Well, it has taken me long enough. Here are some pictures from Juliette’s first birthday party last Sunday in our backyard. I especially like the cake pictures. Funny, she wasn’t such a fan of sweet icing, but playing with the cake sure was fun. Also included are some gift-opening pictures. There are 20 pictures total, so be sure to scroll through them all.[album: http://www.fiberguy.com/wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/dm-albums.php?currdir=/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Juliette1stbirthday/]
Here is the paradox: At the point in my life in which I find the least time to indulge or express it, I find the impulse, the need, to create is stronger than it has ever been.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am keenly aware that the act of raising a child is a supremely creative one, contributing to the future of the world by advancing the next generation. And I truly enjoy every moment of my time with Juliette and I do not begrudge anything that she requires of me. But really, there isn’t much of any “me” time left any more. Maybe an hour or so after we put her to bed, if that isn’t taken up with bottles or cleaning the kitchen or finally getting a chance to check e-mail or what have you, or just simply laying down because I am too tired from a busy day. Let’s be honest – an inquisitive one-year-old on the verge of walking is a handful even for two people and requires “all hands on deck!” most of the time.
So why is it exactly this time (and over the past glorious year) that I have found my creativity welling up inside of me demanding an outlet. I was sure that I had lost my quilt mojo until I cleaned out my studio a few months ago and unpacked all my fabrics into shelving units. And I swear I could sit and knit for days on end if I but had the time. And my recent trip to the Minnesota Quilters annual convention in St. Cloud inspired me in ways that I didn’t expect and for which I was not prepared.
The other night, I must have woken at least a half-dozen times, and each time immediately thinking about a quilt I want to make or am in the process of making. And last night, after dinner, there was a part of me that felt like I was going to explode if I didn’t get into that studio and work on some quilt, any quilt, just sit and sew. I did manage to get a quilt pattern picked out for Juliette, the Crazy Eights pattern I have used before that calls for 8 fat quarters, and I got the first round of cutting completed, the strips that is. I have to cut those down into their various components to start piecing.
And when I was done with that, I put together a quilt sandwich of plain muslin to practice some of the stuff I was re-reading in the Easy Machine Quilting book I am reviewing. I convinced myself that I really do need the Easy Quilter frame I saw at the MQ show. That frame made it so much easier and faster to do graceful and smooth curves and so on. My head has been swimming recently with:
Voyager 17 – http://www.hinterberg.com/voyager-stretch.aspx
Nolting FunQuilter – http://www.funquilter.com/
Bailey Home Quilter – http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/bahoqupro15.html
Handi Quilter 16 – http://www.handiquilter.com/shop/product/simply-sixteen/
Innova 18 – http://www.abminternational.com/innova-long-arm-quilting-machine.php
Pfaff Grand Quilter 18.8 – http://www.pfaffusa.com/18574.html
Prodigy – http://www.prodigyquilter.com/
SuperQuilter Proflex frame – http://www.superquilter.com/
I wish I had both the money and the space to buy one of these. Honestly, what I really want is the Gammill Vision 18 or the APQS Lenni model, but I don’t have enough of space or money for either. A guy can dream, can’t he? In the meantime, I’ll do my best with the money and space I have to improve my own quilting skills so I can do more of my own quilting. I’ve always said that the was the part I didn’t like, so that is why I don’t do it. That’s only partially true. The reason I don’t like doing the quilting is because I’ve never found a way that I could do it sufficiently well enough to please myself. I’m hoping the Easy Quilter frame will go a long way in convincing me otherwise. I think it will. I can’t wait to find out for sure, but it will likely be several more weeks before I can get it. Oh, well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Still, I’m something of an immediate gratification kinda guy.