Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Quilty Weekend?

It's been nearly a month since I was in the sewing room for more than a few minutes. The past few weekends have been booked solid and my weeknights have been filled with errands, ballet and even going to the theater. I've been too worn out to sew. But I want to sew!

Ian is applying for jobs this weekend so aside from helping him where I can, I have no plans. Two whole days for sewing! But what to sew?

First, I'm helping my friend Jen make a freaking huge quilt for her bed. I can finish a few blocks this weekend.

I've also decided to make a quilt for my dad. I'll post more about it another time...but I picked fabric and a pattern and I'm excited to get started.

I also have three little quilts nearly finished. The Nicey Jane quilt I posted a while back needs to be bound. This one is finished and just needs to be washed and photographed:

gray and orange scrap quilt

And this one needs to be basted, quilted and bound:


I could also work on my orange and green 9-patch:

orange green

Or my scrap quilt:


I think too many options are better than too few...I can switch projects whenever the mood strikes. I only wish it was Saturday already!

Do you have fun quilting plans for the weekend?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wouldn't it Bee Nice?

You know I love bees, right?


I've been obsessed with keeping honeybees for a few years now...but not obsessed enough to do anything about it. There's a lot of (conflicting!) information about beekeeping's completely overwhelming.

I'd just about given up the idea when Ian found a short course taught through the University of Minnesota: "Beekeeping in Northern Climates". I couldn't beelieve our luck! (There's lots of puns in beekeeping, just so you know).

Last weekend, Ian and I spent two days at the Bell Museum of Natural History learning all about honeybees and beekeeping. If anyone is interested in keeping bees in northern states, I highly recommend this class. It was well worth the time and tuition. We spent two full days learning how to start and manage a colony using the U of M's very own beekeeping method.

There are so many interesting things about honeybees, my head is spinning. Did you know one colony of bees can produce 300 lbs. of honey in just one short Minnesota summer?! They're truly amazing little creatures.

Ever since the class, my head has been buzzing with inspiration. I love the idea of caring for bees, of harvesting and bottling and giving away honey (I don't like honey...I just like bees). I want to make beeswax candles and honey soap. I want to build and paint hive boxes...not boring white but beautiful aquas and greens. I want to buy a field of wildflowers and grow fruit trees, all pollinated by our very own bees. And I want to make fruit preserves and quilt and check on the bees. All day, every day.

It all makes going to my "real" job rather tiresome. Truly: I'd rather be covered in bees than go to my "real" job.

So, I want to know, are any of you beekeepers? Any Minnesota beekeepers? Do you like honey? Are you sure you don't actually think it's gross? Because I hear some people think it's gross...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Autumn in Paris

You guys! Guess what came in the mail yesterday. A mini quilt from my dear friend Jen! Can you believe this?

parisville mini quilt

It has all my favorite things...lots of white:

parisville mini quilt

tiny pieces (the 9-patches finish at 1.5"):

parisville mini quilt

Parisville (and in my favorite colorway):

parisville mini quilt

and above all: hand quilting!

parisville mini quilt

And if this wasn't enough, Jen said she's making me a year of mini quilts: one mini quilt every month. I'm pretty much the luckiest girl in the world! Actually, I'm already the luckiest girl in the world because Jen and I are great friends and pen pals...the real paper kind!

I don't have any non-blog friends who like to quilt so it's been such a joy to have someone to talk to about fabric, pretty much non-stop. And other important things, of course.

parisville mini quilt

The quilt is hanging on a random nail in my studio right now but I'll find a better home for it this weekend. It looks good on pretty much every am I going to choose?! Thanks again, Jen!