Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stripping and a Naked Grape

 If there's one thing a community theater needs it's money. It costs a lot to put on a show and when you figure the average season is five or six shows it adds up pretty quickly. Ticket sales only cover a fraction of the expenses. One way my theater brings in more funds is through raffles. Every show we sell raffle tickets for donated prizes. Cabot Cheese is a standing sponsor of ours and we are so grateful for their support! I've been wanted to donate a quilt to be raffled but I have this little procrastination issue... I think that's been covered before. Anyway, I decided this would be the year and "The Full Monty" would be the show. It's the season closer, it's a musical, and it's about guys who strip to support their families. What else is more quilt worthy?
 So here are the two issues I ran into: what kind of pattern/fabric to represent naked men and, with precious few quilting dollars, can I afford the batting I need because I have little right now. For a pattern I was thinking a "strip" quilt would be perfect. I figured most patrons wouldn't know it was a strip quilt, but I would, and that would be my own little inside joke. What fabric? I looked at some online--and there are some novelty prints that feature scantily clad gentlemen-- but realized I really couldn't afford enough of it and I'm not sure that our older patrons would want a quilt with such a print anyway and thus would not buy tickets. The little old ladies that are watching the show are enjoying the men's performances, but drape 'em over their rockers 24/7? Maybe not. So I had to go with something I already had. I decided I wanted to play up the love stories ingrained in "Monty" (since that is what the show is really about) and I found a "Curio" charm pack from Moda's Basic Grey line. Hey--I'm sure some folks are coming to see the show because their 'curio'us about the strippers, right? And the colors/prints are very romantic. I only had one pack, though, so it had to be a small quilt. I was able to buy a bit of the solids for borders and a neutral print for a backing. I was also able to piece remnants of batting together for this smaller size and I added some vintage lace I had stashed away. It's not a strippy quilt, and it's only lap sized, but "Monty's Curio" is just right for a quick picnic table topper. I paired it with a basket containing crackers, some pretty wine glasses and 2 bottles of Naked Grape wines~ a perfect basket for a romantic getaway. The prize has been well received, ticket sales are good and next week someone will win Monty's Curio. Whether they keep their clothes on while enjoying it... well, I don't really want to know!

 (Naturally, I forgot to take pictures before I brought it to the theatre so I took a couple of quick shots before the show last weekend. Sorry. They're bad.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I'm a little annoyed.

This bothered me today.
 I am a paying member for a wonderful sewing blog called 'SewingMamas'. They are a great group of ladies who share sewing and raising childen in an open, caring kind of way. They rejoice with the good news, commiserate with the bad, offer helpful advice or just a shoulder to cry on. Their stories range from tug-at-your-heart to wet-your-pants-from laughter. I don't comment as much as some but I check in with them every time I'm online. I especially love that they are non-judgemental. Everyone has different beliefs, different stories, different philosophies but I have never seen anyone disrespect another.

Today, someone posted about this project from the very popular "SewMamaSew" site:
 It's a cute idea but, even though the instructions call for you to "leave a gap for checking your blind spot" it struck me as a dangerous idea to block any part of a car window. I'm not alone: the SewingMama who posted it brought up the concern and several Mamas chimed in that it seemed unwise. Here's the bothersome part~ several of the Mamas took the time to leave a comment on the site questioning the safety of the project. Instead of addressing those concerns every one of their 'negative' comments were removed.  
All the comments I've read on the Sew, Mama, Sew site are happy, gosh-isn't-that-great fodder. And I think I have finally found why I dislike the "big" sewing and crafting blogs. They're not real to me. They're too happy; too perfect. There are too many exclamation marks over simplicity and too much love, love, love. And apparently you get this illusion of perfection by removing content that you don't want to deal with. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination saying every big, successful blog does this and maybe Sew, Mama, Sew doesn't do it all the time. But I do know I will not support a site that does it even sometimes.

I love reading sewing blogs and my favorites are those that show me, inspire me, make me laugh and even cry. Real people who admit mistakes and don't give the illusion of 'perfect'. I was taught the 'if you can't say anything nice...' and the 'always be kind when you comment' lessons but I also believe to can say something that opposes respectfully without being unkind. Debate is good, we have to allow differences of opinion. Otherwise, how will we ever see outside our own little box? I want to see/hear others' thoughts. I won't waste my time on gosh-isn't-that-great fodder. Time is too precious.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Did you guess?

Did anyone guess which block I chose to make with the Americana print?
It's Katie Blakesley's Old Town Star! :)

Now for the time to make more...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

All work and no play~

Shakespeare is in full swing so I have no time for 'play sewing' (aka the stuff I want to make). I was able to get a bunch o'stuff at the costume rental place but there's lots of little pieces (skirts, vests) and such that need to be done and trimmed out in the steampunk style. But before I dove in, I pulled some DUFUS fabric from the stash. I have a collection of 'patriotic Americana' type fabrics and most are at least ten years old. Some are a good deal older. What to do with them, though? Well, after dog-earing my new magazine, these three fabrics made the first cut and one block from the new Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks was chosen.
Can you guess which one I made?
I'll share it later~

I have two doll quilts due for June--one is at the hand sewing stage and the other is almost there. I hope to use backstage time to finish 'em up (the show opens June 27) but I might not have sit-and-sew time for this show. It's a busy one with many actors playing multiple roles and that means lots of changes!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You know it's showtime when...

... the posts are few and far between. While I have been tiptoeing into the steampunk world for "Hamlet"  other stuff happened. A friend needed a costume for a special festival that happens here in Norfolk. And 'my' theatre was getting ready to open the last musical of the season. I am not the costumer but I did get a call because the actual costumer was waaaay behind and they needed help. Help? My goodness, she hadn't made the most crucial pieces the actors needed and should have had to rehearse with from the very beginning of rehearsals! I shouldn't have jumped in because I'm behind for Shakespeare now, but, oh well. It'll get done.
 I also joined this wonderful group, Doll Quilter's Monthly, and have started exchanging doll-sized quilts with other members. My first quilt was for May, with the theme 'May flowers'.  I sent my partner this:
                                                 (Vivian's picture I "borrowed" from DQM)

and received this beauty from Viv:

 I'm excited to see what comes in June for the theme 'something old, something new, ...borrowed ...blue'! I hope my partner likes hers~ it's almost done! Pics later, after delivery!

 I'm doing another doll quilt exchange with the SewingMamas, too. I'll share that one after delivery, too!
 I also participated in a purse exchange with the SewingMamas.  This is the one I sent:

 I'm not crazy about the quality of my sewing on the interior. I've decided to stick to totes and simple bags. I'm not a happy purse maker. I LOVE the purse I received~ I have to get the camera back from B to take pictures.

 There's a lot of  "I"s in this post. So, hows' you doin'?